1247 – 1318
If you read "Arabian Nights", you'll learn three things:
Don't trust thieves
Don't trust genies
Don't trust viziers
The first one is obvious, and genies we already covered... so let's talk about viziers. For those not up on lingo, viziers are prime ministers of the Arabian world. The man behind the sultan, if you will. And they are always, always evil. In "Arabian Nights", at least.
In real life? Surely, not all viziers were evil. And, guess what, one of them was Jewish! (At least one? Nah, probably one and only one.)
Rashid-al-Din Tabib (literally, Rashid the Doctor) was born in Persia to a Jewish family, but converted to Islam. (Definitely a prerequisite for the vizier job.) He served for about 40 years at the turn of the 14th century under four different rulers. (Persia was controlled by Mongols at the time.) Under khan Oljaitu, he virtually ran the country.
It didn't end well. After Oljaitu died, his son did not trust Rashid. He had him charged with poisoning his father, and executed.
We bet the son read "Arabian Nights" as well.
Verdict: Barely a Jew.
October 30, 2015