Eight Years in Asia and Africa From 1846-1855

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General Books, 2013 - 104 من الصفحات
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1859 edition. Excerpt: ... other travellers to these parts. It is known that they have dwelt there for several centuries, and that formerly they bade defiance to powerful neighbouring kings.1 An Israelitish merchant from Tabur, whom I met in the year 1850 at Teheran, related that in that town, and in the districts round about, dwell about 12,000 Jewish families; and he added that in Great Tartary the Jews had built cities, the names of which he mentioned to me. The time of their settlement is said to date from the 6th century. Persecuted by the Chinese, who endeavoured to compel them to abandon their faith, they had settled in Great Tartary, and there they lived free, and on the best terms with the natives. The chiefs were chosen equally from among the Jews and Tartars, and both shared alike the dangers of war; but the Jews contracted no marriages with the Tartars, * and adhered strictly to their own worship. It is worthy of note, that they all believe themselves to be descended from the tribe of Reuben. -- I afterwards asked him if they possessed the scriptures, prayer-books, or any guide for the regulation of their rites, to which he replied, that a Polish Jew, who had visited them about 40 years before, had given them a complete Bible, which however they were not able to read; that he himself had given instruction to several among them, and later had sent them Bibles and Pentateuchs. -- They perform several of our practical religious ceremonies without understanding their inner worth, and they have a firm confidence in their faith. In other respects they are without the least connection with the rest of the world; they did not even know that Jews lived in Europe likewise. -- The day on which they received the sacred books is honoured by them as a festival day...

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