http://www.hebrewhistory.org/factpapers/khazars23.html An Unusual Association One of the most ignoble examples of the institutionalized obfuscation of history is that applied to the history of the Khazars by the Byzantines, the Islamic Muhammadans, the pan-Arabists, and the Russian/Stalinist ethnocentrists. Each in turn went to great lengths to expunge whatever records endured the destruction of the Khazar kingdom, and to put a self-serving spin on the surviving elements. One reason for the extraordinary effort to distort history was the unique relationship that developed between the Khazars and the Jews. The two peoples, whose languages had different roots, one illiterate and the other highly literate, one shamanist and the other monotheistic, one nomadic and the other urban, peacefully merged to share a common destiny. How, indeed, did such a strange union evolve? The association of the two peoples begins early on. The Jews encountered the Turkic tribes, including the Khazars, in the fifth century BCE in Asia, when Judaic entrepreneurs from Persia passed over the Pamir mountains to blaze a new trade route to Kaifeng, then the capital of China.1 Trading centers sprang up along the trail to serve the passing traders and their heavily laden beasts. The caravansaries became bustling commercial towns in which Jews were prominent. Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Balkh, Kabul, and other posts along the tortuous route through the central Asian deserts and mountains burgeoned with the passing centuries. The Jews and the Turkic nomads enjoyed a peaceful exchange of goods in these strategic centers throughout that long period. Many Turkic tribes began to infiltrate into Europe about the fifth century CE. The Magyars moved into what is now Finland; The Avars, Sabirs and Bulgars occupied the Danube basin; the Khazars followed the Kok Turks and spread out along the northern flanks of the Caucacus Mountains, skirting the Aral, Caspian and Black Seas. The tent-dwelling, horse-riding, Khazar herdsmen absorbed some peoples of that hilly area, allied themselves with others, and became transformed into a sedentary nation.