1.a person belonging to the worldwide group claiming descent from Jacob (or converted to it) and connected by cultural or religious ties
1.(MeSH)An ethnic group with historical ties to the land of ISRAEL and the religion of JUDAISM.
JewJew (?), n. [OF. Juis, pl., F. Juif, L. Judaeus, Gr. �, fr. � the country of the Jews, Judea, fr. Heb. Yĕhūdāh Judah, son of Jacob. Cf. Judaic.]
1. Originally, one belonging to the tribe or kingdom of Judah; after the return from the Babylonish captivity, any member of the new state; a Hebrew; an Israelite.
2. An adherent of Judaism.
Jew's frankincense, gum styrax, or benzoin. -- Jew's mallow (Bot.), an annual herb (Corchorus olitorius) cultivated in Syria and Egypt as a pot herb, and in India for its fiber. -- Jew's pitch, asphaltum; bitumen. -- The Wandering Jew, an imaginary personage, who, for his cruelty to Christ during his passion, is doomed to wander on the earth till Christ's second coming. -- Wandering Jew, any of several house plants of the genera Zebrina and Tradescantia having white-striped leaves, especially the creeping plants Zebrina pendula and Tradescantia fluminensis.
definition of Wikipedia
A Jew in Communist Prague • Abraham the Jew • Abraham the Jew (disambiguation) • Abraham the jew • Anti-Semite and Jew • At the Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World • Baghdadi Jew • Barabas the Jew • Book of Abraham the Jew • Burning of the Jew • Byzantine Jew • Court Jew • Crypto-Jew • David Brown (Scottish Jew) • Dirty Jew • Ed Jew • Eternal Jew • Fagin the Jew • How to Be an Extremely Reform Jew • Jesus the Jew • Jew (disambiguation) • Jew (word) • Jew Don Boney • Jew Suss (1934 film) • Jew Town • Jew Watch • Jew by Choice • Jew by choice • Jew harp • Jew jaw • Jew jaws • Jew of Malta • Jew worship • Jew's Court • Jew's House • Jew's harp • Jew's mallow • Jew's trump • Jew's-ear • Jew-jaw • Jew-jaws • Latvian Jew • Leo Jew Foo • Mountain Jew • Orthadox Jew • Orthadox jew • Orthodox jew • Palestinian (Jew) • Palestinian Jew • Red Jew • Season of the Jew • Sect of Skhariya the Jew • Self-hating Jew • Shylock the Covetous Jew • Silver Jew • The Byzantine Jew • The Eternal Jew • The Internation Jew, The World's Foremost Problem • The International Jew • The Jew in the Lotus • The Jew of Linz • The Jew of Malta • The Jew of New York • The Last Jew • The Nazi Who Lived As a Jew • The Operated Jew • The Passion of the Jew • The Traitor and the Jew • Traditional Jew • Ukranian Jew • Useful Jew • Wandering Jew • Wandering Jew (disambiguation) • Wandering Jew (legend) • Who is a Jew?
self-seeker; egoist; selfish person[ClasseParExt.]
ce qui prête de l'argent (fr)[Classe]
Jew (n.) [figurative , pejorative]
croyant en une religion (fr)[Classe...]
(Jew; Yid), (Judaism)[Thème]
judaïcité hors d'Israël (fr)[Thème]
peuple du Moyen-Orient (fr)[Classe]
juif (hors d'Israël) (fr)[Classe]
judaïcité hors d'Israël (fr)[Thème]
Israël (fr)[termes liés]
(Jew; Yid), (Judaism)[termes liés]
folk, people, persons[membre]
Hebrew, Israelite, Jew, Jewess[Rel.App.]
Jewish people, Jewry[membre]
Accounting, Demographic, Analyses, Demographic, Analyses, Multiregional, Analysis, Period, Brass Technic, Brass Technique, Demographers, Demographic Accounting, Demographic Analysis, Demographic and Health Surveys, Demographic Factor, Demographic Factors, Demographic Impact, Demographic Impacts, Demographics, Demographic Survey, Demographic Surveys, Demography, Demography, Historical, Demography, Prehistoric, Factor, Demographic, Factors, Demographic, Family Reconstitution, Historical Demography, Impact, Demographic, Impacts, Demographic, Multiregional Analysis, Period Analysis, Population Distribution, Prehistoric Demography, Reverse Survival Method, Spatial Distribution, Stable Population Method, Survey, Demographic, Surveys, Demographic - Indigenous Population, Native-Born, Natives, Population Groups, Tribes - Prayer, Religion, Religious Beliefs, Religious Ethics[Hyper.]
Jews (n.) [MeSH]
|Regions with significant populations|
|Israel 5,703,700 |
Predominant spoken languages:
|Part of a series on|
|Jews and Judaism|
The Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-3 Yhudim Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]), also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and an ethnoreligious group, originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation. Converts to Judaism, whose status as Jews within the Jewish ethnos is equal to those born into it, have been absorbed into the Jewish people throughout the millennia.
In Jewish tradition, Jewish ancestry is traced to the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the second millennium BCE. The modern State of Israel defines itself as a Jewish state in its Basic Laws, and Israel's Law of Return states: "Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh." Israel is the only country where Jews are a majority of the population. Jews achieved political autonomy twice before in ancient history. The first of these periods lasted from 1350 to 586 BCE, and encompassed the periods of the Judges, the United Monarchy, and the Divided Monarchy of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, ending with the destruction of the First Temple. The second was the period of the Hasmonean Kingdom spanning from 140 to 37 BCE. Since the destruction of the First Temple, most Jews have lived in diaspora. A minority in every country in which they live (except Israel), they have frequently experienced persecution throughout history, resulting in a population that has fluctuated both in numbers and distribution over the centuries.
As of 2010[update], the world Jewish population was estimated at 13.4 million by the North American Jewish Data Bank, or roughly 0.2% of the total world population. According to this report, about 42.5% of all Jews reside in Israel (5.7 million), and 39.3% in the United States (5.3 million), with most of the remainder living in Europe (1.5 million) and Canada (0.4 million). These numbers include all those who consider themselves Jews, whether or not they are affiliated with a Jewish organization. The total world Jewish population, however, is difficult to measure. In addition to issues with census methodology, there are halakhic disputes regarding who is a Jew and secular, political, and ancestral identification factors that may affect the figure considerably.
The English word Jew continues Middle English Gyw, Iewe, a loan from Old French giu, earlier juieu, ultimately from Latin Iudaeum. The Latin Iudaeus simply means Judaean, "from the land of Judaea". The Latin term itself, like the corresponding Greek Ἰουδαῖος, is a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew: יְהוּדִי, Yehudi (sg.); יְהוּדִים, Yehudim (pl.), in origin the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. The name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob.
The etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g., "Yahoud"/"Yahoudi" (Arabic: يهود/يهودي) in Arabic language, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "juif" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío" in Spanish, "joodse" in Dutch, etc., but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are also in use to describe a Jew, e.g., in Italian (Ebreo), in Persian ("Ebri/Ebrani" (Persian: عبری/عبرانی)) and Russian (Еврей, Yevrey). The German word "Jude" is pronounced [ˈjuːdə], the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" [ˈjyːdɪʃ] (Jewish) is the origin of the word "Yiddish". (See Jewish ethnonyms for a full overview.)
According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2000):
It is widely recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and highly offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility. Some people, however, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, which is unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun.
According to their tradition, the Jewish people originated from the Israelites of the Southern Levant, who had several independent states before being overtaken first by the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and later the Roman Empire, with a large portion of the population being scattered throughout the world. According to the Hebrew Bible, all Israelites were descended from Abraham, who was born in the Sumerian city of Ur, and migrated to Canaan (commonly known as the Land of Israel) with his family. Aristotle believed that the Jews came from India, where he said that they were known as the Kalani. Genetic studies on Jews show that most Jews worldwide bear a common genetic heritage which originates in the Middle East, and that they bear their strongest resemblance to the peoples of the Fertile Crescent, with only minor contribution from their host populations (historically due to the taboo on intermarriage in Jewish tradition, the low number of converts to Judaism, as well as the general isolations and persecutions of Jews throughout history). According to some Biblical archaeologists, however, Israelite culture did not overtake the region, but rather grew out of Canaanite culture.
Judaism guides its adherents in both practice and belief, and has been called not only a religion, but also a "way of life," which has made drawing a clear distinction between Judaism, Jewish culture, and Jewish identity rather difficult. Throughout history, in eras and places as diverse as the ancient Hellenic world, in Europe before and after The Age of Enlightenment (see Haskalah), in Islamic Spain and Portugal, in North Africa and the Middle East, India, and China, or the contemporary United States and Israel, cultural phenomena have developed that are in some sense characteristically Jewish without being at all specifically religious. Some factors in this come from within Judaism, others from the interaction of Jews or specific communities of Jews with their surroundings, others from the inner social and cultural dynamics of the community, as opposed to from the religion itself. This phenomenon has led to considerably different Jewish cultures unique to their own communities, each as authentically Jewish as the next.
Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, and a culture, making the definition of who is a Jew vary slightly depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used. 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 (sometimes including those who do not have strictly matrilineal descent); and people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion.
Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, and halakhic conversions. Historical definitions of who is a Jew date back to the codification of the oral tradition into the Babylonian Talmud. Interpretations of sections of the Tanakh, such as Deuteronomy 7:1–5, by learned Jewish sages, are used as a warning against intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews because "[the non-Jewish husband] will cause your child to turn away from Me and they will worship the gods of others." Leviticus 24:10 says that the son in a marriage between a Hebrew woman and an Egyptian man is "of the community of Israel." This is complemented by Ezra 10:2–3, where Israelites returning from Babylon vow to put aside their gentile wives and their children. Since the Haskalah, these halakhic interpretations of Jewish identity have been challenged.
At times, conversion has accounted for a substantial part of Jewish population growth. In the first century of the Christian era, for example, the population more than doubled, from four to 8–10 million within the confines of the Roman Empire, in good part as a result of a wave of conversion.
Within the world's Jewish population there are distinct ethnic divisions, most of which are primarily the result of geographic branching from an originating Israelite population, and subsequent independent evolutions. An array of Jewish communities were established by Jewish settlers in various places around the Old World, often at great distances from one another resulting in effective and often long-term isolation from each other. During the millennia of the Jewish diaspora the communities would develop under the influence of their local environments; political, cultural, natural, and populational. Today, manifestation 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.
Jews are often identified as belonging to one of 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 "Spain/Hispania" or "Iberia" in Hebrew, denoting their Spanish, and Portuguese, base). The Mizrahim, or "Easterners" (Mizrach being "East" in Hebrew), that is, the diverse collection of Middle Eastern and North African Jews, constitute a third major group, although they are sometimes termed Sephardi for liturgical reasons.
Smaller groups include, but are not restricted to, Indian Jews such as the Bene Israel, Bnei Menashe, Cochin Jews, and Bene Ephraim; the Romaniotes of Greece; the Italian Jews ("Italkim" or "Bené Roma"); the Teimanim from Yemen and Oman; various African Jews, including most numerously the Beta Israel of Ethiopia; and Chinese Jews, most notably the Kaifeng Jews, as well as various other distinct but now almost extinct communities.
The divisions between all these groups are approximate and their boundaries are not always clear. The Mizrahim for example, are a heterogeneous collection of North African, Central Asian, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern Jewish communities that 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 sometimes termed Sephardi due to similar styles of liturgy, despite independent development from Sephardim proper. Thus, among Mizrahim there are Egyptian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Lebanese Jews, Kurdish Jews, Libyan Jews, Syrian Jews, Bukharian Jews, Mountain Jews, Georgian Jews, Iranian Jews and various others. The Teimanim from Yemen and Oman 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. In addition, there is a differentiation made between Sephardi migrants who established themselves in the Middle East and North Africa after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal in the 1490s and the pre-existing Jewish communities in those regions.
Despite this diversity, Ashkenazi Jews represent the bulk of modern Jewry, with at least 70% of Jews worldwide (and up to 90% prior to World War II and the Holocaust). As a result of their emigration from Europe, Ashkenazim also represent the overwhelming majority of Jews in the New World continents, in countries such as the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil. In France, emigration of Jews from North Africa has led them to outnumber the 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.
Hebrew is the liturgical language of Judaism (termed l'shon ha-kodesh, "the holy tongue"), the language in which the Hebrew scriptures (Tanakh) were composed, and the daily speech of the Jewish people for centuries. By the 5th century BCE, Aramaic, a closely related tongue, joined Hebrew as the spoken language in Judea. By the third century BCE, Jews of the diaspora were speaking Greek.
For 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. Yiddish is the Judæo-German language developed by Ashkenazi Jews who migrated to Central Europe. Ladino is the Judæo-Spanish language developed by Sephardic Jews who migrated to the Iberian peninsula. Due to many factors, including the impact of the Holocaust on European Jewry, the Jewish exodus from Arab lands, and widespread emigration from other Jewish communities around the world, ancient and distinct Jewish languages of several communities, including Gruzinic, Judæo-Arabic, Judæo-Berber, Krymchak, Judæo-Malayalam and many others, have largely fallen out of use.
For over sixteen centuries Hebrew was used almost exclusively as a liturgical language, and as the language in which most books had been written on Judaism, with a few speaking only Hebrew on the Sabbath. Hebrew was revived as a spoken language by Eliezer ben Yehuda, who arrived in Palestine in 1881. It had not been used as a mother tongue since Tannaic times. Modern Hebrew is now one of the two official languages of the State of Israel along with Arabic.
The three most commonly spoken languages among Jews today are Hebrew, English and Russian. Some Romance languages, such as French and Spanish, are also widely used. Yiddish has been spoken by more Jews in history than any other language, but it is far less used today, after the Holocaust and the adoption of Hebrew by the Zionist movement, then Israel.
Genetic studies indicate various lineages found in modern Jewish populations; however, most of these populations share a lineage in common, traceable to an ancient population that underwent geographic branching and subsequent independent evolutions. While DNA tests have demonstrated inter-marriage in all of the various Jewish ethnic divisions over the last 3,000 years, it was substantially less 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 entirely by local populations that adopted the Jewish religion, devoid of any actual Israelite genetic input.
DNA analysis further determined that modern Jews of the priesthood tribe—"Kohanim"—share an ancestor dating back about 3,000 years. This result is consistent for all Jewish populations around the world. The researchers estimated that the most recent common ancestor of modern Kohanim lived between 1000 BCE (roughly the time of the Biblical Exodus) and 586 BCE, when the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple. They found similar results analyzing DNA from Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews. The scientists estimated the date of the original priest based on genetic mutations, which indicated that the priest lived roughly 106 generations ago, between 2,650 and 3,180 years ago depending whether one counts a generation as 25 or 30 years. These Jews belong to the haplotypes J1e and J2a. However, more recent research has shown that many ethnic groups in the Middle East and Mediterranean area also share this genetic profile.
Although individual and groups of converts to Judaism have historically been absorbed into contemporary Jewish populations, it is unlikely that they formed a large percentage of the ancestors of modern Jewish groups, and much less that they represented their genesis as Jewish communities.
Biologist Robert Pollack stated in 2003 that one cannot determine the biological "Jewishness" of an individual because "there are no DNA sequences common to all Jews and absent from all non-Jews". A 2009 study was able to genetically identify individuals with full or partial Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.
A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found 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 suggested 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.
Other Y-chromosome findings show that the world's Jewish communities are closely related to Kurds, Syrians and Palestinians. Skorecki and colleague wrote that "the extremely close affinity of Jewish and non-Jewish Middle Eastern populations observed ... supports the hypothesis of a common Middle Eastern origin". According to another study of the same year, more than 70% of Jewish men and half of the Arab men (inhabitants of Israel and the territories only) whose DNA was studied inherited their Y-chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors who lived in the region within the last few thousand years. The results are consistent with the Biblical account of Jews and Arabs having a common ancestor. About two-thirds of Israeli Arabs and Arabs in the territories and a similar proportion of Israeli Jews are the descendants of at least three common ancestors who lived in the Middle East in the Neolithic period. However, the Palestinian Arab clade includes two Arab modal haplotypes which are found at only very low frequency among Jews, reflecting divergence and/or large scale admixture from non-local populations to the Palestinians.
A study of haplotypes of the Y-chromosome, published in 2000, addressed the paternal origins of Ashkenazi Jews. Hammer et al. found that the Y chromosome of some Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews contained mutations that are also common among Middle Eastern peoples, but uncommon in the general European population. This suggested that the male ancestors of the Ashkenazi Jews could be traced mostly to the Middle East. The proportion of male genetic admixture in Ashkenazi Jews amounts to less than 0.5% per generation over an estimated 80 generations, with "relatively minor contribution of European Y chromosomes to the Ashkenazim," and a total admixture estimate "very similar to Motulsky's average estimate of 12.5%." This supported the finding that "Diaspora Jews from Europe, Northwest Africa, and the Near East resemble each other more closely than they resemble their non-Jewish neighbors." However, when all haplotypes were included in the analysis, m (the admixture percentage) increased to 23% ± 7%. In addition, of the Jewish populations in this cluster, the Ashkenazim were closest to South European populations, specifically the Greeks.
In Jewish populations, Haplogroup J1 (defined by the 267 marker) constitutes 30% of the Yemenite Jews 20.0% of the Ashkenazim results and 12% of the Sephardic results. However, J1 is most frequent in Yemen (76%), Saudi (64%), Qatar (58%). J1 is generally frequent amongst Negev Bedouins (62%). It is also very common among other Arabs such as those of the Levant, i.e. Palestinian (38.4%), Syria (30%), Lebanon (25%). In Europe, higher frequencies have been reported in the central Adriatic regions of Italy: Gargano (17.2%), Pescara (15%), in the Mediterranean Paola (11.1%) and in South Sicilian Ragusa (10.7%). Fairly high frequencies have also been reported in other nearby Mediterranean areas: Crete (8.3%), Malta (7.8%), Cyprus (6.2%), Greece (5.3%).
Haplogroup J2 which is found in the Sephardic Jews (29%) and Ashkenazi Jews (23%), or 19%. is found mainly in the Fertile Crescent, the Caucasus, Anatolia, the Balkans, Italy, the Mediterranean littoral, the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, and South Asia. More specifically, it is found in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Greece, Italy and the eastern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula, and more frequently in Iraqis 29.7%, Lebanese 25%, Palestinians 16.8%, Syrians 22.5%, Kurds 28.4%, Saudi Arabia 15.92%, Jordan 14.3%, Oman 10–15%, UAE 10.4%, Yemen 9.7%, in Israel, in Palestine, and in Turkey.
Before 2006, geneticists largely attributed the genesis of most of the world's Jewish populations to founding acts by males who migrated from the Middle East and "by the women from each local population whom they took as wives and converted to Judaism", though no genetic relation was found between Jewish and non Jewish female lineages. However, more recent findings of studies of maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA, at least in Ashkenazi Jews, has led to a review of this archetype. This research has suggested that, in addition to Israelite male, significant female founder ancestry might also derive from the Middle East-with 40% of Ashkenazim descended from four women lived about 1000–1500 years ago in the Middle East. In addition, Behar (2006) suggested that the rest of Ashkenazi mtDNA is originated from about 150 women, most of those were probably of Middle Eastern origin. Approximately 32% of people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry belong to the mtDNA haplogroup K. This high percentage points to a genetic bottleneck occurring some 100 generations ago.
Research in 2008 found significant founder effects in many non-Asheknazi Jewish populations. In Belmonte, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Bene Israel and Libyan Jewish communities "a single mother was sufficient to explain at least 40% of their present-day mtDNA variation". In addition, "the Cochin and Tunisian Jewish communities show an attenuated pattern with two founding mothers explaining >30% of the variation." In contrast, Bulgarian, Turkish, Moroccan and Ethiopian Jews were heterogeneous with no evidence "for a narrow founder effect or depletion of mtDNA variation attributable to drift". The authors noted that "the first three of these communities were established following the Spanish expulsion and/or received large influxes of individuals from the Iberian Peninsula and high variation presently observed, probably reflects high overall mtDNA diversity among Jews of Spanish descent. Likewise, the mtDNA pool of Ethiopian Jews reflects the rich maternal lineage variety of East Africa." Jewish communities from Iraq, Iran, and Yemen showed a "third and intermediate pattern... consistent with a founding event, but not a narrow one".
In this and other studies Yemenite Jews differ from other Mizrahim, as well as from Ashkenazim, in the proportion of sub-Saharan African gene types which have entered their gene pools. African-specific Hg L(xM,N) lineages were found only in Yemenite and Ethiopian Jewish populations. Among Yemenites, the average stands at 35% lineages within the past 3,000 years.
In genetic epidemiology, a genome-wide association study (GWA study, or GWAS) is an examination of all or most of the genes (the genome) of different individuals of a particular species to see how much the genes vary from individual to individual. These techniques were originally designed for epidemiological uses, to identify genetic associations with observable traits.
A 2006 study by Seldin, et al. used over five thousand autosomal SNPs to demonstrate European genetic substructure amongst the Ashkenazi. The results showed "a consistent and reproducible distinction between 'northern' and 'southern' European population groups". Most northern, central, and eastern Europeans (Finns, Swedes, English, Irish, Germans, and Ukrainians) showed >90% in the 'northern' population group, while most individual participants with southern European ancestry (Italians, Greeks, Portuguese, Spaniards) showed >85% in the 'southern' group. Both Ashkenazi Jews as well as Sephardic Jews showed >85% membership in the "southern" group. Referring to the Jews clustering with southern Europeans, the authors state the results were "consistent with a later Mediterranean origin of these ethnic groups".
A 2007 study by Bauchet, et al. found that Ashkenazi Jews were most closely clustered with Arabic North African populations when compared to Global population, and in the European structure analysis, they share similarities only with Greeks and Southern Italians, reflecting their east Mediterranean origins.
A 2010 study on Jewish ancestry by Atzmon-Ostrer et al. stated "Two major groups were identified by principal component, phylogenetic, and identity by descent (IBD) analysis: Middle Eastern Jews and European/Syrian Jews. The IBD segment sharing and the proximity of European Jews to each other and to southern European populations suggested similar origins for European Jewry and refuted large-scale genetic contributions of Central and Eastern European and Slavic populations to the formation of Ashkenazi Jewry.", as both groups—the Middle Eastern Jews and European/Syrian Jews shared common ancestors in the Middle East about 2500 years ago. The study examines genetic markers spread across the entire genome and shows that the Jewish groups (Ashkenazi and non Ashkenazi) share large swaths of DNA, indicating close relationships and that each of the Jewish groups in the study (Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek and Ashkenazi) has its own genetic signature but is more closely related to the other Jewish groups than to their non Jewish fellow countrymen. Atzmon's team found that the SNP markers in genetic segments of 3 million DNA letters or longer were 10 times more likely to be identical among Jews than non-Jews. Results of the analysis also tally with biblical accounts of the fate of the Jews. Using their DNA analysis, the authors traced the ancestors of all Jews to Persia and Babylon, areas that now form part of Iran and Iraq. The study also found that with respect to non-Jewish European groups, the population most closely related to Ashkenazi Jews are modern-day Italians. The study speculated that the genetic-similarity between Ashkenazi Jews and Italians may be due to inter-marriage and conversions in the time of the Roman Empire. It was also found that any two Ashkenazi Jewish participants in the study shared about as much DNA as fourth or fifth cousins
A 2010 study by Bray et al, using SNP microarray techniques and linkage analysis, estimated that 35 to 55 percent of the modern Ashkenazi genome is specifically traceable to Europe, and that European "admixture is considerably higher than previous estimates by studies that used the Y chromosome". The study assumed Druze and Palestinian Arabs populations to represent the reference to world Jewry ancestor genome. With this reference point, the linkage disequilibrium in the Ashkenazi Jewish population was interpreted as "matches signs of interbreeding or 'admixture' between Middle Eastern and European populations". In their press release, Bray stated: "We were surprised to find evidence that Ashkenazi Jews have higher heterozygosity than Europeans, contradicting the widely-held presumption that they have been a largely isolated group". "Thus, the AJ population shows evidence of past founding events; however, admixture and selection have also strongly influenced its current genetic makeup." The authors note that their results will require further investigation.
|Country||Jews, №||Jews, %|
There are an estimated 13–14 million Jews worldwide. The table lists countries with significant populations. Please note that these populations represent low-end estimates of the worldwide Jewish population, accounting for around 0.2% of the world's population.
Israel, the Jewish nation-state, is the only country in which Jews make up a majority of the citizens. Israel was established as an independent democratic and Jewish state on May 14, 1948. Of the 120 members in its parliament, the Knesset, currently, 12 members of the Knesset are Arab citizens of Israel, most representing Arab political parties and one of Israel's Supreme Court judges is a Palestinian Arab.
Between 1948 and 1958, the Jewish population rose from 800,000 to two million. Currently, Jews account for 75.8% of the Israeli population, or 5.4 million people. The early years of the state of Israel were marked by the mass immigration of Holocaust survivors and Jews fleeing Arab lands. Israel also has a large population of Ethiopian Jews, many of whom were airlifted to Israel in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Between 1974 and 1979 nearly 227,258 immigrants arrived in Israel, about half being from the Soviet Union. This period also saw an increase in immigration to Israel from Western Europe, Latin America, and the United States
A trickle of immigrants from other communities has also arrived, including Indian Jews and others, as well as some descendants of Ashkenazi Holocaust survivors who had settled in countries such as the United States, Argentina, Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Some Jews have emigrated from Israel elsewhere, due to economic problems or disillusionment with political conditions and the continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. Jewish Israeli emigrants are known as yordim.
The waves of immigration to the United States and elsewhere at the turn of the 19th century, the founding of Zionism and later events, including pogroms in Russia, the massacre of European Jewry during the Holocaust, and the founding of the state of Israel, with the subsequent Jewish exodus from Arab lands, all resulted in substantial shifts in the population centers of world Jewry by the end of the 20th century.
Currently, the largest Jewish community in the world is located in the United States, with 5.3 million to 6.4 million Jews by various estimates. Elsewhere in the Americas, there are also large Jewish populations in Canada, Argentina, and Brazil, and smaller populations in Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, and several other countries (see History of the Jews in Latin America).
Western Europe's largest Jewish community can be found in France, home to 490,000 Jews, the majority of whom are immigrants or refugees from North African Arab countries such as Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia (or their descendants). There are 295,000 Jews in the United Kingdom. In Eastern Europe, there are anywhere from 350,000 to one million Jews living in the former Soviet Union, but exact figures are difficult to establish. The fastest-growing Jewish community in the world, outside Israel, is the one in Germany, especially in Berlin, its capital. Tens of thousands of Jews from the former Eastern Bloc have settled in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East were home to around 900,000 Jews in 1945. Fueled by anti-Zionism after the founding of Israel, systematic persecution caused almost all of these Jews to flee to Israel, North America, and Europe in the 1950s (see Jewish exodus from Arab lands). Today, around 8,000 Jews remain in all Arab nations combined.
Iran is home to around 10,800 Jews, down from a population of 100,000 Jews before the 1979 revolution. After the revolution some of the Iranian Jews emigrated to Israel or Europe but most of them emigrated (with their non-Jewish Iranian compatriots) to the United States (especially Los Angeles, where the principal community is called "Tehrangeles").
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. Assimilation took place in all areas, and during all time periods, with some Jewish communities, for example the Kaifeng Jews of China, disappearing entirely. The advent of the Jewish Enlightenment of the 18th century (see Haskalah) and the subsequent emancipation of the Jewish populations of Europe and America in the 19th century, accelerated the situation, encouraging Jews to increasingly participate in, and become part of, secular society. The result has been a growing trend of assimilation, as Jews marry non-Jewish spouses and stop participating in the Jewish community.
Rates of interreligious marriage vary widely: In the United States, they are just under 50%, in the United Kingdom, around 53%, in France, around 30%, and in Australia and Mexico, as low as 10%. In the United States, only about a third of children from intermarriages affiliate themselves with Jewish religious practice. 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.
The Jewish people and Judaism have experienced various persecutions throughout Jewish history. During late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages the Roman Empire (in its later phases known as the Byzantine Empire) repeatedly repressed the Jewish population, first by ejecting them from their homelands during the pagan Roman era and later by officially establishing them as second-class citizens during the Christian Roman era.
According to James Carroll, "Jews accounted for 10% of the total population of the Roman Empire. By that ratio, if other factors had not intervened, there would be 200 million Jews in the world today, instead of something like 13 million."
Later in medieval Western Europe, further persecutions of Jews in the name of Christianity occurred, notably during the Crusades—when Jews all over Germany were massacred—and a series of expulsions from England, Germany, France, and, in the largest expulsion of all, Spain and Portugal after the Reconquista (the Catholic Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula), where both unbaptized Sephardic Jews and the ruling Muslim Moors were expelled.
In the Papal States, which existed until 1870, Jews were required to live only in specified neighborhoods called ghettos. In the 19th and (before the end of World War II) 20th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church adhered to a distinction between "good antisemitism" and "bad antisemitism". The "bad" kind promoted hatred of Jews because of their descent. This was considered un-Christian because the Christian message was intended for all of humanity regardless of ethnicity; anyone could become a Christian. The "good" kind criticized alleged Jewish conspiracies to control newspapers, banks, and other institutions, to care only about accumulation of wealth, etc.
Islam and Judaism have a complex relationship. Traditionally Jews and Christians living in Muslim lands, known as dhimmis, were allowed to practice their religions and to administer their internal affairs, but subject to certain conditions. They had to pay the jizya (a per capita tax imposed on free adult non-Muslim males) to the Islamic state. Dhimmis had an inferior status under Islamic rule. They had several social and legal disabilities such as prohibitions against bearing arms or giving testimony in courts in cases involving Muslims. Many of the disabilities were highly symbolic. The one described by Bernard Lewis as "most degrading" was the requirement of distinctive clothing, not found in the Qur'an or hadith but invented in early medieval Baghdad; its enforcement was highly erratic. On the other hand, Jews rarely faced martyrdom or exile, or forced compulsion to change their religion, and they were mostly free in their choice of residence and profession.
Notable exceptions include the massacre of Jews and/or forcible conversion of some Jews by the rulers of the Almohad dynasty in Al-Andalus in the 12th century, as well as in Islamic Persia, and the forced confinement of Moroccan Jews to walled quarters known as mellahs beginning from the 15th century and especially in the early 19th century. In modern times, it has become commonplace for standard antisemitic themes to be conflated with anti-Zionist publications and pronouncements of Islamic movements such as Hezbollah and Hamas, in the pronouncements of various agencies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and even in the newspapers and other publications of Turkish Refah Partisi."
Throughout history, many rulers, empires and nations have oppressed their Jewish populations or sought to eliminate them entirely. Methods employed ranged from expulsion to outright genocide; within nations, often the threat of these extreme methods was sufficient to silence dissent. The history of antisemitism includes the First Crusade which resulted in the massacre of Jews; the Spanish Inquisition (led by Torquemada) and the Portuguese Inquisition, with their persecution and autos-da-fé against the New Christians and Marrano Jews; the Bohdan Chmielnicki Cossack massacres in Ukraine; the Pogroms backed by the Russian Tsars; as well as expulsions from Spain, Portugal, England, France, Germany, and other countries in which the Jews had settled. According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics 19.8% of the modern Iberian population has Sephardic Jewish ancestry, indicating that the number of conversos may have been much higher than originally thought.
The persecution reached a peak in Nazi Germany's Final Solution, which led to the Holocaust and the slaughter of approximately 6 million Jews. The Holocaust — the state-led systematic persecution and genocide of European Jews (and certain communities of North African Jews in European controlled North Africa) and other minority groups of Europe during World War II by Germany and its collaborators remains the most notable modern day persecution of Jews. The persecution and genocide were accomplished in stages. Legislation to remove the Jews from civil society was enacted years before the outbreak of World War II. Concentration camps were established in which inmates were used as slave labour until they died of exhaustion or disease. Where the Third Reich conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized units called Einsatzgruppen murdered Jews and political opponents in mass shootings. Jews and Roma were crammed into ghettos before being transported hundreds of miles by freight train to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, the majority of them were killed in gas chambers. Virtually every arm of Germany's bureaucracy was involved in the logistics of the mass murder, turning the country into what one Holocaust scholar has called "a genocidal nation."
Throughout Jewish history, Jews have repeatedly been directly or indirectly expelled from both their original homeland and the areas in which they have resided. This experience as refugees has shaped Jewish identity and religious practice in many ways, and is thus a major element of Jewish history. The incomplete list of major and other noteworthy migrations that follows includes numerous instances of expulsion or departure under duress:
Israel is the only country with a consistently growing Jewish population due to natural population increase, though the Jewish populations of other countries in Europe and North America have recently increased due to immigration. In the Diaspora, in almost every country the Jewish population in general is either declining or steady, but Orthodox and Haredi Jewish communities, whose members often shun birth control for religious reasons, have experienced rapid population growth.
Orthodox and Conservative Judaism discourage proselytism to non-Jews, but many Jewish groups have tried to reach out to the assimilated Jewish communities of the Diaspora in order for them to reconnect to their Jewish roots. Additionally, while in principle Reform Judaism favors seeking new members for the faith, this position has not translated into active proselytism, instead taking the form of an effort to reach out to non-Jewish spouses of intermarried couples.
There is also a trend of Orthodox movements pursuing secular Jews in order to give them a stronger Jewish identity so there is less chance of intermarriage. As a result of the efforts by these and other Jewish groups over the past 25 years, there has been a trend of secular Jews becoming more religiously observant, known as the Baal Teshuva movement, though the demographic implications of the trend are unknown. Additionally, there is also a growing movement of Jews by Choice by gentiles who make the decision to head in the direction of becoming Jews.
There is no single governing body for the Jewish community, nor a single authority with responsibility for religious doctrine. Instead, a variety of secular and religious institutions at the local, national, and international levels lead various parts of the Jewish community on a variety of issues.
Jews have made contributions in a broad range of human endeavors, including the sciences, arts, politics, and business. Although Jews comprise only 0.2% of the world's population, over 20% of Nobel Prize laureates have been Jewish, with multiple winners in each field.
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