The Jew through the Centuries

By Herbert L. Willett | Go to book overview

V THE RISE OF JUDAISM

There is no precise time that can be set as the end of Hebrew history and the beginning of Jewish institutions. It is sometimes suggested that the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. is a suitable date for this event. But it was not an event; it was a process. Hebrews were living in scattered communities both in Palestine and in the wider world many years after the destruction of the holy city; Hebrew writers were making their contributions to the literature of their people during some generations following that event, and Hebrews of priestly tradition were elaborating the laws of the nation on the lines traced by earlier prophets in hopes of a national revival. These groups and activities gradually faded out, surviving only in a few choice spirits and the literature, some of which has come to us in the documents of the Old Testament.

Of the beginnings of Judaism it is possible to speak with greater precision. The activities of the patriot Nehemiah and the priestly reformer Ezra furnish the conspicuous landmarks of that great new adventure which has contributed so notably to the spiritual culture of the world. Particularly in the energetic measures taken by the second of these leaders are found the origins of one of the most significant religious movements in history. The two processes went on together. As Hebrew life slowly declined and expired, the

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The Jew through the Centuries
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • I- Palestine 23
  • II- Hebrew Origins 71
  • III- Hebrew Contacts, Accretions And Dispersions 87
  • IV- Decline and Fall of Judah: Close Of Hebrew History 104
  • V- The Rise of Judaism 132
  • VI- Priesthood and Genealogies 166
  • VII- The Growth of Judaism 189
  • VIII- Jew and Christian 224
  • IX- The End of the Jewish State 258
  • X- The Jew Through the Centuries 279
  • XI- The Rise of Zionism 314
  • XII- Jew and Arab in Palestine 344
  • XIII- The Jew Today and Tomorrow 382
  • Bibliography 407
  • Index 415
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