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A Jewish-Asian Couple’s Union Leads to a Scholarly Interest in Intermarriage



I’m a Chinese American Married to a Jew, But Our Marriage Isn’t Trendy

By Dusty Sklar on October jewish chinese dating, What about the Jewish diaspora in China? One historian, Alfred Edelsheim, believes that Jews came there from Persia after the Roman general Titus invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in the 1st century CE. Several letters dating from then, probably written by Jewish traders, on Chinese jewish chinese dating in Hebrew and Judeo-Persian, had been found in northwest China. An Islamic traveler, Aboul Zeyd al Hassan, reported a massacre of foreigners in Canton towards the end of the Tang dynasty.

The main motive behind the murder of as many asMuslim Arabs, Jews, Zoroastrians, and Christians was believed to be jewish chinese dating of their wealth. But most scholars hold that Jews came jewish chinese dating the Northern Song Dynasty, which began in They may have come jewish chinese dating Bukhara, a city in Uzbekistan that was once a part of Persia. It was to Kaifeng, then a cosmopolitan capital on a branch of the Silk Road, that they came; an inscription on a stone tablet, originating centuries later inbears witness to the arrival of seventy Jewish families.

FOR HUNDREDS of years, the Silk Road linked East and West. It was the main avenue of trade between China and India, Persia, Arabia, and Europe and Africa by way of the Mediterranean coast — most of which countries had Jewish merchants eager to trade internationally. Kaifeng is thought to have had the largest population of Jews in China, who for the first eight or nine generations gave their children Hebrew names.

Honor and observe the customs of your ancestors. Jews apparently flourished in Kaifeng until the 17th century, assimilating into the Chinese culture yet preserving some semblance of their Jewish identity until the s, when their synagogue was devastated by an earthquake. Another building now stands on the site, along jewish chinese dating a stele dating from the Middle Ages. A Jesuit visiting in the early s,estimated the Jewish population at two or three thousand.

For some reason, the surviving records and artifacts have long since been given to Great Britain and the United States. The Hebrew Union College library in Cincinnati houses two Torah jewish chinese dating. Inwhen European missionaries came into possession of a 17th-century Hebrew Torah, few Kaifeng Jews could read it, and it was donated to the British Museum.

Kaifeng still has a street called Nan-Xuejing Hutong, meaning South Studying-the-Scriptures Lane, which used to be home to the Jewish community. Today, there are believed to gay dating agency europe 2, Jews in Kaifeng. Physically they are indistinguishable from other Chinese.

Yet some still observe the prohibition against the eating of pork. WHEN THE MONGOLS invaded the city inthey bestowed bureaucratic positions on foreigners, including Jews, in order to diminish the power of the Chinese. As a decree reveals, the Mongols also banned all Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter, which the emperor felt was insulting to him: Meat fit for him should surely be good for Jews and Muslims!

Marco Polo reported finding Jews in Beijing in During the Ming Dynastya Ming emperor assigned seven surnames to Jews, by which they are still known today: Ai, Shi, Gao, Jin, Li, Zhang, and Zhao. Of these, Jin and Shi are reminiscent of Western Jewish names: The inscription lists jewish chinese dating others: Yen, Kao, Mu, Huang, Nie, An, Zuo, Bai, and Zhou. Apparently, only seven names survived after In the late 19th century, the Russian government decided to build a railway to Eastern Asia and sought people to populate the cities there.

They particularly encouraged Jews, who were eager to escape the pogroms in the Pale of Settlement. Jews were encouraged to settle in Harbin, and by8, of jewish chinese dating had done so. Shanghai, too, became attractive to Ashkenazim experiencing repression in Eastern Europe. Russian Jews, jewish chinese dating the massacres under the tsar, built the Ohel Moishe Synagogue in Shanghai in Sephardim, coming as early as from Baghdad, Bombay, and Cairo, outnumbered them.

Wealthy Sephardic merchants eventually became the elite. The Russian revolution of brought more Jews to Shanghai, and the s and s brought refugees from Nazi Germany, bringing the Shanghai population of Jews to 25, Shanghai was a free port and did not require visas. The Japanese captured Shanghai inand in December ofclosed it to further immigration. They consigned most Jews to unsanitary camps, to which they added transferred Japanese Jews.

After the war, most of those Jews fled to the United States, Great Britain, Israel, and Australia. Out of a thousand Jews living in Kaifeng today, only a hundred or two hundred are active in the culture. The present Chinese government is cracking down on them in its campaign against non-licensed religions they approve Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism and Taoism: Organizations that are trying to help rebuild the Jewish community have been shut down, and the government has gone so far as to forbid gatherings for Jewish holidays, closed Hebrew and Judaism classes, and taken away Jewish historical signs and objects from public spaces.

Jews are still permitted to get together to pray in small groups, but the government is keeping a watchful eye on them. Some residents have migrated to Israel. The Kaifeng Jews are not automatically recognized by Israel under the Law of Return, however. Dusty Sklar is a contributing writer to our magazine and the author of Gods and Beasts: The Nazis and the Occult, as well as numerous stories and articles. China Diaspora Israel Jews Jews in China Kaifeng.

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