Move Over, Cairo. The Afghan Geniza Will Blow Your Mind.
First there was the discovery of the Cairo Geniza. And now there’s this.
In 2011, a report by Israel’s Channel 2 News told of how foxes scratching in the dirt somewhere in the Afghan province of Samangan revealed a hidden cave. Inside the cave, local villagers found Jewish documents nearly 1,000 years old. These were dubbed the Afghan Geniza.
Though the story seems apocryphal, the results are not. In 2013, the National Library of Israel bought 29 manuscripts of the Geniza, and their research has helped illuminate what life was like for Afghani Jews living in a larger Muslim society: that Jews were fluidly involved in industry, trade, finance, and, by extension, regular members of the general population.