Persian Mosaic: Getting Back to Iran After 25 Years

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Along the way, she questioned why Sardari is not included among the Righteous Among the Nations.

The Persian Empire, the Return of the Jews, and the Diaspora

Sardari has been compared with Oskar Schindler as a Holocaust hero. But the comparison is bittersweet. Penn State Middle Eastern history Prof. Yet Sardari is part of a broader narrative of Iranian heroism during the Holocaust. People in Iran have increasingly taken notice.

Sardari was arguably born to be a diplomat. As the film recounts, he grew up in a family with links to Persian royalty and politics. In , he was posted to the Iranian embassy in Paris as first secretary in charge of consular affairs. But when Paris fell to the Germans on June 14, , the embassy was closed. According to the film, an Iranian embassy reopened in the city of Vichy, but the government of Reza Shah needed someone to look after the Paris embassy, and so Sardari returned there as consul.

Iran travel guide

It was there, in that capacity, that he began to help Jews in the city. Iranian Jews claim the Babylonian Exile as part of their history and today they are the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East after Israel. They were in the trades, in the import-export business. And it worked, aided by bribes to officials. Fellow Iranian Jew Jean Papahn told Zardiny that when the Nazis sent his father to the Drancy concentration camp, his mother implored Sardari to intercede on his behalf.

Sardari successfully claimed he was among the Djougouten.

I will always be grateful to him. Yet there were obstacles. Yet Sardari stayed in Paris, hosting parties at the embassy and issuing passports to Jews despite the fact that he now had no authority to do so. She said that in addition to the Iranian Jews he saved, there were also Jews from Georgia and Damascus. The local governor and the leaders of Samaria attempted to obstruct the project.

The Jews appealed to Darius, eventually proving that they were doing only what Cyrus had granted them permission to do. So they were allowed to continue their project see Ezra 5—6. The second temple did not compare in splendor to the temple of Solomon, for the people were very poor at the time they built it.

There is no mention of Zerubbabel after the temple was completed. After his time, the leadership of the community was held by the priests. This theocratic government was permitted by the Persians and for a time by Alexander the Great. Douglas, ed. In any event, there is a span of about three generations between the first return and the return of Ezra and Nehemiah. During this period, Persian culture reached its greatest height, as evidenced by the impressive ruins standing at Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire. The luxury of the Persian court is described in the book of Esther.

Little is known about Jewish life during this period. In view of the reforms initiated later by Ezra and Nehemiah, a strict adherence to the laws of Moses was evidently not observed. The priests intermarried with their non-Israelite neighbors, and the city of Jerusalem was allowed to further deteriorate. Ezra seems to have held some kind of important court office, and he was accredited as a special envoy to reorganize the temple services at Jerusalem. Nehemiah was a royal cupbearer in the Persian court see Nehemiah Since assassination was an ever-present danger for kings anciently, and poison was often employed, the cupbearer held a highly trusted position in the court.

See Samuel Fallows, ed. The restoration of Jerusalem, which had lain in ruins for a century and a half, was begun. Ezra, a righteous, dedicated priest, joined Nehemiah in the work, and together they succeeded in restoring a Jewish community in Jerusalem once again. Psalm 48 is a song celebrating the restoration of Jerusalem. It shows how Jewish confidence was then revived.

Judah remained in peace throughout the duration of the Persian Empire. Jewish tradition relates how Alexander was met by the high priest in Jerusalem and was read the prophecies of Daniel that one of the Greeks would destroy the Persians see Daniel ; , 20—22 ; Alexander, supposing this meant himself, rejoiced and accepted the Jewish nation without going to war against them.

Iran’s Priorities in a Turbulent Middle East

According to present-day Jews, Diaspora is a correct designation for all Jews still living outside of Eretz Israel land of Israel. The term Diaspora refers to the scattering of the house of Israel into countries other than the Holy Land. Latter-day Saints know that the entire house of Israel was scattered, but, as used by most scholars, the word Diaspora is applied principally to the dispersion of the Jews throughout all the earth.

The Lord through His prophets long ago foretold the scattering or dispersion of Judah and all of Israel throughout the world. Although the first significant Jewish Diaspora resulted from the Babylonian exile, small colonies of Jews made their way to Egypt before this exile.

The Jews spoken of by Jeremiah settled near the delta of the Nile. They repudiated Jehovah completely, impudently asserting that it was worship of Him that had caused all their misery and disaster. Other groups of Jews who came to Egypt shortly before and during the Babylonian sieges of Jerusalem were hospitably received, and they prospered.

They established Jewish quarters in several of the larger cities there. Many of them attempted to transplant to this new home the pattern of their religious life. Such was the case at Elephantine, where archeological discoveries reveal that a Jewish colony constructed a temple similar to the one in Jerusalem.

An eminent historian discussed the existence of dispersed Jews in other parts of the Roman Empire at the time of the Christian era:.

Ancient Iran - The Sāsānian period |

There were particularly important Jewish centers in the capital Antioch, in Damascus, and in Apamea. According to Philo, numerous Jews lived in Syria and in Asia Minor, where the settlement of Jews was greatly promoted by the policy of the Seleucid kings, whose rule extended over large areas of Asia Minor. From the period of the Roman rule at the end of the republic and the beginning of the Julio-Claudian principate there is clear evidence of the existence of Jews in most of the important cities of Asia Minor, in Adramyttium, Pergamum, Sardis, Ephesus, Tralles, Miletus, Iasus, Halicarnassus, Laodicea, Tarsus, and very many others, as well as in the regions of Bithynia, Pontus, and Cappadocia.

Inscriptions also attest to Jewish settlements in various places in the Peloponnesus the district of Laconia, the city of Patrae, Tegea , in Athens, and in Thessaly. From Greece the Jewish settlements spread northward to the Balkan peninsula Stobi and reached Pannonia [present-day Europe].

The dispersed people of Judah are frequently referred to in the New Testament.

Persian Mosaic Getting Back to Iran After 25 Years

The Jews in the temple spoke of them when questioning Jesus at the feast of Tabernacles see John At the feast of Pentecost, fifteen locations other than Judea were represented by Jewish pilgrims see Acts — Luke, in the book of Acts, spoke of Jewish synagogues in the Roman Empire that were of great service in the spreading of Christianity see Acts ; —45 ; —2, 19 ; ; , 4, 10—13 ; , 12, 19 ; —17, 33 ; — They recognized Jerusalem as the Holy City, paid their annual taxes to the temple and whenever possible made pilgrimages to Zion to celebrate the holy days.

Nevertheless, in many synagogues outside Judea services were being conducted in Greek, mixed marriages were becoming a familiar practice again and the rite of circumcision was increasingly ignored.

(J-2) Cyrus Was Raised Up by the Lord to Free the Jews

Among the many Hellenistic ideas that gained ground with the dispersed Jews was the popular belief that different peoples simply worshiped the same God by different names. This doctrine was anathema to the priests and scholars of Jerusalem, for it blurred the differences between Jew and Gentile. Devout Jews visited Jerusalem for the great feasts when possible see Acts —11 ; Paul, raised as a Jew of the Diaspora in Tarsus, was faithful to the law and to the nation see Philippians —6.

What effect did the Jewish religion of the Diaspora have upon their gentile neighbors? One author describes how the Jews made proselytes:.

The literacy corps in Pahlavi Iran (1963-1979) : political, social and literary implications

In fact, particularly among the Dispersion, they recognized their mission to the Gentiles, and there was a sincere attempt to win converts. To accept the Jewish religion was no light matter for a Gentile. He must accept circumcision and baptism, and agree to keep the whole law of Moses, including such ritual prescriptions as the sabbath and the laws about unclean food. He must in fact renounce his own nationality. The proselytes were a rich source of converts to early Christianity, for in the Church they found the moral law without the burdens of the Mosaic code.

In Judea, the Jews had been farmers from the earliest days, and while the cultivation of the soil remained an important occupation of the Jews in the countries of the Diaspora, they also engaged in other pursuits. Numerous papyri in particular furnish considerable evidence of the part played by the Jews in the agriculture of Egypt. There were also Jewish peasants and shepherds. Jewish officials were prominent in government service, occupying positions in the police force, in the administration of the government banks, and particularly in the collection of taxes.

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In Roman Alexandria there were wealthy Jews, bankers with interterritorial connections, important merchants, and shipowners who filled a notable role in the Egyptian, and in the entire Mediterranean, economy. However, alongside these, Jewish artisans and poor Jews were no less prominent. The Jewish artisans in Roman Alexandria engaged in various trades, and even occupied places in the large synagogue according to their occupations. Among the Alexandrian Jews, some owned land in various places whereas others had difficulty in making a livelihood, as can be seen from the papyri of Abusir el Meleq.

This picture is confirmed by documents relating to the provincial towns. Thus in Roman Egypt some Jews owned land, some engaged in cultivating the soil and in rearing sheep, some in transport on land or along the Nile where they loaded cargo for various parts of Egypt, while others were artisans.