IRANIAN JEWS TO ISRAEL, WE ARE NOT FOR SALE BY PROF. M. REZA SALAMI, Ph.D., P.E.
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IRANIAN PEOPLE LOVE JEWISH PEOPLE AND THEY HAVE BEEN LIVING TOGETHER FOR MORE THAN 3000 YEARS WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS. TODAY, THE THREE LARGEST CONCENTRATIONS OF PERSIAN JEWS ARE FOUND IN ISRAEL, THE UNITED STATES, AND IRAN RESPECTIVELY.
Persian Jews (Hebrew: ??????) (Persian: ??????? ??????), are Jews historically associated with Iran, traditionally known as Persia in Western sources.
Jews have had a continued presence in Iran since the first Achamenid king, Cyrus the Great, freed the Jews of Babylon from captivity. As such, Judaism is among the oldest religions practiced in Iran and the Biblical Book of Esther contains references to the experiences of the Jews in Persia.
The Middle East is an uncomfortable neighborhood for minorities, people whose very existence rebukes warring labels of religious and national identity. Yet perhaps 25,000 Jews live on in Iran, the largest such community, along with Turkey's, in the Muslim Middle East. There are more than a dozen synagogues in Tehran; here in Esfahan a handful caters to about 1,200 Jews, descendants of an almost 3,000-year-old community.
Still a mystery hovers over Iran's Jews. It's important to decide what's more significant: the annihilationist anti-Israel ranting, the Holocaust denial and other Iranian provocations — or the fact of a Jewish community living, working and worshipping in relative tranquility.
Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran — its sophistication and culture — than all the inflammatory rhetoric.