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(1)  SETTLEMENT IN PALESTINE

The full extent of the cultural, linguistic, religious or other differences among the Israelites in antiquity is unknown. Following the defeat of the Kingdom of Israel in the 720s BCE and the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE, the Jewish people became dispersed throughout much of the Middle East, especially in Egypt and North Africa to the west, as well as in Yemen to the south, and in Mesopotamia to the east. The Jewish population in Palestine was severely reduced by the Jewish-Roman Wars and by the later hostile policies of the Christian emperors, against non-Christians, but the Jews always retained a presence in the Levant. Paul Johnson writes of this time: "Wherever towns survived, or urban communities sprang up, Jews would sooner or later establish themselves. The near-destruction of Palestinian Jewry in the second century turned the survivors of Jewish rural communities into marginal town-dwellers. After the Arab conquest in the seventh century, the large Jewish agricultural communities in Babylonia were progressively wrecked by high taxation, so that there too the Jews drifted into towns and became craftsmen, tradesmen, and dealers. Everywhere these urban Jews, the vast majority literate and numerate, managed to settle, unless penal laws or physical violence made it impossible."

In the early-Byzantine 6th century, there were 43 Jewish communities in Palestine. During the Islamic period and the intervening Crusades, there were 50 communities which included Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza. During the early Ottoman Period of the 14th century there were 30 communities which included Haifa, Shechem, Hebron, Ramleh, Jaffa, Gaza, Jerusalem, and Safed. The most dominant location became Safed which reached a population of 30,000 Jews by end of the 16th century, after the expulsion of Sephardim from Iberia, a century earlier. The 16th century saw many Ashkenazi Kabbalists drawn to the mystical aura and teachings of the Jewish holy city. Johnson notes that in the Arab-Muslim territories, which included most of Spain, all of North Africa, and the Near East south of Anatolia in the Middle Ages, the Jewish condition was easier as a rule, than it was in Europe.

Over the centuries following the Crusades and Inquisition, Jews from around the world began emigrating in increasing numbers. Upon arrival, these Jews adopted the customs of the Mizrahi and Sephardi communities into which they moved. With Baron von Rothschild's philanthropic land purchases and subsequent efforts to turn Palestine into a verdant Jewish homeland, and the subsequent rise of Zionism, a flood of Ashkenazi immigration brought the Jewish population of the region to several hundred thousand.

The growth of fascism, the results of World War 1 and 2 and  establishing the State of Israel in 1948 saw world wide immigration of Jews into Israel as their new homeland.  Added to this was the expulsion of  approximately 1,600,000 Jews by Arab countries between 1948 and 2012.














(2)  DIASPORA (2)

Following the failure of the second revolt against the Romans and the exile, Jewish communities could be found in nearly every notable center throughout the Roman Empire, as well as scattered communities found in centers beyond the Empire's borders in northern Europe, in eastern Europe, in southwestern Asia, and in Africa.

Go to Diaspora for details of what happened.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION
Because of the independence of local communities, Jewish ethnicities, even when they circumscribe differences in liturgy, language, cuisine and other cultural accoutrements, are more often a reflection of geographic and historical isolation from other communities. It is for this reason that communities are referred to by referencing the historical region in which the community cohered when discussing their practices, regardless of where those practices are found today.

The smaller groups number in the hundreds to tens of thousands, with the Georgian Jews (also known as Gruzinim or Qartveli Ebraeli) and Beta Israel being most numerous at somewhat over 100,000 each. Many members of these groups have now emigrated from their traditional homelands, largely to Israel. For example, only about 10 percent of the Gruzinim remain in Georgia.

The Jewish communities of the modern world can all be found represented today in Israel, which is as much a melting pot as it is a salad bowl of different Jewish ethnic groups.

A brief description of the extant communities, by the geographic regions with which they are associated, is as follows:

MODERN DIVISIONS

Historically, European Jews have been classified into two major groups: the Ashkenazim, or "Germanics" ("Ashkenaz" meaning "Germany" in Medieval Hebrew), denoting their Central European base, and the Sephardim, or "Hispanics" ("Sefarad" meaning "Hispania" or "Iberia" in Hebrew), denoting their Spanish and Portuguese base. A third historic term Mizrahim, or "Easterners" ("Mizrach" being "East" in Hebrew) has been used to describe other non-European Jewish communities to the east, but its usage has changed both over time and relative to the location where it was used. A similar three-part distinction in the Jewish community of 16th-century Venice is noted by Johnson as being "divided into three nations, the Penentines from Spain, the Levantines who were Turkish subjects, and the Natione Tedesca or Jews of German origin..." The far more recent meaning of the term, to include both Middle Eastern and North African Jews in a single term, developed within Zionism in the mid-1940s, when Jews from these countries were all combined in one category as the target of an immigration plan. According to some sources, the current sense of the term, as an ethnic group distinct from European-born Jews, was invented at this time. The term constitutes a third major layer to some, and following the partition of Palestine and Israeli independence, the Mizrahim's often-forced migration, led to their re-established communities in Israel.

Smaller Jewish groups include the Georgian Jews and Mountain Jews from the Caucasus; Indian Jews including the Bene Israel, Bnei Menashe, Cochin Jews and Bene Ephraim; the Romaniotes of Greece; the ancient Italian Jewish community; the Teimanim from the Yemen; various African Jews, including most numerously the Beta Israel of Ethiopia; the Bukharan Jews of Central Asia; and Chinese Jews, most notably the Kaifeng Jews, as well as various other distinct but now extinct communities.

The divisions between all these groups are rough and their boundaries aren't solid. The Mizrahim for example, are a heterogeneous collection of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish communities which are often as unrelated to each other as they are to any of the earlier mentioned Jewish groups. In modern usage, however, the Mizrahim are also termed Sephardi due to similar styles of liturgy, despite independent evolutions from Sephardim proper. Thus, among Mizrahim there are Iranian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Egyptian Jews, Sudanese Jews, Tunisian Jews, Algerian Jews, Moroccan Jews, Lebanese Jews, Kurdish Jews, Libyan Jews, Syrian Jews, and various others. The Yemenite Jews ("Teimanim") from Yemen are sometimes included, although their style of liturgy is unique and they differ in respect to the admixture found among them to that found in Mizrahim. Additionally, there is a difference between the pre-existing Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities as distinct from the descendants of those Sephardi migrants who established themselves in the Middle East and North Africa after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, and in 1497 from the expulsion decreed in Portugal.

Despite this diversity, Ashkenazi Jews represent the bulk of modern Jewry, estimated at between 70% and 80% of all Jews worldwide; prior to World War II and the Holocaust however, it was 90%. While Ashkenazim developed in Europe, their massive emigration from Europe for better opportunities, and during periods of civil strife and warfare, they also became the overwhelming majority of Jews in the New World continents and countries, which previously were without native European or Jewish populations. These include the United States, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Africa, but with Venezuela and Panama being exceptions since Sephardim still compose the majority of the Jewish communities in these two countries. In France, more recent Sephardi Jewish immigrants from North Africa and their descendants now outnumber the pre-existing Ashkenazim. Only in Israel is the Jewish population representative of all groups, a melting pot independent of each group's proportion within the overall world Jewish population.

Beta Israel (Hebrew: בֵּיתֶא יִשְׂרָאֵל, Beyte (beyt) Yisrael; Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል, Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "House of Israel" or "Community of Israel"[4]), also known as Ethiopian Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדֵי אֶתְיוֹפְּיָה: Yehudey Etyopyah; Ge'ez: የኢትዮጵያ አይሁድዊ, ye-Ityoppya Ayhudi), are Jewish communities that developed and lived for centuries in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian empires (Habesha or Abyssinia), currently divided between Amhara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia. Most of these peoples have emigrated to Israel since the late 20th century

(3)  GENETIC STUDIES OF JEWISH ORIGINS

Genetic studies on the Jews are part of population genetics. This discipline is used to better understand the chronology of migration and thus complements the results provided by history, archeology, language or paleontology. The interest of these studies is to investigate the origins of various Jewish populations today. In particular, they investigate whether there is a common genetic heritage among various Jewish populations.

Since the 1970s, many studies have attempted to determine whether common ancestors existed to the present Jewish communities or if the descendants are related instead to the non-Jewish populations where they lived.

From Wikipedia,

Despite the evident diversity displayed by the world's distinctive Jewish populations, both culturally and physically, genetic studies have demonstrated most of these to be genetically related to one another, having ultimately originated from a common ancient Israelite population that underwent geographic branching and subsequent independent evolutions.

A study published by the National Academy of Sciences stated that "The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora." Researchers expressed surprise at the remarkable genetic uniformity they found among modern Jews, no matter where the diaspora has become dispersed around the world.

Moreover, DNA tests have demonstrated substantially less inter-marriage in most of the various Jewish ethnic divisions over the last 3,000 years than in other populations. The findings lend support to traditional Jewish accounts accrediting their founding to exiled Israelite populations, and counters theories that many or most of the world's Jewish populations were founded by entirely gentile populations that adopted the Jewish faith, as in the notable case of the historic Khazars. Although groups such as the Khazars could have been absorbed into modern Jewish populations — in the Khazars' case, absorbed into the Ashkenazim — it is unlikely that they formed a large percentage of the ancestors of modern Ashkenazi Jews, and much less that they were the genesis of the Ashkenazim.

Even the archetype of Israelite-origin is also beginning to be reviewed for some Jewish populations amid newer studies. Previously, the Israelite origin identified in the world's Jewish populations was attributed only to the males who had migrated from the Middle East and then forged the current known communities with "the women from each local population whom they took as wives and converted to Judaism". Research in Ashkenazi Jews has suggested that, in addition to the male founders, significant female founder ancestry might also derive from the Middle East, with about 40% of the current Ashkenazi population descended matrilineally from just four women, or "founder lineages", that were "likely from a Hebrew/Levantine mtDNA pool" originating in the Near East in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE

(4)  HOW DO SEPHARDIM AND ASHKENAZIM DIFFER?  

Ashkenazic Jews are the Jews of France, Germany, and Eastern Europe and their descendants. Sephardic Jews are the Jews of Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East and their descendants. Sephardic Jews are often subdivided into Sephardim (from Spain and Portugal) and Mizrachim (from the Northern Africa and the Middle East), though there is much overlap between those groups. Until the 1400s, the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and the Middle East were all controlled by Muslims, who generally allowed Jews to move freely throughout the region. When the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, many of them were absorbed into existing Mizrachi communities in Portugal, Northern Africa and the Middle East.

The word "Ashkenazic" is derived from the Hebrew word for Germany. The word "Sephardic" is derived from the Hebrew word for Spain. The word "Mizrachi" is derived from the Hebrew word for Eastern.

The beliefs of Sephardim are basically in accord with those of Ashkenazim, though Sephardic interpretations of halakhah (Jewish Law) are somewhat different than Ashkenazic ones. The best-known of these differences relates to the holiday of Pesach (Passover): Sephardic Jews may eat rice, corn, peanuts and beans during this holiday, while Ashkenazic Jews avoid them. Although some individual Sephardic Jews are less observant than others, and some individuals do not agree with all of the beliefs of traditional Judaism, there is no formal, organized differentiation into movements as there is in Ashkenazic Judaism.

Historically, Sephardic Jews have been more integrated into the local non-Jewish culture than Ashkenazic Jews. In the Christian lands where Ashkenazic Judaism flourished, the tension between Christians and Jews was great, and Jews tended to be isolated from their non-Jewish neighbors, either voluntarily or involuntarily. In the Islamic lands where Sephardic Judaism developed, there was less segregation and oppression. Sephardic Jewish thought and culture was strongly influenced by Arabic and Greek philosophy and science.

Sephardic Jews have a different pronunciation of a few Hebrew vowels and one Hebrew consonant, though most Ashkenazim are adopting Sephardic pronunciation now because it is the pronunciation used in Israel. Sephardic prayer services are somewhat different from Ashkenazic ones, and they use different melodies in their services. Sephardic Jews also have different holiday customs and different traditional foods.

(5)  MIZRAHI JEWS)

Mizrahi Jews, Mizrahim (Hebrew: מזרחים‎) or Mashriqiyyun (Arabic: الم‍شرقيون‎), also referred to as Edot HaMizrach (עֲדוֹת-הַמִּזְרָח; Communities of the East; Mizrahi Hebrew: ʿEdot(h) Ha(m)Mizraḥ), Ben ha-Mizraḥ; Bene ha-Mizraḥ ("Sons of the East") or Oriental Jews[3] are Jews descended from local Jewish communities of the Middle East. The term Mizrahi is most commonly used in Israel to refer to Jews who trace their roots back to Muslim-majority countries. This includes descendants of Babylonian Jews and Mountain Jews from modern Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Caucasus, Kurdistan, Yemen, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The term Mizrahim often consists of Maghrebi Jews, including Sephardic who lived in North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco).

The use of the term Mizrahi can be somewhat controversial. Before the establishment of the state of Israel, Mizrahi Jews did not identify themselves as a separate ethnic subgroup. Instead, Mizrahi Jews generally characterized themselves as Sephardi, because they follow the traditions of Sephardic Judaism, although with some differences among the minhagim (customs) of the particular communities. This has resulted in a conflation of terms, particularly in Israel, and in religious usage, where "Sephardi" is used in a broad sense to include Mizrahi Jews and Maghrebi Jews as well as Sephardim proper. Indeed, from the point of view of the official Israeli rabbinate, any rabbis of Mizrahi origin in Israel are under the jurisdiction of the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel. Mizrahi Jews make up the largest ethnic group in Israel, and as of 2005, over 50% of Israeli Jews are of at least partial Mizrahi ancestry.

(6)  RELIGIOUS GROUPS TODAY

(As with Christianity and Islam so Judaism is divided into different religious groups.  Only an overview can be given here as names and beliefs vary between countries, for example the term ‘Conservative’ is used in the USA but not in the UK.)

Orthodox Jews are those Jews who perceive themselves to be the authentic continuation of the Jewish tradition (as opposed to the reform and conservative movements which are considered by them to be deviants).They are the most traditional amongst the Jews and espouse strict adherence to Jewish law.

 Orthodox Jews can  be generally divided into two distinct  groups: the first believe that an Orthodox Jewish life is compatible with the modern era, they do not perceive the general culture as necessarily a threat, and they strive to integrate into general society while maintaining their lifestyle and values. This is characteristic of such groups as the Modern Orthodox and the Religious Zionist. They dress in modern clothing, and many of them wear a knitted kippa (skull cap) as opposed to a velvet one.

The second group within Orthodox Jews are the Haredim (also known as the ultra-Orthodox). These view general culture as a threat to the Orthodox way of life, and aspire to live a secluded life as possible from general society. They will (in the U.S) engage in secular professions and work in secular environments, but they will deny as much of secular culture as possible. They will usually be seen wearing a black velvet kippa or a black hat, and typically a black suit. Grown males witll have beards. The Woman will be very modestly dressed and often in dark colors.

The  Haredim are also divided into two distinct groups: The Litvish (or Yeshivish in the U.S.) and the Chassidim. Externally, the Chassidim will have less kempt beards, long peot (side curls) and on the Sabbath they wear furry hats and special garbs (Chabad is an exception, in that they generally dress and look like the Litvish). The Chassidim tend to be more secluded then the Litvish. The differences between them lie in theological concepts and the degree of emphasis on the study of Jewish mysticism (Chassidim are very much about mysticism, Litvish less). Chassidim organize themselves around a main leader, a rebbe, who serves as a spiritual guide, a leader and descisor for all things. The Litvish world has less of a concept of such centric figures (though in recent years they have developed a culture which celebrates a group on individuals and crowns them as prime leaders).

In short, Chassidim are a type of Haredi Jews, Haredim are a type of Orthodox Jews, Orthodox Jews are a type of Jews, Jews are a type of people, people are a type of mammal etc…

Many of these distinctions, in particular the Litvish/chassidish distinction, are Ashkenazi phenomena. Sephardi and Mizrachi communities commonly encompass the full range of Jews from secular to extremely religious. Because the Enlightenment was mainly an influence on Jews living in Christian nations, Ashkenazi Jews are more prone to split into separate communities according to strictness of practice. That said, there are certainly Sephardi/Mizrachi charedim, as well as modern/religious Zionist and secular/chiloni communities.

Charedim encompasses chassidish, Litvish, and Sephardi/Mizrachi groups.

Not all chassidim are charedim, but most are. The Chabad movement includes some communities that are charedi and others that are closer to a chassidic version of modern orthodoxy.

Modern orthodox and religious Zionist are often equated, because they are in many ways similar theologically and play similar roles in the Jewish communities of America and Israel respectively. There are, however, religious Zionist charedim, called chardal. Modern and charedi are exclusive categories.  

REFERENCES

(1) Wikipedia

(2) Wikipedia

(3)  Wikipedia,   (Click on these links for a detailed analysis)

(4) Museum of Portuguese Jewish History)

(5) Wikipedia

(6) Quora



ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS IN PALESTINE/ISRAEL
SUMMARY

_____________________________________

The full extent of the cultural, linguistic, religious or other differences among the Israelites in antiquity is unknown. Following the defeat of the Kingdom of Israel in the 720s BCE and the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE, the Jewish people became dispersed throughout much of the Middle East.

The Jewish population in Palestine was severely reduced by the Jewish-Roman Wars and by the later hostile policies of the Christian emperors, against non-Christians, but the Jews always retained a presence in the Levant.

In the early-Byzantine 6th century, there were 43 Jewish communities in Palestine, in the Islamic period and Crusades, there were 50 communities, in  the early Ottoman Period of the 14th century there were 30 communities  The dominant location was Safed with a population of 30,000 Jews by end of the 16th century after the expulsion from Iberia a century earlier. The 16th century saw many Ashkenazi Kabbalists drawn to the mystical aura and teachings of the Jewish holy city. Following the Crusades and Inquisition, Jews began emigrating in increasing numbers. Upon arrival, these Jews adopted the customs of the Mizrahi and Sephardi communities into which they moved. With Baron von Rothschild's philanthropic land purchases and subsequent efforts to turn Palestine into a verdant Jewish homeland, and the subsequent rise of Zionism, a flood of Ashkenazi immigration brought the Jewish population of the region to several hundred thousand.

The growth of fascism, the results of World War 1 and 2 and  establishing the State of Israel in 1948 saw world wide immigration of Jews into Israel as their new homeland.  Added to this was the expulsion of  approximately 1,600,000 Jews by Arab countries between 1948 and 2012.

ETHNIC
JEWISH GROUPS

HOW ARE
CRYPTO-JEWS DIFFERENT?

MARRANOS/
CRYPTO JEWS/
ANUSIM

 CLICK BUTTON TO GO TO SECTION

Settlement in Palestine

Diaspora

Modeern Divisions

Genetic Studies of Jewish Origins

How do Sephardim and Ashkenazim Differ?

Mizrachi Jews

Religious Groups Today

References

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR       POP.            ±%

1950   1,370,100        —    

1960   2,150,400     +57.0%

1970   3,022,100     +40.5%

1980   3,921,700     +29.8%

1990   4,821,700     +22.9%

2000   6,369,300     +32.1%

2010   7,695,100     +20.8%

2015   8,463,500     +10.0%

From Wikipedia


      RELIGIOUS MAKEUP, 2014

GROUP         POPULATION       %

Jews           6,219,200     75.00%

Muslims        1,453,800    17.50%

Christians         163,500     1.97%

Druze               135,400     1.63%

Other                325,000    3.92%

TOTAL            8,296,900

From Wikipedia

THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE


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