MAGHREBI-MA'ARAVI , name of Jewish personalities and congregations originating from North Africa. The Arab geographers designate North Africa and Spain as Maghreb, the West. The name Maghreb-Ma'arav ("West"), Maghrebi-Ma'aravi ("the Westerner"), occurs in geonic literature and later. It continues to be applied to North African congregations and their rites. The Maghrebis speak different Arabic dialects, which, in addition to special rites and patterns of life, distinguishes their language from other, Eastern Judeo-Arabic dialects and their customs from other congregations.
Hirschberg, Afrikah, 1 (1965), 59, 344; idem, in: Bar llan, 4/5 (1967), 475–79. add. bibliography: eis2, 5 (1986), 1183ff., s.v. al-Maghrib.
[Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg]
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