||Halakhic monograph in Judeo-Arabic on Halakhot in Orah Hayyim arranged alphabetically, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet beginning a new section, by R. Shalom Daniel Judah ben Moses Kohen. The verso of the title page has a dedicatory form and below it where it can be purchased in Tiberius, Israel or in Djerba. There is an introduction dated Wednesday, 25 Nissan 714 (April 28, 1954). Given the late date of this publication it is likely one of the last non-liturgical books to be published in Djerba, printing there diminishing and finally ceasing in 1960.
Djerba (Jerba), island off the coast of Tunisia. In ancient times it was an important Phoenician trading center. According to the local tradition, the Jewish settlement there is very old. It maintains that the Jews came there during the reign of Solomon and founded the present al-Hara al-Kabra (the "Big Quarter"). A family of priests fleeing Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. is said to have transported one of the Temple gates to Djerba. It is believed to be enclosed in the synagogue, called al-Gharba (the "extraordinary") of the Hara al-Saghra (the "Small Quarter"), which is situated in the center of the island. The Gharba was a much frequented place of pilgrimage. The population consisted mainly of kohanim (priests) with a small sprinkling of others, although there were no levites among the residents. According to tradition, the absence of levites on the island is the result of a curse against them by Ezra because they refused to answer his request to send levites to Israel (cf. Ezra 8:15), and they all died. The history of the Jews of Djerba includes three serious persecutions: in the 12th century under the Almohads; in 1519 under the Spanish; and in 1943 under the Nazis. In 1239 a colony of Jews from Djerba settled in Sicily, where they obtained concessions to cultivate henna, indigo, and the royal palm groves. It was common for the male Jewish population of Djerba to look for livelihood abroad, but they kept returning to the island, where their families had remained. Exchange of goods with Malta and Italy was in the hands of the Jews, who grew the products and processed the commodities for export themselves. Maimonides, in a letter to his son, expressed a low opinion of their superstitions and spiritual capacity, but praised them for their faith. In the 19th and 20th centuries the yeshivot of Djerba produced many rabbis and writers and they provided rabbis for the communities of North Africa. David Idan established a Hebrew printing press in Djerba in 1904, and many books, mainly Passover Hagaddot and other liturgical items, were printed there until 1960. In 1946 there were some 4,900 Jews in Djerba, settled in al-Hara al-Saghra, al-Hra al-Kabra, and Houmt-Souk, the principal town of the island. Their number dwindled to about 1,500 by the late 1960s, the majority emigrating to Israel and settling on moshavim (many of them on moshav Eitan). Those left on the island continue to be engaged in commerce.