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Re: Khazars

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Sunday, September 20, 1998, 22:10
On Wed, 20 Sep 1989 22:11:52 +0200 "B.Philip.Jonsson" <bpj@...>
>At 20:33 -0400 on 19.9.1998, Steg Belsky wrote: > >[snip] > >> This doesn't really have to do with Hungary, but since people've >been >> talking about the history of that entire area, does anyone happen to >know >> what language the Khazars spoke, what language family it's in, etc.? >> >> Thanks, >> >> -Stephen (Steg)
>The Khazars spoke a Turkic language, and their descendants, known as >Kara'ite Jews still do. It is notable for having replaced the vowel >harmony of other Turkic languages with a cnsonant harmony, i.e. words >that >originally had front rounded vowels now have back vowels, but all >consonants in these words are palatalized, while the words that >originally >had back vowels have unpalatalized consonants. (The Khazars found >themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when the Byzantine >Emperor demanded that they should acknowledge the One God and adopt >Christianity, and the Arab Caliph at the same time demanded that they >should acknowledge the One God and adopt Islam; they cut the knot by >acknowledging the One God and adopt Judaism! :) > >/BP (acknowledging the Oneness of all by being a Buddhist! :) >B.Philip. Jonsson <bpj@...>
Thanks for the information on their language! Where did you read/hear that the Kara'ites are the descendents of the Khazars? The Kara'ite movement began in Babylonia, and although they did have a large community in Russia lasting up until recently (if i remember correctly, the remaining Kara'ite communities live in Russia, Israel, and New Jersey), i very much doubt that the Khazars converted specifically to the Kara'ite sect. R' Yehudah ha-Levi, a prominent Spanish philosopher and poet, wrote a philosophy book on Judaism called _ha-Kuzari_, "the Khazar", which describes a fictionalized account of the process how King Bulan of Khazaria chose Judaism over Aristotelian Philosophy, Christianity and Islam. Most of the book is conversations between the King and the Jewish representative about various information having to do with Judaism) I very much doubt that the RiYHa"L would have written his book if the Khazars had chosen the Kara'ite sect over the Pharisaic-Rabbinic sect. Maybe many of the Khazars' descendents (or the most cohesive of them) joined the Kara'ites after the Russians overran Khazaria a few centuries later, but all i've heard/read is that many of the remaining Jews were absorbed into other Jewish communities in the eastern-european area (most of which would probably not be Kara'ite), while others were assimilated into Russian (Christian) society. Also, my brother seems to remember reading somewhere that there was a letter that a rabbi wrote to someone else during this time describing his visit to Khazaria, specifically stating that they practiced Rabbinic Judaism. If we find out who wrote it, to who, etc, i'll tell you if you're interested. -Stephen (Steg) _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]