Similarly to what had happened centuries earlier, a proportion of Jews in the Middle East and North Africa converted out of Judaism (this time to Islam), which partly explains the Jewish population decline and the smaller size of the Jewish communities in these regions in the two-and-a-half centuries after the Mongol invasions.Those who remained Jews continued to be engaged in crafts, trade, moneylending, and medicine. [2] A number of these codes, notably the Halakhot gedolot ("Great Laws"), Siddur Rav Amram Gaon ("The Prayer Book of Rav Amram Gaon"; on liturgical practice), and Sheʾeltot ("Disquisitions") by Aḥa of Shabḥa ( c. 680- c. 752), attained authoritative status in local schools and further unified medieval Judaism. The history of Judaism in the United States is the story of several fresh beginnings. [2], Tradition has it that the Hebrews came with father Abraham from Ur in Mesopotamia around 2000 bc, along with Abraham's El Shaddai ("god of the mountain"). This volume presents case studies of the phenomena that contributed to group identity in late antique Syria-Mesopotamia, in particular traditions reflecting interactions between Judaism and Christianity, among various Christian groups, and among other religious traditions of late antiquity (such as Zoroastrianism or 'paganism'). The Jewish diaspora (Hebrew: Tefutzah, "scattered," or Galut גלות, "exile") was the result of the expulsion of the Jews from the land of Israel, voluntary migrations, and, to a lesser extent, religious conversions to Judaism in lands other than Israel. [11] [18], Judaism endowed the Jews with a uniform code of law (the Talmud), which contained myriad rabbinicaldiscussions, debates, and rulings on economic, social, communal, and religious issues; and a set of institutions (courts and the rabbinical Responsa) that fostered contract enforcement, networking, and arbitrage across distant locations. It was a common understanding throughout the ancient world that the temple, and thereby the city, was secure so long as the temple was well-maintained and deity was pleased with the people. The criteria used to identify dividing points in the history of the Jews and Judaism are especially notable when it comes to the start of the modern period. [3] The early Mesopotamian religions did not have a law to follow or a Holy Book to follow. Living in the land of Canaan, situated midway between the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt at the heart of the Fertile Crescent, the ancient Hebrews were exposed to the religious cultures of multiple world powers. Judaism, monotheistic religion developed among the ancient Hebrews. It began in Mesopotamia (where more than 70 percent of world Jewry dwelled) under the rule of the Umayyad, and later, the Abbasid Muslim caliphates, during the eighth to ninth centuries, and then it spread to other locations. [3] [17] [3] [7], The canonical writings of biblical Judaism record the relations between certain outstanding individuals and their god. [2], The Sumerians left the first records, and are believed to have been the founders of the civilisation of the Ubaid period (6500 BC to 3800 BC) in Upper Mesopotamia. [24] [3] Directions: Answer the questions below based on the reading. The large Jewish community of Antioch --which, according to Josephus, had been given all the rights of citizenship by the Seleucid founder-king, Seleucus I Nicator (died 280 bce )--attracted a particularly large number of converts to Judaism. Question : How did Judaism differ from the religions of Mesopotamia and Egypt? [19] In particular the societies of Sumer, Akkad, and Assyria, all of which existed shortly after 3000 BCE and were mostly gone by 400 CE. Judaism | History, Beliefs, & Facts | Britannica.com, Ancient Mesopotamian religion - Wikipedia, Were the Jews Moneylenders Out of Necessity? The modern study of Mesopotamia ( Assyriology ) is still a fairly young science, beginning only in the middle of the Nineteenth century, and the study of Mesopotamian religion can be a complex and difficult subject because, by nature, their religion was governed only by usage, not by any official decision, and by nature it was neither dogmatic nor systematic. [3] [3] Jewish culture flourished in Babylonia during the Persian Regime (331-638) and embarks a rise of Rabbinic Judaism and central texts. [2] [3] [3] [3] As the world’s oldest religion, Mesopotamian beliefs influenced the monotheistic religions that came after, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It was prevalent in Persia, which included much of the southern part of Mesopotamia, which is Iraq today. [3] [16] [18], In early Mesopotamia, priests were the initial rulers as all authority came from the god. Which is older: Judaism or Zoroastrianism? [14] [7] Why do people try to find relationships between these? It is only natural that anthropologists, historians and those who study religion to look for parallels between the earliest docoments of the Old Testament and the Sumerian/Babylonian/Akkadian religions in Mesopotamia. [3] The people of Mesopotamia originally consisted of two groups, East Semitic Akkadian speakers (later divided into the Assyrians and Babylonians ) and the people of Sumer, who spoke a language isolate. Hebrew history, as told by the Hebrews, begins in Mesopotamia, in the cities of Ur in the south and Haran in the north. 10 The term “religion” has been the focus of much philological discussion, 11 but it remains difficult to define clearly, and providing a definition of “Mesopotamian religion” is similarly problematic. Even in post-Biblical Jewish history, Mesopotamia is again the location of one of the most important centers of the Jewish diaspora. [3], In the second section the beliefs, practices, and culture of Judaism are discussed. The eastern European immigrants who moved in large numbers to American shores from 1881 to 1914 were profoundly different in culture and manners from the older elements of the American Jewish community, and they and their descendants have made American Judaism what it is today. [3] The Jews were one of the most important cultures that began in Mesopotamia. Religion and humanity intersect in a variety of ways in Mesopotamian myth and epic. [9] [21] Q: Compare the concept of the human being in ancient Judaism and ancient Sumerian religions. Judaism: Important sites and regions of biblical Judaism.The family of the Hebrew patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) is depicted in the Bible as having had its chief seat in the northern Mesopotamian town of Harran--then (mid-2nd millennium BCE) belonging to the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni. 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