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"In the twelfth century, Benjamin of Tudela claimed that there were 80,000 Jews in the Ghazni on the River Gozan. The community was isolated with little contact with the outside world. The origin of the Afghan Jewish community seems to be Persian as the languages used by the Jews of Afghanistan were Judeo-Persian, Hebrew, and some Aramaic." [January 2002] : "The Israeli Source of the Pathan Tribes" [January 2002]

"Jews have lived in what is now known as Afghanistan for more than two thousand years. Fleeing persecution in the ancient land of Israel, many stayed to work as merchants, trading silk and spices from the East. In the early 19th century, tens of thousands of Persian Jews settled in Afghanistan fleeing forced conversion." Source: [January 2002]

"When the Bolsheviks rose to power in Russia, they divided the large area of the southern part of central Russia into smaller districts such as Tanjekistan, Turkemanistan, Kazakhastan, etc. In Tanjekistan, which is in northern Afghanistan, there was a village by the name of Dushme. When Stalin gained power, he called the village in his name, Stalinabad. It started to develop and grow and many Jews then began to stream into Tangekistan. They found that the Tanyakis light candles on Friday evening. When the Jews went to visit them, they revealed that they eat a dish made of meat stuffed with rice called Pacha, which is characteristic of the Bucharian Jews and is eaten on Friday night. When they asked them what it was, the Tajiks replied that this is an ancient traditional food of theirs and its name is Pacha. They also said that they have a tradition that they were once Jews. Source: [January 2002]

"Not only the Pathans, but also the Afghan Royal Family has a very well known tradition placing its origin in ancient Israel, they came from the Tribe of Benjamin." [Benjamin of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.] ... This tradition was first published in 1635 in a book called Mahsan-I-Afghani and has often been mentioned in the research literature. According to this tradition, King Saul had a son called Jeremiah who had a son called Afghana. Jeremiah died at about the time of King Saul's death and Afghana was raised by King David and remained in the royal court during King Solomon's reign." Source: [January 2002]

"The only practicing Jew left in Kabul, Afghanistan, Zibollon Sementa, says the ruling Taliban fundamentalist Muslim party lets him practice his faith in an unhindered fashion. What was left of the Jewish community fled in 1992." Source: Dateline World Jewry , July 2001.

"Afghanistan's Jewish community dwindles to two -- and they're feuding" by Steven Gutkin (Associated Press) . August 24, 2001. [September 2002]

[UPDATE] The Last Jew in Afghanistan [November 2016]

(also see write-up under Kabul below)

The "Other" in "Afghan" Identity: Medieval Jewish community of Afghanistan

The History of Bukharian Jews

BOOK: Afghanistan: The Synagogue and the Jewish Home. Zohar Hanegbi and Bracha Yaniv, editors. Jerusalem: 1991. 220 pages, 167 illustrations, 30 in color (English and Hebrew) ASIN: 9653910027 [October 2000] [October 2000] [January 2002] [October 2000] [August 2003]
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