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The worst persecution of the Jews was during World War II by the Nazis who murdered more than six million Jews or a third of the world's Jewish population. This was called the Holocaust. Beginning in the 's Jews began returning to their homeland in growing numbers, this time to avoid persecution where they lived. After World War II, many Jews believed that for the Jewish people and culture to survive, Jews needed to live in their own country where all Jews from anywhere in the world would have the right to live and be citizens. In , Palestine was divided up and a Jewish state of Israel was formed in the land that was once called Canaan, surrounded by countries with predominantly Muslim populations.

Since Muslims also claimed rights to the land where the Jews were living, there was conflict, which continues to this day in the Middle East. Today nearly fourteen million Jewish people live all over the world. Approximately half of them live in the United States, one quarter live in Israel, and a quarter are still scattered around the world in countries in Europe, Russia, South America, Africa, Asia and other North American and Middle Eastern countries.

Anyone born to a Jewish mother is considered a Jew. Jewish people believe in the Torah, which was the whole of the laws given to the Israelities at Sinai. They believe they must follow God's laws which govern daily life. Later legal books, written by rabbis, determine the law as it applies to life in each new place and time. Orthodox Jews believe that all of the practices in the Torah which it is practical to obey must be obeyed without question. Conservative and Reform Jews believe that the ancient laws and practices have to be interpreted for modern life with inclusion of contemporary sources and with more concern with community practices than with ritual practices.

Reform Jews also allow everyone to sit together, men and women, and both Hebrew and the local language are spoken in services.


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The Tenakh is the ancient collection of writings that are sacred to the Jews. They were written over almost a thousand years from to BCE. The word Tenakh comes from the three first letters of the three books included in this text: the Torah, plus the Nev'im prophets and the Ki'tuvim writings, which include histories, prophecies, poems, hymns and sayings. The Torah is written on scrolls and kept in a special cabinet called the aron hakodish, the holy ark, in synagogues. The Torah is read with a pointer called a yad hand to keep it from being spoiled.

An additional, more lasting punitive measure taken by the Romans involved expunging Judaea from the provincial name, changing it from Provincia Judaea to Provincia Syria Palestina. Although such name changes occurred elsewhere, never before or after was a nation's name expunged as the result of rebellion. We find no expressions of sympathy to the deported community for its dislocation, no empathic expressions towards the People Who Remained under Babylonian subjugation in Judah.

The opposite is apparent: hostile, denigrating, and denunciating language characterizes the relationships between resident and exiled Judeans throughout the sixth and fifth centuries. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 30 June American Jewish Committee.

Retrieved 10 November October Archived from the original on 19 March Retrieved 24 January Retrieved 26 August To these civilizations, the Jews added a leaven of astonishing creativity in business, medicine, letters, science, the arts, and a variety of other leadership roles. DC Theatre Scene.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel put religious studies first

Accessed 16 August Berkeley: U of California, Dimont 1 June Jews, God, and History. Penguin Publishing Group. Andrea C.

Paterson 21 May The dietary and legal codes of Islam are based on those of Judaism. The basic design of the mosque, the Islamic house of worship, comes from that of the early synagogues. The communal prayer services of Islam and their devotional routines resembles those of Judaism. Johannes ; Ringgren, Helmer , eds. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Translated by Green, David E. Grand Rapids, Mich. In Fred Skolnik ed. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Farmington Hills, Mich.

A Psychoanalytic History of the Jews. Madison, N. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th ed. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster.

Israel Science and Technology Directory

Archived from the original on 5 August University of Louisville School of Law. Gorgias Press. Lay summary. Einstein Papers Project. Princeton University Press. Retrieved 5 April Gordis; Zachary I.

The Jewish people: religion and culture

Heller University Press of America. Themes and Issues in Judaism. Mendes-Flohr Wayne State University Press. Retrieved 2 October Retrieved 6 October World Religions: An Introduction for Students. Sussex Academic Press. Archived from the original on 18 October Retrieved 9 January Archived from the original on 24 December Birth, Death, and Femininity: Philosophies of Embodiment.

Indiana University Press. Cohen The Beginnings of Jewishness. California Press.

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Oxford University Press published 8 May Killebrew, Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity. A Short History of the Jews. London Society House. Bread, Wine, Walls and Scrolls. Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 1 April After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible "historical figures" [ The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites and Canaanites in the Iron I period c.

The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites for the Iron I period. In Frederick E. NYU Press, pp.


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Western civilization 8th ed. What is generally agreed, however, is that between and B. Yoder 1 May The Book of Judges. Psychology Press. Thompson 1 January Davies The Jewish Study Bible 2nd ed. The Ancient Near East. July The Bible and Interpretation.