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The Tang-e Āzāo inscriptions, in Persian in Hebrew script dating from the beginning of the Islamic period (1064 Seleucid era/135/753-54; Henning) in the Ḡūr (Ḡōr) region of Afghanistan, suggest that Jews may also have been present in that area somewhat earlier (Henning).

There may have been a Jewish population in the Kabul region as well: The grandfather of Abū Ḥanīfa Noʿmān (founder of the Hanafite ) from Kabul named Zūṭā (Aramaic “little”; Schacht, p. Although no known source mentions a Jewish presence in Jahūḏān in the Middle Ages, the name itself indicates that Jews had founded it or had constituted a substantial part of its population at some point.

99-101/717-20), which defined the rights of and restrictions on them. ʿOmar had forbidden both destruction of syn­agogues existing in Khorasan since pre-Islamic times and construction of new ones (Fischel, p. 130/747 the Jews (as well as the Zoroastrians and Christians) of Marv had been rec­ognized as , an autonomous fiscal entity with an administrative head responsible to the Muslim administration for payment of relevant taxes by the community. This title also appears in the inscription on a tombstone in the 11th-­13th-century Jewish cemetery near the village of Jām, close to the site of Fīrūzkūh in Ḡūr (Rapp, 1971, p. In the early 6th/12th century Mōšē Ebn ʿEḏrā quoted a conveyance that “[there are] in … These figures, fantastic as they are, attest to a contemporary belief that the Jewish population was quite numerous. As far as is known the majority of Jewish population centers in the region were situated south of the Oxus, extending as far as Ḡazna. The Jewish presence in Varšād probably ended soon after the destruction of the city by the Mongols in 619/1222: The last known burial inscription is dated in the year 1557 of the Seleucid era (A. 276f.), but there were others whose names Bīrūnī did not give. In the 4th/10th century a settlement named Yahūḏleq (Yahulïq), on the frontier between Farḡāna and Īlāq, is mentioned with­out further details (.

About 400 years later an apparently iden­tical structure was attested in Samarkand: The late 12th-­century Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela (Hebrew text, p. Ḡazna about 40,000 Jews and in other inhabited places of Khorasan approx­imately the same number” (ed. The poet ʿOnṣorī reported that Jews were one of four religious commu­nities addressing praises to Sultan Maḥmūd Ḡaznavī (p. 4), which suggests that they formed a noticeable segment of the population in the early 5th/11th-century Ghaznavid state. It is likely, however, that he relied on one or more Jews from Kāṯ in one of the suburbs of which he was born. Finally, in the 4th/10th century Abū Dolaf mentioned a settlement named Bahī in what is today Xinjiang (Sinkiang): It was inhabited by Mus­lims, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and idolaters (listed in that order; Yāqūt, V, p. This Jewish settlement in a territory inhabited mainly by Turks appears to have been unique.

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No matter where the author of this document and other traders came from, they may have made sabbath stops in Jewish commu­nities along the way. The absorption of part of Central Asia into the caliphate (completed ca. However, Jews are the only pre-Islamic religious group in Central Asia to have survived in that region to the present. Attribution of the role of to a Jewish merchant may reflect the func­tioning of Jews as transmitters of the “larger” culture that they knew from trade contacts to the remote, still pagan population of mountainous Mandēš. Abīvard, too, must have had Jewish inhabitants, but the only reference to them is the story of Fożayl’s conversion of a Jew from the town (see above). This legend predates the Mongol conquest of Samarkand in 614/1220, after which the section of the city where the aqueduct was situated was abandoned.

A major demographic event of the 1970s was large-scale Bu­kharan Jewish emigration from the USSR (see below). 99), when Babylon, with its large Jewish popu­lation, was absorbed into the empire, and it can be suggested that at the same period they reached parts of Central Asia that also belonged to the empire. 691, 802) that Jews dwelled “in all the provinces” (3:6, 8; 8:5, 12; ) of the kingdom of Persia, Parthia (covering approximately the territory of the southwestern part of the Turkmen Soviet republic and the northern part of the modern Iranian province of Khorasan), the hereditary domain of the Arsacid dynasty, would certainly have been included among them. Gamlīʾēl the Elder, an early 1st-century president of the Sanhedrin (the supreme religious Jewish legislative body, based in Jerusalem), is said to have addressed a letter “to our brethren, sons of the exile in Babylon and our brethren that [dwell] in Media, and to the rest of the exile of Israel” (Babylonian Talmud, “Sanhedrīn,” 11b). 126), Āq-Masjed (Perovsk, Kzyl-Orda; Dobrosmy­slov, 1912a, p.

Calculations based on the Soviet census of 1979 (, pp. Jews are known to have settled in Georgian area undoubtedly under Achaemenid domi­nation sometime after 539 B. It is stated repeatedly in the Book of Esther (composed in the early Parthian period, at least several decades before 78-77 B. As the sequence of the exiles mentioned is from Jerusalem eastward, “the rest of the exile” must include the Jews dwelling east of Media, that is, in the eastern part of greater Iran. 77), and Kazalinsk (founded in 1853; Dobrosmyslov, 1912a, p.

Further proof of Jewish presence in the city before the Arab invasion of Ḵᵛārazm (93/712) is a reference by Ṭabarī to among those consulted by the Ḵᵛārazmšāh (II, p.

1237); this term refers to non-Muslim religious authorities, particularly Jewish rabbis (Barthold, I, p. 545, has offered no support for his doubts on this point).