The tribe of levy

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The tribe of levy

The tribe of levy

At the peak of its power, from the seventh to the tenth centuries AD, it played a significant part in shaping the destinies of mediaeval, and consequently of modern, Europe. The Byzantine Emperor and historian, Constantine Porphyrogenitusmust have been well aware of this when he recorded in his treatise on court protocol.

This was not flattery, but Realpolitik. It acted as a buffer protecting Byzantium against invasions by the lusty barbarian tribesmen of the northern steppes - Bulgars, Magyars, Pechenegs, etc.

The tribe of levy

But equally, or even more important both from the point of view of Byzantine diplomacy and of European history, is the fact that the Khazar armies effectively blocked the Arab avalanche in its most devastating early stages, and thus prevented the Muslim conquest of Eastern Europe.

Professor Dunlop of Columbia University, a leading authority on the history of the Khazars, has given a concise summary of this decisive yet virtually unknown episode: Within a few years of the death of Muhammad AD the armies of the Caliphate, sweeping northward through the wreckage of two empires and carrying all before them, reached the great mountain barrier of the Caucasus.

This barrier once passed, the road lay open to the lands of eastern Europe. As it was, on the line of the Caucasus the Arabs met the forces of an organized military power which effectively prevented them from extending their conquests in this direction.

The wars of the Arabs and the Khazars, which lasted more than a hundred years, though little known, have thus considerable historical importance.

At about the same time the threat to Europe in the east was hardly less acute. The victorious Muslims were met and held by the forces of the Khazar kingdom. Ironically, the last battle in the war, ADended in a Khazar defeat. But by that time the impetus of the Muslim Holy War was spent, the Caliphate was rocked by internal dissensions, and the Arab invaders retraced their steps across the Caucasus without having gained a permanent foothold in the north, whereas the Khazars became more powerful than they had previously been.

A few years later, probably ADthe King, his court and the military ruling class embraced the Jewish faith, and Judaism became the state religion of the Khazars. No doubt their contemporaries were as astonished by this decision as modern scholars were when they came across the evidence in the Arab, Byzantine, Russian and Hebrew sources.

One of the most recent comments is to be found in a work by the Hungarian Marxist historian, Dr Antal Bartha. His book on The Magyar Society in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries4 has several chapters on the Khazars, as during most of that period the Hungarians were ruled by them.

Yet their conversion to Judaism is discussed in a single paragraph, with obvious embarrassment. Our investigations cannot go into problems pertaining to the history of ideas, but we must call the reader's attention to the matter of the Khazar kingdom's state religion.

It was the Jewish faith which became the official religion of the ruling strata of society.

Numbers 31

Needless to say, the acceptance of the Jewish faith as the state religion of an ethnically non-Jewish people could be the subject of interesting speculations. We shall, however, confine ourselves to the remark that this official conversion - in defiance of Christian proselytizing by Byzantium, the Muslim influence from the East, and in spite of the political pressure of these two powers - to a religion which had no support from any political power, but was persecuted by nearly all - has come as a surprise to all historians concerned with the Khazars, and cannot be considered as accidental, but must be regarded as a sign of the independent policy pursued by that kingdom.

Which leaves us only slightly more bewildered than before. Yet whereas the sources differ in minor detail, the major facts are beyond dispute. What is in dispute is the fate of the Jewish Khazars after the destruction of their empire, in the twelfth or thirteenth century.

On this problem the sources are scant, but various late mediaeval Khazar settlements are mentioned in the Crimea, in the Ukraine, in Hungary, Poland and Lithuania. The general picture that emerges from these fragmentary pieces of information is that of a migration of Khazar tribes and communities into those regions of Eastern Europe - mainly Russia and Poland - where, at the dawn of the Modern Age, the greatest concentrations of Jews were found.

This has lead several historians to conjecture that a substantial part, and perhaps the majority of eastern Jews - and hence of world Jewry - might be of Khazar, and not of Semitic Origin. The far-reaching implications of this hypothesis may explain the great caution exercised by historians in approaching this subject - if they do not avoid it altogether.

SAB: Numbers 31

Thus in the edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica the article "Khazars" is signed by Dunlop, but there is a separate section dealing with "Khazar Jews after the Fall of the Kingdom", signed by the editors, and written with the obvious intent to avoid upsetting believers in the dogma of the Chosen Race: The Turkish-speaking Karaites [a fundamentalist Jewish sect] of the Crimea, Poland, and elsewhere have affirmed a connection with the Khazars, which is perhaps confirmed by evidence from folklore and anthropology as well as language.

There seems to be a considerable amount of evidence attesting to the continued presence in Europe of descendants of the Khazars. How important, in quantitative terms, is that "presence" of the Caucasian sons of Japheth in the tents of Shem?

His book Khazaria in Hebrew was published in in Tel Aviv, and a second edition in The descendants of this settlement - those who stayed where they were, those who emigrated to the United States and to other countries, and those who went to Israel - constitute now the large majority of world Jewry.

This was written before the full extent of the holocaust was known, but that does not alter the fact that the large majority of surviving Jews in the world is of Eastern European - and thus perhaps mainly of Khazar - origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Should this turn out to be the case, then the term "anti-Semitism" would become void of meaning, based on a misapprehension shared by both the killers and their victims. The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated.

His state passed away - whereas the despised city of Constantinople remained a power.The tribe of Levi is one of the most important tribes of Israel, being the tribe from which the religious authorities came.

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PART ONE. Rise and Fall of the Khazars "In Khazaria, sheep, honey, and Jews exist in large quantities." Muqaddasi, Descriptio Imperii Moslemici (tenth century).. I. We are committed to exploring the new, the challenging, and the unexpected.

From our internationally recognized and rapidly growing collection of more than thirty thousand artworks to our innovative film and performance programs, SFMOMA has continuously advanced the interpretation, presentation, and preservation of modern and contemporary art — embracing its connection to the world around us.

Question: "What should we learn from the tribe of Levi / the Levites?" Answer: The patriarch Jacob, just before he died, gave each of his twelve sons a blessing. The twelve sons were the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the blessings contained prophetic information about the future of.

The creation of a dedicated rural fire agency was proposed by an independent review into the Yarloop blaze, which destroyed hundreds of properties in the South West town and killed two people.

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