By Howard N. Lupovitch
This ebook is a survey of the historical past of the Jewish humans from biblical antiquity to the current, spanning approximately 2,500 years and traversing 5 continents.
Opening with a large creation which addresses key questions of terminology and definition, the book’s ten chapters then pass directly to discover Jewish historical past in either its non secular and non-religious dimensions. The ebook explores the social, political and cultural elements of Jewish background, and examines the alterations and continuities around the complete of the Jewish global all through its lengthy and sundry historical past. issues coated include:
- the emergence of Judaism as a faith and lifestyle
- the improvement throughout the center a long time of Judaism as an all-encompassing id
- the impact on Jewish lifestyles and identification of significant alterations in Europe and the Islamic international from the mid 16th throughout the finish of the 19th century
- the complexity of Jewish existence within the 20th century, the problem of anti-semitism and the impression of the Holocaust, and the emergence of the present centres of worldwide Jewry within the nation of Israel and the hot global.
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Extra resources for Jews and Judaism in World History
It became obligatory to observe the Sabbatical year (a year of rest for the land every seventh year), to pay taxes for the upkeep of the Temple, and to bring wood and the first fruits to the Temple. In addition, Ezra introduced a new way of understanding and interpreting the Torah. Previously, Jews had understood the Torah literally. Ezra pioneered an interpretive technique that came to be known as Midrash: deriving laws from the words of Scripture. Of particular importance was Ezra’s redefinition of who was to be considered a Jew.
Most of the territories that had been conquered under John Hyncanus and Alexander Yannai became separate provinces. Pompeii imprisoned Aristobulus in Rome (which some have argued was the beginning of the Jewish community there) and named Hyncanus high priest. Hyrcanus, though, was a Roman puppet, whose authority was truncated to presiding over the Temple service and levying a Temple tax. Real power in Judea was now in the hands of Gubinius, the governor of Syria. In 57, Gubinius divided Judea into five administrative districts, replacing a centuries-old system that some claimed had been in effect in Judea since the time of Solomon.
At the same time, a cloud of ambivalence hung over the Hasmonean dynasty. The legitimacy of the dynasty was never clear, particularly when the Hasmoneans assumed the title of king. In addition, the Hasmoneans themselves increasingly embraced Hellenistic culture at court, minting Greek coins, using Greek dress and language, and employing foreign mercenaries. For some, the Hellenistic character of the dynasty echoed an earlier prophetic warning against being deceived by appearances, and the prophetic injunction to reflect on biblical law and not foreign wisdom to determine right and wrong.