Jewish history

Jewish history

Overview
Jewish history is the history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 of the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, their religion
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes. Additional information can be found in the main articles listed below.


Image:Chronology of Israel eng.png|center|
default Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...


rect 658 156 833 176 Periods of massive immigration to the land of Israel
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...


rect 564 156 647 175 Periods in which the majority of Jews lived in exile
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....


rect 460 156 554 175 Periods in which the majority of Jews lived in the land of Israel, with full or partial independence
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...


rect 314 156 452 175 Periods in which a Jewish Temple existed
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...


rect 196 156 309 175 Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...


rect 26 102 134 122 Shoftim
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...


rect 134 102 265 121 Melakhim
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...


rect 146 83 266 104 First Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....


rect 286 83 418 103 Second Temple
rect 341 103 392 121 Zugot
rect 393 103 453 121 Tannaim
Tannaim
The Tannaim were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 70-200 CE. The period of the Tannaim, also referred to as the Mishnaic period, lasted about 130 years...


rect 452 102 534 221 Amoraim
rect 534 102 560 121 Savoraim
rect 559 103 691 121 Geonim
Geonim
Geonim were the presidents of the two great Babylonian, Talmudic Academies of Sura and Pumbedita, in the Abbasid Caliphate, and were the generally accepted spiritual leaders of the Jewish community world wide in the early medieval era, in contrast to the Resh Galuta who wielded secular authority...


rect 691 102 825 121 Rishonim
Rishonim
"Rishon" redirects here. For the preon model in particle physics, see Harari Rishon Model. For the Israeli town, see Rishon LeZion.Rishonim were the leading Rabbis and Poskim who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the Shulkhan Arukh and...


rect 825 100 940 120 Acharonim
Acharonim
Acharonim is a term used in Jewish law and history, to signify the leading rabbis and poskim living from roughly the 16th century to the present....


rect 939 94 959 120 Aliyot
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...


rect 957 65 975 121 Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...


rect 940 62 958 94 The Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...


rect 825 62 941 100 Diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....


rect 808 61 825 101 Expulsion from Spain
Alhambra decree
The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year.The edict was formally revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second...


rect 428 62 808 103 Roman exile
poly 226 82 410 82 410 92 428 92 428 61 226 62 Assyrian Exile (Ten Lost Tribes)
Ten Lost Tribes
The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to those tribes of ancient Israel that formed the Kingdom of Israel and which disappeared from Biblical and all other historical accounts after the kingdom was destroyed in about 720 BC by ancient Assyria...


rect 264 82 284 122 Babylonian captivity
Babylonian captivity
The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....


rect 283 103 341 121 Second Temple period
poly 26 121 17 121 17 63 225 63 226 81 145 82 145 101 26 101 Ancient Jewish History
Chronology of the Bible
The chronology of the Bible is the elaborate system of genealogies, generations, reign-periods, and other means by which Hebrew Bible measures the passage of time and thus give a chronological framework to biblical history from the Creation until the historical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.The...


rect 58 136 375 146 Chronology of the Bible
Chronology of the Bible
The chronology of the Bible is the elaborate system of genealogies, generations, reign-periods, and other means by which Hebrew Bible measures the passage of time and thus give a chronological framework to biblical history from the Creation until the historical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.The...


rect 356 122 373 135 Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...


desc none


For the first two periods the history of the Jews is mainly that of the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

.
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Encyclopedia
Jewish history is the history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 of the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, their religion
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes. Additional information can be found in the main articles listed below.

Time periods in Jewish history



Image:Chronology of Israel eng.png|center|
default Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...


rect 658 156 833 176 Periods of massive immigration to the land of Israel
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...


rect 564 156 647 175 Periods in which the majority of Jews lived in exile
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....


rect 460 156 554 175 Periods in which the majority of Jews lived in the land of Israel, with full or partial independence
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...


rect 314 156 452 175 Periods in which a Jewish Temple existed
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...


rect 196 156 309 175 Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...


rect 26 102 134 122 Shoftim
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...


rect 134 102 265 121 Melakhim
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...


rect 146 83 266 104 First Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....


rect 286 83 418 103 Second Temple
rect 341 103 392 121 Zugot
rect 393 103 453 121 Tannaim
Tannaim
The Tannaim were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 70-200 CE. The period of the Tannaim, also referred to as the Mishnaic period, lasted about 130 years...


rect 452 102 534 221 Amoraim
rect 534 102 560 121 Savoraim
rect 559 103 691 121 Geonim
Geonim
Geonim were the presidents of the two great Babylonian, Talmudic Academies of Sura and Pumbedita, in the Abbasid Caliphate, and were the generally accepted spiritual leaders of the Jewish community world wide in the early medieval era, in contrast to the Resh Galuta who wielded secular authority...


rect 691 102 825 121 Rishonim
Rishonim
"Rishon" redirects here. For the preon model in particle physics, see Harari Rishon Model. For the Israeli town, see Rishon LeZion.Rishonim were the leading Rabbis and Poskim who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the Shulkhan Arukh and...


rect 825 100 940 120 Acharonim
Acharonim
Acharonim is a term used in Jewish law and history, to signify the leading rabbis and poskim living from roughly the 16th century to the present....


rect 939 94 959 120 Aliyot
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...


rect 957 65 975 121 Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...


rect 940 62 958 94 The Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...


rect 825 62 941 100 Diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....


rect 808 61 825 101 Expulsion from Spain
Alhambra decree
The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year.The edict was formally revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second...


rect 428 62 808 103 Roman exile
poly 226 82 410 82 410 92 428 92 428 61 226 62 Assyrian Exile (Ten Lost Tribes)
Ten Lost Tribes
The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to those tribes of ancient Israel that formed the Kingdom of Israel and which disappeared from Biblical and all other historical accounts after the kingdom was destroyed in about 720 BC by ancient Assyria...


rect 264 82 284 122 Babylonian captivity
Babylonian captivity
The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....


rect 283 103 341 121 Second Temple period
poly 26 121 17 121 17 63 225 63 226 81 145 82 145 101 26 101 Ancient Jewish History
Chronology of the Bible
The chronology of the Bible is the elaborate system of genealogies, generations, reign-periods, and other means by which Hebrew Bible measures the passage of time and thus give a chronological framework to biblical history from the Creation until the historical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.The...


rect 58 136 375 146 Chronology of the Bible
Chronology of the Bible
The chronology of the Bible is the elaborate system of genealogies, generations, reign-periods, and other means by which Hebrew Bible measures the passage of time and thus give a chronological framework to biblical history from the Creation until the historical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.The...


rect 356 122 373 135 Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...


desc none

Ancient Israelites


For the first two periods the history of the Jews is mainly that of the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

. It begins among those people who occupied the area lying between the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

, Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 and the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 rivers. Surrounded by ancient seats of culture in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Babylonia
Babylonia
Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia , with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as a major power when Hammurabi Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as...

, by the deserts of Arabia, and by the highlands of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

, the land of Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

 (roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Lebanon) was a meeting place of civilizations. The land was traversed by old-established trade routes and possessed important harbors on the Gulf of Akaba and on the Mediterranean coast, the latter exposing it to the influence of other cultures of the Fertile Crescent.

According to the Bible, Jews are descended from the ancient Hebrew people of Israel who settled in the land of Canaan, located between the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and the Jordan River (1451 BCE). The Children of Israel shared a lineage through their common ancestors, Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

, his son Isaac
Isaac
Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible, was the only son Abraham had with his wife Sarah, and was the father of Jacob and Esau. Isaac was one of the three patriarchs of the Israelites...

, and Isaac's son Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

, Hebrews
Hebrews
Hebrews is an ethnonym used in the Hebrew Bible...

 whose nomadic travels centered around Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

 somewhere between 1991 and 1706 BCE. The Children of Israel consisted of twelve tribes, each descendant from one of Jacob's twelve sons, Reuven, Shimon
Simeon (Hebrew Bible)
According to the Book of Genesis, Simeon was, the second son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Simeon. However, some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an etiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite...

, Levi
Levi
Levi/Levy was, according to the Book of Genesis, the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Levi ; however Peake's commentary suggests this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite...

, Yehuda, Yissachar, Zevulun, Dan, Gad, Naftali, Asher
Asher
Asher , in the Book of Genesis, is the second son of Jacob and Zilpah, and the founder of the Tribe of Asher.-Name:The text of the Torah argues that the name of Asher means happy/blessing, implying a derivation from the Hebrew term osher ; the Torah actually presents this in two variations—beoshri...

, Yosef
Joseph (Hebrew Bible)
Joseph is an important character in the Hebrew bible, where he connects the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt....

, and Benyamin. Jacob and his twelve sons left Canaan during a severe famine and settled in Goshen
Land of Goshen
The Land of Goshen is named in the bible as the place in Egypt given to the Hebrews by the pharaoh of Joseph, and the land from which they later left Egypt at the time of the Exodus...

 of northern Egypt. While in Egypt their descendants were enslaved by the Egyptian government led by the Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

. After 400 years of slavery, YHWH, the God of Israel, sent the Hebrew prophet Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, a man from the tribe of Levi, to release the Children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Israel miraculously emigrated out of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 (an event known as the Exodus
The Exodus
The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

), and returned to their ancestral homeland in Canaan. This event marks the formation of Israel as a political nation in Canaan, in 1400 BCE.

Also according to the Bible, after their emancipation from Egyptian slavery, the people of Israel dwelt in the Sinai desert for a span of forty years before conquering Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

 in 1400 BCE under the command of Joshua
Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

. While living in the desert, the nation of Israel received the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 at Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai , also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa , Jabal Musa meaning "Moses' Mountain", is a mountain near Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. A mountain called Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Quran...

 from YHWH, by the hand of Moses. This marked the beginning of normative Judaism and the formation of the first Abrahamic religion. After entering Canaan, portions of the land were given to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. For several hundred years, Israel was organized into a confederacy of twelve tribes ruled by a series of Judges
Biblical judges
A biblical judge is "a ruler or a military leader, as well as someone who presided over legal hearings."...

. In 1000 BCE, an Israelite monarchy was established under Saul
Saul the King
According to the Bible, Saul was the first king of the united Kingdom of Israel. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel and reigned from Gibeah. He commited suicide to avoid arrest in the battle against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa, during which three of his sons were also killed...

, and continued under King David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 and his son, Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

. During the reign of David, Jerusalem eternally became the national and spiritual capital of Israel. David's son Solomon built the First Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

 on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Upon his death a civil war erupted between the ten northern Israelite tribes, and the tribes of Judah
Tribe of Judah
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Judah was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes....

 and Benjamin
Benjamin
Benjamin was the last-born of Jacob's twelve sons, and the second and last son of Rachel in Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition. He was the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Benjamin. In the Biblical account, unlike Rachel's first son, Joseph, Benjamin was born in Canaan. He died in Egypt on...

 in the south. The nation split into two states, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, consisting of ten of the tribes (in the north), and the Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

, consisting of the tribes of Judah (Simeon was absorbed into Judah) and Benjamin (in the south). Israel was conquered by the Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

n ruler Shalmaneser V in the 8th century BCE. There is no commonly accepted historical record of the fate of those ten tribes, which are sometimes referred to as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

Babylonian captivity


After revolting against the new dominant power and an ensuing siege, the Kingdom of Judah was conquered by the Babylonian army
Neo-Babylonian Empire
The Neo-Babylonian Empire or Second Babylonian Empire was a period of Mesopotamian history which began in 626 BC and ended in 539 BC. During the preceding three centuries, Babylonia had been ruled by their fellow Akkadian speakers and northern neighbours, Assyria. Throughout that time Babylonia...

 in 587 BCE. The elite of the kingdom and many of their people were exiled to Babylon, where the religion developed outside their traditional temple. After a few generations and with the conquest of Babylonia by the Persian Empire, some adherents led by prophets Ezra
Ezra
Ezra , also called Ezra the Scribe and Ezra the Priest in the Book of Ezra. According to the Hebrew Bible he returned from the Babylonian exile and reintroduced the Torah in Jerusalem...

 and Nehemiah
Nehemiah
Nehemiah ]]," Standard Hebrew Nəḥemya, Tiberian Hebrew Nəḥemyāh) is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work rebuilding Jerusalem and purifying the Jewish community. He was the son of Hachaliah, Nehemiah ]]," Standard Hebrew Nəḥemya, Tiberian Hebrew Nəḥemyāh) is the...

, returned to their homeland and traditional practices; others remained and developed somewhat independently following the Muslim conquests of the 7th century CE.

Post-exilic period



Following their return to Jerusalem and with Persian approval and financing, construction of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 was completed under the leadership of the last three Jewish Prophets Haggai
Haggai
Haggai was a Hebrew prophet during the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the author of the Book of Haggai. His name means "my holiday"...

, Zechariah and Malachi
Malachi
Malachi, Malachias or Mal'achi was a Jewish prophet in the Hebrew Bible. He had two brothers, Nathaniel and Josiah. Malachi was the writer of the Book of Malachi, the last book of the Neviim section in the Jewish Tanakh...

. After the death of the last Jewish prophet and while still under Persian rule, the leadership of the Jewish people in their promised land passed into the hands of five successive generations of zugot ("pairs of") leaders. They flourished first under the Persians
Yehud Medinata
Yehud Medinata or simply Yehud, was an Achaeminid autonomous province covering Judea and parts of Samaria, located south to Eber-Nari...

 then under the Greeks. As a result the Pharisees
Pharisees
The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews during the Second Temple period beginning under the Hasmonean dynasty in the wake of...

 and Sadduccees were formed. Under the Persians then under the Greeks, Jewish coins were minted in Judea as Yehud coinage
Yehud coinage
The Yehud coinage is a series of small silver coins bearing the Aramaic inscription Yehud. They derive their name from the inscription YHD, "Yehud", the Aramaic name of the Persian province of Yehud; others are inscribed YHDH, the same name in Hebrew; it is possible that the former group date from...

.

Hellenistic period



In 332 BCE, the Persians were defeated by Alexander the Great. After his demise, and the division of Alexander's empire among his generals, the Seleucid Kingdom was formed.

During this time, currents of Judaism were influenced by Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.-Pythagoreanism:...

 developed from the 3rd century BCE, notably the Jewish diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

 in Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, culminating in the compilation of the Septuagint. An important advocate of the symbiosis of Jewish theology and Hellenistic thought is Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

.

The Hasmonean Kingdom




A deterioration of relations between hellenized Jews and religious Jews led the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Antiochus IV Epiphanes ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithridates; he assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne....

 to impose decrees banning certain Jewish religious rites and traditions
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. Consequently, the orthodox Jews revolted under the leadership of the Hasmonean
Hasmonean
The Hasmonean dynasty , was the ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE, the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea...

 family, (also known as the Maccabees
Maccabees
The Maccabees were a Jewish rebel army who took control of Judea, which had been a client state of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 164 BCE to 63 BCE, reasserting the Jewish religion, expanding the boundaries of the Land of Israel and reducing the influence...

). This revolt eventually led to the formation of an independent Jewish kingdom, known as the Hasmonaean Dynasty, which lasted from 165 BCE to 63 BCE. The Hasmonean Dynasty eventually disintegrated as a result of civil war between the sons of Salome Alexandra
Salome Alexandra
Salome Alexandra or Alexandra of Jerusalem , was the only Jewish regnant queen, with the exception of her own husband's mother whom he had prevented from ruling as his dying father had wished, and of the much earlier usurper Athaliah...

, Hyrcanus II
Hyrcanus II
Hyrcanus II, a member of the Hasmonean dynasty, was the Jewish High Priest and King of Judea in the 1st century BC.-Accession:Hyrcanus was the eldest son of Alexander Jannaeus, King and High Priest, and Alexandra Salome...

 and Aristobulus II
Aristobulus II
Aristobulus II was the Jewish High Priest and King of Judea, 66 BC to 63 BC, from the Hasmonean Dynasty.-Family:Aristobulus was the younger son of Alexander Jannaeus, King and High Priest, and Alexandra Salome. After the death of Alexander in 76 BC, his widow succeeded to the rule of Judea and...

. The people, who did not want to be governed by a king but by theocratic clergy, made appeals in this spirit to the Roman authorities. A Roman campaign of conquest and annexation, led by Pompey
Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

, soon followed.

Roman rule in the land of Israel (63 BCE - 324 CE)




Judea had been an independent Jewish kingdom under the Hasmonean
Hasmonean
The Hasmonean dynasty , was the ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE, the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea...

s, but was conquered by the Roman general Pompey
Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

 in 63 BCE and reorganized as a client state. Later, Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

 was appointed "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

, supplanting the Hasmonean dynasty. Some of his offspring held various positions after him, known as the Herodian dynasty
Herodian Dynasty
The Herodian Dynasty was a Jewish dynasty of Idumean descent, client Kings of Roman Judaea Province between 37 BCE and 92 CE.- Origin :During the time of the Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus 134-104 BCE, Israel conquered Edom and forced the Edomites to convert to Judaism.The Edomites were integrated...

. Briefly, from 4 BCE to 6 CE, Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus
Herod Archelaus was the ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea from 4 BC to 6 AD. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I....

 ruled the tetrarchy of Judea
Tetrarchy (Judea)
The Tetrarchy of Judea was formed following the death of Herod the Great in 4 BCE, when his kingdom was divided between his sons as an inheritance...

 as ethnarch
Ethnarch
Ethnarch, pronounced , the anglicized form of ethnarches refers generally to political leadership over a common ethnic group or homogeneous kingdom. The word is derived from the Greek words and ....

, the Romans denying him the title of King. After the Census of Quirinius
Census of Quirinius
The Census of Quirinius refers to the enrollment of the Roman Provinces of Syria and Iudaea for tax purposes taken in the year 6/7 during the reign of Emperor Augustus , when Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was appointed governor of Syria, after the banishment of Herod Archelaus from the Tetrarchy of...

 in 6, the Roman province of Judaea
Judaea (Roman province)
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

 was formed as a satellite of Roman Syria under the rule of a prefect
Prefect
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

 (as was Roman Egypt) until 41, then procurators
Procurator (Roman)
A procurator was the title of various officials of the Roman Empire, posts mostly filled by equites . A procurator Augusti was the governor of the smaller imperial provinces...

 after 44. The empire was often callous and brutal in its treatment of its Jewish subjects, see Anti-Judaism in the pre-Christian Roman Empire. In 66 CE
66
Year 66 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Telesinus and Paullinus...

, the Jews began to revolt against the Roman rulers of Judea. The revolt was defeated by the future Roman emperors Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 and Titus
Titus
Titus , was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father....

. In the Siege of Jerusalem
Siege of Jerusalem (70)
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD was the decisive event of the First Jewish-Roman War. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been occupied by its Jewish defenders in...

 in 70 CE
70
Year 70 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Vespasianus...

, the Romans destroyed much of the Temple in Jerusalem and, according to some accounts, plundered artifacts from the temple, such as the Menorah. Jews continued to live in their land in significant numbers, the Kitos War
Kitos War
The Kitos War , translation: Rebellion of the exile) is the name given to the second of the Jewish–Roman wars. Major revolts by diasporic Jews in Cyrene , Cyprus, Mesopotamia and Aegyptus spiraled out of control resulting in a widespread slaughter of Roman citizens and others by the Jewish rebels...

 of 115-117 CE nothwithstanding, until Julius Severus
Sextus Julius Severus
Sextus Julius Severus was an accomplished Roman General of the 2nd century.Julius Severus served as Governor of Moesia; he was appointed Governor of Britain around 131.In 133 he was transferred to Judea, to help suppress the Bar Kochba rebellion there...

 ravaged Judea while putting down the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-136 CE. 985 villages were destroyed and most of the Jewish population of central Judaea was essentially wiped out, killed, sold into slavery, or forced to flee. Banished from Jerusalem, the Jewish population now centred on Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

. Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina
Aelia Capitolina
Aelia Capitolina was a city built by the emperor Hadrian, and occupied by a Roman colony, on the site of Jerusalem, which was in ruins since 70 AD, leading in part to the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–136.-Politics:...

 and Jews were only allowed to visit on the day of Tisha B'Av
Tisha B'Av
|Av]],") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date...

.

The diaspora



Many of the Judaean Jews were sold into slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 while others became citizens of other parts of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. The book of Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, as well as other Pauline
Pauline epistles
The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents...

 texts, make frequent reference to the large populations of Hellenised Jews
Hellenistic Judaism
Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism...

 in the cities of the Roman world. These Hellenised Jews were only affected by the diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 in its spiritual sense, absorbing the feeling of loss and homelessness which became a cornerstone of the Jewish creed, much supported by persecutions in various parts of the world. The policy towards proselytism
Proselytism
Proselytizing is the act of attempting to convert people to another opinion and, particularly, another religion. The word proselytize is derived ultimately from the Greek language prefix προσ- and the verb ἔρχομαι in the form of προσήλυτος...

 and conversion to Judaism, which spread the Jewish religion throughout the Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

, seems to have subsided with the wars against the Romans and the following reconstruction of Jewish values for the post-Temple era.

Of critical importance to the reshaping of Jewish tradition from the Temple-based religion to the traditions of the Diaspora, was the development of the interpretations of the Torah found in the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 and Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

.

Late Roman period in the Land of Israel



In spite of the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt, Jews remained in the Land of Israel in significant numbers. The Jews who remained there went through numerous experiences and armed conflicts against consecutive occupiers of the Land. Some of the most famous and important Jewish texts were composed in Israeli cities at this time. The Jerusalem Talmud
Jerusalem Talmud
The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

, the completion of the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 and the system of niqqud are examples.

In this period the tannaim
Tannaim
The Tannaim were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 70-200 CE. The period of the Tannaim, also referred to as the Mishnaic period, lasted about 130 years...

and amora
Amora
Amoraim , were renowned Jewish scholars who "said" or "told over" the teachings of the Oral law, from about 200 to 500 CE in Babylonia and the Land of Israel. Their legal discussions and debates were eventually codified in the Gemara...

im
were active, rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

s who organized and debated the Jewish oral law
Oral law
An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or community application, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is orally transmitted....

. The decisions of the tannaim are contained in the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

, Beraita, Tosefta
Tosefta
The Tosefta is a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the period of the Mishnah.-Overview:...

, and various Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

 compilations. The Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 was completed shortly after 200 CE, probably by Judah haNasi
Judah haNasi
Judah the Prince, or Judah I, also known as Rebbi or Rabbeinu HaKadosh , was a 2nd-century CE rabbi and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah. He was a key leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea . He was of the Davidic line, the royal line of King David, hence the...

. The commentaries of the amoraim upon the Mishnah are compiled in the Jerusalem Talmud
Jerusalem Talmud
The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

, which was completed around 400 CE, probably in Tiberias.

In 351 CE, the Jewish population in Sepphoris, under the leadership of Patricius, started a revolt against the rule of Constantius Gallus
Constantius Gallus
Flavius Claudius Constantius Gallus , commonly known as Constantius Gallus, was a member of the Constantinian dynasty and Caesar of the Roman Empire . Gallus was consul three years, from 352 to 354.- Family :...

, brother-in-law of Emperor Constantius II
Constantius II
Constantius II , was Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. The second son of Constantine I and Fausta, he ascended to the throne with his brothers Constantine II and Constans upon their father's death....

. The revolt was eventually subdued by Gallus' general, Ursicinus
Ursicinus (Roman general)
Ursicinus was a senior military officer, holding the rank of "master of cavalry" in the Eastern Roman Empire c. 349–359.In 351 or 352 he was entrusted with the suppression of the Jewish revolt against Caesar Constantius Gallus...

.

According to tradition, in 359 CE Hillel II
Hillel II
Hillel II, also known simply as Hillel held the office of Nasi of the ancient Jewish Sanhedrin between 320 and 385 CE. He was the son and successor of Judah III. He was a Jewish communal and religious authority, circa 330 - 365 CE...

 created the Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

 based on the lunar
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 year. Until then, the entire Jewish community outside the land of Israel depended on the calendar sanctioned by the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

; this was necessary for the proper observance of the Jewish holy days. However, danger threatened the participants in that sanction and the messengers who communicated their decisions to distant communities. As the religious persecutions continued, Hillel determined to provide an authorized calendar for all time to come.

In 363, shortly before launching his campaign against the Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

, the last pagan Roman Emperor, Julian II
Julian the Apostate
Julian "the Apostate" , commonly known as Julian, or also Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 and a noted philosopher and Greek writer....

, allowed the Jews to return to "holy Jerusalem which you have for many years longed to see rebuilt" and to rebuild the Temple. However, Julian's campaign against the Persians failed and he was killed in battle on 26 June 363. The Temple was not rebuilt.

Byzantine period in the land of Israel (324 - 638)



Jews were widespread throughout the Roman Empire, and this carried on to a lesser extent in the period of Byzantine rule in the central and eastern Mediterranean. The militant and exclusive Christianity and caesaropapism
Caesaropapism
Caesaropapism is the idea of combining the power of secular government with, or making it superior to, the spiritual authority of the Church; especially concerning the connection of the Church with government. The term caesaropapism was coined by Max Weber, who defined it as follows: “a secular,...

 of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 did not treat Jews well, and the condition and influence of diaspora Jews in the Empire declined dramatically.

It was official Christian policy to convert Jews to Christianity, and the Christian leadership used the official power of Rome in their attempts. In 351 CE the Jews revolted against the added pressures of their Governor, one named Gallus
Constantius Gallus
Flavius Claudius Constantius Gallus , commonly known as Constantius Gallus, was a member of the Constantinian dynasty and Caesar of the Roman Empire . Gallus was consul three years, from 352 to 354.- Family :...

. Gallus put down the revolt and destroyed the major cities in the Galilee where the revolt had started. Tzippori and Lydda (site of two of the major legal academies) never recovered.

Nonetheless it is in this period that the Nasi in Tiberias, Hillel II created an official calendar which needed no monthly sightings of the moon. The months were set, and the calendar needed no further authority from Judea. At about the same time, the Jewish academy at Tiberius began to collate the combined Mishnah, braitot, explanations, and interpretations developed by generations of scholars who studied after the death of Judah HaNasi
Judah haNasi
Judah the Prince, or Judah I, also known as Rebbi or Rabbeinu HaKadosh , was a 2nd-century CE rabbi and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah. He was a key leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea . He was of the Davidic line, the royal line of King David, hence the...

. The text was organized according to the order of the Mishna: each paragraph of Mishnah was followed by a compilation of all of the interpretations, stories, and responses associated with that Mishnah. This text is called the Jerusalem Talmud
Jerusalem Talmud
The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

.

The Jews of Judea received a brief respite from official persecution during the rule of the Emperor Julian the Apostate
Julian the Apostate
Julian "the Apostate" , commonly known as Julian, or also Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 and a noted philosopher and Greek writer....

. Julian's policy was to return the kingdom to Hellenism and he encouraged the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem. Julian's rule lasted only from 361 to 363, so there was no chance to carry out this promise before Christian rule was restored over the Empire. Beginning in 398 with the consecration of St. John Chrysostom as Patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

, the Christian rhetoric against Jews continued to rise with a series of sermons such as "Against the Jews" and "On the Statues, Homily 17" where John preaches against "the Jewish sickness". Such heated language would build a climate of distrust and hate of the large Jewish settlements, such as those in Antioch and Constantinople.

In the beginning of the 5th century, the Emperor Theodosius issued a set of decrees which established official prosecution against Jews. Jews were not allowed to own slaves, build new synagogues, hold public office or try cases between a Jew and a non-Jew. Intermarriage between Jew and non-Jew was made a capital offense as was a Christian converting to Judaism. Theodosius, furthermore, did away with the Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

 and abolished the post of Nasi
Nasi
Nāśī’ is a Hebrew title meaning prince in Biblical Hebrew, Prince in Mishnaic Hebrew, or president in Modern Hebrew.-Genesis and Ancient Israel:...

. Under the Emperor Justinian the authorities restricted the civil rights of Jews, and threatened their religious privileges. The emperor also interfered in the internal affairs of the synagogue, and forbade, for instance, the use of the Hebrew language in divine worship. The recalcitrant were menaced with corporal penalties, exile, and loss of property. The Jews at Borium, not far from Syrtis Major, who resisted the Byzantine General Belisarius
Belisarius
Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost less than a century previously....

 in his campaign against the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, were forced to embrace Christianity and their synagogue was converted to a church.

Justinian and his successors of course had concerns outside the province of Judea, and there were insufficient troops to enforce these regulations. As a result, ironically, the 5th century saw a wave of new synagogues built with beautiful mosaic floors. Jews assimilated into their lives the rich art forms of the Byzantine culture. There exist mosaics showing people, animals, menorahs, zodiacs, and Biblical characters. Excellent examples of these synagogue floors have been found at Beit Alpha (which includes the scene of Abraham sacrificing a ram instead of his son Isaac along with a gorgeous zodiac), Tiberius, Beit Shean, and Tzippori.

The precarious existence of Jews under Byzantine rule did not long endure, largely for the explosion of the Muslim religion out of the remote Arabian peninsula (where large populations of Jews resided, see History of the Jews under Muslim Rule for more). The Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 ejected the Byzantines from the Holy Land (or the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, defined as modern Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) within a few years of their victory at the Battle of Yarmouk
Battle of Yarmouk
The Battle of Yarmouk was a major battle between the Muslim Arab forces of the Rashidun Caliphate and the armies of the East Roman-Byzantine Empire. The battle consisted of a series of engagements that lasted for six days in August 636, near the Yarmouk River, along what is today the border...

 in 636. A testament of the cruelty of the Byzantines towards the Jews can be noted in the great number of Jews who fled remaining Byzantine territories in favour of residence in the Caliphate over the subsequent centuries.

Yet, the size of the Jewish community in the Byzantine Empire was not affected by attempts by some emperors (most notably Justinian) to forcibly convert the Jews of Anatolia to Christianity, as these attempts met with very little success. The exact picture of the status of the Jews in Asian Minor during the Byzantine rule is still being researched by historians (for a sample of views, see, for instance, J. Starr "The Jews in the Byzantine Empire, 641-1204", S. Bowman, "The Jews of Byzantium", R. Jenkins "Byzantium", Averil Cameron, "Byzantines and Jews: Recent Work on Early Byzantium," Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 20). Although there is some evidence of occasional hostility by the Byzantine populations and authorities, no systematic persecution of the type endemic at that time in Western Europe (pogroms, the stake, mass expulsions etc.) has been recorded in Byzantium. Much of the Jewish population of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 remained in place after the conquest of the city by Mehmet II.

A curious historical event did occur as a result of this emigration. Sometime in the 7th or 8th century, the Khazars
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

, a Turkic tribe
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 in what is now the Ukraine, seems to have converted to Judaism. The completeness of this conversion is unclear, but certainly there had been a Jewish population in the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 since the Hellenistic era, and these may have been reinforced by Jews leaving the fickle Byzantine governance. Influenced and threatened as they were by both Islam and the Byzantine Empire, and receiving much tangible benefit from their Jewish population, it is speculated that Khazar rulers converted to Judaism in an effort to remain neutral as a safeguard to their independence.

Islamic period in the land of Israel (638 - 1099)



In 638 CE the Byzantine Empire lost control of the Levant. The Arab Islamic Empire
Rashidun Caliphate
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

 under Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem and the lands of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, Syria
History of Syria
The history of Syria:*Prehistory and Ancient Near East: see Pre-history of the Southern Levant, Fertile Crescent, Ebla, Mitanni*Antiquity: see Syro-Hittite states, Greater Syria, Roman Syria...

, Palestine and Egypt. Under the various regimes the Jews suffered massacres and were forced to flee the inland villages towards the coast. They were subsequently induced to return inland after the coastal towns had been destroyed. Nevertheless, the Jews still controlled much of the commerce in Palestine. According to Arab geographer Al-Muqaddasi
Al-Muqaddasi
Muhammad ibn Ahmad Shams al-Din Al-Muqaddasi , also transliterated as Al-Maqdisi and el-Mukaddasi, was a medieval Arab geographer, author of Ahsan at-Taqasim fi Ma`rifat il-Aqalim .-Biography:Al-Muqaddasi, "the Hierosolomite" was born in Jerusalem in 946 AD...

, the Jews worked as "the assayers of coins, the dyers, the tanners and the bankers in the community." During the Fatimid
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

 period, many Jewish officials served in the regime. Professor Moshe Gil
Moshe Gil
Moshe Gil is an Israeli historian.-Academic career:Moshe Gil specializes in the historical interaction between Islam and the Jews, including the history of Palestine under the Islamic domination, the institution of the Exilarchate, and Jewish merchants such as the Radhanites...

 documents that at the time of the Arab conquest in 7th century CE, the majority of the population was Jewish.

Crusaders period in the land of Israel (1099 - 1260)




In 1099, along with the other inhabitants of the land, the Jews vigorously defended Jerusalem against the Crusaders
Crusaders
The Crusaders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Christchurch that competes in the Super Rugby competition. They are the most successful team in Super Rugby history with seven titles...

. When the city fell, the Crusaders gathered them in a synagogue and set it alight. In Haifa, the Jews almost single-handedly defended the town against the Crusaders, holding out for a whole month, (June–July 1099). At this time there were Jewish communities scattered all over the country, including Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza. Jews were not allowed to hold land in the Crusader period but concentrated their efforts on the commerce in the coastal towns during times of quiescence. Most of them were artisans: glassblowers in Sidon
Sidon
Sidon or Saïda is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the son of Canaan the grandson of Noah...

, furriers and dyers in Jerusalem.

During this period, the Masoretes
Masoretes
The Masoretes were groups of mostly Karaite scribes and scholars working between the 7th and 11th centuries, based primarily in present-day Israel in the cities of Tiberias and Jerusalem, as well as in Iraq...

 of Tiberias established the Hebrew language
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 orthography
Orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

, or niqqud, a system of diacritic
Diacritic
A diacritic is a glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Greek διακριτικός . Diacritic is both an adjective and a noun, whereas diacritical is only an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute and grave are often called accents...

al vowel points used in the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew alphabet
The Hebrew alphabet , known variously by scholars as the Jewish script, square script, block script, or more historically, the Assyrian script, is used in the writing of the Hebrew language, as well as other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic. There have been two...

. A large volume of piyutim and midrashim originated in Palestine at this time.

Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

 wrote that in 1165 he visited Jerusalem and went up on to the Temple Mount and prayed in the "great, holy house". Maimonides established a yearly holiday for himself and his sons, the 6th of Cheshvan
Cheshvan
Marcheshvan , sometimes shortened to Cheshvan , is the second month of the civil year and the eighth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew...

, commemorating the day he went up to pray on the Temple Mount, and another, the 9th of Cheshvan, commemorating the day he merited to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs
Cave of the Patriarchs
The Cave of the Patriarchs or the Cave of Machpelah , is known by Muslims as the Sanctuary of Abraham or Ibrahimi Mosque ....

 in Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

.

In 1141 Yehuda Halevi
Yehuda Halevi
Judah Halevi was a Spanish Jewish physician, poet and philosopher. He was born in Spain, either in Toledo or Tudela, in 1075 or 1086, and died shortly after arriving in Palestine in 1141...

 issued a call to the Jews to emigrate to the land of Israel and took on the long journey himself. After a stormy passage from Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

, he arrived in Egyptian Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, where he was enthusiastically greeted by friends and admirers. At Damietta
Damietta
Damietta , also known as Damiata, or Domyat, is a port and the capital of the Damietta Governorate in Egypt. It is located at the intersection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile, about north of Cairo.-History:...

, he had to struggle against the promptings of his own heart, and the pleadings of his friend Ḥalfon ha-Levi, that he remain in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

; and free from intolerant oppression. He started on the tedious land route, trodden of old by the Israelite wanderers in the desert. Again he is met with, worn-out, with broken heart and whitened hair, in Tyre and Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

. Jewish legend relates that as he came near Jerusalem, over-powered by the sight of the Holy City, he sang his most beautiful elegy, the celebrated "Zionide," "Zion ha-lo Tish'ali." At that instant, he was ridden down and killed by an Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

, who dashed forth from a gate.

Mamluk period in the land of Israel (1260 - 1517)


In the years 1260-1516, the land of Israel was part of the Empire of the Mamluks who ruled first from Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, then from Egypt. War and uprisings, bloodshed and destruction followed Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

. Jews suffered persecution and humiliation but the surviving records cite at least 30 Jewish urban and rural communities at the opening of the 16th century.

A notable event during the period was the settlement of Nachmanides in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1267 which since then a continuous Jewish presence existed in Jerusalem until modern day occupation of Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in 1948. Nahmanides then settled at Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

, where he was very active in spreading Jewish learning, which was at that time very much neglected in the Holy Land. He gathered a circle of pupils around him, and people came in crowds, even from the district of the Euphrates, to hear him. Karaites
Karaite Judaism
Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah, as well as in theology...

 were said to have attended his lectures, among them being Aaron ben Joseph the Elder, who later became one of the greatest Karaite authorities. Shortly after his arrival in Jerusalem he addressed a letter to his son Nahman, in which he described the desolation of the Holy City, where there were at that time only two Jewish inhabitants — two brothers, dyers by trade. In a later letter from Acre he counsels his son to cultivate humility, which he considers to be the first of virtues. In another, addressed to his second son, who occupied an official position at the Castilian court, Nahmanides recommends the recitation of the daily prayers and warns above all against immorality. Nahmanides died after having passed the age of seventy-six, and his remains were interred at Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

, by the grave of Yechiel of Paris
Yechiel of Paris
Yechiel ben Joseph of Paris was a major Talmudic scholar and Tosafist from northern France, father-in-law of Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil. He was a disciple of Rabbi Judah Messer Leon, and succeeded him in 1225 as head of the Yeshiva of Paris, which then boasted some 300 students; his best known...

. Yechiel emigrated
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

 to Acre in 1260, along with his son and a large group of followers http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/places/acco.htmlhttp://www.lookstein.org/resources/bionotes.pdf There he established the Tamudic academy Midrash haGadol d'Paris. He is believed to have died there between 1265 and 1268.

In 1488 Obadiah ben Abraham
Obadiah ben Abraham
Obadiah ben Abraham of Bertinoro was a 15th-century rabbi best known for his popular commentary on the Mishnah, commonly known as "The Bartenura".He was born and lived in the second half of the 15th-century in Italy and died in Jerusalem, Palestine about 1500...

, commentator on the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

, arrived in Jerusalem and marked a new epoch for the Jewish community in the land.

Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East


During the Middle Ages, Jews were generally better treated by Islamic rulers than Christian ones. Despite second-class citizenship, Jews played prominent roles in Muslim courts, and experienced a "Golden Age" in Moorish Spain about 900-1100, though the situation deteriorated after that time. Riots resulting in the deaths of Jews did however occur in North Africa through the centuries and especially in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 and Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 where eventually Jews were forced to live in ghettos.

The 11th century saw Muslim pogroms against Jews in Spain; those occurred in Cordoba in 1011 and in Granada in 1066
1066 Granada massacre
The 1066 Granada massacre took place on 30 December 1066 when a Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, which was at that time in Muslim-ruled al-Andalus, assassinated the Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela and massacred many of the Jewish population of the city.-Joseph ibn Naghrela:Joseph...

. Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in the Middle Ages in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

. Jews were also forced to convert to Islam or face death in some parts of Yemen, Morocco and Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 at certain times. The Almohad
Almohad
The Almohad Dynasty , was a Moroccan Berber-Muslim dynasty founded in the 12th century that established a Berber state in Tinmel in the Atlas Mountains in roughly 1120.The movement was started by Ibn Tumart in the Masmuda tribe, followed by Abd al-Mu'min al-Gumi between 1130 and his...

s, who had taken control of much of Islamic Iberia by 1172, far surpassed the Almoravides in fundamentalist outlook, and they treated the dhimmis harshly. Jews and Christians were expelled from Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and Islamic Spain. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, many Jews emigrated. Some, such as the family of Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

, fled south and east to the more tolerant Muslim lands, while others went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms.

Europe



According to James Carroll
James P. Carroll
James Carroll is a noted author, historian and journalist and Roman Catholic dissident.-Youth, education, and service as a priest:...

, "Jews accounted for 10% of the total population of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. By that ratio, if other factors had not intervened, there would be 200 million Jews in the world today, instead of something like 13 million."

Jewish populations had existed in Europe, especially in the area of the former Roman Empire, from very early times, with converts to Judaism joined by traders and later by member of the exodus. There are records of Jewish communities in France (see History of the Jews in France
History of the Jews in France
The history of the Jews of France dates back over 2,000 years. In the early Middle Ages, France was a center of Jewish learning, but persecution increased as the Middle Ages wore on...

) and Germany (see History of the Jews in Germany
History of the Jews in Germany
The presence of Jews in Germany has been established since the early 4th century. The community prospered under Charlemagne, but suffered during the Crusades...

) from the 4th century, and substantial Jewish communities in Spain even earlier.

Norman Cantor and other twentieth century historians dispute the conventional idea that the Middle Ages was a uniformly difficult time for Jews. Early medieval society, before the Church became fully organized, was tolerant. Between 800 and 1100 there were 1.5 million Jews in Christian Europe. Not being Christian, they were not included as a division
Estates of the realm
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by...

 of the feudal system with clergy, knights and serfs; thus they were not included in the oppressive demands for labor and military conscription that made life miserable for most Christian commoners. In relations with the Christian society, they were protected by kings, princes and bishops, because of the crucial services they provided in three areas: financial, administrative and as doctors. Christian scholars interested in the Bible would even consult with Talmudic rabbis. All this changed with the reforms and strengthening of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the creations of the Franciscan and Dominican preaching monks, and the rise of envious and competitive middle-class, town-dwelling Christians. By 1300 the friars and local priests were using the Passion Plays at Easter time, which depicted Jews in contemporary dress killing Christ, to teach the general populace to hate and murder Jews. It was at this point that persecution and exile became endemic. Finally around 1500, Jews found security and a renewal of prosperity in Poland.

By and large, Jews were heavily persecuted in Christian Europe after 1300. Since they were the only people allowed to lend money for interest (forbidden to Catholics by the church), some Jews became prominent moneylenders. Christian rulers gradually saw the advantage of having a class of men like the Jews who could supply capital for their use without being liable to excommunication, and the money trade of western Europe by this means fell into the hands of the Jews. However, in almost every instance where large amounts were acquired by Jews through banking transactions the property thus acquired fell either during their life or upon their death into the hands of the king. Jews thus became imperial "servi cameræ," the property of the King, who might present them and their possessions to princes or cities.

Jews were frequently massacred and exiled from various European countries. The persecution hit its first peak during the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

. In the First Crusade
First Crusade
The First Crusade was a military expedition by Western Christianity to regain the Holy Lands taken in the Muslim conquest of the Levant, ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem...

 (1096) flourishing communities on the Rhine and the Danube were utterly destroyed; see German Crusade, 1096
German Crusade, 1096
The call for the First Crusade touched off new persecutions of Jews in which peasant crusaders from France and Germany attacked Jewish communities.-Background:The preaching of the First Crusade inspired an outbreak of anti-Jewish violence...

. In the Second Crusade
Second Crusade
The Second Crusade was the second major crusade launched from Europe. The Second Crusade was started in response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year to the forces of Zengi. The county had been founded during the First Crusade by Baldwin of Boulogne in 1098...

 (1147) the Jews in France were subject to frequent massacres. The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds' Crusade
Shepherds' Crusade
The Shepherds' Crusade refers to separate events from the 13th and 14th century. The first took place in 1251 during the Seventh Crusade; the second occurred in 1320.-Shepherds' Crusade, 1251:...

s of 1251 and 1320. The Crusades were followed by expulsions, including in, 1290, the banishing of all English Jews; in 1396, 100,000 Jews were expelled from France; and, in 1421 thousands were expelled from Austria. Over this time many Jews of Europe, either fleeing or being expelled, migrated to Poland, where they prospered into another Golden Age.

Early Modern period


Historians who study modern Jewry have identified four different paths by which European Jews were "modernized" and thus integrated into the mainstream of European society. A common approach has been to view the process through the lens of the European Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 as Jews faced the promise and the challenges posed by political emancipation. Scholars that use this approach have focused on two social types as paradigms for the decline of Jewish tradition and as agents of the sea changes in Jewish culture that led to the collapse of the ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

. The first of these two social types is the Court Jew
Court Jew
Court Jew is a term, typically applied to the Early Modern period, for historical Jewish bankers who handled the finances of, or lent money to, European royalty and nobility....

 who is portrayed as a forerunner of the modern Jew, having achieved integration with and participation in the proto-capitalist economy and court society of central European states such as the Habsburg Empire. In contrast to the cosmopolitan Court Jew, the second social type presented by historians of modern Jewry is the maskil
Maskil
Maskil :* A Hebrew literary musical term occurring in the heading of some psalms.* Title of honor, meaning "scholar" or "enlightened man," used by Isaac Israeli ben Joseph in the 14th century to refer to his Italian Jewish colleagues....

, a proponent of Haskalah
Haskalah
Haskalah , the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history...

. This narrative sees the maskil's pursuit of secular scholarship and his rationalistic critiques of rabbinic tradition as laying a durable intellectual foundation for the secularization of Jewish society and culture. The established paradigm has been one in which Ashkenazic Jews entered modernity through a self-conscious process of westernization led by "highly atypical, Germanized Jewish intellectuals". Haskalah gave birth to the Reform and Conservative movements and planted the seeds of Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 while at the same time encouraging cultural assimilation into the countries in which Jews resided.
At around the same time that Haskalah was developing, Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

 was spreading as a movement that preached a world view almost the opposite of Haskalah.

In the 1990s, the concept of the "Port Jew
Port Jew
The Port Jew concept was formulated by Lois Dubin and David Sorkin in the late 1990s as a social type that describes Jews who were involved in the seafaring and maritime economy of Europe, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries...

" has been suggested as an "alternate path to modernity" that was distinct from the European Haskalah
Haskalah
Haskalah , the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history...

. In contrast to the focus on Ashkenazic Germanized Jews, the concept of the Port Jew focused on the Sephardi conversos who fled the Inquisition and resettled in European port towns on the coast of the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Court Jew



Court Jew
Court Jew
Court Jew is a term, typically applied to the Early Modern period, for historical Jewish bankers who handled the finances of, or lent money to, European royalty and nobility....

s were Jewish bankers or businessmen who lent money and handled the finances of some of the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an noble houses. A corresponding historical term is Jewish Bailiff
Bailiff
A bailiff is a governor or custodian ; a legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction is committed...

. See also shtadlan
Shtadlan
A Shtadlan was an intercessor figure starting in Medieval Europe, who represented interests of the local Jewish community, especially those of a town's ghetto, and worked as a "lobbyist" negotiating for the safety and benefit of Jews with the authorities holding power...

.

Examples of what would be later called court Jews emerged when local rulers used services of Jewish bankers for short-term loans. They lent money to nobles and in the process gained social influence. Noble patrons of court Jews employed them as financier
Financier
Financier is a term for a person who handles typically large sums of money, usually involving money lending, financing projects, large-scale investing, or large-scale money management. The term is French, and derives from finance or payment...

s, suppliers, diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

s and trade delegates. Court Jews could use their family connections, and connections between each other, to provision their sponsors with, among other things, food, arms, ammunition and precious metals. In return for their services, court Jews gained social privileges, including up to noble status for themselves, and could live outside the Jewish ghettos. Some nobles wanted to keep their bankers in their own courts. And because they were under noble protection, they were exempted from rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

nical jurisdiction.

From medieval times, court Jews could amass personal fortunes and gained political and social influence. Sometimes they were also prominent people in the local Jewish community and could use their influence to protect and influence their brethren. Sometimes they were the only Jews who could interact with the local high society and present petitions of the Jews to the ruler. However, the court Jew had social connections and influence in the Christian world mainly through his Christian patrons. Due to the precarious position of Jews, some nobles could just ignore their debts. If the sponsoring noble died, his Jewish financier could face exile or execution.

Iberia


During the European Renaissance, the worst of the expulsions occurred following the reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 of Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

, as the Moorish or Arab Islamic government of Spain was known. With the ejection of the last Muslim rulers from Grenada in 1492, the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

 followed and the entire Spanish population of around 200,000 Sephardic Jews were expelled. This was followed by expulsions in 1493 in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 (37,000 Jews) and Portugal in 1496. The expelled Spanish Jews fled mainly to the Ottoman Empire, Holland, and North Africa, others migrating to Southern Europe and the Middle East.

Port Jew


The Port Jew
Port Jew
The Port Jew concept was formulated by Lois Dubin and David Sorkin in the late 1990s as a social type that describes Jews who were involved in the seafaring and maritime economy of Europe, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries...

 concept is a social type that describes Jews who were involved in the seafaring and maritime economy of Europe, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.. Helen Fry suggests that they could be considered to have been "the earliest modern Jews." According to Fry, Port Jews often arrived as "refugees from the Inquisition" and the expulsion of Jews from Iberia. They were allowed to settle in port cities as merchants granted permission to trade in ports such as Amsterdam, London, Trieste and Hamburg. Fry notes that their connections with the Jewish Diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

 and their expertise in maritime trade made them of particular interest to the mercantilist governments of Europe. Lois Dubin describes Port Jews as Jewish merchants who were "valued for their engagement in the international maritime trade upon which such cities thrived". Sorkin and others have characterized the socio-cultural profile of these men as marked by a flexibility towards religion and a "reluctant cosmopolitanism that was alien to both traditional and "enlightened" Jewish identities."

Ottoman Empire


During the Classical Ottoman period (1300–1600), the Jews, together with most other communities of the empire, enjoyed a certain level of prosperity. Compared with other Ottoman subjects, they were the predominant power in commerce and trade as well in diplomacy and other high offices. In the 16th century especially, the Jews were the most prominent under the millets, the apogee of Jewish influence could arguable be the appointment of Joseph Nasi
Joseph Nasi
Don Joseph Nasi was a Jewish diplomat and administrator, member of the House of Mendes, and influential figure in the Ottoman Empire during the rules of both Sultan Suleiman I and his son Selim II...

 to Sanjak-bey
Sanjak-bey
Sanjak-bey, Sanjaq-bey or -beg was the Turkish title of the Bey in military and administrative command of a sanjak , answerable to a Wāli or other provincial governor. In a few cases the Sanjak-Bey was himself a governor directly answering to Istanbul....

 (governor, a rank usually only bestowed upon Muslims) of the island of Naxos.

At the time of the Battle of Yarmuk when the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 passed under Muslim Rule, thirty Jewish communities existed in Haifa, Sh’chem, Hebron, Ramleh, Gaza, Jerusalem, and many in the north. Safed became a spiritual centre for the Jews and the Shulchan Aruch
Shulchan Aruch
The Shulchan Aruch also known as the Code of Jewish Law, is the most authoritative legal code of Judaism. It was authored in Safed, Israel, by Yosef Karo in 1563 and published in Venice two years later...

 was compiled there as well as many Kabbalistic texts. The first Hebrew printing press, and the first printing in Western Asia began in 1577.

Jews lived in the geographic area of Asia Minor (modern Turkey, but more geographically either Anatolia or Asia Minor) for more than 2,400 years. Initial prosperity in Hellenistic times had faded under Christian Byzantine rule, but recovered somewhat under the rule of the various Muslim governments which displaced and succeeded rule from Constantinople. For much of the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 period, Turkey was a safe haven for Jews fleeing persecution, and it continues to have a small Jewish population today. The situation where Jews both enjoyed cultural and economical prosperity at times but were widely persecuted at other times was summarised by G.E. Von Grunebaum :

"It would not be difficult to put together the names of a very sizeable number of Jewish subjects or citizens of the Islamic area who have attained to high rank, to power, to great financial influence, to significant and recognized intellectual attainment; and the same could be done for Christians. But it would again not be difficult to compile a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms."

Russia and Poland


In the 17th century, almost no Jews lived in Western Europe. The relatively tolerant Poland had the largest Jewish population in Europe, but the calm situation for the Jews there ended when Polish and Lithuanian Jews were slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands by the cossacks during Chmielnicki uprising (1648) and by the Swedish wars (1655). Driven by these and other persecutions, Jews moved back to Western Europe in the 17th century. The last ban on Jews (by the English) was revoked in 1654, but periodic expulsions from individual cities still occurred, and Jews were often restricted from land ownership, or forced to live in ghettos.

With the Partition of Poland in the late 18th century, the Jewish population was split between the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Austro-Hungary, and Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, which divided Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 for themselves.

The European Enlightenment and Haskalah (18th century)


During the period of the European Renaissance and Enlightenment, significant changes occurred within the Jewish community. The Haskalah
Haskalah
Haskalah , the Jewish Enlightenment, was a movement among European Jews in the 18th–19th centuries that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history...

 movement paralleled the wider Enlightenment, as Jews began in the 18th century to campaign for emancipation from restrictive laws and integration into the wider European society. Secular and scientific education was added to the traditional religious instruction received by students, and interest in a national Jewish identity, including a revival in the study of Jewish history and Hebrew, started to grow. Haskalah gave birth to the Reform and Conservative movements and planted the seeds of Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 while at the same time encouraging cultural assimilation into the countries in which Jews resided. At around the same time another movement was born, one preaching almost the opposite of Haskalah, Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

. Hasidic Judaism began in the 18th century by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, and quickly gained a following with its more exuberant, mystical approach to religion. These two movements, and the traditional orthodox approach to Judaism from which they spring, formed the basis for the modern divisions within Jewish observance.

At the same time, the outside world was changing, and debates began over the potential emancipation of the Jews (granting them equal rights). The first country to do so was France, during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 in 1789. Even so, Jews were expected to integrate, not continue their traditions. This ambivalence is demonstrated in the famous speech of Clermont-Tonnerre
Clermont-Tonnerre
Clermont-Tonnerre is the name of a French family, members of which played some part in the history of France, especially in Dauphiné, from about 1100 to the French Revolution. Sibaud, lord of Clermont in Viennois, who first appears in 1080, was the founder of the family...

 before the National Assembly
National Assembly
National Assembly is either a legislature, or the lower house of a bicameral legislature in some countries. The best known National Assembly, and the first legislature to be known by this title, was that established during the French Revolution in 1789, known as the Assemblée nationale...

 in 1789:

"We must refuse everything to the Jews as a nation and accord everything to Jews as individuals. We must withdraw recognition from their judges; they should only have our judges. We must refuse legal protection to the maintenance of the so-called laws of their Judaic organization; they should not be allowed to form in the state either a political body or an order. They must be citizens individually. But, some will say to me, they do not want to be citizens. Well then! If they do not want to be citizens, they should say so, and then, we should banish them. It is repugnant to have in the state an association of non-citizens, and a nation within the nation..."

Hasidic Judaism


Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

 is a branch of Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. Hasidism comprises part of contemporary Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, alongside the previous Talmudic Lithuanian-Yeshiva
Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

approach and the Oriental Sephardi tradition.

It was founded in 18th century Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov as a reaction against overly legalistic
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 Judaism. Opposite to this, Hasidic teachings cherished the sincerity and concealed holiness of the unlettered common folk, and their equality with the scholarly elite. The emphasis on the Immanent Divine presence in everything gave new value to prayer and deeds of kindness, alongside Rabbinic supremacy of study
Torah study
Torah study is the study by Jewish people of the Torah, Hebrew Bible, Talmud, responsa, rabbinic literature and similar works, all of which are Judaism's religious texts...

, and replaced historical mystical (kabbalistic)
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 and ethical (musar)
Musar literature
Musar literature is the term used for didactic Jewish ethical literature which describes virtues and vices and the path towards perfection in a methodical way.- Definition of Musar literature :...

 asceticism
Asceticism in Judaism
Asceticism is a term derived from the Greek verb ἀσκέω, meaning "to practise strenuously," "to exercise." Athletes were therefore said to go through ascetic training, and to be ascetics....

 and admonishment
Maggid
Maggid , sometimes spelled as magid, is a traditional Eastern European Jewish religious itinerant preacher, skilled as a narrator of Torah and religious stories. A preacher of the more scholarly sort was called a "darshan", and usually occupied the official position of rabbi...

 with optimism, encouragement, and dailyfervour. This populist emotional revival accompanied the elite ideal of nullification to paradoxical Divine Panentheism
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

, through intellectual articulation of inner dimensions of mystical thought. The adjustment of Jewish values sought to add to required standards of ritual observance, while relaxing others where inspiration predominated. Its communal gatherings celebrate soulful song
Nigun
A nigun or niggun is a form of Jewish religious song or tune sung by groups. It is vocal music, often with repetitive sounds such as "bim-bim-bam" or "ai-ai-ai!" instead of formal lyrics. Sometimes, Bible verses or quotes from other classical Jewish texts are sung repetitively to form a nigun...

 and storytelling as forms of mystical devotion.

19th century



Though persecution still existed, emancipation spread throughout Europe in the 19th century. Napoleon invited Jews to leave the Jewish ghettos in Europe
Jewish ghettos in Europe
Jewish ghettos in Europe existed because Jews were viewed as foreigners due to their non-Christian beliefs in a Renaissance Christian environment. As a result, Jews were placed under strict regulations throughout many European cities. The character of ghettos varied through times. In some cases,...

 and seek refuge in the newly created tolerant political regimes that offered equality under Napoleonic Law (see Napoleon and the Jews
Napoleon and the Jews
The ascendancy of Napoleon Bonaparte proved to be an important event in European Jewish emancipation from old laws restricting them to ghettos, as well as the many laws that limited Jews' rights to property, worship, and careers.- Napoleon's Law and the Jews :...

). By 1871, with Germany’s emancipation of Jews, every European country except Russia had emancipated its Jews.

Despite increasing integration of the Jews with secular society, a new form of anti-Semitism emerged, based on the ideas of race and nationhood rather than the religious hatred of the Middle Ages. This form of anti-Semitism held that Jews were a separate and inferior race from the Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

 people of Western Europe, and led to the emergence of political parties in France, Germany, and Austria-Hungary that campaigned on a platform of rolling back emancipation. This form of anti-Semitism emerged frequently in European culture, most famously in the Dreyfus Trial in France. These persecutions, along with state-sponsored pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

s in Russia in the late 19th century, led a number of Jews to believe that they would only be safe in their own nation. See Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl , born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl was an Ashkenazi Jew Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the State of Israel.-Early life:...

 and History of Zionism
History of Zionism
Zionism as an organized movement is generally considered to have been fathered by Theodor Herzl in 1897; however the history of Zionism began earlier and related to Judaism and Jewish history...

.

During this period, Jewish migration to the United States (see American Jews
American Jews
American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans, are American citizens of the Jewish faith or Jewish ethnicity. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe, and their U.S.-born descendants...

) created a large new community mostly freed of the restrictions of Europe. Over 2 million Jews arrived in the United States between 1890 and 1924, most from Russia and Eastern Europe.

Modern Zionism




During the 1870s and 1880s the Jewish population in Europe began to more actively discuss immigration back to Israel and the re-establishment of the Jewish Nation in its national homeland, fulfilling the biblical prophecies relating to Shivat Tzion. In 1882 the first Zionist settlement—Rishon LeZion—was founded by immigrants who belonged to the "Hovevei Zion
Hovevei Zion
Hovevei Zion , also known as Hibbat Zion , refers to organizations that are now considered the forerunners and foundation-builders of modern Zionism....

" movement. Later on, the "Bilu
Bilu
Bilu was a movement whose goal was the agricultural settlement of the Land of Israel. "Bilu" is an acronym based on a verse from the Book of Isaiah "בית יעקב לכו ונלכה" Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Venelkha...

" movement established many other settlements in the land of Israel.

The Zionist movement was founded officially after the Kattowitz convention (1884) and the World Zionist Congress (1897), and it was Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl , born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl was an Ashkenazi Jew Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the State of Israel.-Early life:...

 who began the struggle to get the world superpowers to establish a state for the Jews.

After the First World War, it seemed that the conditions to establish such a state had arrived: The United Kingdom captured Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, and the Jews received the promise of a "National Home" from the British in the form of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, given to Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Azriel Weizmann, , was a Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected on 1 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952....

.

In 1920 the British Mandate of Palestine began and the British had promised to create and foster a Jewish national home in Palestine. In the beginning, the pro-Jewish Herbert Samuel
Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel
Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel GCB OM GBE PC was a British politician and diplomat.-Early years:...

 was appointed High Commissioner in Palestine, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

 was established and several big Jewish immigration waves to Palestine occurred. The Arab inhabitants of Palestine were not fond of the increasing Jewish immigration however, and began to oppose Jewish settlement and the pro-Jewish policy of the British government by means of violent uprising and terror.

Arab gangs began performing terror acts and murders on convoys and on the Jewish population. After the 1920 Arab riots and 1921 Jaffa riots, the Jewish leadership in Palestine believed that the British had no desire to confront local Arab gangs over their attacks on Palestinian Jews. Realizing that they could not rely on the British administration for protection from these gangs, the Jewish leadership created the Haganah organization to protect their farms and Kibbutzim.

Major riots occurred during the Arab massacres of 1929 and the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine.

Due to the Muslim violence the United Kingdom gradually started to backtrack from the original idea of a Jewish state and to speculate on a binational solution
Binational solution
The one-state solution and the similar binational solution are proposed approaches to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Proponents of a binational solution to the conflict advocate either a single state in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or a single state in Israel and the West...

 or an Arab state that would have a Jewish minority.

Meanwhile, the Jews of Europe and the United States gained great success in the fields of the science, culture and the economy. The figures generally considered the most famous scientist (Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

) and the most famous philosopher (Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947...

) of the 20th century were both Jewish. A disproportionate number of Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winners at this time were Jewish, as is still the case. In the Soviet Union, many Jews were involved in the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 and belonged to the communist party.

The Holocaust





In 1933, with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and the Nazi party in Germany, the Jewish situation became more severe. Economic crises, racial anti-Semitic laws, and a fear of an upcoming war led many Jews to flee from Europe to Palestine, to the United States and to the Soviet Union.

In 1939 World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 began and until 1941 Hitler occupied almost all of Europe, including Poland—where millions of Jews were living at that time—and France. In 1941, when the invasion of the Soviet Union began, Hitler ordered the initiation of the Final Solution
Final Solution
The Final Solution was Nazi Germany's plan and execution of the systematic genocide of European Jews during World War II, resulting in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust...

—an extensive organized operation on an unprecedented scale, aimed at the annihilation of the Jews of Europe and French North Africa. This genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

, in which six million Jews were murdered methodically and with horrifying cruelty, is known as The Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 or Shoah (Hebrew term). In Poland, more than one million Jews were murdered in gas chambers
Gas Chambers
Gas Chambers is a fast, hollow and shallow point break type of wave. Being that it is a high performance wave it is well suited for the average to pro level surfer. Gas Chambers is located on the North Shore of Oahu about a 1/4 of a mile north of Ehukai Beach Park and 1/2 a mile west of Sunset...

 at the Auschwitz concentration camp alone.

The massive scale of the Holocaust, and the horrors which happened during it, heavily affected the Jewish nation and world public opinion, which only understood the dimensions of the Holocaust after the war. After the war it became clear that it was impossible to leave the Jews in the hands of the nations of the world anymore, and efforts were increased to establish a shelter for the wounded Jewish nation.

The establishment of the State of Israel



In 1945 the Jewish resistance organizations in Palestine unified and established the Jewish Resistance Movement. The movement began pressing the British authority and avenging the Arab rioters who attacked Jews. There are different opinions on the success of the violent struggle of the divisions, and the disobedience movement eventually stopped in 1946 in the aftermath King David Hotel bombing. The Jewish leadership decided to center the struggle in the illegal immigration to Palestine and began organizing massive amount of Jewish war refugees from Europe, without the approval of the British authorities. This immigration contributed a great deal to the Jewish settlements in Israel in the world public opinion and the British authorities decided to let the United Nations decide upon the fate of Palestine.

On November 29, 1947 the United Nations decided on dividing the country into two states: A Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jewish leadership accepted the decision but the Arabs opposed it and started attacking the Jewish settlements, and so the 1948 Arab–Israeli War started.

In the middle of the war, after the last soldiers of the British mandate left Palestine, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed in 1948 the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel. In 1949 the war ended and the state of Israel started building the state and absorbing massive waves of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from all over the world.

Since 1948, Israel has been involved in a series of major military conflicts, including the 1956 Suez War, 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, 1973 Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

, 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

, and 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

, as well as a nearly constant series of ongoing minor conflicts to preserve its national interests.

Since 1977, an ongoing and largely unsuccessful series of diplomatic efforts have been initiated by Israel, its neighbors, and other parties, including the United States and the European Union, to bring about a peace process
Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

 to resolve conflicts between Israel and its neighbors, mostly over the fate of the Palestinian people.

21st century



Today (2011), Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is a parliamentary democracy
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 with a population of over 7.5 million people, of whom about 5.6 million are Jewish. The largest Jewish communities are in Israel and the United States
American Jews
American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans, are American citizens of the Jewish faith or Jewish ethnicity. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe, and their U.S.-born descendants...

, with major communities in France, Argentina, Russia, England, and Canada. For statistics related to modern Jewish demographics see the article Jewish population
Jewish population
Jewish population refers to the number of Jews in the world. Precise figures are difficult to calculate because the definition of "Who is a Jew" is a source of controversy.-Total population:...

.

The Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
The Jewish Autonomous Oblast is a federal subject of Russia situated in the Russian Far East, bordering Khabarovsk Krai and Amur Oblast of Russia and Heilongjiang province of China. Its administrative center is the town of Birobidzhan....

, created during the Soviet period, continues to be an autonomous oblast
Autonomous oblast
An autonomous oblast is an autonomous entity within the state which is on the oblast level of the overall administrative subdivision. It may refer to:*Autonomous oblasts of the Soviet Union*Autonomous oblasts of Russia...

 of the Russian state. The Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 of Birobidzhan
Birobidzhan
Birobidzhan is a town and the administrative center of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Trans-Siberian railway, close to the border with the People's Republic of China....

, Mordechai Scheiner
Mordechai Scheiner
Mordechai Sheiner has been Chief Rabbi of Jewish Autonomous Oblast since 2002.-Background:Mordechai Sheiner came to the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in 2002. He arrived in Birobidzhan as a 30 year old rabbi from Israel. He had never been to Birobidzhan before, but spoke Russian thanks to two years he...

, says there are 4,000 Jews in the capital city. Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 Nikolay Mikhaylovich Volkov
Nikolay Mikhaylovich Volkov
-Childhood and Education:Volkov was born in 1951 in Krasnoye village, in the Shablykinsky district of the Oryol Region. In 1973, Volkov graduated from a civil engineer institute in Odessa.-Politics:...

 has stated that he intends to, "support every valuable initiative maintained by our local Jewish organizations." The Birobidzhan Synagogue
Birobidzhan Synagogue
The Birobidzhan Synagogue was established in 2004. The synagogue is in the city of Birobidzhan, which is the capital of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, an autonomous oblast of Russia. It is "the first synagogue in Russia to be built partly with state money," according to the Federation of Jewish...

 opened in 2004 on the 70th anniversary of the region's founding in 1934.

Jewish history by country or region



For historical and contemporary Jewish populations by country, see Jews by country
Jews by country
This article deals with the practice of Judaism and the living arrangement of Jews in the listed countries.-Judaism by country:-See also:* Who is a Jew?* Jewish ethnic divisions* Ashkenazi Jews* Sephardi Jews* Mizrahi Jews...

.

See also


  • Antisemitism
  • Crypto-Judaism
    Crypto-Judaism
    Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; practitioners are referred to as "crypto-Jews"...

  • Historical Jewish population comparisons
    Historical Jewish population comparisons
    Jewish population centers have shifted tremendously over time, due to the constant streams of Jewish refugees created by expulsions, persecution, and officially sanctioned killing of Jews in various places at various times...

  • History of the Jews during World War II
    History of the Jews during World War II
    World War II is the most tragic period in Jewish history.-German Nazi occupied Europe:By World War II, nearly all Jewish companies had either collapsed under financial pressure and declining profits, or had been forced to sell out to the Nazi-German government as part of the "Aryanization" policy...

  • History of the Jews in the Land of Israel
    History of the Jews in the Land of Israel
    The history of the Jews in the land of Israel can be traced from the first appearance of the name "Israel" in the historic record, an Egyptian inscription of c.1200 BCE where it refers to an ethnic group apparently located in the northern part of the central highlands between the Mediterranean and...

  • Jew
  • Jewish diaspora
    Jewish diaspora
    The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

  • Jewish population
    Jewish population
    Jewish population refers to the number of Jews in the world. Precise figures are difficult to calculate because the definition of "Who is a Jew" is a source of controversy.-Total population:...

  • Jews by country
    Jews by country
    This article deals with the practice of Judaism and the living arrangement of Jews in the listed countries.-Judaism by country:-See also:* Who is a Jew?* Jewish ethnic divisions* Ashkenazi Jews* Sephardi Jews* Mizrahi Jews...

  • Jewish Science
    Jewish Science
    Jewish Science is a Judaic spiritual movement comparable with the New Thought Movement. Many of its members also attend services at conventional synagogues....

  • Jewish ethnic divisions
    Jewish ethnic divisions
    Jewish ethnic divisions refers to a number of distinct communities within the world's ethnically Jewish population. Although considered one single self-identifying ethnicity, there are distinct ethnic divisions among Jews, most of which are primarily the result of geographic branching from an...

  • Jewish refugees
    Jewish refugees
    In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

  • Jewish exodus from Arab lands
    Jewish exodus from Arab lands
    The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries was a mass departure, flight and expulsion of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Muslim countries, from 1948 until the early 1970s...

  • Josephus
    Josephus
    Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

    , a famous Jewish historian from Roman
    Roman Empire
    The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

     times
  • Judaism
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

  • Lists of Jews
  • Timeline of Jewish history
    Timeline of Jewish history
    This is a timeline of the development of Jews and Judaism. All dates are given according to the Common Era, not the Hebrew calendar....



Footnotes