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Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern

Audrey Burton

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern AUDREY BURTON The khanate, and later the amirate, of Bukhara was situated between the rivers Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya (the Oxus and Jaxartes of old), a land of high moun? tains, deserts and well-irrigated fertile plains. Its population comprised mainly Persian, Mongol and Turkic peoples, but there were also Arabs, Hindus and Jews. They had an ancient tradition of trade in agricultural produce, locally made cotton and silk materials, furs, horses - the famous horses of Ferghana were highly valued in China - and precious stones. The khanate was founded in the early 16th century and, from 1561 until its disappearance in 1920, the city of Bukhara was its capital. Other major towns, at different times, were Samarqand, Tashkent, Khoqand and Balkh. In the 20th century the amirate was replaced by the Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Tajiskistan, Qirghizstan and Turkmenistan. The information available on Bukharan Jews concerns mainly the early settle? ment and the modern period, from 1820 onwards. The almost total absence of records for the intervening period may be due as much to the Jews themselves, who seem to have kept no records, as to the lack of interest shown by Muslims, reluctant to write about Infidels. Contact with the nearest Jewish communities of Iran and Afghanistan was also very difficult after the early Middle Ages. Religious animosity between the Sunnis of the khanate and the Shfas of Iran, together with rival claims to the rich province of Khurasan which then included Nishapur, Mashhad, and Marv, meant that travel to Iran was dangerous, even for Muslims. Pilgrims to Mecca accordingly chose to travel through Turkey or even through India, as did Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem, for their co-religionists were often grievously persecuted in 17th century Iran.1 Contact with Afghanistan and India became equally dangerous after the early 18th century, when the decline in power of the Bukharan ruler resulted in the secession of Balkh and the surrounding area south of the Amu-Darya. The only foreigners to reach the khanate in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were Russian ambassadors, whose sole concern was to establish good relations with the khans in order to free Orthodox Christians from slavery and to develop the existing trade, which was dominated by the khans and their courtiers. Jews found no place in their detailed reports to the Tsars. This changed in the 19th century, when members of Russian missions began to write for the general public. Imbued with the contemporary love of exoticism, # Paper presented to the society on 6 April 1995. 43</page><page sequence="2">Audrey Burton 44</page><page sequence="3">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern they noted the dark garb, shaved heads and long side-whiskers of the Jews, visited their synagogues and wrote about the discrimination to which they were subjected. Missionaries to the Jews also wrote about them in detail, as did the British officers who investigated the commercial and strategic possibilities of the area. After Russia established its domination in Central Asia in the late 19th century, the truncated amirate became a Russian protectorate, far safer for non-Muslims, and there were many more visitors to the area, including emissaries from Palestine. Elkan Nathan Adler, a son of the British Chief Rabbi Nathan Marcus Adler, wrote several articles about his stay there. In the 20th century more detailed attention was paid to Bukharan Jews in the USSR, but for ideological reasons Soviet ethnographers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, tended to concentrate on their 'primitive' ways and superstitions. Outside Russia, totally uncritical potted biographies and books of recollections have proliferated but there have also been a few serious historical studies, and the situation is improving. The early settlements Bukharan Jews, who refer to themselves as Yisroel, Yah?dt, Bane Yisroel or even Bukharianjfews,2 insist that they arrived in the area during the Babylonian captivity. Joseph Wolff was told in 1831-2 that the Jewish presence in Bukhara and Turbat dated from the 5th century bce. Others told him that the Jewish settlement began in the 8th century bce during the reign of Pul (Tiglath-Pilesser III), king of Assyria, when the Reubenites, Gadites and half the tribe of Menasseh were taken to Halah (Balkh), Habor (Samarqand) and Hara (Bukhara). They remained in the area until expelled by Genghis Kh?n in the early 13th century, when they moved westwards to Sabzawar and Nishapur, and southwards to Shahrisabz, eventually returning under Tamerlane in the late 14th century.3 Unfortunately there seems to be no firm evidence for this. Despite reports that Jews founded Balkh after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nabuchadnezzar,4 Michael Zand, Professor of Iranian Studies in Jerusalem, is prepared to say only that Jews definitely settled in Georgia and may also have settled in Central Asia after the annexation of Babylon by the Achaemenids of Persia some time after 559 bce.5 Direct or indirect references to Jews living in Parthia, an area which included parts of Khurasan and Turkmenistan in the 1 st century bce, seem more encouraging, but Zand accepts as positive proof only the fact that an amora (an expert on Jewish law) spent some time in Marv in the 4th century ce. More convincing perhaps are the 5th-century ossuaries found in Marv inscribed with Hebrew characters, while tax records, inscriptions and even placenames bear witness to a Jewish presence in Marv, Khw?razm, Kabul, Ghur, Ghazna and Balkh in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries. Thus Maimana was known as Yah?dTya, and in the 9th century one of Balkh's settlements was called Yah?d?nak.6 Nearer 45</page><page sequence="4">Audrey Burton to Bukhara there were Jews in Samarqand in the nth century whose letters found their way into the Cairo Geniza, and in the 12th century, according to Benjamin of Tudela, their community had a nasi called Obadiah.7 In the 13th century Genghis Kh?n invaded Central Asia, burning Bukhara to the ground in 1220, and killing or taking prisoner a quarter of the population of Samarqand. Whether or not the remaining Jews then fled to Iran as reported to Wolff in 1832, or to China as he was told in 1844,8 some Jews went back shortly afterwards. This was probably because Genghis Kh?n died in 1227 and neither he nor his immediate successors showed any particular interest in the area, except as a source of revenue. By 1240 there must have been Jews and Christians in Bukhara, for the Muslim magician and mystic, Ab? Karam al-Dar?ni, was advo? cating their extermination and the seizure of their wealth and property.9 Whatever followed, Zand believes that the first Jewish quarter, the mahalla kohne, was built in the early 13th century, which we know pre-dated the reconstruction of the city walls which enclosed it in the 16th century.10 Bukharan Jews, however, disagree. Most believe that Jews returned in the late 14th century with the great Mongol conqueror Tamerlane, who transferred to his capital of Samarqand ten families of silk weavers originating either in Iran (Shiraz or Sabzawar), or in Baghdad. Others claim that their ancestors were captives, Jews from India 'given' to the king of Bukhara by the Afghan king, so that they could teach local craftsmen to make carpets.11 Another legend, retold by Catherine Poujol, is that they came from Spain some time before the reign of Tamerlane (in the 13th or early-14th century), when the king of Spain sold between one and three boatfuls of Jews to Iraq, Iran, China and India. The amir of Bukhara, 'Abdallah, persuaded the Iranian ruler to let him have 10 families of Jewish musicians.12 Although the famous 'Abdallah of Bukhara did not rule till the 16th century, and the term 'amir of Bukhara' came into use only from the late 18th century, this legend proves, if nothing else, that Bukharan Jews have a wonderful way with imaginative stories. The Judeo-Tajik language Exact dates for the Jewish settlement and resettlement in Bukhara may be difficult to ascertain, but there is little doubt that Bukharan Jews were influenced at some early stage by their brethren in Persia. For one thing they followed the Persian rite until the late 18th century. For another their language has been described as 'a unique amalgam of elements from various Tajik [a variety of Persian] languages'. 'Judeo-Tajik' or 'Bukhariot' differs from the Samarqand non-Jewish dialects in some of its verb endings, possessive suffixes, vowel sounds and the inclusion of glottal stops, as in the eain.u Judeo-Tajik is both a spoken and a literary language, although, according to Michael Zand, its first literary manifestation appeared only in the late 18th cen 46</page><page sequence="5">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern tury, and a century elapsed before it was used again, by the prolific Bukharan writer and educator, Shimon Hakham, and his circle.14 Jews of the area used both Persian and local varieties of Judeo-Tajik so fluently that in 1338 a certain Solo? mon ben Samuel from Urgench completed a Hebrew-Persian dictionary. Several Jews figure in an 18th-century anthology of Persian poems dating from the 16th to the early 18th centuries. The Bukharan Y?suf Yah?di, who wrote the 'Haft Bir?dar?n' about Hannah and her seven sons in 1688 and the ode 'Mukhammas' in praise of Moses in 1749, was the centre of a whole school of Jewish poets. They wrote in Hebrew, Persian and Judeo-Persian, and Yah?di translated into Judeo-Persian the Persian classics, as well as the works of Ibn Gabirol, Israel Najjara and Abraham ben Hisdai. About fifty years later another well remembered poet, Ibrahim ibn Abu '1-Khair, wrote a poem in Judeo-Tajik which is still popular and which records the story of Khudaidad, the Jewish merchant whose refusal to embrace Islam led to his martyrdom by order of Amir Macs?m.15 Judeo-Tajik is written generally in Hebrew characters, although recently books in Cyrillic characters have been compiled in Israel and sent to Uzbekistan for the use of non-Hebrew readers. So important is the Judeo-Tajik language that Pro? fessor Zand defines 'Bukharan Jews' as 'the common appellation for the Jews of Central Asia whose native language is the Jewish dialect of Tajik'.16 This explains why Jews whose family have lived for 100 years or more in Tashkent, Khoqand or Afghanistan, are still very much part of the Bukharan Jewish community. Judeo-Tajik is very much alive today. Works are being written in both Hebrew and Judeo-Tajik; there is at least one modern Judeo-Tajik poetess living in Tel Aviv.17 Although in the late 18th century Bukharans abandoned the Persian for the Sephardi rite, they still retained Judeo-Tajik names for their festivals. Thus Shavuot is called guli surkh (roses flowering), Rosh Hashanna is known as kallah?n after the boiled sheep's head that is traditionally eaten, and Pesach bears the name of khushk-kh?n which means 'eating dry'. It should be added that the Judeo-Tajik word for God is the Persian khud?, included in curses such as 'may God make you die young!' or even good wishes such as 'may God allow you to see the Messiah!'18 Communal organization The community was, and still is, very close-knit and observant. In Bukhara they lived in three quarters - the mahalla kohne, the mahalla nau of the 17th century and the AmTr?bad quarter founded during or after the late 18th century.19 Each quarter had at least one synagogue and there were reportedly between eighteen and twenty in 1920.20 The leaders of the community, at least in the 19th and 20th centuries, were the lay kalantar and the chief rabbi or mulla-yi kal?n, the term mulla denoting a learned man. The kalantar was generally elected by the community and then formally appointed by the amir, although Moshe Kalantar 47</page><page sequence="6">Audrey Burton is said to have been chosen by the amir himself when he heard that tall Jew call blessings on him as he rode to the mosque one Friday.21 The kalantar, assisted by two elders,22 represented the community vis-?-vis the authorities. He saw to the collection and payment of the jizyah (Infidels' poll-tax), after each male Jew had been duly assessed. He acted as judge in commercial cases and in cases of petty crime involving Jews. He also assisted the chief rabbi in dealing with disputes about religious law. The kalantar had extensive powers over his brethren. He could punish those who disobeyed him or who acted repre hensibly by imposing fines, or by forbidding them to sell kosher meat, to trade with the community, or even to come to synagogue. The fines were used to help supply the poor with matzah at Passover and firewood in winter.23 However, the mulla-yi kal?n's authority was supreme on questions of education, kashrut and religious law. Rabbis often served also as ritual slaughterers, and as teachers who would ensure that children received a thorough education. Elkan Adler was amazed to hear a barmitvah boy in 1897 delivering a learned exposition of Scrip? tures which Adler considered to be of a nearly 'midrashic' standard.24 Joseph Maman This does not always seem to have been the case, for in 1793, according to Joseph Maman, knowledge of religious rules and texts was at a very low level. Maman was originally from Tetuan in northern Morocco, where his father was a rabbi. He was said to be a descendant of Maimonides, the family name Maimon having been changed to Maman by one of the sultans.25 After his father died Joseph and his siblings left Morocco, and he settled in Safed, travelling later as an emissary to Iran and thence to Bukhara. Much of the information available about Maman comes from three main sources: Maman's own words reported by Baron Meyen dorff, who met him in Bukhara in 1820; the account given to David D'Beth Hillel of Jerusalem by two of Maman's disciples in 1827; and the information collected by the missionary Joseph Wolff in Bukhara in 1832 and 1844. Maman told Meyendorff that the Jews of Bukhara were in a state of the greatest ignorance when he arrived. Very few of them could read, and they only had two incomplete manuscripts of the Bible, about 100 years old, containing only the first three books of the Pentateuch. He had to found a school and send for books from Russia, Baghdad and Constantinople; and as a result, by 1820 all the Jews of Bukhara were able to read and write, and could study the Talmud.26 The pilgrims whom David D'Beth Hillel met in Baghdad told him that before Maman's arrival the Jews had been 'ignorant of the Hebrew language and cus? toms, having no Hebrew books nor manuscripts nor anything relating to Hebrew law, but only a few prayers in manuscript which they had received from their forefathers'. Maman found them so ignorant 'that he would not even eat with them'. But they persuaded him to stay as their rabbi and teacher, and he wrote 48</page><page sequence="7">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern to Shklov in Belorussia (and other places) to ask for books. Beth Hillel remem? bered seeing one of Maman's letters when he was 12 or 13 years old, in which he wrote: 'we are not eager after gold, or silver, or jewels, or any wordly pleasures, but to hear the word of the Lord, we have, however, no manuscripts, no books, nor anything belonging to the law, therefore I beseech you to send us by the post, as soon as possible, manuscripts, Bibles, Prayer books and other things which belong to our law'. The measure of Maman's achievement was the excellent standard of Hebrew spoken by his disciples, and their knowledge of the Hebrew books and customs. Beth Hillel was greatly impressed also by their fear of God, which he thought far greater than that of the 'other Israelites' he had 'met with in Khurdistan'.27 Maman had two major rivals in Bukhara, however, at the beginning of his ministry, Rabbi Zacchariah ben Mashiah from Sana'a in Yemen and his son Rabbi Joseph. The rivalry, which apparently split the community,28 was based on Zacchariah's refusal to recognize the Zohar and his stubborn upholding of the Persian rite, as adopted in Yemen. There were also different approaches to kash ruth, shechitah and the mikveh. Maman seems to have been far stricter in his approach. He was horrified to see the shochet using an imperfect knife and applying force, despite the prohibition in Jewish law. He was shocked to find that Jews had their food cooked by Muslims during the Sabbath and also bathed (presumably washing their clothes at the same time) during the Sabbath.29 When he was asked to stay and teach the community, he determined to reeducate them and stop the drift towards assimilation. He refused to eat their food or to let his intended wife use the local mikveh, founded his own mikveh and school of shech ita, and excommunicated his rival Zacchariah, who promptly returned the compliment. Zacchariah's party insisted that they had known how to kosher meat long before Maman's arrival. Their community had boasted many scholars, they added, reminding their fellow-citizens that Bukhara was once known as the 'earthly Jerus? alem'. In the end, however, Maman's party gained the upper hand, and his daugh? ters married two very influential men: Mulla Cohen of Mashhad, and Maman's former student, later famous as Mulla Niy?z.30 During his ministry Maman often faced the problem of forced conversion. Jews were threatened by the Muslim community, especially under Amir Ma's?m who died in 1800, and also by Christian missionaries such as Wolff. But whereas the missionaries worked by persuasion and disputation, and through gifts of well bound Bibles in Hebrew which included, or solely consisted of the New Testa? ment, Muslim methods were rather different.31 Thus, for example, an innocent question such as 'Infidel, where did you come back from (Kafir, az kuzhda gashti)V was used as a trap, for if the word gashtan (to return) was used in reply, it could be taken in its second meaning of'I recanted [from Judaism]', and as soon as the fateful words had been pronounced, the Jew would be taken forcibly to the judge 49</page><page sequence="8">Audrey Burton and his conversion 'legalized'.32 He then had to divorce his Jewish wife and became a chala, or 'half-baked' Muslim, who was able to take jobs forbidden to Jews, but was never fully trusted by the Muslim community.33 Except for those few who had chosen to convert in order to improve their status, most chalas continued to practise Judaism in secret, although they were aware that if they were caught they would be put to death. Constantly spied on, often attacked by their Muslim neighbours, they were pariahs whom only chalas or ostracized Shi'as would marry. Muslims were keen to secure conversions, because a conversion would gain them a place in Heaven and a reward from the amir. The persecution of Jews reached such a peak that a certain Mulla Haim decided to convert during the reign of Amir 'Mousem' (either Amir Ma's?m of the late 18th century or Muzaffar of the late 19th century), hoping this would alleviate the condition of his flock. The amir was so amazed by his decision, and so delighted when Rabbi Haim agreed to solemnize his conversion with the maximum pomp and ceremony, that he was easily persuaded not to molest the new chala's former congregation, doubt? less thinking others would follow him. However, it is said that Rabbi Haim reverted to Judaism forty years later, appropriately enough on the Day of Atonement.34 Joseph Maman improved the standards of education in his community, and instructed and ordained several rabbis who spread his teaching to other towns. His teaching of Hebrew was so effective that his congregation was able to converse with Wolff in that language in 1844, although Maman had originally had to address them through an interpreter. This was particularly useful because Wolff was investigating the fate of two English officers, Stoddart and Conolly, thought to have been killed by the amir, Nasrull?h. Unable to leave his quarters or to make any progress with Bukharan Muslims, Wolff asked Jews to visit him. The amir did not object, because he knew that Wolff wished to convert them, and when the Jews arrived, Wolff took out several Bibles which he pretended to read and discuss with them in Hebrew, while questioning them instead about the English officers.35 Maman's most amazing success was persuading his flock to adopt the Sephardi rite, and even to believe that they had originally come from Spain, to the extent that many Bukharans subsequently appended the words 'a Spanish Jew' to their signature.36 Maman was certainly a remarkable man: knowledgeable in astronomy and mathematics as well as Jewish literature, keen on the Masonic order and the brotherhood of men, even ready to pray for the day when 'the followers of Jesus' would take over the khanate and stop the persecution of his people. However, when a Hebrew version of the New Testament appeared in the amirate he did not hesitate to have it burnt publicly, a deed which Wolff reported indignantly. Maman also knew how to introduce new ideas to his flock with suitable tact, explaining to them for instance that 'drinking of chocolate was good and useful 50</page><page sequence="9">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern for increasing the number of the children of Israel'.37 His energy and fearlessness earned him the grudging respect of the Muslim community. He even persuaded the amir, Haidar T?rah, that allowing Jews to leave Bukhara in order to settle in Samarqand would be of no detriment to his Treasury, since they would still pay the jizyah to Bukhara. The Samarqand congregation grew rapidly from a few families in 1820,38 to 300 in 1832, by which time it boasted a rabbi and a nasi. One of its members, Isaac Kashi from Meshed, was said also to be a S?fi (a Muslim mystic). Bukharan Jews would go especially to hear him read and explain the allegorical meanings concealed in the writings of the great 14th-century Persian lyric poet, panegyrist of wine and rulers, and sometime teacher of exegesis, H?fiz.39 Problems under Nasrull?h and Muzaffar al-Din In 1826, three years after Maman's death, Haidar T?rah was succeeded by Nasrull?h, well known for his cruelty, perfidy and fanaticism. This augured badly for his subjects, and still more for the Jews. Yet although Nasrull?h had his own brothers put to death and made liberal use of the dreaded Zind?n prison, he was not especially hostile to Jews, and although he had no qualms about seizing the wives of his Uzbeg ministers and subjects, he never touched Jewish women. To Wolff's surprise Nasrull?h even seemed 'to have a predilection for the ceremonies of the Jewish religion'. He frequently went to the house of Rabbi Simha 'on the day of Tabernacles' to see them 'celebrate that feast', and partake 'of their dinner'.40 In 1843 he even permitted the Jews of Samarqand to buy a plot of land and build a Jewish quarter.41 The document, signed on behalf of the authorities by Nasrull?h himself, the mufti and two q?dis, listed no fewer than forty-six Jews as purchasers, which perhaps meant that they had all contributed to the purchase. This document would become particularly valuable in the 1880s, when Jews would be required to prove that they had been domiciled in Samarqand before the Russian occupation. Nasrull?h's goodwill towards the Jews did not prevent him, however, from taking energetic action when he found that his Muslim subjects were consuming large amounts of forbidden wine and spirits. As Jews were permitted to make wine for religious purposes, he blamed them for the Muslims' behaviour, and demanded from Pinhas ha-Gadol, chief rabbi of Bukhara, the names of those responsible for selling wine and beer to the Muslims. When the rabbi refused to comply he was condemned to death, together with seven Jewish notables, the eight men being taken to the 46-metre-high Kal?n minaret and told to climb up and hurl themselves down. Two of them promptly embraced Islam to save their lives, but the others did not flinch. They climbed to the top, hurled themselves down and, to the amazement of the large crowd, four of them, including the 5i</page><page sequence="10">Audrey Burton rabbi, survived unscathed. When the amir heard the news he rushed to the scene and asked Pinhas ha-Gadol what had happened. The rabbi answered that he had prayed to God and suddenly felt as if he was floating down on to a cushion of cotton wool. Such evidence of divine intervention greatly impressed the amir, who had the men released and given robes of honour. From then on Pinhas ha-Gadol was revered as a saint by Muslims and Jews alike.42 During Nasrull?h's reign the high educational standards which had been achieved by Bukharan Jews thanks to Maman's tuition seem to have declined considerably. The Russian geographer Khanykov, who visited the area in 1843, wrote that 'according to other Jews the Bukharan Jews are most lacking in educa? tion, many do not even know their own language and the majority are illiterate'.43 When the father of Shimon Hakham, Eliyahu ha-Bauli, arrived in Bukhara from Baghdad later in the century, he was apparently shocked by the lack of mikvaoth and by the local practice of bathing on the Sabbath. According to one of his descendants now living in Israel he wrote forty Torah Scrolls for them and also built forty mikvaoth.44 After Nasrull?h died in i860, his son and heir, Muzaffar al-DTn, continued to visit the Jews on the night of Hoshana Rabbah. But the position of Jews generally worsened during his reign, mainly because they were forbidden to purchase houses or land,45 resulting in serious overcrowding in Jewish quarters, and in the creation of a secret synagogue in Samarqand. The Russian traveller Khoroshchin, who visited the town in 1869, was surprised when he saw the synagogue, for although it served about 1000 Jews it was a very small room with no windows, tucked away behind several courtyards. When he expressed surprise, the rabbi explained that they had had to hide in order to pray, as they 'would have been massacred if the Muslims had known of the synagogue'.46 Muzaffar al-Din also did his best to make prominent Jews convert. When the singer Borukh Kalkh?k had the impudence to perform outside the Court without permission he was thrown into the Zind?n prison, from which few prisoners came out alive, and was eventually forced to convert. Another famous convert was Aharon Kandin, a capable businessman who fell into the amir's clutches after he was slandered by a competitor.47 He too was forced to save his life by converting, after which he was appointed Court treasurer and had to live in the royal citadel. For ten years he was not allowed out without an armed escort, but Muzaffar's successor gave Kandin more freedom and he eventually managed to flee to Sam? arqand, then under Russian control, where he reverted to Judaism and adopted Russian nationality.48 It was during Muzaffar al-Din's reign that Russia established itself in the area. There had been official contacts and reasonably good relations between the countries since the 16th century, but Russia had had trouble with the neigh? bouring khanate of Khiva, where trade caravans had frequently been attacked and where an entire regiment of 6000 Russian soldiers was murdered in 1716. Russia 52</page><page sequence="11">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern 1 S 53</page><page sequence="12">Audrey Burton was anxious to deal with Khiva and also wanted to secure trade routes to China and India that would help prevent Britain extending her influence in the area, and put an end to the thriving local slave trade which deprived her of many of her subjects. In the late 1830s Russia began to build a series of strategic forts eastwards along the Syr-Darya and southwards from Siberia, and after 1850 the momentum gathered speed, culminating with the annexing of Tashkent and a large part of the khanate of Khoqand in 1865. Contacts with Russia and the impact on Bukharan occupations Jews welcomed the extension of Russian power in the area, hoping for better treatment at the hands of Christian overlords. Jews in Russia did not have to wear distinctive clothing as they did in Bukhara, and were grateful to Tsar Nicholas I for granting them in 1833 permission to join the Russian guilds 'even in those provinces in which Jews [were] not allowed to settle'. These rights were confirmed ten years later. Bukharan Jews were then allowed to trade at Orenburg and Troitsk on equal terms with Bukharan and Khivan Muslims, despite the 1842 regulation which stated that 'foreign Jews coming from places where there is no Russian mission or consulate' should be permitted to trade only 'in those provinces in which Jews are allowed to live'. In asking for exceptional treatment for the Jewish subjects of the amir, the frontier commission at Orenburg had explained that Jews would be ruined if deprived of the possibility of trading there. 'The coming of Jews to the [Orenburg] line', they added, would be advantageous to Russia, as their 'numbers will increase year by year, and by getting to know the ways of Russian merchants . . . they will become devoted to Russia'. This suggestion was fully endorsed by the local military governor and agreed by the Council of Minis? ters. But they made it clear that Bukharan Jews would be liable to all the restric? tions applicable to other Jews if they went from Orenburg into the interior of Russia, in other words, they would be forbidden to trade or even to carry goods belonging to others.49 Central Asian Jews were not slow in taking advantage of this permission. By the time Wolff arrived in Bukhara in the spring of 1844 many of them had travelled even further afield. The Jews of Khiva, Khoqand and Tashkent were visiting several Russian fairs, including the prestigious summer fair of Makariev near Nizhnii Novgorod and the 'marts and fairs' of Orenburg and Astrakhan.50 Some Bukharan Jews were also going regularly to Leipzig. Others were seen in London in 1845 where they were entertained, together with other Oriental Jews, at the home of Sir Moses Montefiore.51 They were very impressed with Britain, and told Wolff in 1844 of their conviction that the religion of Britain 'must be better than that of the Mussulmans' if people such as Sir Moses and Rothschild were 'countenanced, supported, recommended and eulogized' and could even 'so openly make display of [their] property'.52 In the amirate this was not advisable 54</page><page sequence="13">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern for the amir's subjects, whether Muslims or Jews. Those known to be wealthy paid a special 10 per cent tax on their income and the amir helped himself liberally to their money whenever he was short of cash,53 so they successful took pains to conceal their wealth. By 1865 a small number of Jews, including Maman's son-in-law, had visited Palestine, although they began to settle there only a few years later.54 According to Vambery, a Hungarian Jew who visited Bukhara in 1863 disguised as a holy dervish from Turkey, some Bukharans had moved to Damascus and 'other places in Syria' because they had heard of the privileges granted to their brethren in Turkey. But he explained that 'the emigration can only occur secretly, otherwise they would have to atone for the wish by confiscation or death',55 yet 'it is surpris? ing what an epistolary correspondence is maintained by them through the hadjis proceeding every year from Turkestan to Mecca'. He was speaking from personal experience, for his companions had been entrusted with many such missives. The first known setder was Y?suf ben B?b? who arrived in Palestine in 1868, followed in 1871 by David Hefets who claimed that he was the first to settle there with a family. His claim was confirmed by the fact that the garden dedicated to the first Bukharan settlers in Jerusalem bears his name.56 Contact with other countries broadened the minds of Bukharan Jews and intro? duced them to new pursuits, although many continued to work in the production of wine and spirits, and to dye cotton and silk threads, mainly with indigo. Dyeing was such a well established Jewish occupation that, according to Soviet ethno? grapher Sukhareva, 'to go to a Jew' meant to go and have something dyed.57 Small-scale manufacturing of the very thin silk scarves which remained their speciality was also a Jewish occupation. Jews were involved in foreign trade from the late 18th century, despite a wide? spread belief that this began only in the 1860s, after the Russians annexed part of Central Asia. Thus the man who wrote to Shklov in Belorussia in 1802 asking whether it would be safe for him, a Jew, to trade in Russia, had already been trading there indirectly through the Bukharan Muslims with whom he was in partnership. Dissatisfied with the way in which his partners had treated him, he was eager to go there himself. Having only just found out that there were Jews in Russia he did not know whether the Shklov Jews were able to express them? selves in the 'ancient Jewish tongue'. He therefore suggested that they could answer in Russian couched in Hebrew characters if necessary, as he knew some? one who could interpret the Russian for him. Needless to say the Jews of Shklov were deeply offended by his assumption and showed this by their very condes? cending reply.58 Other Jews traded within the khanate. One Jew sold the khan a goat-hair shawl from Ura-Tyube east of Samarqand which was worth 50 ducats in 1815. This was equivalent to 187 roubles, or the value of as many as 20 or 26 lambskins from Qar?kul, incorrectly known in the west as Persian lamb.59 Meyendorff, who 55</page><page sequence="14">Audrey Burton was in Bukhara in 1820, said that Jews were generally well off, most of them being craftsmen (fabricans), dyers and dealers in raw silk and silk materials. There were only 'deux riches capitalistes' among them, but they too were forbidden, like their poorer brethren, to ride horses or wear silk.60 By 1836-7 Bukharan Jews were taking a very active part in foreign trade, travelling not only to the Orenburg line, but also as far as Chinese Turkestan, for although Jews and Christians needed a safe-conduct to travel into the depths of the amirate, no one stopped them going out of the country, unless they were thought to be suspicious.61 In 1844 Wolff also noted masons, bankers and goldsmiths among them, which may have been due to a 'wind of change' affecting the lives of Bukharan Jews.62 It is not clear what type of banking was undertaken then, but there was certainly no Jewish moneylending, this being the monopoly of the Hindu community, at least since the 16th century.63 Jewish involvement in making jewellery and in dealing in jewels, gold and silver is interestingly related to a legend about David Maimon, the brother of Moses Maimonides, found on the fly-leaf of a book by Maimonides translated into Judeo-Tajik. David Maimon, a pearl dealer living in Egypt, was allegedly asked to provide pearls for Genghis Kh?n's coronation robe, so went to Bahrain with his wife and children to ensure he obtained the best pearls possible. He even hired a boat and went on board with the pearl fishers, testing each pearl with his teeth as it was found, and giving the perfect ones to his wife and children waiting on the shore. After most of the pearls had been gathered a storm arose, the ship was wrecked and David Maimon was drowned. His family were stranded in Bahrain and in order to return to Egypt had to travel to Samarqand and deliver the pearls. When Genghis Kh?n refused to pay them until the pearls were embroidered on to the coronation cape, they went to Yazd and brought back ten Jews able to do the work. These Jews formed the basis of a congregation, and settled in a quarter which became known as the Jewish quarter of Samarqand.64 This story is flawed, however, because Genghis Kh?n conquered Samarqand in 1223 and David Maimon died before the year 1200. But perhaps David Maimon did supply another great conqueror of the area, the Karakitai Tekesh, who died in 1200 and whose name was forgotten after the arrival of Genghis Kh?n.65 Or, indeed, some 200 years after the death of Maimonides' brother, another Jewish expert on pearls called Maimon may have been asked to supply Tamerlane, a ruler connected with Genghis Kh?n's descendants and credited with bringing Jewish craftsmen to Samarqand. Whatever the origin of this story, at least one family of Bukharan Jews were pearl dealers for generations and are still involved in the jewellery trade, having apparently left Bukhara for Jerusalem in the latter part of the 19th century, carry? ing forty boxes of gold.66 Others, including Maman's descendants,67 continued to trade in jewellery and gold until the Stalinist regime forced them to give up their riches by extortion and torture and they had to flee the country. 56</page><page sequence="15">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern Jews welcomed in Russian Turkestan The Russian conquest of Tashkent and part of the khanate of Khoqand in 1865 resulted in the creation of the large province of Turkestanskii krai (Russian Turkestan). Bukharan Jews were welcomed there because they were capable busi? nessmen and potential allies who might act as go-betweens with the local authorit? ies. A Russian official explained in 1866: 'Whatever we know of the interior of Bukhara we are chiefly indebted for to its Jewish inhabitants.. .. Upon the whole the Jews of Bukhara are much shrewder than their oppressive masters, and able to converse on subjects of which a genuine Bokharan has no idea.'68 'The Jew of Bukhara', he added, 'indeed strikes us by his beautiful and intelligent features', and this comment was echoed again and again by non-Jewish visitors to Bukhara, from the viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, in 1889 to the Danish geographer Olufsen in 1910.69 The good relations which the Russian authorities had established with Bukh? aran Jews enabled them to rely on Jewish support when their armies attacked the amirate of Bukhara in spring 1868. The amir called for a jihad, but young Jewish men acted as scouts for the Russians and helped them to build the citadel facing the town walls of Samarqand which resulted in the town's surrender. Others brought the troops food and drink. Unfortunately, when the bulk of the Russian force set off for Bukhara, leaving only a token garrison in the new citadel, the locals retook the town with the help of reinforcements from Shahrisabz; and when the victorious general, Jura Bek, was told that the Jews had tried to warn the Russians of his approach, he summoned the Jewish kalantar (nasi), who was soon surrounded by an angry crowd who killed one of his companions. In order to save his own life, he converted to Islam, but two weeks later the Russians retook the town and Moshe Kalantar was able to revert to Judaism.70 After the 1868 campaign Russia controlled the greater part of Khoqand and substantial parts of the khanate of Khiva and the Bukharan amirate, including Samarqand. The new Russian Turkestan stretched from the Caspian to the fron? tier of China, and the Jews of Bukhara would do their utmost to move there, leaving what remained of the amirate. Not only were Jews living in the Russian zone much freer, but they themselves were more persecuted than ever in the amirate, the hatred of Infidels having increased as a result of the Bukharan defeat and national humiliation. Jews were specially hated as potential supporters of Russia, and in order to punish them for their 'betrayal' the amir forced them to pay the greater part of the war indemnity of 500,000 roubles which Russia demanded of him.71 At first the Russians welcomed the influx of Bukharan Jews, whom they needed as traders and interpreters. The Governor of Samarqand, General Abramov, was particularly well disposed because they had helped him to build the citadel. According to Suleiman Atchildi, who was one of the young men in question, General Abramov's goodwill gave rise to a remarkable episode concerning the 57</page><page sequence="16">Audrey Burton LJ_?_I s 58</page><page sequence="17">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern local crypto-Jews or chalas. Atchildi's grandson, Eshel, related how, after the conquest, Suleiman Atchildi opened a tannery on the advice of General Abramov, and provided the army with leather goods. This, a most unusual occupation for chalas or Bukharan Jews, was successful, as was Atchildi's venture into money changing. Atchildi was a very athletic young man who enjoyed the local sport of ulak. In this a goat is chased on horseback, the winner being the one who seizes the goat and distributes portions of it among the spectators. Once, returning home after taking part in his favourite sport, he found that a violent fight had broken out between the town's Muslims and the chalas, as was not unusual, and he at once rode over to help. A silk lassoo was thrown at his head, but it luckily did not encircle his neck, but only struck and broke his nose. His younger brother had meanwhile alerted General Abramov who had everyone arrested and brought to him. Suleiman next made an impassioned speech: 'I am a chala Muslim, and until today I thought that what I wore on my head was a hallowed vestment, but today I saw that it made no difference and that people were ready to kill me with a hallowed turban, so I beg of you, allow all those who were forced to become Muslims to revert to Judaism, for they still belong to the Jewish faith'. The general, who had earlier told the combatants that Tsar Alexander II liked freedom of religion, agreed at once, warning the people that he would brook no interfer? ence with anyone's religion. Confident that he would protect them, the chalas of Samarqand made their way to the Jewish quarter en masse, and were received with open arms.72 Russian restrictions introduced Unfortunately, Russian goodwill towards local Jews did not last, and in 1887 the first of several restrictive laws was introduced. Jews were required to prove that they had been established in the Russian zone prior to Russian occupation. Those who could not were dubbed 'resident aliens' and were not allowed to acquire immovables.73 This was a severe blow to those Jews who had built houses or factories in Russian Turkestan and Central Russia on the strength of the peace treaties of 1868 and 1873, which granted all Bukharans the right to trade and own property on Russian territory. They went to court to try and establish their rights, and appealed to the Senate to reverse local court orders, but many had to sell their assets, or enter into partnership with Jewish or Muslim local residents in order to continue trading or manufacturing. Three years later an even more damaging decision was taken by the Tsar. Although resident aliens would be allowed to live permanently in Russian Turkes? tan (provided that they owned no property), they would be permitted to reside only in frontier towns, and only if they obtained the necessary trade or manufacturing licences.74 The authorities soon determined to establish still further limits to Jewish entry. In January 1892 secret instructions were sent to all Russian regional 59</page><page sequence="18">Audrey Burton governors prohibiting the settlement of Jews for more than one year, and demanding the approval of both the amir and the Russian Agent in Bukhara before a residence permit could be granted.75 The aliens' removal to the frontier towns was scheduled for 1900. This measure was strongly opposed not only by 'alien' Jews and their supporters among 'local' Jews, but also by Russian liberals and by Moscow manufacturers who valued the Jews as middlemen and trusted them implicitly, as a British traveller was told in 1902.76 Several postponements were secured, first until 1906, then until 1909, and finally until 1910, but then most of the 'aliens' were expelled (others being expelled at intervals during the following three years). Further representations ensured that Samarqand, Khoqand and Old Margelan were added to the list of so-called 'frontier towns' where settlement was permitted. The original list had applied only to the towns of Osh, Katta Kurgan and Petro-Alexandrovsk where there was neither commerce nor industry, and hardly any Jews. Out of a total of twenty-four towns they would now have to leave all but six, yet only Petro Alexandrovsk was strictly speaking on the frontier, and the Governor-General and Minister of War had been in favour of letting them remain in the three additional towns of Jizak, Merv and Skobelev. The liberal newspaper Rech' pub? lished an indignant article about the matter, rebuking the Minister of Trade S. N. Timashev for producing no argument other than that permitting Jews to live in six additional towns 'was a lot', and mocking him for winning his case 'against geography'.77 The change in official policy towards Bukharan Jews which began in the reign of Alexander III continued under Nicholas II, consistently with the anti-Jewish climate and the time of repression and pogroms which followed the assassination of Alexander II in 1881. But there were also political, economic and even religious reasons. Politically it suited the Russians to maintain good relations with the amir. They did not wish to take over any more of the area, and Muzaffar al-Dm did not want to part with his Jews, because they made a valuable contribution to his treasury through thejizyah. They also proved useful when he needed to negotiate business deals with Russia. The Russian political agent in Bukhara, therefore, did his best, at least until 1906, to persuade the authorities of Russian Turkestan not to recog? nize as Russian citizens even those Jews who had lived there for many years.78 Jews were less welcome when many of the immigrants into Russian Turkestan came with little or no money, and swelled the ranks of the poor. Michael Zand attributes their poverty to a variety of factors: the enforced contribution to the war indemnity, the large bribes required in order to leave the amirate, and the fact that their dyeing skills were no longer needed owing to a glut of Russian factory-dyed materials.79 Another problem was the influx of Jews from the Pale who came to the area with the Russian army, and those who arrived after 1887 with the railway builders. 60</page><page sequence="19">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern These were already deeply discriminated against in Russia and did not benefit from the faint exoticism of Bukharan Jews. Their arrival, and that of large num? bers of Jews from the amirate, risked turning the area into another Pale of Settle? ment. In view of this the Governor-General, Kuropatkin, asked in 1917 for a law which would prevent Turkestan and Samarqand from becoming Jewish towns.80 His predecessor, General Samsonov, hero of the war against Japan, had already begun an energetic campaign to have the Jews expelled in 1910, alleging that they were usurers who 'robbed the people and presented false documents'.81 The situation was complicated further by the fact that Askhkenazi and Bukh? aran Jews had little in common and disliked each other's customs. An envoy from Palestine, Ephraim Neimark, noted that Ashkenazim insisted on facing east when praying whereas local Jews faced west towards Jerusalem, which was indeed cor? rect. This caused much distress, especially in Tashkent where their synagogues were close to each other.82 There was also much enmity between the two commu? nities for economic reasons. The Ashkenazim resented the special rights granted earlier to citizens of the amirate concerning trade as far as Moscow and land ownership, for no such rights were granted to Jews from the Pale or from Poland, who wanted to establish textile factories in the area. These were forced to use Central Asian Jews as agents in order to benefit from their special privileges, but these agents felt they were being exploited as they were often paid a pittance in order to secure large returns for their Ashkenazi employers. Meanwhile, Jews who remained in the amirate continued to trade, to maintain a strict observance of their faith and to pray according to the Sephardi rite. After 1873, when their congregation outgrew their synagogues, they arranged to pray secretly in schools, because they were forbidden to build new places of worship. However, according to a caravan of ninety Bukharan Jews who arrived in Balkh in 1880, the 8000 Jews of Bukhara 'possessed] 15 small synagogues [prayer halls?] and enjoyfed] a tolerably good position, as they [were] under the special protection of the Khan'. Their arrival on 200 camels, with a variety of goods including silks and works of art which they intended to exchange for Russian goods, was noted with some interest by the correspondent of Ha-magid and by a certain Mr M. Harrison from Calcutta. The Bukharans had been three weeks on their way, resting only on the Sabbath, when a 'A tent served as synagogue, in which . . . they worshipped morning and evening'. Mr Harrison was told that they had had no Talmudic books until two years earlier, when they brought some from Russia. He thought them handsome and 'of such great stature that, compared with Europeans, they might be looked upon as giants'! He was equally impressed by their extreme warlike appearance, for they had arrived armed to the teeth and had told him that 'in their journeys they had had many a violent encounter with the Turkomans, many of whom they [had] caused to bite the dust', although 'on other occasions they had been less successful'.83 A few years later the Jews of Bukhara had a most distinguished visitor. Baron 61</page><page sequence="20">Audrey Burton Edmond de Rothschild came apparently by train to Samarqand in 1889 and was entertained there by a certain Benjamin Abrahamov. He then went to Bukhara where he stayed five days with Joseph Maman's grandson and another five with Mulla Haim ha-Cohen,84 son of the rabbi who had jumped off the Kal?n minaret and remained unharmed. While dining in Samarqand the baron enquired about the origin of the delicious grapes which he was offered, and when his host said they grew in his own vineyards, he asked for 500 cuttings to replace the vines of his colonies in Palestine, recently decimated by the phylloxera vine-pest. This was done, and the baron, who knew that his proud coreligionists would accept no financial help, sent a silver tray to Abrahamov which, as his own Hebrew name was also Benjamin, he had had inscribed with the words 'from one Benjamin to another'.85 Although doubt has been cast on this story, it seems likely that the baron did visit the area, for there are at least two other accounts of his visit, and he had been to Odessa and Russian Turkestan the previous year. Two other visitors to Bukhara at about the same time were Shmuel Moshe Rivlin, after whom a street would be named in Jerusalem, and Shlomo Zalman ha-Cohen Kook who was to become the chief rabbi of Jerusalem.86 Dispersion of Bukharan Jews While the Jews of the amirate were entertaining the baron and serving as inter? preters for such well-known figures as Lord Curzon, the Jews who lived outside the amirate and were lucky enough to have the right legal documents went from strength to strength. They acquired Russian surnames by appending 'ov' or 'ev' to their first names and many leading families became involved in the cotton trade.87 They began by selling raw cotton, went on to found cotton-spinning and carding factories, produced cotton oil and established branches in Moscow, whenever possible, in order to sell their products in the capital. Settling in Moscow was possibly only for Jews belonging to the first guild of traders, which involved a yearly fee of over 600 roubles and a capital of at least 50,000 roubles.88 Incredibly versatile and enterprising families such as the Davidovs, Poteliakhovs and Vadiyaevs also went into coalmining and managed, despite Russian opposi? tion, to have the railway line extended to their mines in Ferghana. Nathan Davidov became a manufacturer of cotton goods during the First World War, when he made materials for the Central Asian market. After the rise of the Bolsheviks he lost his houses, mines and possessions in Central Asia, but continued to work in Moscow where he founded a factory making antiseptic soap to control the cholera epidemic of 1918. He even manufactured liquid tea concentrate and kept the Red Army supplied with it between 1919 and 1921. He eventually had to flee the country in 1923 and settled in France.89 Similarly versatile, Suleiman Atchildi, the former chala of Samarqand, dealt in leather goods made in his own tannery and in tobacco which he imported as seeds from Turkey and planted on his own 62</page><page sequence="21">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern land, grew cotton, imported silk worms from Turkey to make his own silk, started a banking business and finally planted several vineyards, which enabled him to make wine and sell raisins.90 Modern times: from 1890 While some Bukharan Jews came to terms with their successive overlords - the amirs, the Russian authorities and later the Soviet regime - others began to leave for Palestine in increasing numbers from the 1890s onwards. In 1891 they founded in Jerusalem the quarter now known as shekhunat Bukharim and originally called Rehovoth. Between 1902 and 1913 this was one of the most luxurious areas of the town, so much so that one of the governors, Jamal Pasha, decided to reside there himself.91 Wealthy Jews from Bukhara visited Jerusalem regularly and sent money to support orphanages, old-age homes and yeshivoth. When the Soviet authorities began to persecute adherents of all religions, some Jews managed to escape to Afghanistan, Persia or India, and thence either to Palestine or to Amer? ica, France or Britain. The plight of Bukharan Jews stranded in Persia and Afghanistan in the early 1930s is fully documented and makes sad reading, but it would take too long to recount. Some Bukharan Jews remain in the former Soviet Union, although in late 1994 most of them were waiting for entry visas into the US.92 Their hospitality and close sense of community is legendary: efforts were made in Tashkent in 1959 to stop the costly practice of inviting the whole community whenever a wedding took place, but to no avail.93 There are two synagogues in Samarqand, including one built in the new town since the beginning of perestroika, two in Bukhara, four in Tashkent of which two are in daily use, and seven in the remainder of the former Soviet Central Asia.94 An Israeli journalist who visited Samarqand in 1993, during the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Jewish quarter, was invited into many of their homes. She found each was centred round a courtyard in which there was 'always a chicken coop with 3 or 4 hens, a small barking dog, an oven for baking bread, and a tall vine laden with grapes which shar[ed] a plot with basil and coriander. Chairs and a bed, used on summer nights', generally stood 'around a table . . . always covered with a worn-out piece of oilcloth'.95 Tirza Yuval also mentioned Professor Menasshe Abramov who teaches history at the University and whom I met in 1988. He is researching the history of Samarqand Jews and now feels able to display in his living room the wall paintings of Hebron, Safed, Tiberias and Jerusalem which had been carefully hidden under plaster during the Soviet era.96 The great majority of Bukharan Jews now live outside Central Asia, many in Israel, mainly in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, although 25 per cent of the population of Ramla is said to be Bukharan.97 In Jaffa there are between twenty and thirty families. In Ashdod, Sderot and Dimona three Bukharan rabbis, the brothers 63</page><page sequence="22">Audrey Burton Haimov, look after new immigrants. The Bukharans have several synagogues and schools in Israel, their own publications in Judeo-Tajik, an active self-help programme and a radio programme supervised by the former dean of the Faculty of Oriental Languages in Bukhara. They are determined to preserve 'the ethno? graphy, culture and art of the Bukharan Jews'.98 Others can be found in various European countries and in the US. They keep in touch with each other, inter? marry if possible, and remain proud of their origins. Many still use the Judeo Tajik language and retain the amazing versatility which they inherited from their ancestors. Much more could be said about Bukharan Jews, but this account should men? tion the inventiveness of Asaf Atchildi, who during the Second World War in Paris managed to save more than 100 of his co-religionists from the Gestapo. With the help of the Afghan Embassy he was able to insist that these people, many of them born in the Afghan town of Balkh, were not of Jewish race, but only of Jewish religion, and belonged in fact to the Afghan tribe of the Jugutis." His courage and ingenuity were worthy of a people who survived, prospered and remained united under a succession of oppressive and hostile regimes. NOTES 1 Evreiskaya entsiklopediya I (St Petersburg n.d.) cols 65-6, 69. 2 M. Zand, 'Bukharan Jews' Encyclopaedia Iranica IV fasc. 5 (1990) 530-45. See also Ya. I. Kalontarov, 'Sredneaziatskie evrei' in S. P. Tolstov (ed.) Narody SredneiAzii i Kazakhstana II (Moscow 1963) 610-30, p. 610. O. A. Sukhareva, Bukhara XIX-nachalo XX v. (Moscow 1966) 167, gives the names by which Jews were referred to by others, such as the deprecating juh?d, replaced in the 1960s by the gentler maida-millat, meaning 'national minority'. 3 J. Wolff, Travels and Adventures of the Reverend Joseph Wolff, D.D., LL.D., vicar of Isle Brewers, near Taunton; and late missionary to the Jews and Muhamedans in Persia, Bokhara, Cashmere &amp; c. (London 1861) 303, 338. O. A. Sukhareva (see n. 1) 166-7. 4 H. H. Paper, 'A Judeo-Persian book of Job' Israel Academic, Scientific, Humanities Proceedings V no. 12 (1976) 1-53, p. 22 n. 7. 5 M. Zand (see n. 2) 531. R. Kh. Aminova and others (eds) Istoriya Uzbekskoi SSR I (Tashkent 1967-8) 69-70. The Achaemenid Cyrus conquered Bactria and Soghdiana, then was killed somewhere near the Amu-Darya. 6 M. Zand (see n. 2) 531-3. M. Zand 'Les Yahudi de Boukhara' Regards 297 (1992) 23-5; 298 (1092) 15-8, p. 16. 7 S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society, The Jewish communities of the Arab World as portrayed in the documents of the Cairo Geniza I (Los Angeles 1967) 400 n. 2. Zand (see n. 6) 16. See N. A. Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book (Philadelphia 1979) 253, for Benjamin of Tudela's statement that the Exilarch permitted local communities as far as the Gates of Samarqand to appoint their own rabbis, whom he later confirmed and ordained in Baghdad. 8 J. Wolff (see n. 3) 303. J. Wolff, Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara in the years 1843-1845, to ascertain the fate of Colonel Stoddart and Captain Conolly II (London 1845) I25 9 W. J. Fischel, 'The Jews of Central Asia (Khurasan) in medieval Hebrew and Islamic literature' Historia Judaica VII (1945) 29-50, p. 43 10 M. Zand (see n. 6) 17. O. A. Sukhareva (see n. 2) 167. 11 M. Zand (see n. 2) 534. A. Z. Idlesohn, Aus dem Leben der Bucharischen Juden' Hebr?isch-Orientalischer melodienschatz III (1922) 13 12 C. Poujol, 'Kehillot ha-yehudim dovrei tajikkit be-Asya ha-tikhona, temunat matzav' Pe'amim 35 (1988) 179-97, P- x97 13 I. I. Zarubin, 'Opyt razgovornogo yazyka Samarkandskikh evreev. Opyt kharakteristiki. 64</page><page sequence="23">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern Materialy' Sbornik Tran' II (Leningrad 1928) 95 180, pp. 122-3. 14 M. Zand, Tz istorii bukharskikh evreev. Evreisko-tadzhikskaya literatura' Mash 'al Fakel 4 (1992) 20-1. 15 Amir Ma'sum reigned between 1785 and 1800. Fischel, 'The Leaders of the Jews of Bokhara' in L. Jung (ed.) Jewish Leaders (1750 1940) (Jerusalem 1964) 535-47? PP- 536-7- W. Bacher, 'Judaeo-Persian literature' in The Jewish Encyclopedia VII (N.Y. and London 1901 repr. !925) 3I7~24) PP- 322"3 16 M. Zand (see n. 2) 530. 17 N. Tajir, Toledot yehudei Bukhara be-Bukhara u-be-Yisrael (Tel Aviv 5731/1971) is written in both languages, and I am greatly indebted to Dr S. Lowy for his assistance with this and other Hebrew texts. H. H. Paper (ed.) The Mus? n?ma of R. Shim'on Hakham (Cincinnati 1986) XVI mentions the granddaughter of Shimon Hakham, Shulamit Talayeff, as an excellent modern Judeo-Tajik poetess. 18 Ya. I. Kalontarov (see n. 2) 610-1, I. I. Zarubin (see n. 13) 157, 152. Khud? tuya djuni marg kunal Khud? m?ya arz?ni kunad be did?ri Mashiyal 19 O. A. Sukhareva (see n. 2) 168. The name Amir?bad implies that it was founded after the khanate's ruler became known as amir, the first one to take this title being Amir Ma's?m (1785 1800). 20 I. Tayar, Sinagoga - razgromlennaya no ne pokorennaya (Jerusalem 1987) 26. C. Poujol (see n. 12). 21 Z. L. Amitin-Shapiro, Ocherkprovovogo byta sredneaziatskikh evreev (Tashkent 1931) 13. Ya. I. Kalontarov (see n. 2) 613. M. Zand (see n. 2) 535. M. Eshel, Galleriya. Demuyyot shel rashei yehudei Bukhara (Jaffa n.d.) 62, says that Moshe Kalantar, who was born in 1800, was chosen by 'Said Khan'. If this was Sayyid Haidar T?ra whose reign ended in 1826, then Moshe Kalantar was under 26 when appointed. 22 assaqal. 23 Z. L. Amitin-Shapiro (see n. 21) 33, 14. 24 E. N. Adler, 'Some quaint Jewish Customs', a paper read to the West End Jewish Literary Society reprinted from the Jewish Chronicle (London 1915) 6. 25 M. Eshel (see n. 21) 18. N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 59 26 G. de Meyendorff, Voyage d'Orenbourg a Boukhara fait en 1820 a travers les steppes qui s'etendent a TEst de la mer d'Aral et au-del? de Vancien Jaxartes (Paris 1826) 174-5. 27 D. Beth Hillel, The travels of Rabbi David DBeth Hillel from Jerusalem through Arabia, Koordistan, part of Persia and India to Madras (Madras 1832) 6711., 68n., 6911. 28 N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 52-3. 29 M. Eshel (see n. 21) 23. 30 N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 54-5. 31 J. Wolff (see n. 8) 184-5 made careful plans for the conversion of the Jews of Sarakhs, Merv, Akhal, Khiva, Khokand, Tashkent, Turkestan and Yarkand. He thought a mission could not be 'erected at Bokhara . . . under the present Ameer, for he is too capricious a tyrant, and .. . does not allow [strangers] free egrees and regress . .. and as long as Abdul Samut Khan is with him, Europeans would certainly perish'. 32 O. A. Sukhareva (see n. 2) 174. 33 N. Khanykov, Opisanie Bukharskogo khanstva (St Petersburg 1843) 73. 34 N. Slousch, 'Les Juifs ? Boukhara' Revue du Monde musulman VII (1909) 402-13, p. 407, says the rabbi reverted to Judaism under Ahad Kh?n, but if that was so, then he must have converted in the reign of Muzaffar al-DTn (1860 85) and not in the 18th century. A report published in the JC 24 August 1888, p. 11, which mentioned that the chief rabbi of Bukhara 'whom the Emir has constrained to become a Mussulman, has been imprisoned for fifteen years', seems to refer to the same rabbi prior to his reversion to Judaism. In a letter to Baron Hirsch written that same year and probably after his release from prison the rabbi mentions that he had had good reasons so far for not answering the baron in writing. See A. Ben Ya'aqov, 'Yehudei Bukhara be-einei Rav Rashi' Pe'amim 35 (1988) 98-101, p. 99. On the other hand E. Neimark, Massa' be-erets ha-qedem (Jerusalem 5707/1947) no, believes that the illustrious convert was the poet Mulla Shahin who lived in the 14th century. 35 See M. Eshel (see n. 21) 25, 24 for those of Maman's disciples who went to Samarqand and Shahrisabz, J. Wolff (see n. 8) 103. 36 In the foreword to E. Yadgarof, Ner Neshama (Jerusalem 1904 and 1954) both Eliyahu and later his son Abraham Hayyim ben Eliyahu Yadgarov call themselves 'a Spanish Jew', E. N. Adler, 'Persian Jews and their rituals' Jewish Quarterly Review X (1898) 584-625 writes on p. 602 that 'the prints of Leghorn and Warsaw and Vienna have completely replaced the old Minhag and today Persian Jews are to all intents and purposes Sephardim. In Bukhara ... a learned man from Morocco ... persuaded them they 65</page><page sequence="24">Audrey Burton descended like him from the exiled Jews of Spain and Portugal.' 37 J. Wolff (see n. 3) 340, J. Wolff, Researches and Missionary labours among the Jews, Mohammedan and other Sects during his travels between the years 1831 and 1834 (London 1835) 194. Interestingly enough, thirteen years after Maman's death coffee was still unknown in Central Asia. See J. de Hagemeister, Essai sur les ressources territoriales et commerciales de VAsie occidentale, le caractere des habitans, leur industrie et leur organisation municipale (St Petersbourgh 1839) 167. 38 E. Eversman, Reise von Orenburg nach Buchara (Berlin 1823) 83. 39 J. Wolff (see n. 37) 195. 40 J. Wolff II (see n. 8) 3, 4-5. According to N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 57, Nasrull?h was first persuaded to visit the house of Mullah Simha J?n on Hosha na Rabbah by his Jewish doctor, Ibrahim al-Tabib, and he continued to do so, as did his son. 41 Z. L. Amitin-Shapiro (see n. 21) 41-3. The deed is dated Safar 1259, i.e. 3-31 March 1843 M. Eshel (see n. 21) 59. 42 N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 13, 63. N. Slousch (see n. 34) 408-9 says this took place in Ahad's reign, i.e. after 1885, but this is impossible if Pinhas ha-Gadol died in 1858. M. Eshel (see n. 21) 31 and N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 63. A. Z. Idlesohn (see n. n) 14 appears to place the story in the reign of Haidar T?r?, i.e. before 1826. 43 N. Khanykov (see n. 33) 73. 44 Oral communication from Baruch Israel Hai (Boris) Khudaidatov, 1995. 45 Evreiskaya entsiklopediya (see n. 1) XIV col. 124. This was reported to a journalist from Ha-Melits by the head of the Bukharan yeshivah, Y?suf ben B?b, who called in at Odessa in 1868 on his way to Palestine. 46 A. P. Khoroshchin, 'Itineraires de l'Asie Centrale' in Recueil d'itineraires et de voyages de VAsie Centrale et de VExtreme-Orient (Paris 1878) 162-207, p. 301. 47 The slanderer was called Aharon Sieni Niy?z. 48 O. A. Sukhareva (see n. 2) 176. N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 24 says Kandin was involved in a fight in the synagogue when his fellow-Jews accused him of teaching the Muslims how to extract more taxes from them. He called for help, was taken to the q?di and forced to convert. 49 V. Levanda, Polnyi khronologicheskii sbornik zakonov i polozhenii kasayushchikhsya do evreev, ot ulozheniya tsarya Alekseya Mikhailovicha do nastoyashchego vremeni 1649-1873 (St Petersburg 1874) 541~2" The Council of Ministers agreed to this on 29 December 1842 (Old Style) i.e. n January 1843. Evreiskaya entsiklopediya (see n. 1) VIII, col. 206, E. B. Levin, OgranichiteVnye zakony 0 evreyakh (St Petersburg 1902) 183. 50 Evreiskaya entsiklopediya (see n. 1) VIII col 206. Permission to visit the fairs of Nizhnii Novgorod, Irbit and Korennaya had been granted by 1844. J. Wolff II (see n. 8) 155. 51 JC 27 June 1845, P- I9?- Another early visitor to Britain was Maman's son-in-law, Pinhas ha-katan (Mulla Niy?z), who was there in about 1855-6. A. Ya'ari, 'Sifrei yehudei Bukhara. Bibliografiya' Qiryat Sepher XVIII (1941-2) 282 97&gt; 378-93; XIX (1942-3) 35-55, 116-39, P. 294. 52 J. Wolff II (see n. 8) 28-9. 53 G. de Meyendorff (see n. 26) 263. All presents given to Bukharans by foreigners were seized by the khan, and if any of his subjects was known to have an income of over 300 tanga, this was taxed at 10 per cent. See also JC 25 June 1903, p. 23, extract from the book by Annette B. Meakin, In Russian Turkestan. A garden of Asia and its people (London 1903). 54 A. Ya'ari (see n. 51) 293, 294-6, mentions early visitors to Palestine in 1827, 1853, J856. 55 JC 18 May 1866, p. 7. 56 A. Ya'ari (see n. 51) 296. A descendant of the first settlers, Shlomo Musaiev of London and Jerusalem, was under the impression that the first Bukharan immigrants - Raphael Haim Gaon, Hefets and Raphael Galibov - had arrived there much earlier. 57 O. A. Sukhareva (see n. 2) 171. One of Sukhareva's informers was a 92-year old Jewish dyer. JC 25 June 1903, p. 23. A visitor to Bukhara, Annette Meakin (see n. 53), wrote that one knew a Jew by his purple hands. 58 S. Kh. Beilin, 'Perepiska mezhdu bukharskimi i Shklovimi evreyami' Perezhitoe II (1910) 274-81. 59 J. de Hagemeister (see n. 37) 54, 282, 53. 60 G. de Meyendorff (see n. 26) 173. 61 J. de Hagemeister (see n. 37) 239-40. 62 J. Wolff (see n. 3) 344. 63 R. G. Mukminova, 'Skupshchiki tovarov i postavshchiki syr'ya v Srednei Azii v XVI i XVII w.' Blizhnii i Srednii Vostok. Tovarno-denezhnye otnosheniya pri feodalizme (Moscow 1980) 154 161. 64 Oral communication from Shlomo Musaiev. 65 Istoriya Uzbekskoi SSR I (see n. 5) 388-9. 66 According to Boris Khudaidatov, Bukharan immigrants to Jerusalem brought there two 66</page><page sequence="25">Bukharan Jews, ancient and modern caravans full of gold in 1889-90 and tried to use this gold to buy the whole town. 67 E. Schuyler, Turkistan, Notes of a journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara and Kuldja I (London 1876) 259. 'The son of Mamaun, a noted dealer in lapis lazuli . . . befriended Dr Wolff when he was there to enquire about Conolly and Stoddart.' 68 JC 1 June 1866, p. 3. No name is given for the official 'acquainted with Bokhara' who wrote this 'brief account of its Jewish inhabitants'. 69 Ibid. N. Slousch (see n. 34) 410. O. Olufsen, The Emir of Bokhara and his country, Journeys and studies in Bokhara (Copenhagen 1911)297. 70 M. Eshel (see n. 21) 65-6. See also L. Kh. Simonova, 'Rasskazy ochevidtsev 0 zavoevanii russkimi Samarkanda i o semidnevnom sidenii' Istoricheskii zhurnal (god 25 sentyahr 1904) 844 66, p. 863 about Jewish cooperation with the Russian Army. 71 S. V. Zhukovskii, Snosheniya Rossii s Bukharoi i Khivoi za poslednee trekhsotletie (Petrograd 1915) 177. 72 M. Eshel (see n. 21) 76-9. 73 Evreiskaya entsiklopediya (see n. 1) VIII col. 207, Innostrannye evrei. 74 S. V. Zhukovskii (see n. 70) 175-6, 185? 6. Evreiskaya entsiklopediya (see n. 1) VIII, col. 207. E. B. Levin (see n. 49) 57, 58, 396. 75 S. P. Pokrovskii, 'Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya Rossii i Bukhary v dorevolyutsionnoe vremya i pri sovetskoi vlasti - do natsional'nogo razmezhevaniya Sredne-Aziatskikh respublik' Byulleten' Sredneaziatskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta vyp. 17 (1928) 31-58, p. 34. 76 See V. Ya. Laverychev, 'Moskovskie fabrikanty i Sredneaziatskii khlopok' Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta I (1970) 53-72, p. 63 and J. A. Ruckman, The Moscow Business Elite. A social and cultural portrait of two generations, 1840-1905 (Dekalb 111 Northern Illinois 1984) 243 n. 97 for the efforts of Muscovite manufacturers to defend Bukharan Jewish traders against governmental restrictive measures. JC 25 June 1903, p. 23. 77 Evreiskaya entsiklopediya (see n. 1) VIII, col. 207. See also Rech* 14 (27) April 1910, p. 3. 78 M. Levinskii, 'K istorii evreev v Srednei Azii' Evreiskaya starina XII (1928) 315-41, p. 319. Evidence to this effect comes from an anti-Semitic official who wrote in 1911. He alleged, however, that after 1907 the Political Agent's attitude changed and he 'gave attestations in favour of all Jews, [which] coincided with the organisation of the Jews under the influence of the Zionist committee'. 79 M. Zand (see n. 2) 57. 80 Z. L. Amitin-Shapiro (see n. 21) 45-6. 81 M. Levinskii (see n. 77) 318. 82 E. Neimark (see n. 54) 111. 83 JC 8 October 1880, p. 10. 84 See about him in A. Ben Ya'aqov (see n. 34) 85 A. Rabin, 'Shluhei Erets-Yisrael be-Bukhara 1881-1914' Pe'amim 35 (1988) 139 55, p. 155. I am indebted to Dr S. Brown for help with this and other texts. N. Tajir I (see n. 17) 83. Also verbal information from Mrs Kulang, 30 June 1994. I. Margalith, Le Baron Edmond de Rothschild et la colonisation juive en Palestine 1882-1899 (Paris 1957) 131, does mention a disease that affected the vines in the Rothschild colonies in Palestine, but this was in 1891. 86 D. Druck, Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The story of a practical idealist (NY 1928) 133, 137. The baron went hunting in Russian Turkestan in autumn 1888. A Rabin (see n. 85) 153-4. 87 Such as Poteliakhovs, Vadiyaevs, Fuzailovs, Davidovs, Borukhovs, Aminovs, Babaevs, Simhaevs and others. 88 F. A. Brokgauz (Brockhaus), I. A. Efron (ed.) Entsiklopedicheskii slovar (St Petersburg 1890-1904) XVI, 679-80; XXXXIX, 417-23 89 B. Ben David, 'Natan Davidov-yazzam kalkali mi Turkestan ha-rusit' Pe'amim 35 (1988) 102-20, pp. 117 and ff, 112-6. 90 M. Eshel (see n. 21) 75, 79-82. 91 G. Pozailov, 'Aliyat yehudei Bukhara le-Erets-Yisrael ve hiyashvutam bah ad milhemet ha-rishona' Pe'amim 35 (1988) 121-37, pp. 122, 127. 92 Figures obtained by Raya Shani of Jerusalem who was in Tashkent in August 1995 are as follows: 14,000 in Samarqand, 9000 in Bukhara and 51,000 in Tashkent in 1989; 9000 in Samarqand, 4000 in Bukhara and 15,000 in Tashkent in January 1995. 93 I. Litvak, 'Hingot u-michtaot. Pirte-khol me-ha-asefah ha-kelalit shel ha-netsigim ve-khle-ha-kodesh shel kehilat yehudei Bukhara ba-ir Tashkent meyom ha-9 be-mars 1959' Shavut 5 (1977) 119-21. 94 I am indebted for this information to Benjamin Ben David who was an Israeli emissary in Central Asia until 1994. 95 Erets magazine (winter 1993) 33. 96 Ibid. 32. 97 This information kindly supplied by Hannah Tolmasov, formerly of Dushanbe. 98 Mash'al Fakel (see n. 14) 23, 15, 12. 67</page><page sequence="26">Audrey Burton 99 A. Atchildi, 'Rescue of the Jews of Bukharan, Iranian and Afghan Origin in Occupied France (i 940-1944) Yad Vashem Studies 6 (1967) 257-81. The word 'Juguti' apparently means 'Jews' in Afghan and this was known to the Gestapo, but it is thought that they accepted the elaborate charade as a temporary measure in order to propitiate the Afghans whom they hoped to persuade to join the Axis. 68</page></plain_text>