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Birthday of Nachman Avigad, 1905

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: September 25, 1905

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFkjq5ygTD_/

#onthisday, 1950, Operation Magic Carpet was completed and around 47,000 Yemenite Jews were brought home to Israel.

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The secret operation spanned a year and a half, took 380 flights, and was not made public until months later.

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In May 1949, the Imam of Yemen gave the Jews permission to leave the country provided that they sell all of their property and belongings before leaving (and pay a heavy tax on all of it).

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Jews from all over Yemen made the trek to the British colony, Aden, to be airlifted to Israel on American and British planes.

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It was a dangerous trip for many and hundreds of Jews died along the way. Nevertheless, the trip was worth the risk since following Israel's War of Independence in 1948, life for Jews in Yemen deteriorated significantly.

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There were constant pogroms and violence against the communities and the government did nothing to stop them.

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Getting to Aden was not the end of the trip. The planes flew without a flight plan, fuel was scarce and they were often fired on by enemy fire. The pilots were warned that if they had to make a crash landing, they should not land in an Arab country for fear of execution, landing in the water was a safer option.

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When the Yemini Jews were brought to Israel, most were housed in camps (Ma'abarot) that were meant to be temporary as the nascent state worked to deal with the massive influx of immigrants. Often, these became permanent causing much rift within Israeli society later in the decade due to lack of mobility and opportunity for the Mizrachi immigrants compared to Ashkenazim who were rarely placed in Ma'abarot upon arrival.

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Today, there are around 750,000 Israelis who are descendents of Yeminite Jews and would most likely not be alive had it not been for Operation Magic Carpet.

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✍: @rebeccaroth01

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#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#yeminite#operation#magiccarpet#israel#zionism#otdjh#saved#wingsofeagles

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Text Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/14/world/nahman-avigad-an-archeologist-and-biblical-scholar-dies-at-86.html

Image and Text Source:

https://www.baslibrary.org/biblical-archaeology-review/18/3/4

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