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Diaspora of the Jewish People

The history of the Diaspora says much about the nature of the concept and how it applies to the Greek situation. Some historians date the Diaspora from the time of the destruction of the first kingdom of Judah and the captivity in Babylon, but this would make Diaspora synonymous with exile. It is more proper to see the Diaspora as beginning with the Persian conquest of Babylonia. The Persians permitted the Jews to return to their homeland, but most of them chose to remain where they were instead of returning to Palestine. These Jews were now living in Diaspora, something that had become a voluntary absence from their homeland. The preservation of Jewish ideas became of paramount importance in the Diaspora, the scattering of the Jewish people to other parts of the world, but always with a sense of belonging to Palestine and of maintaining certain traditions as a consequence. This is the problem that faced Jewish intellectuals:

How does one go about preventing the disappearance of a people which has lost its country, which has been fragmentized into thousands of segments, and which has been strewn over vast land masses amidst alien tongues and alien religions? What measures does one take to preserve the identity of such a people, and how does one enforce such measures when there is no political power, no police, no army to make these measures enforceable?

The history of the last several cen


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