DAMAVAND, town situated at the foot of Mount Damavand, E. of Teheran, Iran. An old cemetery and ruins of a synagogue in Damavand attest to the existence of a Jewish settlement there. In the 17th century the Jews of Damavand are mentioned by the Judeo-Persian chronicler *Babai ibn Lutf among the 18 Jewish communities which were searched for kabbalistic writings and became victims of the then current wave of forced conversion. The Shabbatean agitation in Persia is connected with one Samuel b. Aaron Damavandi. The 1871 famine which swept over Persia severely affected the Jews of Damavand, but the Jewish traveler, E. *Neumark , found some Jews still living in Damavand in about 1883–85.
Sources:I. Ben-Zvi, Meḥkarim u-Mekorot (1966), index.
[Walter Joseph Fischel]
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