Jews

Jews
Hebrew: יהודים‎ (Yehudim)
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 063.jpg
According to Jewish tradition, Jacob was the father of the tribes of Israel.
Total population
14.4–17.5 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Israel 6,484,500[2]
 United States 5,300,000–6,800,000[1][3]
 France 460,000[1]
 Canada 388,000[1]
 United Kingdom 290,000[1]
 Argentina 180,700[1]
 Russia 179,500[1]
 Germany 117,000[1]
 Australia 113,000[1]
 Brazil 94,200[1]
 South Africa 69,500[1]
 Ukraine 56,000[1]
 Hungary 47,600[1]
 Mexico 40,000[1]
 Netherlands 29,900[1]
 Belgium 29,500[1]
 Italy 27,400[1]
  Switzerland 18,800[1]
 Chile 18,300[1]
 Uruguay 17,000[1]
 Turkey 15,500[1]
 Sweden 15,000[1]
Rest of the world 167,400[1]
Languages
Historical languages:
Sacred languages:
Religion
Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Samaritans[5][6][7]
Other Levantines and Semitic peoples such as[6][8][9][10] Arabs[6][11]  • Assyrians[6][10][7]

Jews (/dʒuːz/;[12] Hebrew: יְהוּדִיםISO 259-3 Yehudim, Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]), also known as Jewish people, are an ethnoreligious group[13] and a nation[14][15][16] originating from the Israelites,[17][18][19] or Hebrews,[20][21] of the Ancient Near East. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated,[22] as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE,[11] in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel.[23] The Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE (Late Bronze Age).[24][25] The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population,[26] consolidated their hold with the emergence of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. Some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as 'Hebrews'.[27] Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail,[28] the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian Captivity and Exile, to Babylonian Captivity and Exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and Exile, and the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history, identity and memory.[29]

Prior to World War II the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million,[30] representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. Approximately 6 million Jews were systematically murdered[31][32] during the Holocaust. Since then the population has slowly risen again, and as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank,[1] or less than 0.2% of the total world population.[33] The exact world Jewish population, however, is difficult to measure. In addition to issues with census methodology, disputes among proponents of halakhic, secular, political, and ancestral identification factors regarding who is a Jew may affect the figure considerably depending on the source.[34] Israel is the only country where Jews form a majority of the population. The modern State of Israel was established as a Jewish state and defines itself as such in its Declaration of Independence and Basic Laws. Its Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to any Jew who requests it.[35]

Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have significantly influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both historically and in modern times, including philosophy,[36] ethics,[37] literature, politics, business, fine arts and architecture, music, theatre[38] and cinema, medicine,[39][40] and science and technology, as well as religion; Jews authored the Bible,[41][42] founded Early Christianity[43] and had a profound influence on Islam.[44] Jews have also played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.[45][46]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Dashefsky, Arnold; DellaPergola, Sergio; Sheskin, Ira, eds. (2017). World Jewish Population, 2016 (Report). Berman Jewish DataBank. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Population, by Population Group (PDF) (Report). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference american-jewish-population was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ "Links". Beth Hatefutsoth. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Kiaris, Hippokratis (2012). Genes, Polymorphisms and the Making of Societies: How Genetic Behavioral Traits Influence Human Cultures. Universal Publishers (published 1 April 2012). p. 21. ISBN 978-1612330938. 
  6. ^ a b c d Shen, P; Lavi, T; Kivisild, T; Chou, V; Sengun, D; Gefel, D; Shpirer, I; Woolf, E; Hillel, J (2004). "Reconstruction of patrilineages and matrilineages of Samaritans and other Israeli populations from Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA sequence variation" (PDF). Human Mutation. 24 (3): 248–60. doi:10.1002/humu.20077. PMID 15300852. 
  7. ^ a b Ridolfo, Jim (2015). Digital Samaritans: Rhetorical Delivery and Engagement in the Digital Humanities. University of Michigan Press (published 16 September 2015). p. 69. ISBN 978-0472072804. 
  8. ^ Wade, Nicholas (9 June 2010). "Studies Show Jews' Genetic Similarity". New York Times. 
  9. ^ Nebel, Almut; Filon, Dvora; Weiss, Deborah A.; Weale, Michael; Faerman, Marina; Oppenheim, Ariella; Thomas, Mark G. (2000). "High-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs reveal geographic substructure and substantial overlap with haplotypes of Jews" (PDF). Human Genetics. 107 (6): 630–41. doi:10.1007/s004390000426. PMID 11153918. 
  10. ^ a b "Jews Are The Genetic Brothers Of Palestinians, Syrians, And Lebanese". Sciencedaily.com. 9 May 2000. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Atzmon, G; Hao, L; Pe'Er, I; Velez, C; Pearlman, A; Palamara, PF; Morrow, B; Friedman, E; Oddoux, C (2010). "Abraham's Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Middle Eastern Ancestry". American Journal of Human Genetics. 86 (6): 850–59. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.04.015. PMC 3032072Freely accessible. PMID 20560205. 
  12. ^ Jespersen, Otto (2013). A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles : Volume 1, Sounds and Spellings. City: Routledge. p. 384. ISBN 1135663513. 
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference Jews-are-ethnoreligious-group was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference Nicholson2002 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference Neusner1991 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference Dowty1998 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ Raymond P. Scheindlin (1998). A Short History of the Jewish People: From Legendary Times to Modern Statehood. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-19-513941-9.  Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites"
  18. ^ Facts On File, Incorporated (2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East. Infobase Publishing. pp. 337–. ISBN 978-1-4381-2676-0. "The people of the Kingdom of Israel and the ethnic and religious group known as the Jewish people that descended from them have been subjected to a number of forced migrations in their history"
  19. ^ Harry Ostrer MD (10 August 2012). Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People. Oxford University Press. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-0-19-997638-6. 
  20. ^ "In the broader sense of the term, a Jew is any person belonging to the worldwide group that constitutes, through descent or conversion, a continuation of the ancient Jewish people, who were themselves descendants of the Hebrews of the Old Testament." Jew at Encyclopædia Britannica
  21. ^ "Hebrew, any member of an ancient northern Semitic people that were the ancestors of the Jews." Hebrew (People) at Encyclopædia Britannica
  22. ^ Tet-Lim N. Yee (10 March 2005). Jews, Gentiles and Ethnic Reconciliation: Paul's Jewish identity and Ephesians. Cambridge University Press. pp. 102–. ISBN 978-1-139-44411-8.  "This identification in the Jewish attitude between the ethnic group and religious identity is so close that the reception into this religion of members not belonging to its ethnic group has become impossible."
  23. ^ "Facts About Israel: History". GxMSDev. 
  24. ^ K. L. Noll, Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion, A&C Black, 2012, rev.ed. pp.137ff.
  25. ^ Thomas L. Thompson, Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written & Archaeological Sources, BRILL, 2000 pp. 275–76: 'They are rather a very specific group among the population of Palestine which bears a name that occurs here for the first time that at a much later stage in Palestine's history bears a substantially different signification.'
  26. ^ John Day, [In Search of Pre-Exilic Israel,] Bloomsbury Publishing, 2005 pp. 47.5 p.48:'In this sense, the emergence of ancient Israel is viewed not as the cause of the demise of Canaanite culture but as its upshot'.
  27. ^ Day, pp. 31–33, p.57.n.33.
  28. ^ Rainer Albertz, Israel in Exile: The History and Literature of the Sixth Century B.C.E. Society of Biblical Lit, 2003 pp. 45ff: 'Since the exilic era constitutes a gaping hole in the historical narrative of the Bible, historical reconstruction of this era faces almost insurmountable difficulties. Like the premonarchic period and the late Persian period, the exilic period, though set in the bright light of Ancient Near Eastern history, remains historically obscure. Since there are very few Israelite sources, the only recourse is to try to cast some light on this darkness from the history of the surrounding empires under whose dominion Israel came in this period.'
  29. ^
    • Marvin Perry (1 January 2012). Western Civilization: A Brief History, Volume I: To 1789. Cengage Learning. p. 87. ISBN 1-111-83720-1. 
    • Botticini, Maristella and Zvi Eckstein. "From Farmers to Merchants, Voluntary Conversions and Diaspora: A Human Capital Interpretation of History." pp. 18–19. August 2006. Accessed 21 November 2015. "The death toll of the Great Revolt against the Roman empire amounted to about 600,000 Jews, whereas the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 caused the death of about 500,000 Jews. Massacres account for roughly 40 percent of the decrease of the Jewish population in Palestine. Moreover, some Jews migrated to Babylon after these revolts because of the worse economic conditions. After accounting for massacres and migrations, there is an additional 30 to 40 percent of the decrease in the Jewish population in Palestine (about 1–1.3 million Jews) to be explained" (p. 19).
    • Boyarin, Daniel, and Jonathan Boyarin. 2003. Diaspora: Generation and the Ground of Jewish Diaspora. p. 714 "...it is crucial to recognize that the Jewish conception of the Land of Israel is similar to the discourse of the Land of many (if not nearly all) "indigenous" peoples of the world. Somehow the Jews have managed to retain a sense of being rooted somewhere in the world through twenty centuries of exile from that someplace (organic metaphors are not out of place in this discourse, for they are used within the tradition itself). It is profoundly disturbing to hear Jewish attachment to the Land decried as regressive in the same discursive situations in which the attachment of native Americans or Australians to their particular rocks, trees, and deserts is celebrated as an organic connection to the Earth that "we" have lost" p. 714.
    • Cohen, Robin. 1997. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. p. 24 London: UCL Press. "...although the word Babylon often connotes captivity and oppression, a rereading of the Babylonian period of exile can thus be shown to demonstrate the development of a new creative energy in a challenging, pluralistic context outside the natal homeland. When the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70, it was Babylon that remained as the nerve- and brain-centre for Jewish life and thought...the crushing of the revolt of the Judaeans against the Romans and the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman general Titus in AD 70 precisely confirmed the catastrophic tradition. Once again, Jews had been unable to sustain a national homeland and were scattered to the far corners of the world" (p. 24).
    • Johnson, Paul A History of the Jews "The Bar Kochba Revolt," (HarperPerennial, 1987) pp. 158–61.: Paul Johnson analyzes Cassius Dio's Roman History: Epitome of Book LXIX para. 13–14 (Dio's passage cited separately) among other sources: "Even if Dio's figures are somewhat exaggerated, the casualties amongst the population and the destruction inflicted on the country would have been considerable. According to Jerome, many Jews were also sold into slavery, so many, indeed, that the price of Jewish slaves at the slave market in Hebron sank drastically to a level no greater than that for a horse. The economic structure of the country was largely destroyed. The entire spiritual and economic life of the Palestinian Jews moved to Galilee. Jerusalem was now turned into a Roman colony with the official name Colonia Aelia Capitolina (Aelia after Hadrian's family name: P. Aelius Hadrianus; Capitolina after Jupiter Capitolinus). The Jews were forbidden on pain of death to set foot in the new Roman city. Aelia thus became a completely pagan city, no doubt with the corresponding public buildings and temples...We can...be certain that a statue of Hadrian was erected in the centre of Aelia, and this was tantamount in itself to a desecration of Jewish Jerusalem." p. 159.
    • Cassius Dio's Roman History: Epitome of Book LXIX para. 13–14: "13 At first the Romans took no account of them. Soon, however, all Judaea had been stirred up, and the Jews everywhere were showing signs of disturbance, were gathering together, and giving evidence of great hostility to the Romans, partly by secret and partly by overt acts; 2 many outside nations, too, were joining them through eagerness for gain, and the whole earth, one might almost say, was being stirred up over the matter. Then, indeed, Hadrian sent against them his best generals. First of these was Julius Severus, who was dispatched from Britain, where he was governor, against the Jews. 3 Severus did not venture to attack his opponents in the open at any one point, in view of their numbers and their desperation, but by intercepting small groups, thanks to the number of his soldiers and his under-officers, and by depriving them of food and shutting them up, he was able, rather slowly, to be sure, but with comparatively little danger, to crush, exhaust and exterminate them. Very few of them in fact survived. Fifty of their most important outposts and nine hundred and eighty-five of their most famous villages were razed to the ground. Five hundred and eighty thousand men were slain in the various raids and battles, and the number of those that perished by famine, disease and fire was past finding out. 2 Thus nearly the whole of Judaea was made desolate, a result of which the people had had forewarning before the war. For the tomb of Solomon, which the Jews regard as an object of veneration, fell to pieces of itself and collapsed, and many wolves and hyenas rushed howling into their cities. 3 Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war. Therefore Hadrian in writing to the senate did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, 'If you and our children are in health, it is well; I and the legions are in health'" (para. 13–14).
    • Safran, William. 2005. The Jewish Diaspora in a Comparative and Theoretical Perspective. Israel Studies 10 (1): 36.[dead link] "...diaspora referred to a very specific case—that of the exile of the Jews from the Holy Land and their dispersal throughout several parts of the globe. Diaspora [ galut] connoted deracination, legal disabilities, oppression, and an often painful adjustment to a hostland whose hospitality was unreliable and ephemeral. It also connoted the existence on foreign soil of an expatriate community that considered its presence to be transitory. Meanwhile, it developed a set of institutions, social patterns, and ethnonational and/or religious symbols that held it together. These included the language, religion, values, social norms, and narratives of the homeland. Gradually, this community adjusted to the hostland environment and became itself a center of cultural creation. All the while, however, it continued to cultivate the idea of return to the homeland." (p. 36).
    • Sheffer, Gabriel. 2005. Is the Jewish Diaspora Unique? Reflections on the Diaspora's Current Situation. Israel Studies 10 (1): pp. 3–4. "...the Jewish nation, which from its very earliest days believed and claimed that it was the "chosen people," and hence unique. This attitude has further been buttressed by the equally traditional view, which is held not only by the Jews themselves, about the exceptional historical age of this diaspora, its singular traumatic experiences its singular ability to survive pogroms, exiles, and Holocaust, as well as its "special relations" with its ancient homeland, culminating in 1948 with the nation-state that the Jewish nation has established there... First, like many other members of established diasporas, the vast majority of Jews no longer regard themselves as being in Galut [exile] in their host countries.7 Perceptually, as well as actually, Jews permanently reside in host countries of their own free will, as a result of inertia, or as a result of problematic conditions prevailing in other hostlands, or in Israel. It means that the basic perception of many Jews about their existential situation in their hostlands has changed. Consequently, there is both a much greater self- and collective-legitimatization to refrain from making serious plans concerning "return" or actually "making Aliyah" [to emigrate, or "go up"] to Israel. This is one of the results of their wider, yet still rather problematic and sometimes painful acceptance by the societies and political systems in their host countries. It means that they, and to an extent their hosts, do not regard Jewish life within the framework of diasporic formations in these hostlands as something that they should be ashamed of, hide from others, or alter by returning to the old homeland" (p. 4).
    • Davies, William David; Finkelstein, Louis; Katz, Steven T. (1 January 1984). The Cambridge History of Judaism: Volume 4, The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521772488. Although Dio's figure of 985 as the number of villages destroyed during the war seems hyperbolic, all Judaean villages, without exception, excavated thus far were razed following the Bar Kochba Revolt. This evidence supports the impression of total regional destruction following the war. Historical sources note the vast number of captives sold into slavery in Palestine and shipped abroad. ... The Judaean Jewish community never recovered from the Bar Kochba war. In its wake, Jews no longer formed the majority in Palestine, and the Jewish center moved to the Galilee. Jews were also subjected to a series of religious edicts promulgated by Hadrian that were designed to uproot the nationalistic elements with the Judaean Jewish community, these proclamations remained in effect until Hadrian's death in 138. 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. 
    • Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Exclusive Inclusivity: Identity Conflicts Between the Exiles and the People who Remained (6th–5th Centuries BCE), A&C Black, 2013 p. xv n.3: 'it is argued that biblical texts of the Neo-Babylonian and the early Persian periods show a fierce adversarial relationship(s) between the Judean groups. 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.' (p. xvii)
  30. ^ "The Jewish Population of the World (2014)". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 30 June 2015. , based on American Jewish Year Book. American Jewish Committee. 
  31. ^ "Holocaust | Basic questions about the Holocaust". www.projetaladin.org. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  32. ^ "The Holocaust". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  33. ^ "Jews make up only 0.2% of mankind". ynetnews. October 2012. 
  34. ^ Pfeffer, Anshel (12 September 2007). "Jewish Agency: 13.2 million Jews worldwide on eve of Rosh Hashanah, 5768". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2009. 
  35. ^ A 1970 amendment to Israel's Law of Return defines "Jew" as "a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion." "Law of Return". 
  36. ^ "Maimonides – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". utm.edu. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  37. ^ Sekine, Seizō. A Comparative Study of the Origins of Ethical Thought: Hellenism and Hebraism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. Print.
  38. ^ "Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy". DC Theatre Scene. 
  39. ^ Roni Caryn Rabin Exhibition Traces the emergence of Jews as medical innovators, The New York Times (14 May 2012). Accessed 16 August 2015.
  40. ^ Shatzmiller, Joseph. Doctors to Princes and Paupers: Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society. Berkeley: U of California, 1995. Print.
  41. ^ Max I. Dimont (1 June 2004). Jews, God, and History. Penguin Publishing Group. pp. 102–. ISBN 978-1-101-14225-7. "During the subsequent five hundred years, under Persian, Greek and Roman domination, the Jews wrote, revised, admitted and canonized all the books now comprising the Jewish Old Testament"
  42. ^ Julie Galambush (14 June 2011). The Reluctant Parting: How the New Testament's Jewish Writers Created a Christian Book. HarperCollins. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-0-06-210475-5. "The fact that Jesus and his followers who wrote the New Testament were first-century Jews, then, produces as many questions as it does answers concerning their experiences, beliefs, and practices"
  43. ^ John M. G. Barclay; John Philip McMurdo Sweet (28 June 1996). Early Christian Thought in Its Jewish Context. Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–. ISBN 978-0-521-46285-3. "Early Christianity began as a Jewish movement in first-century Palestine"
  44. ^ Dr. Andrea C. Paterson (21 May 2009). Three Monotheistic Faiths – Judaism, Christianity, Islam: An Analysis and Brief History. AuthorHouse. pp. 41–. ISBN 978-1-4520-3049-4. "Judaism also contributed to the religion of Islam for Islam derives its ideas of holy text, the Qur'an, ultimately from Judaism. 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."
  45. ^ Cambridge University Historical Series, An Essay on Western Civilization in Its Economic Aspects, p.40: Hebraism, like Hellenism, has been an all-important factor in the development of Western Civilization; Judaism, as the precursor of Christianity, has indirectly had had much to do with shaping the ideals and morality of western nations since the christian era.
  46. ^ Role of Judaism in Western culture and civilization, "Judaism has played a significant role in the development of Western culture because of its unique relationship with Christianity, the dominant religious force in the West". Judaism at Encyclopædia Britannica

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