Jews in Iran, wtf?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by gunslinger, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Ive read about, but dont fully understand the reasoning behind jews living in Iran. I understand that the community was brought back in babylonian times. But since the 1800's and specifically since the overthrow of the shah, the jews have been stripped of a lot of their religious freedom. SChools being closed, children forced to attend on Saturdays, I dont think there are any rabbis left, etc..

    Yet the Jews their dont seem in a hurry to leave, and the Iranian govt go through special precautions to stop their emigration. SOmebody explain to me why.
  2. bxptone


    If your trying to teach someone that their way of living/thinking is wrong, you don't just shoot them, kill them. That's a Republicans way of thinking. There's a thing called DIPLOMACY, which in most cases, not always of course, will get the job done in much more civilized manor.

    It's like Republicans telling democrats, "You dont like it, leave"

    No we rather change the country from with in it.
  3. Are you sure you meant to post in this thread, b/c im fairly confident your response has no relation to my question.
  4. Shortly after the state of Israel was founded, the vast majority of Persian, Yemenite & Moroccan Jews did in fact immigrate to the historic Jewish homeland. The lion's share of Persian Jews now live in Israel, not Iran.

    Why did a small percentage of stragglers stay behind? Probably because Iran is the only home they ever knew. Why didn't <i>all</i> the Irish set sail for America during their great famines? Starting a new life in a foreign land, in a foreign language, amid a foreign culture might be considered stimulating to those with adventurous personalities, but it's just a royal pain in the ass to most others.

    Call it 'boiling frog syndrome', the 'law of inertia', or whatever... but staying put amid the familiar instead of venturing out into the unknown is the basic nature of many people. That makes sense to you, right?
  5. RM,

    That I understand and assumed. However, the more I read about their current conditions, I thouhgt there may be some underlying reason (as it sounds like their existence in iran sux) for such a relative large amount of jews to stay put. Also I do not understand why iran would want to prevent jews from emigrating, whats your thoughts on that?
  6. That one's a bit tougher for me to answer, although three possibilities do come to mind:

    *Politicians/rulers/tyrants do not think like you or I. Their drug of choice is POWER, pure power. Controlling the lives of others is their greatest joy of all. American politicians get off on the mass imprisonment of harmless drug-prohibition violators, and Iranian politicians get off on enforcing 'morality codes', executing homosexuals, and keeping people stuck in Iran against their will.

    *The natural choice of a Jewish-Persian refugee would be to resettle in Israel- 'the Little Satan'. Since the population of a nation is one of its most important resources, an Iran-to-Israel immigration pipeline would therefore weaken Iran while strengthening one of its two great arch-enemies.

    *The Middle Eastern HONOR complex: It would dishonor Iran to see its own people choose a foreign land over their own, combined with the inevitable bad-mouthing of the whole situation in Iran once they've escaped it.
  7. Wikipedia tells me that Jews in Iran have schools, synagogues (with rabbis) and their own newspaper. Yes, their relationship with the regime has been problematic at times but is not simply one of persecution or suppression. They have a representative in Parliament. They have fared better than many minorities in other parts of the Middle East.

    As for why they are there, it's not so hard to understand. Persia has been home to Jews for thousands of years. Despite turmoil and considerable emigration to the US and Israel, some remain. Hardly surprising.
  8. Mag,

    I got my info from what seems to be reputable (sources sited). Before I read a little, i thought it was like what you wrote. WHich would have been understandable. I dont want this to turn into a jews vs arabs thread.

    "The Islamization of the country has brought about strict control over Jewish educational institutions. Before the revolution, there were some 20 Jewish schools functioning throughout the country. In recent years, most of these have been closed down. In the remaining schools, Jewish principals have been replaced by Muslims. In Teheran there are still three schools in which Jewish pupils constitute a majority. The curriculum is Islamic, and Persian is forbidden as the language of instruction for Jewish studies. Special Hebrew lessons are conducted on Fridays by the Orthodox Otzar ha-Torah organization, which is responsible for Jewish religious education. Saturday is no longer officially recognized as the Jewish sabbath, and Jewish pupils are compelled to attend school on that day. There are three synagogues in Teheran, but since 1994, there has been no rabbi in Iran, and the bet din does not function. 4"
  9. Rm,

    All three make sense. I think that #2 could be the one that backs their policy. Im sure there must be some publicly stated reason as to why they are restricted..
  10. Fair enough, perhaps things are tougher for Jews in Iran than a quick look at Wikipedia would indicate. Though outsiders have to be careful, this is a minefield with possible biases in anything we read.

    It does make you admire the tenacity of such a minority to preserve their heritage in difficult times, like the Parsees, Bahaii and Mandeans in the same part of the world.
    #10     Jan 26, 2009