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How majority of the Isrealis ended up in the diaspora

By Jacky Achan

Added 28th June 2016 06:24 AM

There are also about 2.2 million Jews in Russia, Ukraine, and other republics formerly of the Soviet Union.

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There are also about 2.2 million Jews in Russia, Ukraine, and other republics formerly of the Soviet Union.

Of the estimated 14 million Jews in the world today, only 4 million reside in Israel, about 4.5 million Jews live in the United States of America more than the number in Israel.

There are also about 2.2 million Jews in Russia, Ukraine, and other republics formerly of the Soviet Union.

To live in the diaspora for the Jews started with the Assyrian destruction of Israel, the Babylonian destruction of Judah, the Roman destruction of Judea, and the subsequent rule of Christians and Muslims.

But the significant story of Jews leaving their land and living in the diaspora began around 586 BCE, with King Nebuchadnezzar deporting all of the Jews in Jerusalem, to Babylon.

After the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah, part of the Jewish population was deported into slavery.

What the Bible says about diaspora Jews

Looking at Biblical texts, Jews obviously were not happy about being forced out of their homeland and having their temple destroyed.
Psalms Chapter 137 verse 1-9, is a hymn (By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea we wept, when we remembered Zion) that recounts the Jews’ journey to Babylon.

But despite the hurt of exile, the Jews in the diaspora were allowed to live together in communities, farm and perform other sorts of labour to earn income.

How Jews flourished in diaspora

Jews were treated well. Technically Jews were not slaves, King Nebuchadnezzar allowed the Judeans in Babylonia to become merchants or assist administering his growing kingdom.

Nebuchadnezzar knew he needed the Judeans to help revive the struggling Babylonian economy. Therefore, they were free to go about their lives and many Jews eventually became wealthy.

The largest, most significant and culturally most creative Jewish Diaspora in early Jewish history flourished in Alexandria, where in the 1st century BC 40 percent of the population was Jewish.

Although Cyrus the Great, the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, permitted the Jews to return to their homeland in 538 bc, part of the Jewish community voluntarily remained behind.

Around the 1st century AD, an estimated 5,000,000 Jews lived outside Palestine, about four-fifths of them within the Roman Empire, but they looked to Palestine as the centre of their religious and cultural life.

Diaspora Jews thus outnumbered the Jews in Palestine even before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Thereafter, the chief centres of Judaism shifted from country to country (including Babylonia, Persia, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the United States).

Creating Israel

The State of Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948 for the Jews, the culmination of nearly 2,000 years of hopes by Jewish people that they would one day return to the land from which the Romans expelled them.

The Holocaust, a unique event in 20th century history, strengthened their determination. It evolved slowly between 1933 and 1945.

It was during the Second World War when the Nazis sought to murder the entire Jewish population of Europe and to destroy its culture.

In 1941, there were about 11 million Jews living in Europe; by May 1945 the Nazis had murdered six million of them. One-and-a-half million of these were children.

Support for a national Jewish state was notably greater after the wholesale annihilation of Jews during World War II.

 The Balfour Declaration by the British government in 1917, enshrined in a League of Nations mandate in 1920, had said that a national home for the Jewish people would be founded in Palestine, while preserving the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities there.

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine between a Jewish and an Arab state, with Jerusalem under an international regime.

The Jews agreed, but the Arabs did not. They called the declaration of the State of Israel a catastrophe.

Inter-communal fighting had preceded the declaration and after it, five Arab armies invaded. By the time of an armistice in 1949, the Israelis had extended their territory, leaving Jordan with the West Bank, Egypt with Gaza and Jerusalem divided. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had fled or had been driven out.

To commemorate 40 years after the raid on Entebbe Airport in which Israel commandos rescued hostages at Entebbe, New Vision will run stories about the raid. If you have any pictures about the raid or your visit to Israel, send them to smiria@newvision.co.ug or nnaturinda@newvision.co.ug or Whatsapp number 0757144000

 

To commemorate 40 years after the raid on Entebbe Airport in which Israel commandos rescued hostages at Entebbe, New Vision will run stories about the raid. If you have any pictures about the raid or your visit to Israel, send them to smiria@newvision.co.ug or nnaturinda@newvision.co.ug or Whatsapp number 0757144000

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