Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalms 122:6
The Lord made a covenant with Abraham as follows:
Abraham would have a great posterity. He would have many descendents (Genesis 15:5 and 17:2).
Abraham would be a father of many nations (Genesis 17:4).
Kings would come from Abraham’s seed or posterity (Genesis 17:6). King David and Jesus Christ himself were descendents of Abraham.
Abraham and his posterity received the land of Canaan (Genesis 17:8).
The Lord promised Abraham that through his seed all the families of the Earth would be blessed. (Genesis 22:17-18 & Acts 3:25).
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Note that Jesus Christ, who lived two thousand years after Abraham, was called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10).In addition, Abraham paid tithing to Melchizedek who was the King of Salem (Genesis 14:18-20). Melchizedek blessed Abraham and conferred the priesthood upon him (Hebrews 7:1-4).
Also refer to (Doctrine & Covenants 84:6-18).
Abraham gave the blessings of the birthright and the priesthood to his son Isaac. The covenant that God made with Abraham continued through Isaac (Genesis 17:15-19 & 21).
Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. These sons were twins, but Esau was born first. So Esau should have received the birthright. But Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage (Genesis 25:29-24).
Isaac instead gave the blessings of the birthright, the priesthood, and the covenant of Abraham to Jacob (Genesis 27 & Genesis 28:3-4).
Jacob had twelve sons: (Genesis Chapters 29 through 35).
God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Jacob’s sons thus became the heads of the Twelve tribes of Israel. Furthermore, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob adopted these sons, so Ephraim and Manasseh also became heads of tribes. (Genesis 48:1-5).
The inclusion of Ephraim and Manasseh brought the total number of tribes to thirteen, but the Levites were dispersed among the other tribes to perform priestly duties.
Jacob, or Israel, gave each of these sons a special blessing.
As Christians and Jews, we need to study these blessings so that we can understand God’s ongoing plan for the human family.
The birthright should have gone to Reuben because he was the oldest son. Reuben did not receive the birthright, however, because he had sinned (Genesis 35:22). Jacob instead gave the birthright to Joseph (1 Chronicles 5:1-2). Nevertheless, each son received the blessings of the covenant of Abraham.
Joseph’s wife was Asenath (Genesis 41:45).
Joseph received many wonderful blessings as recorded in Genesis 49:
 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
Joseph was given further blessings as recorded in Deuteronomy 33:13-17. Jacob also gave blessings to Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:14-22). Ephraim received the birthright, but both received great blessings.
Ephraim’s name literally means “doubly fruitful.”
Judah was given the blessing of the law and kings (Genesis 49:10). Again, King David and Jesus Christ himself were both from the tribe of Judah.
Jesus Christ is the “Lion of Judah” and the “Root of David” (Revelations 5:5). He is the “Son of David” (Matthew 1:1). He is also the “Stem of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1, Doctrine and Covenants 113:1-6). Jesse was David’s father.
Jacob and his sons moved from Canaan to Egypt because there was a famine (Genesis 46).
The descendents of Jacob, or children of Israel, became slaves in Egypt (Exodus 1). Their captivity lasted 400 years (Acts 7:6).
Moses was from the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1-10).
Moses received the priesthood authority from his father-in-law Jethro (Doctrine & Covenants 84:6-18). Jethro was the priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1). Jethro is also referred to as Reuel.
Midian was also the name of one of Abraham’s sons. Jethro was a descendant of Abraham though Midian. Midian’s mother was Keturah, who became Abraham’s wife after Sarah died (Genesis 25:1-1).
God commanded Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.
According to Rabbinical teachings, the children of Israel were redeemed from Egypt because of four meritorious acts:
1. They kept their Hebrew names.
2. They retained their Hebrew language.
3. They did not reveal their secrets – (They would leave with many of Egypt’s possessions, Exodus 3:21-22).
4. They did not abandoned circumcision.
Moses was not allowed to cross into the Promised Land, however, because he disobeyed the Lord. The Lord had commanded Moses to speak unto a rock at Meribah before the children of Israel so that the rock would bring forth water. Instead, Moses became angry at the people, and he smote the rock twice with his rod. The rock nevertheless sent forth water, but Moses had shown unbelief and had failed to sanctify the Lord before the people (Numbers 20:8-12).
Some authors claim that the rock symbolized Jesus Christ who is the “Rock of our Salvation” (Psalms 89:26 and 1 Corinthians 10:4).
Moses gave blessings to each of the tribes of Israel, Deuteronomy 33.
After many years, Joshua led the children of Israel into Canaan, which is the land of Israel. Each tribe received a portion of land. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim (Numbers 13:8 & 16).
Map of the lands given to the Twelve Tribes.
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KINGDOM OF ISRAEL
A series of judges ruled over Israel for a period of about four hundred and fifty years, after they arrived in the land. (Acts 13:20).
Saul, who was from the tribe of Benjamin, became the first king. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel.
David, the son of Jesse, became the next King of Israel. He was followed by his son Solomon, and then by Rehoboam.
After the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel divided in to the northen and southern kingdoms. Rehoboam raised the taxes, which caused the northern tribes to rebel against him.
Ephraim was the head tribe of the northern kingdom, which consisted of ten tribes. The northern kingdom’s capital city was Samaria.
Judah was the main tribe of the southern kingdom. The tribe of Benjamin also settled in the southern kingdom.
The people of Israel were wicked. They worshipped the pagan idols Baal and Ashtaroth (Judges 2:13, Hosea 2:8). They even sacrificed their children as burnt offerings to Baal (Jeremiah 19:4-5).
The prophets Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Micah, and Hosea called the northern tribes to repentance.
Both the northern tribes of Israel and the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin had to face the consequences of sin. The sins included pride, idolatry, and whoredoms. The Lord withdrew himself from them (Hosea 5:5-7).
The nation of Assyria, led first by Shalmaneser V and then by Sargon II, began carrying away the northern tribes of Israel in 722 to 721 B.C. (2 Kings 17).
King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judaea, captured Jerusalem, and destroyed its temple. He carried away the tribe of Judah to Babylon sometime between 588 to 586 B.C. (2 Kings 24 ). (See also Acts 7:40-43).
This and other dispersions of the Jews outside of Israel is called the Diaspora.
The Jews returned to Jerusalem after a 70 year captivity.
 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
Cyrus the Great, King of Persia conquered Babylon in 538 BC and issued the decree of liberation to the Jews. This allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.
 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
The Jews remained in Jerusalem until they were dispersed by the Roman legions. The Romans defeated the Jews over a series of wars:
1. Jewish-Roman war or Great Revolt, 66 to 73 A.D.
2. Kitos war, 115 to 117 A.D.
3. Bar Kokhba’s Revolt, 132-135 A.D.
4. War against Gallus, 351-352 A.D.
Titus’ legions besieged and destroyed Jerusalem and burned Herod’s Temple in 70 A.D. Many of the Jews were killed during the Great Revolt. The surviors were sent to work as slaves throughout the Roman Empire.
The Kitos war took place over a vast region including Cyprus, Libya, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Judea and Syria. The name Kitos comes from the Mauretanian Roman general Lusius Quietus who ruthlessly suppressed a Jewish revolt in Mesopotamia.
Bar Kokhba’s Revolt
Bar Kokhba’s Revolt was led by Simon Bar Kokhba, who was believed by some to be the Jewish Messiah. A sovereign Jewish state was restored for two and a half years, until the Roman legions defeated the Jews. The Roman Emperor Hadrian attempted to root out Judaism, which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions. He prohibited the Torah law, the Jewish calendar and executed Jewish sages.
War against Gallus
Patricius led the Jews into battle against the Romans. The Roman General Ursicinus defeated the Jews.
Revolt against Heraclius, 613-617 A.D.
The Byzantine empire controlled Jerusalem during this period. Heraclius was the Emperor of Byzantine.
The Jews of Palestine joined Persia in a revolt against Emperor Heraclius in order to liberate Jerusalem and to to control it autonomously. The Jews achieved their goal to some degree. Ultimately, Emperor Heraclius massacred and dispersed the Jews of Jerusalem.
The Byzantine Empire lost control of the territory of Palaestina to the Arabs in 638 A.D.
Prophesies of Jesus Christ
Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews which occurred over the series of wars.
 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Gathering of Israel
 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.
 And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
 But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
Prayer offered at the dedication of the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, March 27, 1836. HC 2: 420–426. According to the Prophet Joseph Smith’s written statement, this prayer was given to him by revelation.
61 But thou knowest that thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day.
62 We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;
63 And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;
64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.
Doctrine & Covenants 109
Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836. HC 2: 435–436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting. The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: “In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day. After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.”
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
Doctrine & Covenants 110
1 Nephi 19
 Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers.
 Yea, then will he remember the isles of the sea; yea, and all the people who are of the house of Israel, will I gather in, saith the Lord, according to the words of the prophet Zenos, from the four quarters of the earth.
1 Nephi 22
 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.
 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.
 And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.
 And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel.
 And ye need not imagine in your hearts that the words which have been spoken are vain, for behold, the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel.
 And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the sword of his justice is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you.
 Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!
 Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!
 Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!
 Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.
 Therefore ye need not suppose that ye can turn the right hand of the Lord unto the left, that he may not execute judgment unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel.
3 Nephi 29
And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.
Additional Scriptures concerning the Gathering of Israel: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/israel/the-gathering-of-israel?lang=eng
Black Death Jewish Persecutions
The Black Death persecutions and massacres were a series of violent attacks on Jewish communities blamed for an outbreak of the Black Death in Europe from 1348 to 1350.
As the plague swept across Europe in the mid-14th century, annihilating nearly half the population, Jews were taken as scapegoats, likely because they were affected less than other people. Accusations spread that Jews had caused the disease by deliberately poisoning wells.
The first massacres directly related to the plague took place in April 1348 in Toulon, France, where the Jewish quarter was sacked, and forty Jews were murdered in their homes.
In 1349, massacres and persecution spread across Europe, including in the cities:
In addition, 900 Jews were burnt alive on 14 February 1349 in the “Valentine’s Day” Strasbourg, France massacre, where the plague had not yet affected the city.
Many hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed in this period.
The Spanish Expulsion, 1492
The Alhambra Decree was issued on March 31, 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, following the final triumph over the Moors after the fall of Granada. The decree ordered the expulsion of all Jews from Spain and its territories and possessions by July 31, 1492.
Hundreds of thousands of Jews were thus expelled from Spain in 1492. Tens of thousands of refugees died while trying to reach safety.
The Spanish Jews who ended up in Turkey, North Africa, Italy, and elsewhere throughout Europe and the Arab world, were known as Sephardim — Sefarad being the Hebrew name for Spain.
Some Jews remained in Spain and converted to Christianity either voluntarily or by coersion. They became “New Christians,” “Conversos” or “Marranos.” Nevertheless, the Spanish Inquisition persecuted the New Christians and drove them out of Spain.
Tomás de Torquemada (1420-1498) was the leader of the Inquisition. He ordered the burning of Talmuds, which are Jewish books of laws, ethics and customs.
Monument in Lisbon, Portugal
Some Spanish Jews fled to Portugal, where King John II granted them asylum in return for payment. However, the asylum was only temporary—after eight months, the Portuguese government decreed the enslavement of all Jews who had not yet left the country. In 1493, King John deported several hundred Jewish children to the newly discovered colony of São Tomé, a small African island, where many of them perished.
Jews remaining in Portugal were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism in 1497. Furthermore, some 2000 Jews were killed in Lisbon in April 1506. This event is known as the Lisbon Massacre or Pogrom.
Emma Lazarus (1849 – 1887) was a New York Jewish poet best known for the sonnet “The New Colossus,” which appears on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. She was also an advocate on behalf of indigent Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe, and called on Jews to unite and create a homeland in Palestine for these refugees. Lazarus compiled her writings in her book “An Epistle to the Hebrews.”
Lazarus was influenced by George Eliots’ novel Daniel Deronda. George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Anne Evans (1819–1880) an English, non-Jewish author.
A character in the novel named Mordecai passionately proclaims his wish for the Jewish people to retain their national identity and one day be restored to their Promised Land. As Mordecai is dying, he wants Daniel Deronda to become his intellectual heir and continue to pursue his dream and be an advocate for the Jewish people.
The year 1881 was a milestone in the Zionist movement, as ideas supporting Jewish statehood became more widespread. The Chovevei Tzion (Lovers of Zion) movement, stressing a return to Zion, became increasingly popular.
Jewish refugees fled persecution in Russia and immigrated to the Holy Land from 1882 to 1903.
Theodore Herzl (1860-1904) published his book Der Judenstaat (German, The Jewish State) in 1896.
Herzl was motivated by the Dreyfus Affair, a notorious anti-Semitic incident in France in which a French Jewish army captain was falsely convicted of spying for Germany.
Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country. This Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland in 1897.
Ottoman Turks, Arab Revolt, T.E. Lawrence, General Allenby
The Ottoman Turks conquered Palestine in 1516, and the country was incorporated in the dominions of the Ottoman Empire. Local governors were appointed from Constantinople.
Sherif Hussein (1852-1931), as the head of the Arab nationalists, entered into an alliance with the United Kingdom and France against the Ottomans around June 8, 1916.
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) convinced the Arab leaders Faisal and Abdullah to co-ordinate their actions in support of British strategy.
English General Sir Edmund Allenby (1861-1936) led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of the Land of Israel and Syria in 1917 and 1918.
General Allenby officially entered Jerusalem on December 11, 1917.
The Arab cavalry gained in strength in 1918. They were able to provide the British army with intelligence on Ottoman army positions. They also harassed Ottoman supply columns, attacked small garrisons, and destroyed railroad tracks.
British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930) wrote the following letter in 1917. Note that Balfour had previously served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 1905.
Lord Rothschild (1868-1937) was a British banker and zoologist from the international Rothschild financial dynasty.
November 2nd, 1917.
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass
German stormtroopers ransacked Jewish homes, shops and synagogues in numerous German cities and in Vienna on November 9-10, 1938.
Some Jews were killed. Around 30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps.
SS Saint Louis
The SS Saint Louis was a German ocean liner. Over 950 Jewish refugees sailed out of Hamburg on this ship in the summer of 1939. The Jews were seeking asylum from Nazi persecution just before World War II.
Initially, the refugees tried to enter Havana, Cuba. Each passenger carried a visa which was valid for temporary entrance to Cuba. Cuban President Federico Laredo Bru (1875-1946), however, declared the visas invalid and refused entry to the passengers.
The ship next sailed toward Florida. Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1871-1955) vehemtly opposed granting asylum to the refugees. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) issued an order to deny entry to the refugees on June 4, 1939.
Eventually France, Belgium and the Netherlands each took in a number of the refugees, most of whom were later killed in the Holocaust. Other refugees were granted asylum in Great Britain and survived.
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was Chancellor of Germany from 1933, and Führer of Germany from 1934 until his death.
The Nazis used the term “Final Solution” to refer to their plan to annihilate the Jewish people.
Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) was in charge of the Einsatzgruppen squads and the concentration camps.
The Einsatzgruppen squads were mobile killing units staffed with German SS and police personnel that killed over one million Jews through mass shootings.
The largest concentration camp was Auschwitz in southern Poland. Rudolf Hoess was the commandant of Auschwitz.
Auschwitz was actually a complex consisting of three main camps and numerous satellite camps. Many of the Jews were forced to perform slave labor at industrial factories. Most prisoners at Auschwitz survived only a few weeks or months. Those who were too ill or too weak to work were condemned to death in the gas chambers.
Dr. Josef Mengele (1911-1979) performed cruel medical experiments on human subjects at the Auschwitz.
Altogether, Nazi Germany killed approximately six million European Jews in World War II. This number included three million Polish Jews.
On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz and liberated around 7,000 prisoners, most of whom were ill and dying.
Corrie Ten Bloom – sheltered Jews in her home in Holland. She wrote her story in the book “The Hiding Place.”
Irena Sendler – rescued more than 2400 Jewish children in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Pastor Andre Trocme – made the town of Le Chambon a haven for persecuted Jews.
Varian Fry – journalist who worked in Marseilles, France. He became known as the “American Oskar Schindler.”
Waitstill & Martha Sharp – left Massachusetts and traveled to Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1938 to save Jews.
Raoul Wallenberg – a Swedish Christian who rescued thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi death machine by issuing them protective passports from the Swedish embassy.
Pope Pius XII
The role of Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 until his death in 1958, has long been controversial. The Vatican has struggled to defend him over his silence during the mass murder of 6 million Jews.
Critics have portrayed him as an anti-Semite and Germanophile whose views were formed while working in Germany before his election as Pope in 1939.
Pope Pius XII refused pleas of Jews for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general. Privately, he sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews.
The Vatican has always insisted that the pontiff worked diplomatically to save Jews.
Rebirth of the Modern State of Israel
Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
Throughout 1947, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine examined the Palestinian question and recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948 when the British mandate was scheduled to end.
The Provisional Government of Israel proclaimed a new State of Israel at midnight on May 14, 1948. On that same date, the United States, in the person of President Truman (1884-1972), recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the Jewish state.
Chaim Azriel Weizmann (1874-1952) served as the first president of Israel. David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) served as the prime minister.
Six-Day War, 1967
Israel fought against the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia also contributed troops and arms to fight against Israel. Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser led the Pan-Arab army.
The Jews reunited or compacted Jerusalem on June 7, 1967, by capturing East Jerusalem.
Rabbi Shlomo Goren (1917-1994) sounded a shofar at the Western Wall to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem .
 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
 Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
 For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
 For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
Aliyah, (pl. aliyot) “ascension” or “going up” is the arrival of Jews as individuals or groups, from exile or Diaspora to live in Eretz Yisrael – the Land of Israel. Those who “go up” for this purpose are known as olim – a term used in the Bible when the Children of Israel went up from Egypt (Gen. 50:14 and Num. 32:11) and – at a later period – for the exiles who returned from captivity in Babylon (Ezra 2:1,59 and Neh. 5-6). The call of Cyrus, King of Persia, in 538 B.C.E., – “Whosoever there is among you of all His people, his God be with him, – let him go up.” (Ezra 1:3, IIChron. 36:23) – has been used as a watchword for aliyah. Reference: http://www.jafi.org.il/education/100/CONCEPTS/aliyah1.html
Jewish Community of Ethiopia
Ethiopian Jews refer to themselves as Beta Israel, the house of Israel. They have lived in the northern province of Gondar. Their neighbors, however, have called them Falashas—the alien ones, the invaders.
There are four theories for the origin of the Ethiopian Jews:
1) The Beta Israel may be the lost Israelite tribe of Dan.
2) They may be descendants of Menelik I, son of King Solomon and Queen Sheba.
3) They may be descendants of Ethiopian Christians and pagans who converted to Judaism centuries ago.
4) They may be descendants of Jews who fled Israel for Egypt after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE and eventually settled in Ethiopia.
Operation Moses began on November 19, 1984 and ended six weeks later on January 5, 1985. As a result, 8000 Ethiopian Jews arrived in Israel via Sudan.
Operation Joshua was conducted in 1985, bringing 800 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
More Ethiopian Jews fled to Israel in Operation Solomon in 1990-91. A total of 14,324 Ethiopian Jews were rescued and resettled in Israel, a modern exodus.
The Likud government of Yitzhak Shamir authorized a special permit for the Israeli airline, El Al, to fly on the Jewish Sabbath. On Friday, May 24, and continuing non-stop for 36 hours, a total of 34 El Al jumbo jets and Hercules C-130s—seats removed to accommodate the maximum number of Ethiopians—began a new chapter in the struggle for the freedom of Ethiopian Jewry.
The Ethiopian Jews boarded the aircraft at Addis Ababa International Airport.
The operation set a world record for single-flight passenger load on May 24, 1991 when an El Al 747 carried 1,087 passengers to Israel. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Solomon
An estimated 36,000 Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel, although some sources give much higher estimates.
The Lemba People
The Lemba are a black, southern Africa tribe of Jewish ancestry.
There are several oral traditions regarding their origin.
According to one version, a group of Jews left Jerusalem about 2500 years ago. They settled in Yemen and built a city called Sena or Senna . The group then traveled to Africa and split into two sections. One group settled in Ethiopia. The other group went further south along the East Coast.
The second group settled in what today is known as Tanzania and Kenya, where they built a second city which was also called Senna. Here they prospered and increased in numbers.
Another version states that the Lemba are descendants of attendants of the Israelite King Solomon who traveled to Ophir (Zimbabwe) in search of gold.
Some of the Lemba moved to southern Africa. They live today in Malawi, Zimbabwe and the South African region of Venda, where their total population is 70,000. They speak the Bantu language.
The Lemba have religious beliefs and practices similar to those in Judaism.
1. They are monotheists and call their creator God, “Nwali.”
2. They consider one day per week holy and praise “Nwali” on that day. This resembles the Jewish Sabbath.
3. They teach their children to honour their parents.
4. They refrain from eating Pork or other foods forbidden by the Old Testament. Their form of slaughter resembles Jewish Shechita.
5. They practice male circumcision.
6. They have strict rules against marrying outside their tribe.
Furthermore, the Lemba males posses the Priestly Cohanim gene on their Y chromosome (from work done by Jenkins and Spurgle -Wits University)
The Bnei Menashe live in North East India, in the land that lies between Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Bangladesh.
The Bnei Menashe are descendants of the Tribe of Menashe, or Manasseh, according to their oral traditions. Their exile began when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was taken captive in 721 B.C. They escaped from slavery in Assyria and traveled to Media/Persia. They crossed the silk route finally ending up in India.
The Bnei Menashe have kept Jewish traditions, including observing Shabbat, keeping the laws of Kosher, practicing circumcision on the eighth day of a baby boy’s life and observing Talmudic family purity.
One Bnei Menashe song, which had been handed down and carried throughout their travels, describes part of the Exodus from Egypt:
We must keep the Passover festival.
Because we crossed the Red Sea on the dry land.
At night we crossed with a fire.
And by day with a cloud.
Enemies pursued us with chariots.
And the sea swallowed them up.
And used them as food for the fish.
And when we were thirsty.
We received water from the rock.
In recent years, over 800 members of the Bnei Menashe community have made Aliyah, immigration to Israel.
In addition to Bnei Menashe, there are at least four other native Jewish or Israelite communities in India:
The Cochin Jews arrived in India 2,500 years ago and settled down in Cochin, Kerala as traders.
The Baghdadi Jews arrived in the city Mumbai from Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, and Arab countries about 250 years ago.
The Bene Israel arrived in the state of Maharashtra 2,100 years ago. Most Bene Israel have now emigrated to Israel.
The Bene Ephraim (also called Telugu Jews) are a small group who speak Telugu; their observance of Judaism dates to 1981.
Additional Jewish Communities in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan
The Afridi Pashtun tribe is identified with Ephraim. Pashtun tribes mainly live in the highlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and they are divided into 60 tribes and 400 clans. The Afridi tribe is one of the largest (about three million). For hundreds of years, Afridis have called themselves Bani Israel (Pushto for the Hebrew B’nei Yisrael, meaning “Children of Israel”) and believe that they originated from the Ephraim tribe.
According to some Jewish and European explorers from the Middle Ages until the present day, the Afridi tribe originates from Ephraim, the Yusufzai tribe from Joseph, the Rabbani from Reuben, the Levani from Levi, the Ashuri from Asher, etc.
Some of the Israelites may have traveled to Japan.
Joseph Eidelberg wrote a book called The Biblical Hebrew Origin of the Japanese People.
Some Japanese words appear to correspond with Hebrew words:
Daber: in Hebrew, to speak.
Daberu: Japanese for chatting.
Goi: a non-Hebrew or foreigner.
Gai’Jeen: prefix for a foreigner, a non-Japanese.
Kor: cold in Hebrew.
Koru: to freeze in Japanese.
Knesset: Parliament in Hebrew.
Kensei: Constitutional government in Japanese
The common Japanese surname, Sakai, is very close to what the Persians called the Israelites: Sakka, for the sons of Isaac.
Furthermore, the name ‘Samurai’ resembles ‘Samaria.’
Some sources claim that the Mikado, the Japanese emperor, is a descendant of the Hebrew tribe of Gad. ‘Mikado’ recalls the Hebrew word for ‘his majesty the king,’ ‘Malchuto’.
Other sources claim that Reuben and half of Manasseh moved eastward, perhaps as far as Japan.
The Hata or Hada tribe in Japan may have had Jewish origins. This tribe was active during the Yamamoto era. Members of this tribe served as financial advisors to the Yamato Court for several centuries. Some towns in Japan are named after the tribe, such as Ohata, Yahata, and Hatano.
Also refer to:
Chiang Tribe in China may be a remnant of an Israelite tribe. The Chiang live in the mountainous area of northwest China, west of the Min River, near the border of Tibet, in Szechuan. Their population is about 250 thousand people.
The Chiang Tribe’s oral tradition is that they are descendants of Abraham and of his twelve sons.
They also have a tradition that their ancestors migrated from the West after a journey of three years and three months.
They believe in one God whom they call Abachi meaning the father of heaven, or Mabichu, the spirit of heaven, or also Tian, heaven.
The Chiang perform ritual animal sacrifices similar to those of ancient Israel.
Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah may have a vision of these people when he wrote concerning the gathering of Israel:
Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. (Isaiah 49:12)
Sinim is the Hebrew word for China.