the hebrews and judaism judaism over the centuries

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  • The Hebrews and JudaismJudaism Over the Centuries

  • Revolt, Defeat and MigrationThe Zealots were the most rebellious of the Jews. They believed they were to only answer to God and refused to follow Roman rule. They urged other Jews to rise up and in AD 66, they revolted.

  • Revolt Against RomeLed by the Zealots, they fought bravely, but in the end would not succeed. The revolt lasted 4 years and caused much damage. Jerusalem was in ruins and the Romans had even burned the 2nd Temple in the last days of conflict.

  • Revolt Against RomeAfter the temple was destroyed, many lost the will to fight. Still, 1,000 Zealots locked themselves away in a mountain fortress called Masada. The Romans would send 15,000 soldiers to capture them.

  • MasadaMasada was hard to reach, and the Romans mad a huge earth ramp to get to it. The Zealots refused to surrender for 2 years. Finally, as the Romans finally broke through, the Zealots took their own lives rather than be Roman slaves.

  • Results of the RevoltWith the capture of Masada, the Jewish revolt was over. As punishment, the Romans killed most of the citizens of Jerusalem and took many of the surviving Jews to Rome as slaves. The Romans had made their presence absolute.

  • Results of the RevoltMany of those not taken as slaves left Jerusalem after the destruction of the temple. They went to other Jewish settlements in the Roman Empire and another popular destination was Alexandria, Egypt. These other communities grew after the destruction of Jerusalem.

  • Roman Empire

  • A Second RevoltSome Jews who stayed grew weary of Roman rule and again would revolt some 60 years later. In AD 130, Rome will once again defeat the Jews and then ban them from Jerusalem. This would spur the migration of many more Jews throughout the Mediterranean region.

  • Migration and DiscriminationThe nature of Judaism would change with the departure from Jerusalem and the Temple. Synagogues would become much more important. Rabbis or teachers would take a greater role in guiding the religious lives of the Jews, as they were responsible for interpreting the Torah. These changes are directly linked to Yohanan ben Zaccai, a rabbi that founded a school at Yavneh. Here, he taught people about Judaism and trained rabbis. These teachings would shape the way Judaism was practiced and made rabbis the leaders of many communities.

  • Moving Because Over many centuries, Jews would move to other parts of the world. Many times this was not a voluntary move. Other religious groups would discriminate against them and even promote violence forcing Jews to move. Eventually, they would move to all areas of Europe, Asia and the US.

  • Two Cultural TraditionsAfter the Diaspora (remember that), Jews still shared basic beliefs of one God and the laws found in the sacred texts and there observance. However, regional traditions, customs and languages emerged creating two main cultural traditions.

  • The Jews in Eastern EuropeOne of the traditions is Ashkenazim descendants of Jews who moved to France, Germany and Eastern Europe. Most of these communities were removed from non-Jews. These folks would develop their own traditions and language Yiddish is an example.

  • The Jews in Spain and PortugalAnother Jewish culture developed in Western Europe, Spain and Portugal. They are called the Sephardim. They too have their own language, Ladino, a mix of Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic.

  • SephardimUnlike the Ashkenazim, the Sephardim mixed with their neighbors. As a result, their culture has borrowed from others. Known for their writings, they were part of a Golden Age from 1000 to 1100 AD. This period saw great works in poetry, writing, math, medicine, astronomy and philoshophy.

  • Traditions and Holy DaysJewish culture is one of the oldest and Jews have a strong connection with the past. They feel this connection to the past will help them follow the teachings of the faith. These traditions and Holy Days help them understand and celebrate their history.

  • HanukkahHanukkah celebrated around Christmastime for us, is the Festival of Light and has to do with the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees. They only had enough oil for the lamp to stay lit one night, but it lasted 8. Today Jews use a menorah to mark the event and small gifts are given each night.

  • SukkothaJewishfestivalbeginningonthe15thdayofthe monthofTishriandcelebratedforninedaysby OrthodoxandConservativeJewsoutsideof Israel andforeightdaysbyReformJewsandby Jewsin Israelthatcelebratestheharvestand commemoratestheperiodduringwhichthe Jews wanderedinthewildernessaftertheExodus, markedbythebuildingofsukkoth.

  • PassoverPassover is celebrated in the Spring and celebrates the Jews Exodus from Egypt, remembering the night the Angel of Death passed over the Jewish homes, not taking their first born as those of Egyptians. A seder is celebrated and only unleavened bread is consumed.

  • High Holy DaysHigh Holy Days are the two most sacred holidays and take place in the fall. The first is Rosh Hashanah that celebrate the coming of the new year. Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement, is the holiest of holidays. This is where Jews fast and pray all day and ask God for forgiveness. Yom Kippur dates back to the time of the 2nd Temple.

  • To Sum Up Exit: What is your impression of High Holy Days celebrations?

    Stay Tuned Next Time for Review!


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