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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes Question:

clear.gif - 808 Bytes Hello, I was watching Fiddler on the roof, and it made me wonder how all the Jewish people ended up in other lands than Isreal, and why didn't they go home to their land instead of staying in Russia, as an example, especially since everyone seemed to hate them?
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Thanks for writing.

As a frame of reference, "Fiddler on the Roof" takes place in Russia in 1905. You need to realize that the Jews at that time did not have a homeland to go to. The Jews were first dispersed from their homeland in 606 B.C. during the Babylonian captivity. In 515 B.C., many returned, but it 322 B.C. the Greeks under Alexander took over. There was a brief period of Jewish independence from 129-63B.C., but in 63B.C. the Romans took over. In 70 A.D. the temple was destroyed, and for all intents and purposes Israel ceased to exist.

During the time of the Crusades (1000-1291 A.D.) there was some return of Jews to the Holy Land, but after that time there was very little movement back, because of Arab control. It was not until the British took over in 1918 that the opportunity to return began to present itself. In 1922 the British were granted the "Mandate for Palestine" by the League of Nations. The purpose of this was to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine. From 1919-1932 there was a great wave of migration to Palestine by Jews.

As a result of this influx of Jews, there were extensive Arab uprisings, and much violence in Palestine. This resulted in Britain's decision in 1939 to greatly restrict Jewish immigration. Of course, this forced European Jews to remain in exile, and cost many their lives under the holocaust of Adolph Hitler. Finally, in May of 1948, Israel was established as an independent nation, and mass immigration from Europe and the Arab countries began.

As you can clearly see, down through the centuries the Jews were forced from their land, and then had no land to return to. It has only been since 1948 that Israel has existed as an independent nation, and Jews could freely return there. This explains why they stayed in such oppressive conditions.

Thanks for your question. May the Lord bless you.

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Dr Mark Montgomery
Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209

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