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Journal Article

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The Journal of the Assam Research Society (Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti)



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Historically speaking, the beginning of the Jewish relationships with India are unknown and undocumented. Traditionally and folkloristically, they are dated in various periods in Jewish history. The unidentified destinies for the voyages of Kings Solomon and Hiram1 were often interpreted as India. The exile of the Ten Tribes (719 B.C.) and the destruction of the First Temple (586 B.C.) with the dispersion of the Jews following it, has often been taken as the starting point of Jewish immigration to India. However the contact between the two cultures can be explained by other causes than migration. When the Jews lived in Persia during the empire of King Xerxe I (519?-465 B.C.), which was said to expand from "India to Ethiopia" (Esther 1 : 1), they might have been in commercial, political and hence cultural contact with India. However, in spite of these imaginative hypotheses, there is not even a single piece of historical evidence which could validate them beyond any doubt.2

Copyright/Permission Statement

Originally published by the Assam Research Society © 1963.


At the time of this publication, Dr. Ben-Amos was affiliated with Indiana University, but he is now a faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 19 February 2019