Transcript Judaism

Brief Overview
Pogroms: brief timeline
Pogroms = large-scale, targeted,
repeated anti-Semitic rioting
Pre-19th century:
• 38 - anti-Semitic riots under Roman rule
• 2nd c. - communal violence against Jews
& Christians who refused to accept
Roman rule over Israel
• 1095–1291 - massive violent attacks
against Jews date during Crusades
Pre-19th century pogroms cont.
• 11thc. - Muslim pogroms against Jews in
• 1348 - Because of hysteria surrounding
the black plague, Jews were massacred
throughout Europe. Many surviving Jews
fled to Poland.
• 1543 - On the Jews and Their Lies (Martin
Luther), treatise advocating harsh
persecution of Jewish people.
• 1648-1654 - Jews & Roman Catholics
massacred by Ukrainian Cossacks.
19th Century Pogroms in Russia
• 1881-84 - large-scale wave of antiJewish riots swept through Russia.
Jews were blamed for the assassination
of Tsar Alexander II.
– Thousands of Jewish homes destroyed,
many families were reduced to poverty,
large numbers of men, women, & children
were injured in 166 towns in today’s
– Many Russian Jews reassessed their status
in Russian Empire & emigrated to the US.
– Boosted the early Zionist movement.
20th Century Pogroms in Russia
• 1903-06 – Bloody wave of pogroms,
leaving an estimated 2,000 Jews dead &
many more wounded.
• 1917 Russian revolution & Civil War
887 mass pogroms
70,000 to 250,000 Jews killed
Over 300,000 Jewish orphans
about 40% of pogroms perpetuated by
Ukrainian forces
20th Century Pogroms outside Russia
• 1918 – pogroms in Poland
• 1919 – a pogrom in Argentina
• 1927 – pogroms in Romania
• 1945 - pogroms in Libya & Iraq:
led to massive emigration from
Arab countries to Israel
Holocaust-era pogroms
• Nazis encouraged pogroms before larger
mass killings began.
• Deadly pogroms occurred at the hands
of non-Germans (Ukraine & Lithuania).
• Romania = 13,266 Jews were killed by
Romanian citizens, police & military.
• After WWII = isolated pogroms, i.e.
Polish pogrom of 1946.
Influence of Pogroms
 worldwide outcry
 mass Jewish emigration
2,000,000 Jews fled the Russian Empire
between 1880 & 1914, many going to the
UK & the US.
Jews became politically active
 The General Jewish Labor Union.
 Participation in Bolshevik movements.
 Jewish self-defense leagues.
 Zionism.
4 Movements of Judaism
Reform Judaism
• 1800s in Germany
• Largest Jewish movement in North America,
more than 900 congregations & 1.5 million
• Western Europe began to tolerate Jews:
granted citizenship & civil rights
• Process of social & political liberalization
extended to Judaism
• Emphasized aspects consistent with rationality
& modern thought
• Rejected ancient rules & beliefs: dietary laws
(kosher); use of spoken languages in place of
Hebrew; seating segregation by gender
Conservative Judaism
• Distinctly US American branch
• Some adaptation of Jewish law to
contemporary life
• Not as far as Reform Jews in
updating ancient tradition
• Ex. Ordination of Conservative
women rabbis is still controversial
Orthodox Judaism
• Torah was literally bestowed by God on Moses &
the Jewish people
• Torah is sacred and beyond challenge
Ultra-orthodox Hasidic Judaism
• 1700’s in Poland
• mystical Judaism that finds divine presence in all
• rabbis are charismatic leaders with special powers
to perform miracles
• Jews lived in segregated ghettos, shtetls
• God established covenant with
– Divine promise to Abraham that his
descendants would enjoy God’s
– In turn, they were obligated to obey the
divine word
• Hebrews embraced Judaism
– Monotheism
– Ethical behavior
• Torah = 1st 5 books of the Hebrew Bible
received by Moses
– Core sacred text of Judaism from about 3,500
years ago
– Essence of a way of life: devotion to God, lifelong learning, reason, wisdom, ethical conduct
– Talmud – 60 books of rabbis’ thinking &
decisions between 300 and 500
• Rome conquered Middle East
– Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed
– Ancient Jewish state of Israel became a province
of the Roman Empire
• Jewish Diaspora = dispersion of Jewish
communities throughout W. & E. Europe, N.
Africa, & E. Mediterranean
Some Core Beliefs
• Flexibility in belief = no hierarchical
religious authority codifies & enforces
religious precepts
• Rabbi interpretations of sacred texts
• Ethical practice & moral action = more
important than conformity to abstract
theological or ritual rules
• People are created in God’s image & are
uniquely capable of performing good deeds:
mitzvah (righteous acts)
• God’s creation is an unending
process, always unfolding in the
virtuous actions of people
• Land of Israel = God commanded
Abraham to settle in Israel
– Returning to the Promised Land = coming
of the messiah, ending 2000 yrs. of exile
– 1948 = modern state of Israel
– Longing for the homeland expressed in
• “chosen people” = covenant placed
responsibilities on Jewish people to
demonstrate by their own actions the
universal truth of God’s commandments
– Jews were to guide others in living morally &
– NOT an ethnocentric sense of superiority or
• Human nature = people are selfdetermining: can choose to act righteously
or sinfully
• Judaism Focuses on this world
– Heaven & hell vaguely mentioned in
Jewish writings: not distinct places
where divinity dispenses rewards &
punishments for behavior on earth
– Heaven & hell are experienced in this life
as rewards & punishments for human