Iran's Jews Caught Between Words And Reality

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At Palestine Square, opposite a mosque called Al-Aqsa, is a synagogue where Jews of Esfahan gather at dawn. Over the entrance is a banner saying: "Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution from the Jewish community of Esfahan." The Jews of Iran remove their shoes, wind leather straps around their arms to attach phylacteries and take their places. Soon the sinuous murmur of Hebrew prayer courses through the cluttered synagogue with its lovely rugs and unhappy plants. Soleiman Sedighpoor, an antique dealer with a store full of treasures, leads the service from a podium under a chandelier.

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