Last Thursday, a pile of 1,000-year-old documents discovered inside the caves of a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan, written by the Jewish community in that area, dating from the 10th century and revealing unpublished information on the medieval Jewish community of central Asia.
“It is the first time that we have a large collection of documents that represent the culture of the Jews who lived there”Explained the Academic Director of the National Library of Israel, Professor Haggai Ben-Shammai, at the press conference of the conference held on January 3, 2013 at the National Library of Jerusalem, which has recently received 29 articles from the collection, containing the first documentation of the history of the religious, cultural and commercial life of the Jewish community of that time and area.
The collection was discovered by chance in a cave inhabited by foxes about two years ago in northern Afghanistan. The "Geniza”, Hebrew term used to name a deposit that, in other times, they had synagogues to store the manuscripts that were in disuse, not to preserve them, but to avoid that any manuscript that contained the divine name was not treated in an unworthy way, it contains hundreds of documents that are currently in the hands of collectors and dealers around the world.
Professor Ben-Shammai explained that the collection is full of documents, some written in Arabic and others in a Judeo-Persian dialect of the Hebrew script that was spoken at the time.
In addition to being the first documented evidence of the religious, cultural and commercial life of the Jewish community in the center of the trade route between China and the West, also contains unpublished commentaries by Saadia Gaon on the book of Isaiah.
“Until now we had no documents that testified to the presence of the Jews in this area of Persian culture”Said Ben-Shammai, adding that the library was preparing the worldwide presentation of the documents via the Internet.
Via: Art Daily
Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in all that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.