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Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 15:35:07 -0500
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Subject: Khazar and Judaism
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From: "Doron A. Tal" <ilatal@ort.org.il>

Khazar and Judaism

By Doron A. Tal <ilatal@ort.org.il>, 30 November 1995

The Khazari kingdom at culmination was a multi-national and multi-religion society. It originated in the 7th century by pagan barbaric tribes. This kingdom flourished over 300 years, essentially based its revenues from custom fees and services rendered to multi-national trade. The decline of the kingdom commenced after their defeat in 965, and it apparently vanished around the 12th century. The geographical region was south-east to Russia, in the area of Volga and Caucasus. There is no written evidence left in a Khazarian language, but sporadic Byzantine, Arabic and Hebrew documents.

One of the main resources is the Old Cairo Archive (GNIZAT FUSAT), which was published in 1896-7. It was uncovered in Ezra's Synagog, which had been existing since 822 and was restored after more than one thousand years, in 1890. The archive contained about hundred thousands pages with valuable historic documents. BTW, there is an evidence to Ashkenazi Jews in the year 750, which may prove that they were NOT descendants of Aryan or Caucasian tribes, which at that time were not converted to Judaism. Yet, there is an evidence for descendants of Khazarians who arrived during the 12th century to Toledo, Spain and assimilated with Jews descendants of the Hebrews. (According to Avraham Ibn-Daud). This apparently was the basis for the the 12th century masterpiece, "The Kuzari" of R. Yehuda Ha_Le_vi. This book may explain Jewish tradition. No previous knowledge of Jewish philosophy would be necessary.

Real Judaism would never abuse physical human miseries as its foundation. To explain the Jewish perception of religion, let's compare it to the experience of love. Yet, many would deny it claiming it is a mere crutch, whose purpose is to comfort individual's weakness, to overcome the experience of life. "The Kuzari" teaches us that the opposite is true. Beneath and beyond all physical needs, a separate desire exists, the desire for "God" in the search for spirituality.

The books of "Kohelet" (bible) and "The Kuzari" tell us that richness will never cure pain and suffering. Even a King may be quite lonely, searching for something that floats beyond the void -- i.e. deity. The king's misery would exceed that of a working individual, because he cannot lose his pain in the sleep of the weary laborer.

"This king...dreamed one dream repeatedly. In his dream he beheld an angel speaking to him and saying: 'Your intention is acceptable to the Lord, however your behavior is not acceptable to Him.' ...This caused the king of the Khazarians to search and explore religion and philosophy, and finally he converted to Judaism along with many of his subjects." (Kuzari, Chapter 1, Introduction).