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Medieval Messiahs (3)

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Moses al-Dar'i

In 1095, the Christians launched the First Crusade against the Muslims who occupied the Holy Land. Because their opponents were divided, the invaders were able to take Jerusalem in July 1099. The warriors of Christ usually started their mission with a pogrom at home; many Jews -in Europe and in Asia- felt threatened and started to look forward to the coming of the Messiah. The same happened in the countries ruled by the Almoravid dynasty, Morocco and Andalusia. Although the western Mediterranean was not the theater of the Crusades, the relations between Christians and Muslims were extremely bad, and the Almoravid authorities repressed other beliefs.

Under these circumstances, Moses al-Dar'i, a Moroccan teacher, gained a large following. He was convinced that the Messiah would free the Jews in the Almoravid countries at Passover 1127. Many Jews made large debts to prepare for the celebrations. It is unclear what happened to Moses when the Messiah did not arrive and the Jews were close to bankruptcy.

Muhammad (570-632)
Abu Isa' al-Isfahani (c. 700)
Moses al-Dar'i (c.1127)
David Alroy (c.1147)
Yemenite Messiah (c.1172)
Abu'lafia (1230-1291)

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