Increasing our Awareness

As we the Bucharians, are very unaware of what and who we represent as a group of Jews from Central Asia, id like to encourage awareness of Bucharian communities, Rabbis, organizations, and much more. Alot of the information i will expose on this site about our Bucharian global community at large, will come as a surprise to many of those who are intrigued about our unique culture, yet have no sense of identity. Hopefully, through many various articles, I will be able to reveal the preciousness and uniqueness of our rich and deep Bucharian culture and community around the world. If you are a Bucharian jew, and you would like to share your story, or your community/ organizations story, please write to May we connect one to another and become as single entity with a single heart.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Focus

Now that Ive laid out ,most of what who we as a bucharian people are, Id like to now focus on the great amount of expansion that we have experienced in the past decade. It is very easy to disregard and overlook our achievements. Especially, as we bucharians have a lowly opinion of ourselves.However, we are not!I would like to now launch a new project of uncovering our organizations and success stories. It is of great importance for us to realize how far we've come. Of course, there is plenty to go, but as I remember seven years ago, my father mentioned to me and my brother as we were walking along home from the synagogue,
"There are very few bucharians left in the world, and we are dwindling in number. To add to all this, bucharians are intermarrying into non-bucharians, and even scarier, into non jews! Unfortenately, it seems as though we will lose our great heritage and it will be forgotten."
 This statement infused so much fear into me at the time, that I became eager to preserve our culture. However, I did not live in the center of Bucharian life- Queens, NY. Soon enough, I went to a yeshiva in Lakewood, NJ. Eventually, I visited my aunt and one of my relatives in queens. At this point (four years ago), I was not aware of any serious bucharian religious life and it seemed to me, that I must be one of the only bucharians in America to be religious along with a couple of others. I was shocked however, when I stepped into Bet Gavriel for Shabbat morning prayers. Of course, I was still the only one besides for Rabbi Yitzchakov to be wearing a black hat, but nevertheless, I was shocked with what I saw. All of my perceptions of who I am as a bucharian drastically changed. When I first arrived to queens, I visited Rabbi Chaimov's yeshiva, and there i was again baffled, " How could it be that there were so many white-shirted men sitting and learning!" After this experience, I was sure that Bucharians will survive and succeed in returning to the our status of observance of pre-soviet union era.
Since then, four years have past. Just yesterday, I spoke to my very good friend Danny Gadayev. In our conversation, he mentioned to me the great religious and communal boom that the bucharian community has experienced in the past three years.
"I am shocked at the amount of religious bucharians and at the percentage of them returning."
He explained to me that we must start to now more about our accomplishments and how big the community is growing.
"We have grown immensely. There is a great need in Bucharian Rabbanim and much work to do. But we have definitely come far."
Hopefully, we will together uncover our progress and see the journey we took to get there...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Owner of Troika Shot in the Leg

Great comedy!

My grandfather told me...

I am a straight descendent of the famous Rav in Bukhara of the 18th century-HaRav Yitzchoki Zambur. He is the son of Rav Pinhos Meshhedi (the one from Meshched, Iran.) His nickname, Zamburi, originated when he became well known, Literally, "Zambur," means beehive. He was surrounded by so many students, that he was nicknamed, Yitzhchok the beehive! There are many stories of Rav Yitzchok Zamburi. I would like to relate a few that i have collected over a few years.

On one occasion, Rav Yitzchok was visited by a women. Of course she came to consult with him as many do today when they visit a mekubal (kabbalist.) After her quest for help, he answered her with the following statement,"you must cover hair." She laughed at him. He then told her that she will come back and regret her levity. The next day, the women came back bald! This time, she was sincere however.
Of course, legends like these ones, seem to be unrealistic. However, to the people who experienced Rav Yitzchok Zamburi, saw him as crazy. Therefore, they tied up his hands and left him sitting. This was of course no challenge for him. He whispered a few phrases and the cloth untied by itself! This one was known to be performed on a few occasions!
Also, Rav Yitzchok and his son, Mullo Koton, also a great kabbalist, would gaze at trees and break them with mere sight!
Now, this story is what I would call the last nail in the coffin. Rav Zamburi was once sitting and learning in the synogouge. His "Gabai"(sexton) or synogouge house keeper, was preparing the tea for the next day and going about his business. He heard voices eminating from the synogouge. When both of them were leaving the synogouge towards the end, the sexton was hesitantly wating for everyone to exit the shul before he would lock it.
He looked at Rav Yitzchak and hestitantly asked, " where are the other people?
" Who are you refering to?" questioned Rav Yitzchok.
"I beleived that I heard another voice in the synogouge besides for yours." answered the gabai.
Rav Yitzchak reluctantly proceeded to explain, " I will tell you this, but on the day you reveal this secret, you will die.
I was learning with angel!"
You may ask, if so, then how do we know of the story today? The answer: Many years passed and the gabai was ready to reveal the secret. He was at a big celebration of some sort, and got up to say his word. The crowd was in utter silence. He related the story of Rav Yitzchok and explained that he would shortly pass now that he has related this story. Sure enough, the next day, the gabai was taken up to heaven.