A Study on the Epistemological Characteristics of Jewish Culture in Djerba Island with the ‘Antechamber of Jerusalem’
The Berber people, natives of the Maghreb region, are located on the island of Djerba, where Jewish culture is firmly established. In addition, traces of connection with Jerusalem, the center of the Jewish community, persist throughout the island. The island of Djerba is the only holy place for Jews outside Jerusalem. It is also well known as the ‘Antechamber of Jerusalem’ and preserves its traces relatively well. Therefore, Djerba Island is a very meaningful place as it can look at the exchanges of Jewish diaspora civilization, coexistence, and win-win relationship between Islam and Jews, and Berber.
In order to understand the meaning of ‘Antechamber of Jerusalem’, this paper aims to briefly examine the Jewish situation in three Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) before and after French colonial rule, and to examine the current situation of Jews in the region developed in history. Next, we will assess the characteristics of the Jewish community on the island of Djerba, called the ‘Antechamber of Jerusalem’. Like the rest of the Maghreb region, the island of Djerba is also a place of cultural division. Nevertheless, the memory of Jerusalem remains the strongest in history on the island of Djerba. In this sense, it seems meaningful to examine the issue of epistemological ‘rupture or 'continuity’. This shows how Jews were able to coexist and co-exist on the island of Djerba, the ‘Antechamber of Jerusalem’, and how the French colonization and subsequent process led to a conflict and a ‘rupture’ in the coexistence. Therefore, through this paper, we will be able to understand the Jewish cultural identity of the island of Djerba, coexistence, and conflict of civilization.