Jews of the world have long been associated with their homeland of Israel through religious and physical links. Until Persian Invasion of 650 CE, the land of Israel was known to have been the home of the Jewish Monarchy. Although the name “Israel” makes its appearance in the Egyptian Merneptah Stele only in 1200 BCE, the Jewish bible claims the existence of the Jewish tribe centuries ago.
Origins of Jews and Judaism:
The word “Jews” originated from the biblical Hebrew word “Yehudi” meaning “tribe of Judah” or the people of Kingdom of Judah. The tribe derives its name from the fourth son of Jacob, Judah. The ancient monotheistic Abrahamic religion which encompasses the religion, culture, and philosophy of Jewish people was called as Judaism. A wealth of texts, practices and theological concepts constitute the faith of Jewish tribe. The Torah or the Hebrew Bible is considered to be holy book of the Jews.
The Kingdom of Judah:
The people of Abrahamic descent formed the kingdom of Judah in 1300 BCE after they had been exiled from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Moses has known to have transmitted the holy Torah and the Ten Commandments during this period. After 40 years of struggle in the Sinai desert, Moses led the tribe to the Land of Israel, which is cited in the Bible as the Land that was promised by God to the descendants of the patriarchs-Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.
Rule of Israel:
The rule of Israelites started with the conquests of Joshua in 1250 BCE. The period of 1000-587 BCE is known as the “Period of the Kings” when many Kings ruling the land of Israel made significant contributions to the religion and its people. The most noteworthy of them was King David (1010-970 BCE), who made Jerusalem his capital, and his son Solomon (Shlomo, 970-931 BCE), who built the first Temple in Jerusalem as described in the Old Testament.
In a turn of events, during the 587 BCE, the Babylonian army captured Jerusalem, destroyed all the Jewish Temples, and exiled the indigenous to Babylon; this was the turning point in the history of Israel. From 587 BCE onwards, Israel was ruled or controlled by a succession of Powerful empires in the following order: Babylonian, Persian, Greek Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Empires, Islamic and Christian crusaders, Ottoman Empire, and the British Empire.
Judaism in Today’s Israel:
Judaism in Today’s Israel has seen an enormous transformation from the orthodox traditions of the old. With more and more moderate views rising among the people of Israel, the fringe or extremist ideas of Judaism are fading. Also, the deep wounds of the persecuted community still live in the hostilities around them even years after the World wars have ended. Persecution has only ushered in moderation and accommodation among the Jewish populace which let go of hard lines. Israel is witnessing a definite Renaissance in its Jewish community. To some extent, Israeli political establishment has acted positively by demarcating the line between Religion and Politics.