Shimon Moyal

Shimon Moyal (1866–1915) was a Zionist activist and physician. He worked for several newspapers and started a short-lived newspaper with his wife, Esther Moyal. He was the translator of the Talmud into Arabic language.

Shimon Moyal
Died1915 (aged 48–49)
  • Physician
  • Translator
Notable workAt-Talmud: Asluhu wa-tasalsuluhu wa-adabuhu
(m. 1894)
ParentYousef Moyal (father)

Early life and educationEdit

Moyal was born in Jaffa in 1866.[1] His father was Yousef Moyal whose family were wealthy Jews from Morocco who settled in Palestine.[1][2] Shimon's brother, David Moyal (1880–1953), was a lawyer and activist.[2] Shimon attended Jewish religious schools in Palestine.[1] Then he went to Beirut where he studied Arabic and French languages.[1] Next he studied medicine in Cairo.[3]

Activities and careerEdit

During his studies in Cairo and later Moyal worked for different publications.[3] One of them was Al Muqattam, a Cairo-based newspaper.[4] He and his wife, Esther Moyal, returned to Palestine in late 1908[3][5] shortly after the Young Turk revolution in the Ottoman Empire.[6]

In 1909 Moyal published an Arabic translation of Talmud entitled At-Talmud: Asluhu wa-tasalsuluhu wa-adabuhu (Arabic: The Talmud: Its Origin, Transmission, and Ethics) to make Judaism much more known by both Muslims and Christians who could read the Arabic texts.[1] In 1913 he and his friend Nissim Malul launched a Jewish newspaper, Sawt Al Uthmaniyah (Arabic: the Voice of Ottoman), which was published in Arabic.[3] The paper was edited by Moyal and his wife.[3][6] Moyals and Malul also founded an association, Ha-Magen (Hebrew: The Shield), which aimed to answer to any hostile article against Zionism published in the Arabic publications.[3] Another goal of the association was to encourage greater understanding between Jews and Arabs in Palestine and to support the peaceful relations with Arabs living in the region.[3] Moyal was also very active in the Jaffa freemasonry society and participated in the activities of the Decentralization Party in Egypt (Al-Lamarkaziyah).[3]

Personal life and deathEdit

Moyal married a Beirut-born Jewish journalist Esther Al Azhari in 1894.[3][7] They had a son, Abdullah Ovadia Nadim.[8] He died in Jaffa in 1915 at the age of 49.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jonathan Marc Gribetz (Fall 2010). "An Arabic-Zionist Talmud: Shimon Moyal's At-Talmud". Jewish Social Studies. 17 (1): 1–4. doi:10.2979/JEWISOCISTUD.17.1.1. S2CID 162749270.
  2. ^ a b Yuval Ben-Bassat (2020). "Reconsidering the role of a Maghrebi family in the Yishuv in late Ottoman Palestine: the case of the Moyal family". Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. 19 (4): 501. doi:10.1080/14725886.2020.1763071. S2CID 219435844.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Abigail Jacobson (2004). "Alternative Voices in Late Ottoman Palestine: A Historical Note". Jerusalem Quarterly (21).
  4. ^ Salim Tamari (2014). "Issa al Issa's Unorthodox Orthodoxy: Banned in Jerusalem, Permitted in Jaffa". Jerusalem Quarterly. 59: 30.
  5. ^ Moshe Behar (2017). "1911: the birth of the Mizrahi–Ashkenazi controversy". Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. 16 (2): 314. doi:10.1080/14725886.2017.1295588. S2CID 151995610.
  6. ^ a b Reuven Snir (September 2006). "Arabic in the Service of Regeneration of Jews The Participation of Jews in Arabic Press and Journalism in the 19th and 20th Centuries". Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 59 (3): 311. doi:10.1556/aorient.59.2006.3.2.
  7. ^ Reuven Snir (2007). ""Mosaic Arabs" between Total and Conditioned Arabization: The Participation of Jews in Arabic Press and Journalism in Muslim Societies during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 27 (2): 266. doi:10.1080/13602000701536208. S2CID 144479547.
  8. ^ Lital Levy (Spring 2009). "Reorienting Hebrew Literary History: The View from the East". Prooftexts. 29 (2): 147. doi:10.2979/pft.2009.29.2.127. S2CID 162089716.

External linksEdit