In 1998 I was among the Israeli delegation who visited the city of Kulashi. The walls of the Synagogue were looking like orphans, no voices of Jews in the streets, Kulashi without the Jews.
In this kind of silence appears the book of Abraham Sepiashvili "Kulashi - seen, felt, heart" and Kulashi again came to life. Now we see again the faces of Kulashian Jews: different pictures starting from merchants. tough guys and old ladies. Lot of prayers go to the Synagogue and the blessings of Rabbies, we hear the voices of the owners and see their faces. It seems that the owner of the book tries to represent every detail regarding the life in Kulashi, sometimes also jokes.
It was not easy task. And he made it successfully.
There is no way that you could say everything in one book, but whatever we have to mention that he tried and did it. This was an effort in order to represent may be partly the life of Kulashian Jews. From 1940 to 1970 Mr. Sepiashvili put a big monument not only for Jewish life in Kulashi of 1940-1970, but also to himself. At the end of the book the author mentions the events of the representation of the Jewish life but it also reaches the level of research work. The evidence of it is a lot of lists of Jewish graduates, famous persons and rabbies. I could imagine that through what the author should have gone in order to put this in order: how much time, energy, action, questions, phonc-cal1s. Here we have not only the author, who tells the events, but also the author who is doing the research of events. There are lot of examples of this book: it is enough to mention the map of Kulashi.
One more thing. There is a big list of Georgian memorical literature, starting now from Akaki Tseretreli, ending now published remembrances of Mr. David Kvitsaridze. But I haven't seen the thing which is made so originally like the book of Abraham SepiashviJi. I have to mention that, the author of the remembrances is not only Mr. SepiashviJi, but also about 30 people involved in this case. There are like coauthors after journalistic interviews and the method of searching. There are lot of mistakes and contradictions, but these materials are very interesting. So the author have done 2 things at the same time: the mistakes and contradictions is the fault of tellers and the book is made of many kind of memorial materials.
In 1980 it was published the book of Ilia Eliashviti "The way gone by the orphan". The same year it was published "The Remembrance of Moshe Amshikashvili, in 1986 "Seen, Heart, Felt" of Ilia Papismedov. In 2000 "The Papers from the Past" of Polina Baazova". The above mentioned memoirical literature can't be passed by the person who is working on the history or ethnography and here we have another book of Abraham Sepiashvili "Kulashi - Seen, Felt, Heart". This book is the real treasure not only for Georgian Jewry, and the people who is interested about the past history, but also for historians and ethnographists. These people are working hardly not only to get, i to put together, to improve any kind of the detail. And one more main thing. This book was I necessary like a best medicine like an orphan without Jews, to Kulashi. When mother looses the child, she puts the picture of the child and so tries to calm dawn. Likewise this book is necessary to an orphan of Kulashi. This book is not only congratulation for Abram Sepiashvili, but to every former Ku!ashian Jews. By this book their past isn't forgotten, for the fu¬ture generations, for the memory of past generations, like videotapes there a lot of evidentical papers. The book is built of not only which word materials, but also lot of pictures - starting from the view" of old and new Kulashi, also important people, which makes the value of the book higher.
I have one dream -if there is a chance that other person like Abram Sepiashvili could appear. I want to believe that from people who will read this book in Tbilisi, Akhaltsikhe, Tskhinvali, Oni, Satchkhere, Surami, Bandza, Sujuna, Senaki, Gomi, Lailashi, Poti, will appear some of them who have a will to do such kind of work.
This wi1l be a great job, which is necessary not only for current, but also for future generations, our successors for people who are interested about the history of Geor¬gian Jews, ethnographs.
Tile above review of D. Khana¬nashvili was publihlled couple of years ago, but we thought the idea of publish¬ing of short version, of this review is necessary in order to make this book more popular.