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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ancient Israelites and Movement Through the World

Movement Through the World
Ever since the Babylonian exile, Jews have settled in places outside Israel. Through the centuries they moved to nearly every country in the world. The settling of Jews outside of Israel is called the Diaspora. The word diaspora comes from the Greek word for "sowing," as in the spreading of seeds.

Strabo, a Greek geographer who lived at the end of the first century B.C., wrote this about the world's early Jews:

[They] are scattered in all the towns, and it is difficult to find a place in all the inhabited world which has not received them.. . .

During the Babylonian exile, the Judaeans realized that they did not need to be near the temple in Jerusalem to worship God. Wherever groups of Jews settled, they built houses of worship. Today Jewish houses of worship, or synagogues (SIH»nuh»gahgz), can be found in many different parts of the world.

What is the Diaspora?


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