Saturday, March 9, 2013

Why Jews Have Been So "Popular"

Nadene Goldfoot
The Jewish King Saul of the tribe of Benjamin was Israel's first king.   King David of Israel of the  tribe of Judah, son of Jesse- grandson of Ruth the Moabite and Boaz,   ruled from 1,010 BCE to  970 BCE and created an empire in the Middle East.  His son, King Solomon ruled for 40 years from 967-920 BCE, was well known and had a reputation of being the wisest of men.  Stories have been told of how he decided between 2 women as to who the real mother was.  The Queen of Sheba journeyed to visit him from Ethiopia and left very satisfied.  He was a powerful ruler with a harem of 1,000 wives and concubines, which he procured in the act of making peace with other countries.  He had the 1st Temple in Jerusalem built.   The reputation of this great empire and its ethics of Judaism ranged far and wide.  Israel was taken in 722 BCE by the Assyrians.  At this point we had a great reputation.

 In about 930 BCE the Kingdom of Judah was formed out of Israel when Solomon died.  His son, Rehoboam was king from 928 to 911 BCE in the newly formed Judah.   Many of the previous exiled were able to return in 539 BCE.  Zedekiah was the last Jewish king.

Young Rome, also situated on the Mediterranean like Israel, was created on April 21, 753 BCE by the twins, Romulus and Remus, descendants of the Trojan prince Aeneas. This was 207 years after King David had died.  In the 300's BCE Rome started annexing provinces.   By  139 BCE, 614 years later since its inception, Rome started to take Jewish captives.  By the time the Roman Empire evolved and was in its heyday, Judah was still in existence with Jerusalem as its capital.  It was a ripe plum to be  picked.  From 6 CE to 66 CE Judea was ruled by the Roman emperors.  There were 14 altogether; 7 between 6 and 41 CE and the others between 44 and 66 CE.   The Romans now coveted Judah.

Jerusalem was overtaken by the Romans who ruled it by Roman Procurators like Pontius Pilate.   Jesus died on the cross in 29 CE.  His death was blamed on the Jews of Jerusalem even though it was the Romans who were the government who ruled and placed him on the cross along with many others.  It was Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator who gave the order.   It is possible that the Jewish officials, who were appointed by the Romans and anxious to keep their own lives and to be in favor, brought the messianic movement to the attention of the Roman authorities, not meaning to have another fellow Jew placed on a cross but just to get in the procurators good graces.  Anti-Semitism was set in motion.

 Agrippa ruled from 41 to 44 CE. The Masada was a stronghold near the Dead Sea.  In 40 BCE it was unsuccessfully besieged by Antigonus Mattathias, a Jewish leader when it was Herod's Palace.   By 73 CE, it was a zealot fortress that housed 960 Jews holding out against the Romans.  They finally committed suicide rather than being taken by the Romans who would have exerted great cruelty in their slaughter as they held out for about 3 years against them.

  By 44  CE Julius Caesar had become their dictator.  Latin-speaking Rome was powerful in the first two centuries and had a Pax Romana (Roman Peace). Jews revolted in 66 CE under their non-peaceful demands, such as putting idols in their temple, stopping circumcision, etc.    Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 70 CE to Titus.  Bar Kochba, a Jewish fighter and leader, led a revolt from 132 to 135 CE and then fell.  From then on the Jewish land of Judah was called Palaestina, then later written as Palestine, called by the Romans a name of an earlier  Jewish  enemy.

Christianity grew out of the events with Christians blaming Jews for the death of Jesus.  This brought about anti-Semitism that lasts to this day even though the latest pope, Pope  Benedict finally forgave Jews officially.  It has caused Jews to have been the scapegoats of every people on earth.  Wherever Jews have gone, they have had to live under restrictions like only being allowed to live in the Pale of Settlement of Russia and not Russia proper, not allowed to own any land, not allowed to work in a sundry of jobs, in all treated worse than 2nd class citizens.  Many times they have been excommunicated out of countries.  Living conditions have been short-lived.  They went from living in the greatest empire to being homeless.

Then along came Islam with Mohammad in Medina.  Mohammed was born in 570 CE and died in 632.  Around 610 he introduced Islam to his tribes.  One of the first people he tried to convert were the Jews of Medina.  They didn't buy into his new religion and so many Jewish tribes of Medina were slaughtered as a result.  Mohammed reacted to their refusal by changing some of his Koran to reflect his then dislike for Jews, and ever since then they too, have been treated as 2nd class citizens called dhimmis which also means rules and regulations were enforced upon them.

By today, Muslims are more intolerant as ever towards Jews.  A few of their religious leaders such as Qaradawi have fatwas out to kill all Jews on sight. However,  Evangelical Christians have become our best friends and are showing their friendship with a group called CUFI, Christians United for Israel.   Other Christians show their continued repulsion by backing boycotts against tiny Israel, which is the only Jewish state in the world.  They prefer to back the Arab Palestinians who have attacked Israel since its rebirth in 1948.  To the disappointment of all of these people, Israel has made it to its 64th birthday and is looking forward to its 65th!

Jews today (14 million)  only make up only 0.02% of the world's population in a world of 7,021,836,029 people and yet get more negative attention than other people.   The world's largest  religions are Christianity at 33.35% and Islam at 23%.   The reason we have such a low population isn't because of Judaism being an outdated or unworthy religion,  but because of  such things as the attacks from the Assyrians and then the Babylonians, the  Crusades starting in 1096 to 1320 CE of the early centuries that killed off Jews in the Christian zeal to retake Palestine from the Muslims, and Christianity's  Spanish Inquisition of 1492 that caused so many Jewish deaths and forced conversions or Jews to hide their reverence to their religion, and then of course, the Holocaust of Europe that killed 6 million of us.

Also, Jews do not proselytize their religion.  In fact, one has to ask at least 3 times to get in a class to convert.  That's because they did not like the attacks from Christians or Muslims to convert to their religion.  The Golden Rule rules; don't do to others what you would not want  done to you.  Being Jewish means you're under pressure a great deal either of anti-Semitism or people wanting to convince you to join their religion.  You have to be very sure you want to be in our shoes and are convinced that it is right for you.

We, a lone people that still exist from ancient days, are a people that the Nazis tried to exterminate completely.   Even though we are not great in numbers, we have kept the intelligence we were granted while our neighbors were granted all the oil.  .  Nobel prizes have gone to 177 Jews and 10 more to people with one Jewish parent since 1901. In 2012 Jews  won the prize in Chemistry, Physics and Economics.    Start up jobs are created out of Israel who is only 2nd to the United States in this endeavor. "START-UP NATION addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel – a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources—produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful,and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK? How is it that Israel has, per person, attracted over twice as much venture capital investment as the US and thirty times more than Europe? " Medical science is being created in Israel.  Israel knows more about fighting terrorism and helps to train others to defend themselves.  Inventions come out of Israel and are shared with the world.  Einstein, who had the highest IQ known of 180, was Jewish.  Jesus was Jewish.    

Resource:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/63429/Bethlehem
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Rome
http://www.amazon.com/Start-up-Nation-Israels-Economic-Miracle/dp/0446541478Book:  "Start up Nation, the story of Israel's economic miracle"  by Dan Senor and Saul Singer
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/David.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Solomon.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Judah
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/nobels.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=16563

2 comments:

  1. Well said and well written Nadene. Thank you for adding the Inquisition as well its usually forgotten as it happened so long ago but it had such an impact in so many, many lives. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. For sure. I think it was more horrible than the Crusades. Did you know that Columbus sailed for India, ha, in 1492? (In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.) That's how I remember the date. It was thought that perhaps he was Jewish. He wrote to his son in Hebrew. He had to have had some sailor on board who were escaping the Inquisition, too.

    ReplyDelete