The Israeli-Afghani Torah-Trade
Taliban and Israel deal directly
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The scrolls acquired by the National Library are contemporaneous to the Masoretic text; thus they may be used to validate it. Since they were written in a different area they are extremely important; they may provide additional proofs that certain prophetic texts related to Christianity were purposely changed by the rabbis. This also explains the disdainful attitude of Channel 7 with regard to the Dead Sea Scrolls; the most famous historic Hebrew text contains all the books of the Old Testament, except the odd Book of Esther, which seems to be a late rabbinical addition (it is the only book in the Bible that doesn't mention God!). They may also provide hints regarding the discrepancies between the Samaritan and the Jewish Bibles. Samaritans consider the Jewish Bible a forgery created by Ezra Hasofer in the fifth century. Thus, these scrolls may be the find of the century.
They were purchased after the option of their being a modern forgery was dismissed. A trained scribe spends around 18 months on a single scroll; the idea that a forgery of the parchments and the 304,805 letters on each one would pass a thorough check is inadmissible. Thus, an Israeli with double citizenship, or an American Jew, was sent to Afghanistan, and some of the parchments were bought after a lengthy negotiation at the local souk. Nothing changed there since the Silk Road was the world's main highway.
Taliban and Israel
Wherever Jewish communities lived, such events can be expected. Records of Jews in Afghanistan go back to the 7th century; in the 12th century there were reports of 80,000 Jews living there. However, Genghis Khan's invasion in 1222AD decimated them. Nowadays, it is thought that less than 1,000 still live secretly there, the rest emigrated mainly to Israel, the USA, and the UK. Traditionally, they had occupations related to the trade along the Silk Road, and lived mainly in Herat (see picture). This may explain the existence—according to Channel 7—of hundreds of scrolls. The local community was never large enough to justify such an amount.
Yet, there is more than a local Jewish community behind this event. About ten years ago, Yedioth Aharonot—the Hebrew largest newspaper—came out with a story that took up most of its Friday supplement claiming that the Pashtun people belonged to one of the lost tribes. This report fits oral traditions of the Pashtun. Moreover, this was mentioned in Nimat Allah al-Harawi's "The History of the Afghans" written in 1612. If this were true, they would enjoy automatic Israeli citizenship upon landing in Israel according to the Law of Return. Since there are 50 million Pashtun people worldwide, this could be a friendly way of putting an end to the State of Israel. The option was considered by the abovementioned newspaper. Questionable genetic tests conducted afterwards claimed that Afghanis are related to Indian people and cannot be of Hebrew ancestry; supporting this is the fact that their language is Indo-European and not Semitic. Apparently, the legend was created after the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan. Yet, such legends can play significant cultural roles; the Jewish reporter was well received by the Pashtun people. The Taliban, who established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996, are ethnic Pashtun. About five years afterwards, they received an Israeli reporter. Ten years after that, they sold Torah Scrolls for a fortune.
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