Jews in Bukhara

Alanna E. Cooper, an anthropologist and a Jewish cultural historian, began her research on an old Central Asian Jewish community because of a small and curious dictionary:

 I don’t remember the name of the man who sold the dictionary to me. He was one of the many people I met in the 1990s who was getting rid of his belongings in advance of his migration from Bukhara. He invited me to his home and showed me the small stack of books on the floor of his empty living room.

I couldn’t quite make out what they were, except that they had been printed in Jerusalem about a century earlier. The man wanted only a few dollars for them, so I took them with me.

The dictionary was the most curious of the lot. Less than 50 pages long, with translations of just 700 words, its ambition lies not in its length but in its breadth. Six columns run across each page: Hebrew, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Turkish.

Read the rest at the Jewish Daily Forward:

Jews of Bukhara Helped Me To Understand Personal History
By Alanna E. Cooper, May 09, 2013

 

 

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