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.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"