Reviews

Based on a selection of primary Judeo-Tajik and secondary sources, this substantial article in the historical sociology of Judaism in Central Asia reconstructs the evolution of the criteria of succession in the Rabbinate of Bukhara, through the political and economic upheavals of Russian conquest and dominance. From a pre-modern community governed by an oligarchy to the appearance of a new class of entrepreneurs, the author traces the gradual strengthening of the Rabbi of Bukhara and the extension of his authority throughout Central Asia despite the intensification of the aliyah and exposure to Jewish communities of the Russian Empire, Europe and North America. The combination of the genealogical criterion and of expertise in Torah studies is analysed, especially in the case of the succession of Rabbi Pinhas ‘Ha-Gadol’ in 1866 by his ten year old son Rabbi Yitzhak Hayim. Constantly resituated by the author within the global history of the Jews of the Emirate of Bukhara and of Eastern Iran (see for instance the impact of the 1839 pogrom in Mashhad), the reconstruction of these debates sheds a new light on the sociology of the Jewish religion personnel of Central Asia in the long nineteenth century.

The Redaction
CER: II-4.1.C-334