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Questions tagged [jews]

A nation and an ethnoreligious group, originating with the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. Jewish people live in almost every country, as a result of the diaspora.

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33 votes
12 answers
5k views

How to rebut Holocaust denial argument?

I came across a Holocaust denier who claims that there is a plaque outside Auschwitz which says that the Nazis murdered 1.5 million people there (mostly Jewish). However, the plaque used to say 4 ...
Ovi's user avatar
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30 votes
6 answers
7k views

What are the text and subtext of this 1949 Soviet cartoon?

Over on Wikipedia, we find this cover from the March 1949 issue of Soviet satire mag Krokodil: The person who uploaded it to Wikipedia captioned it "Antisemitic caricature of rootless cosmopolitan." ...
Quuxplusone's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
4k views

Did Arab policymakers have plans for the Jewish population, in case of victory in 1948 War?

Presumably the Arab goal in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war was to defeat Israel. Total victory would probably mean the total control of the whole Mandatory Palestine, which at this point already contained ...
ASandhiyudha's user avatar
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26 votes
9 answers
3k views

Why did Jews not immigrate to the Muslim world?

Throughout most of history, Jews lived significantly better in the Muslim countries than in Christian ones. Moreover, after the expulsion from Spain, many Spanish Jews moved to the Muslim world (from ...
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25 votes
5 answers
6k views

Nuremberg Laws - Did they affect existing marriages between Jews and Non-Jews?

The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor states: Marriages between Jews and citizens of German or related blood are forbidden. Sexual relations between Jews and citizens of ...
Mingle Li's user avatar
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25 votes
6 answers
18k views

Did Akhenaten's religion influence early Judaism?

There were some claims, for example in the 1st 2 chapters of Moses and Monotheism by Freud, that early Judaism was basically a spin-off of Akhenaten's religion. There are indeed some remarkable ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 4,670
25 votes
1 answer
2k views

What really happened to the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel is a well-documented semi-historical legend in Jewish history, and appears in sources from a number of ancient cultures. The factual history however, seems to be shrouded ...
Noldorin's user avatar
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23 votes
6 answers
3k views

Why were the British so reluctant to allow Jewish migration to Palestine?

Not sure if this is the correct forum to ask this, but I'm currently reading 'Exodus' by Leon Uris, and I'm curious as to why the British were so reluctant in letting Jewish people in Palestine. ...
user1021138's user avatar
21 votes
7 answers
22k views

When was Jerusalem destroyed by the Babylonians?

When reading literature about the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, I always wonder which year it took place. Some books say 586 B.CE. and some say 587 B.CE. Is this because we don't know? Or is ...
Niclas Nilsson's user avatar
20 votes
4 answers
23k views

What historical reasons did the Nazis give for hating the Jews? How did they identify non-practicing Jews?

What historical or cultural reasons did the Nazis give for hating the Jews? Did they ever accurately and precisely identify non-practicing Jews? I asked Jewish culture differences singled out by ...
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19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why was the "Cave of the Patriarchs" forbidden to Jews?

I just found out a tweet of Ben Shapiro stating the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron was closed to Jews for 700 years. I searched and didn't find any name but this article mentions that In the ...
Nabil Farhan's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

What would the Arch of Titus have looked like painted?

The Arch of Titus is a famous attraction in Rome, built by the Roman Emperor Domitian in 82 CE, in honor of the great military conquest of his older brother, Titus. Perhaps the most famous part of ...
ezra's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
5k views

Are there non-Biblical references to collecting foreskins?

The Old Testament is awfully big on foreskins (e.g. Genesis 34 and 1 Samuel 18:27). In particular, the Israelites are fond of collecting the foreskins of their enemies, usually after they have been ...
David's user avatar
  • 465
18 votes
4 answers
7k views

What defined a Jew in the context of WW2? [closed]

What made a Jew? It's a complex question, primarily because borders in Central and Eastern Europe were moving back and forth in the 150 years preceding WW2, mostly because Poland was annexed for over ...
matcheek's user avatar
  • 517
18 votes
3 answers
4k views

What percentage of Jews were in "finance" (money-lenders) throughout Middle Ages?

The stereotypical image of a Jew in Middle Ages (and the portrayal of them) was of course "the money-lender". From Ivanhoe's Isaac of York, to Shakespeare's Shylock, to "Проклятый жид, ...
DVK's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
17k views

How rich were carpenters in Roman Galilee in the 1st century AD?

According to the Biblical account, Jesus was the son of a carpenter, Joseph of Nazareth (Matthew 13,55). How rich could a carpenter become in the Roman province of Galilee in 1st century AD? What ...
Voitcus's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
15k views

How many Bolsheviks were Jewish?

There is an old canard to the effect that Bolshevism was a Jewish phenomenon (the Nazis, for example, referred to it as Judeo-Bolshevism), and there are still many people today who stress the ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
  • 3,276
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

In what language was the first Zionist congress in Basel in 1897 held?

In what language was the first Zionist congress in Basel held? Was it Yiddish, Hebrew, German, English? Where there translators?
dudel's user avatar
  • 167
15 votes
2 answers
5k views

What happened to the stuff stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans?

In the year 66 CE, the Jews in Roman Palestine rose up in revolt against the Roman occupation. Four years later , the Romans sacked Jerusalem, leveled the city, killed everyone inside, razed the ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
7k views

How did the Emperor Titus die?

How did Titus die? Do we have any historical sources that are less fanciful than the Babylonian Talmud, quoted below? Are there any other records of his symptoms prior to death? According to the ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 5,519
14 votes
4 answers
1k views

Were there any Jewish members of the Roman Senate?

A Jewish presence in Ancient Rome has been attested to from even before the Roman conquest of Judea. It was possible for prominent individuals to acquire Roman citizenship and at least under the ...
Neil Tarrant's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
667 views

References or accounts in historical Egyptian literature about the Exodus

In the Bible, there is a long treatise about the miracles that had forgone the Exodus, the Book of Genesis details these. Then there are the dealings between Moses and Pharaoh, the magic fight of ...
Probably's user avatar
  • 1,589
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Was Jesus thought to be Jewish before the Renaissance?

Anthony Grafton claims that "the Christian discovery of a Jewish Jesus began not in the 19th century but in the Renaissance"; elsewhere, "Sixteenth and seventeenth-century scholars came to see, as ...
Hypercube's user avatar
  • 279
12 votes
4 answers
6k views

Languages spoken by Josephus?

What languages did Josephus speak? He lived in the land of Israel during the first century CE. He wrote in Greek (so he obviously knew that), but did he know Hebrew, Aramaic, or Latin?
Adam Mosheh's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the Soviet Union hand over thousands of Jews to the Nazis in the spirit of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact?

The most recent episode of the Italian documentary TV series Ulisse - Il piacere della scoperta (Ulysses - The pleasure of discovery) covered the deportation of Jews from Italy, and at some point it ...
Vincenzo Oliva's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

What factors contributed to Jews moving out of the Middle East?

History shows that the Jews started moving out of the Middle East in the 1000s? Until then there were no major Jewish centers outside the Middle East (Babylon, Egypt, etc.) except for Rome. By the ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
34k views

How historically accurate is "Life is Beautiful" when it comes to Jewish extermination?

I want to ask about the movie Life is Beautiful It is portrayed, in the movie, how that protagonist Jew is sent to extermination camp in Italy. I thought Jews in Italy were not usually sent to ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 5,519
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why did Martin Luther hate the Jews?

What was his reason for hating the Jews? Did Luther believe in religious toleration, or did he hate the Jews because they didn't share his beliefs?
user4951's user avatar
  • 5,519
12 votes
3 answers
14k views

What treatment did Allied Jewish POWs get when captured by the Germans?

According to Wikipedia, there were about 500,000 American Jews serving in the US forces during World War II, and another 500,000 Jews served other Allied nations. Some of these servicemen would have ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
468 views

Solzhenitsyn's History of Russian Jews

I was looking for some comprehensive histories of Jews in Russia, when I came across Aleksander Solzhenitsyn's Two Hundred Years Together. I had no idea that this book even existed, and am ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
6k views

Have famous rabbis ever converted to Islam?

By "famous rabbi" I mean someone who was actually known in at least one community as an authority on Jewish law, not just one who successfully completed rabbinical training.
Felix Goldberg's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What was it like for German Jews after WWII?

A movie I saw recently referred to the experience of German Jews who survived concentration camps and came back to live in German cities. It never occurred to me before how uncomfortable, or even ...
composerMike's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Would Jewish Ukranians historically have worn vyshyvankas and integrated Slavic embroidary into their lives?

I am trying to learn about the culture of Jewish ancestors in eastern Europe and wonder what elements of Slavic culture would have been present or distinct from Jewish culture in the area. ...
cr0's user avatar
  • 344
12 votes
2 answers
562 views

What was the fate of Latvian Jewish population sent to gulags in June 1941?

Some of my ancestors were Latvian Jews who came to the U.S. in 1904. I'm trying to figure out whether any part of this branch of my family might still exist in the eastern hemisphere. After the Hitler-...
user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
5k views

Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites?

From Mi Yodeya The Samaritans themselves claim to be descended from the original Israelite inhabitants of northern Israel. The biblical account (II Kings 17:24ff) states that they are descended ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 5,519
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did the Falasha make contact with Jews outside Ethiopia?

I just read a book about an expedition to Ethiopia, The Last of Free Africa, published 1928. The author Gordon MacCreagh writes: An astounding fact which should be of absorbing interest to Jews the ...
Colonel Panic's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
607 views

Were there Jewish Cossacks in the 17th century?

Based on my research there seems to have been Jewish Cossacks. Based on what I have read it is possible they were Karaites who sought help of Cossacks to retrieve children and or families removed from ...
user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

Was prostitution legal in the Kingdom of Israel during the reign of Solomon?

The wikipedia article is not clear: Prostitution was common in ancient Israel, despite being tacitly forbidden by Jewish Law. What was the law forbidding prostitution? Given that prostitutes ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 5,519
10 votes
3 answers
35k views

Jewish Slave Owners in the United States

David Duke has a video on YouTube about Jewish participation in various slave trades in Western history. At the 7:40 mark he states: In the pre-Civil War United States 2% of white gentile ...
whitewings's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are Ashkenazi Jews decendants of Khazars? Was there a mass conversion of Khazars to Judaism?

I think the title is pretty self explanatory. I have heard that they are not "truly" semitic. Wikipedia says that it is possible. Does anyone have more direct evidence?
Ben Kessler's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did a Jewish King of Narbonne exist?

In today's edition of Le Monde, Marek Halter mentions something about Jewish Kings in Carolingian France, recognized by Charlemagne. Probably using Arthur Zuckerman 'Jewish Kingdom in feudal France' ...
username's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
4 answers
900 views

Did Jewish families feel Nazi oppression was exceptional?

I'm trying to compare the treatment of Jews in Europe before the rise of the Nazis with their treatment under the Nazis (before the concentration camps). Did Jewish communities feel that their ...
josinalvo's user avatar
  • 434
9 votes
10 answers
3k views

Nazism and Jewish persecution awareness during the WW2 years [closed]

I've always wondered how is it possible that an entire nation and beyond (Germany) wasn't aware of the Jewish persecution during the WW2 years or, if they were, that they did nothing to stop it. Were ...
Marco A.'s user avatar
  • 225
9 votes
3 answers
864 views

What was the point of the Babylonian captivity?

What was the point of the Babylonian captivity? I could understand if a few royalty or nobility were taken hostage, but why tens of thousands? I see no suggestion that they were taken into slavery. ...
Keith McClary's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
645 views

What sovereign Jewish polities have existed outside of Palestine?

Which sovereign Jewish polities have existed outside of Palestine, and when did they exist? Off the top of my head, I can think of the Himyarites in Yemen, but I seem to recall there being others.
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
598 views

Are there any independent historical records of ancient Persia allowing freedom of worship for the Jews?

Starting from this claim that the king of Persia respected the Jewish' God. http://niv.scripturetext.com/daniel/6.htm The only surviving text is the Jewish text. Are there independent sources of ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 5,519
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Who suppressed the Book of Jubilees and why?

Wikipedia says the Book of Jubilees was suppressed in 4th century CE: The Book of Jubilees (Hebrew: ספר היובלים Sepher hayYobelim), sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient ...
Felix Goldberg's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
555 views

Jewish diaspora in the late antiquity

Is it possible to estimate the distribution of Jews in the variety of cities they settled in the aftermath of expulsion from Palestine by Adrian in 135 AD and in the following few centuries of the ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 4,670
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

How accurate and balanced is Paul Johnson's 'A History of the Jews'?

'A History of the Jews', by Paul Johnson, takes an authoritative tone and is dense with citations. But its scope is enormous and it sometimes draws very strong conclusions. Given the state of the art ...
shadowtalker's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
349 views

Is Lady Arabella Stuart wearing a Jewish symbol?

In this portrait, Lady Arabella Stuart, a member of the Tudor royal court, is shown wearing a hexagram, presently known as the Star of David. It is unclear from the highest resolution photograph ...
rolfedh's user avatar
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