Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Well, we've taken back exactly what ours!

An article by Meir Ben Dov, I don't think I should say more:

With the renewing of the Jewish settling of Israel in the end of the last century, and more in our days, we use the expression " after 2000 years ". What stands behind it? If we understand it as it is, before 2000 years, we the Jews exiled from our land. It was with the fall of the second temple, in the end of the rebellion against the Romans, actualy 1900 years ago in the year 70AD. Behind this expression stands the meaning that the Jewish citizens were leaving the land, and then the Jewish population ended, except small population here and there that was unimportant monirity in the land. But, is it so? The one who knows our traditions knows it's not this way. The Mishne and Talmud says about Strong communities with strength and heavily populated, who live in large parts of the land hundreds of centuries after the fall of Jerusalem. Even historical resources tell about large communities who live in the land and take a large part in the events. And, an evidence that can be seen, the amount of Archeological remains of Synagogues especially in certain places: Go to the Golan Heights, and meet them at Katzrin, Ein Nashot, Hirbat Dicha, Dvorah and other places. Go to the Sea Of Galilea and here they're: in Capernaum, Tiberias, Hamat Gader, Kurazin and Arbel. Go to Beit Shean valley and you've found those in Beit Shean , Rehob, Kokhv Hayarden, Maoz Haim, Cfar Dana and others. In the upper Galilea you'll find them in Baram, Gush Halav, Meiron, Hirbat Shma, until Yafia near Nazrat in the lower Galilea. Even in the south you'll find it, Jericho, Naaran, Ein Gedi and Susia, Eshtamoa and Kishur. Most of the remains are here, because it'll take long for the whole list, and there are more than 120 places. The Archeological research divided and found that there are ancient from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and therte are late untill the 10th century AD. The late researches tell, that instead of what they used to think, the late are the greatest, and most were fro the late period, the 7th and 8th century AD. The map of those ancient Synagogues shows of large and dense Jewish population in those regions, a picture that suits what we know of these times. The Jewish farmer - differnt We say, in the 6th and 7th centuries, five hundred and six hundred years after the end of the Temple. The land of Israel was still largely popul;ated with big and strong Jewish population, that was a respectfull consideration in the land. Still, most were farmers, but there were cities whose most citizens were Jews, and they have done small trading. The Jewish Farmer was other then the other farmers who were far from education, at least one of his fammily members was educated, and that was shown in what they grew. Can we estimate the number of the Jewish citizens in the land? The Pro. Michael Ben Yona estimated the number of Jews in the 7th century in 250000. That was by what a monk said,that tells that during the wars with the Persians there were 25000 Jewish soldiers from the Galilea who took part in the siege of Tyre. By Ben Yona, a population can gather one tenth of her population, so we can estimate the number of the Galilean Jews in 25000. But, that estimation that was done 50 years agostill thought that there were Jews only in the Galilea, and the south was mostly non Jewish. And the researches teach us that there were many Jews in other parts of the land, so if only 25000 came to the aid of the Persians, how do we know that that all the Galilean Jews could recruit? Probably not everyone who could've recruit actually done it, so we must estimate the population in more than 250000, and we must add the numbers of the rest who weren't in the Galilea. There's a possibilty to understand the size of the Jewish population in that time, and the quantity of Jews toward Christians. The Christians were the Nochrim in the land, who were descendants to the Canaanites, Philistines, Pheonicians, and to the armies who conquered the land, especially Greece and Rome. To their side, there were descendants of Jews who accepted Christianity either by will or force. The task of the Byzantine rule was to gather the biggest amount of believers under Christianity, as the task of the State's Religion. That matched the Christian Ideaology and the tasks of the non religous rules. The Christian community had Churches, that were excavated as Synagugues. We can have demographical conclusions by it. And the number of the Churches that were excavated is more than 230. It mean, double than the Synagogues. Does it mean the Christian community is bigger than the Jewish? Not necessarily, and that's of few reasons, not all Churches has to do something with a settelment, they came as a monument. From that reason, we reach the conclusions that if the number of Churches is doubled, it doesn't mean the number of Christians was higher. To that we must add the other parameter, the Samaritans, who are not Jews, but they reject Christianity either this way or the other. In their places, at Samaria mountain and near, they were of the only ethnic group of the population. 1200 years not 2000 [b] So what was the number of all the citizens in the land of Israel, and what was the part of the Jews during the 6th and 7th centuries? By Archeological remains, ruins, etc who are from that time we can estimate the population in 3000000. So, it was one of the times the land was densely populated. What we must remember, that most of the population was in villages, except some big cities as Jerusalem, Caesarea, Tiberias, Banias, and Ashkelon, there weren't many dense population areas. Most of those three million were living in towns and villages. If we remember that that's close to the number of the citizens in the land today, and todays large settlements weren't something avilable those times, we'll understand that most of the agricultural sites were densely populated. Between those three million, the Christians were the majority, 1250000. The number of the Jews was 750000, the number of Samaritans was 250000, and the same number for the Nabatean tribes who accepted Christianity. That Jewish public, who was majority in his places, was certainly a respectable thing in the population of the land, what that most of it were farmers, were sitting in towns and villages, and was a respectable thing and a majority were he was. Here we see, we can see the existence of large Jewish population in the land even 500 and 600 years after the fall of the second Temple. The expression after 2000 years we need to exchange with after 1200 years, " 1st marriages on mount Meiron " truth, but not after 2000 years, but after " 1200 years ". Because until that time, that region was densely populated with Jews, and maybe the Jews were even the majority in the land (?). The remaining question is, how did this dense community disappeared? Where are those 750000 Jews? And the question sharpens itself when we meet the Jewish population in the 9th and 10th centuries AD, we find in the resources small public, that's being noticed, that most of it are Burgoise, and no more farmers and villagers. What made it? The 1st strike in the Jewish community was in the end of the 6th and 7th centuries AD. The heavy wars between the Byzantine Empire and Persia, that were in our region, hurted the citizens. The armies who passed in the region and fought on their land brought destruction. The Jews were hurt as the rest of the citizens. To that we must add the spiritual crisis that attacked the Jews when Heraclius the Byzantine Emperor defeated the Persians in 628 AD. The 1st victory in this war was the Persian, that defeated the Byzantines and took from them the land of Israel, including Jerusalem. The Jews helped the Persians, that agreed to give them something for their aid. The Jews compared the Persian Emperor then, Chusro the 2nd, to Cyrus The Great. The Jewish public saw the early come of the Massiach. The nation of Israel felt the renewing of his religous and national independence, that her highest thing was rebuilding the Temple. Those were days of raising moral and the strength of the belief in the existence of Israel and his fate. But, not a lot of time passed, and the Byzantines defeated the Persians. The Emperor Heraclius, who have taken the place again, was smart. He didn't kill the Jews, he didn't start convincing them that they should become Christians. But the big crisis of faith, that attacked the Jews of Israel, helped Christianizing them. Rabbi Benjamin for exmple, who was the head of the community of Tiberias, was the 1st to convert to Christianity. So if that what the head of the community have done, we can understand what other ten thousands of Jews have done. But still, many of the Jews remained in the villages, even though those strikes. How and where did those Jews disappeared? What brought to the desertion of Synagogues? Where did the Jews of the villages went? [b]Islam or death The Byzantines didn't mange to rest a little from their war, and a new conquerer came to Israel, the Arab tribes came as storm to the heart of Israel and Syria, that in their hands the new flag of their faith - Islam. Both Empires who were weak by their wars, fell to the Arabs very very quick. Not many years passed, and almost all of the land that was in their rule passed to Arab rule. Those wanted to enlarge the numbers of believers, and didn't want to controll empty lands. So they started a violent campaign to Islamization. The 1st policy the conquerers used was " Islam or death! ". When after that many became Muslims, but many others especially Christians and Jews refused to, the Muslims seeked another way to make them Muslims, that won't empty the land of Farmers andwill destroy the trade and administration, both had a large Christian dominance. So the Muslims passed a law,, that by him they gave speciall place for " the nations of the book " - the religions who believe in books who are accepted by Islam and were befre the Quran, for paynig a randsom ( Gizia ). The randsom was high, , and especially hard for the farmers. many didn't stand it and left Judaism for Islam. So many Jewish farmers became Muslim. Even today, many Arabic Words used by the Arab Farmers are originated in Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages the Jews knew at that time. Many of the places in Israel kept their Hebrew name, but thr Arabization made the name to sound Arab. There were also many Jews who didn't leave their religion. A new door was opened to them, but she led to leaving the land, and to leave agriculture. Between Christian Europe and the Islamic land a hate was created on one hand, and necessity to trade on the other.Both sides had interests to pass trades that only the other side has, but the hate, that even brought to wars, stopped straight contacts. On that situation the Jews could pass all the trade, both sides didn't like them, but they were less hated than the other sides. As merchants, the Jews used Hebrew, that was a communication language, the basis of trade. Every Jew knew Hebrew, because of her being the words pray and Torah. The defence of trial was less important. There was no international law, and every merchant was defenceless in foreign land. But the Jew could sue his trade mate from the other land to Torah law, and so the Jewish Halacha and the Laws of Judaism to the tools of international trade. Those advances, next to the basic knowledge of the Jewish farner, were the tool for making him a merchant. That way he was able to keep his religion, to escape from the randsom paying world, and to enjoy from the developing International trading world. In few tens of years, the land became empty of Jews, especially of her Jewish farmers. From those who became Muslims, and from those who've left their villages and went to Europe. Between those who continued working in agriculture, were in Spain, that was the border between Christianity and Islam. By the way, the Jewish agriculture helped the Spanish agriculture. Spanish trditions speak of it untill today. The pass of the Israeli Jews to Spain in large numbers and high quality, made one of the greatest Jewish communities in our times, " the exiled of Jeeusalem in Spain ". That's the background and the reason to the great Jewish creation in Spain, that her roots are at the land of Israel. The wish to the land, that we can see out of the literature of the Spanis Jews, that came to the land of her exile. Here we see, we exiled from our land 1200 years ago, because of Historical Events that happened in the land of Israel in the 7th and 8th centuries AD - and not 2000 years ago....


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