MOCHA

MOCHA
MOCHA (Ar. al-Mukhā), a port city on the Red Sea coast of yemen . It is famous for being the major marketplace for coffee from the 15th to the 17th centuries, when the Dutch managed to obtain some seeds from the coffee tree – seeds which the Arab traders had guarded zealously – and soon enough were cultivating coffee in their colony of Indonesia. According to a sketch plan compiled by Brouwer (p. 143), the population of Mocha may have reached 20,000 permanent residents including a Jewish community (p. 228). It was the principal port for Yemen's capital, San'a , until it was eclipsed in the 19th century by aden and Ḥudayadah as Yemen's main port. That, along with the fact that the Arabs no longer had an exclusive hold on the coffee trade, eventually pushed the city of Mocha into obscurity. The earliest information about a Jewish community in Yemen can be derived from al-Ẓāhirī's Sefer ha-Musar from the 16th century. Since then we have a flow of information about Jews entering Yemen through Mocha, such as the emissary and book-printer from tiberias , Abraham b. Isaac Ashkenazi (1578). As can be judged from the main source of this information – responsa collections of Jewish rabbis outside of Yemen, mostly from egypt – the Jewish community in Mocha consisted not of Yemenite Jews but of non-Yemenite Jewish merchants who settled there for their business and others who came for a limited time only. In about 1770 there were some 400 Jewish families in the town, including some wealthy merchants, craftsmen, goldsmiths, weavers, and builders of smelting furnaces. R. Aaron Iraqi ha-Kohen, the president of the Jewish community in Sanʿa , lived there for some years as a ruler and judge (early 18th century), and his son Shalom, who also acted as president, built a magnificent synagogue there. After the British occupation of Aden in 1839 and its economic development, most Jews moved there from Mocha. In 1859 jacob saphir found in Mocha only eight Jewish families living in a derelict quarter outside the city walls in wooden and reed constructions, as was the case in many other Yemenite towns. There were not enough members to form a minyan for Rosh Ha-Shanah services. One of the plagues common in this region caused the Jews to abandon the town and they dispersed in the mountain villages. The number of Jews gradually dwindled and by the 20th century no Jews remained in Mocha. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Zechariah al-Ẓāhirī, Sefer ha-Musar, ed. by Y. Ratzaby (1965), 39–40, 285, 424–6; J. Saphir, Even Sappir, 1 (1886), 100–1, 110b. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Y. Tobi, in: Shevet va-Am 7 (1973), 272–91; C.G. Brouwer, Al-Mukha, Profile of a Yemeni Seaport Sketched by Servants of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) 1614–1640 (1997). (Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg / Yosef Tobi (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Mocha — (UK: /ˈmɒk.ə/, US: /ˈmoʊk.ə/) may refer to cafe mocha, a beverage. It may also refer to: Contents 1 Computing 2 Sciences 2.1 Biology …   Wikipedia

  • Mocha — Mo cha, n. 1. A seaport town of Yemen, on the Red Sea, also spelled {Mukha}. [1913 Webster] 2. A variety of coffee originally brought from Mocha. [1913 Webster] 3. An Abyssinian weight, equivalent to a Troy grain. [1913 Webster] 4. A flavoring… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mocha — (n.) 1733, fine coffee, from Mocha, Red Sea port of Yemen, from which coffee was exported. Meaning mixture of coffee and chocolate first recorded 1849. As a shade of dark brown, it is attested from 1895 …   Etymology dictionary

  • mocha — ► NOUN 1) a fine quality coffee. 2) a drink or flavouring made with this, typically with chocolate added. 3) a soft leather made from sheepskin. ORIGIN named after Mocha, a port on the Red Sea, from where the coffee and leather were first shipped …   English terms dictionary

  • mocha — [mō′kə] n. [after MOCHA] 1. a choice grade of coffee grown orig. in Arabia 2. Informal any coffee 3. a flavoring made from an infusion of coffee, or of coffee and chocolate 4. a soft, velvety leather of Egyptian sheepskin, used esp. for gloves 5 …   English World dictionary

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  • Mocha — (Mokka), Stadt in der türk. Provinz Jemen in Arabien, am Roten Meer, mit einem durch zwei Kastelle verteidigten Hafen und 4–5000 Einw., früher die erste Stadt der Provinz, jetzt sehr herabgekommen durch Verlegung des Handels, besonders der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • MOCHA — Insul. Americae, in mari Australi prope Chilea …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • mocha — f. ☛ V. mocho …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Mocha — [mō′kə] seaport in SW Yemen, on the Red Sea: pop. 6,000 …   English World dictionary

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