How did the Jews make it this far?

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by Awaiting_the_fifth, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    0
    I deliberately put this here rather than on the Judaism section because I would like to get everyone's thoughts, but I understand if the moderators want to move it.

    This quote is from the "Pulling out of Gaza" thread:

    This is actually something Ive wondered about for a long time. What happened to the other peoples who lived in that land before and how did the Jews remain a single people with a common identity for so many thousands of years without a land.

    Throughout history, there must have been thousands of little kingdoms which have been destroyed, enslaved or assimilated into the population of other, larger kingdoms. Isnt that how today's countries were made? Yet the only people who have lost their land and continued on as a single, identifiable people are the Jews.

    So I am wondering if anyone has any theories on how the Jews managed to achieve this and why no one else did?
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,162
    Likes Received:
    443
    Kindest Regards, Awaiting!

    I do have a theory, not a scientific one mind you, but one just the same. The answer is - - - G!d.

    The Jews are, afterall, the "chosen" people of the Book.
     
  3. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,172
    Likes Received:
    0
    because God said so & so it shall be...AND God will not be mocked.:)
     
  4. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it's because they changed their theology. All of the little nations around them, even the bigger ones, saw their gods as the gods of their nation, gods who could be conquered by a larger nation. That's exactly how Jews saw it too most likely. But during one of the exiles there was a chance for a shift in belief. Instead of foreign gods defeating their god, or their god becoming a far lesser god of another pantheon, their God was punishing them by booting them from the land. At that turning point, it's pretty hard to wipe us buggers out. Anything that was done to the Jews, it could be seen as God's will, instead of as the acts of foreign deities. While there has been plenty of theological reflection on this conflict since that time, it all happened after the fact and Judaism had already assumed the idea of a world-class Deity instead of a more local manifestation.

    Another thing that has kept Judaism alive is the level of ritual in the religion. It served to separate and thus limit assimilation at times (not that separation coming from Judaism was needed during many periods of time) but it also served as a constant reminder of an individual's Jewishness, of their covenantal relationship with God. There is a saying that Shabbat kept the Jews. Every seventh day, regardless the type of horrible stuff going on, a day to cease from most all labors, setting aside the best food, and in doing so to remember the creation of the world which culminated in the sabbath and also to remember the exodus from Egypt. So I do think that the level of ritual played a role in addition to what I spoke of previously.

    Another issue may be that Judaism is neither a nation nor a religion, but instead is a little bit of both. Nothing's based on faith. It's all based on parentage or conversion. So I thought I was going somewhere with this one but now I don't see it.

    You also might consider Zoroastrianism.

    Dauer
     
  5. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    0
    I dont follow, why Zoroastrianism?
     
  6. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, I mean that they've survived too. It's not just Judaism surviving. It would be dishonest to single out Judaism.

    Dauer
     
  7. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    4
    i more or less agree with dauer except on the last post - i think you're being overly shy; i simply can't see that zoroastrianism has had as big of an influence on the world as judaism; after all, both christianity and islam (to say nothing of sikhism) are heavily influenced by ideas we first popularised, whereas zoroastrianism has hardly moved with the times, to the extent that they have real trouble finding other zoroastrians to marry. i'm not dissing the religion, but i just don't think they've produced great religious and political figures the way we have; although by all means correct me if i'm wrong; i would tend to point out the following:

    1. jesus
    2. maimonides
    3. karl marx
    4. spinoza
    5. sigmund freud

    in short, even jews that had nothing to do with judaism or moved away from it entirely were hugely influential. as for why, i actually can't explain it in any other terms other than we seem to have been chosen for something special. perhaps not very nice special, but special nonetheless. anyway, it annoys historians enormously, because we don't obey so-called "laws of history" and that always cheers me up.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  8. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    BB,

    I'm not sure how much that has to do with the question posed. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question myself, but it seems like it was really about how Judaism has survived for so long, where others haven't. In this case, Zoroastrianism has survived just as long, regardless of whether or not it has had as many influential figures or been as much of an influence.

    But I do think, since you brought it up, that one of the reasons for so many influential people is what I call the pearl in the oyster factor. Because of all the stress and tension, the persecution of Judaism over the ages, it has allowed it to produce more pearls. It is nothing I would wish upon my greatest enemy, not that I have one of those guys, but if I did I wouldn't wish it.

    There's something learned from permaculture, that the greatest amount of diversity forms at the edges, where two things meet. This is another way of stating the same thing. Judaism has always been on somebody else's edge, for better or for worse. Jesus was on that edge. So was rambam. And Freud. And marx. And spinoza. Even moses was on an edge. And Abraham. And Elijah. And Ezekiel. And the ari. And the besht. They were all brought to life out of an edge.

    Dauer
     
  9. star light

    star light New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    the difference is zerostrianism survived to this day
    judaism survived against all the odds
     
  10. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good point, and welcome to the boards, star light. Yet Zoroastrianism still meets the original criteria of the thread.

    Dauer
     
  11. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    I think the separation of state and deity has to be an important issue, certainly in comparison to other belief systems which have long since perished.

    Roman gods were state gods - as the state changed, so the old gods were simply cast away; Greek and Egyptian gods were often a mix of local Gods playing larger nationalistic roles, so political changes at the city and national level could remove them if politically weak.

    Even still, it's still very impressive that Judaism has been able to survive as it has for so long, not least the fact of historical persecution.
     
  12. Curios Mike

    Curios Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a question.... Aside from theoligical points of veiw.... Whay Are the Jews so hated through out the world? And why does it seem they get the blame for every conflict of man(well a lot of them).
     
  13. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Curious, I don't see that happening in today's world.
     
  14. Mason

    Mason Chin Up =)

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    :confused: I can't think of any religious peoples that are actually 'so hated', I wouldn't even think of muslims that way... And personally i struggle to think why Jews would be hated at all...
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    So far as I understand it, it's historically a European issue, and due to money lending.

    My understanding is that the early Christian church was against Christians lending at interest, while Jews were prohited at lending at interest to Jews, but not to non-Jews.

    So Jewish people were often seen to be tied in with money lending and banking activities - which made them especially an object of hatred where large debts were involved.

    Also, because of the position of power and influence that lending and banking had, it made them the subject of general paranoia and conspiracy theories (this is actually still applicable in modern times, especially from angry Muslims when levelled at America).

    Hope that helps.
     
  16. Curios Mike

    Curios Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    I, Brian
    Yes I noticed alot of this after the attacks on 911. I was in a bunch of chat rooms for weeks after this and the main argument was the jews where behind this some kind of way, and the U.S. alliance with them. And then also have a few friend in military. they said after the bombings in england, alot of folx blame the jews for that... and even brought them up once againt when speaking of 911.

    And also when listening to the news, and different folx on the other side of the arguement. They also point out that the U.N. is strickter on the jews then on muslim militents. I think they used the Gaza,westbank pull out as one of the focus points. Anyways maybe someone can elaberate more on this than I.

    But yes to me it does seem like they are most hated of all religions or peoples. And for the life of me I cant see why... I guess aside from banking theories, becuase the U.S. seems to be hated as well for the same reasons.
     
  17. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    The situation between Isreal and the Palestinians has led to the nurturing of very strong anti-Semiticism, especially among some Muslims, who are given to believe that spiritual brothers are being wronged by an oppressive Isreali government, which is funded to do so by a militant Christian US government, which is additionally manipulated into doing so by a secret powerful Jewish group in Washington.

    Again, it's a situation were Jews are seen to be in ultimate control of the political world, therefore all bad things can only happen because of this Jewish control.

    It's a pretty nasty situation, but it'll be interesting to see how things develop in the newer climate of a post-Arafat Palestine.
     
  18. InChristAlways

    InChristAlways Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Politics has led to many civil wars over the centuries, including our own between North and South. Look at North and South Korea brethren as another example.
    This could be because of various interpretations of the OT, but to "exalt" one religion over another will never bring peace among the semite bretheren of various religious beliefs. Deut 28 in the OT applies to ALL of the original Hebrew tribes out of Egypt: Obedience to God's Covenant through them untill the Seed to come would make all of those unto that seed God's chosen.

    With the country of Israel, city of Jerusalem being the center of the OT, perhaps that is why it garners so much attention from Islam, judaism and Christianity?

    In some ways it is almost like New Yord or Europe, a multitude of religions, cultures, ethnic groups, sects. The country belongs to the citizens that have ownership in it, just as land in other countries have ownership for those who rightfully purchase it.

    On a side note, whether the country of Israel is any "holier" than my own backyard, only God knows.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Steve

    Deuteronomy 28:1 `And it hath been, if thou dost hearken diligently to the voice of Jehovah thy God, to observe to do all His commands which I am commanding thee to-day, that Jehovah thy God hath made thee uppermost above all the nations of the earth,

    Young LT] Jeremiah 3:8 And I see when (for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery) I have sent her away, and I give the bill of her divorce [#03748] unto her, that treacherous Judah, her sister hath not feared, and goeth and committeth fornication--she also.
     
  19. Faustus

    Faustus Jew In Progress

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's not just that Jews were allowed to lend at interest, it's that they were often barred from virtually all other professions. In many cities, Jews were permitted to engage in various trades only within the Jewish ghetto. Lending money- something that was in demand and from which Christians were forbidden- allowed for better business opportunities than trying to, say, cobble and sell shoes to a community that was frequently very poor, anyway.

    There were a host of other reasons for anti-Semitism, but that's not really the topic of this thread.

    For a discussion of anti-Semitism through history, you could check out Why the Jews? the author's name escapes me, and I don't agree with all the points he makes, but it might be a good read.
     

Share This Page