Khaybar - (or Khaibar) is an oasis lying about 95 miles (150 km)
north of Medina (ancient Yathrib), Saudi Arabia. It included several Jewish town, the largest Jewish settlement in Saudi
Arabia, conquered by Mohammed about 628 A.D. Khaybar is situated in a volcanic region covered by malarial swamps. The
Jews of Khaybar were a rich community of traders as well as farmers, raising grapes, dates, vegetables and grain. They
produced silk garments that were sold and known throughout the Hejaz. They manufactured metal work implements and
weapons The settlements of Khaybar were concentrated around three centers - Natat, Shiqq and Katiba.
The Jewish Banu Nadir tribe of Medina, expelled from Medina about 625,
moved to Khaybar. The Banu Nadir claimed to be descendants of Aaron the priest, though many of the Jews of the
Arabian peninsula are thought to have been converts to Islam. Mohammed
took advantage of the Hudna of Hudaibiyeh with the Meccans to
turn against Khaybar. In 628 he conquered Khaybar and put to death many of its leaders. He took a wife, Saffiya, from
Khaybar, after beheading her husband Kinana al Rabi of the Bani Nadir. Kinana was killed after being tortured to learn
the location of the treasures of Khaybar. Mohammad allowed some Jews to live there, supposedly exacting a tribute
of 50% of their crops. In 642, the caliph Umar expelled many of the Jews of Khaybar, but a Jewish community persisted
there, especially around Katiba at least until the twelfth century. Supposedly, some of the Jews of Khaybar or their
descendants arrived in Palestine. Some apparently settled in Tiberias and lived there as late as the 16th century. One
such family is the Muhamara of the village of Yutah.
Khaybar! Khaybar! and slogans mentioning Khaybar became a
traditional Muslim chant during attacks on Jews and in demonstrations. One such chant is Khaybar Khaybar ya
Yahoud, jaish Muhammad saufa ya‘ud, meaning "Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return". The
Hizbullah version is Khaybar, Khaybar ya Sahyoun, Hizbullah qadimun, meaning "Khaybar, Khaybar O Zionists,
Hizbullah is coming soon." Hezbulla renamed one model of their Syrian-supplied rockets, used in the 2006 Lebanon war
against Israel, Khaybar II.
October 10, 2008
Synonyms and alternate spellings: Khaibar
Further Information: Pogrom
Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:
'H - ('het) a guttural sound
made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that
have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch,
especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.
ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch"
in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against
the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."
uu - usually between oo as in spoon
and u as in put.
a- sounded like a in arm
ah- used to represent an a sound made by
the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative
'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic
ayin, a guttural ah sound.
o - close to the French o as in homme.
th - (taf without a dot) - Th was
formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there
is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and
Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.
q- (quf) - In transliteration of
Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding
words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for
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