The Jewish Diaspora is probably one of the least-known events in history, even though it has been important to every country in the world. Information on this critical subject is not well-known outside of the Jewish community, which is surprising, because it has affected an entire race of people ever since 720 BC.
The first diaspora, which happened in 720 BC, is the one in which historians know the least. There are no traces of to where these Jews dispersed. This diaspora was initiated when the Assyrians forced the Jews out of Israel. Ten tribes left the Promiseland and were never heard from again. These have come to be known as the Ten Lost Tribes.
The second diaspora, the Diaspora of 586 BC, was also extremely enforced when the Babylonian people forced the Jews to leave. This diaspora, however, was "reversed" since the Persians defeated the Babylonians in 538 BC and permitted the Jews to return to their homeland. Later on, in 334 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East and the Jewish people were welcomed to stay in the Hellenistic cities. Soon, Alexandria became the largest Jewish community in the world. In fact, the only people who were allowed to live there were Jews and Greeks. During the Jews' stay in Alexandria, the Jewish scriptures were translated into Greek. This translation, known as the Septuagennt, ended up been the basis for the Christian edition of the New Testament.
Next, in 4 BC, the Romans took over Israel and the Jews moved away to get away from the Roman corruption and extortion. As you can see, the Jews were being moved from place to place and every time, they were been dispersed even more. As a result, by 350 AD, over ninety-five percent of the Jewish population lived outside of Israel.
As time passed, Jewish people continued to be dispersed, settling in several Muslim communities in the Middle East and the Mediterranean around 675 AD. The Muslims embraced the Jews and encouraged them to settle into their centers. Some say this happened because the Muslims wanted to rule their lands, but didn’t want to work. Therefore, they invited the Jews, who were very well-educated, and sat back while the Jewish people administered the government and were the "accountants" of the land.
In 900 AD, European rulers invited the Jews to become part of their governments as members of the noble class. This further dispersed the Jewish people. Soon, Jews became more and more willing to move from their homeland to help economies in need. The world soon realized how great these people could be. The Jews’ ability to develop and build cities was quickly recognized. However, when a country’s economy started to decline, the Jews were blamed and forced out of their homes and their assets were divided among the monarchy. They were being used for their great abilities and intelligence. It was so unjust. They could not make one mistake or they would be blamed without having a fair and reasonable reason. The Jews were, therefore, scattered even more.
The most significant Jewish Diaspora occurred in 1881 when many Jews moved from Europe to America. This diaspora was by choice and it lasted for several years until 1914, just before the beginning World War I. It is recorded that over four million Jews moved to America during this time. At that time, there were many people trying to immigrate to America and conditions were horrible. This came to be known as the American Diaspora and it ended up being the last significant movement of the Jewish people. Today, the United States has the largest population of Jews in the world with an estimated number of around six million. Israel follows with about four and a half million and the former Soviet Union has about one and a half million. There are a total of around thirteen million Jews in the world today and more than eighty percent of the Jewish world population lives in different countries in America.
Today, any Jew living outside of Israel is considered to be part of the diaspora. However, once he or she enters Israel to reside, his or her diaspora status will be gone. There is now a movement called Zionism, which calls for an end to the diaspora. As a result, the Jewish people would have to leave their homes all over the world to return to Israel. If this movement was to succeed and if diaspora ended, the economies around the world, especially in America, would more than likely be harmed.
Countries with a large number of Jews have all experienced hegemony. Hegemony is another word for domination and it is a mystery why countries with a large population of diaspora Jews experience this. Perhaps it’s because they are God’s chosen people and wherever they happen to go, there will always be dominance and power. Another example of the Jews’ influence is the number of Nobel Prize winners that come from Jewish descent. Being awarded with a Nobel Prize is one of the greatest honors someone can attain. From 1901 to 1995, there have been one hundred and forty Jewish descendants to have received this award from a total of six hundred and sixty-three possible prizes. That would be a total of over twenty-one percent! Thus, the Jewish people have rendered a great service to mankind.
Jewish power is a force that is hard to comprehend. However, it is something that touches the lives of every person in one way or another, whether they like it or not. It is a driving energy that has been felt around the world and it is impossible to resist wondering who the Jewish people really are and how the Jewish Diaspora has changed and will continue to change the world. It changed the world and has up to this point, amazed us. Some might say that the Jewish Diaspora was a terrible thing, but if you analyze and examine its history and outcomes, you’ll come to a conclusion that it was all for the better. The United States might not be as powerful as it is today if it wasn’t for the Jews’ impact. Where did this strength come from? Do they bear it because they are truly God’s chosen people? One thing is for certain, though. The Jewish Diaspora helped to share a marvelous gift with the whole world.