Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bukharian Synagogue in Tajikastan Razed to Make Room for President's Palace Garden


OK, please excuse me if I can’t swallow the lies that Ynet is publishing. They identify Lev Leviev as “head of the world Bukhara Jews congress and an Israeli businessman.” OK, he is head of ONE Bukharaian Jewish Congress, those who follow Chabad.

However, the traditional Sephardi Bukharian Jews do not follow Chabad, and they have fought against Lev Leviev and his merry band of penguin-suited Ashkenazim for years. Chabad is supposed to respect the Minhag of other groups and encourage the keeping of those Minhagim—however this is not happening in Eastern Europe. Chabad is coming in, destroying traditional modes of prayer and traditional minhagim, and leaving either disenfranchised Sephardim or black-hatted penguins in its wake.

So, is this a “delicate” matter, Mr. Leviev? Or, is this a matter of the synagogue not following your way of doing things so you looked the other way?

The synagogue has been under duress for over two years. First the government destroyed their butcher shop and a classroom where the only kosher meat was available, sheering off half of the synagogue and leaving the area around it a muddy, dangerous mess—and, finally, after the press coverage was off of them for a moment, razing it.

This is a disgusting situation, and one that the world is turning away from.

However, for the Bukharian community here in the US, it is not something to turn away from. Those who are not in Israel are strongly Sephardi, deeply hurt, and their are raising their standard of living every moment.

Tashkent will rise again. When the dust settles, we will find out how.

I have a feeling they won’t rise with a black hat on their heads.


Tajikistan's Jews despair as only synagogue razed,7340,L-3560404,00.html

Last synagogue in country knocked down to make room for new presidential palace, leaving 350-strong Jewish community without place of worship. Can Lev Leviev save the day?

Published: 06.25.08, 22:04 / Israel Jewish Scene

Tajikistan has knocked down its only synagogue to make way for a new presidential palace, casting the Jewish community into despair, community members said on Wednesday.

The 19th century building is due to be replaced by a park adjoining the new palace for President Imomali Rakhmon, who has ruled the impoverished, mainly Muslim nation since 1992.

Community leaders said the weekend demolition of their synagogue - a wooden, one-story house adorned with stars of David - put their 350-strong community under threat.

"It's painful to lose something very dear, something that cannot be valued in money terms," Rabbi Mikhail Abdurakhmanov said after the building was bulldozed.

"At the moment the existence of Tajikistan's only Jewish community is under threat. It's also a threat to elderly people who came here for help," he told Reuters.

The Jewish community in Tajikistan - descendants of Persian-speaking Bukhara Jews who have lived in Central Asia for centuries - has dwindled since the country's independence from Soviet rule with many leaving for Israel.

The mayor's office of the capital Dushanbe declined to comment but the government has previously promised to allocate a new plot of land for the synagogue .

Abdurakhmanov said he had yet to hear from the city authorities about its fate.

The building technically belonged to the state because Soviet officials nationalized it in 1951 while allowing Jews to continue to worship there.

Before its demolition, the synagogue ran a daily canteen for the poor and allocated humanitarian aid to its mainly elderly community members with an average monthly income of about $20.

Lev Leviev, head of the world Bukhara Jews congress and an Israeli businessman, said he had discussed the synagogue's reconstruction with Tajikistan's president.

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