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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Halachic Questions

Baruch  Hashem, we have many oppurtunities growing as we the bucharians are growing and becoming more advanced in our development as a whole. There are now two bucharian halachic question resources to acsess reliable answers.

The first one is to email-
you should be answered within about two hours

The second is a facebook group
(i do not in anyway advocate facebook)
called Bukharian Rabbi.

Enjoy the services that are provided to you!

Did you know there is bucharian Radio!?!

Hungry in Arizona?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The story of "Binyomin Khudoi-dat"

Once upon a time, in Bukhara, around one-hundred years ago, Jews were vehemently suppressed by the "Imir"-The King of the city of Bukhara. Of course, he would make them pay taxes and made religious life impossible for many of the Jews. There was however, one law in particular that created a great barrier between the Bucharian Jews and the rest of their surroundings. They were not allowed to shake hands with the gentiles.

One day, a Jew by the name of Binyamin who was walking in the "bazaar" or marketplace of the town square, and was intending to purchase whatever produce he needed. When he approached the booth where he was about to buy the fruits from, he unconsciously streched his hand out to the salesman in an effort to shake his hand.

"What!" exclaimed the man,"How dare you shake my hand!"
Binyamin quiclky retorted, "I am only shaking your hand since we beleive in one G-d."
"Repeat that!" said the boothkeeper.
"I am shaking your hand, for we beleive in the same G-d." said Binyamin.
"Ha! did everyone hear that!" he shouted, "He believes in our G-d! A Jew believes in our G-d. U wait and say that to our King!"

The man took Binyamin to the castle of the Bukharian Imirand summoned him to the king.

"Ur Honor" said the man.
"Yes?" answered the king.
"This Jew over here accepts our G-d!" exclaimed the boothkeeper.
"Ha! Thats a first! Do u beleive in Allah our G-d? the King inquired.
"I was shaking this man's hand and told him that we beleive in one G-d. That is what I said."
"Answer me!" demanded the Imir, "Do you beleive Allah our G-d?"
"No! I beleive in the G-d of the Jews, there is only one G-d and i am not afraid of a King of mere Flesh in Blood, my body is only temporary, and I will not switch my faith even if you take it away from me! Your G-d is False!"

Shortly after, Binyamin was taken home where he wait for his verdict to be finalized. In the meantime, the Jews of the city were collecting funds to rescue this Jew, however all to no avail. Binyamin was promptly sentenced to Death by the gallows. During his time at home, one could not see an inkling of fear or emotion on Binyamin's face. He was confident and placid as ever. When he was taken to the castle o his death sentence, he was asked one last time if he believed in the G-d of the Jews. Without a flinch he answered, I only believe in the G-d of the Jews and will never acknowledge your lowly idols!" With this, he was put to death.
He is now a legend in our long and treacherous Bucharian history. We must see the bloodshed of our ancestors and not forget there steadfast faith in Hashem and reward there endurance with commemoration and continuing the torch Bucharian Jewry of Torah and Mitzvot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lefrak City

Rabbi Michael Borochov, the Rav of the community in Lefrak city has nurtured his community since its very beginning. He was able to raise a community of 100 families to a thriving and flourishing community of what is now 800 families. Of course, he naturally feels that the is his "baby."In 2006, the Rabbi made an incredible decision: He wanted to move to Eretz Yisrael. Of course this would mean leaving his community behind which he been with from the very beginning. And most astonishingly, not only this, but he also managed to take 20 families which are dearest and closest to him, amongst who are his students and followers with to Ramat beit Shemesh. He says as follows:

"But I knew," said Borochov, "that the community needs to see the example of their rabbi going before them. Immigration is never easy. When we left the Soviet Union, it was out of fear, we were scared. But now everyone is comfortable. For everyone, leaving is a risk. I'll show them that I can take the risk also."

The Rav courageously organized his young group of 20 families and settled in Ramat Beit Shemesh, a suburb in Jerusalem. He had previously shown them this town in the past and was now taking them on a pilgrimage to their destination. It is amazing to find the courage and belief in his followers. They mostly consitited of young families who were just married and had a few young children. 

Lets take a look into one of his followers ...

Mark Akbashev, 29, a business manager and a student at Yeshiva University, will be leaving in the first group with his wife and two children. His parents and his wife's parents will be staying in Queens. Many people ask him why he would want to leave America where he has found success, he said. He answers simply that he is investing in his children's future by taking them to their land. His paternal grandfather, he notes, spent two years to get from Central Asia to Jerusalem just to gather some earth and bring it back. All he has to do, though, is take an 11-hour flight.
What finally helped Akbashev decide to make the move he had been contemplating for years was the idea of going as part of a group of families he has gotten to know through Borochov's congregation.
"Unity," Akbashev said, "is the most important thing for us. As long as we go together we can help each other survive the bad days and rejoice with one another on the good days."
Wow! what an amazing community there is in our midst!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quote of the day

"Never wish that life were easier; wish that you were better. ---Jim Rohn"