Monday, December 08, 2008

IRNA: "Jewish shrine in Iran registered as national work"

This article combines two common Iranian propaganda themes. One is that Jews are well-treated and religiously free in Iran. The other is that the current regime values and cares for the country's pre-Islamic cultural heritage.
Head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Office in Hamedan province said the old and valuable place of Esther and Mordecai tomb has been registered in country's national works list.

Asadollah Bayat told IRNA on Monday, Esther and Mordecai tomb is one of the historically important buildings in Hamedan as well as an important shrine for the Jews and one of the most ancient places in Iran.

He added the mausoleum built by stone and bricks and located in the central part of Hamedan city.

The provincial official continued, "In the main hall there is a Hebrew inscription up on the plaster work of the wall."

There are two exquisite wooden-tomb boxes one of which is from an earlier date and bears an inscription in Hebrew.

Bayat stressed, "Jews gather here in the middle of March every year, pray, fast and make a ceremony which is called "Yodim Ceremony".

Esther was an Achaemenian Queen and wife of King Xeroxes. Mordecai was her uncle.
Purim and Shushan Purim, Adar 14 and 15, correspond to March 10 and 11 this year. I don't know what the phrase "Yodim ceremony" refers to. See here for more on whether the site mentioned is, in fact, the tomb of Mordechai and Esther.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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