“How much is the taxi to Khomeini Square?” “Gheymati nadore, it does not cost anything”, the old taxi driver spreads his arms. “Taʿarof nakonid, don’t play etiquette with me”, I tell him, but he just laughs, and repeatedly tells that he’d take me for free. But I know well that on such occasions it is important to agree on an exact price, otherwise the final amount will be just as far-fetched as the courtesy formula is, even so, I leave it up to him. After all, if you go on a pilgrimage, keep to the traditions. And be generous when visiting queens.
Hamadan is a perfect pilgrimage site. Even today it takes eight hours to drive through the desert from Isfahan, the largest Jewish community of Persia. You can imagine the great devotion of those covering this grueling trip on foot or with caravan. Nevertheless, the historical records show that since antiquity, thousands of Jews from Persia and other countries visited this place every year, the tomb of Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordechai.
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