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The Jews at K'ae-Fung-Foo:

Being a Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry, to the Jewish Synagogue at K'ae-Fung-Foo, on Behalf of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among Jews.

Stock Code 107124

Shanghai, London Missionary Society Press, 1851

Original price $6,225.00 - Original price $6,225.00
Original price
$6,225.00 - $6,225.00
Current price $6,225.00
With map. A very scarce work, with an Introduction by the Right Revd. George Smith, D.D. Lord Bishop of Victoria (Hong Kong), which sketches out Western knowledge of the Chinese Jews, whose presence was first noted by Matteo Ricci.

In 1850 two Chinese Christians travelled to K'ae-Fung-Foo following an appeal to the British Consul at Amoy and found the small Jewish community in very impoverished circumstances. There had been no Rabbi in the community for fifty years, and their understanding of Hebrew had been lost: 'During the past 40 or 50 years our religion has been but imperfectly transmitted, and although its religious writings still exists, there is none who understands as much as one word of them ... It has been our desire to repair the synagogue, and again to procure ministers to serve in it; but poverty prevented us'.

It was assumed that this Jewish community originated in Persia in the tenth century, and on a second journey the Hebrew manuscripts from the synagogue, which was built in 1163, were purchased and brought to W.H. Medhurst in Shanghai. Some of the manuscripts were to sent to the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among Jews, whilst several of the manuscripts were given to the Canton office of Sassoon & Co. and remained in the celebrated Sassoon Collection for decades. Two other manuscripts ended up in the collection of the Hebrew Union College in Cinncinati. For further information see J. Preuss, The Chinese Jews of Kaifeng-Fu, Tel Aviv, 1961.

8vo; folding wood-block map; modern half-calf binding with gilt title to spine, small holes and old tape repair to title and p.1, old ink notes to p.57; lacking 2 ll (pp. 79-82); staining to some pages; text in English, Chinese and occasional Hebrew. xii, 78 pp.

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