25 Facts About Jews


Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in a part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel.

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Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in the Jewish state.

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Jews have significantly influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both historically and in modern times, including in science and technology, philosophy, ethics, literature, politics, business, art, music, comedy, theatre, cinema, architecture, food, medicine, and religion.

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Jews wrote the Bible, were the founders of early Christianity, and had an indirect but profound influence on Islam.

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Generally, in modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, and people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion.

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The prehistory and ethnogenesis of the Jews are closely intertwined with archaeology, biology, and historical textual records, as well as religious literature and mythology.

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The ethnic stock to which Jews originally trace their ancestry was a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes known as the Israelites that inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods.

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Jews stated that archaeology suggests that the return was a "trickle" taking place over decades, rather than a single event.

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Jews were politically independent during the Hasmonean dynasty spanning from 110 to 63 BCE and to some degree under the Herodian dynasty from 37 BCE to 6 CE.

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Genetic studies on Jews show that most Jews worldwide bear a common genetic heritage which originates in the Middle East, and that they share certain genetic traits with other Gentile peoples of the Fertile Crescent.

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Meanwhile, Sephardic Jews experienced a golden age under Muslim rule, however following the Reconquista and subsequent Alhambra decree in 1492, most of the Spanish Jewish population immigrated to North Africa and the Ottoman Empire.

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However some Jews chose to remain and pretended to practice Catholicism.

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Centuries, Jews worldwide have spoken the local or dominant languages of the regions they migrated to, often developing distinctive dialectal forms or branches that became independent languages.

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Many Jews believe that the Messiah will act a unifying leader for Jews and the entire world.

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Today, manifestations of these differences among the Jews can be observed in Jewish cultural expressions of each community, including Jewish linguistic diversity, culinary preferences, liturgical practices, religious interpretations, as well as degrees and sources of genetic admixture.

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Jews are often identified as belonging to one of two major groups: the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim.

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These statistics incorporate both practicing Jews affiliated with synagogues and the Jewish community, and approximately 4.

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Some Jews have emigrated from Israel elsewhere, because of economic problems or disillusionment with political conditions and the continuing Arab–Israeli conflict.

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In Germany, the 102, 000 Jews registered with the Jewish community are a slowly declining population, despite the immigration of tens of thousands of Jews from the former Soviet Union since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Since at least the time of the Ancient Greeks, a proportion of Jews have assimilated into the wider non-Jewish society around them, by either choice or force, ceasing to practice Judaism and losing their Jewish identity.

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The result has been a growing trend of assimilation, as Jews marry non-Jewish spouses and stop participating in the Jewish community.

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The result is that most countries in the Diaspora have steady or slightly declining religiously Jewish populations as Jews continue to assimilate into the countries in which they live.

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The 2, 000 year dispersion of the Jewish diaspora beginning under the Roman Empire, as Jews were spread throughout the Roman world and, driven from land to land, settled wherever they could live freely enough to practice their religion.

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The expelled Jews fled mainly to the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands, and North Africa, others migrating to Southern Europe and the Middle East.

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Jews have made many contributions to humanity in a broad and diverse range of fields, including the sciences, arts, politics, and business.

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