The History Of Khazar [1]

The Khazars (Turkish: Hazarlar, Greek: Χάζαροι), were a semi-nomadic Turkic people who created one of the largest states of medieval Eurasia, Khazaria, with its capital at Atil. Being one of the major arteries of commerce between northern Europe and southwestern Asia, Khazaria commanded the western marches of theSilk Road and played a key commercial role as a crossroad between China, theMiddle East and Europe. Starting in the 8th century, the Khazar royalty and much of the aristocracy are reported to have converted to Judaism.
Khazaria served as a buffer state between Europe and the rising tide of Islamic conquest and enjoyed a strategic entente with the Christian Byzantium empirethroughout the period of the Arab–Khazar Wars. The Khazars successfully staved off attempts by armies of the Umayyad Caliphate, beginning in 642, to penetrate north of the Caucasus. Between 965 and 969, the Khazar state was conquered by the Kievan Rus under Sviatoslav I of Kiev, who conquered Atil in 967.

Origins and languages
Determining the origins and nature of the Khazars is closely bound up with theories of their language, but it is a matter of intricate difficulty since no indigenous records survive, and the state itself was polyglot and polyethnic. The royal or ruling elite probably spoke an eastern variety of Shaz Turkic,  a language variously identified with BulğaricChuvashUyğur, andHungarian (the latter based upon the assertion of the Arab historian al-Iṣṭakhrī that the Khazar language was different from any other known tongue). One method for tracing their origins consists in analysis of the possible etymologies behind the ethnonym Khazar itself.
Gyula Németh, following Zoltán Gombocz, derived Xazar from a hypothetical *Qasar reflecting aTurkic root qaz-(“to ramble, to roam”) being an hypothetical velar variant of Common Turkickez-. With the publication of the fragmentary Tes and Terkhin inscriptions of the Uyğur empire (744-840) where the form 'Qasar' is attested, though uncertainty remains whether this represents a personal or tribal name, gradually other hypotheses emerged. Louis Bazin derived it from Turkish qas- ("tyrannize, oppress, terrorize") on the basis of its phonetic similarity to the Uyğur tribal name, Qasar. András Róna-Tas connects it with Kesar, the Pahlavi transcription of theRoman title Caesar.
D.M.Dunlop tried to link the Chinese term for "Khazars" to one of the tribal names of the UyğurToquz Oğuz, namely the Gésà.  The objections are that Uyğur Gesa/Qasar was not a tribal name but rather the surname of the chief of the Sikari tribe of the Toquz Oğuz, and that in Middle Chinese the ethnonym "Khazars", always prefaced with the word Tūjué signifying ‘Türk’ (Tūjué Kěsà bù:突厥可薩部; Tūjué Hésà:突厥曷薩), is transcribed with different characters than that used to render the Qa- in the Uyğur word 'Qasar'.

Tribal origins and early history
The tribes constituting the Khazar union were, according to the most widely approved view, basically Turkish groups, such as the Oğuric peoples, including Šarağurs, Oğurs, Onoğurs, andBulğars, who formed part of the Tiĕlè (鐵勒) confederation. These tribes, many driven out of their homelands by the Sabirs, who in turn fled the Asian Avars, began to flow into theVolga-Caspian-Pontic zone from as early as the 4th century CE and are recorded by Priscus to reside in the Western Eurasian steppelands as early as 463.  They appear to stem from Mongolia and South Siberia in the aftermath of the fall of the Hunnic/Xiōngnú nomadic polities. A variegated tribal federation led by these Tűrks, probably comprising a complex assortment of Iranian,  proto-MongolicUralic, and Palaeo-Siberian clans, vanquished the Rouran Khaganate of the hegemonic central Asian Avars in 552 and swept westwards, taking in their train other steppe nomads and peoples from the Sogdian kingdom.
The ruling family of this confederation may have hailed from the Āshǐnà (阿史那) clan of the West Türkic tribes.  though Zuckerman regards Āshǐnà and their pivotal role in the formation of the Khazars with scepticism. Golden notes that Chinese and Arabic reports are almost identical, making the connection a strong one, and conjectures that their leader may have been Yǐpíshèkuì (Chinese:乙毗射匱), who lost power or was killed around 651. Moving west, the confederation reached the land of the Akat(z)ir, who had been important allies of Byzantium in fighting off Attila's army.

Rise of the Khazar state
An embryonic state of Khazaria began to form sometime after 630, when it emerged out of the breakdown of the larger Göktürk qağanate. Göktürk armies had penetrated the Volga by 549, ejecting the Avars, who were then forced to flee to the sanctuary of the Hungarian plain. The Āshǐnà clan whose tribal name was ‘Türk’ (the strong one) appear on the scene by 552, when they overthrew the Rourans and established the Göktürk qağanate. By 568, these Göktürks were probing for an alliance with Byzantium to attack Persia. An internecine war broke out between the senior eastern Göktürks and the junior West Turkic Qağanate some decades later, when on the death of Taspar Qağan, a succession dispute led to a dynastic crisis between Taspar’s chosen heir, the Apa Qağan, and the ruler appointed by the tribal high council, Āshǐnà Shètú (阿史那摄图), the Ishbara Qağan. By the first decades of the 7th century, the Āshǐnà yabgu Tong managed to stabilize the Western division, but on his death, after providing crucial military assistance to Byzantium in routing the Sassanid army in the Persian heartland, the Western Turkic Qağanate dissolved under pressure from the encroaching Tang dynasty armies and split into two competing federations, each consisting of five tribes, collectively known as the “Ten Arrows” (On Oq). Both briefly challenged Tang hegemony in eastern Turkestan. To the West, two new nomadic states arose in the meantime, the Bulğar conferation, under Qubrat, the Duōlù clan leader, and the Nǔshībì subconfederation, also consisting of five tribes. The Duōlù challenged the Avars in the Kuban River-Sea of Azov area while the Khazar Qağanate consolidated further westwards, led apparently by an Āshǐnà dynasty. With a resounding victory over the tribes in 657, engineered by General Sū Dìngfāng (蘇定方), Chinese overlordship was imposed to their East after a final mop-up operation in 659, but the two confederations of Bulğars and Khazars fought for supremacy on the western steppeland, and with the ascendency of the latter, the former either succumbed to Khazar rule or, as under Asperukh, Qubrat’s son, shifted even further west across the Danube to lay the foundations of the Bulğar state in the Balkans (ca. 679).
The Qağanate of the Khazars thus took shape out of the ruins of this nomadic empire as it broke up under pressure from the Tang dynasty armies to the east sometime between 630-650. After their conquest of the lower Volga region to the East and an area westwards between the Danube and the Dniepr, and their subjugation of the Onoğur -Bulğar union, sometime around 670, a properly constituted Khazar Qağanate emerges, becoming the westernmost successor state of the formidable Göktürk Qağanate after its disintegration. According to Omeljan Pritsak, the language of the Onoğur-Bulğar federation was to become the lingua franca of Khazaria as it developed into what Lev Gumilev called a 'steppe Atlantis' (stepnaja Atlantida/ Степная Атлантида). The high status soon to be accorded this empire to the north is attested by Ibn al-Balḫî’s Fârsnâma(ca.1100), which relates that the Sassanid Shah, Ḫusraw 1, Anûsîrvân, placed three thrones by his own, one for the King of China, a second for the King of Byzantium, and a third for the king of the Khazars. Though anachronistic in retrodating the Khazars to this period, the legend, in placing the Khazar qağan on a throne with equal status to kings of the other two superpowers, bears witness to the reputation won by the Khazars from early times.

The Khazar state: culture and institutions
Royal Diarchy and sacral Qağanate
Khazaria had two notable institutions: Dual kingship, a typical Turkic nomadic structure, and a sacral Qağanate. According to Arab sources, the lesser king was called îšâ and the greater kingXazar xâqân. The former managed both state and civilian affairs and the administration of the military, while the greater king‘s role was titular, not commanding obedience, and he was recruited from the Khazar house of notables (ahl bait ma‘rûfīn) in a ritual where the candidate is almost strangled until he declares the number of years he wishes to reign, on the expiration of which he was killed.  The deputy ruler would enter the presence of the reclusive greater king only with great ceremony, entering barefoot, prostrating himself in the dust, then lighting a piece of wood as a purifying fire, while waiting humbly and calmly to be summoned. Particularly elaborate rituals accompanied a royal burial, with a palatial structure ('Paradise') constructed and then hidden under rerouted river water to avoid disturbance by evil spirits and later generations. Such a royal burial ground (qoruq) is typical of inner Asian peoples. Both the îšâ and the xâqân converted to Judaism sometime in the 8th century, while the rest, according to the Persian traveller Ahmad ibn Rustah, probably followed the old Turkish religion.

The Ruling Elite
The ruling strata, like that of the later Činggisids within the Golden Horde, was a relatively small group that differed ethnically and linguistically from its subject peoples, composed of Alano-As and Oğuric Turkic tribes. The Khazar Qağans, while taking wives and concubines from the subject populations, were protected by a Khwârazmian guard corps or comitatus called theOrs/Orsiyya. But unlike many other local polities, they hired soldiers (mercenaries) (the junûd murtazîqa in al-Mas’ûdî).

Settlements were governed by administrative officials known as tuduns. In some cases, such as the Byzantine settlements in southern Crimea, a tudun would be appointed for a town nominally within another polity's sphere of influence. Other officials in the Khazar government included dignitaries referred to by ibn Fadlan as Jawyshyghr and Kündür, but their responsibilities are unknown.

The People
It has been estimated that from 25 to 28 distinct ethnic groups made up the population of the Khazar Qağanate, aside from the ethnic elite. The ruling elite seems to have been constituted out of nine tribes/clans, themselves ethnically heterogeneous, spread over perhaps nine provinces or principalities, each of which would have been allocated to a clan. In terms of caste or class, some evidence suggests that there was a distinction, whether racial or social is unclear, between "White Khazars" (ak-Khazars) and "Black Khazars" (qara-Khazars). The 10th century Muslim geographer al-Iṣṭakhrī claimed that the White Khazars were strikingly handsome with reddish hair, white skin, and blue eyes, while the Black Khazars were swarthy, verging on deep black, as if they were "some kind of Indian". Many Turkic nations had a similar (political, not racial) division between a "white" ruling warrior caste and a "black" class of commoners; the consensus among mainstream scholars is that Istakhri was confused by the names given to the two groups. However, Khazars are generally described by early Arab sources as having a white complexion, blue eyes, and reddish hair. The name of the presumed founding Āshǐnà clan itself may reflect an etymology suggestive of a darkish colour. The distinction appears to have survived the collapse of the Khazarian empire. Later Russian chronicles, commenting on the role of the Khazars in the magyarization of Hungary, refer to them as "White Ugrian" and Magyars as "Black Ugrians".

Religious origins
Main article: Tengriism
Direct sources for Khazar religion are lacking, but in all likelihood they originally practiced a traditional Turkic form of cultic practices known as Tengriism, which focused on the sky god Tengri. Something of its nature may be deduced from what we know of the rites and beliefs of contiguous tribes, such as the North Caucasian Huns. Horse sacrifices were made to this supreme deity. Rites involved offerings to fire, water, and the moon, to remarkable creatures, and to "gods of the road". A tree cult was also maintained. Whatever was struck by lightening, man or object, was considered a sacrifice to the high god of heaven. The afterlife, to judge from excavations of aristocratic tumuli, was much a continuation of life on earth, warriors being interred with their weapons, horses, and sometimes with human sacrifices. Ancestor worship was observed. The key religious figure appears to have been a shamanizing qam.
Many sources suggest, and a notable number of scholars have argued, that the charismatic Āshǐnà clan played a germinal role in the early Khazar state, though Zuckerman dismisses the widespread notion of their pivotal role as a 'phantom'. The Āshǐnà were closely associated with the Tengri cult, whose practices involved rites performed to assure a tribe of heaven’s protective providence. The qağan was deemed to rule by virtue of qut, "the heavenly mandate/good fortune to rule."

At the peak of their empire, the Khazar permanent standing army may have numbered as many as 100,000, controlling or exacting tribute from thirty different nations and tribes inhabiting the vast territories between the Caucasus, the Aral Sea, the Ural Mountains, and the Ukrainian steppes. Khazar armies were led by the Khagan Bek and commanded by subordinate officers known as tarkhans. When the bek sent out a body of troops, they would not retreat under any circumstances. If they were defeated, every one who returned was killed. A famous tarkhan referred to in Arab sources as Ras or As Tarkhan led an invasion of Armenia in 758. The army included regiments of Muslim auxiliaries known as Arsiyah, of Khwarezmian or Alan extraction, who were quite influential. These regiments were exempt from campaigning against their fellow Muslims. Early Rus' sources sometimes referred to the city of Khazaran (across the Volga River from Atil) as Khvalisy and the Khazar (Caspian) sea as Khvaliskoye. According to scholars such as Omeljan Pritsak, these terms were East Slavic versions of "Khwarezmian" and referred to these as mercenaries. In addition to the Bek's standing army, the Khazars could call upon tribal levies in times of danger and were often joined by auxiliaries from subject nations.

Khazars and Byzantium
The Pontic steppe, c. 650, showing the early territory of the Khazars and their neighbors.
Byzantine diplomatic policy towards the steppe peoples generally consisted of encouraging them to fight among themselves. The Pechenegs provided great assistance to the Byzantines in the 9th century in exchange for regular payments. Byzantium also sought alliances with the Göktürks against common enemies: in the early 7th century, one such alliance was brokered with the Western Tűrks against the Persian Sassanids in the Byzantine–Sassanid War of 602–628. During the period leading up to and after the siege of Constantinople in 626, Heraclius sought help via emissaries, and eventually personally, from a Göktürk chieftain of the Western Tűrkic QağanateTong Yabghu Qağan, in Tiflis, plying him with gifts and the promise of marriage to his daughter, Epiphania. Tong Yabghu responded by sending a large force to ravage the Persian empire, marking the start of the Third Perso-Turkic War. A joint Byzantine-Tűrk operation breached the Caspian gates and sacked Derbent in 627. Together they then besieged Tiflis, where the Byzantines used traction trebuchets (ἑλέπόλεις) to breach the walls, one of their first known uses by the Byzantines. After the campaign, Tong Yabghu is reported, perhaps with some exaggeration, to have left some 40,000 troops behind with Heraclius. Though occasionally identified with Khazars, the Göktürk identification is more probable since the Khazars only emerged from that group after the fragmentation of the former sometime after 630. Sassanid Persia never recovered from the devastating defeat wrought by this invasion.

Once the Khazars emerged as a power, the Byzantines also began to form alliances, dynastic and military, with them. In 695, the last Heraclian emperorJustinian II, nicknamed the slit-nosed (ὁ ῥινότμητος) after he was mutilated and deposed, was exiled to Cherson in the Crimea, where a Khazar governor (tudun) presided. He escaped into Khazar territory in 704 or 705 and was given asylum by qağan Busir Glavan (Ἰβουζήρος Γλιαβάνος), who gave him his sister in marriage, perhaps in response to an offer by Justinian who may have thought a dynastic marriage would seal by kinship a powerful tribal support for his attempts to regain the throne. The Khazarian spouse thereupon changed her name to Theodora. Busir was offered a bribe by the Byzantine usurper, Tiberius III, to kill Justinian. Warned by Theodora, Justinian escaped, murdering two Khazar officials in the process. He fled to Bulgaria, whose Khan Tervel helped him regain the throne. Upon his reinstallment, and despite Busir's treachery during his exile, he sent for Theodora; Busir complied, and she was crowned as Augusta, suggesting that both prized the alliance.

Decades later, Leo III (ruled 717-741) made a similar alliance to coordinate strategy against a common enemy, the Muslim Arabs. He sent an embassy to the Khazar qağan Bihar and married his son, the future Constantine V (ruled 741-775), to Bihar's daughter, a princess referred to as Tzitzak, in 732. On converting to Christianity, she took the name Irene. She introduced into the Byzantine court the distinctive kaftan or riding habit of the nomadic Khazars, the tzitzakion (τζιτζάκιον), which was to become a solemn element of imperial dress. Tzitzak is often treated as her original proper name, with a Turkic etymology čiček ('flower'). Erdal, however, citing the Byzantine work on court ceremony De Ceremoniis, authored by Constantine Porphyrogennetos, argues that the word referred only to the dress Irene wore at court, perhaps denoting its colourfulness, and compares it to the Hebrew ciciot, the knotted fringes of a ceremonial shawl tallit. Constantine and Irene had a son, the future Leo IV (775-780), who thereafter bore the sobriquet, “the Khazar”. Leo died in mysterious circumstances after his Athenian wife bore him a son, Constantine VI, who on his majority co-ruled with his mother, the dowager. He proved unpopular, and his death ended the dynastic link of the Khazars to the Byzantine throne.

Arab–Khazar wars
Main article: Arab–Khazar Wars
Extent of the Ummayad Caliphate at the time of its overthrow by the Abbasids in 750. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923. Courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.
During the 7th and 8th centuries, the Khazars fought a series of wars against the Umayyad Caliphate and its Abbasid successor. The First Arab-Khazar War began during the first phase of Muslim expansion. By 640, Muslim forces had reached Armenia; in 642 they launched their first raid across the Caucasus under Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rabiah. In 652 Arab forces advanced on the Khazar capital, Balanjar, but were defeated, suffering heavy losses; according to Arab historians such as al-Tabari, both sides in the battle usedcatapaults against the opposing troops. A number of Russian sources give the name of a Khazar khagan from this period as Irbis and describe him as a scion of the Göktürk royal house, the Ashina. Whether Irbis ever existed is open to debate, as is whether he can be identified with one of the many Göktürk rulers of the same name.
Due to the outbreak of the First Muslim Civil War and other priorities, the Arabs refrained from repeating an attack on the Khazars until the early 8th century. The Khazars launched a few raids into Transcaucasian principalities under Muslim dominion, including a large-scale raid in 683–685 during the Second Muslim Civil War that rendered much booty and many prisoners. There is evidence from the account of al-Tabari that the Khazars formed a united front with the remnants of the Göktürks in Transoxiana.
The Second Arab-Khazar War began with a series of raids across the Caucasus in the early 8th century. The Ummayads tightened their grip on Armenia in 705 after suppressing a large-scale rebellion. In 713 or 714, Umayyad general Maslamah conquered Derbent and drove deeper into Khazar territory. The Khazars launched raids in response into Albania and Iranian Azerbaijan but were driven back by the Arabs under Hatin ibn al-Nu'man. The conflict escalated in 722 with an invasion by 30,000 Khazars into Armenia inflicting a crushing defeat. Caliph Yazid II responded, sending 25,000 Arab troops north, swiftly driving the Khazars back across the Caucasus, recovering Derbent, and advancing on Balanjar. The Arabs broke through the Khazar defense and stormed the city; most of its inhabitants were killed or enslaved, but a few managed to flee north. Despite their success, the Arabs had not yet defeated the Khazar army, and they retreated south of the Caucasus.
Map of the Caucasus region ca. 750

In 724, Arab general al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah al-Hakami inflicted a crushing defeat on the Khazars in a long battle between the rivers Cyrus andAraxes, then moved on to capture Tiflis, bringing Caucasian Iberia under Muslim suzerainty. The Khazars struck back in 726, led by a prince namedBarjik, launching a major invasion of Albania and Azerbaijan; by 729, the Arabs had lost control of northeastern Transcaucasia and were thrust again into the defensive. In 730, Barjik invaded Iranian Azerbaijan and defeatedArab forces at Ardabil, killing the general al-Djarrah al-Hakami and briefly occupying the town. Barjik was defeated and killed the next year at Mosul, where he directed Khazar forces from a throne mounted with al-Djarrah's severed head. Arab armies led first by the prince Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik and then by Marwan ibn Muhammad (later Caliph Marwan II) poured across the Caucasus and in 737 defeated a Khazar army led by Hazer Tarkhan, briefly occupying Atil itself. The Qağan was forced to accept terms involving conversion to Islam, and to subject himself to the Caliphate, but the accommodation was short-lived as a combination of internal instability among the Umayyads and Byantine support undid the agreement within three years, and the Khazars re-asserted their independence.The adoption of Judaism by the Khazars, which in this theory would have taken place around 740, may have been part of this re-assertion of independence.
Whatever the impact of Marwan's campaigns, warfare between the Khazars and the Arabs ceased for more than two decades after 737. Arab raids continued until 741, but their control in the region was limited as maintaining a large garrison at Derbent further depleted the already overstretched army. A third Muslim civil war soon broke out, leading to the Abbasid Revolution and the fall of the Umayyad dynasty in 750.
In 758, the Abbasid Caliph Abdullah al-Mansur attempted to strengthen diplomatic ties with the Khazars, ordering Yazid ibn Usayd al-Sulami, one of his nobles and the military governor of Armenia, to take a royal Khazar bride. Yazid married a daughter of Khazar Khagan Baghatur, but she died inexplicably, possibly in childbirth. Her attendants returned home, convinced that some Arab faction had poisoned her, and her father was enraged. Khazar general Ras Tarkhan invaded south of the Caucasus in 762–764, devastating Albania, Armenia, and Iberia, and capturing Tiflis. Thereafter relations became increasingly cordial between the Khazars and the Abbasids, whose foreign policies were generally less expansionist than the Umayyads, broken only by a series of raids in 799 over another failed marriage alliance.
The site of the Khazar fortress at Sarkel. Aerial photo from excavations conducted by Mikhail Artamonov in the 1930s.

Surrounded by two powerful empires on its southern flank, each espousing a form of Abrahamic religion, the Khazars responded to the cultural challenge in a variety of ways. Many Khazars would retain fidelity to the older cult of Tengri, despite the pressures to convert. Christian proselytising missions, originating especially from Daghestan and Georgia, but also from the Crimean Goths, had made some early ground in conversions within Khazaria. According to a report by al-Muqaddasi, most of the denizens of Samandar, a Khazar center, were Christians. During the Islamic invasions, some groups of Khazars who suffered defeat, including a qağan, were converted to Islam. Sometimes flight from social and religious oppression into a more tolerant sociopolitical culture accounted for the emergence in Khazaria of new religious groups. A number of Jews from both the Islamic world and Byzantium, for example, are known to have migrated to Khazaria, the latter fleeing, in one instance, the persecutions of Romanus Lakapēnos.
According to a typical conversion legend, once when a Muslim doctor cured a local potentate and his wife within the Khazar realm on condition they convert, the king of the Khazars came with a large army on a war footing, angered that they had converted without his command. Advised to fight, the local people, crying Allāhu akhbar, routed the Khazar army and forced the king to make peace, and he too converted to Islam. Similar conversion legends, this time to Christianity, are recounted in Armenian records, regarding “Huns” (probably Khazars) under their leader Alp’Ilit’uēr round the Caucasian in 682, who lay under the jurisdiction of the Khazar qağan. The account provides many details of the earlier shamanic-type cults practiced by these people before their conversion.

The Rise of Rus' to the north
Map showing Varangian or Rus' settlement (in red) and location of Slavic tribes (in grey) during the mid-9th century. Khazar influence indicated with blue outline. Contact with the Khazars put the Rus’ in contact with one of the great civilizations of the period - the Arabian caliphate - and the Khazar administration of their society was also of utility for them, as a guide to how to govern a polyethnic and multiconfessional state. Their language also had a significant impact since Russian absorbed a large quantity of Turkish words. It was, according to Thomas Noonan, the dirhams of Khazar-Arab trading which, penetrating the Eastern Slavic world, attracted the Varangian Rus’ and prompted the formation of a Rus’ state. The orderly hierarchical system of succession by ‘scales’ (lestvichnaia sistema:лествичная система) to the Grand Principate of Kiev arguably was modelled on Khazar institutions, via the example of the Rus’ Khaganate. The Khazars were probably allied at some point with various Norse factions who controlled the region around Novgorod. The Rus' Khaganate, an early Rus' polity in modern northwestern Russia and Belarus, was probably heavily influenced by the Khazars. The Rus' regularly travelled through Khazar-held territory to attack territories around the Black and Caspian Seas; in one such raid, the Khagan is said to have given his assent on the condition that the Rus' give him half of the booty. In addition, the Khazars allowed the Rus' to use the trade route along the Volga River. This alliance was apparently fostered by the hostility between the Khazars and the Arabs. At a certain point, however, Khazar connivance of sacking Muslim lands by the Varangians led to a backlash against the Norsemen from the Muslim population of the Khaganate. The Khazar rulers closed the passage down the Volga for the Rus', sparking a war. In the early 960s, Khazar ruler Joseph wrote to Hasdai ibn Shaprut about the deterioration of Khazar relations with the Rus: "I have to wage war with them, for if I would give them any chance at all they would lay waste the whole land of the Muslims as far as Baghdad."

Sviatoslav I of Kiev (seated in the boat), the destroyer of the Khazar Khaganate.
From Klavdiy Lebedev (1852–1916),Svyatoslav's meeting with Emperor John, as described by Leo the Deacon.

The Rus' warlords Oleg and Sviatoslav I of Kiev launched several wars against the Khazar khaganate, often with Byzantine connivance. The Schechter Letter relates the story of a campaign against Khazaria by HLGW (Oleg) around 941 in which Oleg was defeated by the Khazar general Pesakh); this calls into question the timeline of the Primary Chronicle and other related works on the history of the Eastern Slavs. Sviatoslav finally succeeded in destroying Khazar imperial power in the 960s. The Khazar fortresses of Sarkel andTamatarkha fell to the Rus' in 965, with the capital city of Atil following, circa 968 or 969. A visitor to Atil wrote soon after the sacking of the city: "The Rus' attacked, and no grape or raisin remained, not a leaf on a branch."

Geographical extent
Map of the Khazar Khaganate and surrounding states, c. 820 CE. Area of direct Khazar control shown in dark blue, sphere of influence in purple. Other boundaries shown in dark red.
The Khazar Khaganate was an immense and powerful state at its height. The Khazaria heartland was the lower Volga and the Caspian coast as far south as Derbent. Khazar dominion over most of theCrimea and the northeast littoral of the Black Sea dates from the late 7th century. By 800 Khazar holdings included most of the Pontic steppe as far west as the Dnieper River and as far east as the Aral Sea (some Turkic history atlases show the Khazar sphere of influence extending well east of the Aral). During the Arab–Khazar war of the early 8th century, some Khazars evacuated to the foothills of the Ural Mountains, and some settlements may have remained. For a century and a half, the Khazars ruled the southern half of Eastern Europe and presented a bulwark blocking the Ural-Caspian gateway from Asia into Europe, while serving as a major artery of commerce between northern Europe and southwestern Asia along the Silk Road.
Their territory comprised much of modern-day southern European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern UkraineAzerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus (CircassiaDagestan), parts of Georgia, the Crimea, and northeastern Turkey.[88] Various place names invoking Khazar persist today. The Caspian Sea, traditionally known as the Hyrcanian Sea and Mazandaran Sea in Persian, is still known to Muslims as the 'Khazar Sea' (Bahr ul-Khazar). Many other cultures still use the name "Khazar Sea", e.g. "Xəzər dənizi" in Azerbaijani, "Hazar Denizi" in Turkish, "Bahr ul-Khazar" in Arabic (although "Bahr Qazween" is becoming more popular now), and "Darya-ye Khazar" in Persian. In Hungary, there are villages (and people with family names) called Kozár and Kazár.

Khazaria map from CE 600 till 850.

Khazar towns included the following:
Along the Caspian coast and Volga delta: AtilKhazaranSamandar
In Crimea and Taman region: Kerch (also called Bospor); Theodosia; Güzliev (modern Eupatoria); Samkarsh (also called Tmutarakan, Tamatarkha); Sudak (also called Sugdaia)
In the Don valley: Sarkel

A number of Khazar settlements have been discovered in the Mayaki-Saltovo region. Some scholars suppose that the Khazars founded a settlement called Sambat on the Dnieper, which was part of what would become the city of KievChernihiv is also thought to have started as a Khazar settlement.
Numerous nations were tributaries of the Khazars. A client king subject to Khazar overlordship was called an "Elteber". At various times, Khazar vassals included the following:
On the Pontic steppes, Crimea, and Turkestan: The Pechenegs; theOghuz; the Crimean Goths; the Crimean Huns (Onogurs); and the early Magyars.
In the Caucasus mountains: Georgia;various Armenian principalities; Arran (Azerbaijan); the North Caucasian HunsLazica; theCaucasian Avars; the Kassogs; and the Lezgins.
On the upper Don and Dnieper rivers: Various East Slavic tribes such as the Derevlians and the Vyatichs; and various early Rus'polities.
On the Volga river: Volga Bulgaria; the Burtas; various Uralic forest tribes such as the Mordvins and Ob-Ugrians; the Bashkir; and the Barsils.

Khazars outside Khazaria
Map showing the Hungarian Migration in the 10th century. Khazars built Sarkel to entrench themselves against the attacks of the Hungarians.

A map showing Khazars during expansion of Vikings.

Khazar communities existed outside those areas under Khazar overlordship. Many Khazar mercenaries served in the armies of the Islamic Caliphates and other states. Documents from medieval Constantinople attest to a Khazar community mingled with the Jews of the suburb of Pera. Christian Khazars also lived in Constantinople, and some served in its armies, including, in the 9th and 10th centuries, the imperialHetaireia bodyguard, where they formed their own separate company. The PatriarchPhotius I of Constantinople was once angrily referred to by the Emperor as "Khazar-face", though whether this refers to his actual lineage or is a generic insult is unclear.
Polish legends speak of Jews being present in Poland before the establishment of the Polish monarchy. Polish coins from the 12th and 13th centuries sometimes bore Slavic inscriptions written in the Hebrew alphabet, though connecting these coins to Khazar influence is purely a matter of speculation.
Khavars in Hungary
The Khavars (often called Kabars) who settled in Hungary in the late 9th and early 10th centuries may have included Khazars among their number. According to the archaeologist-historian Gábor Vékony, the native language of the Khavars was Khazar. According to the Turkologist Prof. András Róna-Tas, part of the Khazars rebelled but were subverted by the Khagan; some joined with the Magyars and took part in the Settlement of Hungary at the end of the 9th century.

Decline and fall
Khazars held hegemony over the Pontic steppe in the 9th century, a period known as the Pax Khazarica, allowing trade to flourish and facilitating trans-Eurasian contacts. In the early 10th century, however, the empire began to decline due to the attacks ofVikings from Kievan Rus and of various Turkic tribes. Khazaria enjoyed a brief revival under the strong rulers Aaron II and Joseph, who subdued rebellious client states such as the Alans and led victorious wars against Rus' invaders. Later Rus' warlords, however, would finally destroy Khazar power.

Kabar rebellion and the departure of the Magyars
Main article: Kabar
At some point in the 9th century (as reported by Constantine Porphyrogenitus), a group of three Khazar clans called the Kabarsrevolted against the Khazar government. Mikhail ArtamonovOmeljan Pritsak, and others have speculated that the revolt had something to do with a rejection of rabbinic Judaism; this is unlikely as it is believed that both the Kabars and mainstream Khazars had pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim members. Pritsak maintained that the Kabars were led by the Khagan Khan-Tuvan Dyggvi in a war against the Bek, though he cited no primary source for his propositions. The Kabars were defeated and joined a confederacy led by the Magyars. It has been speculated that "Hungarian" derives from the Turkic word "Onogur", or "Ten Arrows", referring to two Uralic tribes and eight Turkic tribes (composed of SabirsOnogurs, and the three tribes of the Kabars).
In the closing years of the 9th century the Khazars and Oghuz allied to attack the Pechenegs, who had been attacking both nations. The Pechenegs were driven westward, where they forced out the Magyars (Hungarians) who had previously inhabited the Don-Dnieper basin in vassalage to Khazaria. Under the leadership of the chieftain Lebedias, and later Árpád, the Hungarians moved west into modern-day Hungary. The departure of the Hungarians led to an unstable power vacuum and the loss of Khazar control over the steppes north of the Black Sea. Byzantine sources from the 10th and 11th centuries referred to Khazaria as Eastern Tourkia (GreekΤουρκία) and Hungary as Western Tourkia.

Diplomatic isolation and military threats
A much reduced Khazaria and surrounding states, c. 950 CE

The Khazar alliance with the Byzantine empire began to collapse in the early 10th century. Byzantine and Khazar forces may have clashed in the Crimea, and by the 940s emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogentius was speculating in De Administrando Imperio about ways in which the Khazars could be isolated and attacked. The Byzantines during the same period began to attempt alliances with the Pechenegs and the Rus', with varying degrees of success.
From the beginning of the 10th century, the Khazars found themselves fighting on multiple fronts as nomadic incursions were exacerbated by uprisings by former clients and invasions from former allies. According to the Schechter Text, the Khazar ruler Benjamin ben Menahem fought a war against a coalition of "'SY, TWRQY, 'BM, and PYYNYL," who were instigated and aided by "MQDWN". MQDWN or Macedon refers to the Byzantine Empire in many medieval Jewish writings; the other entities named have been tenuously identified by scholars, including Omeljan Pritsak, with the BurtasOghuz TurksVolga Bulgars, and Pechenegs, respectively. Though Benjamin was victorious, his son Aaron II faced another invasion, this time led by the Alans. Aaron defeated the Alans with Oghuz help, yet within a few years the Oghuz and Khazars were enemies.
Ibn Fadlan reported Oghuz hostility to the Khazars during his journey, c. 921. Some sources, discussed by Tamara Rice, claim thatSeljuk, the eponymous progenitor of the Seljuk Turks, began his career as an Oghuz soldier in Khazar service in the early and mid-10th century, rising to high rank before he fell out with the Khazar rulers and departed for Khwarazm.

Map of Eurasia showing the trade network of the Radhanites, c. 870 CE, as reported in the account of ibn Khordadbeh in the Book of Roads and Kingdoms.
The Khazars occupied a prime trade nexus. Goods from western Europe travelled east to Central Asia and China and vice versa, and the Muslim world could only interact with northern Europe via Khazar intermediaries. The Radhanites, a guild of medieval Jewish merchants, had a trade route that ran through Khazaria, and may have been instrumental in the Khazars' conversion to Judaism.
No Khazar paid taxes to the central government. Revenue came from a 10% levy on goods transiting through the region, and from tribute paid by subject nations. The Khazars exported honeyfurswool,millet and other cerealsfish, and slaves. D.M. Dunlop and Artamanov asserted that the Khazars produced no material goods themselves, living solely on trade. This theory has been refuted by discoveries over the last half century, which include pottery and glass factories.

Khazar coinage
The Khazars are known to have minted silver coins, called Yarmaqs. Many of these were imitations of Arab dirhems with corrupted Arabic letters. Coins of the Caliphate were in widespread use due to their reliable silver content. Merchants from as far away as China,England, and Scandinavia accepted them regardless of their inability to read the Arab writing. Thus issuing imitation dirhems was a way to ensure acceptance of Khazar coinage in foreign lands.
The Kievan Letter scan in The Kievan Letter scan collection of Cambridge University Library. The Turkic runiform inscription is at the bottom-left section of the letter.
Some surviving examples bear the legend "Ard al-Khazar" (Arabic for "land of the Khazars"). In 1999 a hoard of silver coins was discovered on the property of the Spillings farm in the Swedish island of Gotland. Among the coins were several dated 837/8 CE and bearing the legend, in Arabic script, "Moses is the Prophet of God" (a modification of the Muslim coin inscription "Muhammad is the Prophet of God").In "Creating Khazar Identity through Coins", Roman Kovalev postulated that these dirhems were a special commemorative issue celebrating the adoption of Judaism by the Khazar ruler Bulan.
Transcription of the Steppean Rovas text in the Kievan Letter

Main article: Khazar language
The Khazar language spoken by the Khazars is also referred to as Khazarian, Khazaric, or Khazari. The language is extinct and written records are almost non-existent. Few examples of the Khazar language exist today, mostly in names that have survived in historical sources. All of these examples seem to be of the "Lir"-type though. Extant written works are primarily in Hebrew.
The only Khazar word written in the original Khazar alphabet that survives is the single word-phrase OKHQURÜM, "I read (this or it); (Modern Turkish: OKURUM)" at the end of the Kievian Letter. This word is written in Turkic runiform script, suggesting that this script survived the upper class's conversion to Judaism. Titles like alpBek,(Modern Turkish "bey" means "chieftain,lord") alp tarkan and yabgu refer to an Oghuz Turkishroot which today spoken in Turkey and Azerbaijan.

In a recent study by Elhaik, Georgians and Armenians were used as modern proxies for historical proto-Khazars because they are believed by the author to have emerged from the same genetic cohort as the Khazars.

Conversion of the royalty and aristocracy to Judaism
Jewish communities had existed in the Greek cities of the Black Sea coast since late classical times. ChersonesosSudakKerch and other Crimean cities sustained Jewish communities, as did Gorgippia, and Samkarsh / Tmutarakan was said to have had a Jewish majority as early as the 670s. Jews fled from Byzantium to Khazaria as a consequence of persecution under HeracliusJustinian IILeo III, and Romanos I. These were joined by other Jews fleeing from Sassanid Persia (particularly during the Mazdak revolts), and, later, the Islamic world. Jewish merchants such as the Radhanites regularly traded in Khazar territory, and may have wielded significant economic and political influence. Though their origins and history are somewhat unclear, the Mountain Jews also lived in or near Khazar territory and may have been allied with the Khazars, or subject to them; it is conceivable that they, too, played a role in Khazar conversion.
At some point in the last decades of the 8th century or the early 9th century, the Khazarroyalty and nobility converted to Judaism, and part of the general population may have followed. The extent of the conversion is debated. The 10th-century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih reported that "all the Khazars are Jews." Notwithstanding this statement, most scholars believe that only the upper classes converted to Judaism; there is some support for this in contemporary Muslim texts.
Contemporary historians provided much details about the religion and daily life of Khazars. One of the most detailed description of Khazars came from Arab historian Ahmed ibn Fadlan who traveled to Khazaria in 922 as the emissary of Baghdad caliph. According to his account the majority of Khazars were Muslims and Christians while the Jewish population represented a minority in the kingdom. According to ibn Fadlan, contrary to non Jewish Khazars, the king and his royal court was Jewish. Ibn Fadlan claimed that 100,000 Muslims have lived in Khazaria and 30 mosques were established there. He also described a strong pagan community consisting mostly of Slavic peoples. Considering the governance Ibn Fadlan wrote that judges were elected equally from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Pagan community. Dmitry Vasilyev, a professor at Astrakhan State University, who excavated sites associated with Khazars, states that after the fall of Khazar empire " Khazars were slowly assimilated by Turkic-speaking tribes, Tatars and Mongols" The Khazars enjoyed close relations with the Jews of the Levant and Persia. The Persian Jews, for example, hoped that the Khazars might succeed in conquering the Caliphate. The high esteem in which the Khazars were held among the Jews of the Orient may be seen in the application to them, in an Arabic commentary on Isaiah ascribed by some to Saadia Gaon, and by others to Benjamin Nahawandi, of Isaiah 48:14: "The Lord hath loved him." "This", says the commentary, "refers to the Khazars, who will go and destroy Babel" (i.e.,Babylonia), a name used to designate the country of the Arabs. From the Khazar Correspondence it is apparent that two Spanish Jews, Judah ben Meir ben Nathan and Joseph Gagris, had succeeded in settling in the land of the Khazars. Saadia, who had a fair knowledge of the kingdom of the Khazars, mentions a certain Isaac ben Abraham who had removed from Sura to Khazaria.

Seal discovered in excavations. It is unclear whether it is a Jewish or Pagan symbol.

Likewise, the Khazar rulers viewed themselves as the protectors of international Jewry, and corresponded with foreign Jewish leaders. The letters exchanged between the Khazar ruler Joseph and the Spanish rabbi Hasdai ibn Shaprut have been preserved. They were known to retaliate against Muslim or Christian interests in Khazaria for persecution of Jews abroad.Ibn Fadlan relates that around 920 the Khazar ruler received information that Muslims had destroyed a synagogue in the land of Babung, in Iran; he gave orders that the minaret of themosque in his capital should be broken off, and the muezzin executed. He further declared that he would have destroyed the mosque entirely had he not been afraid that the Muslims would in turn destroy all the synagogues in their lands.
The theory that the majority of Ashkenazi Jews are the descendants of the Khazar population was advocated by various racial theorists and antisemitic sources in the 20th century, especially following the publication of Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe. This belief is still popular among groups such as the Christian Identity MovementBlack HebrewsBritish Israelitists and others (particularly Arabs) who claim that they, rather than Jews, are the true descendants of the Israelites, or who seek to downplay the connection between Ashkenazi Jews and Israel in favor of their own. For more detail on this controversy,see below.
In his 9th-century work Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam, the Benedictine monk Christian of Stavelot referred to them as descendants of Gog and Magog, and says they are "Circumcised and observing all [the laws of] Judaism".

Other religions
Besides Judaism, other religions practiced in areas ruled by the Khazars included Greek OrthodoxNestorian, and MonophysiteChristianity, Zoroastrianism as well as NorseFinnic, and Slavic cults. The Khazar government tolerated a wide array of religious practices within the Khaganate. Many Khazars reportedly were converts to Christianity and Islam. (See "Judiciary", below.)
Greek Orthodox bishop was resident at Atil and was subject to the authority of the Metropolitan of Doros. The "apostle of the Slavs",Saint Cyril, is said to have attempted the conversion of Khazars without enduring results. Khazaran had a sizable Muslim population and quarter with a number of mosques. A Muslim officer, the khazz, represented the Muslim community in the royal court.

Debate about Khazar conversion to Judaism
Date and extent of the conversion

The date of the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism, and whether it occurred as one event or as a sequence of events over time, is widely disputed. The issues surrounding this controversy are discussed above.
The number of Khazars who converted to Judaism is also hotly contested, with historical accounts ranging from claims that only the King and his retainers had embraced Judaism, to the claim that the majority of the lay population had converted. D.M. Dunlop was of the opinion that only the upper class converted. Analysis of recent archaeological grave evidence by such scholars as Kevin A. Brook asserts that the sudden shift in burial customs, with the abandonment of pagan-style burial with grave goods and the adoption of simple shroud burials during the mid-9th century suggests a more widespread conversion.A mainstream scholarly consensus does not yet exist regarding the extent of the conversions.

See also: Crimean Karaites
Karaim children of Trakai declaiming in Karaim language:"We, descendants of Khazars of Kipchaks, came to Lithuania from Crimea long time ago." in a documentary made by TRT
Turkic-speaking Karaites (in the Crimean Tatar language, Qaraylar) have lived in Crimea for centuries. Their origin is a matter of great controversy. According the Karaite documents at the near past they considered themselves as Karaite Jews who settled in Crimea and adopted the «language of the nomads» (see Karaim language). Currently most of them consider themselves, as descendants of Khazar or Kipchak converted to Karaimism. This theory was originally suggested by Russian orientalist V. Grigoriev in the 19th century,  has been widely adopted by the Karaims in the 20th century. (See also Seraya Shapshal).
Specialists in Khazar history put the Khazar theory questioned, highlighting the following facts:
Karaim language belongs to the Kipchak linguistic group, and the Khazar - the Bulgar, therefore, between the two Turkic languages is no close relationship;
According Khazar Correspondence Khazar Judaism was, most likely,Talmudic, and in the tradition of Karaism the only holy book is the Bible, the Talmud is not recognized;
Khazars disappeared in the 11th century, and the first written mention of the Crimean Karaites was in the 14th century.
Today most of the Karaims seek to distance themselves from being identified as Karaite Jews, emphasizing their Turkic heritage as Turkic practitioners of a "Mosaic religion separate and distinct from Judaism", is in-keeping with their study of Halakah Shammai.

See also: Krymchaks
The Krymchaks are Turkic people, community of Turkic languages and adherents of Rabbinic Judaism living in Crimea. In the late 7th century most of Crimea fell to the Khazars. The extent to which the Krymchaks influenced the ultimate conversion of the Khazars and the development of Khazar Judaism is unknown. During the period of Khazar rule, intermarriage between Crimean Jews and Khazars is likely, and the Krymchaks probably absorbed numerous Khazar refugees during the decline and fall of the Khazar kingdom (a Khazarsuccessor state, ruled by Georgius Tzul, was centered on Kerch). It is known that Kipchak converts to Judaism existed, and it is possible that from these converts the Krymchaks adopted their distinctive language. They have historically lived in close proximity to the Karaims. At first krymchak was a Russian descriptive used to differentiate them from their Ashkenazi coreligionists, as well as other Jewish communities in the former Russian Empire such as the Georgian Jews, but in the second half of the 19th century this name was adopted by the Krymchaks themselves.

Theory of Khazar ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews
Early Khazar theories
The theory that all or most Ashkenazi Jews might be descended from Khazars dates back to the racial studies of late 19th-century Europe. In some cases it has been cited to assert that most modern Jews are not descended from Israelites and/or to refute Israeli claims to Israel. It was first publicly proposed in a lecture given by the racial-theorist Ernest Renan on January 27, 1883, titled "Judaism as a Race and as Religion." It was repeated in articles in The Dearborn Independent in 1923 and 1925, and popularized by racial theorist Lothrop Stoddard in a 1926 article in the Forum titled "The Pedigree of Judah", where he argued that Ashkenazi Jews were a mix of people, of which the Khazars were a primary element.  Stoddard's views were "based on nineteenth and twentieth-century concepts of race, in which small variations on facial features as well as presumed accompanying character traits were deemed to pass from generation to generation, subject only to the corrupting effects of marriage with members of other groups, the result of which would lower the superior stock without raising the inferior partners." This theory was adopted by British Israelites, who saw it as a means of invalidating the claims of Jews (rather than themselves) to be the true descendants of the ancient Israelites, and was supported by early anti-Zionists.
In 1951 Southern Methodist University professor John O. Beaty published The Iron Curtain over America, a work which claimed that "Khazar Jews" were "responsible for all of America's — and the world's — ills beginning with World War I". The book repeated a number of familiar antisemitic claims, placing responsibility for U.S. involvement in World Wars I and II and the Bolshevik revolution on these Khazars, and insisting that Khazar Jews were attempting to subvert Western Christianity and establish communism throughout the world. The American millionaire J. Russell Maguire gave money towards its promotion, and it was met with enthusiasm by hate groups and the extreme right. By the 1960s the Khazar theory had become a "firm article of faith" amongst Christian Identitygroups.  In 1971 John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha) also took up this theme, insisting that Palestinians were more closely related to the ancient Judeans than were Jews. According to Benny Morris:
Of course an anti-Zionist (as well as an anti-Semitic) point is being made here: The Palestinians have a greater political right to Palestine than the Jews do, as they, not the modern-day Jews, are the true descendants of the land's Jewish inhabitants/owners.
The theory gained further support when the Jewish novelist Arthur Koestler devoted his popular book The Thirteenth Tribe (1976) to the topic. Koestler's historiography has been attacked as highly questionable by many historians; it has also been pointed out that his discussion of theories about Ashkenazi descent is entirely lacking scientific or historiographical support; to the extent that Koestler referred to place-names and documentary evidence his analysis has been described as a mixture of flawed etymologies and misinterpreted primary sources. Commentors have also noted that Koestler mischaracterized the sources he cited, particularlyD.M. Dunlop's History of the Jewish Khazars (1954). Dunlop himself stated that the theory that Eastern European Jews were the descendants of the Khazars, "... can be dealt with very shortly, because there is little evidence which bears directly upon it, and it unavoidably retains the character of a mere assumption."
Koestler, a secular Ashkenazi Jew did not see alleged Khazar ancestry as diminishing the claim of Jews to Israel, which he felt was based on the United Nations mandate, and not on Biblical covenants or genetic inheritance. In his view, "The problem of the Khazar infusion a thousand years ago ... is irrelevant to modern Israel". In addition, according to author Michael Barkun, Koestler was apparently "either unaware of or oblivious to the use anti-Semites had made to the Khazar theory since its introduction at the turn of the [20th] century."

Theories linking Jews to Khazars today
The Khazar theory still enjoys popularity among anti-Zionists and antisemites. Such proponents argue that if Ashkenazi Jews are primarily Khazar and not Semitic in origin, they would have no historical claim to Israel, nor would they be the subject of God'sBiblical promise of Canaan to the Israelites, thus undermining the theological basis of both Jewish religious Zionists and Christian Zionists. In the 1970s and 80s the Khazar theory was also advanced by some Russian chauvinist antisemites, particularly the historian Lev Gumilyov, who portrayed "Judeo-Khazars" as having repeatedly sabotaged Russia's development since the 7th century.
Bernard Lewis, stated in 1999:
This theory… is supported by no evidence whatsoever. It has long since been abandoned by all serious scholars in the field, including those in Arab countries, where the Khazar theory is little used except in occasional political polemics.
The Khazar theory also fails to explain why Ashkenazi Jews, who were concentrated in the former lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, spoke a version of German, Yiddish, as their language. If they had migrated from the east, they would not be expected to have entirely adopted a language that was spoken further west than where they lived, and moreover is entirely devoid of words ofTurkic origin.

Genetic studies on Ashkenazi Jewry
A 1999 study by Hammer et al., published in the Proceedings of the United States National Academy of Sciences compared the Y chromosomes of Ashkenazi, Roman, North African, Kurdish, Near Eastern, Yemenite, and Ethiopian Jews with 16 non-Jewish groups from similar geographic locations. It found that "Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level... The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora."  According to Nicholas Wade "The results accord with Jewish history and tradition and refute theories like those holding that Jewish communities consist mostly of converts from other faiths, or that they are descended from the Khazars, a medieval Turkish tribe that adopted Judaism."
A 2010 study on Jewish ancestry by Atzmon et al. says "Two major groups were identified by principal component, phylogenetic, and identity by descent (IBD) analysis: Middle Eastern Jews and European/Syrian Jews. The IBD segment sharing and the proximity of European Jews to each other and to southern European populations suggested similar origins for European Jewry and refuted large-scale genetic contributions of Khazars or Slavic populations to the formation of Ashkenazi Jewry."
Concerning male-line ancestry, several Y-DNA studies have tested the hypothesis of Khazar ancestry amongst Ashkenazim. In these studies Haplogroup R1a chromosomes (sometimes called Eu 19) have been identified as potential evidence of one line of Eastern European ancestry amongst Ashkenazim, which could possibly be Khazar. One concluded that "neither the NRY haplogroup composition of the majority of Ashkenazi Jews nor the microsatellite haplotype composition of the R1a1 haplogroup within Ashkenazi Levites is consistent with a major Khazar or other European origin", athough "one cannot rule out the important contribution of a single or a few founders among contemporary Ashkenazi Levites." Another concluded that "if the R-M17 chromosomes in Ashkenazi Jews do indeed represent the vestiges of the mysterious Khazars then, according to our data, this contribution was limited to either a single founder or a few closely related men, and does not exceed ~ 12% of the present-day Ashkenazim."
In August 2012, Dr. Harry Ostrer stated in his book "Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People" that all major Jewish groups do have common Middle Eastern origin, originating from ancient Israelites, and refuted any large scale genetic contribution from the Turkic Khazars. Geneticist Noah Rosenberg asserts that although recent DNA studies "do not appear to support" the Khazar hypothesis, they do not "entirely eliminate it either." while Ann Arbor and Sarah Tishkoff, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania, commenting on the results of genetic studies stated "This is clearly showing a genetic common ancestry of all Jewish populations."
A 2012 study by Elhaik analyzed data collected for previous studies and assumed that Armenians and Georgians are Proto Khazars. Elhaik claimed that the DNA of Eastern and Central European Jewish populations indicates that their ancestry is "a mosaic of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries".

Other claims of descent
Others[who?] have claimed Khazar origins for such groups as the Mountain Jews and Georgian Jews. There is little evidence to support these theories, although it is possible that some Khazar descendants found their way into these communities. Non-Jewish groups who claim at least partial descent from the Khazars include the KazakhsKumyks and Crimean Tatars; as with the above-mentioned Jewish groups, these claims are subject to a great deal of controversy and debate. The Russian Orthodox Cossacks of southern Russia and Ukraine, many of whom live in Russian krais that were once part of the former Khazaria, are sometimes said to be of partially Turkic origin, including Khazar as well as TatarCuman and Pecheneg, due to aspects of their customs and lifestyle.

Late references to the Khazars
The Pontic steppes, c.1015. The areas in blue are those possibly still under Khazar control.
There is debate as to the temporal and geographic extent of Khazar polities following Sviatoslav's sack of Atil in 968/9, or even whether any such states existed. The Khazars may have retained control over some areas in the Caucasus for another two centuries, but sparse historical records make this difficult to confirm.
The evidence of later Khazar polities includes the fact that Sviatoslav did not occupy the Volga basin after he destroyed Atil, and departed relatively quickly to embark on his campaign in Bulgaria. The permanent conquest of the Volga basin seems to have been left to later waves of steppe peoples like the Kipchaks and Cumans.

Jewish sources
A letter in Hebrew dated AM 4746 (985–986) refers to "our lord David, the Khazar prince" who lived in Taman. The letter said that this David was visited by envoys from Kievan Rus' to ask about religious matters — this could be connected to the Vladimir conversion which took place during the same time period. Taman was a principality of Kievan Rus' around 988, so this successor state (if that is what it was) may have been conquered altogether. The authenticity of this letter, the Mandgelis Document, has however been questioned by such scholars as D. M. Dunlop.
Petachiah of Ratisbon, a 13th-century rabbi and traveler, reported traveling through "Khazaria", though he gave few details of its inhabitants except to say that they lived amidst desolation in perpetual mourning. The account of the conversion of the "seven kings of Meshech" is extremely similar to the accounts of the Khazar conversion given in the Kuzari, and in King Joseph's Reply. It is possible that Meshech refers to the Khazars, or to some Judaized polity influenced by them. Arguments against this possibility include the reference to "seven kings" (though this, in turn, could refer to seven successor tribes or state micropolities).

Arabic and Muslim sources
Khazar Empire and its neighbors in 1025 CE.
Ibn Hawqal and al-Muqaddasi refer to Atil after 969, indicating that it may have been rebuilt. Al-Biruni (mid-11th century) reported that Atil was in ruins, and did not mention the later city of Saqsin which was built nearby, so it is possible that this new Atil was only destroyed in the middle of the 11th century. Even assuming al-Biruni's report was not an anachronism, there is no evidence that this "new" Atil was populated by Khazars rather than byPechenegs or a different tribe.
Ibn al-Athir, who wrote around 1200, described "the raid of Fadhlun the Kurd against the Khazars". Fadhlun the Kurd has been identified as al-Fadhl ibn Muhammad al-Shaddadi, who ruled Arran and other parts of Azerbaijan in the 1030s. According to the account he attacked the Khazars but had to flee when they ambushed his army and killed 10,000 of his men. Two of the great early 20th-century scholars on Eurasian nomads, Marquart and Barthold, disagreed about this account. Marquart believed that this incident refers to some Khazar remnant that had reverted to paganism and nomadic life. Barthold, (and more recently, Kevin Brook), took a much more skeptical approach and said that ibn al-Athir must have been referring to Georgians or Abkhazians. There is no evidence to decide the issue one way or the other.

Kievan Rus' sources
According to the Primary Chronicle, in 986 Khazar Jews were present at Vladimir's disputation to decide on the prospective religion of the Kievian Rus'. Whether these were Jews who had settled in Kiev or emissaries from some Jewish Khazar remnant state is unclear. The whole incident is regarded by a few radical scholars as a fabrication, but the reference to Khazar Jews (after the destruction of the Khaganate) is still relevant. Heinrich Graetz alleged that these were Jewish missionaries from the Crimea, but provided no reference to primary sources for his allegation.
In 1023 the Primary Chronicle reports that Mstislav of Chernigov (one of Vladimir's sons) marched against his brother Yaroslav with an army that included "Khazars and Kasogs". Kasogs were an early Circassian people. "Khazars" in this reference is considered by most to be intended in the generic sense, but some have questioned why the reference reads "Khazars and Kasogs", when "Khazars" as a generic would have been sufficient. Even if the reference is to Khazars, of course, it does not follow that there was a Khazar state in this period. They could have been Khazars under the rule of the Rus.
A Kievian prince named Oleg (not to be confused with Oleg of Kiev) was reportedly kidnapped by "Khazars" in 1078 and shipped off toConstantinople, although most scholars believe that this is a reference to the Kipchaks or other steppe peoples then dominant in the Pontic region. Upon his conquest of Tmutarakan in the 1080s Oleg gave himself the title "Archon of Khazaria".

Byzantine, Georgian and Armenian sources
Khazaria overlaps ancient Scythia. According to Jewish historian JosephusAlexander the Greatlocked the horse-riding, barbarian Scythians of the far north behind iron gates in the Caucasus mountains,  in what is likely modern dayArmenia and Georgia.
Kedrenos documented a joint attack on the Khazar state in Kerch, ruled by Georgius Tzul, by the Byzantines and Russians in 1016. Following 1016, there are more ambiguous references in Eastern Christian sources to Khazars that may or may not be using "Khazars" in a general sense (the Arabs, for example, called all steppe people "Turks"; the Romans/Byzantines called them all "Scythians" At least one 12th-century Byzantine source refers to tribes practicing Mosaic law and living in the Balkans; see Khalyzians. The connection between this group and the Khazars is rejected by most modern Khazar scholars.
Western sources
Giovanni di Plano Carpini, a 13th-century Papal legate to the court of the Mongol KhanGuyuk, gave a list of the nations the Mongols had conquered in his account. One of them, listed among tribes of the Caucasus, Pontic steppe and the Caspian region, was the "Brutakhi, who are Jews." The identity of the Brutakhi is unclear. Giovanni later refers to the Brutakhi as shaving their heads. Though Giovanni refers to them as Kipchaks, they may have been a remnant of the Khazar people. Alternatively, they may have been Kipchak converts to Judaism (possibly connected to the Krymchaks or the Karaims).

In literature
Main article: Khazars in fiction
The Kuzari is one of most famous works of the medieval Spanish Jewish philosopher and poet Rabbi Yehuda Halevi. Divided into five essays ("ma'amarim" (namely, Articles)), it takes the form of a dialogue between the pagan king of the Khazars and a Jew who was invited to instruct him in the tenets of the Jewish religion. Originally written in Arabic, the book was translated by numerous scholars (including Judah ibn Tibbon) into Hebrew and other languages. Though the book is not considered a historical account of the Khazar conversion to Judaism, scholars such as D.M. Dunlop and A.P. Novoseltsev have postulated that Yehuda had access to Khazar documents upon which he loosely based his work. His contemporary Avraham ibn Daud reported meeting Khazar rabbinical students inToledo, Spain in the mid-12th century. In any case, however, the book is in the main - and clearly intended to be - an exposition of the basic tenets of the Jewish religion, rather than a historical account of the actual conversion of the Khazars to Judaism.
The question of mass religious conversion is a central theme in Milorad Pavić's international bestselling novel Dictionary of the Khazars. The novel, however, contained many invented elements and had little to do with actual Khazar history. More recently, several novels, including H.N. Turteltaub's Justinian (about the life of Justinian II) and Marek Halter's Book of Abraham and Wind of the Khazars have dealt either directly or indirectly with the topic of the Khazars and their role in history.

In 2007, the New York Times Magazine serialized a novel by Michael Chabon entitled Gentlemen of the Road which features 10th-century Khazar characters.
"To seek out that which was lost..." We present this Information as a Service to our readers... Its inclusion should not be construed as the Authors' or the Relays' endorsement of our Beliefs... or as our endorsement of theirs.. the Truth will stand on it's own Merit.

Found at: The RCathList Home Page. (Suprise!) Download file in .txt format... Self extracting 79.2K factsar.exe.

By: Benjamin H. Freedman THE TRUTH ABOUT KHAZARS

Maybe you can explain to me, my dear Dr. Goldstein, the reason why and just how the origin and the history of the Khazars and Khazar Kingdom was so well concealed from the world for so many centuries? What secret mysterious power has been able for countless generations to keep the origin and the history of the Khazars and Khazar Kingdom out of history text-books and out of class-room courses in history throughout the world? The origin and history of the Khazars and Khazar Kingdom are certainly incontestable historical facts. These incontestable historic facts also establish beyond any question of doubt the origin and history of the so-called or self-styled "Jews" in eastern Europe. The origin and history of the Khazars and Khazar kingdom and their relationship to the origin and early history of the so-called or self-styled "Jews" in eastern Europe was one of history's best kept secrets until wide publicity was given in recent years to my research on this subject. Do you not think, my dear Dr. Goldstein, that it is time this whole subject was dragged out of its hiding place?

In the year 1948 in the Pentagon in Washington I addressed a large assembly of the highest ranking officers of the United States Army principally in the G2 branch of Military Intelligence on the highly explosive geopolitical situation in eastern Europe and the Middle East. Then as now that area of the world was a potential threat to the peace of the world and to the security of this nation I explained to them fully the origin of the Khazars and Khazar Kingdom. I felt then as I feel now that without a clear and comprehensive knowledge of that subject it is not possible to understand or to evaluate properly what has been taking place in the world since 1917, the year of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. It is the "key" to that problem.

Upon the conclusion of my talk a very alert Lieutenant Colonel present at the meeting informed me that he was the head of the history department of one of the largest and highest scholastic rated institutions of higher education in the United States. He had taught history there for 16 years. He had recently been called back to Washington for further military service. To my astonishment he informed me that he had never in all his career as a history teachers or otherwise heard the word "khazar" before he heard me mention it there. That must give you some idea, my dear Dr. Goldstein, of how successful that mysterious secret power was with their plot to "block out" the origin and the history of the Khazars and Khazar Kingdom in order to conceal from the world and particularly Christians the true origin and the history of the so-called or self- styled "Jews" in eastern Europe.

The Russian conquest in the 10th-13th centuries of the little-known-to-history Khazars apparently ended the existence for all time of the little-known-to-history 800,000 square mile sovereign kingdom of the so-called or self-styled "Jews" in eastern Europe, known then as the Khazar Kingdom. Historians and theologians now agree that this political development was the reason for the "IMPORTANT CHANGE IN THE WORDING OF THE `KOL NIDRE' by Meir ben Samuel in the 11th century, and for the policy adopted by the so-called or self-styled "Jews" that "THE LAW OF REVOCATION IN ADVANCE WAS NOT MADE PUBLIC". Will you be patient with me while I review here as briefly as I can the history of that political emergence and disappearance of a nation from the pages of history?

Prior to the 10th century the Khazar Kingdom had already been reduced by Russian conquests to an area of about 800,000 square miles. As you can see on the map from the Jewish Encyclopedia [Reproduced in the book form of this tract, "Facts are Facts"] the territory of the Khazar Kingdom in the 10th century was still by far the largest of any nation in Europe. The population of the Khazar Kingdom was made up for the most part of Khazars with the addition of the remnants of the populations of the 25 peaceful agricultural nations which had inhabited this approximately 1,000,000 square miles before their conquest by the invading Khazars. In the 1st century B.C. the Khazars had invaded eastern Europe from their homeland in Asia. The Khazars invaded eastern Europe via the land route between the north end of the Caspian Sea and the south end of the Ural Mountains. (see map.)

The Khazars were not "Semites". They were an Asiatic Mongoloid nation. They are classified by modern anthropologists as Turco-Finns racially. From time immemorial the homeland of the Khazars was in the heart of Asia. They were a very warlike nation. The Khazars were driven out of Asia finally by the nations in Asia with whom they were continually at war. The Khazars invaded eastern Europe to escape further defeats in Asia. The very warlike Khazars did not find it difficult to subdue and conquer the 25 peaceful agricultural nations occupying approximately 1,000,000 square miles in eastern Europe. In a comparatively short period the Khazars established the largest and most powerful kingdom in Europe, and probably the wealthiest also.

The Khazars were a pagan nation when they invaded eastern Europe. Their religious worship was a mixture of phallic worship and other forms of idolatrous worship practiced in Asia by pagan nations This form of worship continued until the 7th century. The vile forms of sexual excess indulged in by the Khazars as their form of religious worship produced a degree of moral degeneracy the Khazar's king could not endure. In the 7th century King Bulan, ruler at that time of the Khazar Kingdom, decided to abolish the practice of phallic worship and other forms of idolatrous worship and make one of the three monotheistic religions, about which he knew very little, the new state religion. After a historic session with representatives of the three monotheistic religions King Bulan decided against Christian and Islam and selected as the future state religion as the religious worship then know as "Talmudism", and now known and practiced as "Judaism". This even is well documented in history.

King Bulan and his 4000 feudal nobles were promptly converted by rabbis imported from Babylonia for that event. Phallic worship and other forms of idolatry were thereafter forbidden. The Khazar kings invited large numbers of rabbis to come and open synagogues and schools to instruct the population in the new form of religious worship. It was now the state religion. The converted Khazars were the first population of so-called or self-styled "Jews' in eastern Europe. So-called or self-styled "Jews" in eastern Europe after the conversion of the Khazars the descendants of the Khazars converted to "Talmudism", or as it is now know "Judaism", by the 7th century mass conversion of the Khazar population.

After the conversion of King Bulan none but a so-called or self-styled "Jew" could occupy the Khazar throne. The Khazar Kingdom became a virtual theocracy. The religious leaders were the civil administrators also. The religious leaders imposed the teachings of the Talmud upon the population as their guide to living. The ideologies of the Talmud became the axis of political, cultural, economic and social attitudes and activities throughout the Khazar kingdom. The Talmud provided civil and religious law.

It might be very interesting for you, my dear Dr. Goldstein, if you have the patience, to allow me to quote for you here form Volume IV, pages 1 to 5, of the Jewish Encyclopedia. The Jewish Encyclopedia refers to the Khazars as "Chazars". The two spellings are optional according to the best authorities.

The two are pronounced alike. Either Khazar or "Chazar" is pronounced like the first syllable of "costume" with the word "Czar" added onto it. It is correctly pronounced "cos(tume)Czar". The Jewish Encyclopedia has five pages on the Khazars but I will skip through them:

"CHAZARS: A people of Turkish origin whose life and history are interwoven with THE VERY BEGINNINGS OF THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS OF RUSSIA...driven on by the nomadic tribes of the steppes and by THEIR OWN DESIRE FOR PLUNDER AND REVENGE...In the second half of the sixth century the Chazars moved westward...The kingdom of the chazars was firmly established in MOST OF SOUTH RUSSIA LONG BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE RUSSIAN MONARCHY BY THE VARANGIAN (855)...At this time the kingdom of the Chazars stood at the height of its power AND WAS CONSTANTLY AT WAR... At the end of the eighth century...the chagan (king) of the Chazars and his grandees, TOGETHER WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF HIS HEATHEN PEOPLE, EMBRACED THE JEWISH RELIGION... The Jewish population in the entire domain of the Chazars, in the period between the seventh and tenth centuries, MUST HAVE BEEN CONSIDERABLE... about THE NINTH CENTURY, IT APPEARS AS IF ALL THE CHAZARS WERE JEWS AND THAT THEY HAD BEEN CONVERTED TO JUDAISM ONLY A SHORT TIME BEFORE... It was one of the successors of Bulan named Obadiah, who regenerated the kingdom and STRENGTHENED THE JEWISH RELIGION. He invited Jewish scholars to settle in his dominions, and founded SYNAGOGUES AND SCHOOLS. The people were instructed in the bible, Mishnah, and the TALMUD and in the `divine service of the hazzanim'.. In their writings the CHAZARS USED THE HEBREW LETTERS ... THE CHAZAR LANGUAGES PREDOMINATED... Obadiah was succeeded by his son Isaac; Isaac by his son Moses (or Manasseh II); the latter by his son Nisi; and Nisi by his son Aaron II. King Joseph himself was a son of Aaron, AND ASCENDED THE THRONE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW OF THE CHAZARS RELATING TO SUCCESSION... The king had twenty-five wives, all of royal blood, and sixty concubines, all famous beauties. Each one slept in a separate tent and was watched by a eunuch...THIS SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN THE BEGINNING OF THE DOWNFALL OF THE CHAZAR KINGDOM ... The Russian Varangians established themselves at Kiev... until the final conquest of the Chazars by the Russians...After a hard fight the Russians conquered the Chazars... Four years later the Russians conquered all the Chazarian territory east of the Azov ... many members of the Chazarian royal family emigrated to Spain... Some went to Hungary, BUT THE GREAT MASS OF THE PEOPLE REMAINED IN THEIR NATIVE COUNTRY."

The greatest historian on the origin and the history of the so-called or self-styled "Jews" in eastern Europe was Professor H. Graetz, himself a so-called or self-styled "Jew". Professor H. Graetz points out in his famous "History of the Jews" that when so- called or self-styled "Jews" in other countries heard a rumor about so-called or self-styled "Jews" in the Khazar Kingdom they believed these converted Khazars to be the "lost ten tribes". These rumors were no doubt responsible for the legend which grew up that Palestine was the "homeland" of the converted Khazars. On page 141 in his "History of the Jews" Professor H. Graetz states:
"The Chazars professed a coarse religion, which was combined with sensuality and lewdness...After Obadia came a long series of Jewish Chagans (kings), for ACCORDING TO A FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE STATE ONLY JEWISH RULERS WERE PERMITTED TO ASCEND THE THRONE...For some time THE JEWS OF OTHER COUNTRIES HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONVERSION OF THIS POWERFUL KINGDOM TO JUDAISM, and when at last a vague rumor to this effect reached them, THEY WERE OF THE OPINION THAT CHAZARIA WAS PEOPLED BY THE REMNANT OF THE FORMER TEN TRIBES."

When the Khazars in the 1st century B.C. invaded eastern Europe their mother-tongue was an Asiatic language, referred to in the Jewish Encyclopedia as the "Khazar languages". They were primitive Asiatic dialects without any alphabet or any written form. When King Bulan was converted in the 7th century he decreed that the Hebrew characters he saw in the Talmud and other Hebrew documents was thereupon to become the alphabet for the Khazar language. The Hebrew characters were adopted to the phonetics of the spoken Khazar language. The Khazars adopted the characters of the so-called Hebrew language in order to provide a means for providing a written record of their speech. The adoption of the Hebrew characters had no racial, political or religious implication.

The western European uncivilized nations which had no alphabet for their spoken language adopted the alphabet of the Latin language under comparable circumstances. With the invasion of western Europe by the Romans the civilization and the culture of the Romans was introduced into these uncivilized areas. Thus the Latin alphabet was adopted for the language of the French, Spanish, ENGLISH, Swedish and many other western European languages. These languages were completely foreign to each other yet they all used the same alphabet. The Romans brought their alphabet with their culture to these uncivilized nations exactly like the rabbis brought the Hebrew alphabet from Babylonia to the Khazars when they introduced writing to them in the form of the Talmud's alphabet.

Since the conquest of the Khazars by the Russians and the disappearance of the Khazar Kingdom the language of the Khazars is known as Yiddish. for about six centuries the so-called or self- styled "Jews" of eastern Europe have referred to themselves while still resident in their native eastern European countries as "Yiddish" by nationality. They identified themselves as "Yiddish" rather than as Russian, Polish, Galician, Lithuanian, Rumanian, Hungarian or by the nation of which they were citizens. They also referred to the common language they all spoke as "Yiddish" also. There are today in New York City as you know, my dear Dr. Goldstein, many "Yiddish" newspapers, "Yiddish" theaters, and many other cultural organizations of so-called or self-styled "Jews" from eastern Europe which are identified publicly by the word "Yiddish" in their title.

Before it became known as the "Yiddish" language, the mother-tongue of the Khazars added many words to its limited ancient vocabulary as necessity required. These words were acquired from the languages of its neighboring nations with whom they had political, social or economic relations. Languages of all nations add to their vocabularies in the same way. The Khazars adapted words to their requirements form the German, the Slavonic and the Baltic languages. The Khazars adopted a great number of words from the German language. The Germans had a much more advanced civilization than their Khazar neighbors and the Khazars sent their children to German schools and universities.

The "Yiddish" language is not a German dialect. Many people are led to believe so because "Yiddish" has borrowed so many words from the German language. If "Yiddish" is a German dialect acquired from the Germans then what language did the Khazars speak for 1000 years they existed in eastern Europe before they acquired culture from the Germans? The Khazars must have spoken some language when they invaded eastern Europe. What was that language? When did they discard it? How did the entire Khazar population discard one language and adopt another all of a sudden? The idea is too absurd to discuss. "Yiddish" is the modern name for the ancient mother-tongue of the Khazars with added German, Slavonic and Baltic adopted and adapted numerous words.

"Yiddish" must not be confused with "Hebrew" because they both use the same characters as their alphabets. There is not one word of "Yiddish" in ancient "Hebrew" nor is there one word of ancient "Hebrew" in "Yiddish". As I stated before, they are as totally different as Swedish and Spanish which both likewise use the same Latin characters for their alphabets. The "Yiddish" languages is the cultural common denominator for all the so-called or self-styled "Jews" in or from eastern Europe. To the so-called or self-styled "Jews" in and from eastern Europe, "Yiddish" serves them like the English language serves the populations of the 48 states of the United States. Their cultural common denominator throughout the 48 states is the English language, or wherever they may emigrate and resettle. The English language is the tie which binds them to each other. It is the same with the "Yiddish" language and so-called or self-styled "Jews" throughout the world.

"Yiddish" serves another very useful purpose for so-called or self-styled "Jews" throughout the world. They possess in "Yiddish" what no other national, racial or religious group can claim. Approximately 90% of the world's so-called or self-styled "Jews" living in 42 countries of the world today are either emigrants from eastern Europe, or their parents emigrated from eastern Europe. "Yiddish" is a language common to all of them as their first or second language according to where they were born. It is an "international" language to them. Regardless of what country in the world they may settle in they will always find co-religionists who also speak "Yiddish". "Yiddish" enjoys other international advantages too obvious to describe here. "Yiddish" is the modern language of a nation which has lost its existence as a nation. "Yiddish" never had a religious implication, although using Hebrew characters for its alphabet. It must not be confused with words like "Jewish". But it is very much.

Directly north of the Khazar Kingdom at the height of its power a small Slavic state was organized in 820 A.D. on the south shore of the Gulf of Finland where it flows into the Baltic Sea. This small state was organized by a small group of Varangians from the Scandinavian peninsula on the opposite shore of the Baltic Sea. The native population of this newly formed state consisted of nomad Slavs who had made their home in this area from earliest recorded history. This infant nation was even small than our state of Delaware. This newly-born state however was the embryo which developed into the great Russian Empire. In less than 1000 years since 820 A.D. this synthetic nation expanded its borders by ceaseless conquests until it now includes more than 9,500,000 square miles in Europe and Asia, or more than three times the area of continental United States, and they have not stopped.

During the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries the rapidly expanding Russian nation gradually swallowed up the Khazar kingdom, its neighbor directly to the south. The conquest of the Khazar Kingdom by the Russians supplies history with the explanation for the presence after the 13th century of the large number of so-called or self-styled "Jews" in Russia. The large number of so-called or self-styled "Jews" in Russia and in eastern Europe after the destruction of the Khazar Kingdom were thereafter no longer known as Khazars but as the "Yiddish" populations of these many countries. They so refer to themselves today.

In the many wars with her neighbors in Europe after the 13th century Russia was required to cede to her victors large areas which were originally part of the Khazar Kingdom. In this manner Poland, Lithuania, Galicia, Hungary, Rumania, and Austria acquired from Russia territory originally a part of the Khazar Kingdom. Together with this territory these nations acquired a segment of the population of so-called or self-styled "Jews" descended from the Khazars who once occupied the territory. These frequent boundary changes by the nations in eastern Europe explains the presence today of so-called or self-styled "Jews" in all these countries who all trace their ancestry back to the converted Khazars. Their common language, their common culture, their common religion, and their common racial characteristics classify them all beyond any question of doubt with the Khazars who invaded eastern Europe in the 1st century B.C. and were converted to "Talmudism" in the 7th century.

The so-called or self-styled "Jews" throughout the world today of eastern European origin make up at least 90% of the world's total present population of so-called or self-styled "Jews". The conversion of King Bulan and the Khazar nation in the 7th century accomplished for "Talmudism", or for "Judaism" as "Talmudism" is called today, what the conversion of Constantine and the western European nations accomplished for Christianity. Christianity was a small comparatively unimportant religious belief practiced principally in the eastern Mediterranean area until the conversion to the Christian faith of the large populations of the western European pagan nations after the conversion of Constantine. "Talmudism", or "Judaism" as "Talmudism" is known today, was given its greatest stimulus in all its history with the conversion of the large pagan Khazar population in the 7th century. Without the conversion of the Khazar population it is doubtful if "Talmudism", or "Judaism" as "Talmudism" is known today, could have survived. "Talmudism", the civil and religious code of the Pharisees, most likely would have passed out of existence like the many other creeds and cults practiced by the peoples in that area before, during and after "Pharisaism" assumed its prominent position among these creeds and cults in the time of Jesus. "Talmudism", as "Pharisaism" was called later, would have disappeared with all its contemporary creeds and cults but for the conversion of the Khazars to "Talmudism" in the 7th century. At that time "Talmudism" was well on its way towards complete oblivion.

In the year 986 A. D. the ruler of Russia, Vladimir III, became a convert to the Christian faith in order to marry a Catholic Slavonic princess of a neighboring sovereign state. The marriage was otherwise impossible. Vladimir III thereupon also made his newly-acquired Christian faith the state religion of Russia replacing the pagan worship formerly practiced in Russia since it was founded in 820 A.D. Vladimir III and his successors as the rulers of Russia attempted in vain to convert his so-called or self-styled "Jews", now Russian subjects, to Russia's Christian state religion and to adopt the customs and culture of the numerically predominant Russian Christian population. The so-called or self- styled "Jews" in Russia refused and resisted this plan vigorously. They refused to adopt the Russian alphabet in place of the Hebrew characters used in writing their "Yiddish" language. They resisted the substitution of the Russian language for "Yiddish" as their mother-tongue. They opposed every attempt to bring about the complete assimilation of the former sovereign Khazar nation into the Russian nation. They resisted with every means at their disposal. The many forms of tension which resulted produced situations described by history as "massacres", "pogroms", "persecution", discrimination, etc.

In Russia at that period of history it was the custom as in other Christian countries in Europe at that time to take an oath, vow or pledge of loyalty to the rulers, the nobles, the feudal landholders and others in the name of Jesus Christ. It was after the conquest of the Khazars by the Russians that the wording of the "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer was altered. The new altered version of the "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer is referred to in the Talmud as "the law of revocation in advance". The "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer was regarded as a "law". The effect of this "LAW OF REVOCATION IN ADVANCE" obtained for all who recited it each year on the eve of the Day of Atonement divine dispensation from all obligations acquired under "oaths, vows and pledges" to be made or taken in the COMING YEAR. The recital of the "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer on the eve of the Day of Atonement released those so-called or self-styled "Jews" from any obligation under "oaths, vows or pledges" entered into during the NEXT TWELVE MONTHS. The "oaths, vows and pledges" made or taken by so-called or self-styled "Jews" were made or taken "with tongue in cheek" for twelve months.

The altered version of the "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer created serious difficulties for the so-called or self-styled "Jews" when its wording became public property. It apparently did not remain a secret very long, although the Talmud states "the law of revocation in advance was not made public". The altered version of the "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer soon became known as the "Jews Vow" and cast serious doubt upon "oaths, vows or pledges" given to Christians by so-called or self-styled "Jews". Christians soon believed that "oaths, vows or pledges" were quite worthless when given by so-called or self-styled "Jews". This was the basis for so-called "discrimination" by governments, nobles, feudal landholders, and others who required oaths of allegiance and loyalty from those who entered their service.

An intelligent attempt was made to correct this situation by a group of German rabbis in 1844. In that year they called an international conference of rabbis in Brunswick, Germany. They attempted to have the "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer completely eliminated from the Day of Atonement ceremonies, and entirely abolish from any religious service of their faith. They felt that this secular prologue to the Day of Atonement ceremonies was void of any spiritual implication and did not belong in any synagogue ritual. However the preponderant majority of the rabbis attending that conference in Brunswick came from eastern Europe. They represented congregations of Yiddish-speaking so-called or self- styled "Jews" of converted Khazar origin in eastern Europe. They insisted that the altered version of the "Kol Nidre" (All Vows) prayer be retained exactly as it was then recited on the Day of Atonement. They demanded that it be allowed to remain as it had been recited in eastern Europe since the change by Meir ben Samuel six centuries earlier. It is today recited in exactly that form throughout the world by so-called or self-styled "Jews". Will the 150,000,000 Christians in the United States react any differently when they become more aware of its insidious implications?

How genuine can the implications, inferences and innuendoes of the so-called "brotherhood" and "interfaith" movements be under these circumstances? These so-called movements are sweeping the nations like prairie fires. If the Talmud is the axis of the political, economic, cultural and social attitudes and activities of so-called or self-styled "Jews" participating in these two so-called movements, how genuine are the "oaths, vows or pledges" taken or given in connection with these two so-called movements by so-called or self-styled "Jews"? It would be a superlative gesture of "brotherhood" or of "interfaith" if the National Conference of Christians and Jews succeeded in expunging from the Talmud all anti-Christ, anti-Christian, and anti- Christianity passages. At a cost of many millions of dollars the National Conference of Christians and Jews succeeded in expunging from the New Testament passages which so-called or self-styled "Jews" regarded as offensive to their faith. A great portion of the cost was supplied by so-called or self-styled "Jews". Christians might now supply funds to expunge from the Talmud passages offensive to the Christian faith. Otherwise the so-called "brotherhood" and "interfaith" movements are merely mockeries.

The National Conference of Christians and Jews might look into the millions of dollars being invested today by so-called or self-styled "Jews" to insure that the Talmud shall remain the axis of political, economic, cultural and social attitudes and activities of so- called or self-styled "Jews" today, and future generations. Violating the basic principle of "brotherhood" and "interfaith" so-called or self-styled "Jews" are spending millions of dollars each year to establish and equip quarters where the teachings of the Talmud can be indoctrinated into the minds of children from the time they are able to read and write.

These few news items were selected from hundreds like them which are appearing daily in newspapers clear across the nation:
"Two new Jewish Centers, built at a cost of $300,000 will be opened to 1000 students for daily and Sunday school activities next month, it was announced by the Associated Talmud Torahs." (Chicago Herald-Tribune, 8/19/50.)

"The Yeshiva School Department now provides daytime an approved English-Hebrew curriculum for grades 1 to 5 (aged 5 1/2 to 10). The afternoon Talmud Torah has opened a new beginner's class and is accepting enrollment of advanced as well as beginner students." (Jewish Voice, 9/18/53.)

Dr. David Graubert presiding rabbi of Bet Din, and professor of rabbinical literature at the College of Jewish Studies, will present the first of his series of four lectures, ``The World of the Talmud'. (Chicago Tribune, 10/29/53.)

Baltimore, (JTA). New Israel Rabbinical College has been granted here authority by the Maryland State Board of Education to issue degrees of Master of Talmudic Law and Doctor of Talmudic Law." (Jewish Voice, 1/9/53.)

Weekly radio lectures on the Talmud, in English, will be available shortly on tape recordings for local stations in the United States and Canada, it was announced today." (California Jewish Voice, 1/11/52.)

Earlier in this letter, my dear Dr. Goldstein, you remember reading a quotation by the most eminent authority on the Talmud to the effect that "THE MODERN JEW IS A PRODUCT OF THE TALMUD." Would it surprise you to learn that many Christians also are the "PRODUCT OF THE TALMUD". The teachings of the Talmud are accepted by Christians in the highest echelons. I will only quote one of the subject of the Talmud, the former President of the United States. In 1951 President Truman was presented with his second set of the "63 books" of the Talmud. On the occasion of his acceptance the newspapers carried the following news item:

"Mr. Truman thanked us for the books and said that he was glad to get them as `I have read many more of the ones presented four years ago than a lot of people think'. He said that he did read a lot and that the book he read the most is the Talmud which contains much sound reasoning and good philosophy of life".

Former President Truman says he benefits by "much sound reasoning" and his brand of "good philosophy of life" which absorbs from the "book that he reads the most." His recent term in office reflected his study of the Talmud. No one familiar with the Talmud will deny that. But does our former President Truman known that Jesus did not feel the way he feels about the Talmud? The "much good reasoning" and the "good philosophy of life" in the Talmud were constantly and consistently denounced by Jesus in no uncertain terms. Former President Truman should refresh his memory by reading the New Testament passages where Jesus expresses Himself on the question of the Pharisees and their Talmud. Will Mr. Truman state that in his opinion the Talmud was the "sort of book" from which Jesus "drew the teachings which enabled him to revolutionize the world" on "moral and religious subjects"?

Before leaving the Talmud as my subject I would like to refer to the most authentic analysis of the Talmud which has ever been written. You should obtain a copy of it and read it. You will be amply rewarded for your trouble in finding a copy of it. I can doubly assure you. The name of the book is "The Talmud". It was written almost a century ago in French by Arsene Darmesteter. In 1897 it was translated into English by the celebrated Henrietta Szold and published by the Jewish Publication Society of America in Philadelphia. Henrietta Szold was an outstanding educator and Zionist and one of the most notable and admirable so-called or self- styled "Jews" of this century. Henrietta Szold's translation of Arsene Darmesteter's "The Talmud" is a classic. You will never understand the Talmud until you have read it. I will quote from it sparingly:

"Now Judaism finds its expression in the Talmud, which is not a remote suggestion and a faint echo thereof, but in which it has become incarnate, in which it has taken form, passing from a state of abstraction into the domain of real things. THE STUDY OF JUDAISM IS THAT OF THE TALMUD, AS THE STUDY OF THE TALMUD IS THAT OF JUDAISM . . . THEY ARE TWO INSEPARABLE THINGS, OR BETTER, THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME . . . Accordingly, the Talmud is the completest expression of religious movement, and this code of endless prescriptions and minute ceremonials represents in its perfection the total work of the religious idea . . . The miracle was accomplished by a book, the Talmud , , , The Talmud, in turn, is composed of two distinct parts, the Mishna and the Gemara; the former the text, the latter the commentary upon the text . . . By the term Mishna we designate A COLLECTION OF DECISIONS AND TRADITIONAL LAWS, EMBRACING ALL DEPARTMENTS OF LEGISLATION, CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS . . . This code, which was the work of several generations of Rabbis . . . Nothing, indeed can EQUAL THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TALMUD unless it be the ignorance that prevails concerning it . . . This explains how it happens that a single page of the Talmud contains three or four different languages, or rather specimens of one language at three or four stages of degeneracy . . . Many a Mischna of five or six lines is accompanied by fifty or sixty pages of explanation . . . is Law in all its authority; it constitutes dogma and cult; it is the fundamental element of the Talmud . . . The DAILY STUDY OF THE TALMUD, WHICH AMONG JEWS BEGAN WITH THE AGE OF TEN TO END LIFE ITSELF, necessarily was a severe gymnastic for the mind, thanks to which IT ACQUIRED INCOMPARABLE SUBTLETY AND ACUMEN . . . SINCE IT ASPIRES TO ONE THING: TO ESTABLISH FOR JUDAISM A `CORPUS JURIS ECCLESIASTICI'."

The above quotations were culled from a treatise intended to sugar-coat the Talmud. In painting a nice word-picture of the Talmud the author could not escape mentioning the above facts also. Coming from this source under the circumstances the facts stated above do not add glory to the Talmud.


We do not take Pride in Race neither do we justify Hatred in any form... Except for that Evil..

(The Sin not the Sinner) IaHUeH allows this "power" to be (For now) ...Until that it exposes itself for all to see... that it is not of IaHUeH, but rather Chose to Rebel against! When one chooses not to go along with this Rebellion it is Viewed as Hateful Opposition. SORRY ABOUT THAT! It was hard enough to figure out that it wasn't IaHUeH that was Evil!!! But that the people had *ALL* gone astray BACKWARDS. We are Thankful to the CREATOR of all for All of Creation... and Believe without even the Shadow of a Doubt.. that it is way past Time to...

In the Best interests of ALL People in the NAME of IaHUShUA we say...
REMOVE THE BONDS OF WICKEDNESS FROM OFF THE NECKS OF THE PEOPLE!!! BREAK THE YOKE OF OPPRESSION! Set the Captives FREE! We are Called to expose Babylon from it's root up. To call the World to REPENT! It is transgression to obey, fear or worship any other "mighty ones" but IaHUeH who Delivers us from their cruel bondage! --(III)

In this section and its related links we will be Presenting Information of a Sensitive Nature.. It is Commonly Classified as "Anti-Semitic" Which you will come to realise is a Very confused term! It is also classified as "Racist" mostly because it is against...

All of the information isn't in yet.. but we get more Evidence all the Time! At this point I am Extremely backlogged.. But will be catching up soon. Again... We are Merely Passing along Information.. much of which was Severely Threatened by Jewish Organizations with Censorship! We find this to be Very Suspicious!! It tends to make us think that they are trying to Hide something from us! Much of this Information is actually from Jewish Sources! So I try to rescue as much as possible of this material.. and present it here Because we want to help get to the bottom of this... We Need to Know what these people are trying to tell us and WHY they are so Hated for it! I also know that This is For the Overall Good of the Jewish People! Despite the attacks I receive from them (and others) for doing so.

Even though, as I said this Evidence is not Conclusive..It is Impossible to not See Many Connections...
And I feel Duty bound to Say what I See!

Hint: Pay attention to the Headers! We do not claim that All of this material is True!
As a Matter of Fact we Pray that it isn't!!

If you happen to be Jewish, rather than be Offended.. You would do Well to Warn your People of the Evil that has been Perpetrated in their name! The Adversary is in your midst.. you have been Lied to and USED to coverup a Multitude of Sins! It is Time for TeShUBaH! Return to IaHUeH! Ask for His SALVATION! Learn about your Righteous King!

by Kevin Alan Brook, Copyright © 1996-2009
Latest revision: November 2009.

"Of all the astonishing experiences of the widely dispersed Jewish people none was more extraordinary than that concerning the Khazars."

- Nathan Ausubel, in Pictorial History of the Jewish People (1953)
"The Khazar people were an unusual phenomenon for Medieval times. Surrounded by savage and nomadic tribes, they had all the advantages of the developed countries: structured government, vast and prosperous trading, and a permanent army. At the time, when great fanatism and deep ignorance contested their dominion over Western Europe, the Khazar state was famous for its justice and tolerance. People persecuted for their faiths flocked into Khazaria from everywhere. As a glistening star it shone brightly on the gloomy horizon of Europe, and faded away without leaving any traces of existence."

- Vasilii V. Grigoriev, in his essay "O dvoystvennosti verkhovnoy vlasti u khazarov" (1835), reprinted in his 1876 compilation book Rossiya i Aziyaon page 66

"Though the Jews were everywhere a subject people, and in much of the world persecuted as well, Khazaria was the one place in the medieval world where the Jews actually were their own masters.... To the oppressed Jews of the world, the Khazars were a source of pride and hope, for their existence seemed to prove that God had not completely abandoned His people."

- Raymond Scheindlin, in The Chronicles of the Jewish People (1996)
The history of Khazaria presents us with a fascinating example of how Jewish life flourished in the Middle Ages. In a time when Jews were persecuted thruout Christian Europe, the kingdom of Khazaria was a beacon of hope. Jews were able to flourish in Khazaria because of the tolerance of the Khazar rulers, who invited Byzantine and Persian Jewish refugees to settle in their country. Due to the influence of these refugees, the Khazars found the Jewish religion to be appealing and adopted Judaism in large numbers.

Most of the available information about the Khazars comes from Arabic, Hebrew, Armenian, Byzantine, and Slavic sources, most of which are reliable. There is also a large quantity of archaeological evidence concerning the Khazars that illuminates multiple aspects of the Khazarian economy (arts and crafts, trade, agriculture, fishing, etc.) as well as burial practices.

Origins. The Khazars were a Turkic1 people who originated in Central Asia. The early Turkic tribes were quite diverse, although it is believed that reddish hair was predominant among them prior to the Mongol conquests. In the beginning, the Khazars believed in Tengri shamanism, spoke a Turkic language, and were nomadic. Later, the Khazars adopted Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, learned Hebrew and Slavic, and became settled in cities and towns thruout the north Caucasus and Ukraine. The Khazars had a great history of ethnic independence extending approximately 800 years from the 5th to the 13th century.

The earliest history of the Khazars in southern Russia, prior to the middle of the 6th century, is hidden in obscurity. From about 550 to 630, the Khazars were part of the Western Turkish Empire, ruled by the Celestial Blue Turks (Kök Turks). When the Western Turkish Empire was broken up as a result of civil wars in the middle of the 7th century, the Khazars successfully asserted their independence. Yet, the Kök kaganate under which they had lived provided the Khazars with their system of government. For example, the Khazars followed the same guidelines as the Kök Turks regarding the succession of kings.

Political power. At its maximum extent, the independent country of Khazaria included the geographic regions of southern Russia, northern Caucasus, eastern Ukraine, Crimea, western Kazakhstan, and northwestern Uzbekistan. Other Turkic groups such as the Sabirs and Bulgars came under Khazar jurisdiction during the 7th century. The Khazars forced some of the Bulgars (led by Asparukh) to move to modern-day Bulgaria, while other Bulgars fled to the upper Volga River region where the independent state of Volga Bulgharia was founded. The Khazars had their greatest power over other tribes in the 9th century, controlling eastern Slavs, Magyars, Pechenegs, Burtas, North Caucasian Huns, and other tribes and demanding tribute from them. Because of their jurisdiction over the area, the Caspian Sea was named the "Khazar Sea", and even today the Azeri, Turkish, Persian, and Arabic languages designate the Caspian by this term (in Turkish, "Hazar Denizi"; in Arabic, "Bahr-ul-Khazar"; in Persian, "Daryaye Khazar").

In addition to their role in indirectly bringing about the creation of the modern Balkan nation of Bulgaria, the Khazars played an even more significant role in European affairs. By acting as a buffer state between the Islamic world and the Christian world, Khazaria prevented Islam from significantly spreading north of the Caucasus Mountains. This was accomplished thru a series of wars known as the Arab-Khazar Wars, which took place in the late 7th and early 8th centuries. The wars established the Caucasus and the city of Derbent as the boundary between the Khazars and the Arabs.

Cities. The first Khazar capital was Balanjar, which is identified with the archaeological site Verkhneye Chir-Yurt. During the 720s, the Khazars transferred their capital to Samandar, a coastal town in the north Caucasus noted for its beautiful gardens and vineyards. In 750, the capital was moved to the city of Itil (Atil) on the edge of the Volga River. In fact, the name "Itil" also designated the Volga River in the medieval age. Itil would remain the Khazar capital for at least another 200 years. Itil, the administrative center of the Khazar kingdom, was located adjacent to Khazaran, a major trading center. In the early 10th century, Khazaran-Itil's population was composed mostly of Muslims and Jews, but a few Christians lived there also. The capital city had many mosques. The king's palace was located on an island nearby, which was surrounded by a brick wall. The Khazars stayed in their capital during the winter, but they lived in the surrounding steppe in the spring and summer to cultivate their crops.

The great capital city of modern Ukraine, Kiev, was founded by Khazars or Hungarians. Kiev is a Turkic place name (Küi = riverbank + ev = settlement). A community of Jewish Khazars lived in Kiev. Other towns of the Khazars, many of which also had important Jewish communities, included Kerch (Bospor), Feodosia, Tamatarkha (Tmutorokan), Chufut-Kale, Sudak, and Sarkel. The local governor of Samandar was Jewish, and it may be assumed that many of the governors of these other localities were also Jewish. A major brick fortress was built in 834 in Sarkel, along the Don River. It was a cooperative Byzantine-Khazar venture, and Petronas Kamateros, a Greek, served as chief engineer during the construction.

Civilization and trade. The staple foods for the Khazars were rice and fish. Barley, wheat, melons, hemp, and cucumbers were also harvested in Khazaria. There were many orchards and fertile regions around the Volga River, which the Khazars depended upon due to the infrequency of rain. The Khazars hunted foxes, rabbits, and beavers to supply the large demand for furs.

Khazaria was an important trade route connecting Asia and Europe. For example, the "Silk Road" was an important link between China, Central Asia, and Europe. Among the things traded along the Khazar trade routes were silks, furs, candlewax, honey, jewelry, silverware, coins, and spices. Jewish Radhanite traders of Persia passed thru Itil on their way to western Europe, China, and other locations. The Iranian Sogdians also made use of the Silk Road trade, and their language and runic letters became popular among the Turks. Khazars traded with the people of Khwarizm (northwest Uzbekistan) and Volga Bulgharia and also with port cities in Azerbaijan and Persia.

The Khazars' dual-monarchy was a Turkic system under which the kagan was the supreme king and the bek was the civilian army leader. The kagans were part of the Turkic Asena ruling family that had provided kagans for other Central Asian nations in the early medieval period. The Khazar kagans had relations with the rulers of the Byzantines, Abkhazians, Hungarians, and Armenians. To some extent, the Khazarian kings influenced the religion of the Khazar people, but they tolerated those who had different religions than their own, so that even when these kings adopted Judaism they still let Greek Christians, pagan Slavs, and Muslim Iranians live in their domains. In the capital city, the Khazars established a supreme court composed of 7 members, and every religion was represented on this judicial panel (according to one contemporary Arab chronicle, the Khazars were judged according to the Torah, while the other tribes were judged according to other laws).

Ancient communities of Jews existed in the Crimean Peninsula, a fact proven by much archaeological evidence. It is significant that the Crimea came under the control of the Khazars. The Crimean Jewish communities were later supplemented by refugee Jews fleeing the Mazdaq rebellion in Persia, the persecutions of Byzantine emperors Leo III and Romanus I Lecapenus, and for a variety of other reasons. Jews came to Khazaria from modern-day Uzbekistan, Armenia, Hungary, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and many other places, as documented by al-Masudi, the Schechter Letter, Saadiah Gaon, and other accounts. The Arabic writer Dimashqi wrote that these refugee Jews offered their religion to the Khazar Turks and that the Khazars "found it better than their own and accepted it". The Jewish Radhanite traders may have also influenced the conversion. Adopting Judaism was perhaps also a symbol of political independence for Khazaria, holding the balance of power between Muslim Caliphate and the Christian Byzantine Empire.

Under the leadership of kings Bulan and Obadiah, the standard rabbinical form of the Jewish religion spread among the Khazars. King Bulan adopted Judaism in approximately the year 838, after supposedly holding a debate between representatives of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. The Khazar nobility and many of the common people also became Jews. King Obadiah later established synagogues and Jewish schools in Khazaria. The books of the Mishnah, Talmud, and Torah thus became important to many Khazars. Saint Cyril came to Khazaria in 860 in a Byzantine attempt to convert the Khazars to Christianity, but he was unsuccessful in converting them away from Judaism. He did, however, convince many of the Slavs to adopt Christianity. By the 10th century, the Khazars wrote using Hebrew letters. The major Khazar Jewish documents from that period were written in the Hebrew language. The Ukrainian professor Omeljan Pritsak estimated that there were as many as 30,000 Jews in Khazaria by the 10th century. In 2002, the Swedish numismatist Gert Rispling discovered a Khazar Jewish coin.

In general, the Khazars may be described as a productive and tolerant people, in contact with much of the rest of the world and providing goods and services at home and abroad. Many artifacts from the Khazars, exhibiting their artistic and industrial talents, have survived to the present day.

Decline and fall. During the 10th century, the East Slavs were united under Scandinavian overlordship. A new nation, Kievan Rus, was formed by Prince Oleg. Just as the Khazars had left their mark on other peoples, so too did they influence the Rus. The Rus and the Hungarians both adopted the dual-kingship system of the Khazars. The Rus princes even borrowed the title kagan. Archaeologists recovered a variety of Khazar or Khazar-style objects (including clothing and pottery) from Viking gravesites in Chernigov, Gnezdovo, Kiev, and even Birka (Sweden). The residents of Kievan Rus patterned their legal procedures after the Khazars. In addition, some Khazar words became part of the old East Slavic language: for example, bogatyr ("brave knight") apparently derives from the Khazar word baghatur.

The Rus inherited most of the former Khazar lands in the late 10th century and early 11th century. One of the most devastating defeats came in 965, when Rus Prince Svyatoslav conquered the Khazar fortress of Sarkel. It is believed that he conquered Itil two years later, after which he campaigned in the Balkans. Despite the loss of their nation, the Khazar people did not disappear. Some of them migrated westward into Hungary, Romania, and Poland, mixing with other Jewish communities.

2 Notes.
1. Many medieval writers attested to the Khazars' Turkic origins including Theophanes, al-Masudi, Rabbi Yehudah ben Barzillai, Martinus Oppaviensis, and the anonymous authors of the Georgian Chronicle and Chinese chronicle T'ang-shu. The Arabic writer al-Masudi in Kitab at-Tanbih wrote: "...the Khazars... are a tribe of the Turks." (cited in Peter Golden, Khazar Studies, pp. 57-58). T'ang-shu reads: "K'o-sa [Khazars]... belong to the stock of the Turks." (cited in Peter Golden, Khazar Studies, p. 58). In his Chronographia, Theophanes wrote: "During his [Byzantine emperor Heraclius] stay there [in Lazica], he invited the eastern Turks, who are called Chazars, to become his allies." (cited in Theophanes, The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, translated by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott, 1997, p. 446). The claim that the Khazars were Scythians is completely without merit.

2. Timothy Miller discovered that Jewish Khazars were members of the Jewish community of Pera in the Byzantine Empire around the 11th century (see Timothy S. Miller, "The Legend of Saint Zotikos According to Constantine Akropolites," Analecta Bollandiana vol. 112, 1994, pp. 339-376).

Suggestions for further research. Here are some useful published introductory materials on the Khazars. Some are available from retail bookstores, while others are only available through libraries.

"The Jews of Khazaria, Second Edition" by Kevin Alan Brook (2006).
10 chapters, plus glossary, timeline, bibliography, maps, notes.
Click here for table of contents, reviews, and more information.

The Jews of Khazaria recounts the eventful history of the Turkic kingdom of Khazaria, which was located in eastern Europe and flourished as an independent state from about 650 to 1016. As a major world power, Khazaria enjoyed diplomatic and trade relations with many peoples and nations (including the Byzantines, Alans, Magyars, and Slavs) and changed the course of medieval history in many ways. Did you know that if not for the Khazars, much of eastern Europe would have been overrun by the Arabs and become Islamic? In the same way as Charles Martel and his Franks stopped the advance of Muslims at the Battle of Poitiers in the West, the Khazars blunted the northward advance of the Arabs that was surging across the Caucasus in the 8th century.

The Khazar people belonged to a grouping of Turks who wrote in a runic script that originated in Mongolia. The royalty of the Khazar kingdom was descended from the Ashina Turkic dynasty. In the ninth century, the Khazarian royalty and nobility as well as a significant portion of the Khazarian Turkic population embraced the Jewish religion. After their conversion, the Khazars were ruled by a succession of Jewish kings and began to adopt the hallmarks of Jewish civilization, including the Torah and Talmud, the Hebrew script, and the observance of Jewish holidays. A portion of the empire's population adopted Christianity and Islam.

This volume traces the development of the Khazars from their early beginnings as a tribe to the decline and fall of their kingdom. It demonstrates that Khazaria had manufacturing industries, trade routes, an organized judicial system, and a diverse population. It also examines the many migrations of the Khazar people into Hungary, Ukraine, and other areas of Europe and their subsequent assimilation, providing the most comprehensive treatment of this complex issue to date. The final chapter enumerates the Jewish communities of eastern Europe which sprung up after the fall of Khazaria and proposes that the Jews from the former Russian Empire are descended from a mixture of Khazar Jews, German Jews, Greek Jews, and Slavs.

The Jews of Khazaria draws upon the latest archival, linguistic, genetic, and archaeological discoveries. The weaponry, agriculture, horticulture, fishing, burial practices, architecture, and religions of the peoples of Khazaria are among the many findings revealed here.

The book also includes a map of the Khazar kingdom; a map of Khazarian-ruled Crimea; tables illustrating royal genealogies, the Turkic language family, and Turkic Khazarian personal names; a glossary of Khazarian words and other important terms which may be unfamiliar to readers; and an extensive bibliography listing hundreds of books and articles.

  Students and other people interested in history who desire a thorough yet easy-to-read account of the Khazar kingdom will gain in their understanding of this important but previously obscure topic.
  Ashkenazic Jews who wish to explore their distant ancestry in eastern Europe will greatly benefit from reading this book, particularly Chapter 10, which traces Jewish migrations across Europe in medieval times.
  Hungarians, Ukrainians, Turks, Arabs, and Ossetians will find a wealth of information concerning the historical interactions between their peoples and the Khazars.

"This second, revised edition... integrates important new data culled from ongoing archaeological digs in southern Russia and the Crimea, genetic results of DNA processing, examination of formerly unknown or ignored coin hordes, and the continuing research of scholars around the world. It succeeds in elucidating controversial issues, while contextualizing the Khazar polity within the competitive 9th-11th-century world of Byzantium, the Arab Caliphate, and two regional upstarts: the Dnepr-based aggregate of Nordic, Slavic, and Turkic peoples known as Rus', and the Turkic-Islamic kaganate of Bulgar flourishing in the middle and upper Volga territory. As a full exploration in English of the history and culture of the Khazars, this volume is without equal..." - Edward J. Lazzerini, Visiting Professor of Central Eurasian History, Indiana University Bloomington

"King Joseph's reply appears along with a host of other fascinating documents in Kevin Alan Brooks' scholarly account. ...Brooks [is] ever sober and even-handed in his approach..." - Mark Glanville, in Jewish Quarterly No. 208 (Winter 2007 issue)

" of Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road... might also enjoy... Kevin Alan Brook's The Jews of Khazaria, which lends some context to Chabon's history." - sidebar in Neal Wyatt's article "Take the RA Talk Online: In person and via web tools, readers' advisory is all about how well we talk to patrons" inLibrary Journal 133:3 (February 15, 2008 issue)

"Kevin Alan Brook, thirty years on, strives, with considerable success, to satisfy the appetite for information about the Khazars which Koestler generated.The Jews of Khazaria is, in essence, a compendium of information gathered from every available source... He has provided a useful reference work for all those intrigued by the most striking single case of successful Jewish proselytism, as well as for those interested in the affairs of one of the four great powers of western Eurasia in the early middle ages." - James Howard-Johnston, University Lecturer in Byzantine Studies, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, inShofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 27:2 (Winter 2009 issue)

"Kevin Alan Brook's The Jews of Khazaria is the first work since Douglas Dunlop's 1967 History of the Jewish Khazars to provide a comprehensive account of Khazar history. ... the work synthesizes a vast array of secondary literature into a concise and readable digest. ... Beyond providing a current and accessible introduction to this topic, the work is extremely valuable for its consolidation of this disparate material. ..." - Eve Krakowski, Lecturer on Jewish Studies, University of Chicago, in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 70:2 (October 2011 issue)

Below are some reviews of the 1st edition:
"It makes skillful use of the vast literature, in many different languages, related to the Khazars. It will be a very helpful guide for the general reader who wishes to discover the truth about this legendary people." - John D. Klier, Professor of Modern Jewish History, University College, London
"Kevin Alan Brook has put together an absorbing account of their history based on this wide array of sources, supplemented by archaeological, ethnographic and linguistic data dealing with Khazar Jewry and their legacy. This is a most useful introduction to this at times enigmatic, but always fascinating people." - Peter B. Golden, Professor of History, Rutgers University
"...[a] very valuable publication..." - Timur Kocaoglu, Associate Professor of Central Asian Studies, Koç University, Istanbul
" is a magnificent piece of work and fills many gaps in my knowledge of the Khazars..." - Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe, Director, Institute for Jewish Literacy at Chabad House, West Hartford, CT
"My general impression is very good: the volume of information collected from various sources is very important and this info is presented in a systematic manner. The book is also interesting to read... [T]his [is an] important erudite contribution to the domain in which any theory is questionable and as a result any attempt to shed more light is welcome." - Alexander Beider, author of A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire
"[I] am impressed with the scope of [the] research and the fascinating possibilities it presents regarding the nature and origins of the Ashkenazic Jewish community.... The Khazars are an important and a neglected area of research." - Hollace Weiner, author of Jewish Stars in Texas

"Brook has synthesized information from hundreds of sources to give us a picture of this lost medieval Jewish empire. Not only is Brook's book interesting for its information about Central Asian and European history, it also holds great importance for its facts and conjecture about the origins of Eastern European Jewry... Aside from its well-organized text, The Jews of Khazaria has an excellent chronology, glossary, and an extensive bibliography... Anyone who cares about world history or Jewish history would do well to read Brook's amazing book." - Lynda Ritterman, in Inside Your Town (Evesham-Medford-Mt. Laurel-Cherry Hill-Voorhees-Haddonfield-Moorestown, NJ, March 2001 issue)

"Kevin Alan Brook presents the findings of an impressive array of scholarship, referencing primary sources and secondary scholarship written in Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Armenian, Russian, Hungarian, Swedish and other languages.... A highly useful, comprehensive chronology is given as an appendix.... Far from being [merely] a romantic interlude whose brief existence sparked the imagination of generations, Brook's volume shows that the Khazar experience is intrinsic to the narrative of Jewish history." - Seth Ward, Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and History, University of Denver, in The Jewish Quarterly Review 91:3-4 (January-April 2001 issue)

"I very much enjoyed reading [this] book on the Khazars." - Ken Blady, author of Jewish Communities in Exotic Places
"...the true great step forward in the study of Khazaria... It is a very complete work, based on broad documentation from multiple sources (Hebraic, Arab, Russian)...." - Claude-Gérard Marcus, in L'Arche: le mensuel du judaïsme français No. 535 (September 2002 issue)

"...a new recapitulatory work... which summarizes all the current research well and which might thus become the standard work for all those who are interested in the early history of East European Judaism." - Thomas Schmidinger, in Context XXI (Vienna, Austria, July 2002) No. 7

"The World of the Khazars" edited by Peter B. Golden, Haggai Ben-Shammai, and András Róna-Tas (2007)
"Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century" by Norman Golb and Omeljan Pritsak (1982). Russian translation: "Khazarsko-yevreiskie dokumenty X veka" by Golb and Pritsak, with new section by Vladimir Ia. Petrukhin (1997).
"The History of the Jewish Khazars" by Douglas M. Dunlop (1954, 1967)
"Khazar Studies: An Historico-Philological Inquiry into the Origins of the Khazars" by Peter B. Golden (1980)
Journal article "Khazaria and Judaism" by Peter B. Golden, in Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi, volume 3, 1983, pages 128 to 156.
by Yehudah HaLevi, translated by N. Daniel Korobkin (1998, 2009)

"The Kuzari: In Defense of the Despised Faith" is the first new translation into English of The Kuzari since 1905, annotated and explained based on the classic commentaries. Written by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi of Spain over a period of twenty years and completed in 1140, The Kuzari has enthralled generations of Jews and non-Jews alike with its clear-cut presentation on Judaism, and its polemics against Greek philosophy, Christianity, Islam, and Karaism.
The Kuzari presents a dialog between King Bulan of the Khazars and a rabbi. The story is told that the righteous king was plagued by a recurring dream in which an angel told him: "Your intentions are desirable to the Creator, but not your deeds." This prompted him to summon a Greek philosopher, a Christian missionary, a Muslim mullah, and a Jewish sage (Yitzhak ha-Sangari) to the Khazarian palace to guide him on the proper religious path. He was dissatisfied with each theologian until he heard what the rabbi had to say. Bulan debated with the rabbi, and finally conceded that Judaism was the one true and correct religion. History records that Bulan and much of the Khazar tribe converted to Judaism. Essays 2 thru 5 of The Kuzari feature lively question-and-answer sessions between the Khazar king and the Jewish rabbi. Topics they discuss include the fundamentals of Judaism, tradition vs. logic, prophetic messages, the afterlife, the land of Israel, the Hebrew language, the benefits of communal prayer, the Sabbath, God's various names, astrology, determinism (fatalism) vs. free will (initiative), and many other subjects. The Kuzari is one of the most revered Jewish philosophical works of all time. According to Rabbi Eliyahu (the "Gaon") of Vilna, The Kuzari is "holy and pure, and the fundamentals of Israel's faith and the Torah are contained within."
This edition of The Kuzari features:
  Translations into English of all five essays of The Kuzari. Information about the Khazars and their king is provided at the start of essays one and two.
  The complete Hebrew text of The Kuzari (Ibn Tibon version) is included as Appendix F.
  An introduction including the history of The Kuzari, a brief history of the Khazar empire, and a biographical sketch of Yehuda HaLevi.
  Translations of the letters exchanged between Hasdai ibn Shaprut and Khazar King Joseph, a source for the dialog in The Kuzari. In his letter, composed in 954 by his literary secretary, Hasdai asks King Joseph many questions about the Khazar land and people, and explains about life in Spain. Joseph responds by recounting the military victories of the Khazars, including the victory against the Bulgars in the 7th century, and follows by explaining how his ancestor, King Bulan, chose Judaism after engaging in debate with a Byzantine Christian, a Muslim, and a Jewish sage. Joseph also gives a brief description of his kingdom and capital city. The Hasdai letters are included as Appendix E.
  Appendices explaining HaLevi's approach to Greek philosophy, living in Israel, the international date line, and Hebrew grammar.
  Complete with table of contents, general index, index of Judaic sources, and a map of Khazaria.
  Foreword by Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh Yeshiva (Dean) of Yeshivas Ner Israel.
"Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin has done a valuable service in rendering an accessible, non-technical translation of HaLevi's masterwork. Informed throughout by traditional commentaries, Korobkin's work will open HaLevi's text, and the world of Jewish piety that developed around it, to the American Jewish audience." - Dr. Alan Mittleman, Professor of Religion, Muhlenberg College
"...this new edition of The Kuzari: In Defense of the Despised Faith was inspired by the author's need for a suitable text to use in his synagogue's philosophy class. Upon investigation, he discovered that only two translations were available.... Both texts were unacceptable, but instead of changing topics or texts, Korobkin decided to create a new annotated translation of the Kuzari... The result is a wonderful, easy-to-read text, that loses none of the excitement of the original, nor the depth of discussion.... Finally, after so many years, the English speaking world is able to study the Kuzari in all its glory and without unnecessary difficulty." - Dr. Leonard A. Matanky, Assistant Superintendent, the Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago, in Jewish Book World (Winter 1998 issue, page 17)
"...Rabbi Korobkin should be commended for providing the English-language public with an eminently readable edition of Sefer HaKuzari, which had been sorely lacking.... We may hope that Rabbi Korobkin's production will likewise provide the impetus for renewed and invigorated study of Sefer HaKuzari among those to whom the Arabic and Hebrew editions are inaccessible." - Rabbi Chaim Eisen, in Jewish Action: The Magazine of the Orthodox Union (Summer 2000 issue)
"...this new translation and commentary certainly makes one of the most readable classical works of Jewish philosophy even more accessible. ... In this beautifully produced, fluidly translated, clearly annotated edition, we have the easiest entrée to HaLevi's thought.

Rabbi Korobkin has honored an extraordinary spirit and done the Jewish world a service with this work." - Rabbi David Wolpe, in The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles (April 2, 2009 issue)"His beautiful easy-to-read rendition of the classic masterpiece of Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi offers much to both the layman and the scholar." - Daniel Keren, in The Jewish Connection (New York) (February 19, 2010 issue, pages 29, 31)"The Emergence of Rus 750-1200" by Jonathan Shepard and Simon Franklin (1996)

  The Khazar Fortress of Sarkel  Khazaria Image Gallery  Bibliography of Khazar Studies, 1901-Present  An Exploration of Khazarian Shamanism  Medieval Quotes About Khazar Judaism  The Kuzari's References to the Khazar Conversion to Judaism  Current Issues in Khazar Studies  A Timeline of Khazarology since 1970  Are Russian Jews Descended from the Khazars?

"The most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated" are the words used to describe this "Jewish" hoax or myth by a Khazar author named Arthur Koestler:
This was written before the full extent of the holocaust was known, but that does not alter the fact that the large majority of surviving Jews in the world is of Eastern European—and thus perhaps mainly of Khazar—origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Should this turn out to be the case, then the term "anti-Semitism" would become void of meaning, based on a misapprehension shared by both the killers and their victims. The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated. (Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe, p. 17). | HERE

Khazar Zionist Criminal Network

This album is an encyclopedia of the activities of the Zionist Dragon that has engulfed the entire globe and spread it's tentacles in almost all organisations/religions/groups to fulfill it's delusional dream of World Domination.
Zionist Criminal Network : HERE
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About Octa Dandy Saiyar

Kelahiran Jakarta keturunan asli Bukittinggi, Sumatera Barat .
07 Oktober 1983.

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