Jewish people

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Jewish People

Who is considered part of the Jewish people (or who is a Jew)?

Who is a Jew? 

Jewish people

Judaism is the main religion practiced by the people of Israel. More than a religion, it is also a nation and a culture. There are around 13.75 million Jewish people across the globe, of which the majority of them are living in Israel and the United States. Jews would come in different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and nationalities.

You can find the Jews from Ethiopia, i.e., black Jews, while you can find Jews in Shanghai, also known as Chinese Jews and Jews in India. There are people scattered across the globe, and few you can find in Morocco, Iran, South America, and Oceania. Judaism comprises of four fundamental movements. These include Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist.

The people who follow Judaism tradition in Israel, according to the Jewish law (Halacha), would be considered orthodox. Those who are not following the Jewish law would be considered as traditional jews or seculars.

The Conservative and Reform movements have gained momentum in the US, but they have never been able to establish themselves significantly in Israel, for all kinds of reasons. Reconstruction is a small movement. 

Who are all called as Jews?

A Jew is one who is born to Jewish parents or who have converted into Judaism by going through a conversion process. Historically, unlike Islam and Christianity, Judaism is not a converting religion. Apart from the story of the converted Khasar people, Judaism does not welcome conversions. People who are interested in conversion are repeatedly rejected as part of a religious approach.

Only those who are very insistent will be converted. This is the way things are in the State of Israel. In contrast, in the United States, reformers maintain a much more open and easy process and convert easily. A person converted through the Reform Movement, his Judaism will not be recognized in Israel, and religious or traditional Jews will not see him as a Jew.

Jewish women in the Western Wall, Jerusalem

Basically, in Israel, the validation of a Jew is based on their family name, marriage, divorce, birth or other certificates, mainly for immigrants from other countries like Rusia, Ethiopia, etc…). If the person is born to the parents who are not Jews and have gone through the formal process of Jewish conversion, he is still not considered as Jew despite he/she believes and follows every custom and law of Judaism.

If the person who is born to the Jewish parents and does not believe in Jews and never practice this religion is still considered to be a Jew in the Jewish law sense. It clearly states that Judaism is more of nationality than a religion. If you are Jewish, it is equal to citizenship. 

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The origin of the Jewish people

According to the Jewish tradition, Judaism originated 4000 years ago in the Middle East from the couple Abraham and Sarah. Abraham strongly believed that there is only one God who has created the Universe, while at the time, there was paganism. Abraham, along with this Son named Yitshak and grandson named Jacob, together with Sara, Rebeca, Leah, and Rachel are the fathers and mothers of Israelites. They lived in Canaan over time, which is the Land of Israel.

The family of Abraham is put in Ma’arat HaMachpela, which is a tomb known for patriarchy. The word Israel has been coined out from the word Jacob. The 12 sons of Jacob acted as kernels of the 12 tribes and formed the Jewish nation.

Jewish people history
Deportation and exile of the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Babylon and the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple

The name Jew (Yehudi, in Hebrew) has been coined out from Yehuda (part of the land of Israel), which is the name of one of the 12 sons of Jacob. It clearly states that the Name of Israel and Jewish would refer to the people belonging to the same origin. 

The people belonging to the family of Abraham were in the Jewish nation for around 1300 BCE after being an exodus from Egypt, who was under the Leader, Moses. With the rule of Exodus, Moses moved the people to the new rules, rules of the Torah. Moses spent 40 years in the Sinai desert and then moved them to the Land of Israel, which is the promising land given by God to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The people who are living in Israel would have the same language and culture that was shaped by the Jewish heritage and Jewish religion. It has been passed from one generation to another generation, starting from Abraham. 

A short history of the Jewish people

According to archaeological evidence, the name Israel appeared as early as 3,300 years ago and referred to a people who lived in the Land of Israel, which was not yet called the Land of Israel.

According to the Bible, Yehoshua Ben-Nun, the successor of Moses who was not allowed to enter the Land of Israel together with the Israelites, was the one who led the conquest of the land from the peoples who sat there, and since then there has been a continuous presence of Jews.

The Jews in the Land of Israel knew ups and downs with their neighbors.

There were periods of bondage, as described in the time of Samson and Samuel the Prophet and there were periods of flourishing, in the days of David and especially in the days of Solomon.

One of the low points occurred in the sixth century BCE, when Nebuchadnezzar’s army king of Babylon, Nabu-zer-idin, destroyed the first temple and led to the exile of Judah habitants to Babylon.

The second low point occurred in the first and second centuries CE. In the year 70 AD, the Romans who ruled the Land of Israel destroyed the Temple, after a long-standing rebellion of the Jewish inhabitants of the land.

Jewish history - Judea map BC
Judea map 926 BC

The destruction of the Temple for the second time caused national trauma in the Jewish people’s consciousness until today. Another revolt in the Romans, which took place in the middle of the second century CE, led to the destruction of the Jewish settlement in Israel. Many were killed and others set out to exile. Only a few remained in Israel.

This was the end of the independent Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel until the rise of Zionism in modern times. Jews always lived in the Land of Israel, especially in one of the Holy Cities, Jerusalem, Safed, Hebron and Tiberias. While Israel exchanged hands between Christians and Muslims, the Jews lived as protectors under Islamic rule.

The Land of Israel remained largely empty and desolate until the return of Jews in the twentieth century. Although the Jews lived in different countries across the globe, still, they follow their culture and the Jewish religion. They were yearning to get back to their roots, i.e., to Israel for centuries. In the 20th century, many Jews were getting back to Israel from the Arab countries and Europe.

During British rule in Israel, since the First World War, and even before, Jews were exposed to violence and terrorism by Arab residents, most of them immigrants from neighboring Arab countries, who followed the economic boom in Israel, which occurred as a result of the Jews’ arrival.

Arab violence gave rise to Jewish defense forces that later developed into the Israeli Defense Forces. During World War II, the worst disaster occurred in the history of the Jewish people. A planned and industrialized extermination process organized by the Nazi Germans and their aides, which was designed to completely annihilate the Jewish people.

Six million Jews were eliminated by the Nazi Germans and their enthusiastic aides in Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, France, Hungary and other European “civilized” countries. The remnant of the Jews of Europe emigrated to Israel, part of the United States, and some remained in Europe. In the year 1948, the Jewish community has gained back its foot in their ancient homeland with the establishment of the state of Israel.

The Israelites have found their roots again on Mount Sinai. In between the thundering sound and lighting, G-d gave them a book, i.e., the Torah. This book comprises of the instructions on how they, along with their descendants, are going to lead their lives. Torah is the base for Jewish practice to influence their physical and spiritual areas of life. This book has 613 mitzvahs and also has Jewish holidays, kosher laws, a basis of Jewish marriage, divorce, the procedure for the holy temple, and many more aspects. 

A short history timeline of the Jewish people

The rule of the Jews in the Land of Israel started with the conquest of Joshua in 1250 BCE. The period from 1000 to 587 BCE is the Period of the Kings. Many famous Kings ruled the Land of Israel. Among those King David, who was on the throne from 1010 to 970 BCE, made Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Later, when he made his Son, Solomon, the King of Israel, he built Jerusalem, which is Tanach. 

In 587 BCE, Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar’s captured Jerusalem ultimately and knocked down the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and threw the Jews out to Babylon, which is modern Iraq now. The 587 BCE has been the breakthrough point in the history of the Jews. This area went under the control of many other empires who had superpowers such as Babylonian, Roman, Greek Hellenistic, Byzantine empires, Islam, Christian crusaders, Ottoman, and British Empire. 

The foreign rules in Israel 

587 BCE: 

The king of Babylonia destroyed the Jewish temple built by Jews. 

583 to 333 BCE: 

It is the period during which Persia was under the rule of Babylonia. The Babylonian threw the Jews out, and then another king invited Jews to come into the country and constructed a second temple. 

333 BCE to 63 BCE: 

It is the period during which the Hellenistic Kingdom was under the rule. This region was under the control of Alexander the Great. The Greeks were okay with Jews taking control over the state. When Antiochus IV came to power, he took a very hard stance against the Jews and issued decrees designed to eradicate the Jewish religion.

Following Antiochus’ new actions and laws, a rebellion broke out that ended the Jewish victory and led to 200 years of political independence.

63 BCE to 313 CE: 

It was the time during which Romans were ruling the Land of Israel. Titus was the head of the Roman army, who attacked and took control over Jerusalem and devastated the second temple that built-in 70 CE. Jews moved out of Israel, and the people went across to Diaspora. In 132 periods, Bar Kokhba fought with the Roman rulers, but many of them have lost their lives in the war at Judean Hills in Bethar.

The destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple by the Romans

Later, Romans destroyed the community of Jewish and changed the name of the place from Jerusalem to AeliaCapitolina and then changed the name of Judea to Palestine to destroy the roots of Jewish in the nation. The Jewish community that is remaining in the Land of Israel is in the Northern towns in Galilee.

In 200 CE, Sanhedrin flew to Tsippori. The Sanhedrin led by Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi put together the Jewish oral law, Mishna. From 636 to 1099, the land of Israel was ruled by Arab who built Dome of the Rock in order to inherit the Jewish faith and to replace it, in its holiest place, where two Jewish temples stood.

From 1099 to 1291

The crusaders have come into Europe to take control of the promised land based on the appeal of Pope Urban II and killed the population who were not Christians. The community who were living in Jerusalem had emigrated from Europe. From 1516 to 1918, the land was under the control of Sultan Suleiman. During this period, they constructed the walls of Jerusalem. The number of people in the Jewish community had already started to increase in Jerusalem. 

Expulsion of the Jews from Spain Documentary

From 1917 to 1948 is the time during which Great Britain has officially announced the rights of the Jewish people and has formed a national home in the Land of Israel. The Balfour Declaration on the Right of the Jewish People to a National Home in Israel was backed by a first international legal decision, which was valid at the San Remo Conference.

In 1920. According to the resolution that preceded any UN resolution on the subject, the area designated for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people included the present territory of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, as well as East Bank of the Jordan river, the area on which the State of Jordan is today. At that time no one knew the Palestinian people…

With the exile of Romans in 70 CE, many Jewish have migrated to Europe and the Middle East. In the 20th century, Jewish came back to their native land, i.e., Israel from various countries. In 1948, the land of Israel had been born officially under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion. Israel finally announced independence after the British moved out of their country, i.e., on May 14, 1948. 

However, the Jewish people who were left across the globe were not allowed to enter into Israel, even post World War II. In 1948, following the Arabs’ refusal to accept the United Nations Partition Plan and go to war against the Jewish entity in Israel, with a strong willingness to destroying it, the young State of Israel defeated the Arab states that went to war and succeeded to stand on its feet.

In most of the territory promised to the Jews in the legal decision of the San Remo Conference, the state of Jordan, another Arab state, was established as one of 22 Islamic Arab states in the Middle East. Even then, between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan ruled Judea and Samaria, there was no demand for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

For 19 years when Jordan ruled Judea and Samaria, no Arab saw any need to establish a state for Muslim Arabs living in Judea and Samaria, for the simple reason that they were part of the Arab Muslim people in the Middle East, with no national uniqueness.

Founder of Judaism

The faith of Jewish people is in the book, Torah, where God disclosed himself to be Abraham, who is the founder of Judaism. After God’s revelation to Abraham, he revealed to Isaac the son of Abraham and Jacob the son of Isaac.

These are the three fathers of the Jewish nation, together with their wives, the four mothers: Sarah (Abraham’s wife), Rivka (Isaac’s wife), Leah and Rachel (Jacob’s wives). According to the Torah, God promised the three fathers the land of Israel. That is why it is called the Land of Israel, the Promised Land, because of the divine promise of the land to the three fathers of the Jewish nation.

Later, God also revealed to Moses, through the bush that was on fire but not eaten by the fire. Moses, known as Moshe Rabbeinu (our rabbi), was God’s chosen leader, to redeem the people of Israel from long-standing slavery in the land of Egypt, and to lead them to the land of Israel. According to Jewish tradition, they are the founders of the Jewish religion and the people of Israel.

Jewish religion

Judaism is the oldest form of monotheistic faith. It dictates to the Jews the calendar, their way of life, their agenda, their holidays, their customs, how to educate kids, relationships with their spouse, parents, teachers, friends. What to eat and what not to eat. Judaism is a dominant religion that encompasses life in all possible directions.
But Judaism is not just a religion, it is also a nation. Judaism defines Jewish nationhood and is thus fundamentally different from other religions.

The laws of Judaism appear in the Torah, but they are certainly not detailed enough and do not cover all aspects of life extensively. The completion of the Torah Laws appears in the Oral Torah, which according to Jewish tradition, was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, together with the written Torah.

Moshe passed it on to Joshua Ben Nun who was his successor under the leadership of the Israelites, Joshua passed it on to the elders of Israel, and so it continued from generation to generation. A detailed explanation appears in the article: What is Talmud? Since the oral teaching was written by Rabbi Yehuda the President, it has become the basis on which all Jewish law rests. All Jewish law literature developed on the basis of oral Torah. I highly recommend reading the article: What is Talmud to understand what is the Oral Torah.

Jewish people worship God by offering prayers, by studying their holy books and by observing the commandments that are in the Torah. The faithfulness of the biblical covenant is a mission of the Jewish people. 

Unlike in other religions, Jewish religion would not teach that you should follow their faith and practice their religious rituals. Judaism is not a missionary religion. Jews do not promote the conversion of non-Jews and do not try to persuade non-Jews to convert, but once someone has passed all the hurdles and managed to convert (in the long process), attitude towards him is as an attitude toward ordinary Jew.

Sacred writings 

The religious text about Jewish is in the Bible and is also in the books of Torah, Writings, and Prophets. With the devastation of the Jerusalem temple by the Romans in 70 CE, the religious scholars of Jewish have put together the six volumes of Mishnah to have a track of the Jewish religion legislation, laws, and customs. In the next five centuries, this took the place of Gemara (Talmud) that comprises of the commentaries, discussions, debates, and other things. The rabbinical scholars tell these in Babylon. 

Judaism is the religion of Jews. It is the first only religion that is on the roots of monotheism. The origins of the other western religions are from Judaism. The fundamental tenet of Judaism is the one who created the world and cut a consent called covenant with Abraham from whom the other Jewish people belong to.

The agreement stated that the Jewish people would get the blessings and love of God if they are faithful to their God’s law and offering him prayers and be responsible for the sins and misbehavior against their parents, teachers, friends, family, etc… Jewish people are the chosen people in history. These people have received God’s laws and the blessings out of all the other ancient people.

As per Judaism, Jews are the servants of God, though God is the creator of humanity. Judaism will not encourage converts. Though, converts are acceptable after imparting knowledge about Judaism to the people and only when they agree to obey God’s laws sincerely. 

Judaism tenants would like to believe Messiah who will bring all the Jewish people together. The activities are under the supervision of God on the planet of earth and let them lead their lives peacefully. Judaism also has an afterlife concept. Judaism is conventionally decentralized. There is no Pope or other authority who would determine the practice or religion dogma. 

Dietary laws 

There are strict dietary laws that are followed by the Jewish people. They would not like eating certain foods such as pork, and seafood. They also do not eat the food that is with blood. They would not have the food that is the fusion of meat and dairy products. The Jews’ laws clearly explain Jews how the animals should be cut to alleviate suffering. 

Jewish calendar 

The Jews will make use of both the solar and lunar calendar that have Jewish holiday calendar dates. The holidays and Jewish festivals celebrated in Judaism are as per the lunar calendar. It is more about the moon. The time it takes for the new moon to new moon is 29 days.

Jewish would either have 20 or 30 days in their Jewish calendar. If Jews use a solar calendar, it will be of 365.25 days, and the lunar calendar would have eleven days less than solar ones. There are adjustments made in the calendar to ensure that the holidays would stay the same and in the same season. The Lunar month is the leap month to which modifications are made by adding seven months every 19 years. 

The Jewish Shabbat and holidays would start during the sunset before a day of Sabbath or holiday. Though, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah was on September 21st or 22nd but is started from the sunset, i.e., from September 20 evening. 

Shabbat and Jewish festivals

The fourth out of the ten essential commandments is Sabbath. On this day, every Jews have to stay holy. The Jews will not carry out any work on Sabbath, and the whole day would be spent in offering prayers and reading religious books. Apart from Sabbath, other festivals are celebrated by Jews since ancient times. Few of them include: 

Rosh Hashanah: This is the Jewish New Year. Jews will celebrate this day on a grand scale joyfully. There is a holiday given to the people on Roch Hashana. The Jews across the globe would not work or go to school on this day. They blow Ram horn, as it is the start of the ten days of repentance that end Yom Kippur. 

Yom Kippur: This is the holy day in the Jewish calendar. On this day, the Jews globally will not go to work or go to school and would not eat or drink anything. It is the day when God judges every Jew. It is a solemn day on which every Jew will offer prayers. 

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Passover: This is the eighth day of the festival where the Israel people got freedom from the Egyptians. There is a delicious feast arranged on two nights as Seder that has recounting of Passover story. The ritual foods are only consumed during this Jewish eight-day holiday festival, and there is a specific time during which the Jews will eat food and not all any time in the day. The Jews who are observing this festival will not go to the Jewish day school or attend work, and the last two days of 8 days are observed as holidays. 

Shavuot: This is the festival that is rejoiced on a grand scale. It is the day on which the Torah was gifted to Israel at Mt. Saini by God. It is a two-day holiday that Jews will celebrate by having night sessions discussing the religious study with friends. People who are observing this day would not go to work or schools. 

Succot: This was the commemoration day when Israel people were wandering and before they have got to learn about Torah. The farmers cultivate the final harvest before the winter rains. It is the 8th day holiday where the Jews would not go to work or schools. They would build a structure that will be made and called Succah. It is a structure that symbolizes Israelites lived when they were in the desert. 

Simchat Torah: This is the final day of commemoration day that Jews will celebrate for eight days. It is the starting day on which Torah readings start and continue throughout the year. The Jews will celebrate this day after Succot. 

Hanukkah: This is the 8th day of the holiday that marks the victory of Israelites. The war team that was led by Judah Maccabee won over the Greek army in 165 BC. On this day, Jews will light a candle every night for eight days, and on the eighth day, they will lit an extra Shamash candle. Today, people are exchanging gifts on this day. Sometimes, based on the Jewish calendar, Jews will celebrate this festival during Christmas time. 

Hanukkah – When good overcomes evil

Purim: This is the small festival Jews will celebrate as per their calendar. It honors the victory of Jews over King Ahasuerus, who belongs to Persia in the 5th century BCE. It is the joyful holiday on which people will read Megillah and dress up in colorful costumes. 

Ritual clothing

The dressing style of Jewish life is a bit different from the other people in different countries who are taking part in both secular and non-secular activities. While offering Prayers, the males of Jews need to wear the following: 

  • Skull cap: This covers the head 
  • Phylacteries: These are minuscule boxes that comprise of Torah passages crafted in leather straps, which Jews will wear on the forehead and the left arm while offering the prayers. 
  • Fringed Shawl: These will be wearing a shawl, especially while offering prayers. 

Life cycle events 

Circumcision: When a male child is born to the Jewish couple, they will circumcise the kid on the 8th day of his birth as a symbol between Abraham and God. They also celebrate the naming ceremony of the new Jewish boy names.

Bat Mitzvah and Bar Mitzvah: At the age of 12 for girls and 13 for boys, as per the Jewish law, the boys and girls have reached adulthood. There is a unique service held for the boy to honor him. This boy will read the Torah for the first time. There is also a ceremony held for girls on par with boys. 

Marriage and Divorce: When marrying, the couple is made to sign the contract, i.e., as Ketuba. It gives and explains about the marriage conditions clearly. The marriage ceremony is celebrated in the same way as the other religions, where the glass will be broken by the groom to give a symbol of temple destruction. As per Jewish law, divorce is also made an official with a document known as Get. Though the Jewish couple gets a divorce in the court, they need to have ‘Get’ to remarry the other guy. 

Death and mourning: After a person is passed way, they wash the body of the deceased and in some cases place it in the coffin to bury it. This Jewish funeral is done after a person’s death. The loved ones in the family would observe seven days of mourning called Shiva. The religious services will be taken care of in the home of the deceased person. The Jews will carry out the anniversary of the death by lighting a candle and offering prayers in their memory. 

Jewish languages (Hebrew)

As per history, Jewish people will have multiple languages. Hebrew is the language in which the Bible is written and is the principal language of Jewish and is the language in which the people living in modern Israel will use to converse. However, this is acting as a primary language only for a small percentage of Jews across the globe.

Based on geographical diversity, Jewish would speak in different languages. Jews embraced different Jewish languages. Few of the languages that Jews used to speak in the diaspora included: 

Aramaic: At the start of the Common Era, Aramaic is the language in which Palestine Jews will speak. Though the usage of Hebrew has been reduced, it gained momentum after the Babylonian exile in 587 BCE, and this continued till the second temple period.

Aramaic, similar to that of Hebrew, is the Semitic language that has many similarities. As Aramaic is spoken at the time of Rabbinic, this is the crucial second language of Jewish. It is also spoken by the people who are not Jewish. Talmud is written in Aramaic, and also the famous Kaddish prayer is also written in this language. This language is still spoken today by the Jewish Kurds. 

Yevanic: Jews called this as Romaniyot. It is a Greek dialect that Romaniotes and Karaite Jews will use. This language is the mix with the Greek dialect that the Christian population will speak. This language is majorly spoken by the people living in the Hellenistic world. This language has used structural as well as lexical elements of the local style and comprises of the mix of Hebrew and Aramaic words. 

Hebrew slang

Judeo Arabic: Many Jewish people living in the Middle East and North Africa will speak this language mostly. From the 8th century till the day, Jews in Iran and Afghanistan talk to Judeo Arabic. There are many Jews who are residing in Spain speak Judeo-Italian that has a few elements of South Italy and the Hebrew language. The two best Judeo-Spanish languages of Jewish are Ladino and Yiddish. There are a few Jewish writings that are in this language. There include – Maimonides and Judah Halevi. 

Ladino: There is another name for Judeo-Spanish that is Ladino. It is a Roman language that has its roots from Spanish. Many parts of the globe speak this language, such as the Netherlands, Italy, and Morocco, the UK, Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, and Balkans. Many people in Israel will speak this language. Though, there is no official status given for these Jewish languages but is a minority language in a few of the countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, France, and Turkey. 

Yiddish: This is the ancient language that is spoken by Ashkenazi Jews. This language became into existence in the 9th century that is also in Central Europe. This language is the fusion of Hebrew and Aramaic. The traces of it also have Slavic and Roman styles. There are 10 million people who speak this language.

The 85% of Jews who passed away in the Holocaust are Yiddish speakers. There is a rise in the number of people speaking this language globally today. This language is equivalent to Judeo-Spanish. Though, it has German linguistic structure and vocabulary but is in Hebrew. It has its roots from Rhineland cities in German, and the text was recognized in the 14th century. 

The Jewish people and the state of Israel

In the second half of the nineteenth century, together with the flourishing of nationalism in Europe, the Jewish dream of returning to Israel and the establishment of a national Jewish home for the Jewish people began to flourish. The movement that led this trend and turned national dreams into political and practical activities was called Zionism.

The name Zionism was called after one of the names of Jerusalem in the Bible: Zion. The main aim of this movement was to bring back all the Jews who were dispersed across the globe to their homeland. Until the end of the nineteenth century, the emigration of Jews to the land of Israel was mainly sporadic and, of course, was associated with the dream of individuals immigrating to the land of Israel, living there and exercising their Jewishness.

By 1881, Jewish immigration to Israel had already taken on a new form. More than 20,000 Jews, from Eastern Europe and Yemen, immigrated to Israel by 1904 and established agricultural and urban settlements there. Along with the rise of the Jews and the beginning of the wilderness bloom in Israel, Arabs from around the Middle East began to emigrate to find a living there.

Immigration continued until 1948. Later, these immigrant Arabs would call themselves “Palestinian people”, following the administrative name of this territory, Palestina. A name was given by the Romans, following the wars with the Jews, in order to forget the name Israel

It is the historic wave where immigrants are pushed to their homes to start agricultural settlements. Baron Edmond de Rothschild was the person who gave funds. The first-ever Zionist conference happened in 1897 in Switzerland that was headed by Theodor Herzl. It took almost 51 years to turn a Zionist dream into a real independent state, a Jewish homeland given to the people by historical justice and the League of Nations.

One could say that Arab terror began with the first Jewish settlement in Israel. It was not related to “Occupation of the Territories” in 1967 nor to the “Occupation of Territories” in 1948. It was always related to only one thing, fundamental and extreme resistance of Islam, to allow non-Muslims to develop in an area considered by Islam to be “Dar al-Islam”, that is Islamic territory.

Islam was willing to accept the Jews as “ḏimmī-s “, that is, as inferior protesters, who live under the auspices of Islam, are subject to it and live in constant fear of murder, kidnapping and Islam by force. Islam would not accept, and to this day will not accept, Jews of equal status to Muslims, who will live in an independent state, even if it is the size of a small apartment.

It was never a conflict over territory. All the rest of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict (as some call it) is the result of this basic and simple truth.

How and when Jewish has formed a new state of Israel

In 1905, there is a second Aliyah who gave a helping hand to Jews to move from Russia to their homeland. Tel Aviv was the first Jewish city that saw the light in 1908.

In 1917, the British fought with the Ottoman Empire and won over them. It is the time when the land of Israel came under British rule. It was the time during which modern Arabs came into force. In 1917, the Balfour Declaration was made where the government of the British has started a national home in Palestine for Jewish.

This declaration was given at the conference that was held in San Remo. In 1922, there are a few nations that have come up with a mandate to safeguard Jewish homeland and encourage Jewish to immigrate and settle in this land. By the end of 1929, the Jewish population in Israel has reached 1, 60,000, and by 1936, the German immigrants were increased, and the number of Jews has reached 4,00,000.

In 1939, the British put pressure on Arab and Mufti of Jerusalem to issue a white paper, which has reduced the number of Jews immigration to 10,000 per year. Any immigration Jews would be made only after consulting Arab. 

At the end of World War II, Palestine question has put in front of the United Nations in General Assembly. There is a recommendation to end the British mandate and divide Jews and Arabs. In 1947, the General assembly divided the country into two.

On May 14, 1948, the British government revoked its mandate, and the British left the country, and the Jewish Agency has declared independence for having its state of Israel. 

Jewish population

The population of Jews is 14.6 million as of the reports given in 2018. The Jewish community has the people who have Jews and who are part Jewish. The core Jewish population is around 17.8 million. The enlarged Jewish population means that the people would belong to the Jewish background, but their parents are not Jewish, but they are living in the households of Jews. The Law of Return Jewish population, which includes the people who immigrated to Israel, is 23.5 million. 

Jewish demographics

There are millions of people who follow Judaism across the globe. When it comes to demographics where there are three countries where the population of Jews is high. In the US, there are around 6.8-7.1 million Jews, while in Israel, there are 6.7 million Jews, and in Russia, there are different estimations of less than 200,000 self-identifying core and up to 1 million people of Jewish descent. In other European countries, the numbers are lowerץ

Anti-Semitism

Anti-semitism means the hatred of Jews. This word was first coined out in the 19th century when people started to classify the based on the races. The Jewish beliefs and behavior of the people keep changing when they get to know that they are Jewish in a few places.

There are a few people who oppress, isolate, and injure Jews. Starting from the time of the Bible until today, there are many Jews who have gone through a bad phase of criticism. Few of them would punish for maintaining a separate religious group and the people who are not ready to embrace the non-Jewish life where they are living.

With the rise of Christianity, the hatred for Jews started to increase. These people were treated as outsiders and the people who did not believe Jesus and crucified him. From 11 to 14th century, The Christ Killers and Devils with which Jews are called. Many were in the Jewish Ghettos.

The Path to Nazi Genocide

Moreover, these people also were put a bad mark on poisoning the rivers. There were a few of the Jews who are accused of abducting Christian children. There are many conversions of Jews into Christianity. Although these people have undergone torture and forced to get converted into Christianity. Very few Churches have rejected this anti-Semitism. 

Anti-Semitism culminated in the 20th century, first with the Kishinev pogroms in Russia and the culmination of the extermination of European Jews by the Nazi Germans and their aides. The industrialized extermination process was based on the assistance, support, or at least silence of European populations in many “civilized” European countries.

Support for the process of extermination of the Jews in Ukraina or the death camps in Poland, could not have taken place without rooted, pathological hate of Jews, ie anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitic hatred of Jews, which was sponsored by the Catholic and Protestant Church, allowed the Nazi Germans, in the mid-twentieth century, to establish Jews as rats, as bacteria, as inhuman creatures worthy of destruction.

After World War II, blatant anti-Semitism continued to flourish powerfully in the Arab world but went out of fashion in Europe. The Arab world has continued and continues to this day, to eagerly consume the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Blood libel in the style of “child murder” or the preparation of pediatric “blood matzas “or” poisoning wells “, which were common in medieval Europe, up to the twentieth century, is alive and well in Arab society, but are directed toward Israel.

In Europe, however, anti-Semitic hatred of Jews is still considered off-limits, though significant changes can already be seen, such as the transformation of the British Labor party, a non-extremist, mainstream party into a party headed by an anti-Semitic racist who expresses Nazi views without fear or hesitation.

Instead of hating Jews, Europe adopted the “criticism against Israel” as a substitute. “Criticism against Israel” has become the legitimate haven for anti-Semites who feel uncomfortable expressing their views publicly. While it is not legitimate to hate Jews, it is perfectly legitimate to hate Israel in an extreme way that looks like anti-Semitic hatred.

When did the hatred towards Jewish start?

There are six phases in which the hatred towards Jewish has started, according to Jerome A. Chanes:

1. The Pre-Christian stage in which the seed of Anti-Judaism has been sown in ancient Greece and Rome. This was ethnic.

2. The Christian anti-Semitism phase was started in ancient times and middle ages, where the hatred for Jews started to develop. However, this is religious.

3. A Muslim anti-Semitism is a classical form where Jews are protected.

4. Political, social and economic anti-Semitism started to spread in Europe and resulted in racial anti-Semitism

5. Racial anti-Semitism was started in the 19th century and continued in Nazism.

6. The latest anti-Semitism that is known as new anti-Semitism by the people across the globe 

From these six phases, it is pretty clear that ancient anti- Semitism was ethnic while the Christian anti- Semitism is religious, and the racial Semitism was started in the 19th and 20th centuries. With the adoption of Christianity in Europe, there is a presence of anti-Semitism. Islam considered Jews to be outsiders. The formation of the Israel state enhanced the Islamic antisemitism. 

Many Jews were attacked for following old beliefs that hinder the progress of humans. Many tried to separate Judaism. In many European countries, Jews people are still treated as outsiders and have deprived of civil rights. In the late 19th century, Russian pogroms have started to attack the Jewish communities.

People who have opposed Jewish considered this as racism than a religion. After World War II, anti-Semitism has been reduced in the Western world. The hatred for Jews has been developed for following some conspiracy beliefs that are unknown to the society altogether. There are a few parts of Europe that are in this racial unrest, but the Middle East has become the place for anti-Semitism. 

Jewish persecution

Jews were persecuted for being Jews. They were persecuted as they kept the Torah and the commandments, claiming that they were separate, differentiated. They were also persecuted as they converted to Christianity and tried to assimilate within the local population. The most obvious example is the Jews of Germany.

Most of the Jews of Germany left the Jewish religion, some converted to Christianity, became alienated by the religion of their ancestors and brothers in Eastern Europe. They were completely assimilated into German culture and you could say they were one of the significant factors in the development of modern Germany: the economy, literature, industry, the media. They were everywhere.

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They were more Germans than Germans. They tried to prove their loyalty to Germany at all costs, more than it was necessary for every average German. But that didn’t help them. Nazism rose in Germany. The plan to terminate European Jews developed in Germany. The most brutal anti-Semitism against Jews occurred in Germany, although most German Jews no longer lived as Jews.

The Nazis also chased and killed those who, according to Jewish law, were no longer Jews. Germans who had Jewish grandparents were the target of Nazi madness.

Jewish persecution timeline – main events

1066 Granada Massacre: In 1066, Muslims came to the royal palace that is located in Granada to kill around 1000 families of Jewish. The group of Muslim mobs have abducted and crucified Joseph ibnNaghrela, who is the vizier to the Berger King. 

The first crusade: There is a war that involves the Muslims and Christians, where they have killed around thousands of Jews, and many were forced to take Christianity. 

Spanish Exclusion: In 1492, the rules in Spain declared that Jews who are against to get converted into Christianity should be thrown out from the country. It is estimated that around 2, 00000 people were expelled, and thousands of people were killed. 

The Holocaust: The most horrifying event in the history of mankind, when the Germans implemented an orderly industrial annihilation plan for an entire nation, with the aim of destroying it from the face of the earth. 

Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)

Who is the God of the Jews? 

For Jews, there is only one God. He is the one who has created the earth and Heaven. God has no children and nobody to help. He has several names. It is the name that is used by Jews while offering prayers. In every prayer, they would refer G-d as Hashem, which in the Hebrew language is the name.

The Hashem is the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac, and God for many Israelites. He is the one who gave the laws of Moses at Mount Saini, as mentioned in the Torah. This Torah clearly describes that there is only one God this God is the reason for the existence of man on the earth. 

How do Jews call non-Jews? 

Goy is the key term that is used to refer to a gentile. The term Shabbos goy is used by Jews to refer non-Jews who would carry out all the works that Jewish law restricts a Jew from carrying out on Sabbath. 

What is the difference between Judaism and Christianity? 

There are many differences observed between Judaism and Christianity. In Christianity, the Christians would accept Jesus as a messiah and a personal savior. Christianity is not related to Jewish theology. Jewish will not consider Jesus as a divine being. Jewish does not practice the holidays and the connections to Jesus’ life. Judaism is started from the relationship between God and Abraham. In Jewish, God is treated as one. The commandments in Christianity are not eternal, but valuable, whereas, in Jewish, it is eternal and holds great value. 

What foods are Jews not allowed to eat? 

There are a few food items that Jews are restricted from eating. These include pork and shellfish. More importantly, meat and dairy products should not be combined. The meat is cut into pieces ritually. The meat should be adequately salted to remove all the blood from it neatly. There are a few Jews who will consume the meat that is from the poultry certified from Jewish kosher. 

Do Orthodox Jews drink alcohol? 

Yes, it is quite common for Jewish Orthodox people to consume wine. Judaism is related to the consumption of alcohol, especially wine. Wine is the vital substance that is arranged in many of the ceremonies that are held by Jews. Also, the wine is provided in religious traditions. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is allowed, but the inebriation of alcohol is not encouraged.

The blessings are given only for the first glass of wine, but not for the other drinks. Jews should not get over drunk, and this is not allowed in this religion. Wine is consumed during traditional holidays, mainly during Shabbat that occurs every week. If a Jew does not have wine, they can drink grape juice or coffee as a replacement for wine. 

Can Jews eat pork?

A Jewish food item, especially pork, is not allowed to be consumed by Jews. Generally, pigs are animals that do not have any fins and scales, and these are unsafe and unclean to consume. Pigs are the unclean animals due to which Jews do not eat them. Some of the secular Jews would eat pork, but not so regularly. However, Israel does not sell pork and any other non-kosher meat in all major food chains, except one or two.

Pig is a symbol of anti-Semitism. When people abroad want to harm Jews, they would throw the head of the pig in their compounds.

Can Jews eat craw-fish? 

Religious and traditional Jews do not eat seafood, except kosher fish for eating. Secular Jews are not strict about it but will find it difficult to find it in Israel and therefore will consume it less in their daily diet. Almost all the big food chains are strict about kosher and only sell kosher products, ie they do not sell non-kosher meat or seafood.

What do the Jews believe in? 

Religious Jewish people would firmly believe in the Torah, which is the list of laws; the majority of Israelites will follow. These laws are given at Mount Saini. They also think that these laws should be strictly followed, as these are offered by God to supervise their daily lives, rewarding good deeds and punishing bad deeds.

Traditional Jews believe in the existence of God, respect the Torah and the Rabbis, but do not adhere strictly to Jewish law. You can say that most of the Jewish public in the State of Israel is religious and traditional. Secular Jews, for the most part, do not believe in God, do not believe in Torah stories, and therefore do not consider the Torah a divine book of eternal validity. Some hold very universal beliefs, with no Jewish context.

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Do Jews believe in angels? 

Angels are the supernatural people that exist both in the Bible and Jewish books. The angel is a word that is used as a messenger who carries a precious piece of information and would act as a mediator between God and people. Many biblical sources disclosed the existence of angels in the universe.

The principal characters, such as Abraham and Jacob, have conversed with angels to pass the information to God.  However, this is not a belief that is dominant in the day-to-day life of the Jew. It exists in theory in books but not in everyday religious practice.

Where do Jews worship? 

The place where Jews offer worship is a synagogue. It is the Jewish community center where Jews will study religious books. The shul is the other word that is used to describe synagogue. It is the word that is used in the Jewish temple in the United States. Shawls and skull cap are the ones that Jew men will wear while offering prayers. Married Jewish women need to wear hats to express their respect for God. 

How did the Jews get Israel? 

Jews have a very long history in the Land of Israel and it has been going on for thousands of years. Many years before the Christians, followed by the Muslims, came to Israel and wanted to claim ownership, the Jews lived there.

After the wars with the Romans, especially in the middle of the second century CE, the Jewish settlement in Israel waned. For nearly two thousand years, the Land of Israel was ruined and desolate. A few Jews and Arabs lived there.

After the wars with the Romans, especially in the middle of the second century CE, the Jewish settlement in Israel waned. For nearly two thousand years, the Land of Israel was ruined and desolate. A few Jews and Arabs lived there.

How many Jews are in the world? 

The population of Jews is 14.6 million as of the reports given in 2018. The Jewish community has the people who have Jews and who are part Jewish. The core Jewish population is around 17.8 million.

The enlarged Jewish population means that the people would belong to the Jewish background, but their parents are not Jewish, but they are living in the households of Jews. The Law of Return Jewish population, which includes the people who immigrated to Israel, is 23.5 million. 

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Are Jewish people a race? 

The Supreme Court in the US stated that Jews are another kind of race like Italian and African-American. There are many Jews who are residing in this country are not happy with this rule. 

Are Jewish people circumcised? 

98% of Jews are circumcised. There is a very small group, still very marginalized in the Jewish people, but with a significant media presence, who recently began to challenge circumcision and still, it is the most common and distinct Jewish tradition in the vast majority of the Jewish public.

3 thoughts on “What Everybody Ought to Know About the Jewish People”

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    2. thanks, friend. I really appreciate this feedback. I’m working hard on the content and I’m glad to see it’s interesting and useful

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