Jewish footprint in Herat
The presence of Jews in Afghanistan is unknown, and it is thought that after the destruction of their temple by the Assyrian ruler Bakht al-Nasr in 720 BC and their exile to Babylon in 560 BC, to areas in present-day southern Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan under Assyrian rule. They were relocated. However, there are various findings and major evidence that show the continuous presence of Jews from the eighth to the twentieth century in Afghanistan, who lived mostly in the cities of Herat, Kabul, Balkh, and some in Ghazni. During an assignment that I have had to do for the Reuters in the ancient city of Herat in 2009, Afghanistan, I visited a few synagogues leftovers from the Jewish presence in Herat and learned that the then Afghan government, that was led by Hamid Karzai, ordered the reconstruction of these historical synagogues and that these places are to be used as schools of religious sciences. This collection of photos, despite the little time I had, is of great historical importance to me because I managed to photograph a clay and historical tablet belonging to the Jewish people with the help of a servant in one of the mosques in Herat.