Category: Israel’s History, Traditions and Ties

Why does the world hate the Jews? Why is anti-Semitism so rampant in so many different nations? What is so bad about the Jews? History has shown that at various times over the last 1,700 years the Jews have been expelled from over 80 different countries. Historians and experts have concluded there are at least six possible reasons:

• Racial Theory – the Jews are hated because they are an inferior race.
• Economic Theory – the Jews are hated because they possess too much wealth and power.
• Outsiders Theory – the Jews are hated because they are different from everyone else.
• Scapegoat Theory – the Jews are hated because they are the cause for all the world’s problems.
• Deicide Theory – the Jews are hated because they killed Jesus Christ.
• Chosen People Theory – the Jews are hated because they arrogantly declare they are the “chosen ones of God.”

Is there any substance to these theories?

• With respect to the racial theory, the truth is that the Jews are not a race. Anyone in the world of any color, creed or race can become a Jew.

• The economic theory citing that the Jews are wealthy doesn’t hold much weight. History has shown that during the 17th through the 20th centuries, especially in Poland and Russia, the Jews were desperately poor and had very little, if any, influence in business or political systems.

• As for the outsiders’ theory, during the 18th century, the Jews desperately tried to assimilate with the rest of Europe. They had hoped that assimilation would cause anti-Semitism to disappear. However, they were hated even more by those who claimed the Jews would infect their race with inferior genes. This was especially true in Germany prior to World War II.

• As for the scapegoat theory, the fact is that the Jews have always been hated, which makes them a very convenient target.

• As for the idea of deicide, the Bible makes it clear that the Romans were the ones who actually killed Jesus, though the Jews acted as accomplices. It wasn’t until a few hundred years later that the Jews were cited as the murderers of Jesus. One wonders why the Romans are not the ones hated. Jesus Himself forgave the Jews (Luke 23:34). Even the Vatican absolved the Jews of Jesus’ death in 1963. Nevertheless, neither statement has diminished anti-Semitism.

• As for their claim to being the “chosen people of God,” the Jews in Germany rejected their “chosen-ness” status during the later part of the 19th century to better assimilate into German culture. Nevertheless, they suffered the Holocaust. Today, some Christians and Muslims claim to be the “chosen people” of God, yet for the most part, the world tolerates them and still hates the Jews.

This brings us to the real reason by the world hates the Jews. The apostle Paul tells us, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” (Romans 9:3-5). The truth is that the world hates the Jews because the world hates God. The Jews were God’s firstborn, His chosen people (Deuteronomy 14:2). Through the Jewish patriarchs, the prophets, and the temple, God used the Jews to bring forth His Word, the Law, and morality to a world of sin. He sent forth His son, Jesus the Christ, in a Jewish body to redeem the world of sin. Satan, the prince of the earth (John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2), has poisoned the minds of men with his hated of the Jews. See Revelation 12 for an allegorical depiction of Satan’s (the dragon’s) hatred of the Jewish nation (the woman).

Satan has tried to wipe out the Jews through the Babylonians, the Persians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Hittites, and the Nazis. But he’s failed every time. God is not finished with Israel. Romans 11:26 tells us that some day all Israel will be saved, and this cannot come to pass if Israel no longer exists. Therefore, God will preserve the Jews for the future, just as He has preserved their remnant throughout history, until His final plan comes to pass. Nothing can thwart God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish people.

In  the period that preceded the monarchy, Israel had no king; everyone did as he  saw fit (Judges  21:25). God raised up Samuel to lead the people (1 Samuel 3:4). All of  Israel knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord (1 Samuel 3:20). Samuel  judged Israel all the days of his life, and when he was old he made his sons  judges over Israel (1 Samuel  8:1). Israel rejected the sons, refused to obey Samuel and demanded a king  (1 Samuel  8:19-20). When Samuel reported their request to God, the Lord answered,  “Listen to them and give them a king” (1 Samuel  8:22).

Saul was the first king. He was of the tribe of Benjamin,  which, in the days of the judges, had almost been annihilated. Tall, handsome  and humble, Saul began his reign with a brilliant victory over the Ammonites.  Any misgivings about the new “kingdom” disappeared. But success rapidly went to  his head, and humility gave place to pride. He offered sacrifice, which was the  exclusive function of priests, showing his presumed self-importance. He  deliberately disobeyed God, causing God to tell Samuel; “I am grieved that I  have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out  my instructions” (1 Samuel  15:10). Saul reigned unsuccessfully from 1049 B.C. to 1009 B.C., then he  “took his own sword and fell on it” (1 Samuel  31:4).

David, although anointed as king when just a boy, did not  “take the throne” until after Saul’s death (2 Samuel  2:4). David was short of stature, ruddy, of beautiful countenance, handsome,  of immense physical strength and great personal attractiveness. He was a man of  war, prudent in speech, very brave, very musical and very religious. His most  recognized “claim to fame” was God’s promise that David’s family should reign  forever. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse [David’s father] and from  his roots a Branch [Jesus] will bear fruit” (Isaiah  11:1). After Saul’s death, David was made king over Judah, and seven years  later he was made king over all Israel. He was 30 years old when he became king  and reigned from 1009 B.C. to 969 B.C.

Solomon became king in 971 B.C.,  possibly two years before his father David died, and reigned until 931 B.C.  Solomon was born of Bathsheba, and, though not in line for the succession, he  was chosen by David and approved by God to be David’s successor (1 Chronicles 23:1).  Solomon had inherited the throne of the most powerful kingdom then existing. It  was an era of peace and prosperity with vast business enterprises and literary  attainments. God told Solomon to ask what he would, and Solomon asked for wisdom  to govern his people. That pleased God, who richly rewarded him with wealth,  wisdom, power and the important task of building the temple (1 Chronicles  28:2-6).

After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided. Ten  tribes formed the Northern Kingdom, called Israel; Judah and Benjamin formed the  Southern Kingdom, called Judah. The date of the division of the kingdom is  approximately 931 B.C. The following dates are approximate, due to overlapping  reigns, associated sovereignty, intervals of anarchy and parts of years referred  to as full years. Some of the reigns were, in part, concurrent. All the kings of  Israel practiced idolatry; the worst served Baal. Many of the kings of Judah  served idols; few served Jehovah faithfully. Some bad kings were partly good;  some good kings partly bad. The kings, the approximate dates of their reigns and  their dispositions are listed below:

Jeroboam, bad, 930-909 B.C.
Nadab, bad, 909-908  B.C.
Baasha, bad, 908-886 B.C.
Elah, bad, 886-885 B.C.
Zimri, bad,  885 B.C.
Tibni, bad, 885-880 B.C.
Omri (overlap), extra bad, 885-874  B.C.
Ahab, the worst, 874-853 B.C.
Ahaziah, bad, 853-852 B.C.
Joram,  bad mostly, 852-841 B.C.
Jehu, not good but better than the rest, 841-814  B.C.
Jehoahaz, bad, 814-798 B.C.
Joash, bad, 798-782 B.C.
Jeroboam  II (overlap), bad, 793-753 B.C.
Zechariah, bad, 753 B.C.
Shallum, bad,  752 B.C.
Menahem, bad, 752-742 B.C.
Pekahiah, bad, 742-740 B.C.
Pekah (overlap), bad, 752-732 B.C.
Hoshea, bad, 732-722  B.C.

Rehoboam, bad mostly, 933-916  B.C.
Abijah, bad mostly, 915-913 B.C.
Asa, GOOD, 912-872 B.C.
Jehoshaphat, GOOD, 874-850 B.C.
Jehoram, bad, 850-843 B.C.
Ahaziah,  bad, 843 B.C.
Athaliah, devilish, 843-837 B.C.
Joash, good mostly,  843-803 B.C.
Amaziah, good mostly, 803-775 B.C.
Uzziah, GOOD mostly,  787-735 B.C.
Jotham, GOOD, 749-734 B.C.
Ahaz, wicked, 741-726 B.C.
Hezekiah, THE BEST, 726-697 B.C.
Manasseh, the worst, 697-642 B.C.
Amon, the worst, 641-640 B.C.
Josiah, THE BEST, 639-608 B.C.
Jehoahaz,  bad, 608 B.C.
Jehoiakim, wicked, 608-597 B.C.
Jehoiachin, bad, 597  B.C.
Zedekiah, bad, 597-586 B.C.

שלי אהבת ה ‘- האהבה שלי לישראל

Jewish civilization was already over 1,000 years old when the Romans conquered Judea, but the Jew safe guarded their unique heritage for the next two millennia. No matter how far they wandered, how much they adapted to their host societies or how much they were persecuted, Jews maintained their identity.

Judaism and its sacred books bind the Jewish people together. Whether they are religious or secular, Jews are connected by the ethics and values that Judaism teaches. Parents have passed the tradition to their children, who passed it on to their own children, and so it has continued for thousands of years. Jews everywhere observe the holy days in almost identical ways and repeat the rituals and prayers that Jewish families have used since the days of ancient Israel. Jews share the same life-cycle rituals. When an eight-day-old infant is circumcised or adolescents celebrate their Bar Mitzvah and the whole community celebrates, they are reenacting age-old Jewish traditions. When a loved one dies, Jewish customs and prayers comfort the grieving and spell out how the community should support and console the mourners. Jewish life centers around home and family. Jewish tradition sanctified family relationships. Parents’ devotion and sense of responsibility for passing on Jewish identity have bound generations to the past while linking them to the future.

Jews have always identified with Zion, the Jewish homeland. It is at the core of Jewish history, religious texts and identity. Many consider the title to the land to be at the heart of the promise between God and the Jewish people in the Torah, which dates back thousands of years. The Hebrew language, the Torah, the laws in the Talmud, the Jewish calendar and Jewish holidays and festivals all originated in ancient Israel and revolve around its seasons,way of life and history. Zion and Jerusalem are mentioned 809 times in the Hebrew Bible. When Israel was reestablished in 1948, Jews everywhere came to embrace Israel and once again recognize it as the center of Jewish life and continuity.

“The Greeks and the Romans…are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out…the Jews saw them all, survived them all…all things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces passed, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”  —Mark Twain, 1898