Posted: November 28th, 2013
All through the eras, many people have had the curiosity to know about the Jewish history and have led them to be puzzled about their existence. The Jews are a group of people originating from Israel and practice Judaism. Jewish tradition is traced back to the biblical era during the time of Abraham and Jacob through the cultural practices and beliefs of people living in that era. However, this distinctive culture brought tension between them and their surroundings as noted in areas like religion, politics and economic stability. For example, the article The State and the Jew shows tension regarding Jewish religion within the Roman Empire. Jewish occupants in Israel at that period were ruled by the Romans and in later years discriminated by being separated and treated like foreigners because they strongly valued their religious beliefs more than the principles derived from the governing system of that country in the political and economic aspect. (Marcus 51).
The State and the Jew also indicates that the Jewish religious tension affected economic stability within the Israel nation. For example, during the Roman rule, the Jews experienced economic segregation as they were prohibited from owning Christian slaves and therefore rendering it impossible for them to be involved in the prestigious commercial state systems. On the contrary, the Jews only occupied lowly employment positions as traders, farmers and artisans. Change was noted in the middle ages as the Jews were accepted by Christians leading to a harmonious existence between the two groups before the era of persecution. This persecution stemmed from accusations towards the Jewish populace regarding their culture and religion the imposed subjugation to Christians.
As a result, in 1492, the Jews were driven out of Spain by the reigning rulers Isabella and Ferdinand. The principal objective of this banishment was in a bid to clear the Jewish population and its influence from Europe. The Jews also imparted tension in other religious beliefs and practices present in the given period. For instance, the Conversos were influenced by the Jews into despising Christianity for Judaism thereby leading to conflicts between the given communities because crypto-Jews had a little loyalty to Judaism. Through the arising tension, the Spanish rulers resorted into evicting all Jews as an approach of containing the dissensions (Marcus, 51).
(Marcus 52) points out communication tensions where the Jews tried to negotiate with the King for a three months notice before leaving the Spanish state. Jews, in the given period were largely populated with over fifty thousand families. By the fact that they were traders and artisans, the Jews owned a lot of property including domestic animals, estates and farms. Within the graced three months, the Jews resorted into offering the government monetary remuneration for continued residence within the nation. They chose their leader Rabbi Don Abraham and the leader of the Spanish congregations to represent them.
However, the arrangement was unsuccessful a Roman loyalist known as Santa Cruz reported to the rulers Judas Iscariot’s possession of thirty silver part clearly against the outlaw that prohibited the Jews from owning any form of silver. The Jews therefore opted to selling their property at cheap prices in a rushed need to relocate from Spain before any form of retaliation by the King. The Jews were forbidden from carrying silver or gold from Spain and therefore coerced into exchanging the currency for other goods including clothes and skins. From that day, the Jews were also disallowed from exporting precious metal. Jews who relocated to Portugal were rejected for at least six months.
The Portuguese ruler was even more ruthless because after admitting the Jews in the nation, he enslaved them. Seven hundred children were settled in an isolated island in which they all died (Marcus 54). Although many Jewish exiles decided to move to North African countries, they were still rejected and as a result, many of them died due to hunger and starvation. During the relocation to Africa, many Jews were attacked by wild animals such as lions and bears therefore lessening the populace. Upon entering Northern Africa, the residents were kind enough to receive the Jews and settle them within the land.
In Babylonian Rabbinic Culture by Isaiah, it demonstrates how the Jewish tensions accrued to extreme levels thereby forcing the Jews into changing their religious beliefs. The remaining Jews who refused to align to this change returned to Spain, though upon their return they were also forced to convert to other faith systems (Fonrobert and Martin 223). The article also differentiates the modern Jews from the cultural Jews who lived within the boundaries of the Roman Empire.
Although the accomplishments of this Jewish community confirmed their self- identity and loyalty to religious beliefs and lawful policy followed by Jews around the world, it only became successful in the Babylonian Rabbinic Community. This is evident from past events leading to the appearance of the rabbinic community (Fonrobert and Martin 223). During the reign of King Zedekiah, prophet Jeremiah wrote a letter to the Babylonian community that instructed them to Build houses, plant and eat their produce, marry and procreate for generational expansions. The Rabbinic community complied with these instructions thereby creating a stable political environment in which they could formulate political laws in alignment with their beliefs.
This made the Jewish people different from other nations, especially those instituted on secular practices and governance. In addition, the article notes that unlike the political system of the Modern Jews, their political system incorporated the importance of the Jewish customs. Apart from the noted differences, the Jews evidence some similarities with the larger populace especially with regard to their source of belief. Although various religions are present on the globe, most believe in a supreme God. However, despite their respect for religious laws, the Jews have experienced racial conflicts from other different people due to their unique race.
Fonrobert, Charlotte E, and Martin S. Jaffee. The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.
Marcus, Jacob R. The Jew in the Medieval World: The State and the Jew, 315-1791. Cincinnati: The Union of American Hebrew congregations, 1938. Print.
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.