Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Uzbekistan Matzoh Making Unmasked

Ari Z. Zivotofsky and Ari Greenspan

Like other kehillos, Bukharan Jews had their own distinct ways of making matzos. Six weeks before Pesach, Ari and Ari set off for Uzbekistan to find out if the age-old secret had survived almost a century of Soviet rule — and if, of course, it was still possible to have a taste.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

uzbekistan“In every generation and generation they arise to destroy us and Hashem saves us from their hands.” Although it was not yet Pesach, we were reminded of those words from the Haggadah before we set off for central Asia and a halachic adventure inUzbekistan. A few days earlier an attack on the Israeli embassy in India heightened security concerns across the Jewish world; in this region that is uncomfortably close to Iran and Afghanistan those concerns were especially high, particularly among the Israeli diplomatic corps.

However, our welcome to the country set the tone for the entire trip. We were greeted at the airport by our friend, the Israeli ambassador to Uzbekistan, who had come personally to pick us up. This was to be our experience throughout our stay — in every town the local Jews went above and beyond simple hachnassas orchim in their warmth and hospitality.

But why go to Uzbekistan? This backwards country has been home to the community known as Bukharan Jews for many centuries, but as with so many out-of-the-way kehillos many of its traditions are in danger of being forgotten. If we could not uncover and record all of those traditions there was at least one that we couldn’t pass over. That, of course, was the secret of their matzoh baking. 

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

 

 

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you