Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran (Tarikh-E Yahud-E Iran): The Outset of Diaspora

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From the translator

I thought I' d post an overview of the book' s contents here for the benefit of prospective buyers. If you have specific questions about this book, I' ll be happy to answer them. —George Maschke, (, May 15, 1999

Disclaimer: I translated Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran from Persian to English, but do not stand to benefit financially from sales of the book

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568590868
  • Publisher: Mazda Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/1999
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 540

Table of Contents

Part One (1300 to 550 B.C.E.)

Advent of Judaism -- Life in the Promised Land -- Assyrian assault on the ancient state of Israel -- Migration of the ten lost tribes to Media and northwestern Iran 130 years before Nebuchadnezzar' s campaign -- Tracing the ten lost tribes through the ancient Iranian Empire -- Theories of travelers such as Benjamin of Tudela and researchers such as Ben Zvi concerning the ten lost tribes in Iran.

Part Two (550 to 330 B.C.E.)

Destruction of the First Temple -- The Babylonian Captivity -- Fall of Babylon to Iran and liberation of the Jews by Cyrus the Great -- Biblical documentation -- Iranian assistance in rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple -- The story of Esther and Mordechai and the downfall of Haman -- The Prophet Daniel' s service in the court of Darius the Great -- Ezra and Nehemia' s influence in the Iranian state apparatus.

Part Three (330 B.C.E. to 226 C.E.)

Fall of Persepolis and Jerusalem to Alexander the Great -- Adoption of the Seleucid calendar -- Relations between the Jews of Iran and Judea -- Influence of the Maccabee rebellion on the Jewish community of Iran -- Irano-Roman wars and Roman domination of Jewish-inhabited areas -- Conversion of the king and people of Adiabene (Kurdistan) to Judaism -- Irano-Roman alliance at the time of the fall of the Second Temple.

Part Four (226 to 642)

Introduction of new Iranian religions led by Mani and Mazdak -- Christian influence in Iran -- Zoroastrianism prevails -- The Jewish minority -- Administration of Jewish society and the role of the Resh Galuta -- Establishment of the great religious academies in Iran -- Compilation of the Talmud and Zoroastrian influences -- Shushandokht, the Jewish queen of Iran -- Zoroastrian attack on Jewish centers and execution of the Resh Galuta -- Emigration of Iranian Jews to Arabia, India, and other lands.

Part Five (642 to 848)

Advent of Islam in Iran -- Arab conquest of Judea -- Jews deprived of social equality, deemed dhimmis -- Contract of Omar -- The jizyah poll tax -- Revival of the schools at Babylon -- Era of the gaonim -- Sectarianism amongst the Jews of Iran: Abu Isa Isfahani, Yudghan Hamadani, the worldwide Karaite movement (which may be considered the inspiration for European Reformism) -- The Cabalists -- Conversion of the king and people of Khazaria to Judaism.

Part Six (848 to 1038)

Internal revolts against Arab domination -- Religious confrontations between Shiis and Sunnis -- Rise of Iranian and decline of European civilization in the Middle Ages -- Role of Jewish Iranian scholars in the advancement of Islamic culture and sciences -- Ismaili terrorists' hostility toward the Jews -- Dispute between the gaonim and the Resh Galuta -- Transfer of the hub of Judaism from Babylon to Spain.

Part Seven (1038 to 1501)

Genghis Khan' s invasion and the massacre of Muslims, Jews, and other religious communities -- Spread of Buddhism -- Relative freedom of the Jews during the Moghul period -- Brief account of Benjamin of Tudela' s trip to Iran -- Advent of Iranian pseudo-messiahs such as David Alroy during the Crusades -- The Iranian government in Jewish hands: Sa' d al-Dowlah and Rashid al-Din Fazlallah Hamadani; the inauspicious demise of both -- Shahin and Amina: two great Jewish poets.

Part Eight (1502 to 1722)

Dominance of the Shii Mullahs -- Influence of European agents and colonialists in Iran -- Religious wars with Ottoman Turkey -- Rising anti-Semitism -- Shrines -- Exile -- Harsh anti-Semitic measures -- Law of inheritance -- Jews deemed ' unclean.' Forced conversions -- Continuous attacks on Jewish quarters -- The episode of Shabbetai Zevi and its effect on the Jews of Iran -- Jewish mullahs dismembered, hanged, thrown to the dogs, and burned alive -- Jewish preservation of Iranian music -- Writings of Babai Lutf -- Atrocities -- Anusim-the Marranos of Iran -- Corruption in Jewish society originating in poverty and unbearable persecutions -- Lari' s ridiculous cap -- Rulers' conspiracies against the Jews.

Part Nine (1722 to 1794)

Fall of Iran and its revival by Nadir Shah -- Continuation of Jewish persecution during civil war -- Translation of the Torah to Persian -- Short period of relative calm -- Beginning of Jewish migration to Tehran.

Part Ten (1794 to 1907)

Feudal system in Iran -- Competition amongst military commanders -- Cruel tortures: from the gouging out of eyes to castration -- Triumph of the Qajars -- Administration in the hands of bigoted Islamic mullahs -- Advent of the Baha' i faith -- Decrease in the Jewish population -- Jewish emissaries dispatched to Iran -- Second wave of anti-Semitism -- The hunt for pretty Jewish girls to complement the Qajar kings' harems -- More disunity amongst the Jews -- Jewish conversion to Islam, Christianity, and Bahaism -- Jewish doctors in the royal court -- Writings of Jewish travelers: David d' Beth Hillel, Benjamin II, Ephraim Neumark, and others -- The Tabriz Incident and the massacre of Jews in Azerbaijan -- The Mashhad Massacre and mass forced conversion of Jews -- Converts to Islam -- Anti-Semitic atrocities in Tehran, including the cutting off of water to the Jewish quarter -- Description of the ghettos of Iran -- The plague of extremist mullahs: Mullah Abdallah in Hamadan, Sayyid Rayhan Allah in Tehran, and others -- European Jewish support -- Establishment of the Alliance schools in Iran.

Part Eleven (1907 to 1979)

Iran between the Constitutionalist and Islamic revolutions -- Participation of Jewish partisans in the Constitutionalist Revolution -- A Jewish deputy in the Iranian parliament -- Major social transformations amongst the Jews of Iran -- Gradual emergence from the ghetto -- Relations with European Jews -- Dispute between two candidates for the Assembly and Jewish disunity -- Beginning of the Pahlavi dynasty -- Organizations banned -- Dictatorship -- Arrest and execution of Jewish political leader Shemuel Ha' im -- Status of Iranian Jews during World War II -- ' Children of Tehran' -- Effect of the founding of the State of Israel -- Cordial relations between Israel and Iran in the last two Pahlavi decades -- Rapid advancement of the Jews -- Encounter with the Islamic Revolution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    Fascinating history of oldest Jewish community in diaspora

    This is a fascinating history of the oldest Jewish community in the Diaspora. In an initial chapter,the author makes a credible case that the ten lost tribes of Israel are really the Jews of Kurdistan and other northern provinces of ancient Persia. Since Babylon was a Persian province for a thousamd years, the Babylonia talmud was really a product of Persia's Jewish community and Persia was the center of Jewish thought for a thousand years. The book also chronicles what life was really like for Jews under Islam and completely undercuts the myth that Jews were protected from persecution, mass murder and forced conversions in Islamic countries. The Jewish experience in Persia is put in the context of general Persian history in each chapter. The role of the clerics in state rule is amply illustrated and makes understandable the current Islamic regime in Iran and why the populace has accepted the rule of the Islamicists. This is an important book for those who want to understand Jewish history and for those who want to know how religious minorities are treated in Islamic countries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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