Legends of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng

KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 1995 - 140 Seiten
Chinese Jews! A curious pairing, but strange as it may seem, there have been Jews in China for more than a thousand years. The country's Jewish community, located in Kaifeng, once the capital city, numbered several thousand at its height. Because of China's tolerance and openness, its members attained success in many fields - commerce, crafts, government service, the military. Their synagogue, a unique amalgam of Chinese architecture with Judaic tradition, was one of the city's most striking sights. The story of Chinese Jewry is both historically interesting and profoundly inspiring. Long isolated from other Jews because they were living in a land that sought to cut itself off from the rest of the world, they tenaciously maintained their traditions and identity. Though they adopted Chinese customs and intermarried with their neighbors, Kaifeng's Jews held together as a community until well into modern times. Even today there are people in Kaifeng who remain aware of their ancestry and register as Jews on official census forms. Of the many fascinating tales related in this beautifully illustrated, lovingly written book, perhaps the most touching is the one about Kaifeng's Jews and the first Christian missionaries in China. The Jews, never having heard of Christianity, assumed that anyone who believed in one God must be a coreligionist. The missionaries, never having imagined there might be Jews in China, assumed they were lost Christians. When the misunderstanding was cleared up, the Christians set about trying to convert the Jewsbut to no avail, because Kaifeng's Jews were adamantly loyal to their heritage.

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This slim book tells the story of the Jewish people of China, how they got to Kaifeng and established themselves. It builds upon the legends inscribed on stele, with the intention of making them more ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Ausgewählte Seiten


Friendship Between Chinese and Jews
The Beginning of a New Life
Bearing the Weight of Tradition
A Permanent Record in an Impermanent World
Resisting Conversion
Kaifeng Jewrys First Family
A Tale of Brotherly Love 121 Vii
The Tenacity of Tradition

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