Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You Are Invited to the Wedding of Barukh and Khanna!
In Samarkand 140 Years Ago

The wedding of Barukh and Khanna, circa 1870. The bride and
groom are beneath a tallit serving as the chuppa (canopy).
Channa is the tiny figure under a "burqua," according to the
original caption. The man in the center is extending a cup of wine
as part of the ceremony -- sheva brachot, according to the
caption. The two mothers, wearing turbans, are on the sides
of the bride and groom.
Earlier this month we uncovered pictures in the Library of Congress files showing Bukhari Jewish life in Samarkand some 140 years ago.  We posted pictures showing Jewish children in school, family life, a sukka, and more.

Today, we present photos from another group of pictures, the wedding of Barukh and Khanna in 1870.

The groom Barukh and the bride Khanna, two
separate portraits (c 1870)

Signing the ketuba, the marriage contract. The bride (peaking
out from under her burqua) and the groom are already under the
 tallit, with their mothers on either side

Parts of the earlier narrative are reproduced here, as well as the newly found pictures. 

Click on the pictures to enlarge, click on the caption to view the original. 

A party for the women and girls on the
eve of the wedding. Click here to see
Barukh sitting with the men
Enlargement of the Ketuba
Bukhari Jews, from what is today the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, may be one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world.  According to some researchers, the community may date back to the days of  the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonian exile.  Over the centuries, the community suffered from forced conversion to Islam and from Genghis Khan's pillage and destruction of the region. 
Earlier, the groom meeting with
Khanna and her parents 
Around the time these pictures were taken the Bukhari Jews began to move to Israel.  They established an early settlement in the Bukharan quarter of Jerusalem.  Click here for a history of the Bukhari Jews.

Original caption: "A group of people escorting the bride and
groom (far left) to a house"

The Bukhari Jewish families discuss the
dowry prior to a wedding (circa 1870).
The caption identifies the two bundles
behind them as the dowry

Bonus pictures

Three more pictures, seemingly unrelated to Barukh and Khanna's wedding but dealing with the Jewish community, were found in the Library of Congress file.

Fed Ex office in Samarkand?  The arrival of Jews from Bukhara to
the city of Kazalinsk (Qazaly). Man standing with loaded camels
in front of building (including two men riding in camel's seats)

Nationalities in the Turkestan krai. Jewish
women (sic). Banu ai. (circa 1870)

Original caption reads: "Prayer lessons at school." It is clear that
the teacher and students are Jewish. Note that almost all students
had prayerbooks, a fact that should not be taken for granted.
 (circa 1870)

View pictures and essays on other Jewish communities:

* Kifl, Iraq (Ezekiel's Tomb)

If you wish to dedicate a Daily Picture page, such as this one, in honor or memory, click here


  1. Nice blog. I just linked to you from mine.

  2. Wow! Look how young they are - just children. Wonderful history. Rick