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Jewish History - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class August 8, 2012 Comparison of the Immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel to Jews Deported to Babylon Big Idea The history of the Jews has been replete with countless instances of exiles. The immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel bears some resemblances and differences to the Jews deported to Babylon…
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Download file to see previous pages These immigrations are similar in their ways of adapting in new countries, but they had differences in reasons of immigration and challenges and experiences in their new countries. Enduring Understanding These two Jewish populations differed in challenges and experiences in their new countries, with the Jews in Babylon faring better than the Ethiopian Jews in Israel, even when they both experienced comparatively equal human rights in their new countries. In Babylon, Jews hated being separated from their homeland, but they flourished as merchants and professionals (Hooker). They enjoyed many of the liberties provided to local Babylonians, such as owning land, freedom to practice Judaism, and acquiring wealth (Hooker). They prospered significantly due to the extensive trade routes that existed in this region (Moss). In Israel, the Ethiopian Jews generally experienced intense poverty, due to poor Hebrew/English language skills and lack of employability skills (“Ethiopia's Jews: The Last Exodus”). These Jews came from agricultural communities and were forced to rapidly assimilate into a cosmopolitan lifestyle and economic structure (Chen). Ethiopian Jews also suffered from discrimination, because some Jews questioned their “Jewishness” (“Ethiopia's Jews: The Last Exodus”). ...
The situation became more depressing throughout the early 1980's. The state demanded forced conscription at the age of 12, which separated many Jewish boys away from their parents (“The History of Ethiopian Jews”). Furthermore, Ethiopian Jews feared the threats of war, famine, and unbearable health conditions (“The History of Ethiopian Jews”). The pull factors of their migration came from Israel and the U.S., which wanted to save them and bring them to Israel. In 1977, Prime Minister Menachem Begin wanted the Ethiopian Jews to immigrate to Israel (“Ethnic Groups: Ethiopian Jews”). For the Jews who were deported to Babylon, they faced pull factors. The Chaldeans, as they pursued similar Mesopotamian practice, deported the Jews after they subdued Jerusalem in 597 BC. Hence, they suffered exile that led to their Diaspora. Despite feelings of discrimination, both the Ethiopian Jews and Jews in Babylonian exile persevered through learning their new country’s language and adapting to their culture. The Ethiopian Jews learned Hebrew and English and adapted practices and skills that enabled them to live and work in the city (Chen). Their children studied in Israelite schools and some successfully finished school and became prominent political and social leaders (Chen). In Babylon, the Jews adopted the Chaldean religion. In both cases, the Ethiopian and Babylonian Jews contributed to the socio-economic and cultural diversity of their new countries, although some feared that Ethiopian Jews never truly fit into Israel’s way of life, because their poverty (Chen). Comparison of the Immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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