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chapter; that the Jews of Sabzawar had been carried by some King to Samarkand, Balkh and Bokhara.*
Rabbi or Mullah Gaday told me the following fact. A Jew with whom he had a quarrel, went to a wizard, who bewitched his son, so that he dislikes to sleep with his wife. He also told me, that a few years ago a New Testament had been sent from Orenburg to Bokhara. Joseph Mooghrebee, or Joseph Maarabee, as the Jews of Bokhara call him, ordered it to be burnt. A long discussion took place between us, about Jesus being the Son of God, and the Messiah promised to our nation.
Rabbi Gaday gave me different information about the state of the Jews at Bokhara; which, after my arrival there, I found to have been an exact statement. He tells me, that the Jews of Meshed stand in bad reputation among the Jews of Bokhara, on account of spending their time in reading Hafiz. They are prohibited at Bokhara, by their Rabbis, to learn either Persian or Arabic; and if any one were to know how to write or read either language, he would be obliged to become a Mussulman.
Isaac Ben Aga Shlome could read Persian, and had studied witchcraft; for which reason he was killed, four years ago, by order of Shah Hydar; for he was suspected of having bewitched the Queen.
Bokhara being called the strength of Islamism, the Jews, although they were allowed to worship in their old synagogues, are not permitted to repair them, much less to build new ones. They are obliged to wear a mark, and a little cap, which distinguish them from the Mohammedans; but they are upon the whole well treated by the King. Rabbi Gaday advised me to go to the following Rabbis on my arrival at Bokhara, who, as he expressed himself, are the great men of the Congregation of Bokhara. Rabbi Pinehas the elder, chief Rabbi. Mullah Moshe Eliaboy, Ahron Shohed. Moshe Cohen. Mullah Benjamin Shohed. Mullah Isaac Fathe. Mullah Isaac Melammed. Mullah Khoydad. Mullah Isaac, son of Mullah Badal. Mullah Yehoodah Ben Mullah Halefda. Mullah Gaday Ben Joseph Cohen Calandar, (President of the Jews). Mullah Matathia. Mullah Moshe Shahak. Mullah Moshe Calandar. Mullah Moshe Cosa. Mullah Abraham Hakham. Mullah Pinehas Ben Simha, the most learned of the Jews of Bokhara.
The people of Jehaar-Joo have been very civil; they only objected to my not wearing a mark of distinction, as they might easily have the misfortune to take me for a Mussulman, and give me the Salaam; a salutation only given to a Mussulman; which would be a serious matter at Bokhara, the (Kawate IslaamedDeen) Strength of Islamism. I replied that I was the Mehmoon
* This was before and in the time of Tshinps Khan; but before, this time, Jews came directly to Samarcand, Bokhara and Balkh,' during the captivity of Babylon; as I ascertained after my arrival at Balkh.
of Goosh-Bekee, and an Englishman: and that the Sultan of Constantinople had adopted our dress.
DEPARTURE FROM JEHAAR-JOO.
March 1.—We left Jehaar-Joo; it was a cold, frosty day, the road covered with snow. At a little distance from Jehaar-Joo, we crossed in a boat the Ammoo, called likewise Gihoon, Gen. ii. 13; this river is commonly called the Oxus. There are two small boats for travellers.
From Jehaar-Joo to Bokhara, we found on our road many small villages. In the evening we arrived at Karakol, 28 English miles from Jehaar-Joo, and the same distance from Bokhara. It may contain, like Jehaar-Joo, 4000 inhabitants, mostly Osbeks.
GOVERNOR OF KARAKOL.
Ameer Mohammed Hussein Khan, formerly a Guzl-Bash slave, gained the favour of Shah Hydar, and was exalted to the dignity of Emeer and Governor of Karakol. He is a mild and polite person, and very friendly. When I told him that the object of my travelling was to enquire into the state of the Jews, to argue with them about the Gospel, and to have friendly intercourse with the Mohammedans at Bokhara, he observed, "I advise you not to take any step without first having seen the Goosh-Bekee; especially be cautious with the Mullahs: one word against the Mohammedan religion may rouse the Mullahs, and make them forget that you are a Mehmoon. What is your opinion about the Mullahs issuing Fetwa, that the Turkomauns should make slaves of the Guzl-Bash?" I replied, "I decidedly disapprove of making slaves of a free people as the Persians are." He rejoined, "Be cautious at Bokhara!" He then told me, that the King of Bokhara would be glad if Abbas Mirza was to take Orgauntsh; for the King of Orgauntsh was an Haram Zadah, i. e. Son of a whore. He then gave orders to the keeper of the caravan-seray, to treat me kindly. I drank tea with him, and he desired me to write a prayer (Daa), for him; which I wrote in Persian, and advised him to read it daily. The following is a translation of it: "Oh Lord, thou who hast exalted me to my present dignity, give me thy grace, in order that I may judge my people with equity; and give me the light of truth, that I may better know thy will and command. Amen."
March 3.—I left Karakol; but as the Ammoo was frozen, we could not cross it in a boat, and were forced to make a circuit of eight English miles through a sandy desert, until we reached a bridge, which enabled us to pass what I concluded to be a branch of the Oxus. In the evening, (blessed be thy name, Oh Lord!) in the evening time, after a fatiguing and dangerous journey of one year, two months and six days, since I left Malta, I arrived at the gate of Bokhara; cured from illness in Turkey and Armenia; saved from slavery at Torljad Hydarea; untouched, and even protected by the wild Turkomauns of Mowr, Sarakhs and Tekka, I arrived safely at the gates of Bokhara, the Kawate Islaam ed-Deen, the Strength of Islamism, the city of Afrasiab,* the supposed Habor of Scripture, the rival and supplantress of Samarcand, the place of residency of Behador Khan, the treasures of which are so celebrated, that they are mentioned in the poems of Hafiz, the asylum of the Nogay, the Jew, the Girgise and the Hindoo: I arrived at Bokhara, the city of Behador Khan, so harshly treated in former times by Tshingis Khan, and then again by Tamerlane: I arrived at the gates of Bokhara, Hallelujah! As it was late in the night, we halted at the house of an Osbek from Orgauntsh, who treated us hospitably. I asked my Turkomaun several questions about Bokhara. He replied, "Do not ask such questions to-morrow morning of Goosh-Bekee."
ENTRANCE IN THE CITY OF BOKHARA.
March 4.—I sent my Turkomaun into the town to ask the permission of Goosh-Bekee to enter the town of Bokhara. His Excellency sent a horseman for me, and I entered Bokhara on horseback, with my Hebrew Bible and Greek Testament in my hand. I was first brought to the house of the servant of the Goosh-Bekee, who received me very kindly; and after I had desired him to make me a cup of tea, he made me tea in the Mogul style, as they call it, i. e. tea with salt, instead of sugar. A comfortable room was prepared for me. A short time after, Goosh-Bekee, i. e. he that has the 'Ear of the Lord,' the Prime Minister of the King, sent forme, desiring me to come to him. On entering his room, I saw him sitting with Ameer Sharaaf, the chief merchant of Bokhara; both of whom knew Mr. Morecroft and his party. Goosh-Bekee asked me to sit down; and after I had delivered to him the letters of introduction, from the chief Mujtehed, Mirza Hadayat Ullah, and from Mullah Mohammed Jawad of Burjund, the following conversation took place in the presence of Ameer Sharaaf. Goosh-Bekee. Do you know Morecroft? Myself. I only know him by reputation. G. B. Do you come now from London? M. From Malta and Constantinople. G. B. Is King George still alive? M. No, but William, his brother, is now King. G. B. Did you hear of Morecroft's death? M. I heard of it at Tabreez; they say that he died at Balkh. G. B. No, but at Ankhoy. Why did you come to this country? M. I am a Jew, who believes in Jesus Christ, and I therefore go about the world, to argue with the Jews about the truth of the Gospel. I have on this account been three times at Jerusalem, nine times in Egypt, and twice in Persia; and having learnt, that Bokhara and Balkh are the Habor and Halah of Scripture, and that many Jews were here, I came here to converse with them, and to see the Mullahs of the Mussulmans; and then I shall proceed on
* The learned men of Bokhara ascribe the foundation of this city to Afrasiab, the ignorant people to Alexander the Great.
my way to Cabool; for I have learned, that the Affghauns believe themselves to be descendants of the Children of Israel.
G. B. Do you know Shoojah-Almulk, and Shah-Zemaan at Loodianah?
M. I had never been in India.
G. B. How has the dispute between the Governor General of India and Runjud Singh ended
M. I know nothing about it.
G. B. Do you eat our meat?
M. Not at Bokhara, for two reasons: first, because you eat here horse flesh; and next, because I do not want to give offence to the Jews here, with whom I wish to converse. (I did not like to tell him a third reason, which was, that I was warned at Meshed not to eat with the Mussulmans at Bokhara, telling me that they administer poison to F which report, however, I believe to be without foundation; for after all, I subsequently very frequently drank tea with Goosh-Bckee.)
After this conversation, Goosh-Bekee told me to go back to my lodgings, and remain there, until he had spoken with the Ameer Almoomeneen, Prince of the believers, which is the title of the King of Bokhara, to see whether he would permit me to live with the Jews of Bokhara. In the evening, Rabbi Pinehas, and a great many Jews came to my lodgings, and told me, that after I had spoken again to the Prime Minister, and heard the decree of the King, they would take me to their house. Rabbi Pinehas told me, in case that I was to be introduced to the King, I should stand before him with fear and trembling; and petition him to allow a synagogue to be built, or to repair their old ones.
March 5 The Ameer Almoomeneen, or Prince of the believers,
which is the title of the King of Bokhara, sent to me one of his servants, ordering me to send all my papers for his perusal. I immediately complied with His Majesty's command.
In the afternoon Goosh-Bekee sent for me; he asked me politely to sit down; several Jews were present, among whom there were Hakham Eliahu from Bagdad, and Rabbi Simha Calandar* of Bokhara. I observed that a whispering was going on between Ameer Sharaaf and Hakham Eliahu of Bagdad: soon after, GoosnBekee addressed me.
Goosh-Bekee. I must tell you, that you have a great resemblance to Morecroft, and I suspect that you came here to reclaim his property, of which we are not in possession.
Myself. Goosh-Bekee, I don't tell lies, I am no relation of Morecroft, for I am a Jew by birth; my wife is no Jewess; her name is Lady Georgiana, the daughter of a Vizier, who was a greater man than you are here. This Bible is my occupation.
G. B. (to the Jews) This gentleman believes in Jesus, and tells me at the same time that he was a Jew!
Hakham Eliahu from Bagdad. Seven years ago, a person came
* Calandar is a Persian word, meaning the principal man of a community, or rather master of Police.
to Bagdad with Bibles and New Testaments, whose name was Joseph Wolff, who pretended to be a Jew; but when once going to the bath, we observed that he was none, and we burnt all the books, which he had given to us; we found him out to be a Russian.
/. I am the same Joseph Wolff, who brought the books; and you lie like a dog, if you say, that I was in the bath at Bagdad.
G. B. Do you believe in Jesus?
I. The fulness of the Godhead was in him bodily. He was the word of God, that was made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit. He died for our sins, rose again, went to Heaven, whence he shall come again, according to my opinion, in the year 1847, and reign at Jerusalem 1000 years.
G. B. Is Jesus mentioned in the books of the Jews?
/. Throughout the Old Testament.
G. B. Is our prophet mentioned in the Bible?
I. The empire which he has established is mentioned; but he is not predicted as a prophet.
G. B. Where about is his empire mentioned?
/. In Daniel vii. 5.
G. B. You are our guest; but I consider you as an Englishman, and I believe you to be a relation of Mr. Morecroft, who died at Ankhoy; you may lodge with the Jews here, but the King does not allow you to go to the Mussulman Mullahs, for the sake of your own safety. The way to Cabool is shut up on account of the snow, and will remain so for these three months to come, and the Gazal (i. e. fevers) prevail at Balkh; go back either by way of Meched, or by way of Russia.
/. I must be considered both asanEnglishmanandasa Jew; for I was naturalized by King George and the house of Lords; and that I am a real Jew by birth, of this you shall be convinced.
Goosh-Bekee pronounced me to be a sincere man, and immediately observed, that he should have much to talk with me about. The Jew Reuben from Meshed took me to his house;' and here my confessing myself to be a believer in Jesus, though recognised as a Jew, struck them with amazement; especially as the Jews of Meshed had written to them, that I had acted kindly towards them; "For a meet Renegado, (as they said,) would not confess himself to be still a Jew; nor act kindly towards us."
Having before me the example of Paul, I went with them to the synagogue, and read in the Law of Moses; and as they wanted me to sing one of their hymns in the English style, I sang one with the melody of "God save the King." However, as I was so entirely out of practice with regard to their ceremonies, I discontinued my attendance at their synagogues.
March 6.—A large caravan, consisting of Nogay Tatars, arrived from Cassan and Orenburg in Russia; which latter city is called
* If I had travelled as a Mohammedan pilgrim, as some person erroneously stated, should I have lived with the Jews? would not the fanatic Mohammedans at Bokhara have put me to death?