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
Thanks for your question. May the Lord bless you.
Dr Mark Montgomery
Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209