A curious question I consider periodically - how has Judaism managed to survive?
When you consider the extensive violence and dispossession endured...it always seemed amazing that Judaism actually survived as a religion.
Are there any real answers to the question? Or is the question a white elephant in itself?
Mark Twain has a good answer in his essay about the Jews:
THE ESSAY OF MARK TWAIN ABOUT THE JEWS
"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way.
Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.
His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.
He has made a marvellous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.
The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed suit, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it has burned out, and they sit either in twilight now, or have vanished.
The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?