Alroy, David (Menahem ben-Solomon)

(12th century)
   Messianic pretender. Born in Amadiya, east of Mosul, Menahem ben-Solomon claimed to be king of the Jews. He chose the name David after the Jewish king, while Alroy is a corruption of his Arabic name. This was a period of great struggle between Christians and Moslems for the possession of Palestine and the Holy Places, and in the process there had been terrible massacres of the Jewish communities. There were several false prophets at that time and the movement of David Alroy had begun when his father proclaimed himself Elijah about 1120 in Kurdistan. The Moslems probably encouraged the movement, as it was anti-Christian. Alroy managed to take possession of a strategic fortress en route from Kurdistan to Jerusalem and called for an armed uprising. However, a story was spread in Baghdad that on a certain night Alroy would come and fly all the Jews to Jerusalem and they should wait for him on their rooftops. When the expected miracle did not come to pass, the Jews were held up to ridicule and Alroy was threatened with a ban by the religious leadership in Baghdad. The Moslem authorities reacted and Alroy was murdered either by the authorities according to one version or by his father-in-law who had been bribed. However, the belief in his re-appearance and mission continued among his followers, who were known as Menahemites.
   Benjamin DISRAELI wrote a fictionalized version called Alroy (1833).

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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