Comprehensive History of THE JEWS OF IRAN


by Davood.Rahni

A David Rahni’s Review on the Book

Comprehensive History of THE JEWS OF IRAN

The outset of the Diaspora by H. Levy available from Mazda Publishing

(ISBN 1-568-59086-5, 1999)

I had actually read the original Persian version of the book, Comprehensive History of Jews of Iran years ago; nonetheless, it was quite enlightening now to re-read it in English with nostalgic reminiscences. So, notwithstanding the much heated (mostly baseless) rhetoric by a few self-serving politicians from all sides, let me share with you a select digest of highlights of the Book, which clearly demonstrate the deeply sustained lives of Jewish people of Iran and the rest of the population there for at least three millennia. A highly popular TV sitcom in Iran called Zero Degree Turn, that has currently captivated the whole country Monday evenings during its broadcast, is a self testimonial to such deep relationship (watch several segments on Youtube at // ). An avid reader should also refer to the Center for Iranian Jewish History .

The highlights of the Book are as follows:

1. The Iranian Jewish history coincides with the time of the arrival of the Aryan tribes (The Persians, the Medes and the Partians) in the Iranian plateau, a little over 3000 years ago.

2. The exodus of the Babylonian Jews into Iran coincides with their Exodus from Egypt in the same era.

3. The multi-faceted contributions of Jews of Iran toward the civilization Iran, is brought out in the Bible and other narratives of the past several millennia.

4. Perhaps as many as one-third of Iranians throughout the 14th century, were of Jewish faith, the other Iranians were one-third Moslem and the remaining one-third, Zoroastrian (believed to be the first monotheistic religion), as narrated by the European Orientalist travelers of the time.

5. Cyrus the Great, the Persian King of the Achaemenid Dynasty, is cited on multiple times in the Old Testament, and his royal successors provided long standing refuge to people of Jewish faith in all region of Iran. Cyrus, after he conquered Jerusalem invited all Jewish people, if they wished, to return to rebuild the second temple (Book of Ezra). The First Declaration of Human Rights Tablet by Cyrus is kept at the United Nations. (The first temple had been burned down before Cyrus by Nebukenezer, the King of the Babylon).

6. Through intermarriages, voluntary and involuntary conversions to Islam, and in the past 150 years to Baha'ism, there are hardly any discernable genetic bio-markers, albeit phenotypic distinctions that identify amongst Iranians of Jewish, Moslem, Baha'i, Zoroastrian or Armenian descent. They are all look alike, in almost all cases are of the same stock, and they follow a set of Iranian cultural norms that has extended for several thousand years in the region.

7. There are historical and contemporary evidence of vibrant Jewish life in major cities of Iran such as Susa, Hamedon, Kashan, Neishapur, Tus, Rey, Mash-had, Shiraz, Esfahan, Tehran, Toyserkan; the same is (was) also evident in Iranian cities of the past--that are currently in other countries--like Baku, Samarghand, Bukhara, Merv, Herat, and Tashkent. The book presents certain evidence to conclude that up to ten of the twelve Jewish tribes must have been integrated into the Iranian populations over time.

7. Despite periodical inequalities and injustices inflicted on the Iranian Jews, there has never been any state sponsored or clan instigating directed persecutions against anyone especially none evidence of against the Jewish people.

8. The Book illustrates that there are more Jewish relics, monuments, prophets, celebrations (e.g., Hanukah and Purim), etc. in Iran than anywhere else in the world.

9. The Book highlights the substantive contributions of Iranian Jews in every field, ranging from government to trade and banking, and arts and sciences, literature and poetry, logic and ethics, etc.

10. The presence of Iranian scholars, Jew and Moslem alike, in the Moslem governing courts of Spain circa 750-1300, Baghdad and Damascus circa 800-1500, and the Ottoman’s Constantinople circa 1500-1900, is concretely documented. The origin of the Talmud is said to date back to Persia, circa 550 COE in the Sassanid Dynasty reign.

11. Many duly recognized Jewish prophets, leaders and royalties were Iranian in history. Names such as Daniel, Esther and Mordecai are just a few who come to mind and whose resting places are still revered by all Iranians.

12. In 1979, there were well over 100,000 Iranian Jews in Iran. Just as the three plus million Moslem Iranians including one million in the U.S. alone left, more than half the Jewish population immigrated to the U.S. and Israel as well. However, there are still 30,000 Iranian Jews living in Iran. An earlier Iranian Jewish migration to Israel at or a bit after the Independence of Israel had also occurred, thereby making the current Israelis of Iranian ancestry up to 300,000. They do have an elected member of the Iranian Parliament, as do the Armenians, the Assyrians and Zoroastrians. In fact, Iran still ranks second in the Middle East and the third worldwide, when it comes to its citizens of Jewish heritage.

So, I would once again recommend purchasing and reading the Book, and furthermore, encourage its acquisitions by public and college libraries. Educators can use it as an assigned reading supplement to appropriate courses.


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One Day

by Hesam (not verified) on

One day we all learn to judge others based on their character and their level of humanity and not by the class, party or religion they belong to.
The religions came to teach us humanity and people turned the religions into tools of separation, power and control.
All my life I've seen people of thousand colors, religions, races and nationalities and I still can't distinguish between humans and others!


Allies of old

by Zion (not verified) on

Thanks Hamvatan. I hope this helps people grow out of ignorance and deliberate false information they are fed in a process of brainwashing. Iran is undergoing a turbulent phase of rebirth and metamorphosis. It is expected that in such times, many of the worst aspects and elements of a society come to foreground and make loud but shallow noises. As I said before, Iran is an old and respectable cultural entity and can in no way be equated with such outbursts no matter how loud a sound they make. They make such loud sounds precisely because they have no roots and want desperately to pose themselves as originals while they are but fake copies. That is the essence of all dictatorship mentalities. They will go away and once the waters are cleared you will see that Jews are and always were one of your few true friends and allies. We see it, but the confusion you are going through might make it unclear for many for the time being.
There is so much common goals and roots in history that is not common knowledge in Iran yet. So much. I am thinking of writing some articles about them here. But I have to go through them very carefully to edit them from grammatical mistakes and I am slow. I have had dyslexia from childhood.
I'll see how it goes.


Thank you Zion!

by Hamvatan (not verified) on

Thank you for your explanations and clarification. You expose these khaktosar anti semites for what they are. By the way, this Iranian Patriot guy also goes by the name of IranIrooni, Farok2000, Anonymous1974 and a bunch of other names. He always uses the goyim, zionist
bullshit to anyone who dislikes the IRI.


Iranians are an ancient surviving people

by Zion (not verified) on

I'm sorry AnonymousPb, but I do not agree. Iran is a continous ancient entity with a rich culture and history that she has to be proud of. Persia is the name used for Iran in foreign lands. Itis not the only case. Greeks call themslevs Hlellenians (Ellas), in the west they are called Greeks, which was the name of the tirbe they were familiar with, and Ionia in the east. In Hebrew it is yavan. In Persian Ionan... The same is true of Gremany, Allemagne and how they themselves call themselves Deutschland. Japan, Nippon is another example.

Persia does not constitute a separate national identity from Iran . Persia, Iran is alive today and is one of the oldest cultures in the world today.


WIKIPEDIA: "In linguistics

by Anonym ous (not verified) on

WIKIPEDIA: "In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic (from the Biblical "Shem", Hebrew: שם, translated as "name", Arabic: ساميّ) was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages. This family includes the ancient and modern forms of Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Akkadian, Ge'ez, Hebrew, Phoenician, Maltese, Tigre and Tigrinya among others.
As language studies are interwoven with cultural studies, the term also came to describe the extended cultures and ethnicities, as well as the history of these varied peoples as associated by close geographic and linguistic distribution. The late 19th century term "anti-Semitism" refers specifically to hostility toward Jews, further complicating the understood meaning and boundaries of the term". Not as clean-cut as some may claim. But I know the extremists of the xyz kind (in this specific case) aren't here to talk, they're here to insult and fabricate what they want others to know as the truth. I didn't discuss this to confront, but to talk, and this is my last comment on this topic. Pb you don't need to open any of your special non-biased universities to erducate, they are already open.


Zion you need to open a

by AnonymousPb (not verified) on

Zion you need to open a university for these people that called themselves persian :) they alwyas live in denial. for god sake show me in today's map where is persia or plastine??? Arbs came to persia and rape the persians and made them Iranian. and to make it right called them "say-yed". Meaning those are from prophet's family( like son or whatever) Wake up guys and accept it. Live in today not 6000 years ago!!!! they gone, Daruish and cyrus and etc.. they do not exsist no more.... they are history.... Today we have Ahamadi Nejad and Khamenai and bunch pasdar and basiji pro arabs...


Chosen People

by Zion (not verified) on

One more thing. You seem obsessed with the Chosen People idea. Let me enlighten you a bit. See, the word is not even a correct translation, although it is the most prevalent so I don't blame you. The Hebrew is Am Segula which actually means the role model nation. It has nothing to do with racial or any other kind of superiority what so ever. It is an idea about being chosen (if you like) to bring others to the same light. To be a role model, a light unto nations. What ever.
But hey. listen. Suppose you came by a group who did consider themselves as chosen and better than anybody else. What would your normal reaction be? If you are so sane and rational you would feel pity for the fools. Maybe sigh for witnessing another form of lunacy in the world and pass by. Yet there is one particular group that you erroneously presume to be doing this and that seem to make you mad and furious ti the degree of insanity. Maybe you and people like you should stop and ask yourselves, why are you feeling so much anger and not pity? What is it that makes you so insanely obsessed? If you find out, you'll be cured.
Believe me, anti-semitism is a disease. You are sick. Look for the cure. For your own sake.


Oy vey

by Zion (not verified) on

Little Adolf, sooo you have learnt a few new words and can't help but brag about your half knowledge like little infants. Goyim Goyim... where did you learn this word? In Mein Kampf?
Goy is simply Hebrew for nation. Goyim means nations, that's simply nations of the world are referred to in Jewish scripts. Shiksa and Shaygetz are actually from a Hebrew root Sheketz. They are just the yiddishized versions of it. The terms are not used for non jews. They are used, by Jewish Yentes, that is over proud mothers and matchmakers, who do not like to see their lovely Jewish sons especially (and daughters) marry some one out of the their dominion of knowledge and comfort (ie out of the tribe). As is the case for many other mommies and grand momy in nannies other cultures with varying degrees of seriousness. To imply that is used by the entire Jewish community, or by the overall culture within Judaism is preposterous.
Inter-marriage is of course frowned upon, which is normal and makes perfect sense for a cultural identity in absolute minority and surrounded by rabid wolves ready to tear them apart. (You are just a mere caricature of the threat). It is way to resist annihilation, assimilation and to preserve the identity. That is how we lasted as an alive and exuberant people for more than 3500 years.


Message to Zion, the Goy-hating infestation

by Iranian patriot (not verified) on

Zion is a Goy-hater and a Jewish supremacist. Animals like this consider Jews to be the Chosen People and the other 99.8% of the world's population to be Filthy Goyim (the Yiddish words for non-Jew are shaygetz (male) and shiksa (female), which mean "filth" or "vermin").



by Zion (not verified) on

The arabs in West bank and Gaza are treated much better than they deserve. Murderers who blow up cafes and homes of decent people live there and infiltrate Israel. How do you expect they should be treated?
Those Arab, on the other hand, who are lucky enough to live in Israel have many many members of parliament who bash Israel any time they can and collaborate with murderers like Arafat with impunity.

There is no Semitic race or aryan race you racist idiots. There is not even a Semitic or aryan ethnicity. THere are only Semitic or aryan languages, spoken by people of different races and different ethnicities. You are a bunch of pathetic losers!

Oh, Iranian Patriot, nice to see the mask fall off. Your uncle Adolf would be proud too.


"1. The Iranian Jewish

by Anonym ous (not verified) on

"1. The Iranian Jewish history coincides with the time of the arrival of the Aryan tribes (The Persians, the Medes and the Partians) in the Iranian plateau, a little over 3000 years ago.
2. The exodus of the Babylonian Jews into Iran coincides with their Exodus from Egypt in the same era.
3. The multi-faceted contributions of Jews of Iran toward the civilization Iran, is brought out in the Bible and other narratives of the past several millennia". David Rahni

(Of course my view and comments are not disrespectful to the decent/majority of Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc.)
It is an undeniable fact that all people have their sector of those who would like to make themselves much more important and sometimes to the level of extremes. And quite understandably some of the people in the Jewish faith are no exception. Insistence that fictions are true does not equate to historic facts. Even based on credible Jewish scholars (who were Jewish themselves, and one who was a very important Rabbi of his time in Europe), there are errors in the statement above. After the Jewish people were exposed to the Iranians 2500 years ago, the time of Cyrus II the great (not 3000 or 4000 years ago), they the Jews themselves modified their beliefs and beliefs and religion considerably, per their exposure to Iranian beliefs. This is even per some Jewish scholars and other scholars from the Christian backgrounds, and some of those christian scholars were very religious themselves). To intechangably refer to Judaism as a religion, and then to refer to it as a race in another place further discredits. Jewish people were semites by race, but the majority of semitic people past and present were never of the Jewish faith. It does not mean that anyone who was of the semitic race was Jewish. People of the semitic race were and are of different nationalities, and were and are of different faiths. I wish the best for all decent people of the world, irresepective of their beliefs and personal or communal or ancestral preferences and traditions, but we (all people) must be mindful of some, everywhere, who insist we should accept and agree with their personal preferences to their version of very questionable historic facts (irrespective of the nationality, belief, and traditions involved). For a better world.


Irani - ha hamashoon az

by Anonymouspb (not verified) on

Irani - ha hamashoon az eftakharya ghademeshoon hamash harf mezanan. Daruish o Korosho va ghereh.. Khoda pedar madare onaro ham beyamorzeh la ahal on mogheh Islam vojod nadasht. Shoma hayee keh inqadr az Islam defa mekoneed chera hich vaght az eftakhate vahsheegarya Islam sokhan be meyoon nemeyareed??? You guys all the time brag about pat and history, what do you have to brag about now?? Ahamadi Nejad? ya Ayatolahas???? Baz Jewish ha tey 6000 ghedamat khadamate zeyade dar haqe basharyat kardan!! tamame daneshmandan va mohaghegheen Yahoodi bodan. Va hameya vahsheya mosalmoon.. Ali o Mohamdo o Omaro sago gorbeheheh Mokhetono baz koneed va inqadr tasobateh bekhody nakhreed.


Rule of thumb about "anti-semitism"

by Iranian patriot (not verified) on

Generally, those Zionists who bark loudest about "anti-semitism" are also the biggest Goy-haters. Case in point: this virus named "Zion" who posts on this website. This should be a website for Iranian patriots of all religions, not the Goy-hating Chosen People.


U know

by IranFr on

Moteasefaneh irania aksaran zedeh yahoodi hastand. Va in, ja oftadeh dar farhangeh irani.


Agar yeh ex muslem, biad eslamo naghd koneh migan yahoodieh Zionisteh. Agar yeh iranieh yahoodi biad az iran va siasat sohbat koneh migan yahoodieh zionisteh.


be omideh rouzhayeh behtar ...


Hey Zion, Try to show the

by Anonymousyo (not verified) on

Hey Zion, Try to show the same treatment Jewish folks currently got in Iran to Moslems in West Bank and Gazza - Ooops, I'm sorry....They are terrorists!!!!!!!
Let's not talk about the rise of anti-moslem propaganda....Oops, I keep forgetting....we got some one point some billion terrorists in the globe!
The puzzle is already decoded


There s a flaw

by Zion (not verified) on

Good points raised here. Though I doubt it that Iran is the third country worldwide having Jewish citizens. The US, Canada, Australia, England, Argentina... ?
Anyway, my main is what you wrote about the TV series currently showing in Iran. It is actually a vehemently anti-semitic piece, following the same tactics of Ahmadinejad and the rest of the IRI ruling mafia. The film's depiction of Jews are either cowards or evil zionists. The main man behind it is the notorious Abdollah Shahbazi, a major anti-semite, with books on the so called "Jewish Plutocracy", in the same lines as those of "scholars" of the Third Reich, a holocaust denier (there is a report on it in Spiegel magazine) and the list goes on.
The series is a disgrace and it is even more disgraceful how many people are buying into its propaganda-wise evil.