Jews of Khazaria, map, brief history and other resources
Arthur Koestler a very famous Jewish thinker wrote the Thirteenth Tribe, a book saying the Jews of today originate from a mass conversion of the Khazars. Since then many scholars have continued this investigation, and many have been Israeli or printed in Israel.
Surprise surprise the Thirteenth Tribe is out of print.
Posted on April 3, 2002
According to an article published at the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) website:
“REMARKABLY, the Khazars, a people of Turkic origin, converted to the Jewish religion sometime in the 9th century, beginning with the royal house and spreading gradually among the general populace. Judaism is now known to have been more widespread among the Khazar inhabitants of the Khazar kingdom than was previously thought. In 1999, Russian archaeologists announced that they had successfully reconstructed a Khazarian vessel from the Don River region, revealing 4 inscriptions of the word “Israel” in Hebrew lettering. It is now the accepted opinion among most scholars in the field that the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism was widespread, and not limited merely to the royal house and nobility. Ibn al-Faqih, in fact, wrote “All of the Khazars are Jews.” Christian of Stavelot wrote in 864 that “all of them profess the Jewish faith in its entirety.” Click here to view the full article and links to the original source.
More maps here:
And here are quotes from medieval times, from Jews and non Jews describing the Jews of Khazars and that they converted to Judaism.
And here is an article from today 4 Feb 09 Israeli press showing archeological excavations of jewish capital in Khazar:
Found: Ancient Capital of ‘Jewish’ Khazar Kingdom
Medieval Kingdom of Khazaria, 652-1016
Over a thousand years ago, the far east of Europe was ruled by Jewish kings who presided over numerous tribes, including their own tribe: the Turkic Khazars. After their conversion, the Khazar people used Jewish personal names, spoke and wrote in Hebrew, were circumcised, had synagogues and rabbis, studied the Torah and Talmud, and observed Hanukkah, Pesach, and the Sabbath. The Khazars were an advanced civilization with one of the most tolerant societies of the medieval period. It hosted merchants from all over Asia and Europe. On these pages it is hoped that you may learn more about this fascinating culture. –more–