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Chapter Summary

Abraham (Avrom) Leib Udovitch, leader in the social and economic history of the medieval Middle East, guiding light in the study of the documents of the Cairo Geniza, activist in the search for peace in the Middle East. One of Avrom's many seminal contributions is his work on banking. "Bankers without Banks," one of his many characteristically catchy titles, tells it all: the Geniza points to a well-established medieval banking system, marked by informal relations rather than by buildings. What of Avrom's activism in seeking peace and justice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? One of its defining moments came in 1988. Throughout, Avrom has stood firm in his belief that Jews and Muslims got along in a more or less tolerable modus vivendi in the high Middle Ages, an outgrowth of his early study of Hebrew poetry with Spiegel and his research on the Geniza world.

Keywords: Abraham (Avrom) Leib Udovitch; Cairo Geniza; Middle East conflict



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