Kfar Manda was Jewish Kfar Mandi until the 14th Century / DR.R.S.Lissak

kfar Manda was Jewish Kfar Mandi until the 14th Century/ DR.R.S.Lissak

Today, Kfar Manda is an Arabic village, situated at the foot of Mount Etzmon, north of the Bet Netofa reservoir in the Lower Galilee. The village's population, as of 2008, is 17,000. Most of the population is Muslim.

There are various explanations of the name’s origins:
An Arabic tradition holds that the name was derived from Midyan, after Jethro who lived in the village 2000 years ago, and that his daughter Zipora, Moses’s wife, is buried there (this is historically impossible).

In the Old Testament, the site is named Kfar Manda or Kfar Mandi According to another explanation the village was named after the Talmudic sage Yissakhar Mandi, a study partner of Rabbi Hama Bar Haninna from Tzipori. The Babylonian Talmud mentions a Rabbi Yossef Maddea, or possibly Mandea, meaning Kfar Manda.

The Second Temple Period (538 BCE – 70CE)

Kfar Mandi is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud. According to Josephus Flavius, the village remained intact after the Great Revolt. Rabbi Akavya Ben Mahalalel, who lived during the Second Temple period, was buried in Kfar Mandi.

The Roman & Byzantine Periods (70CE – 640CE)

Kfar Mandi was a large Jewish village throughout the Mishna and Talmud period. It was home to priests and Talmudic sages. Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel, Rabbi Yossey D’Mandea, and the Talmudic sage Yissakhar D’Mandi (lived during the 3rd century CE) were residents of the Jewish village and were buried there.

The Arabic Period (640 – 1099)

Jews lived in Kfar Mindi during the Arabic- Muslim occupation. Evidence from the Cairo Genizah(an archive of Jewish letters from the 10th – 13th centuries) shows that a large Jewish community lived there during the 11th century. A document found in the Cairo Genizah, written in Hebrew and dated 1066CE, mentions Avraham Ben David from Kfar Mandi.

The Crusader Period (1099 – 1260)

The crusaders massacred Jews in Acre and Haifa, but the Jewish settlements in the Galilee survived. Jews still lived in Kfar Mindi during the Crusader period, when Rabbi Yehiel from Paris, who immigrated to the country around the middle of the 13th century, with his pupils and settled in Acre, visited the Jewish villages in the Galilee, including, Kfar Mindi. The village is mentioned by the Arabic Geographer, Yakkut (1230).

The Mameluke Period (1260 – 1516)

The village is also mentioned in books written by Jewish travelers. Ahstori Haparhi, from Plorencia, Spain, immigrated to Israel in 1303. He wrote a book "Caftor VaPherah", in which he told about his visits to Jewish settlements in Israel. He visited Kfar Mindi in 1322. A student of the Ramban (Rabbi Moshe Ben Nahman) visited the village at the beginning of the 14th century. Unfortunately, he mentioned only the tombs of rabbis he visited. But, since there is evidence from other sources that other villages mentioned together with Kfar Mindi, were inhabited by Jews, such as Gush Halav, Alma, Kfar Kana, and more, there is reason to believe that Jews still lived in Kfar Mindi too.
The Jewish village ceased to exist sometime during the Mameluke period. Since, Bedouin tribes, invaded the country, robbed, murdered and chased inhabitants from their villages, during this period, the might have invaded Kfar Mindi, too.

The Ottoman Period (1516 – 1917)

The Arabic settlement exists between 250 and 300 years, according to one source and around 500, according to another. That means that the Arabic settlement in the village began during the the Ottoman Period, in the 16th or 18th century. The Bedouin tribe Al- Hujirat invaded the Netofa valley by the end of the 17th century. According to Joseph Barslavi, in his book on "The Galilee and the Northern vallies", the Ottoman government initiated the settlement of Bedouin tribes in the Galilee around 1840's. It seems that the village was deserted for some time.

The British Mandate Period (1917 – 1948)

According to the British Mandate Census of 1931, 975 residents lived in the village, all members of the Bedouin tribe Al Hujirat. In a lecture titled “The Galilee Bedouins During the British Mandate Period” given in Sede Bokker conference on 5.2.1978, Giora Zayd (son of Alexander Zayd from the Yizrael Valley, who was a member of the Shommer organization, a Jewish guardsmen, who guarded Jewish settlements in the Ottoman Period) mentioned that the tribe’s leader convinced his tribesmen to not cooperate with the Arab gangs during the Arab Revolt (1936 – 1939), and maintained secret contacts with a Jewish officer in the British police.

The State of Israel

According to Giora Zayd, following the establishment of the State of Israel, members of the tribe were drafted into the IDF as trackers. In 1973 the village population rose to 4200. Within 35 years, from 1973 to 2008, the population has increased to 17000.
The village is in a low socio-economic bracket, with unemployment topping 20%. The Council Chairman was deposed in 2007 and the Council dispersed due to management and financial failures.

Many of the village people are members of the Northern Islamic Movement, a fundamentalist movement. During the Arabic 0ctober 2000 riots, one youngster was killed by the police and one of the elders was wounded. Members of the village were recently involved in terrorist attacks.

In short, Jews lived in Kfar Mandi, until the 14th century. Arabs settled in the village in the deserted village during the Ottoman Period.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.