Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Documents proved that Jewish people lived there 1,000 years ago

A cache of Hebrew documents has been discovered in Afghanistan's northeast region, a Taliban stronghold. The manuscripts, discovered in caves prove the first evidence of Jewish communities living in the devoutly Muslim country 1,000 years ago.

The dry, shady caves helped preserve the documents, which were identified using carbon-dating technology and by the use of the unique Judeo-Persian language.

The dry, shady caves helped preserve the documents, which were identified using carbon-dating technology and by the use of the unique Judeo-Persian language.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Afghanistan, Jewish history, tolerated minority, Persian Judaism, scholars


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The documents include biblical commentaries, personal letters and financial records. Israel's National Library unveiled the documents after being purchased from private dealers.

The collection is being heralded as one of the greatest Jewish archives ever found. Dubbed the "Afghan Genizah," Genizah is a Hebrew term that loosely translates as "storage." The phrase refers to a storeroom adjacent to a synagogue, or Jewish cemetery where Hebrew-language books and papers are kept.

As Jewish law forbids any writings containing the formal names of God to be thrown away, the documents are either buried or stashed away. Scholars are now researching the fascinating details into the lives of early Jewish communities in ancient Persia.

The dry, shady caves helped preserve the documents, which were identified using carbon-dating technology and by the use of the unique Judeo-Persian language. The documents include writings in Hebrew, Aramaic, Judea-Arabic and the unique Judeo-Persian language from that era.

Haggai Ben-Shammai, the National Library's academic director, said the documents related to the "Yiddish of Persian Jews," saying the manuscripts included mentions of distinctly Jewish names and evidence of their commercial activities along the "Silk road" connecting Europe and the East.

It remains unclear how the ancient manuscripts emerged. Ben-Shammai said the library was contacted by various antiquities dealers who got their hands on them.

The library has purchased just 29 out of hundreds of the documents believed to be located around the world last month, after long negotiations with antiquities dealers, as they arrived in Israel last week.

The library declined to say how much it paid for the collection. The library hopes to purchase more in the future and doesn't wish to drive up prices.

Ben-Shammai said it was too early to compare the cache to the Cairo Genizah, which is storage of documents found in a synagogue in the late 1800s that included thousands of historically important documents.

Ben-Shammai says it would take a long time to sift through the findings from Afghanistan. The documents are highly significant, as no other Hebrew writings had even been found so far from the Holy Land.

The Jewish community in the region at that time lived largely like others in the Muslim world, as a "tolerated minority." Afghanistan's Jewish community numbered as many as 40,000 in the late 19th century, after Persian Jews fled forced conversion.

In the middle of the 20th Century, only about 5,000 Jews remained, and most emigrated after Israel's creation in 1948.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Asia Pacific

Pakistani Christian boy dies after being set on fire by Muslims Watch

Image of Fourteen-year-old Nauman Masih said he did not know the identities of his attackers. His attending physician, Dr. Shahid Hussain confirmed Nauman's death this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fourteen-year-old Nauman Masih, a Pakistani Christian boy has died five days after being set on fire by two Muslim men. Nauman was set on fire in an apparent sectarian attack in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, last week. Fifty percent of his body was ... continue reading


One million people forced to harvest Uzbek cotton last year Watch

Image of An Uzbek woman picks cotton at a field near the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

By Maria Caspani, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Uzbek government forced into labor more than one million people in the 2014 cotton harvest, while officials siphoned off profits at unprecedented levels, a rights group said on Monday. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More public service workers were ... continue reading


Mass whale stranding in Japan spurs fear of impending earthquake Watch

Image of Experts say that while it was possible the whales frightened by disturbances in the Earth's electromagnetic field caused by movement in the tectonic plates, there were was no firm evidence of this.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Could it be an ominous forebear of an impending natural catastrophe? The mass stranding of 160 melon-headed whales on two beaches in Japan has many fearful that it portends an earthquake and tsunami. A species of dolphin, the whales were found washed up along a ... continue reading


Anti-vaccination parents in Australia denied up to $15,000 in benefits Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Australia, starting January 2016, changes in childcare and welfare will take effect and will take toll on parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated. The No Ja, No Play campaign by The Sunday Telegraph has won the support to protect children through ... continue reading


American aid worker deported from North Korea for alleged spying Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accused of anti-Pyongyang plot-breeding, Sandra Suh was deported from North Korea and arrived in Beijing, China this week, according to the United States Embassy spokesman Nolan Barkhouse. The American aid worker had been frequenting North Korea "under the pretense of ... continue reading


WORLDWIDE WARNING!: Missing Malaysian aircraft MH370 may be stored in Muslim country and used to carry out nuclear attacks on U.S. Watch

Image of After months of intense searching, no evidence of the planes remainings has been located in the water, despite the high technology used to search. (AFP, Getty Images)

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Locals from a small island community in the Maldives claim they saw an unusual large jet flying very low over their island of Kudahuvadhoo on March 8, 2014, the day Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Amazing ancient underground city uncovered in Turkey Watch

Image of Millions of years ago, volcanic activity covered the region under several layers of ash. Erosion then created a landscape of rock formations and spires known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hiding underground from malevolent forces has always been with humankind, it appears. Builders in Turkey accidentally found one of the largest and most complex underground cities in the otherworldly region of Cappadocia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Hidden pyramid in Indonesia could be four times older than ones in Egypt Watch

Image of The terraces are bordered by retaining walls of stone that can be accessed by 400 steps rising around 311 feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden pyramid in an Indonesian hillside could rewrite ancient history. Egypt's oldest pyramid was built 5,000 years ago. If archaeologists are correct, the one found in Indonesia could be as old as 20,000 years old, four times older than the ones in Egypt. ... continue reading


Exposing secrets: American journalist posed as teacher in North Korea gains insight into an intesnse lifestyle Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Students from the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology had no reaction when Suki Kim, an American writer and journalist posing as their Christian missionary teacher, flashed images of the United Nations, Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza, as she told ... continue reading


Rare conjoined twins born in Indonesia with attached chest, abdomen - and heart Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Conjoined twin girls in Indonesia have been born with a very rare genetic condition. Both girls share a chest, abdomen - and a heart. Photos have been circulated showing the babies in a hospital bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Soetomo Hospital in ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 6:1-7
1 About this time, when the number of disciples was ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
4 The word of Yahweh is straightforward, all he does ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
16 That evening the disciples went down to the shore ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2015 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter