Judaism In Plain and Simple English

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Finally, the Pharaoh let the Hebrews go free, but then decided to send the Egyptian army to capture the Jews back. To help them escape God commanded the Red Sea to open a path for them.

What is this cult and are they any different from ordinary Christians?

The waters then returned and drowned the Egyptian army. The Hebrews or Israelites, in twelve tribes, began a country called Israel in Canaan. They fought many wars against other peoples in the area.

The name Jew comes from the name of one of these tribes, Judah. Later Judah was conquered by Babylonia in the early 6th century BC, and its people were taken captive to Babylon.

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They were allowed to go back to Judah again when Babylon was conquered by the Persian Empire. Some Jewish people stayed in Babylon now Iraq and others also lived in other countries. During this time, the main language of Judea was Aramaic. The Jews did not like the Roman government or customs, and often made trouble for the Romans.

In 70 AD, after a revolt against the government by the Jewish community, the Romans destroyed Judea's capital city, Jerusalem and sent almost all Jews into exile. After this, the Jewish people did not have their own country.

I am a Jew. Plain and simple

They were a small minority in almost every place they lived. This time is called the Diaspora , when Jews spread around the world. They lived in many other countries. Jews have lived in most, but not all, places in the world, including India, China, Yemen, and Ethiopia. Even today, Jews who do not live in Israel are often said to live "in the Diaspora". In some places, like India, Jews lived without any problems. In other places, like most of Europe and Islamic countries, there was bigotry or even hatred against Jews and they lived under discriminatory laws.


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Sometimes Jews suffered from outright persecution that is: systematic hatred and violence , sometimes they were forced to dress in special, ugly clothes, pay higher taxes than others, not build higher houses than others, not to ride a horse or donkey, wear certain badges etc. In Europe, where the Roman Catholic church forbade Christians from lending money against interest, some Jews worked as bankers and money-lenders, and became known as skillful bankers.

One nomad nation, the Khazars, converted to Judaism in the 8th century. The Khazar khanate, which was in the modern Ukraine and Byelorussia , was the only independent Jewish state before modern day Israel.

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The Khazar state was destroyed by the Eastern Vikings Rus in The Jewish People have always believed that they have a special mission from God. They do things in their own ways, such as having special rules about food and eating, not working on the Shabbat , keeping their own holidays, and not marrying people from other religions. Because of this, people in many different times and countries have thought that the Jews were strange, and maybe dangerous. Many countries made laws that the Jews could not work in some jobs or live in some places. Sometimes Jewish people were killed because of their religion.

The word " antisemitism " describes the hatred for Jews.

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English Translations of the Torah Portions Print. Reference to Sidebar Module:. Jewish Holidays navigation feature buckets. Jewish Life navigation feature buckets. Chicken Soup Recipe. Keep this recipe for the iconic Jewish dish handy for your next Shabbat dinner.

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enter site This Week's Torah Portion: Haazinu. I am an artistic Jew because I believe in creativity and using my God-given talents to fulfill my purpose and mission in life. Knowledge is the basis for all action, faith, and change. I am a questioning and seeking Jew because I believe that you have to ask the questions if you want to get the answers. I am a wandering Jew because I come from a people that has been driven to the four ends of the earth — by foot, donkey, camel, boat, train and plane — and yet we always found our way back home.

I am a happy Jew because I believe that God loves me and that I belong to the greatest nation on earth. I view this not only as a great privilege, but as a tremendous responsibility to all of the other nations on earth; to be a light unto the nations in every realm.


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I am a frustrated Jew because I believe that the Jewish people, myself included, and the world at large have such a long way to go; that the world is filled with far too much suffering and confusion. But, at the end of the day, no matter what label you wish to pin on me, I am a Jew. Plain and simple. Now that is a label that I am proud to wear! And if you are a Jew, which means you wear it too, I am proud to call you my family.

Join me in loving one another no matter what the label. As the famous saying goes: We have so much more that unites us than can ever divide us.