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Did the Khazars Convert to Judaism?

Shaul Stampfer
Jewish Social Studies
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Spring/Summer 2013), pp. 1-72
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/jewisocistud.19.3.1
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/jewisocistud.19.3.1
Page Count: 72
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Did the Khazars Convert to Judaism?
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Abstract

Abstract The view that some or all of the Khazars, a central Asian people, converted to Judaism at some point during the ninth or tenth century is widely accepted. A careful examination of the sources, however, shows that some of them are pseudepigraphic, and the rest are of questionable reliability. Many of the most reliable contemporary texts that mention Khazars say nothing about their conversion, nor is there any archaeological evidence for it. This leads to the conclusion that such a conversion never took place.

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