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
 
Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Pitcher-Perfect
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”