BDE: Yihyeh Ben-Yosef, One of Yemen’s Last Remaining Jews

By Hamodia Staff

Yihyeh Ben-Yosef

One of the last Jews in Yemen, Yihye Ben-Yosef, was niftar last week, and was brought to kevurah on Thursday.

The Jewish population of Yemen at present is not known for certain, but is not more than six, including Levi Merhavi, who was arrested eight years ago and is held by Houthi terrorists after trying to bring a sefer Torah out of the country.

Ben-Yosef declined to leave with the rest of his community, who lived in the Arhab area, in 2021, after the Houthis terrorists forced 13 Jews to leave Yemen.

Channel 14 reports that Merhavi has been tortured by the terrorists, including forcibly removing all of his teeth.

Local Yemeni Arabs tended to Ben-Yosef after he passed away.

Yemen was home to one of, if not the oldest surviving Jewish communities in the world, having lived there since before the construction of the second Beis Hamikdash. Yemenite Jews are steeped in mesorah, possessing unique minhagim, piskei halacha, and Hebrew pronunciation. Most left in the years following the establishment of the State of Israel, and moved mostly to Eretz Yisrael; others immigrated to the United States and elsewhere.

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