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Mtskheta, located at the junctions of the rivers Mtkvari and Araks, is an old capital of Georgia. This is the place where Jews appeared and settled down. After their persecution from Jerusalem in 586 BC, they asked the head of Mtskheta for permission to let them inhabit the area, for which they would pay a relevant amount. They got a positive answer and they occupied the part of the banks of the river Aragvi named Zanavi. After a little while the Jewish moved to different villages and cities, which were trade centers. In “Conversion of Kartli” this community is dated as the year 169 BC. In the Georgian Chronicles Georgian Jews are connected to the crucifixion of the Christ. Eliezeri, who was from Mtskheta, and Longinus traveled to Jerusalem and they brought the cloth of Christ with them. Sidonia hugged the cloth, fell on the ground and died, and because they could not get the cloth out of her arms they buried her with it. According to the legend, the gravestone located around Svetitskhoveli territory represents Sidonia’s grave. Sidonia is also connected to Saint Nino; Sidonia traveled around with Nino, along with 6 Israeli nuns and was the witness of her miracles. In the middle centuries’ documents, it is said that many Jews were victims of kidnapping and theft; the cruel behaviour caused Jews to leave the region.

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