Archive for the ‘Jewish History’ Category

Calling all Debunkers, and anyone who thinks Holocaust Denial is …

Discusion about Calling all Debunkers, and anyone who thinks Holocaust Denial is offensive, debunk this! in the AboveTopSecret.com website alternative topics discussion forum General Conspiracies.

Holocaust Denial Videos
9 hours of free web video about how the holocaust is a hoax.
Billy Wilder. His Secret Work On A Holocaust Myth Movie
The Wilder Memorandum. My favorite holocaust myth document

One Third of the Holocaust

Explains how Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec were not death camps, thereby debunking 1/3 of the holocaust. Asks questions like, “Would the Germans have really put a fence made out of tree branches around a deathcamp?” Answer: “Uh, no, that’s silly.” Banned at Youtube. 30 episodes. 4 hours 15 min. Click the above image to view.

Buchenwald

The liberation of Buchenwald presented an opportunity for a Psyche Warfare operation meant to denazify the Germans via atrocity stories. But it ‘blew back’ into USA media which is why Americans remember growing up hearing stories of human skin lampshades. 22 episodes. 2 hours 22 min. Click the above image to view.

Phil Donahue Holocaust Denial

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

In 1994, two gas chamber deniers, Bradley Smith and David Cole went on a talk show. The maker of One Third Of The Holocaust points out witnesses’ lies, like where everyone (including a famous skeptic) believes an obviously fraudulent phone caller.

Auschwitz David Cole

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The David Cole Video. A young Jewish holocaust denier, posing as a believer, puts some hard questions to the senior curator of the Auschwitz State Museum. After making this video, a “hit” was put out on Cole, and a reward for information on his whereabouts was issued by Irv Rubin (who years later, was arrested by the FBI for planning to kill a Lebanese-American Congressman.) Fearing assassination, Cole went into hiding. He never surfaced again publicly. (1992, 52 minutes)

Nazi Shrunken Heads

A Look At Lies Which Justify War.

Explains how media and politicians manipulate the masses to be pro-war by using myths. Discusses not only the holocaust myth, but also myths promoting Western aggression toward Africa and the Middle East. Makes the bold assertion that Idi Amin of Uganda was probably the victim of a Public Relations/Psyche Warfare campaign, and not someone who thought he was the “Last King of Scotland.” 25 minutes. Click above image to view.

Written Work:

Morgenthau Plan in the Holocaust Myth

Flyers (for you to send out)

Little Boy Photo Fraud

Thomas Blatt Sobibor Fraud

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Rebuttals and Censorship

Nazi Shrunken Heads Transcript

A great book on Treblinka

A great book on Belzec

CODOH.com

Robert Faurisson Interview

Konrad Morgen

Manifesto

I advocate kindness and good vibes toward all Jewish people. I like black people and people of all races, nationalities, religions; and I like gay people. It goes without saying but due to the stigma associated with holocaust denial, it needs to be said. I feel that it was Hitler’s belief in military solutions that was primarily responsible for the European disaster that was World War II. I just believe the holocaust is a hoax. Today it is the holocaust myth that props up militarism. Here’s why:

Of the many terrible things about World War II, the single worst thing wasn’t the holocaust, because that’s a myth. The worst thing was German soldiers fighting Soviet soldiers because millions of young men on both sides died horrible deaths. That war was started by Hitler and, rather than the crude concept of “fighting communism,” it galvanized Stalin’s power and made void the internal workings within the USSR that might have deposed him. The young men put between Stalin and Hitler and being conscripted to fight, was the worst thing about WWII. And the lesson from that is militarism and military solutions are always a disaster. That lesson is obscured when the worst thing about World War II is considered to be the holocaust because then the opposite conclusion is drawn: militarism seems good. Righteous militarism to defeat Hitler. Fighting intolerance. Americans largely see World War II as the “good fight” against Evil. The holocaust myth props up that assertion and obscures the truth: World War II was a European disaster.

The holocaust myth gives a “fighting for tolerance” theme to World War II, and the “fighting for tolerance” theme continues to justify military aggression up to recent times: it was used to justify the US invasion of Serbia/Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. The wrong conclusions about World War II based on the false information that is the holocaust, reverberate into militaristic solutions creating disasters today.

Because the holocaust myth was never exposed, the masses never lost their gullibility and are easily manipulated for pro-war purposes. Here’s an example: before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, not only did most Americans believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, many also believed he had killed millions of his own people.

The good/evil narrative of WWII is a blur with the good/evil narrative of so many bad movies, t.v. shows, and reportage. Things become more and more like the movie Idiocracy, and fitting that the ending of that movie involves a dumbed-down explanation of World War II. In reality people aren’t really “evil” –there’s just the challenge of understanding why people do what they do. The holocaust myth holds up the conception of Evil itself.

Christianity is a proud and interesting cultural heritage. But as a present-day belief system it can hold people back intellectually and culturally. A fundamental of Christianity is it’s dumb portrayal of evil. But consider the possibility that a modern dumb portrayal of evil is the holocaust. So like Christianity, could the holocaust also hold people back intellectually and culturally? A fundamental of both being a worldview of good and evil? And could this hold society back, ping pong-ing, or reinforced with, media capitalism? We see news reporting and television shows, movies promoting righteous violence to take on “evil people.” On a global level the “evil people” are often resistant to capitalism like North Korea; or resistant to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians (Iraq, Taliban, Al-Qaeda) Again the movie Idiocracy comes to mind when it had a stadium sports-like media spectacle of the USA using overwhelming force on it’s enemies. The stadium spectators playing electric guitars while monster trucks ran over the enemies.

Not to mention that the false postulate that is the holocaust is the cornerstone of European Jewish colonialism in Israel and all the problems which have come from it. Iran’s Ahmadinejad is right about that. We have the horrible bookends of European Colonialism: European Christian colonialism (The Crusades) 850 years ago, and European Jewish colonialism (Zionism) from the early 1900’s till today. These bookends of colonialism had European laws associated with them: Heresy then, and denying the holocaust today. The laws keep people from debunking the intellectual/emotional basis of the colonialism, of the militarism of the colonizers.

In Germany the myth has ridiculously warped the general personality of the people. But it’s not just Germany: The longer European and American intellectual thought has in its foundation this false postulate that is the holocaust, the weirder, dumber (and more aggressive toward other nations) things are going to get.

It’s time to move beyond the myth.

http://www.holocaustdenialvideos.com/

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Calling all Debunkers, and anyone who thinks Holocaust Denial is …

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July 8, 2010   Posted in: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism News, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Revisionism, Jewish, Jewish Heritage, Jewish History, Jews, Judaism  Comments Closed

Jewish Pesach 2010

Jewish Passover, or Pesach, is celebrated up to these days to keep alive the memory of the great liberation that took place in the Jewish history – the day when ancient Hebrew people cast off the yoke of Egyptians and became free with the help of God and the prophet Moses. The Jewish Passover celebrates the miracle of Jewish people’s freedom and independence. It is an eight-day holiday that starts on the 15th of the first month of the Jewish year, Nisan (in March or April). The history of this holiday goes back to the time when Jewish people were held in servitude by Egyptian pharaohs. They were used as slaves to build pyramids, do hard exhausting work and serve Egyptians.

Only after 10 plagues sent by God did the Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses II, let Jewish slaves go free and leave his lands. The 10th plague was sent to slay the Egyptian firstborns. Jewish people were to put fresh blood of a spring lamb on their doorway, so that the holy spirit would not kill their firstborns. That is how God “passed over” Jewish houses and did not harm them. When Jewish people left Egypt, they could cook and eat only Matza, the bread made of unleavened dough. After a lot of travel and attempts to escape Egyptians, Jewish people found their way out of desert sands through the bottom of the Red Sea.

Since then Jewish Passover has become a holiday of freedom for most Jewish people. In order to prepare yourself for the celebration of Jewish Passover, you need to find and burn all the leavened bread in your house the day before the Passover. However, now Jewish people prefer to give their bread away to the needy, sell it to people of other religions or finish it before the holiday instead of burning it. It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare the traditional Jewish Passover meal, Seder.

That is why Jewish people buy required ingredients and prepare the menu several days in advance. Since the whole family has to get together for such an important holiday, most family members make travel arrangements and plan their meeting in someone’s big house. In this respect the Passover is like a great family reunion that unites Jewish families for as long as the tradition is observed. Read more…

Rabbi David Azulai, the great-grandson of the illustrious Rabbi Yosef Abraham Azulai, was born in Fez, Morocco in 1958. Rabbi David Azulai is the scion of a family of great “Talmidei Chachamim” (Torah Scholars) and “Ba’alei Mofes” (individuals who have the ability through prayer of performing miracles).

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June 26, 2010   Posted in: Jewish History  Comments Closed

Jewish Documentary – Full Film



JewishHistory.org Faith and Fate is a documentary telling the story of the Jews in the 20th Century. The first Episode is called, “The Dawn of the Century” and covers 1900 – 1910. This episode introduces the uniqueness of Jewish history in the 20th century within the context of world history. At the turn of the 20th century, Jews were scattered across the globe, representing only ¼ of one percent of the worlds population. It was a time of empires, imperial rule and colonial expansionism. In Russia the masses, including the Jews, lived in dire poverty which was compounded by grassroots antisemitism. In 1905 the Russian masses revolted and there was a general strike. On Bloody Sunday the Czar responded with force. The Czar did not abdicate until 1917, which is typically the date given for the second Russian Revolution, which, in turn, led to increased pogroms against the Jews. The pogroms and the economic conditions forced approximately 40% of Jewish population to leave the Russian Empire and go to Western countries including the United States and to Palestine and other countries as far away as South Africa and Australia. Emigration and the Enlightenment presented Jews with the dilemma and opportunity to maintain or reject their traditional Jewish upbringing, and many decided to forgo their traditional Judaism and blend in with their larger non-Jewish society. Within the traditional Jewish world, change was occurring as well, with the rise and acceptance of the Mussar

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June 26, 2010   Posted in: Jewish History  14 Comments

12 million Chair in Jewish studies at Stanford University reconstituted by Peter Menkin

A Chair in Jewish studies has been reconstituted at Stanford University’s School of Education where doctoral students will pursue culture, history, language, and all the elements that constitute the Jewish faith of which religion is a salient feature. So notes one authority involved with the $12 million dollar endowment. The San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation construes education broadly: camps, youth groups, Jewish service learning, and trips to Israel. Doctoral students will learn about the religion of the Jewish people in America. That is part of the Jim Joseph Foundation charter, to provide the American Jewish community with education.

 
The Executive Director of Jim Joseph Foundation, Charles Mark Edelsberg, Ph.D. notes: “Only one other major research university in the U.S. currently offers such a program:  NYU—which the foundation also supports.
 
“This program of study enables students to examine Jewish history, culture, language (Hebrew), and literature as well as Judaism’s dynamic forms of religious observance.  It is not a religious studies degree but a PhD in education and Jewish Studies. It will admit two students per year for the first three years of the program and then will ramp up by one additional student per year afterwards to reach a total of seven.”
 
“The foundation selected Stanford for this award because of its college of education’s stellar reputation.  Stanford also features a robust graduate program of Jewish studies.  The scholarship of the Stanford faculty—both in education and Jewish studies—is formidable.’
 
“What makes this renewed concentration unique is its broad, all-encompassing approach to education,” said Dr. Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at
Brandeis University.  “SUSE and the Jim Joseph Foundation understand that Jewish education encompasses issues of nationality, peoplehood and culture, as well as religion; that Judaism is a broad civilization embracing both secular and Jewish elements.” 

 
 
In a statement, Stanford University says:
“Through this generous gift, Jim Joseph Foundation is helping to pioneer a new paradigm for thinking about the intersection of religion and education,” says Sam Wineburg, the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and of History, who led Stanford’s effort. “We’re putting our energy into the intersection of education and Jewish studies because Stanford has a record of success in this field and because there’s a need to produce more scholars with this background. The impact of this significant JJF gift will be broadly felt. More children across the globe are educated in religious institutions than secular ones. However, we don’t yet know, and have not yet begun to properly study, what ramifications this may have for future generations.”
Faculty in Stanford’s School of Education will collaborate with scholars in Stanford’s Taube Center of Jewish Studies to create the curriculum for this new concentration.
“We truly are embarking on a new era of research and understanding about how religion and education intersect,” said Professor Vered Karti Shemtov, co-director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.  “Our center is looking forward to contributing to this new concentration and working with its scholars and students. We have long participated in educating the next generations of leaders in the study of Jewish history, religion and literatures.  Thanks to the Jim Joseph Foundation, the new concentration will allow us to train scholars who will influence not only the academic world, but also K-12 education.”
 
 
 
 
In one comment on the subject, Dean and Vice President of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California Arthur Holder was interviewed by telephone and email on the new Chair and its concentration. Here is the interview in commentary:
 
Is this a lot of money?
That’s the level of funding that’s appropriate for this kind of program; $12 million is a substantial amount of funding that will support one faculty chair and fellowship (i.e., scholarship) support, as well as programming such as conferences and seminars.
 
What does a Chair at GTU cost? We’ll give readers a comparison.
To endow a faculty chair at the GTU would be $2.5 million. But it is not that the whole $12 million at Stanford is going to the faculty chair, since the program includes fellowships and conferences as well. I’m assuming this is an endowment that will produce in the neighborhood of half a million dollars a year (at 4%). Their required level of funding for a faculty chair is probably more than we would require.
 
 
Are you surprised that Stanford would be a choice for this Chair?
No. Stanford has a strong and well established track record for this kind of graduate program. It is certainly an appropriate place for this kind of study. You have to have a strong school of education and a strong program in Jewish Studies for this kind of concentration.
 
 
Who do you think might fill the Chair?
Obviously, somebody who is highly competent in both the field of education and the field of Jewish Studies. There will be a research focus for the position, so I’m sure Stanford will be looking for an accomplished Jewish researcher with a background in Jewish Education.
 
How are such chairs and study areas created?
This kind of chair comes out of a meeting of two things: One is a donor, in this case, a Foundation [San Francisco’s Jim Joseph Foundation] that has a very strong commitment to a particular topic. Then that topic has to fit within the mission of the university. This has to be a kind of blending. This (Stanford Jewish Studies chair, and concentration) has every likelihood of working. Stanford has done this kind of work before, and they already have a wide range of doctoral areas in their School of Education. If someone comes to a university and says we are going to give you $12 million for a faculty chair in Buddhist studies but the university is a business school with no established programs in Religious Studies, then that isn’t going to work. You have to locate a chair in a university that does the kind of work that the new program is meant to accomplish.
 
 
In what way does the Jewish Studies’ concentration meet the criteria as religious education? Your thoughts, please.
Religious education should be just as rigorous, just as sophisticated, and make use of all the educational theory and scientific methods as any other kind of education. Stanford’s new program appears to be a good example of that. Religious education is not a watered down kind of education. It has to be just as sophisticated as public education, for example. It is a good thing to see when a religious community takes the “education” part of religious education just as seriously as they do the “religious” part.
 
 
 
 
Sam Wineburg, Professor at Stanford, played a key role in bringing the $12 million Chair in Jewish studies into existence.
 
In an interview, he made this statement:
 
Why a “Concentration” and not a “Program” in the School of Education? 
Students will be admitted into one of the existing SUSE doctoral programs and will take additional coursework allowing them to “concentrate” in Education and Jewish Studies. 
 
Why would a secular university like Stanford want to get involved in “religious education?” Isn’t that advocacy? 
The study of Jewish education, Islamic education, or Catholic education is a scholarly enterprise similar to the study of bilingual education, multicultural education or science education.  The frequency with which the intersections of religion and education have become important problems of policy and practice, both historically and in the present day, makes their careful study critically important.
 
 How can scholars better understand the role of religious education in moral development?  How do schools operate when they include curricula that reflect essentially universal and secular values and also curricula that are built on systems of faith and tradition?  How is the very act of interpretive reading undertaken when approached devotionally as against analytically? 
 
 Will religion and its attendant systems of education become venues for cultivating peace and inter-cultural understanding or occasions for sowing hatred and intolerance?  How can religious education be conducted in the context of multi-cultural, pluralistic democratic societies and remain “faithful” both to democratic and religious values?  What is the role of religion and religious education in the development of identity, commitment and compassion?  The intersection of religion and education touches many fields – from international security and economic development to questions of identity, community, and affiliation studied by scholars from a range of disciplines.  This intersection deserves the serious attention of outstanding education scholars.
 
Why now? 
There is a new found interest in programs in education and Jewish Studies at our nation’s top universities. Michael Steinhart’s endowment of the Ph.D. program in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU is the most notable example, but new positions and programs have been created at some of the leading institutions of public and private higher education: Penn  Wisconsin, York (Toronto), Brandeis to name a just a few. One consequence of this development is that there are few faculty qualified to fill these positions. The only major research university in the United States with a track record for preparing scholars of Education and Jewish Studies at the doctoral level is Stanford. We would build on that record.
 
 
In another Stanford press statement, it’s noted:
Dr. Wendy Rosov, a graduate of Stanford’s original concentration who is now a private education consultant, collaborated with Wineburg on a feasibility study for the new effort. She was a significant part of the team in bringing the Jim Joseph Foundation to Stanford to endow the Chair and its concentration.
 
“Stanford is a great institution, and we are certain it will attract extraordinary talent and produce scholars who will help to build and lead the field,” said Chip Edelsberg, executive director of the Jim Joseph Foundation.
 
Faculty in the School of Education will collaborate with scholars in Stanford’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies to develop the curriculum, offer courses and seminars, and advise doctoral students.
 
It is believed by one reliable source that the work of the Center for Jewish Studies and the college, and the faculty will be animating one another. The Taube Center is a tremendously rich resource, the source said.
 
 
 
 
Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:
For the School of Education at the prestigious university … the grant is the largest in its history. The grant is large, too, for a foundation that has squarely set its sights on formal and informal Jewish education, comprising probably just less than 10 percent of the foundation’s annual grants over the next several years, according to (Jim Joseph Foundation chairman, Al Levitt.  
“This is part of our intention of creating more Jewish educators in the broader sense,” Levitt told The Fundermentalist this week. “The idea was to make an important statement about the value of Jewish education. If Stanford doesn’t have the best department of education, it is one of top two or three.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rabbi Yitzoch Adlerstein of the Rabbinical Council of California comments regarding Jewish studies:
 
The notion of a $12 million donation is a delight. It shows there are Jewish givers who are still interested in giving to Jewish causes. There is money around, but it is going to non Jewish causes. It’s nice to have a chair and department in Jewish studies. The first question is are there going to be Jews interested in reading the scholarship that is coming out of the department today. When people do consider the overarching question of Jewish survival, will there be Jews in the next generation, some of us in the Orthodox camp are a bit disappointed that initiatives with demonstrated ability to capture the imagination of programs to capture the imagination of young Jews.
 
 
 
 
 
President of the Jim Joseph Foundation Al Levitt finds the $12 million well spent. He says in a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report:
 
“We are talking about creating a model to provide teachers and educators in perpetuity,” Levitt said. “This is about more than just day schools. The educational field is more than just day schools. Only about 12 percent of the total Jewish population even go to day schools. That is a relatively small percentage — and of that, a significant portion is Orthodox. There is a huge number of young people who don’t go to day schools.
We are talking about educators in all the other fields of Jewish life, and educating people who are dealing with programs and running organizations. The definition of education is very broad. What if the executive director of Hillel had a Ph.D., or what if a Ph.D.-holder was the executive director of B’nai B’rith? We have the ability to have that kind of impact.”
 
 
In a few questions asked of Associate Professor Charlotte Fonrobert, Co-Director, Taube Center the reader gets an idea of the religious imperative of the Chair and concentration:
 
Will there be a religious imperative to the studies?
The Jewish Studies program does not really have “a religious imperative,” although I am unsure what you mean by that. We have two faculty members – myself, my field is classical Judaism, rabbinic literature, the Talmud; and my colleague Prof. Steve Weitzman, whose field is Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism – who teach in the Dept. of Religious Studies. So both of us are interested in religious aspects of Jewish culture, which for so many centuries played a central role in Jewish history. The imperative of the Center however is to explore the many facets of Jewish culture (history, literature, religion), and this new chair at the intersection of Jewish Studies and Education will add another dimension, in terms of shaping a concentration that will explore how religious identity formation influences and is influence by education.
 
Will you speak to the issue of Jewish education and the focus of the Chair?

The focus of this chair is on the intersection of Jewish Studies and Education, and to training scholars who will be able to analyze the impact the role of Jewish education in K-12 education, and more broadly the intersection of religion and education. We are hoping (and expecting) that this initiative will only be the beginning of an academic initiative to explore this intersection between religion and education more broadly – and not just for the Jewish context. The role of religion in education, especially in k-12 education, needs to be understood more broadly and more critically, as more children across the globe are educated in religious institutions and in the US in day schools.

 

“This extraordinary gift from the Jim Joseph Foundation allows Stanford to lead the country in the study of the nexus of culture, religion, and education,” said Deborah Stipek, dean of the School of Education. “Scholarship in this area is critical to understanding the central role of religion in education, and its broad implications for humanity. We are deeply grateful to the foundation for this opportunity.”

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA (north of San Francisco). My blog: http://www.petermenkin.blogspot.com

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June 26, 2010   Posted in: Jewish History  Comments Closed

The History of Judaism

History of Judaism History of Judaism until 164 BCE The Old Testament

The history of Judaism is inseparable from the history of Jews themselves. The early part of the story is told in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

It describes how God chose the Jews to be an example to the world, and how God and his chosen people worked out their relationship.

It was a stormy relationship much of the time, and one of the fascinating things about Jewish history is to watch God changing and developing alongside his people.

The Bronze Age

Jewish history begins during the Bronze age in the Middle East.

The birth of the Jewish people and the start of Judaism is told in the first 5 books of the Bible.

God chose Abraham to be the father of a people who would be special to God, and who would be an example of good behaviour and holiness to the rest of the world.

God guided the Jewish people through many troubles, and at the time of Moses he gave them a set of rules by which they should live, including the Ten Commandments.

The birth of Judaism

This was the beginning of Judaism as a structured religion The Jews, under God’s guidance became a powerful people with kings such as Saul, David, and Solomon, who built the first great temple.

From then on Jewish worship was focussed on the Temple, as it contained the Ark of the Covenant, and was the only place where certain rites could be carried out.

The kingdom declines

Around 920 BCE, the kingdom fell apart, and the Jewish people split into groups.

This was the time of the prophets.

Around 600 BCE the temple was destroyed, and the Jewish leadership was killed.

Many Jews were sent into exile in Babylon. Although the Jews were soon allowed to return home, many stayed in exile, beginning the Jewish tradition of the Diaspora – living away from Israel.

Rebuilding a Jewish kingdom

The Jews grew in strength throughout the next 300 years BCE, despite their lands being ruled by foreign powers. At the same time they became more able to practice their faith freely, led by scribes and teachers who explained and interpreted the Bible.

In 175 BCE the King of Syria desecrated the temple and implemented a series of laws aiming to wipe out Judaism in favour of Zeus worship. There was a revolt (164 BCE) and the temple was restored.

The revolt is celebrated in the Jewish festival of Hannukah.

History of Judaism 63BCE-1086CE Roman Times

For a period the Jewish people governed themselves again and were at peace with the Roman Empire. But internal divisions weakened the Jewish kingdom and allowed the Romans to establish control in 63 BCE.

In the years that followed, the Jewish people were taxed and oppressed by a series of “puppet” rulers who neglected the practice of Judaism.

The priests or Sadducees were allied to the rulers and lost favour with the people, who turned increasingly to the Pharisees or Scribes. These were also known as Rabbis, meaning teachers.

Year 1: CE

What is nowadays called the ‘Current Era’ traditionally begins with the birth of a Jewish teacher called Jesus. His followers came to believe he was the promised Messiah and later split away from Judaism to found Christianity, a faith whose roots are firmly in Judaism.

1 CE – 70 CE: Rabbinic Judaism

The Rabbis encouraged the Jewish people to observe ethical laws in all aspects of life, and observe a cycle of prayer and festivals in the home and at synagogues.

This involved a major rethink of Jewish life. Although the Temple still stood, its unique place as the focus of Jewish prayer and practice was diminished. Many synagogues had been founded in Palestine and right around the Jewish Diaspora.

Great teaching academies were founded in the first century BCE with scholars discussing and debating God’s laws. The most well known of the early teachers were Hillel, and his contemporary Shammai.

70 – 200 CE: The destruction of the Temple

This was a period of great change – political, religious, cultural and social turmoil abounded in Palestine. The Jewish academies flourished but many Jews could not bear being ruled over by the Romans.

During the first 150 years CE the Jews twice rebelled against their Roman leaders, both rebellions were brutally put down, and were followed by stern restrictions on Jewish freedom.

The first revolt, in 70 CE, led to the destruction of the Temple. This brought to an end the temple worship and is still perceived by traditional Jews as the biggest trauma in Jewish history. It is marked by the fast day of Tisha B’av (meaning the ninth day of the month of Av).

A second revolt, in 132 CE, resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews, the enslaving of thousands of others, and the banning of Jews from Jerusalem

200 – 700 CE: The Mishna and Talmud

Between 200 and 700 CE Judaism developed rapidly.

Following the twin religious and political traumas, the academies moved to new centres both in Palestine and in the Diaspora. A sense of urgency had taken hold and it was considered vital to write down the teachings of the Rabbis so that Judaism could continue.

Around 200 CE, scholars compiled the Mishna, the collection of teachings, sayings and interpretations of the early Rabbis.

The academies continued their work and several generations of Rabbis followed. Their teachings were compiled in the Talmud which expands on the interpretations of the Mishna and established an all-encompassing guide to life.

The Talmud exists in two forms. The first was finalised around the 3rd century CE in Palestine, and the second and superior version was completed during the 5th century CE in Babylon.

During this period Jews were allowed to become Roman citizens, but later were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to marry Christians.

In 439 CE the Romans banned synagogue building, and barred Jews from official jobs.

The Golden Age — The Jews in Spain

The years either side of 1000 CE were the golden age of the Jews in Spain.

Co-existing happily with the country’s Islamic rulers the Jews developed a flourishing study of Science, Hebrew literature and the Talmud.

Despite an attempt to forcibly convert all Jews to Islam in 1086 CE, this golden age continued.

At around this time the first Jews are recorded in Britain.

History From 1090 to 1600 The Crusades

The next Millennium began with the Crusades, military operations by Christian countries to capture the Holy Land.

The armies of the first Crusade attacked Jewish communities on their way to Palestine, especially in Germany.

When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem they slaughtered and enslaved thousands of Jews as well as Muslims.

Following the example of the Romans earlier, they banned Jews from the city.

In Britain, the Jewish population increased, benefiting from the protection of Henry I.

The bad times return

The 1100s were a seriously bad period. Jews were driven from southern Spain by a Berber invasion. Serious anti-Jewish incidents began to occur in Europe:

in France Jews were accused of ritually murdering a child in England Jews were murdered while trying to give gifts to the King at Richard I’s coronation 150 Jews were massacred in York in 1215 the Catholic Church ordered Jews to live in segregated areas (ghettos) and to wear distinctive clothes. Expulsions

In England the Jews faced increasing restrictions during the Thirteenth Century, and in 1290 they were all expelled from England.

Shortly afterwards the Jews were expelled from France.

In 1478 the Jews in Spain suffered under the Spanish Inquisition, and in 1492 Jews were expelled from Spain altogether. The same thing happened in Portugal in 1497.

50 years later in Germany, Martin Luther (founder of Protestant Christianity) preached viciously against the Jews.

Scholarship, literature, and mysticism

But it wasn’t an entirely bad period for Judaism. Scholarship and literature flourished, with figures like Rambam, Luria, Levi ben Gershom, and Eleazar ben Judah.

The Jewish form of mysticism, known as Kabbalah reached new heights with the publication in Spain of the Book of Splendour, which influenced Jewish Spirituality for centuries.

History from 1650 to 1860s Jews return to Britain

This was a period of Jewish expansion.

Jews were allowed to return to England and their rights of citizenship steadily increased.

In 1760 the main representative organisation for British Jewry, The Board of Deputies of British Jews, was founded.

Jews were first recorded in America in 1648.

Hassidism

Poland and Central Europe saw the creation of a new Jewish movement of immense importance – Hassidism.

It followed the example of the Baal Shem Tov (1700-1760) who said that you didn’t have to be an ascetic to be holy; indeed he thought that the appropriate mood for worship was one of joy.

The movement included large amounts of Kabbalic mysticism as well, and the way it made holiness in every day life both intelligible and enjoyable, helped it achieve great popularity among ordinary Jews.

However it also led to divisions within Judaism, as many in the religious establishment were strongly against it.

In Lithuania in 1772 Hassidism was excommunicated, and Hassidic Jews were banned from marrying or doing business with other Jews.

Persecution in Central Europe

Towards the end of the 1700s Jews began to suffer persecution in central Europe, and in Russia they began to be restricted to living in a particular area of the country, called The Pale.

The birth of Reform Judaism

In the 19th Century another new movement appeared in Judaism.

This was Reform Judaism, which began in Germany and held that Jewish law and ritual should move with the times, and not be fixed.

It introduced many changes to worship, and customs, and grew rapidly into a strong movement. It continues to flourish in Europe and the USA.

Good news and bad news

As the 19th century continued many countries gradually withdrew restrictions on Jews—the UK allowed its Jewish citizens the same rights as others by 1860s.

But at the same time Jews came under increasing pressure in central Europe and Russia. There were brutal pogroms against Jews in which they were ejected from their homes and villages, and cruelly treated. Some of this persecution is told in the musical show Fiddler on the Roof.

In Israel, Jewish culture was having a significant rebirth as the Hebrew language was recreated from a language of history and religion into a language of everyday life.

The twentieth century UK and USA

In Britain and America this was the century of Jewish immigration, with great numbers of Jewish people arriving to escape the pogroms in Poland and Russia.

The Jewish population of Britain increased by 250,000 in 30 years. It was at this time that the East End of London became a centre of Jewish life in Britain. However in 1905 the UK passed a law that slowed immigration to a mere trickle.

The birth of Zionism

The Zionist movement, whose aim was to create a Jewish state, was rooted in centuries of Jewish prayer and yearning to return to the land of Israel.

Political Zionism began in the mid-19th Century and towards the end of the century it gained strength as many Jews began to feel that the only way they could live in safety would be to have a country of their own.

In 1917, in the Balfour Declaration, the UK agreed that a Jewish state should be established in Israel and, following the First World War, the British governed the region in preparation for a permanent political arrangement.

Over the next few years Jewish immigration increased and important institutions were founded such as the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, and the Hebrew University.

The Holocaust

Jewish history of the 1930s and 1940s is dominated by the Holocaust, the implementation on an industrial scale of a plan to wipe the whole Jewish people from the face of Europe.

The plan was carried out by the Nazi government of Germany and their allies.

During the Holocaust 6 million Jewish people were murdered, 1 million of them children.

The events of the Holocaust have shaped Jewish thinking, and the thinking of other people about Jewish issues ever since. War crimes trials of those involved in the Holocaust continue to this day.

The tragedy affected much of the religious thinking of Jews, as they try to make sense of a God who could allow such a thing to happen to his chosen people.

The State of Israel

The second defining Jewish event of the century was the achievement of the Zionist movement in the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

There had been strong and paramilitary opposition to British colonial rule for many years, and in 1947 the United Nations agreed a plan to partition the land between Jews and Arabs. In May 1948 the British Government withdrew their forces.

Immediately, the surrounding Arab States invaded and the new Jewish State was forced to fight the first of several major wars. Notable among these were the 6-day war in 1967 and the Yom Kippur war in 1973.

The first steps towards a permanent peace came when Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, and with Jordan in 1994.

For most of its history Israel has had an uneasy relationship with the Arab states that surround it, and has been greatly sustained by the help and support of the USA, where the Jewish community is large and influential.

The 21st century began with great political uncertainty over Israel and its relationship with the Palestinian people, and this continues.

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June 26, 2010   Posted in: Jewish History  Comments Closed

The History Of The Jewish Religion

Abstract

The history of the Jews is quite long and its origin is gotten from Abraham and the Hebrews. Some of the practices that are carried out by the Jews today came as a result of the covenants that god made with people like Abraham and Moses. The history entails the covenant between Abraham and god, the covenant between god and Moses in Mount Sinai, conquest of the Canaan and the judges, etc. The prophet Samuel and the kings Saul, David, and Solomon also form the history of the Jewish religion. In the history of the Jewish religion are the destruction of the temple and the fall of Rome. The sufferings that the Jews endured in the early Middle Ages form the greatest contributions to the history of the Jewish religion. The harsh times in Europe and Germany that led to the immigration of the Jews especially to the United States led to the high population of the Jews in the United States. The crusades led to the loss of lives by the Jews in large masses and all the mistreatments that the Jews endured were blamed on the Jews themselves. The festivals and the practices that the Jews in the early days practiced form the practices that the Jews practice up to date.

Introduction

The history of the Jews religion entails the faith of the Jews and their culture.  Judaism is basically the beliefs and practices that the Jews practice. It is one of the oldest religions that remain and are still being practiced up to date. Judaism mainly explains the relationship that existed between God and the children of Israel. A Jewish is any individual whose mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, etc. in that line were of the religion of the Jewish. Also if an individual was converted to Judaism in a way that is accepted by the Israeli authorities, he or she and all his or her children qualify to be Jewish. The Jews religion has its roots back from the covenant between god and Abraham. The Jews believe in the existence of one God who provides for and maintains the Jews. The Jewish religion is also regarded as a waiting religion as its followers still wait for the coming of the messiah to liberate the world. The Jewish religion faced many resistances from the Christianity as it was being developed and very many Jews lost their lives in the process. The harsh conditions and severity that the Jews were exposed to in Europe led to the immigration of these Jews to many other parts of the world especially in the Europe in search of refuge. This paper will seek to explain the historical and religious context of Judaism and the biblical Jewish history up to today.

Historical and Religious Context

The history of the Jewish religion has its way back from the creation of mankind. Abraham and the Hebrews make the greatest contributions to the origin of the Jewish religion. Abraham used to live in north Mesopotamia but one time God commanded him to leave his homeland for Canaan a foreign land. The obedience of Abraham to his God is seen here when he leaves his own land for a place that he doesn’t know. The Hebrews also spent some time in Egypt where they were mistreated and served as slaves to the Egyptians under the reign of Pharaoh before returning to Canaan. Most of the Hebrew people were farmers and seminomadic herdsmen who were organized in small tribes. In their culture, there existed messengers, the literature of the Egyptian hymns and wisdom, the literature of the Canaanite language and methodology, Mesopotamian primitive history, etc. All the cultures of the Jews believed in the existence of a God who was the creator and the preserver. There also existed religious rituals and ethics that the Jews practiced with seasons.

Abraham and the Patriarchs

The bible begins with the book of genesis and this book recognizes the existence of an all-powerful God who creates the world in six days and rests the seventh day. The human being by the name Adam is the only creature created the sixth day and is created in the God’s own image and likeness. From the book of genesis to the book of chronicle, human beings sin against god several times until a time comes when god decides to punish the human kind using a flood. The only person who survived the flood was Noah and his family. After the blood, god made a covenant with Noah that he will never again destroy the world with water (John, 1).Abraham is believed to be the founder of the Jewish community. He didn’t discover god but he was called by the same God and a covenant between god and Abraham is made where Abraham is promised many descendants. Scholars have recently identified some differences between Abraham’s and the patriarchs’ religion and Moses’ religion. Abraham is seen to refer to god in generic terms other than in specific terms and the issue of idolatry in the religion of Moses is completely absent in the religion of Abraham. In the Abraham and the patriarchs’ religion, there was the belief that sacrifices and prayer was very essentials for the enhancement of the relationship between god and the people (Charles, & Jeremiah, 236). The prayers were offered in specific places such as a stone pillar, sacred tree, or a sacred alter. When Abraham made a covenant with God, there was a mark of circumcision which the community adopted and all male children in the community were to undergo it. Up to the present day, all male children undergo circumcision on the eighth day in the synagogues.

The Journey from Egypt to Sinai and the Covenant to Moses

The Hebrew tribes served as slaves in Egypt where they moved when a famine struck their region in Canaan. They cried to God to deliver them from the oppression that was being carried out on them. God called Moses and gave him the assignment to deliver his people from the land of oppression to the Promised Land. When Moses reached Egypt, the then king refused to release the Israelites but God had heard the cries and prayers of his people and infected the Egyptians with plagues which gave the king no options other than releasing the Israelites. When the Israelites left Egypt, the king ordered his army to follow them and when reached the red sea, God drowned all the army so that the Hebrews could escape (Stephen, 236).It took the Israelites a journey of about forty years to get to the Promised Land. The Jews at one blamed Moses of taking them to the wilderness so that they could die of hunger but along the journey, god provided the Hebrews with free food and water. When they reached Mount Sinai, Moses left them at the foot of the mountain and climbed the mountain to receive the commandments. Here, God the terms of the covenant between God and the Israelites was established and the Israel was established as God’s own nation. Through the forty years journey, God remained loyal tom the Israelites even when they turned to worship idols and blamed Moses for the hunger that they experienced. Moses emerged as a conqueror though he had refused the call when he was first told of his mission by God. He emerged as a great leader in religious matters, political issues, legislative issues, and military issues. In Mount Sinai, god gave Moses the Ten Commandments that were supposed to guide the Israelites in their day to day lives (Louis, 346). When Moses came back from the mountain, he found the Israelites worshipping idols and as a result of the anger that struck him, he dropped the commandments and they broke into pieces. The contents of the covenant included the loyalty that the Israelites needed to observe on god who saved them from bondage in Egypt, the prohibition of the worship of idols, and it also contained festivals and rituals that the Israelites needed to observe as a celebration of God’s provision to them (John, 1).

Conquest of Canaan and the Judges

When the Israelites reached their promised land, some leaders were appointed for them and these leaders were known as judges. Unfortunately, this period was dominated by the worship of idols and apostasy which the covenant between god and the Israelites was totally against. However, many alters were constructed for the God of Israel where the Israelites were supposed to make sacrifices and worship this God. Many priests were also appointed especially from the society of Levites and these Levites conducted sacrifices at the temples that were constructed for the God of Israel (John, 1).A house was also constructed for the Ark of the Covenant where this Ark of the Covenant was given maximum protection. Priest from the family of Eli acted as the staff members of this house that was constructed at the Shiloh Sanctuary.

Saul, David, and Solomon

Even after reaching the Promised Land, the Israelites still had enemies and thus a way of defending their community against these enemies was necessary. The solution turned out to be an authority that was centralized and an army that was organized so that they could give the right approach to dealing with external enemies. The Israelites had an option of taking God’s given way to protect the Israelites and another option of rejecting God’s kingship. Prophet Samuel appointed the first king of Israel. When Saul defeated the Ammonites, he was appointed the first king and he ruled the community of the Israelites from a small town called Gibeah which was to the north of Jerusalem. During the reign of Saul, many conflicts arose between him and the then prophet Prophet Samuel who had many powers over the kingship. Saul was succeeded by King David whose reign helped solve the differences that existed between Saul and the prophet Samuel. David combined both the political and religious authority to his house and the descendants and all other kings were to rule from Jerusalem (John, 1).Solomon the son of David succeeded his father at a very early age. David selected Solomon regardless of having other elder sons who had expected to succeed him. Solomon acted as king of Israel for about forty years and during this period, the monarchy of the Hebrews got the highest appraisal. Solomon’s kingship was very prosperous especially during the first half of his reign. Solomon was the person who was to build a temple for the God of the Israelites. In the second half of his leadership, idolatries dominated which resulted from his intermarriages. The bible says that Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Solomon married the daughter of Pharaoh form Egypt leading to a relation between the Israelites and their enemies-the Egyptians.

Divided Monarchy and the Exile

When Solomon’s role came to an end, the nation split into the northern kingdom known as Israel and the southern kingdom known as Judah. The northern kingdom was under the rule of the Assyrian ruler Shalmaneser while the southern region was under the rule of the Babylonian army. The Israelites split into smaller political-religious groups among them the Pharisees and the Sadducees (John, 1).

Destruction of the Temple

A number of reasons led to the development of the kingdom the Seleucid. Among them was the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great, the death of Alexander that Great, and the division of the empire of Alexander by the generals that he left. The relationship between the religious Jews and the Hellenized Jews kept on deteriorating and this led to the then king of Seleucid banning some Jewish religious traditions and rites. As a result of the bans, the orthodox Jews protested under the leadership of the Maccabees. The result of the revolution was the formation of the Hasmonaean Dynasty which was an independent Jewish religion (John, 1).A civil war led to the disintegration of the Hasmonaean Dynasty. Some people didn’t want to be led by the kings but by some theocratic clergy and these people sent their requests to the roman authorities. Judea was established as an independent roman kingdom at first but it later turned to be a brutal kingdom and really mistreated the Judean subjects. Many Judeans came out in lime light revolting against the leadership of the roman rulers of Judea. The roman emperors defeated the Judeans and much of the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and most of the artifacts that were preserved in the temple including the menorah were also stolen. After the defeat, the members of the Judean community continued to live in their former land and were also allowed to practice some of their religious rites and practices. For a long period of time the Jews were not allowed to enter to the town of Jerusalem. However, during the seventh century when the Persians were reconstructing the destroyed city, many Jews were living in the same town regardless of the ban (John, 1).The roman rule was changed to integrate other issues such as preserving tradition in a better situation, combining with the Greek society and thought, etc. People from different regions could now live peacefully with each other regardless of their tribal groups.

The fall of Rome

A number of laws were passed by the eastern Roman Empire that took away all civil rights of any individuals who were unbelievers. The existence of such unbelievers was also complicated by the passed laws and most the unbelievers had no other options than running away to rescue their lives. When they were denied their civil rights, meant that most of their freedoms were curtailed and they lived like prisoners. The Jews really suffered in the hands of the iconoclastic emperors who were believed to be heretic with some Jews tendencies. In a bid to try and fight for their lives, the Jews found themselves in some very remote states which were being established such as the Slavs and the Tatars. Here, they found protection and refuge and they could now live their lives though in some foreign land. The East-Roman Empire grew stronger and stronger and the relationship between them and their neighbors continued to enhance (John, 1).Contrary, the Western Roman Empire grew weaker and weaker and the always feel victims of the barbarians. The Jews continued to peacefully practice their faith and they didn’t have any trouble in their lives.

The Early middle Ages

During the early days, the church laws didn’t recognize the non-believers as humans and their humanity was regarded with much discrimination. In the beginning of the ninth century, the church came up with some laws that clearly addressed the issue of the believers and their treatment to the non-believers. Earlier, the believers and the Jews could not interact in any way and this helped create a gap between the two religions that proved very hard to bridge. The hard time that the church experienced in conducting its financial operations led to the integration of the Jews in their believers circle. The church could only get some money through borrowed loan that was to be returned with some interest and this loan could only be found from people of different faiths. These experiences of the church led to the rapid acquirement of influence by the Jews. Any pleasures by the Jews were to be from their homes or in their own circles. Also, the only way they could acquire some knowledge was through their own compositions and their literature. However, the Jews made all the necessary sacrifices and were completely devoted with all their nature and strength to the success of their literature (John, 1).The Jews from the western region really experienced hard conditions which depended on the ever changing political conditions. Those Jews who were in Italy during the war wagged by Rugii experienced many dark days. Here, they experienced the hard time since the roman emperors laws were greatly observed and administered. The laws of the emperors could not tolerate the practices of the Jews unlike the catholic faith where the Jews made some influences. In some places like the Pyrenean peninsula, the Jews had lived peacefully in large numbers and for many years. The Jews also enjoyed the peace when the same land was occupied by the Alani, Suevi, Visigoths, and the Vandals. However, the peace condition came to an abrupt end when the kings of Visigothic picked on Catholicism and wanted to convert all their citizens to one faith. The Jews first persevered and accepted the faith hoping that the severe conditions were to remain for a short moment. Some of them were baptized by force so that they could be allowed to remain in the region. Later, the Visigothic insisted that even those who were baptized by force had no option than to remain true to the Christian faith.

Later, the Jews conquered peninsula and they welcomed the Arabs to the land. For the Jews who had been completely converted and they wished to keep the faith of the Christian religion, the church offered maximum protection to them and protected them from compulsory conversion. The pope once wanted to protect his kingdom and the temporal power and he called for the support of the Carolingians but there was no change in the policy of conversion. Charlemagne used the church in bringing together the elements of his kingdom that had fallen apart and he also used the church in transforming the Old Roman Empire into a Christian empire (John, 1).He also united all the German races that were there during his reign and helped them to settle. When he died, most of the restrictions in the church were not observed and the non-believers were greatly mistreated.

The Crusades

The Jews endured many trials and hard times while in different kingdoms which practiced Christianity and these were just some indications of the hard times that befell them during the time of the crusades. During the crusades, the peaceful Jews experienced real torture in the hands of those who claimed to be believers. The believers had no room for anyone who was not a member of their religion. The rights to worship didn’t exist by then and this led to the great suffering by the Jews. The first crusade of 1096 resulted to the destruction of all the Jewish communities that flourished in Rhine and Danube (John, 1).The second crusade took place in 1147 where Philip Augustus treated the Jews in France with extra severity. The third crusade of 1188 greatly affected the English Jews. Many trials took place in England and the end result was a ban for any Jew to be seen in England. After about three hundred and sixty five years the Jews were allowed to settle in the British Isles. The Jews also experienced other attacks and were greatly oppressed by the shepherd’s crusades of 1251 and 1320.

Persecution and Blood Libel

All the deeds that were conducted on the Jews were justified in the crimes laid against them. The Jewish were seen as being responsible for all the crime that was imputed to them all the years that they underwent the mistreatment. The Jews were also falsely accused of dishonoring the host which the believers believed to be representing the body of Christ. All the calamities that took place in this period were attached to the Jews and it was believed that were it not for them, there could have been great peace among the religions. The plundering raids of the Mongols were also laid on them. The Jews were also accused of poisoning the wells when the Black Death killed so many individuals in Europe. This was an invention meant to show how the Jewish were miserable. There existed only one court that claimed to be a protector to the Jewish and this was the Roman emperor of the German nation (John, 1).The emperor claimed that the Jews had the right to posses property and to be protected by the laws like any other individuals. The emperor could now present the Jews and all their property to cities or to princes. The court could now fight for the rights of the Jews and the greed, distrust, and envy that existed between communities could now be reduced. Also the undeserved suffering that the Jews went through could now be addressed and the innocent Jews could now escape prosecution. The court proceedings if well carried out could lead to the participation of different members of the community in communal work, help people leave like members of one family, and help reducing the harsh conditions that the Jewish were going through in the hands of the believers.

Expulsions

In all the countries in the western where Christianity was practiced, a gloomy of the Jews was portrayed and the Jews were viewed as the source of all evil. Many Jews were sent out of different places at different times. In 1290, almost all the Jews who resided in England were sent away, others were sent out of France in 1394. Also between 1350 and 1450, many Jews were sent out of large districts in Italy and Germany. These Jews who were driven out of the different places fled in different directions in search of peace and refuge (John, 1). They were looking for places where they could be tolerated and their faith could be respected. Most of them preferred the newly formed Slavic kingdoms. In the new Slavic kingdoms, their practices could be tolerated and many confessions were still tolerated. The rulers in these kingdoms made it possible for the Jews to enjoy true refuge and for a long time the Jews experienced great prosperity. The study of Talmud was very vigorous here and the Jews could now practice their faith without fear. The Jews learnt the language of the Germans and many of their customs and practices. However, they didn’t abolish their religion but continued to practice their faith. Up to date, the Jews practice the German customs that they learnt in the Slavic environment and they speak the German language whole heartedly. Also under Muslim rule especially in Pyrenean peninsula, the Jews received some good treatment where they were allowed to practice their faith with the required freedom

The efforts of the Jews to resist Christianity were faced with difficulties and although they made some advances, they couldn’t offer the real resistance to Christianity. The force of Christianity had advanced so much that the Jews efforts couldn’t have made great impact. The Arabic culture had greatly declined especially following the fall of the political power and the transformation of the Jews to the western cultures (John, 1).Most of the Jews who lived in the southern part o France and those who lived in the northern parts of Spain had accepted the western culture and this really weakened the Arabic culture. The Jews from Spain studied secular sciences with great vigor and eagerness to learn them just as they did with the bible and Talmud.

As the Jews continued to practice their faith, the church grew rapidly and with vigor to an extent that the Jews could no longer practice their faith with the full freedom. The church leaders were determined to transform all these Jews to the Christianity faith and they did all that they could to win them. The first step by the church to win these people was by offering religious writings to them and by religious disruptions on them. The attempt by the church to use writings and religious disruptions to weaken the Jewish faith did not prove very successful and due to the determination that the church had in weakening them, another option had to be adapted. This time round, the church made it really hard for the Jews to practice their civil rights. Many restrictions were made to the extent that the Jews were now completely separated from the Christians and they were to live in different parts in the cities (John, 1).Again, the Jews were required to wear some very embarrassing badges on their clothing. This led to great mistreatment of the Jews by their fellow citizens.

The Jews also became victims of hatred and scorn by their fellow citizens. Life for the Jews became harder and harder and in 1391, thirty thousands Jews were killed in Seville by a mob by the name the fanatical mob. In a bid to try and run for their lives, many Jews had no options other than to run for refuge in baptism. The Jews who were baptized however continued to practice their father’s faiths in secret. A severe interrogation was conducted where the rights and privacy of these Jews were greatly violated. This led to the discovery that some of the Jews who had been baptized still continued to practice their faith and were thus pretenders and not true Christians. Severe punishments were conducted on those who were discovered as being pretenders were taken to prison, tortured by the prison staff, and burnt to death (John, 1).This project continued for many years and was aimed at ensuring that there were no more unbelievers in Spain. In 1492, hundreds of thousands of the Jews were forced to leave Spain where they had spent their lives for over one thousand and five hundred years. After their departure from Spain, most of these Jews fled to Balkan Peninsula for refuge and here they enjoyed some peace. They also got an opportunity to practice the faith of their fathers without restrictions. Up to date, these exiles that were forced out of Spain still preserve the language that they learnt in Spain and surprisingly, these Jews in this land speak the Spanish language as their mother tongue.

The Enlightenment and Haskalah
During the revival period, a lot of learning and negotiations took place. Significant changes were especially found within the Jewish community. The enlightment was paralleled by the Haskalah movement where the Jews actively participated in seeing to it that the restrictive laws that were applied on then were abolished. These laws gave the Christian authorities total control over the Jews and this denied the Jews most of their civil rights. The movement also demanded that the Jews be integrated in the wider European community. The Jews students who attended classes got a chance to receive scientific and secular education in addition to the traditional religious education. Many Jews also got the opportunity to identify themselves with the Jewish religion as a result of the revival that took place in the study of the Jewish history (John, 1).Conservative movements and reform movements were born through the Haskalah and they all fought together in reviving the Jewish religion.  These movements also pushed for the assimilation of the Jewish culture in all the countries that the Jews lived. The process of reviving the Jewish religion wasn’t very smooth especially when some other movements started sprouting that preached completely the opposite of the Haskalah movement. The resistance amongst these movements led to the present divisions in the Jewish observance.
As numerous changes took place within the Jewish community, the outside world also experience equally important changes. The prosecution of the Jews had not been completely wiped in some European countries and in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, several hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed. The napoleon law by napoleon offered the Jewish refuge in regard to equality. Those Jews who used to live the Jewish ghettos in Europe were invited by napoleon to leave these ghettos for the newly created political regimes that were more tolerant to the Jewish religion (John, 1).Many Jews migrated to the United States form Europe due to the existence of economic and social opportunities in the United States. Here they formed a large community that was free from the restrictions that the Jews used to experience in Europe.
The Jews in the United States
The existence of the Jews in the United States dates back to the seventeenth century. However, the number of Jews in the United States by the seventeenth century was very small. The first Jews to settle in the United States were shepherds from Spain and Portugal. In the nineteenth century, many Jews arrived in the United States from Germany and here, the Jews became merchants and shop owners. Most of the Jews that migrated to the United States did it due to the discrimination and prosecution that took place in countries such as Germany, Europe, etc. (John, 1).The severity of the mistreatment of many Jews in the United States in regard to their religion was less and thus most of them opted to run to the United States for refuge. In the early twentieth century, many Muslims arrived in the New York City and built several synagogues. The holocaust in Europe led to immigration of the Jews to the United States in large numbers such that the United States became the largest home of the Jews (Israel, 40).
Napoleon and the Jews
Napoleon made great contributions to the liberation of the Jews of the Western Europe (John, 1). The civil code helped the Jews against discrimination from other communities and the severity that was put on them as a result of their religion. Napoleon decided to offer to the Jews, freemasons, and Protestants liberty, fraternity, and equality (Joseph, 52). Some churches that had been closed for years were also opened during his regime. The code was supposed to offer the freedom of worship to all regardless of ones cultural and ethnic background. Napoleon also said that the state was to pay the salaries of the priests to these communities. His mission to liberate the Jews began when he was in Ancona and some people passed around him wearing some yellow bonnets and arm bands. Napoleon was amazed and immediately asked his officers why these people wore the bonnets and the arm bands. The officers told him that these people were Jews and the bonnets and the arm bands were used to identify them so that in the evening, they could return to the ghettos. Napoleon ordered that the Jews remove the yellow bonnets and arm bands with immediate effect. Napoleon also ordered the closing of the ghetto and he said that the Jews should be allowed to live wherever they wanted to live and should also practice their religion with full freedom. Napoleon made rules that addressed the way that the businesses and credit by the Jews were to be conducted. Earlier, the Christians were not allowed by the laws to practice usury. In effect, an assembly of Jewish notables was appointed that was to represent the Jews community in the process of bringing the Jews over to his policies. All the debts that were owed to the Jews were annulled.
The Holocaust
The prejudice against the Jews due their ethnic and cultural background continued in Europe even in the 1920s and the 1930s. Adolf Hitler was one of the anti-fanatics who could not change their mind regarding the treatment given to the Jews. In Germany, the case was even harder. Back in 1933 the then Nazis organized a boycott that was to protest against all the businesses owned by the Jews in Germany (Max & Gustav, 23).This was a one day boycott aimed at eliminating all Jews from active businesses. This mission was accomplished in 1939 when all the remaining small enterprises in Germany were closed in Germany. In almost all the cities where the Jews resided, they were concentrated in a very small region and were separated from the rest of the members of the cities.
During the First World War, the Nazis in Germany formalized all the borders and restricted the movement of the Jews within the different areas. Also, some ghettos were created for the Jews and the Jews were required to be confined within these ghettos and could not live in other regions within the city. These ghettos were even worse than prisons because after a short period of time, the Jews who resided in these ghettos died of hunger and disease. Executions continued where the Nazis and their collaborators executed these Jews. Concentration camps were identified in Germany itself where many Jews lost their lives and others experienced the worst conditions that the human rights cannot tolerate today (George, 2009).
Mass killings of the Jews that lived in the soviet territory took place during the invasion of the Soviet Union. All the communities that lived in the region were thrown out of the region, robbed off all their property, and shot at the edge of the ditches. In the year 1941, Hitler made a decision to kill in mass all the Jews that existed in Europe and completely eliminate their existence. In 1942 however, several Nazis met to discuss the issue of the Jews and come with a final solution of the Jewish question. The general government came up with a plan to deport all the Jews that occupied the ghettos and the territories that were greatly concentrated. The Jews were to be taken to the extermination camps also known as the Vernichtungslager. These seven extermination camps included: Belzec, Auschwitz, Chelmno, Maly, Majdanek, Sobibor, Trostenets, and TreblinkaII (George, 2009).
Holocaust Aftermath and the State of Israel
Jews were killed in large numbers during the German Nazis regime between 1941 and 1945. Millions of refugees were left homeless by the holocaust and its aftermath. Most the refugees that were left homeless were the Jews amongst who had lost almost all if not all of their family members and possessions (John, 1).These Jews also faced persistent rejection in their home countries due to their ethnic and cultural background. The Jews were still interested in finding a place where they could live freely without discrimination and restrictions. In their efforts, most of them found themselves joining the Zionist movement. The Zionists argued that the Jews refugees who lived in Germany and the Nazi had been abandoned by other countries and this led to the mass killing that took place on those Jews that resided here. In fact, they argued that if there was a Jews state during this period, the extent of the holocaust couldn’t have been as severe as it was. Zionism grew rapidly and a post-holocaust displacement strategy was adapted that led to the immigration of many Jews to the land that is currently known as the state of Israel.

Judaism today

Geography

The Jews today are spread all over the world. However most of the Jews communities are today found in the USA with an approximate population of about 5.7 million people. Most of them came to the United States from Spain where they were being killed for the culture. Also anti-Semitism and the prosecution of the Jews in Europe contributed to the immigration to the United States (John, 1).Most of the Jews came to the United States in the nineteenth century and they built synagogues for their God. Many Jews are also found in Western Europe and the Western Europe. The African continent hosts between two hundred thousands and three thousands Jews. The Jews exist in many communities but most of the Jews belong to the communities of the Israel and Palestine. Many Jews live in states where there are different other communities except Israel which is a Jewish state (Mary, 47). Most parts of North Africa and the Middle East were previously homes of the Jews but when Israel was established, many of the Jews immigrated to this state. However, some countries like Iran, morocco, and turkey also have some notable number of Jews. When king Shalmaneser deported some Jews to Kurdistan, some new traditions were developed by the Jews and the residents converted many Kurds to Judaism. Here, the equality of all people was observed and women now enjoyed much freedom. In fact, it is in this very land that the first female leader emerged.

The Goal of the Jewish Religion, Practices and Beliefs

The Jews still believe that the promised messiah hasn’t been sent. It is therefore a religion of waiting where they are waiting for the messiah who will come on earth to liberate them and also bring security and justice to the world (John, 1). Several changes have occurred in regard to the issue of the messiah and some Jews have accepted the messiah as a symbol and not somebody that will practically be sent to liberate them. However, a group of the Jews still believe that god will send them the messiah and they are still waiting for his coming. The Jews use the torah as their sacred and this greatly corresponds to the Christian’s Old Testament. The Talmud which was completed in the fifth century contains the oral law and the interpretations of the law.

The Jews celebrate many festivals and among them is the weekly Sabbath that is celebrated from the afternoon of Friday to Saturday afternoon (Raymond, 25). The different Muslim communities celebrate the Sabbath in the same way but strictness differs where some communities allow for secular activities to take place while others don’t. Many other festivals are celebrated once a year. Some of them include: Yom Kippur which is the Day of Atonement, Chanukah which corresponds to the Christian’s Christmas. Other festivals designate the time when the Jews were allowed to leave Egypt and their exodus. Others are celebrated once in a lifetime such as the circumcision of the boy child when it is eight days old. This acts as a remembrance of the covenant that god made to Abraham. Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah marks a time when the boys enter adulthood at the age of thirteen and the girls at the age of twelve respectively. The burial of a dead Jew takes place with immediate effect from hi death and the family starts Shiva which is a seven day mourning period.

The Jews religion has some regulations and prohibitions that mainly cover on food (John, 1). These rules are seen by other communities as being complex. For example, the Jews are not allowed to eat pork and shellfish which all other communities do. Eating these diets is a sin according to the Jews laws and it is prohibited. Concerning the slaughtering of animals, any animal should be killed by a Shehitah where the accepted method is cutting the throat of the animal and leaving the conscious animal to bleed to death. Some types of food such as milk and meat shouldn’t be kept together.

Since time immemorial, the Jews are supposed to pray at least three times every day which are performed in remembrance of the times that sacrifices were made in the temple in Jerusalem (John, 1). Shaharith is the name given to the Morning Prayer, Minhah designates the afternoon prayer, while Maarib is the evening prayer. The Jews up to date believe that everything in the world has its origin with God. The Jews are therefore required to recite some benedictions before they take on any events. The torah is divided into sections such that within a year, it is possible for the individuals to have gone through the torah. The rabbi leads the congregation in reading each section of the torah everyday and after the reading, a prayer session follows from the prayer book.

Organization

The congregation of the Jews is led by a rabbi who closely relates to the priest in Christianity. This leader in elected by the congregation and except in orthodox where a woman cannot assume the position of a rabbi, the rabbi can be either a man or a woman. Prayers are led by a trained individual by the name cantor during the services. Many activities take place in the synagogue which is a holy place for the Jews. Religious activities, religious services, and community activities take place in the synagogue (John, 1). The orthodox is very strict on the way that activities in the synagogue are conducted and even in the synagogues, women are not supposed to sit on the same side with men. The Jewish religion allows its members to perform some rituals in their homes as well. Some yearly festivals, Sabbath rituals, and the daily prayers can be performed at home.

Holy Places

There were some discontinuations in Judaism especially during the Diaspora which led to little development of some holy places by the Jews. Even up to today, the Jewish who live in the European countries still feel in exile. They have a mentality of migration and they still migrate to the places where the Jews exist in large numbers. The dominating holy place for the Jews is Jerusalem and this is mainly formed by the temple that was destroyed (John, 1). The western wall that remained after the destruction is referred to as the most holy place in the world (Helen, 240). Another significant holy place for the Jews is Hebron in Palestine where the remains of Abraham were buried. The place in Mount Sinai where the Jews and God made a covenant is also important to their faith. The oldest synagogue is found in Tunisia in Africa and is regarded as a holy place.

Conclusion

The history of the Jewish religion dates its way back to the time of Abraham. Abraham is regarded as the fore father of the Jewish religion and although he did not discover God himself, he was called by this very God and sent to a foreign land which he didn’t know. God made a covenant with Abraham and promised him many descendants. The mark of the covenant was circumcision which the Jewish religion practices up to date

When the Hebrews cried to God to liberate them from slavery in Egypt, God heard their cry and sent Moses to guide them to the Promised Land. A long journey that took them forty years was successful though there were complications on diseases and hunger. In Mount Sinai, God made a covenant with Moses whose contents included the loyalty that the Israelites needed to observe on god who saved them from bondage in Egypt, the prohibition of the worship of idols, and it also contained festivals and rituals that the Israelites needed to observe as a celebration of God’s provision to them. In Canaan, the Israelites were led by judges though the region was at the moment dominated by the worship of idols. The congregation made many alters which were regarded as the holy places for God where the Israelites could make sacrifices and worship this God who liberated them from slavery. The tribe of the Levites produced many kings and a house was built for the maintenance of the Ark of the Covenant.

When they reached the Promised Land, the Israelites requested for a king to help them conquer their enemies. Prophet Samuel appointed Saul as the first king of Israel. Saul was succeeded by King David whose reign helped solve the differences that existed between Saul and the prophet Samuel. . David combined both the political and religious authority to his house and the descendants and all other kings were to rule from Jerusalem. Solomon who was a young son of David succeeded his father at the age of eighteen. Solomon acted as king of Israel for about forty years and during this period, the monarchy of the Hebrews got the highest appraisal. During the half of his leadership, Solomon made great achievements but in the second half, dominated which resulted from his intermarriages. The worst happened when he married the daughter of the Egyptian king Pharaoh.

When Solomon’s role came to an end, the nation split into the northern kingdom known as Israel and the southern kingdom known as Judah. The leadership of the roman rulers of Judea led to the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem by the Romans when they defeated the Judeans. Most of the artifacts that were preserved in the temple including the menorah were also stolen. A number of laws were passed by the eastern Roman Empire that took away all civil rights of any individuals who were unbelievers. The existence of such unbelievers was also complicated by the passed laws and most the unbelievers had no other options than running away to rescue their lives.

The Jews experienced the harshest conditions in the early middle ages. This was as a result of the church laws that didn’t recognize the non-believers as humans and regarded their humanity with much discrimination. In Europe and Germany, many Jews lost their lives and those who remained had to immigrate to different regions where they could be rescued. During the time of the crusades the Jews were tortured and falsely accused and blamed for the sufferings that they endured. Today, the Jews are spread different parts of the world but the largest population is found in the United States. Most of the festivals that that were practiced by the Jews in the early days are still practiced today. A few holy places for the Jews also exist.

references

John, G. (2009), 1. History of Judaism-Religion facts. Retrieved from http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/history.htm on 07-August-2009.

Israel, S. (2000). Jewish History Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years. Pluto: Pluto press, 12-89.

Louis, J. (1995). The Jewish Religion: A Companion. New York: Barnes & Noble Publishers, 341-356.

Raymond, P. S. (2000). A Short History of the Jewish People. India: Karen. A Publishers, 23-26.

Stephen, C. R. (1993). A Jews Archive from Old Cairo. Israel:  Jewish Publication Societies, 231-245.

Max, N & Gustav, G. (1996). Zionism and Anti-Semitism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 23-34.

Mary, A. (1912). The Promised Land. Israel: National Yuddish Book Centre, 45-48.

Charles, F. K & Jeremiah, W. J. (1002). The Beginning of Israel History. New York: Scribner’s Sons, 231-237.

Helen, C. N. (2004). Israel: A Country Study. Washington: Federal Research Division. 238-243.

Joseph, S. L. (1996). Napoleon and His Rule. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 45-67.

Author is associated with ResearchPapers247.Com which is a global Research Papers and Term Papers Writing Company. If you would like help in Research Papers and Term Paper Help you can visit Custom Essays> and Custom Research Papers> or Term Paper Help>

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Top Jewish Travel Destinations

Destination, facilities, tours and activities and dining experience. These are just some of the factors that travelers consider when going on vacation and defining a great experience. Each of us, however, has a different idea on what a perfect vacation is. Because of that, travel and tours companies weaved up dozens of special interest travel packages to cater to our specific travel expectations.

Much to the appreciation of the Jewish and Samaritan communities, various kosher tours are brewed up by the dozens of Jewish resorts spread out through the four corners of the world. The extraordinary travel experiences that these kosher tours offer redefine Jewish travel in a level that every Jewish participant would definitely enjoy. Individuals, families, groups and organizations are guaranteed to have a great time as they are treated with well-developed and specialized kosher tours. Kosher tours offer widely diverse and flexible sets of activities to cater to the kind of experience a participant is looking for.

There are many Jewish travel destinations all over the globe. Each has something unique to offer, but all completely kosher. No matter where in the world you have chosen to spend your holiday, you are guaranteed to have nothing but a world-class travel experience meshed with Jewish traditions. Below are some of the top destinations you can go to that offer an exciting kosher getaway:

1. Costa Rica – Who would not want explore nature at its finest? Costa Rica’s lush and mountainous rain forests treat everyone who wishes to getaway from the pollution of the metropolis with clean and quiet air. This vacation destination offers plenty of opportunities for a good hike and wildlife encounters. Costa Rica’s natural abundance is evident through the volcanoes, hot springs and rain and cloud forests that you can find in the land. With all these things, you are never going to run out of things to see and do. Guided educational tours are also available and are conducted by naturalists that inform you of the land that you are roaming around on. If by chance your date of travel falls on a Jewish holy day, rest assured that traditional Jewish obligations are observed and are spent with the local community.

2. Spain – Centuries of civilization made Spain one of the places that offers more than just a handful of experiences to the culture-hungry. The alluring language, enchanting castles, pleasing flamenco music, modern European cities and the classic Spanish architecture in the villages are all so inviting. Kosher tours in Spain offer you to experience all those mentioned with a dash of Jewish standards. Guided by the Jewish scholars, you are going to explore the cultural wonders, magnificent history and 500 years of rich Jewish history that lingers in Spain.

3. Africa – The thought of Africa alone already sends a promise of a great adventurous holiday. Marvelous encounters with wild animals, refreshing botanical gardens, impressive architecture, interesting historic sites and exciting night life – what more can you ask for? Only in Africa can you experience the diversity of the world’s greatest natural wonders and luxuries of modern life at the same time.

4. Israel – Explore the hidden natural beauty of Israel through guided nature hikes and ATV or jeep adventures. The tours offered in Israel are life-changing as they not only provide your kosher needs, they also lead you towards good health. These tours are incorporated with exciting and challenging physical activities. Being able to experience Israel and shed off a few pounds in one vacation is one of the best things one can ever have.

5. US National Parks and the Canadian Rockies – One does not have to go too far to have an amazing kosher vacation. There are various Jewish travel destinations in the United States that one can go to. The national parks in the United States are among the most popular travel destinations during summers and other holidays. The copper-toned Bryce and Zion National Parks are packed with vacation-goers year after year who wish to witness the theatrical rock formations all over the parks. The magnificent Grand Canyon, on the other hand, never fails to attract visitors with its enormity. It is no question that the Canadian Rockies is one of the best places in the world for a vacation. In a natural park setting, you can experience spectacular mountainous scenery, abundant wildlife, recreational activities every season and comfortable five-star accommodation.

These are just some of the Jewish travel destinations that you would definitely want to see in your lifetime. There are more vacation destinations out there and they all offer the kind of Jewish travel experience that you would want to have. There is more than just one way to roam around the four corners of the earth. With the many kosher special interest tours that are available today, you sure have the opportunity to see the world with your own Jewish style.

Please visit our website to learn more about Jewish travel. Discover the many options for Jewish resorts that you could have for your next vacation.

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Calling all Debunkers, and anyone who thinks Holocaust Denial is …

Discusion about Calling all Debunkers, and anyone who thinks Holocaust Denial is offensive, debunk this! in the AboveTopSecret.com website alternative topics discussion forum General Conspiracies.

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Jewish Pesach 2010

Jewish Passover, or Pesach, is celebrated up to these days to keep alive the memory of the great liberation that took place in the Jewish history – the day when ancient Hebrew people cast off the yoke of Egyptians and became free with the help of God and the prophet Moses. The Jewish Passover celebrates […]

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Jewish Documentary – Full Film

JewishHistory.org Faith and Fate is a documentary telling the story of the Jews in the 20th Century. The first Episode is called, “The Dawn of the Century” and covers 1900 – 1910. This episode introduces the uniqueness of Jewish history in the 20th century within the context of world history. At the turn of the […]

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12 million Chair in Jewish studies at Stanford University reconstituted by Peter Menkin

A Chair in Jewish studies has been reconstituted at Stanford University’s School of Education where doctoral students will pursue culture, history, language, and all the elements that constitute the Jewish faith of which religion is a salient feature. So notes one authority involved with the $12 million dollar endowment. The San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation […]

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The History of Judaism

History of Judaism History of Judaism until 164 BCE The Old Testament The history of Judaism is inseparable from the history of Jews themselves. The early part of the story is told in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).It describes how God chose the Jews to be an example to the world, and how God and […]

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The History Of The Jewish Religion

AbstractThe history of the Jews is quite long and its origin is gotten from Abraham and the Hebrews. Some of the practices that are carried out by the Jews today came as a result of the covenants that god made with people like Abraham and Moses. The history entails the covenant between Abraham and god, […]

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Top Jewish Travel Destinations

Destination, facilities, tours and activities and dining experience. These are just some of the factors that travelers consider when going on vacation and defining a great experience. Each of us, however, has a different idea on what a perfect vacation is. Because of that, travel and tours companies weaved up dozens of special interest travel […]

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