containing Hebrew-Aramaic components, written in Hebrew script, and spoken by the
members of the local Jewish community.
In 1222, after the invasion of Genghis Khan, the Jewish communities were reduced to
isolated pockets. The most important groups were located in Kabul, Herat, Ghazni and
The arrival of Jews coming from Iran at the 19th century, then of Central Asia at the
20th century (to initially flee Russian repression, and a few decades after communist
threat) allowed the increase of the Jewish population in Afghanistan (about 40,000
persons). By 1948, about 5,000 Jews were left, and after they were allowed to emigrate in
Palestine, most of them moved there or in India, for economic reasons. In the seventies,
some 300 remained, and most of them left after the Soviet invasion of 1979.