Editor’s Note: Introduction
Humankind never lived without faith, the world’s never been without science, and God is the Truth that encompasses the universe and contains within the earth and time. Everything that is flows from His being, and every sign, colossal or trivial, originates in His exalted truth. Everything that is manifests His being, every melody is a song to His name, and every science is a language to teach humankind how to speak to that unique Truth.
Feelings and emotions, contrasting thoughts, and honest efforts, these have been fervently aligned toward a single goal, that is, to approach ever closer that heavenly essence. And that cannot be without a solid faith and purity of intent, or in other words, without a Divine culture.
Judaism has survived the enormous tempest of history and its dramatic events only by holding onto the power of faith, even as for more than 3000 years, Jews lived among nations that once feared as the political and militaristic superpowers of their times. Throughout, Judaism, itself without weapons, shields or troops, without a castle, fortress or military camp, lived next to nations whose clash of weapons and grandeur of wars swept across the world of antiquity. History was witness to Jews being scattered, taken to captivity by the Babylonians, and survive. Jews lived through the culturally pressing Hellenistic rule; they resisted the oppressive cruelties of Roman tyrants; they continued to grow despite the bigotry and prejudice surrounding them; and at the end, they dragged themselves to bright light out of the dark dungeons of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Unceasing bestial blows from the east and the west landed on the body of Judaism like the breathtaking pain of cracking whips, as if anti-Semitism was a culture by itself. Why, Judaism survived even the horrific crimes of the Nazis with their practice of slavery, their concentration camps, and their human-burning furnaces at the Auschwitz and elsewhere, the Holocaust at large, the fascists’ insulting acts, and the grim thoughts of regressive forces from other religions and groups whose rise and fall history attests to.
So much unfounded bias against Jews, so many acts of prejudice by men of politics and extremists directed at them, even the problem of “assimilation” with its extreme threat of dissolving Jews among nations, these could not the least tarnish the Jewish culture and its mission; nay, through the ups and downs of the road, Judaism managed to impress them with its rich and authentic culture, more composed than ever before, like hardened steel, and more than itself was influenced by the cultural dominance of major civilizations.
By now, those corrupt civilizations have collapsed and disappeared, their customs and traditions, languages and writings, have become obsolete, even their names have been wiped off of the leaves of history. Today, they might be of interest merely to historical and cultural research, remembered for their surviving artifacts, for their few worn and torn ancient scrolls, for their chipped engravings and mended tablets, for their collectible antiques exhibited inside showcases at the museums around the world.
Judaism today walks through its most sensitive period yet, aware that it has no more room for neglect or oblivion. Life has already taught us some necessary experience often at a heavy cost, as the long period of wandering through the Diaspora is coming to an end. Judaism cannot afford anymore to receive the whips and scorns of time, as it ought to fulfill its duty and bring this ancestral mission passed down to us through generations to its rightful destination.
The 7Dorim website is our sincere attempt at bringing together many scattered paths into a vast and more dynamic cultural stream that could enhance and spread our individual and collective thoughts, and reach even the farthest corners of the global Diaspora. As such, we’re doing our utmost to apply this site constructively as a bridge to reach across some disparate domains, promote the aforementioned goals, and make our invaluable cultural ideals into reality. We wish to blow a new soul, to bring a fresh new life, into this movement, and to shine a brighter light on parched minds, including you supporters of our rich Jewish culture.
Our Team at 7Dorim
Yousef “Joseph” Setareh-Shenas was born in July 1952, Tehran. After completing his degree in Industrial Design, he began working in the design office of a heavy industrial auto-making factory. He wrote his first work in Persian in 1971 entitled The Road Construction Machinery. In 1981 he published another book in Persian entitled From Caves to Computers.
Meanwhile, he pursued dedicated research in his personal interests, which included mysticism, history and astronomy. Besides authoring several books, he presented a series of articles in The Journal of the Iranian Scientific Research Organization and other scientific publications. Later, he collaborated with the Bina Magazine, a publication of the Tehran Jewish Association, with a series of social and historical articles. Moreover, drawing upon his creativity and demonstrated gifts, particularly his acknowledged genius in design, he created a series of visual and plastic art works.
In 1998, he wrote another book in Persian entitled The Principles of Drawing and Designing Molds¸ which he entrusted upon contract to an academic publication. A year later, he wrote his first non-engineering book in Persian entitled Synchronization which covered a history of calendars and astronomy. Meanwhile, he published yet another book entitled The Treasures of Haftarah, a historical and philosophical commentary on portions of Jewish scripture. Next, he prepared The Blossoms of Feelings which included his original modern poetry and short stories.
In 2001, after being away from his family for years, he immigrated to join them in the United States. Before long, he resumed his cultural collaborations by offering several articles to the Persian publications of Los Angeles. Besides, he’s been preparing every year a quadruple calendar (Persian, Gregorian, Hebrew and Arabic) for the Iranian American community.
In 2007, Yousef Setareh-Shenas further expanded his cultural activities, especially in regards to the Iranian Jewish Diaspora around the globe, when during a research trip to Tehran, he and a select group of friends launched the 7Dorim website.
Before long, to preserve Jewish customs and traditions, and to promote the Jewish cultural heritage, he established the Research Studies Center of Iranian Jews. The same year, by the cooperation of the Tehran Jewish Association, he published the second and revised edition of his Treasures of Haftarah in a prestigious volume.
Furthermore, in 2009, to enrich the 7Dorim website, he offered digital versions of a selection of his work on the site, including works thereto prepared for publication, such as Astronomy Before Technology, History and Its Makers, and the product of his years of study and research, Synchronization.
Yousef Setareh-Shenas intends to expand 7Dorim into the largest cultural research hub for Iranian Jewish studies on the internet, but also into “the birth certificate of the Iranian Jews”. To fulfill its mission, the website aims in part to document the Jewish oral history and make it available to the learned minds around the world, and to anyone with an interest in the culture and history of the Jews of Iran.
Other Colleagues and Collaborators
We’re honored to express our appreciation and gratitude to friends whose ceaseless and selfless efforts has helped enrich our website. Those include in part:
Ladies: Nahid Pirnazar, Samira Limudim, Monica Shadi, Caroline Setareh-Shenas, and Mojgan Nay-Davoud (Rafie).
Gentlemen: Dr. Rahmatollah Rafie, Eskandar Mikail, Engineer Aziz Banayan, Saeed Sassouni, Engineer Farshid Farzan, and Shahrooz Setareh-Shenas.
At 7Dorim, we’re trying our best to create an excellent internet archive for you.
We are certain that our goal cannot be achieved without the honest feedback and constructive opinions of our erudite readers, scholars and thinkers.
We’ve taken upon us a critical responsibility. And this website cannot persist and grow without your active support and assistance. Thank you.
Contact Us at: Info@7dorim.com
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