Paper Example on History of the Jews

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The Jews excluded themselves from other nations which did not perform circumcisions, and the only thing they would get back from these nations would be hatred. As per Spinoza, the only free Jew would be the one who has cut themselves free from such traditions of an already ending culture since their choseness had nothing special and would disappear like other laws of ceremonial. Not only did he condemn the Jewish habit of hating the uncircumcised Gentiles but also the culture of modern thinking, not all people in the contemporary society do the circumcision. Hence the Jews have to trend with the rest of the world and learn to live with the differences of other people. Additionally, Spinoza was in defense of women in the society, same trend idea that is currently experienced in the world. Some rational ideas that have been upheld in the current culture date back to philosophers like Spinoza since the world has seen the importance of such ideas and the great impact they have on the world.

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A Short History of the Jews from Lisbon to Venice

Isaac Abravanel, one of the descendants of King David traces his roots back to Venice where he distinguished himself from the rest of the young men due to his ability to philosophical aptitude and learning ability. He was so right in his knowledge that King Alfonso V appointed him to be the financial administrator. After the death of King Alfonso, Isaac has to leave Portugal and go back to his familys home in Castle since he was accused of conspiracy and later sentenced to death. In his new place, he was given a responsibility and helped concur the last Muslim enclave in Granada which was headed by the Catholic royal couple. Later on, after the conquest, the Jews were forced to exile or get baptized when the Catholic couple formed the United Christian Spain. Isaac had to move to many places before finally landing in Venice.

The descendants of Isaac were scattered in England, Holland as well as Ottoman, a settlement pattern which was emblematic as to those expelled from Iberian Peninsula. In the text, Jews were being expelled from the Spanish lands as Christians conquered these lands, but that is not the explanation for the Jews expulsion since some of the fled from Muslim land to Christian districts and experienced fruitfulness. Some firm traditions which were held firmly by the Jews like wearing special badges were getting ignored with time. The Jews started flowing with the trends and skills they found in the places they moved to which included merchandise, weaving, taking holding offices in Christian courts as well as farming. In Spain, many Jews were forced to abandon the Jewish ways and even allowed to intermarry with the other people who were not Jewish, and with time there was not Jewish presence in the whole of Western Europe.

The movement of the Jewish refugees from one continent to the other inspired enlightenment and humanism spirit not only to them but to the regions they moved to. After being expelled from the Spanish land, the Jews finally landed in Venice, where most of them were neither Ashkenazic nor Sephardic. This meant that the Jews finally had their traditions and rights, especially after John Locke advocated that no one should be excommunicated from their political community by their religion. Earlier on, the Jews were not allowed to build beyond Venice, but with time shortly after the election of Pope, the Jews were then allowed to live well with other as well as building and expanding their territories. The Jews movement from Spain, Europe, India as well as other places exposed them not only to challenged but also learned how to live with other people they found in those locations.


The Jews have migrated from one location to another over the centuries. Among the reasons that contributed to their migration was because other nations did not like Judaism. More so, the Nations felt that the Jews thought that they were better than others as they claimed to be the chosen nation of God. As their territories became were taken over and conquered by other countries, the Jews had to move with the Gentiles and conform to their ways of life. The modern world they mingled with made them abandon their old distinct Jewish ideologies and exclusion of other people. Rationalists like Spinoza whose thoughts and ideas resemble those of the modern days played a significant role in the contribution of conforming to the Jews in the modernization. It was not easy for Jews the Jews to let go of their vigorously and firmly held traditions, but with time they have come to learn to live as per the trends in the world.


Brenner, Michael. 2010. A short history of the Jews. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

James, Susan. 2012. "Benedict De Spinoza". The Philosophers' Magazine, no. 58: 57-59. doi:10.5840/tpm20125884.

Rubinoff, Michael W., Paul R. Mendes-Flohr, and Jehuda Reinharz. 1981. "The Jew In The Modern World: A Documentary History". The History Teacher 14 (2): 268. doi:10.2307/493275.

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