Judaism originated in the land of Israel, also known as Palestine, in the Middle East. Subsequently, Jewish communities have existed at one time or another in almost all parts of the world, a result of both voluntary migrations of Jews and forced exile or expulsions. In the video "The Chosen One'sâ€ť, Jews described themselves as an unusual nation because they have survived many exiles and persecutions. The Exile to Babylon was a major turning point in Israelite religion. This period came in 586 B.C.E., when the Babylonians took Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and carried off leading citizens to Babylon for a life of exile and servitude (Ellwood, 1999). The Holocaust is probably the best modern example of these persecutions. During World War II millions of Jews were tortured and killed by the Nazis, lead by the German General Adolf Hitler. Hitler believed Jews were dirt, and he wanted humanity to be pure Aryan race and consequently free of dirt. As a result he persecuted and v!
ictimized Jews all over Europe and sent them to concentration camps where they were later killed in gas chambers. Certainly a very sad part of Jewish and world history that has created a trauma among the Jewish people.
The Jewish basic worldview is that the "Universe is made by God but is an arena for humans to live in and enjoy, exercising free will, in cooperation with God's guidanceâ€ť (Ellwood, 1999). Jews believe that a single God created the universe and still governs it. Nothing that humanity experiences is unpredictable because everything, ultimately, has a meaning. The same God who created the world revealed himself to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. The content of that revelation is the Torah, God's will for humankind expressed in commandments by which individuals are to regulate their lives in interacting with one another and with God. By living in accordance with God's laws and submitting to the divine will, humanity can become harmonious part...
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