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In Kashmir in Northern India can be found the Tomb of Yusaf. Yusaf was a refugee from the Roman Empire and a Jew. Altho we often think of Europe and Asia as having no contact until the time of Marco Polo the fact is that the Romans traded as far east and south as the island of Ceylon(now known Sri Lanka) and the Roman emperor Tiberias sent ambassadors to the Chinese court. Jews were not unknown in the Far East even in ancient times.

According to Kasmiri sources, Yusaf had fled Roman rule after faking his death. Arrested and sentenced by the Romans to be crucified he knew that it took three to five days to die on the cross. He also knew that Jewish law, which the Romans honored, forbade a body to lay unburied over the Sabbath. Therefore, shortly after being crucified he had one of his followers slip him a dose of opium in a drink of the water and vinegar mixture that was the common drink of Roman soldiers. Lapsing into unconsciousness it was possible to convince the soldiers guarding the execution site that he was dead and, that as it was the Sabbath (he had been crucified on a Friday) he must be immediately taken down and buried. Revived in his "tomb" and his wounds attended to, he was thus able to "miraculously" appear to his followers a few days later. Naturally, if his claim of being a resurrected God was to be accepted it then became necessary for him to flee to parts unknown. Thus his appearance in Kashmir.

Yusaf remained with the Kasmiris for many years thereafter honored for his wisdom and piety finally dying of old age. His name of Yusaf was as close as the locals could come to pronouncing his actual name of Joshua ben Joseph or, as we in the west know him, Jesus.

Whether the legend of Yusaf is true in all details is naturally a matter of some dispute but there is no doubt that the tomb exists and that people tell this story.

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