Saturday, June 21, 2014

What Happened to Assyria and Babylonia? It's Today's Iraq

Nadene Goldfoot                                                         

Mosul, 2nd largest city in Iraq,  has fallen to ISIS who took it quite easily. It's 220 miles NW of Baghdad and lies on the bank of the Tigris River.   Next on the list is Baghdad, 40 miles away  from the ISIS marchers and after that is Jerusalem, 547 miles or 881 km from Baghdad.  .
                                      ISIS terrorist standing guard in Mosul

Jews had lived in Mosul, or rather Nineveh, its suburb, when Shalmaneser was king of Assyria in 730 BCE to 712 BCE.  He had conquered Samaria, capital of Israel but died in the siege.What he was after was tribute and  slaves to take.   In 1165 there were 7,000 Jews living there. Mosul had the largest Jewish community in Iraq in the 13th century.

In 1884 the population of Jews in and around Mosul was 3,807.   The Jewish  population had dwindled down to 1,100 in 1903 when the city's population was only 45,000.  The tombs of the prophets, Obadiah, Nahum and Jonah were in Mosul.  The population grew smaller from persecution and the population was reduced to peddling.  Occupations had been those of merchants, druggists, goldsmiths, weavers, farmers, shoemakers, and money-changers.

Babylonia or Shinar or Chaldea, all names that have become Iraq today.  Jews were taken as slaves there by Nebuchadnezzar  in 597 and again in 586 BCE

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia claimed victory over the Assyrian-Egyptian alliance at Carchemish in 605 BCE and conquered all the land from the Euphrates to the Egyptian frontier including Judah.

To the north of Mosul is the Jewish village, Bar Tanura.  It was populated by Jews who claimed that their ancestors had lived there since the return from Babylon.  Now Babylonia had attacked and taken Jews in 597 and again in 586 BCE. " The Jewish community of Babylon included Ezra the scribe, whose return to Judea in the late 6th century BCE  is associated with significant changes in Jewish ritual observance and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. TheTalmud was compiled in Babylonia, identified with modern Iraq."

 They were supporting themselves there by manual labor.  In 1893 they were pillaged by Kurds who lived in the mountains, people who happen to be the closest to Jews in their DNA.  Of course at this time they had no idea of their connection to each other.  The Kurds killed 2 Jews and wounded others.  The rest of the Jews ran to the other villages for protection and didn't return home until they were assured of protection from the Vali of Mosul.  They got this through a letter from Moses ha-Levi, chief rabbi of Turkey.  This was during the Ottoman Empire's last days.  Or has it?  At least in the Assyrian and Babylonian days, they took prisoners.  They didn't kill all the people.  

In 1948, Israel became a modern state.  At the time there were about 150,000 Jews in Iraq.  120,000  left in 1952 for Israel.  which was about 75% of the Jewish population.

Iraq had been first called Mesopotamia.  It became Iraq in 1921, created by the League of Nations with the British holding the mandate.  "Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi, (Arabicفيصل بن حسين بن علي الهاشميFayṣal ibn Ḥusayn; 20 May 1885 – 8 September 1933) was King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of Iraq from 23 August 1921 to 1933. He was a member of the Hashemite dynasty." This was when the Ottoman Empire fell due to being on the Axis side of WWI.   It wasn't free of Britain until October 3, 1932.  It became a republic on July 14, 1958, just after May 14th when Israel was declared.  Iraq's population was recently at 36,004,552 but has since had many lives lost.

These were in the days before ISIS who is killing all before them who are in their path in their zeal to create a Muslim Caliphate today.  Strange how Islam has redirected its peaceful intent upon the world.

ISIS, now the world's richest terrorist group, has just seized Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons' stockpile.  Using it is another thing.  They can easily harm themselves by mishandling such weaponry.

Christians in Mosul who have fled to a monastary have been told they will not be harmed if they follow sharia law.  Today, the remaining Christians are made up of Assyrians and Syriacs, Armenians and Arabs, practicing variants of the Orthodox and Catholic faith, many worshipping in otherwise almost extinct languages such as Aramaic, or Assyrian itself.  

The front line with Isis in the north of Iraq is now 600 miles long. That is a long line for the Kurds and a few hundred Christian militiamen to hold.

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia  loaded with more information

No comments:

Post a Comment