These are the submissions of the various groups for their given historical period.The Biblical Period (c. 2500 - 300 BCE)
The Hellenistic Age (c. 300 BCE - 135 CE)
- Alexander the Great's conquests (4th century BCE) spread Greek culture and colonization in non-Greek lands.
- One particular conquest was in Palestine (332 BC).
- This provoked Jewish culture to be influenced by the Greeks and their customs
- At this point in time Jews were not forced to blend with Greek culture... yet many chose to accept Greek ideas and therefore became "Hellenized."
- (168 BCE) - Syrian ruler Antiochus IV ordered a ban on Jewish religious practices.
- examples: circumcision, study of the Torah
- The Jews were now forced to make sacrifices to the Greek gods.
- Jewish group, called Maccabees fought the Syrians and won (164 BCE) !!!
- This enabled them to be able to practice their faith again.
- Its mark on history = This victory is still celebrated in the form of Chanukah.
The Talmudic Period (c. 135 - 600)
Period after destruction of Jewish state by the Romans, the Jews had no king, temple or formal organization. Christianity also branched off from Judaism during this period.
Talmud was written during this period.
Talmud contains laws that guide Jewish life, an encyclopedia of Jewish teachings and beliefs. The Talmud contains both the Mishnah and Gemarah
• Contains sayings based on agriculture, festivals, marriage, divorce, property laws and purity
• Has names of rabbis who made sayings and laws
• Discussion and commentary on the Mishnah
• Considered more useful than the Mishnah
Jewish Palestine was suffering after defeat by the Romans.
Jewish learning started to center around Babylonia
• Scholarship became available to everyone, not just the small priesthood as it was previously
• Studying the Torah and Talmud united Jews all over the world as they lost a physical stateThe Judeo-Islamic Age (Seventh to Thirteenth Centuries)
Q: Who are important people or groups from this time period?
A: Saadia Gaon, Maimonides, Rashi, and Ibn Gabirol
Q: What did they do?
A: All produced philosophical works. Ex: Gaon wrote the Book of Beliefs and Opinions, Maimonides wrote the Guide for the Perplexed, Rashi wrote a commentary to the Bible and produced the majority of the Talmud, and Ibn Gabirol wrote The Fountain of Life.
Q: What world events impacted Judaism during this period?
A: The Jew's persecution in Spain. This act is what caused the Judaism- Islamic combination. When the Jews were persecuted they looked for acceptance and Islam was the answer.
Q: What new beliefs, customs, or traditions evolved in Judaism during this period?
A: This time period served as an overall progression in Judaism. Referred to as the "Golden Age," Judaism during this period saw advancements in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, chemistry and philology.
Q: Did the Jewish population undergo migration or movement during this time?
A: When Askia Muhammed enforced that all Jews must convert to Islam, or leave, obviously some Jews were forced to leave. But most Jews acted like they had converted to Islam and secretly kept practicing Jewish traditions. Despite there being no great migrations of people during this time period, two divisions of Jews evolved. The Sephardi Jews (from Spain and Portugal) and the Ashkenazi Jews (From Germany and Eastern Europe.)
Q: What conflicts or examples of Anti-Semitism did Jews face at this time?
A: When they were forced to convert to Islam, or Christianity in the late 1400's by either Askia Muhammed, or King Manuel I.
Q: What examples of the covenant can you identify during this period?
A: The way in which the Jews were treated. Ex: the Jews had to follow protocol in order to be associated with Islam.
Q: Are there useful resources on the Internet to which you can direct readers?
A: The website linked to Mr. Vergin's blog is a good source, as is Wikipedia.
The European Age (Thirteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)
- The earliest recorded evidence shows that Jews settled in Europe north of the Loire or in southern Gaul during the fifth and sixth centuries.
- During the time period between the 8th and 12th centuries, the Jews in Spain, were mostly accepted in society and the culture. This was called the Golden Age.
- The center of Jewish life during the Middle Ages was the Al-Andalus. Here was one of the most stable and wealthy Jewish communities. Al-Andalus was also know for producing important scholars and philosophers, most well know is Maimonides.
- The Spanish inquisition (1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella) was established to enforce the Christian beliefs on the people of Spain. However the Jews (in 1492) and Muslim Moors (in 1502) were banished from Spain.
Modern: 18th century to World War II
- The suffering of Jews in Western and Central Europe stimulated migration into Eastern Europe. However, communities in Eastern Europe were not free from persecution either.
- Jews were forced to live in restricted areas called ghettos in Europe.
- Education was emphasized. Hundreds of Yeshivot (academics for higher rabbinic studies) flourished.
- Name to know: Joseph Caro, wrote "The House of Joseph". He was called the greatest rabbi since Maimonides. Book led to "Schulehan Aruch" or "Prepared Table", which simplified knowledge of the law.
- Beginning of 18th century: Jewish movement called Hasidism emerged in Russia and Poland. It emphasized religious fervor and ecstasy rather than intellectualism. It gave hope to Jewish masses.
- 19th century saw changes in conventional attitudes towards the Jews in western and central Europe. 1806, Emperor Napoleon attempted to deal with Jewish emancipation. Jews were later granted citizenship in some German states, France, and Prussia.
- The fall of Napoleon worsened the state of the Jews. Liberal reform in 1848 permitted Jews to play an active role in European affairs. Name to know: Rothschild family - outstanding bankers in Europe.
- The movement for emancipation grew for Jews in Europe. Moses Mendelssohn stressed secular education. This movement was known as the Haskalah. Results: reform movement, which brought Jewish rituals more in tune with the times. Also resulted in study of Jewish history and a scientific study of Judaism.
- It did not gain much support for the non-Jewish population. Jews of Russia continued to suffer persecution and discrimination. Forced to live in ghettos and suffered murderous riots. Nevertheless, the great Jewish contribution to literature emerged. Yiddish became a literary language. Due to Sholom Aleichem (famous writer).
- Zionism (idea that Jews should have their own homeland) gained strength under the leadership of Austrian Jew named Theodore Herzl. WWI and WWII and Holocaust strengthened the desire for Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Modern: World War II and the Holocaust
Who are important people or groups from this time period?
The holocaust was the persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime (Hitler). What did they do?
They persecuted the Jews, held them in concentration camps and tortured them.What world events impacted Judaism during this period?
Hitler's ascending position in dictatorship was the main reason for the holocaust. Nonetheless, the German's idea of racial superiority led to their persecution because they thought they were better than all other races. What new beliefs, customs, or traditions evolved in Judaism during this period?
They valued their culture and tradition in a more extent because they realized that since it was withering away, they need to hold on to what they have left of them.Did the Jewish population undergo migration or movement during this time?
If they were lucky enough to escape the concentration camps, many of the Jews resettled to America for a new life and freedom. Because most of Europe was controlled by the Nazi regime, Jews didn't have a choice but to go in hiding.What conflicts or examples of Anti-Semitism did Jews face at this time?
They were being persecuted due to their religion; they were held in concentration camps where they were beaten and killed.Are there useful resources on the Internet to which you can direct readers?Yes
Modern: Israel to the present
- The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Not long after, five Arab countries - Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq - attacked Israel, launching the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
- In the early years of the state, the Labor Zionist movement led by David Ben-Gurion dominated Israeli politics. These years were marked by mass immigration of Holocaust survivors and an influx of persecuted Jews. The population of Israel rose from 800,000 to two million between 1948 and 1958.
- Arab countries refused to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and Arab nationalists, led by Nasser, called for the destruction of the state.
- In 1967, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan placed troops close to the Israeli borders, expelled UN peacekeepers, and blocked Israel's access to the Red Sea. Israel saw these actions as a justification for acts of war for a pre-emptive strike that launched the Six-Day War. Israel achieved a decisive victory in which it captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and Golan Heights.
- The failure of the Arab states in the Six-Day War led to the rise of Arab non-state actors in the conflict, most importantly the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which was committed to "armed struggle as the only way to liberate the homeland".
- On October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, the Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a surprise attack against Israel. The war ended on October 26 with Israel successfully repelling Egyptian and Syrian forces but suffering great losses.
- Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat made a trip to Israel and spoke before the Knesset in what was the first recognition of Israel by an Arab head of state. In the two years that followed, Sadat and Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords and the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula and agreed to enter negotiations over autonomy for Palestinians across the Green Line, a plan which was never implemented.