Judaism (יהדות) is one of the oldest religions in Iran (איראן) and continues through today.
Jews of Iran background
The Jews of Iran have had an incredibly long history since the time of Cyrus (כורש), the Great of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus liberated Babylon and Jews were able to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.
He sent a group of Jews to Jerusalem, a part of the Achaemenid Empire, to rebuild the Holy Temple; but while some stayed and freely lived with their religion and culture.
Iran’s Jewish Community feels safe and respected
Although Iran (איראן) is a Muslim country in the world, it has various religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are known as minorities and respected for all people. So, Iran (איראן) is a multicultural country.
Tehran, 30 Tir Street, is an excellent example of the peaceful coexistence of all religions in Iran (איראן). In this street, the Christian Church, Jewish Synagogue, and the Zoroastrian Fire Temple are close to each other.
Iran has the second Jewish community in the Middle East and it is still home to several thousand Jews. Jews of Iran always have an important role in social movements such as Tobacco Protests (1890) and the 1979 Revolution. Nowadays, there is one Jewish representative in the country’s parliament of the 3500-member Jewish community in Iran (איראן).
Iran community has several synagogues, special schools, cultural complexes, central library and kosher grocery stores and restaurants.
Iran hosts Jews all over the world
The Iranian people, regardless of religion and political ideologies, welcome all guests with open arms. If you are at least a bit curious about the history and culture of Iran first-hand, you will travel and discover the story behind its Jewish heritage sites which Iranians guard them with pride.
Iran visa for Israeli citizenship
According to Iran’s law, Israeli’s nationality does not allow to travel to Iran.
- Contrary to what you might think about Iran, Jews can travel to Iran without any problem.
- If you have an Israeli stamp in your passports, your visa process will be time-consuming.
Jewish historical sites in Iran
Jews of Iran play an important role in the history of Iran. So, Iran has a significant number of Jewish sites which have been preserved and respected for many years. Discovering these sites is the opportunity for the ones who are interested to explore the Jewish historical sites in Iran. Also, many famous and influential persons have emerged among the Jews of Iran.
Six of the most famous places for the Jews are as follows:
- Tomb of Daniel (דניאל הנביא) in Susa: the traditional burial place of the biblical prophet Daniel who was as a dream interpreter.
- Tomb of Sulayman (Solomon) Haim, writer of the first series of the bilingual dictionary in Farsi in Tehran
- Tomb of Sarach bat Asher (שרח בת אשר), son of Jacob, in Pir Bakran, Isfahan. According to Midrash, Sarach was the first one to inform Jacob that his son, Joseph was still alive.
- Home of Mullah Moshe Halevi, Jewish poet, and mystic. He emigrated from Spain to Persia in the 16th century and settled in Kashan. Mausoleum of the Prophet Abacuc (חֲבַקּוּק) in Tuiserkan, one of the Jewish shrines and known as the eighth prophet in bibles.
- Tomb of Esther and Mordechai (אסתר ומרדכ) in Hamedan: Queen Esther along with her uncle, Mordecai, who saved the empire’s Jewish population.