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Jews were given the status of , or “protected Unbelievers.” Under the Saminids, the Bukharians found relative peace, which was ended by the conquest of the Qarakhanids in 999.The Jews of Central Asia now found themselves completely cut off from the Jews of Europe, but they managed to maintain some contact with those in the Muslim Empire.

The term “Bukharan Jews” refers to the Central Asian Jews of the khanate of Bukhara, those of Samarkand, and the Ferghana Valley. E., when Alexander the Great defeated the Sogdian King Spitamenes and conquered the region. The Parthians gave the Jews citizenship and allowed them to practice Judaism freely. They made Zoroastrianism the official religion and persecuted the Jews for their unwillingness to convert.

Today, the region is divided between the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Cyrus decreed that all Jews in exile were free to return to Jerusalem, though many remained in Persia. Under Parthian rule, the Bukharian communities flourished. Some Bukharan Jews moved to the northern and eastern parts of the region due to anti-Jewish hostilities.

They maintained control of the region until 874, when the Saminids, who were Sunni Muslims, took over and made Bukhara the capital of their empire.

The Saminids were fairly tolerant of the Bukharan Jews, though they forced all non-Muslims who refused to convert to pay heavy taxes.

On the level of the individual to the level of culture, the ills we experience, by and large, result from mindlessness.

The wisdom discussed in Toward a Meaningful Life should be widely read to help provoke a reversal of this trend and lead us to mindful lives full of everyday meaning.In the rebuilt city of Bukhara, the Jews lived in the , or Jewish quarter in Tajik.The community was restricted to this section of the city, and was strictly forbidden to live elsewhere.The community also built a magnificent synagogue that was used for the next 500 years.At the beginning of the 1500s, Persia was ruled by Shi'ite Muslims, while Central Asia came under Sunni Uzbeks in 1506.It is only by drawing a clear line from the past to the present that each of us can chart a course for a creative, constructive, and fulfilling future as part of the Jewish People.

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