[b-hebrew] Zech 1:19,21

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Tue Apr 10 19:38:05 EDT 2007

On 11/04/2007 00:22, K Randolph wrote:
> ...
> An aside, I read a book several years ago that claimed, among others,
> that the reason Russian uses the word "Yevrei" instead of "Zhid" to
> refer to "Jews" is because there are many, particularly around the
> Caspian Sea area, who trace their ancestry back to Israel, not Judea,
> though by oral tradition.
Karl, I happen to know a fair bit about the Jews who live in the Caspian 
Sea area, and have visited two of their synagogues in that area. There 
are two distinct communities of Jews in the area. One  is Ashkenazi and 
mostly Russian speaking, clearly Russian Jews who have moved into the 
area. The other community, sometimes called "Mountain Jews", 
traditionally speaks the Judeo-Tat language, related to Persian. This 
community appears to be what is left of the early mediaeval Jewish 
Khazars, who were in fact mostly converts to Judaism. As I understand it 
they have little memory of their own distant origins. But even if they 
were demonstrably of northern kingdom origin, it is unlikely that the 
Russian word for "Jew" came from this source, for the dominant Jewish 
community in the central parts of Russia is certainly the Ashkenazi one.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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