Samarkand (Sep. 27)
Great excitment and enthusiasm prevails among the Jewish population of Bochara, now a part of the Union of Soviet Republics, in connection with what is believed to be mysterious signs and heavenly messages that the Messiah is arriving. A mountain in Bochara commenced to belch smoke. This, according to a legend of the Bocharan Jews, is a sign that the Messiah is approaching. According to the same legend, this mountain is the Gate to Paradise. There are persons who claim that they heard a “Bas Kol”-heavenly message-stating that the last days are approaching. In Tashkent it is claimed that a dove was found with a mysterious note under her wings written in Hebrew. The Bocharan rabbis are now trying to decipher this note. Many Jews believe that this Hebrew note is a message from the Messiah. Another factor which contributed to the belief is a message received from a Bocharan Jew, a resident of Palestine, declaring that the Messiah is near.
Many of the scholarly Bocharan believers in the early arrival of the Messiah point to the last chapters of Daniel, which contain the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah.
This enthusiasm seems to have embraced many congregations who are celebrating the occasion by festivals and dancing in the streets. The Moslem population looks with amazement on these strange scenes.