Babylonian Jews of Afghanistan? Avigdor Ibn Qutada Al Lieberman? WTF…………


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“A batch of 1,000-year-old manuscripts from the mountainous northern reaches of war-torn Afghanistan, reportedly found in a cave inhabited by foxes, has revealed previously unknown details about the cultural, economic and religious life of a thriving but little understood Jewish society in a Persian part of the Muslim empire of the 11th century…………The texts are known collectively as the Afghan Geniza, a Hebrew term for a repository of sacred texts and objects. They were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo-Persian, Judeo-Arabic and Arabic, and some used the Babylonian system for vowels, a linguistic assortment that scholars said would have been nearly impossible to forge. One text includes a discussion of Hebrew words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. Another is a letter between two brothers in which one denied rumors that he was no longer an observant Jew. There are legal and economic documents, some signed by witnesses, recording commercial transactions and debts between Jews and their Muslim neighbors, and other mundane yet illuminating details of daily life like travel plans. One missive between two Jews, Sheik Abu Nasser Ahmed ibn Daniel and Musa ibn Ishak, dealing with family matters, was written in the Hebrew letters of Judeo-Persian, but had an address in Arabic script on the back, presumably for the benefit of the Muslim messenger. One document has a date from the Islamic calendar corresponding to the year 1006. The most important religious text among those acquired by the National Library is a fragment of a Judeo-Persian version of a commentary on the Book of Isaiah originally written by the renowned Babylonian rabbinic scholar Saadia Gaon, a previously unknown text. A sliver of it has been sent to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot for carbon dating. The exact source of the documents is murky………………”

Sheik Abu Nasser Ahmed ibn Daniel and Musa ibn Ishak? Indeed: Jews of those days often had Arabic or Muslim first names, or at least they were known by some Muslim first name. Just as they often have “Christian” first names in the West now like Richard or Steven or Jedediah or Etienne (wtf). Come to think of it, so do the Chinese or Cambodians and others in the West.
Now if the ancestors of Lieberman, Avigdor not Joe, had not wandered and ended up in Molodva or thereabouts, then he’d probably be known as Avigdor ibn Qutada Al Lieberman (okay, scratch the Lieberman part). Come to think of it, even Joe Lieberman would probably be known as Yusuf ibn Ikrimah ibn Saud Al Lieberman (again, scratch the Lieberman part). And he’d probably have a better looking chin than he does now.


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