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The peace made between China and Japan, as a result 
of which many seaports will be thrown open to commerce 
in China, will attract attention to the Jews living at 
Kai-fung-fu, capital of the province of Honan. Herr 
P. G. von Mollendorff, in the Monatsschrift fur Geschichte 
und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, April, 1895, fascicule 7, 
says that, according to missionary reports, the Jews at 
Kai-fung-fu formed, at the beginning of the last century, 
a congregation of 500 to 600 members, who possessed 
a synagogue. Amongst other items, he mentions that the 
Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews 
possesses seven MSS. brought from China, which contain 
parts of copies of the Old Testament and of the liturgy for 
Purim. He adds, that as far as he knows, no specialist 
has examined these MSS. We shall see later on that this 
is not tho case. He then speaks of Dr. W. A. P. Martin's 
visit to Kai-fung-fu in 1865. That being the last report 
concerning the Jews in China, we shall reproduce it in 
extenso from the Journal of the North-China Branch of the 
Royal Asiatic Society, New Series, vol. Ill, December, 1866, 
p. 30 sqq., which, we believe, is not generally known to our 
readers : — 

The existence of a colony of Jews, who profess to have entered 
China as early as the dynasty of Han, has long been known to the 
Christian world. They were discovered by Father Ricci in the 
seventeenth century, and full inquiries concerning their usages and 
masses, subsequently made by Jesuit missionaries who resided at 
Kai-fung-fu. In 1850 a deputation of native Christians was sent 
among them by the Bishop of Victoria and the late Dr. Medhurst. 
Two of the Jews were induced to come to Shanghai, and some of 
their Hebrew manuscripts obtained ; but up to the date of my 


journey, for more than a century and a half they had not, so far as we 
are informed, been visited by any European. It became therefore 
a matter of interest to ascertain their present condition, and this, as 
I have remarked, was the chief consideration that induced me to 
make Kai-fung-fu a point in the course of my inland travels. What 
others may have published I shall not repeat, but concisely as 
possible, lay before you a resume of my own observations. 

Arriving in their city on the 17th of February, I inquired for the 
Jewish synagogue, but getting no satisfactory answer from the 
pagan innkeeper, I went for information to one of the Mahommedan 
mosques, of which there are six within the walls. I was well received 
by the Mufti, and the advent of a stranger from the West, who was 
reported to be a worshipper of the True Lord, drew together a large 
concourse of the faithful. At the request of the Mufti, holding 
a New Testament in my hand, I addressed them in relation to the 
contents of the Holy Book of Jesus Christ, whose name he pronounced 
with reverence, as that of one of the most illustrious of their prophets. 
The Jews he denounced as Kafirs, and evinced no very poignant 
sorrow when he informed me that their synagogue had come to 
desolation. It was, he assured me, utterly demolished, and the people 
who had worshipped there impoverished and scattered abroad. 
"Then," said I, "I will go and see the spot on which it stood," and 
directing my bearer to proceed to the place indicated by the Mufti, 
I passed through streets crowded with curious spectators to an open 
square, in the centre of which there stood a solitary stone. 

On one side was an inscription commemorating the erection of the 
synagogue in the period Lung-hing of the Sung dynasty, about 
a.d. 1 183, and on the other, a record of its rebuilding in the reign of 
Hung-che of the Ming dynasty ; but to my eye, it uttered a sadder 
tale— not of building and rebuilding, but of decay and ruin. It was 
inscribed with Ichabod — "the glory is departed.'' Standing on the 
pedestal, and resting my right hand on the head of that stone which 
was to be a silent witness of the truths I was about to utter, 
I explained to the expectant multitude my reasons for "taking 
pleasure in the stones of Israel and favouring the dust thereof." 

"Are there among you any of the family of Israel?" I inquired. 
"I am one," responded a young man whose face corroborated his 
assertion ; and then another and another stepped forward, until 
I saw before me representatives of six out of the seven families into 
which the colony is divided. There, on that melancholy spot, where 
the very foundations of the synagogue had been torn from the 
ground, and there no longer remained one stone upon another, they 
confessed with shame and grief that their holy and beautiful house 


had been demolished by their own hands. It had, they said, for 
a long time, been in a ruinous condition. They had no money 
to make repairs, they had lost all knowledge of the sacred tongue, 
the traditions of the fathers were no longer handed down, and their 
ritual worship had ceased to be observed. In this state of things, 
they had yielded to the pressure of necessity and disposed of the 
timbers and stones of that venerable edifice, to obtain relief for their 
bodily wants. 

In the evening, some of them came to my lodgings, bringing for 
my inspection a copy of the Law inscribed on a roll of parchment, 
without the points, and in a style of manuscript which I was unable 
to make out, though I had told them, rather imprudently, that I was 
acquainted with the language of their sacred books. The next day, 
the Christian Sabbath, they repeated their visit, listening respectfully 
to what I had to say concerning the Law and the Gospel, and 
answering as far as they were able my inquiries as to their past 
history and present state. 

Two of them appeared in official costume, one wearing a gilt and 
the other a crystal button ; but far from sustaining the character of 
this people for thrift and worldly prosperity, they number among 
them none that are rich, and but few that are honourable. Some 
indeed, true to their hereditary instincts, are employed in a small 
way in banking establishments (the first man I met was a money- 
changer); others keep fruit stores and cake shops, drive a business 
in old clothes, or pursue various handicrafts, while a few find employ- 
ment in military service. The prevalence of rebellion in the central 
provinces for the last thirteen years has told sadly on the prosperity 
of Kai-fung-fu, and the Jews have not unlikely, owing to the nature 
of their occupations, been the greatest sufferers. 

Their number they estimated, not very exactly, at from three to 
four hundred. They were unable to trace their tribal pedigree, 
keep no register, and never on any occasion assemble together as one 
congregation. Until recently, they had a common centre in their 
venerable synagogue, though their liturgical service had long been 
discontinued. But the congregation seems to be following the fate 
of its building. No band of union remains, and they are in danger of 
being speedily absorbed by Mahommedanism or heathenism. One of 
them has lately become a priest of Budha, taking for his title pen-tau, 
which signifies "one who is rooted in the knowledge of the Truth?" 
The large tablet that once adorned the entrance of the synagogue, 
bearing in gilded characters the name Israel (E-ez-lo-yeh), has been 
appropriated by one of the Mahommedan mosques ; and some efforts 
have been made to draw over the people, who differ from the Moslems 


so little, that their heathen neighbours have never been able to 
distinguish them by any other circumstance than that of picking 
the sinews out of the flesh they eat— a custom commemorative 
of Jacob's conflict with the angel. 

One of my visitors was a son of the last of their rabbis, who some 
thirty or forty years ago died in the province of Kan-sah. With him 
perished the last vestige of their acquaintance with the sacred 
tongue. Though they still preserve several copies of the Law and 
prophets, there is not a man among them who can read a word 
of Hebrew; and not long ago it was seriously proposed to expose 
their parchments in the market-place, in hopes that they might 
attract the attention of some wandering Jew, who would be able to 
restore to them the language of their fathers. Since the cessation of 
their ritual worship, the children all grow up without the seal of the 
covenant. The young generation are uncircumcised, and as might 
be expected they no longer take pains to keep their blood pure from 
intermixture with Gentiles. One of them confessed to me that his 
wife was a heathen. They remember the names of the feast of 
Tabernacles, the feast of unleavened bread, and a few other ceremo- 
nial rites, that were still practised by a former generation ; but all 
such usages are now neglected, and the next half-century is not 
unlikely to put a period to their existence as a distinct people. 

We shall now sum up the different opinions as regards 
the arrival of the Jews on Chinese soil. 

The missionaries reported that the Jews believe, according 
to a tradition, that their ancestors came to China during 
the Han dynasty, viz. 58-76 A.D., from Persia; indeed, we 
shall see further on that the .Jews in China were familiar 
with the Persian language. At the time of the emperor 
Hsian-tsung (1163-1190), seventy families were settled 
in Kai-fung-fu, and, as has already been noted, in the last 
century they formed a congregation of 500 to 600 members, 
with a rabbi at their head. Since the demise of the late 
rabbi (who died forty or fifty years ago at Hang-tshou), 
the congregation has been dissolved, and the Hebrew lan- 
guage forgotten to such an extent that none of their number 
now know even the Hebrew alphabet. They do not observe 
the precepts of the Law, they intermarry with Chinese, and 
have scarcely any notion of the Jewish feasts. No doubt, 
unless a Jewish Society take the matter up, as was the 


case with the Bene Israel in India, all trace of Chinese 
Judaism will disappear. 

Their books consist of the Pentateuch, Prayer-book, and, 
according to the first Roman Catholic missionary, they 
also possess Apocryphal books in Aramaic, viz. the first 
book of the Maccabees, Judith, and Sirach (see The Jews 
in China, by James Finn, p. 32). Of the last three no 
trace has thus far been found among the Chinese Jews, 
whilst Pentateuchal scrolls or books, as well as fragments 
of Prayer-books of all kinds, are preserved in the Library 
of the Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. 
These last were kindly sent to us by the Rev. Secretary W. 
Gidney for inspection, and we are happy to acknowledge 
with cordial thanks this courtesy. This collection consists 
of twenty-nine numbers, which were described, with some 
degree of accuracy, in the Jewish Intelligence, January, 1 853. 
This description was reprinted, without acknowledgment, in 
the London Jewish Chronicle, 1853, Nos. 356 and 358. From 
this source Zunz (Die Bitus des Synagogalen Oottesdienst, 
1859, P- 5*0 derived his information concerning the rite of 
the Jews in China, which, according to him, resembles that 
of the Sephardim, with the exception of some points wherein 
the Ashkenazic rite is followed. We believe the ritual of 
the Jews at Kai-fung-fu will prove to be the Persian rite, 
which is almost unknown. The little we know of it inclines 
us to the belief that it is more nearly akin to the Ashkenazic 
than the Sephardic rite, which is also the case with the 
Yemen rite, exclusive of the hymns which were incorporated 
at a later period in the Yemen Siddur. 

That the Chinese Jews came from Persia cannot be 
doubted, for all directions as to the recital of their prayers 
are given in Persian. In the case of nrbi® nnx in the man 
(see below, p. 137, no. e), which, as Zunz has rightly guessed, 
is that composed by S e adyah Gaon, each strophe is com- 
pletely rendered in Persian. The colophons at the ends of 
the sections of Pentateuch are also in Persian (see below, 
pp. 137, 138, nos. a,f). The inscription of their synagogue 


contains Persian phrases (see J. Finn's The Orphan Colony 
of Jews in China, p. 65). Graetz (Geschichte der Juden, 
2nd ed., IV, 407) states, without giving his reasons, that the 
Jews in China date from 230 A.D. He relied perhaps on the 
tradition of the Jews in Kai-fung-fu, who told Dr. Martin 
that they came to China under the Han dynasty (203 B.C. 
to 220 A.D.): that seems to be a mere tradition, not based 
on any documentary evidence. From inscriptions found in 
the ruined synagogue at Kai-fung-fu we learn that it was 
erected in 1163-1165, and repaired in 1488-1506. This is 
in accordance with the document which says, that under 
the emperor Hsian-tsung seventy Jewish families immi- 
grated (Mollendorf, 1. c, p. 328). 

On the other hand, an Arabic document mentions the 
existence of Jews in China in the ninth century A. D. Abu- 
Zaid Hassan al-Sirafi (see Eeinaud, Geographic d'Aboul- 
feda, &c, Paris, 1 848, torn. I, p. lxxiii) says, that in the revolt 
of Baichu there perished in China one hundred thousand 
Mohamedans, Jews, Christians, and Parsees, who came there 
for purposes of commerce (see Ancient Accounts of India 
and China, by two Mohamedan travellers; who went to 
those parts in the ninth century; translated from the Arabic 
by E. Renaudot, London, 1733, p. 42). Thus, if Sirafi is to 
be trusted, Jews were in China in the ninth century. The 
locality, Canfu, which the Baichu sacked and destroyed 
(ibidem), is most likely identical with L-jdl , whereat Ibn 
Batuta (1346 A.D.) says there resided Mohamedans, Jews, and 
Christians. Dr. von Mollendorff (Monatsschr. &c, p. 329) 
identifies Alkhansa with Hang-tshou, where, as we have 
seen (above, p. 126), the last rabbi of the Chinese Jews died. 
He adds, that although Ibn Batuta gives his information 
from hearsay, still it is not impossible that under the 
Mongol dominion (1 260-1368) China had lively intercourse 
with Central Asia. Thus it is probable the Jews settled 
in the ninth century at Khansu, from whenco a considerable 
number of them journeyed to Kai-fung-fu in the thirteenth 
century, when the emperor built a synagogue for them 


(above, p. 123). The Persian which is found in their 
Prayer-book is not the old language, but that spoken now 
and since Firdusi. If they had emigrated in the third 
century we ought to find a trace of the old Persian lan- 
guage. The Jews in Kai-fung-f u were certainly not Qaraites, 
as can be seen from their prayers, which are nearly identical 
with those of the Rabbanites. There is no quotation in 
their book from the Gemara, but parts of the Mishnah are 
to be found in their Prayer-book. Of course, if they had 
emigrated to China in the eighth century, they could scarcely 
have had the Gemara with them. 

Seeing that the contents of their Prayer-book are not 
generally known, we propose to briefly analyze them, adding 
the hymns by Ebjatar Eleazar, as well as the Aramaic 
pieces recited at various occasions: — 

I. Daily and Sabbath Prayers. 

a. For the evening (3nj?0 ; on the flyleaf anyo 1123) of the close 
of Sabbath, no n?*73n. Without vowel points. [No. 28.] 

6. \<yb'TQ n»3, WnbiiS pN, Biblical passages, the ni/>y»n "VC 
(for rot??), followed by )1>n NT, headed 11S31 nyiD "in r)3B> in "UN 
13N33. [No. 23.] 

c. Fragment of prayers for morning and evening: 1313 to 
yp) nCN, Dim tOm, and p^b N31. Without vowel points, folded 
form. [No. 21.] 

d. Fragment of morning prayers, beg. with E**lp, followed by 
13n3 and a fragment of i^n. Folded form. [No. 20.] 

e. End of prayers (mriC? and nmo) for ri3E>. Folded form. 

[No. 18.] 
/. Prayers for Sabbath upon which the new moon falls, beg. 
with t^Tp, followed by ..."JTO wa wa nw«a 7YDO1I HliT ]"IK 13n3 p3"l 
W, bbn, E>np, lacuna, and the end D1^3 1DJ? DK "p3\ with the 
following blessing : 

naipr pp? n»or& 3a ovfy xh p33 pm nw iijji id? pw 
H3» p3*V]?r *ivi p3'3"i 2-\zb fin mnp n!tip bib P3D }H35; nn!w6 



TQ* 1 n»Vi na^o wi* nv ' cti "iaD3 pan' 1 airo 11 ton pannou* yr 

jia'-P'-yo (so) ii> p^i panics Snpn jwi pan* wi pan 1 ' ca^i pan'' 

nidb> jo toi noi>E> naiD vrnsn paT i>oya T 131 " 1 P^pm b wm 

,}on now bsnt^i jin^np b S>jn jia^SJi i^y 

Next come the reading of the Law, only indicated (here tODSN), 
and yti\ Follows nrUD, only indicated. [No. 10.] 

g. The following hymn (sec No. 2) with acrostic 1Ty?N: 

ona nyat? obibi • nniuia noana nooi r6yo * nnx nirv> cihy *r6& 

• ^iyi cpav , aa ^nno nnsi • nrmn nihaj npatj6 pxni • nnn D^iy 

[according to No. 2 ijsty ^ * ^iTl renin 3VQ (MS. ^ni) MrT> HDH DJ1 
.own mm -rcwo m-o • nfoyn fiVIl -lOttt? laia 1 " D^lp 

roaa^a nisi • nnorn iiy\b pnt? »jaitn • nnuan naatj6 consn roa!? 
onoiy on local • nmo* pavi ^iy *a» nyi • nnoc TTiaa mn i>y 
-icnb> lana 11 oi>ia inx a^a dtjo p-m dhio ivnp db& onnai nwav 

.tfrwn mm -\oa<D fra ' D?iyn nvtl 

no^ca naui • nrvoa "p^ nynra prrcn • nrvtn ana ^yi nnaai nmy 
nimn nrnw maui nrnan nniD* nma jtini nmv pyi nrvoy ^yoai 
-ow -p-o • t&iyn rrrn ionc laia 11 a^ai ooia * naan niyti nni>hn 

.DSwn mm 

nviaaa ninni • nr»»3 "piaa ww vto • nniKon tiki onto nmt 
naaTi «|^ mni> *sner\ • nmya naa nwrm: royii • nrrcyj niavo 

• oSyn nTii -ionc iaiai d^io^ d^bini naano nvm • sasn ib> So^ 

.□Von mm tonic ym 

noo^ n*r6 nayi * aw ni^yb e>n nnhni • o^a t\rrb nnw nn 
t^ci ornan inxa • anya-ix n^i * a<xh iniaa npi>n Dtii * a^oo 
713 • ahyn iT-m ionc iaia> obip cy aiaa onoc pN bi * anp^n 

pjn .c'jwh n'm tos«j 

Next comes fol. 2 b 10NC "\T\2 for n3C, different from the Sephardic 
rite. Next comes the following hymn, acrostic lty?X : 

• nioiN mb tin naDaj t n1 ""P" 1 n3 ' niom c^nn new aio ^rrri t<S 
•>onpi yi Tuy sh ^ '•n^o ^n^ ^aip • nwro pya ^a naiv n«m -piy 

1 MS. rrn. 


• dt6k '•inn nnhnai nru • D*ni3ai D'nrw nniD*n 1103 *nrayi? 
*bi T\an *n»y* *n ??c« *iny*i3 70P '•a ■• ottos w !?x nniD d^D3 *i*yi 

: *pt5>a *b t^> *nra3» top 
•".yaya nicr oanpa D*t*"t6 • rmvtm jn jni mm moipta hat b 
■71*12 Tibi> *n*aic bipa *bp • niKb im* niaicra taai fpna • nwii 

; Tiito *pm Tincta* notcn 
is bi nwea ban ^n aiDa ♦ main nvna mm mwa na? 
Tvtja *p*ii* *n *a*ny3 bn • mairata "OBa mra*ix3 nvn idnc • nia'tat* 

: 71*0* miy *nN *iaai ip* na 

• nanan )h }'ni in 1 " *6 Dai pba t6 • nasi *re bra ins m*n* 'raran 
ice* riN 7ia*i pnoi *n*e> oyiaa 'ma * naian *aao *maa vb "ik>k nraxn 

prn t Tian bnn *n b nwai 

Next comes nraca. Without vowel points. [No. 1 5.] 

A. Prayers for roc *N*i*t3, beg. missing, beg. 1»**p 1pm riOK lba 
(Ps. v. 11 to end) laiDyil . . . QCCNH 3*113*1 Nip 1*b D**p WISP D**p 

n*iy ia*b D**p*i bit** n*a iray ba b»i la-^yta niyi nvsy "varan *jm 
mno3 'biari mb nyban n'b *3t*>nn n*b N*aan mb naitai* D*p**i*in 

nrnuoi rraro man nto xnsn n^s n*b *11*1 J3 (so) y*Eta Dy ia*b N13* 

i *«nni )n D5 in na 

tma txbsm x*b b nrai b na swa Tnaatyi son *n ndi nb 
tab iy *jmnb 7n**n iw n*i> tonal way* sa*n nti *b *i« *n***ii 

*biba ;^ a**p N3*am tox mat *b» ton |bu*i nan *■,** Kia*i mh 
jhtaba £*k* ^iD^aa *i>*ray*i toman toiian ht^nan *y*3D3 ja*in*i ja'Dn 

. . . wan rrt>« • N*3B>I3 K*Yint6 

N*oim fjn* tb inniN* 7m -nni* N*oDy3 "nans Nmi*a*i Nncaa 
hnoi nb N*bipi Nian^* n*ai }*yta n*a toata luytwo paabi r^ai'iyo 

. . . K>a:n in^« • N*iy bl }miD bi* pin pl3B> 

*a*f (so) ia*ps*i ia*iN N'abi s*ab is*pm ixjdi jnaini jn*iy 
**nN *yi ia'bN *j^*j pas n*diki N*c*p iB'*iys*i "i"T)33 pa *ata ja b 
n^s n*dn id nbi rbv NnjrpB* Nirbb* ianta*i Niaica *n*ra bi* 


'sin ;nnna job jn: jnaxi jhdn jnniNa j*diu pn* snaoi *Nan 

k 2 


pva wi inruenm \bp pDn wvt waim jn^sa pons »t worn 

. . . »ojn rrtN • N"ip>31 NTp>33 py bit 

WDnw pn "|b xany abn N3^ wn^N £ xnnp imaa 7133 ^3 
pn«n K-oim jocatn nwo pnyn* rama pnva prv Kmoi N^pn 

♦ iv^y 3i mbx $>n:a ^ nj Nip nbnn) pm nyi rfoto ytj» rvv 

.wn lrrVN rrta rrt» 

•Trim np^ no a^is r^ nosy jm aoao -van *iki d>jsd nyoi nno 

. . . rrtw 

. . . rtfw naiaji .tud bin!» natal e>nn ^ai 

. . . rrt« m-6 rwrain T^na n^ -idj» 

dk taw nani> *pv rroi rui> b>k 3py> rrai naaaa nvr bhn 

. . . rvbt* iTN 03 

nn?ta awipa nit? 03 rx ioy> msani niaam me>»ro linn en3i> 

. . . rrtu 

nnaan D^n' 1 onn ano $>k proar annsoi nua-o anpvi jvx 03 

... rrta 

rnina iiy TW hmtb aata ny arv^n nn spaa!' an^an ink* an 

. . . rrta rV 

. . . rrfw n^o ranaai pKt?a> ay "is by pxav ai^3i pxy mnoBO 
. . . rrtu ny an a^ana yn? 'a nnwi awa 11 

. . . rrto nW31 TIBS BiTB>a «b VW 

i>Nn aaa nnaco idn^ nnaPDi ay ^ao nnDB» hpi pw hpa 

. . . :rte rnrl> 
nna a^tai pan a^n tin i^aN 1 ' '•a a^y ^a ^ai a^ aioo ikb» pi 

. . . rrV« 

. . . Tvbt* nnc ^3 $>y 3aia pao th* \a py ana yae* p«3 ysswro 

. . , n>s» mm ^ anv a>op bz no»a a»oyra \si>oo a^oyn »ata bz 

. . . rrVx an yyi^i wy m yw ny!» *n 

pu i»3i nV na ay idji nba ay njn> axr n^s xoko yu^ bi^c 

. . . rvbn n>bbnn nw bi k^d pi 
. . . rrta n>jyi myiD^ nyav nm aa ny*t»« icy niv njnsn rm S>np 
. . . rv'm n^aNoa DoaiBTi iayo W) nay oait? ppn!> isica ypnM 
•ti3b6 ny idm niaN ^y aoa aS maiaa a^3 ^y nus 3^> aw w 

. . . rrbn 


. . . n'Ss wem rbiyb mv\ wn?s rrm> ra (so) psi mtro n?e>»D 

.lacuna i>K-i65» niN3X 

Next follows the nhan with D'plDS, ending with d'oma nana, 
and concludes with Numhers xxv. 10-15. [No. 8.] 

i. Prayers for fiat? and n""l, like . . ., with the following formula 
for announcing the new moon : 

ann }bsn rw b>ni pan wtap wpn wh toana iytw iivxk 
K?t«ja sntyn btnw ?a by kjn?j> 31D jd^d w rrva nn Nim tcaa 
pawsai way laim 1 "! sniao bwi jimay p toay (so) ruatp ptyip^ 
xneraai *m ia rw» mataai t6aw itWoboi xanprn naswaa 
pa nDNi tane* ?a onian x?ay3 trnpn Djtsnn wnpt 
natio (so) rut? naea ppyo naea ne>»n . ♦ . raea mn 

B35? . . . (so) jWahc , , . ]&) yini nx 

[No. 6.] 

j. *|D1», nrUD, and any» for n3K>, heg. d?3 n« HTlD to TibD'' 
*1J>1 d?iyi>, followed by a of No. xv, headed i?vf "ny^N i? nitn (stained), 
followed by "(ONE' "jm (Sephardic rite) ; Ps. xcii, headed *1B>K3 "ON 
13N33 1JJ10 n3B> nnSK n3C with the other Psalms to 1H TCI, 
followed by the hymn beg. "pN (see xv), headed 1WI. Next come 

n»t?a to rbnm nana ?a i>y. Next come ipsa nyNDa moa ^npi pa 
. . .Tiia (lacuna?) dw nny nna nyNDa : uvim mno • i^j nana 
jo* : (so) nwxa spynn?. Next come &np, -iix -ray, y"t? (dnwoh 

for Dy^DPI everywhere), the same headed DT hp (everywhere), 
some Psalms, 3D? pTO*! (see I. /) Ps. xix; the blessing for 
reading the Law ()na d1p»3 "noy^ PHir 1 , also elsewhere) nnao, 
headed by Dim Nini, with some Psalms, end missing. Mostly with- 
out vowel points, obliterated. [No. 2.] 

II. TW7\ B>tn. 

o. JB> of *|D1D of Wil B>tO. Folded form. [No. 27.] 

6. ft? for iYi and nWa, headed -JJN33 n^W 1123 ps. There 
is the following hymn, folded form : 

naxaa nasyn bw i>$i "won n? 
: D^npoi d*ib 1? pntnyo nn avrnpo niN3x 


rot? Di]tt3 imnpb D^n * Dvnua ono ■oxta 5>a incrnp onoiS 
dw • atrial mot hpa ny ba inivin D s aom • cobini nvn 
. . . nwas : a^tnn tbo v.t ioyu is idb> ninix 103 oi>iy cbthdi 
two vdkWj neoy • Q-anen an *ana onoiy mat? jiao Dipo5 
dwi tD^poi cay ip* 1 D3 ho inasnoij doc * D s acni Dn ai>e>i 
. . . dims • D^tnm cb*n mD3 pyj ind m in? 1133 niK-6 d^jji 
pya dwj d^obtti naca ienp ne6 ie>npn nv o^« ua in" 
!>n Tin : ibw uno vro i^na: Dn d^nini ny i>3 • ib>k auD $wn 
. . . nwas • D^npi p»y roy ny njD ^aie> nan 11 aa o^a^o 
dw mi>nt» nyai • oaip jin n« rnwa dw ninn nna pin 
jraoj : DV3 torn imtypa* dp ^n ninoan b*xx\ : djp jo tiu sjiya 
. . . nwa» : owpa ms iyaan 13 iyn ba dc iyoe» b)p • CBn-ui> 
vro owyno nv."6 1^31 • djip pxn me>yi» iip s pnaa nvnn d^ 
• vwb&i snip : di 5>n inns mine Da $>n nvamv jyai • dixv ip s 
. . . nwas : ctwo ^y 1ND3 cnspu na . CKeono ctoip ny 
: nff ioty voc-01 ^n mn^ iha 
han* '31 [No. 3.] 

III. a,i\ 

a. SHyo ">1Q3, prayers of "1133. Without vowel points. [No. 9.] 

b. nnnt? for 3n\ Ends with Ps. ciii. i^oZcfed! /wm. [No. 19.] 

c. Morning prayer for 3!V, at end Neh. viii. r, 2, 5, 6, 18; ix. 3. 
At beg. the following hymn is to be found : 

: nan iiDa y^m '> nan nw {npn^i ha' 1 nan iiDa pyj 
Nim ps yac nr^ nr pi ♦ px -ipi ds onsi nvn y3iN -6y nam 
nip 1 - *d 1^ • yaxi vn ^P pya pm: ya* 1 pi "m m * yapi oau Dam 

naT tiki pa : n333 N^1 iy3 CN3 CO E»1 *p ^^3 ^jr 1 n3^> 

331D 3in b^bin in • jiio Nh nwp n!j3 D^any 3iy: -wi n:i 
ipj • p.iN ^n i3y pna N3nyo n3^> ny^ ovbn * jw myn b ,i>yi 

nan nica pr: : H3ip D1^ niDJT 13 TID^n T1D TlH^ llpi Hy31 ^3 

vbx n^yn ny d^id D33t? d»b> • T3ip nins hid iipnn dn nxv 
innicoi' N3 oyai nsi 1 T3^> nya>ai lam xm abv* nniyo dx • 13 yja^i 
na-> -nca fiw • n3nj kiN n^jj mpm^i vinia d: 


noin T3 xb dn * pin pps inborn i^ot? (so) N»an nnp dot 
•rai tjmd ivaa n:ai notMt ma onm • pia pnnn BTon ^ 
nitwin jij?o aw ip pro pj? pa» prm (so) nan ovi> insi ♦ pis 

nn tidi ftM * rtBin 
t»pn e|ier6 dv pnT 1 p*nv • pa$> pis -vdj 3ib6 prn dw o«n 
-11s "ba lioa ♦ natw ton i'N^ * livi onits papi» pnB> yaw • ore 

rm -nca fwa • nrvn Dvn !>n» *a tana 

*n»»-m tik rorvi' lha ipn px Mnhnj^ ind ^hdi hi.t bra 

VDDIJl w virv IDt? 
[No. 22.] 

d. Prayers for 3l¥, partly indicated by the last words; few 
N'Dn i>jri. This is followed by prayers of JYDD, headed 1JJD H31D 
1JK33, also only indicated. Without vowel points. [No. 13.] 

e. ?)D1D for 5h\ slightly differing from the Sephardic rite 
Almost without vowel points. [No. 17.] 

/. S|D1B for 5.T. Folded form. [No. 25.] 

IV. vbi-\ efop. 

a. Fragments of ^n and y"B> originally for rTOJJ (so) tf JOBS 
but between lines is written niSDn Jn and niynBTl Jn. Partly 
with vowel points, folded form. [No. 29.] 

5. Morning prayers as xx for ]"|13D, 1313, J>B> (between the lines 
Jinsy D'OW), followed by hhn, B"lp, Neh. viii. 1, 2, 5, 6, 18 ; ix. 3; 
andPs.cxxii. Folded form. [No. 26.] 

c. Fragment of V?r\ and ^DID for D^n B&B> as No. 29. JWded 
^m. [No. 16.] 

d. Fragment of prayer for riDS, beg. with the following hymn, 
beg. missing. Acrostic 1ty[PN]. 

sn? an '•a yn? *yiD d 11 apjr nrah nine •nm njns nsjn jnoi 

nin^ Kin tod tiqni * nifT 1 "pa 

hi vm tronm [n]Di du iaan n» didi n»pi iojn njnsa ncy 

mn' 1 ) «in ncs '3 nasi ♦ nirv ?B>1» 1^~W TO HCN WD i>3 i>J> ^SHI HD"I 

1 MS. -inTiTrt. a MS. vomai. 


ba bit xnffi d?2i int-i i^n arox m&roi it?y bx aj> fillip a*w 

nirr 1 ) Kin nrfc nasi mm »B>JJ» |» 1N"» non 1XSD lniK m"Wi3 tntffl INIp 

i>K tiB at» warn wni j" nmxa inn n-133 mD3 i$>mn tan 
ncc now ♦ mm wip p p p »np e6n b^jjb rwsNi Mn pmi> 

, . . naa ra? amcKi aihaa 

Followed by 311133 Exod. xii. 27, a verse of Psalms, S1 PiarP, 
y& of mint?. [No. 7.] 

V. Varia. 

a. Ritual for B"H1B, headed TNIM i"tilD m 1*1 T'DJl BniB Tl n^30 
"»K33', mp, 1313 to y{j> (also B"> hp) with D'Dan bv, the reading 
of the Law, followed by ?p1D, viz. t^lp, Dim Kim Ps. cxx, and 
13WN3 pN. Without vowel points, more modern. [No. 24.] 

b. Mostly prayers for the reading of the Law : (1) fol. 1. }l?n *m 
nt* inn (MS. wn no) woo wnian i£ aw a'-opn >n^N tiBi>o 
anna nw }omn 3K amnntyio rooipo i>33 am-roAn nxi arm 
(MS. nrum) nraai jivi mx i>30 «msi (MS. urns) ems bw intjni 
jon now nb\sb ray t6 btmr> -0 -ieoo nit u'nutta ; (2) beg. 

10011, *pDn tiK1, followed by Biblical verses, chiefly from Neh. viii, 
the blessing beg. 1313 J331 ; (3) for n3tin, headed (so) yvi naun, the 
blessings ending with Biblical verse, beg. JAD33 'mi mm? "1133 tin. 
Some Arabic words. [No. 14.] 

c. Morning prayers, probably for the ninth of Ab, since the read- 
ing of the Law is indicated by TTin "O, and the iTIOBK is indicated 
by Ba^DK *|DN. Next comes e)D10 (nnJD in other rites); nrUD is 
indicated by aim Kim, B^lp, 10011, the reading of the Law by TK 

13 wi 1313 nD 'V *rvi i3->3 n "]b boa • nt?o i>mi kbti 's [n]tsna, 

followed by CHP and Ps. cxi. [No. 1.] 

d. Various prayers (beg. missing): (1) Deut. xxx. 11-15 and 
xxxiii. 4; (2) WPp for Sabbath, followed by various Biblical 
passages ; (3) 'J3T1 Wip ; (4) B'DJn bv for nsun and DniB ; (5) 
K3TI T\by for rri ; (6) Jlton n3"Q (Sephardic rite), followed by 
various Biblical verses; (7) names for motM nVOin (beg. missing), 
begins with J)K>im J3 pffif 1 $>Nin3 |3 "WW }3 btnw }3 i)b J3: most 
of the names are followed by Chinese words, ending with the follow- 
ing words— bw mma job* ay a^nn [i]ns3 [mm*] lew (? ''.in) ann 


nnn wkw v&x )~nx nt?D npyi pror Drrax ny CTDm Qipnx 

py [13 [oJ^Tin }»y. Next comes the remembrance of women, headed 
i-IEWl jn, beginning with ■ n3 3 Dno D18 113 3 ni'OB DIN 113 3 113 
DIN (here the Chinese names are scarce), ending TnX3 nB>3J Dnn 

nxh i?n-i npanvmp oy on^Dm cpp 1 ]*™ ^mro jne> op D^nn 

p» [13 D*nn YV nnn (so) DlBV nn» 133V, followed by Biblical 
verses. [No. 4.] 

«. nDS Wl man, beginning with blessings: (i) [Bin ns N"VI3; 
(2) DW3 13XJJ 5013 ; (3) B'NH (so) tOIID tO"l3 ; (4) ^3DH ; (5) fc>Hp 
(different from the German rites); (6) 1^H33. After ni3D "1E»J? 
follows ^N^»3 pi, i'bn and lliwi ICN, and S e adyah ntal nn« with 
Persian translation of each strophe, followed by the blessings ,- ia 

[Bin, Dr6 tormn, noian na n-iu, too ni»3N, with the two words 

(so) ITO^ 13T, rWBJ NTQ, D^T D^Dl i>J>, with the indications in 
Persian. Next come Pss. cxv — cxviii, followed by "]l??n , ) and 
finished with the blessing [Din "na ?yi [Bin ?JJ. Nearly similar to 
the Yemen ritual. Without vovjel points. [No. 12.] 

/. The same, beg. missing (?), beg. with b, with vowel points up 
to the blessing [Bin na. [No. 5.] 

So much for the liturgical literature of the Chinese Jews, 
which is near to the Yemen rite. We have also to state that 
the vowel points are arbitrarily, if not ignorantly placed. 

We have already mentioned (see above, p. 127) their 
Biblical literature, which consisted of the Pentateuch and 
some Apocrypha, as far as these can be traced by those 
who visited them. At present, we may say that there are 
Pentateuch scrolls in the Bodleian Library (No. 49 of the 
Catalogue of Hebrew MSS.), and another in the Cambridge 
University Library. They are written on white leather, and 
are not provided with titles, and, of course, not with vowel 
points and accents. In book form, with vowel points and 
accents, the following sections exist in the Library of the 
Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews : 

a. Parashah I (Sidra) JVIWO, containing 146 verses. There 
is a colophon in Persian in which it is stated that it was written 
in the year 1930 Sel. = 1619 A. d. 


b. W\ (Gen. xliii. 18 — xlvii. 7), 106 verses (see No. 11 of the 
list in the Jewish Intelligence, January 1883, No. 217). 

c. Parashah I niDt? fpfctt, consisting of 124 verses; the colophon 
has the name of the scribe, slightly obliterated. 

d. The last of Exodus •'Tips rbx, at end niiri> vnp 3$, with 
the following colophon: i>NX* ">3 Ttobm DWa ^31 "VM WW3 
fOK : niiT> TVIj? njn^ JWa p J>W» p. The expression TO^on 
does not point to a Qaraite. Facsimiles a. and c. were pro- 
duced in 1 85 1 by the London Missionary Society's Press at 
Shanghai, with the following titles : a. Facsimile of the Hebrew 
Manuscripts obtained at the Jewish Synagogue in Kai-fung-fu; 
c. 23rd Section of the Law, Exod. xxxviii. 21 — xl. 38 inclusive. 
The following note is appended to the last page: "Holiness to 
Jehovah. The learned Rabbi Phinehas, the son of Israel, the son 
of Joshua, the son of Benjamin, heard the reading. I have waited 
for thy salvation, oh Jehovah. Amen." 

e. Parashah I 13103, consisting of 159 verses, with colophon 
of the scribe. 

/. The last Parashah of Deuteronomy, 45 verses. At the end 
we read in Persian as follows: "The Thorah of 53 Parashah 
was finished at the feast of Tabernacles (?) in the year 1932 
Sel. = 1621 A. n., in the month of Tebeth, the 24th of it." 

From these dates, it seems that at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century a restoration of the synagogue of 
Kai-fung-fu took place, when the Pentateuch was re-copied 
by several persons, of whom many bear the title of rvbwn, 
" the messenger." From whence did those come to China, 
or is nb&n simply "the messenger of God"? Perhaps when 
the Persian passages which occur in the translation of 
liturgies (see above, p. 137) and those in the colophons of 
the Pentateuch fragments will be correctly read and ex- 
plained, we may hope to advance in the knowledge of the 
history of this scattered colony. We may mention that 
Professor D. S. Margoliouth intends to publish them with an 
English translation and a philological commentary. Mean- 
while we have to thank Dr. Paul Plorn, of the Sfcrasburg 
University, for some hints given to us. It is certain the 


Persian Jews had a ritual 1 and literature of their own, 
which we at present know only through a few MSS. of 
the Bibliotheque Nationale, the British Museum, and in 
the Imperial Library of St. Petersburg 2 . 

A. Nkubauer. 

1 See Dr. Harkavy's description of Hebrew MSS. in the East (No. 6 of 
WW dji D'unn), p. 2, MS. in Jerusalem, which contains, amongst other 
matter, hymns. It was written at 'tfD between 5525 to 5535 a.m. = 1765 to 
1775 A. D. 

2 See the Times of July 10, 1888, p. 4, col. 4, and the notice of the Rev. 
G. Margoliouth in the Jewish Quarterly Eeview, vol. VII, p. 119 sqq.