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THE JEWS OF KHAZARIA
by Kevin A. Brook
Your comprehensive guide to the earliest history of Jews in Russia

The Khazars were a Turkic people who founded a vast empire in eastern Europe in the early-medieval period. They held back the Arabs from invading Europe and Byzantium (similar to the role of the Franks in the West); hosted traders from all over Europe and Asia; influenced the language and government of early Rus; and impacted many other aspects of the medieval world. The Khazar kingdom was the only nation in its region with a permanent standing army and a supreme court consisting of representatives of multiple religions. In the 9th century the Khazars converted to Judaism.

SPELLING VARIANTS FOR THE KHAZAR KAGANATE AND ITS PEOPLE

1st page of Schechter Letter English: Khazaria, Khazar, Khazars, Khazarian; Chazaria, Chazar, Chazars, Chazarian; Chozaria, Chozar, Chozars, Chozarian

Hungarian: kazár, kazárok, Kazár birodalom, türkök kazáriában; kabar, kabarok, kavar, kavarok

Finnish: kasaarit, Kasaarien

Estonian: kasaarid, kasaaride, Kasaari kaganaat, Kasaaria

Latvian: Hazāri

Lithuanian: Chazarai

Spanish: jázaro, jázaros, Jazaria; kazaro, kazaros

Portuguese: jazaro; Khazares; cazares, Cazária

Galician: xázaro, xázaros

Aragonese: gazaro, gazaros

Catalan: khàzar, khàzars, Khazària

French: Khazarie, Khazar, Khazars; Khazare, Khazares

Italian: kazar, kazari; cazar, cazari; Khàzaro, Khàzari; Chazary, chazaro, chazara

Romanian: kazar, kazare, Kazari, Kazarii, Kazaria, imperiul khazarilor

Ukrainian: xozar, xozary

Russian: Xazar, Xazarii, Xazary, Xazariya; Khazarii, Khazary, Khazarskaia, Khazarskaja, Khazarskaya, Khazarskom, Khazarsko, Khazarskoj, Khazarskago, Khazarskogo kaganata, Khazarskii kaganat

Belarusian: Xazar, Xazariya

Shilovka Archer Bulgarian: Xazari, Xazariya, Xazarskata, Xazarskiya xaganat; Khazari, Khazarskata

Serbo-Croatian: Hazari, Hazarski, Hazarskog; Kazari

Czech: Chazari (Chazaři), Chazarská, Chazarský, Chazaru, chazarské

Polish: Chazar, Chazarskim, Chazarow, Chazarowie, chazarskich, chazarskiej, Chazarom, Kaganat Chazarski

Welsh: Khazariaid

Greek: Chazaroi, Khazaroi

Turkish: Hazar, Hazarlar

Crimean Tatar: Hazar, Hazarlar

Volga Tatar: Xäzär, Xäzärlär

Chuvash: Xasarsem

Icelandic: Khazara, Khazarar, Khazaría, Khazaríu, Khazarskar; Khazörum

Norwegian: Khasar, khasarer, khasarene, Khasarriket, Khasaria; Khazar, Khazarer, Khazarene, Khazar-riket, Khazaria

Swedish: khazariska, khazariskt, khazarer; Kazariska riket, kazarisk, kazarerna, kazarernas, kazariskt, Kazarien, judiska kazarer

Danish: Khazarer, Kazarisk

Dutch: Chazar, Chazaren; Khazar, Khazaren

German: Chasar, Chasaren; Khasar, Khasaren; Chazar, Chazaren, Chazarisch, Chazarische

Yiddish: Kazar, Kazarn

Hebrew: Kuzar, Kuzari, Kuzarim; Kazariya, Kazariyah; Khazarim

Arabic: al-Khazar

Circassian: X'eser, X'ese, Qese

Georgian: Xazar, Xazarni, Hazar-i

Armenian: Xazir, Xazirk`

Korean: K`ajaru, K`ajaru-indul

Japanese: Hazaaru, kazaaru

Chinese: K'o-sa


"The Khazars originated from the distant East, from the border areas of China. In the seventh century, they were swept by the Great Migrations to the mouth of the River Volga and the shores of the Caspian Sea. Here the Khazars conquered Onogur and Bulgar-Turkic tribes who spoke another Turkic dialect. In the seventh and eighth centuries, this new empire halted Arab expansionism, established contact with Byzantium, and became a decisive force between the Caspian Sea and the River Don up to the middle of the tenth century. Land cultivation, animal husbandry and handicrafts flourished in the empire. Merchants traded not only with Byzantium, but also with the Arab-Persian world and the distant East. The kagans did not prohibit the activities of Christian and Moslem missionaries. Both religions maintained places or worship and schools on Khazar land. Out of political considerations, however, the kagans and their retinues embraced a third great monotheist religion, Judaism. This was to avoid pressure on them from the Byzantine Empire and the various Arab emirates. The peoples of the Khazar Khanate had a more advanced way of life than those of the Central Asian Turkic tribes, whose chief occupation was nomadic animal husbandry. The level of its agriculture and handicrafts industry matched contemporary European standards. In terms of commercial development it even exceeded them. However, the empire was a loosely organized entity, with the fluctuating numbers of subjugated peoples rather than fixed boundaries determining its size. The Magyar tribal alliance constituted one such subjugated people."

- György Balázs, The Magyars: The Birth of a European Nation. Budapest: Corvina, 1989


For more information about the Khazars, visit:

http://www.khazaria.com


"Khazaria" in The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, 2008
"Khazars" in Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, 1897
"Chazars" in Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906

The Khazars - A European experiment in Jewish Statecraft
Roman Kovalev's Khazaria Article

Khazarian Army, Wars, Book, Donskaya Arkheologiya, Khazaria 2, Khazar Names, Short Timeline

The epic journeys of the Radanites by Victor Sharpe


Recommended book featured at KHAZARIA.TRIPOD.COM
Beyond the Silk Road: Arts of Central Asia