Baruch, ben-Samuel

(d. 1834)
   Adventurer. Born in Pinsk, Russia. Baruch settled in Safad in 1819. Rumours reached the Jewish community there that the remnants of the Lost Tribes, especially the tribe of Dan, were to be found in Yemen. The Safad Jews sent Baruch, who was practising as a physician, to verify these reports and establish contact with the Tribes. He was given a letter inviting them to join and help their brethren in Palestine. Baruch swore that he would devote himself to this task and set off on his long journey. He reached San’a in 1833 and was warmly greeted by the Jewish community. He then travelled on to Haydan in northern Yemen and in the desert he met a shepherd who, he decided, was a Danite and gave him the letter to deliver. The shepherd promised he would bring the answer to Haydan, and Baruch returned to San’a after the Jewish community had promised they would forward him the reply.
   In San’a the imam, Al-Mahdi, fell ill and Baruch, against the advice of the Jewish leaders who reminded him of his oath in Safad, offered to heal the Imam. He was so successful that he was appointed court physician. This aroused the jealousy of the Moslems at the court.
   In 1834, when Ibrahim Pasha attacked Yemen and captured the town of Mocha, Baruch offered to re-take the town if the imam would give him ten thousand men and make him ruler of Mocha after the battle. His enemies promptly accused him of being an Egyptian spy and incited the imam to kill him. As he fell Baruch reproved the king for this treachery to his faithful physician and prophesied that his rule would not last much longer. The imam ordered the body to be thrown over the wall so that wild animals would eat it and no one would know of the deed. The body remained untouched and the king, taking this as a sign of his innocence, was overcome with remorse and asked the Jews to bury the corpse. Baruch’s enemies rejoiced while the Jews mourned. The imam and his family lost their kingdom before the year was out.

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

Look at other dictionaries:

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