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An Iranian Jew prays in a synagogue in Shiraz, Iran.
An Iranian Jew prays in a synagogue in Shiraz, Iran.
Claudio Gallo

TEHRAN — Every evening, Youseph walks by the mosque in Tehran’s Fatemi Square. Before heading towards his house, he looks up at the portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that are on the walls of the building. Then he crosses the street and descends the hill to where he lives. At the end of a long day, before going to bed, he says a prayer that sounds a little bit different to those who come out of the mosque. "Shema Yisrael..." he begins, saying the first two words of the Torah that declare the Jewish faith in their one God.

Thanks to the deadly enmity that currently exists between Iran and Israel, it’s easy to forget that Jews have been in Iran for thousands of years. Of course, Jews and Israel are not necessarily united — there is even a small group of Jews opposed to a Jewish state — but for the majority, Israel is their idea of home.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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