History of Judaism (crash course)

history of judaism

history of judaism Jewish History Video by Rabbi Berel Wein
Why Study History  (download)  by Ken Spiro 
Visual Overview of the History of the Jewish people
7 Wonders of Jewish History  by R. Moty Berger
Jewish History Crash Course MP3s (set)  by Ken Spiro
Jewish history by Rabbi Berel Wein
Matzah & The Story of The Jewish People  by Rabbi Berel Wein (article)

  Why Study History of Judaism  We learn Jewish history not only to avoid the mistakes of the past, but to understand where our destiny is taking us.
  The Bible as History  An enormous amount of information in the Bible has been borne out by archeology. There is not much direct evidence, but there is a huge amount of indirect or circumstantial evidence.

1812 BCE - Time of Abraham begins
(Mesopotamian & Egyptian civilization in flower)
The World of Abraham By understanding the character of Abraham, the "proto-Jew", one can understand what Jews are all about.
Founder of Judaism  Abraham gave rise to a nation of Hebrews—people who live "on the other side."
The Promised Land  God gave Abraham and his family the Land of Israel as a laboratory where his descendants are supposed to create the nation that’s the model for the world.

1712 BCE - Time of Isaac begins
1652 BCE - Time of Jacob begins
Isaac and His Sons  History repeats itself. Whatever groove Abraham or Isaac or Jacob are going to carve, their descendants are going to get stuck in it.

1544 BCE - Joseph sold into slavery
Joseph  The story of Joseph demonstrates a classic historic pattern of the Jew in Diaspora. The Jew arrives impoverished, works hard despite deprivation, and rises to the top.

The Bible and Archeology  Do recent findings contradict the Bible? by Ken Spiro from AishAudio.com

Video: The Jewish Connection to Jerusalem
Jerusalem is a holy city for all religions; it’s the holiest city in the world only to the Jews.

1522 BCE - Josephwelcomes his family to Egypt
Reunion  Joseph realizes that through the generations, the family has created a rut of hatred among the brothers. To remedy the situation, he sets the stage for a great test.

1428 BCE -Israelites enslaved in Egypt
1392 BCE - Time of Moses begins
(Egyptian cities of Pithom & Ramses are built)
Moses  In an all-time irony of ironies, the savior of the Jewish people is raised in the house of the ultimate enemy of the Jews.

1312 BCE - Exodus
The Ten Plagues Most miracles are natural phenomena with awesomely good timing. The Ten Plagues are a notable exception. Here the laws of nature are turned upside down to help free the Jews.

Video: The Islamic Connection to Jerusalem
The Islamic connection begins in the 7th century, thousands of years after the original Jewish connection.

Video: The 10 Lost Tribes
What happened to the 10 lost tribes? Find out in this video feature direct from Jerusalem.

1312 BCE - Torah given at Mount Sinai
(Canaanites tribes occupy Promised Land)
Mount Sinai The encounter between God and the Jews at Mount Sinai was a totally unique event in all of human history.
The Golden Calf  Only 1/10 of 1% of the Jews participated in worshipping the golden calf. Yet God’s reaction makes it clear he is blaming the whole nation. What’s going on here?

1272 BCE - Conquest of Promised Land
The Tragedy of the Spies The spies story occurred on one of the most significant and tragic dates in Jewish history—the 9th of Av. Every major disaster in Jewish history is connected to this date.
Joshua & the Conquest of the Promised Land This is no typical war of conquest replete with pillaging and murder. God has said, "If you follow My instructions all will go well."

1106 BCE - Time of the Judges begins
(Philistines occupy coastal area of Israel)
The Time of the Judges The Jews had no king, but when they needed guidance they turned to "judges," who were both warriors and prophets.

879 BCE - Saul anointed king
King Saul King Saul was a great man who committed one terrible mistake, dooming his reign from the start.

877 BCE - Time of King David begins
David The Shepherd & The Warrior Still too young to fight in the army, David becomes Israel’s champion when he slays Goliath.
David The King He established Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, choosing a place that Jacob called “the gate of heaven.”

836 BCE - King Solomon begins his rule
825 BCE - First Temple completed
(Assyrian empire rising in the north)
King Solomon King Solomon, the wisest of all men, built the Temple in Jerusalem and reigned over Israel’s golden age.

796 BCE - Israel split into two kingdoms
A Divided Nation In response to the king’s arrogance, the ten northern tribes secede, splitting Israel in two.

555 BCE - Assyrians overturn northern Israel; Ten tribes are lost
Assyrian Conquest The Assyrians, who conquer northern Israel, introduce a new way of dealing with vanquished nations. It’s called exile.

547 BCE - Sennacherib attacks Jerusalem
(Babylonians overrun Assyrian empire)
The End of Israel Judah lasts another of 134 years before it, too, falls bringing to an end the kingdom of Israel.

422 BCE - Babylonians conquer Israel & destroy Temple
(Persians overrun Babylonian Empire)
Babylonian Exile The Babylonians think God has abandoned the Jews and celebrate. But they have a surprise coming.

370 BCE - Jews return from Babylonian exile
355 BCE - Miracle of Purim
Purim in Persia Another feast celebrating God’s abandonment of Israel puts in motion a plot to annihilate the Jews.

352 BCE - Construction of Second Temple begins
The Second Temple The Temple the Babylonians destroyed is rebuilt, but it is never the same – the Ark of the Covenant is missing.

347 BCE - Time of the Great Assembly begins
(Greeks overrun Persian Empire)
The Great Assembly These extraordinary sages defined the essence of Judaism for the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora.

312 BCE - Greeks conquer Israel
The Greek Empire To the Greeks, what was beautiful was holy; to the Jews, what was holy was beautiful. These views were bound to clash.

245 BCE - Torah is translated into Greek; Greeks persecute Jews
Greek Persecution Terror reigned—women who allowed their sons to be circumcised were killed with their babies tied around their necks.

167 BCE - Revolt of Maccabees begins
139 BCE - Miracle of Chanukah
(Romans overrun Greek Empire)
The Revolt of the Maccabees The Jewish revolt against the Greeks sets a precedent in human history - it becomes the world’s first religious war.

63 BCE - Romans invade Israel
The Romans Jewish tradition maintains the Romans were descendants of Esau, the red-haired and blood-thirsty brother of Jacob.

37 BCE - Herod, the Great, begins his rule
Herod the Great A madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis, Herod was also the greatest builder in Jewish history.

32 BCE - Time of Hillel & Shammai
Hillel and Shammai In a time when many things were going wrong for the Jews, Hillel and Shammai defined what was going right.

67 CE - The Great Revolt of Jews against Rome begins
The Great Revolt In a seemingly suicidal move, Jews decided to take on the might of Rome.

Video: The Ark of the Covenant (1 min 56 sec)
What happened to the Ark and where is it today?

70 CE - Jerusalem conquered by the Romans, 17th of Tammuz
War For Jerusalem The Jewish nation fights to the death to save its spiritual center.

70 CE - Temple destroyed by the Romans, 9th of Av
Destruction of the Temple  On the saddest day in the Jewish calender, the 9th of Av, the Temple burns to the ground.

Timeline: From Abraham to the Destruction of the Temple  Two thousand years of Jewish history at a glance.

120 CE - Rebellion of Bar Kochba
The Bar Kochba Revolt Despite the disastrous results of the Great Revolt, the Jews revolt again and again.

136 CE - Rabbi Akiva martyred
Exile The Romans sought to extinguish Jewish presence in Jerusalem by renaming it Aelia Capitolina, and by changing Israel to Palestine.

219 CE - Mishna compiled by Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi
Talmud In a time of chaos, the rabbis decide that they must do the unprecedented—write down the Oral Law.

Seeds of Christianity During a time of cruel oppression of the Jews, a number of splinter sects sprang up whose members believed that the Apocalypse was at hand.

312 CE - Constantine converts Roman Empire to Christianity
(Fall of Rome and rise of Byzantine Empire)
From Paul to Constantine At first, Christianity was the most successful where people had been attracted to Judaism but were unwilling to take on all its precepts.

638 CE - Islamic conquest of Jerusalem
The Rise of Islam Mohammed reacted with anger when Jews refused to recognize him as the last of the prophets.
The Jews of Babylon The oldest and most stable of Jewish communities was saved from the Christians by Muslims sweeping through the Middle East.

1040 CE - Time of Rashi begins
1135 CE - Time of Maimonides begins
The Jews of Spain The land of opportunity for Jews—from the 8th to the 12th century—was Spain.

1096 CE - Time of Crusades begins
The Crusades The Crusaders came to liberate the Holy Land from the "infidels" and woe to any Jews who stood in their way.

1144 CE - First Blood Libel
Blood Libel Nothing can rationally explain the extreme Christian accusations leveled against the Jews at this time: Jews killed babies and drank their blood!

1263 CE - The Great Disputation; time of Nachamanides
1348 CE - Black Plague
The Black Death Although the Europeans didn’t know what brought on the bubonic plague, they had no trouble naming the cause—it had to be the Jews!

1478 CE - The Inquisition begins
1492 CE - Jews expelled from Spain; Columbus discovers America
(Ottoman Empire takes over the Middle East)
The Inquisition The basic accusation of the Inquisition was that Jews who converted to Christianity were still secretly Jewish.

1517 CE - Protestant Reformation; time of Martin Luther
The Reformation and the Jews The Reformation exposed the corruption of the Church and brought about the advent of Protestantism. For the Jews it just meant more bad news.

1567 CE - Jews invited into Poland

The Jews of Poland King Boleslav of Poland invited the Jews, granting them unprecedented rights and privileges.

1570 CE - Time of the Ari & Kabbalists
The Kabbalists In the 16th century, the mountaintop town of Tzfat became the center of Jewish mysticism – the Kabbalah.

1648 CE - Chmielnicki Massacres in Eastern Europe
The Jews of Poland
1651 CE - Time of Shabbetai Tzvi, false messiah

The Kabbalists
1654 CE - First Jews arrive in America
Jews and the Founding of America The amazing story of Jewish influence on the founding of American democracy is a well-kept secret.

1698 CE - Time of the Ba’al Shem Tov begins; the Hassidic Movement
1772 CE - Time of the Misnagdim & Vilna Goan
(The Enlightenment; American Revolution; French Revolution)
The Hassidic Movement  Initially a movement of the poor and uneducated, Hassidism introduced Kabbalah and spirituality into everyday life.

1791 CE - Jews herded into Pale of Settlement in Russia
Pale of Settlement An area of Russia where Jews were most oppressed, the Pale of Settlement gave rise to amazingly good things.

1810 CE - Reform Movement begins in Germany
Reform Movement The German Jews who founded the Reform Movement emphasized their loyalty to the "fatherland" in order to be accepted in mainstream German society.

1881 CE - Jews made scapegoats for Czar of Russia
The Czars and the Jews In Czarist Russia, government-organized pogroms against the Jews kept the eyes of masses off the corrupt regime.

1882 CE - first aliyah to Israel
Return to the Land of Israel
1887 CE - Conservative Movement founded in America
Jewish Life in America Jews gained untold riches in America, but lost their heritage and spirituality.

1894 CE - Dreyfus Affair in France
The Face of Anti-Semitism Even in such civilized nation as France and the United States, anti-Semitism never died out.

1897 CE - First Zionist Congress
(World War I; end of Ottoman Empire)
Modern Zionism  The First Zionist Conference, held in 1897, was a major event in the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

1917 CE - British Mandate begins in Palestine; Balfour Declaration
1927 CE - Country of Jordan created by the British on the East Bank of the Jordan River
The British Mandate  The British promised to create a Jewish state. Instead they served their own Arab-linked interests as millions died in the Holocaust.

1933 CE - Hitler comes to power in Germany
(World War II)
The Holocaust  While Nazi Germany proceeded to systematically round up and execute Jews, the rest of the world closed its eyes and its doors.

1942 CE - Final Solution formulated by the Nazis
The Final Solution  Hitler was mindlessly focused on his goal: the elimination of all Jews from the planet.

1947 CE - Partition of Palestine by the UN
1948 CE - State of Israel declared
The State of Israel  After the British brutally turned away Holocaust survivors from Israel, the UN voted to partition the land.

1948 CE - War of Independence
1964 CE - PLO founded
1967 CE - Six Day War and Reunification of Jerusalem
War  Since its founding in 1948, Israel has been in a constant state of war and yet it has achieved great economic success.

Final Analysis
The Miracle of Jewish History In the final analysis, Jewish history makes no rational sense.

Timeline: From Abraham to the Founding of the State of Israel  Four thousand years of the History of Judaism at a glance.                          PDF    version courtesy of S. Malkah Cohen at J M Publishers

by  Ken Spiro
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