Expelled from Jerusalem: The Jewish Diaspora

9 months ago The Connections Staff 0

Ethan Benenson// Hunterdon County, NJ

We have been living in the Jewish Diaspora for 1,952 years now, scattered across the globe as we pray for the Moshiach to reunite us. But what really is the Diaspora? How did it start? Why should you care?

In this article, we will be taking a deep dive into the current situation of every single Jew on the planet, from Argentina to Alaska to Africa to Australia.

The word ‘Diaspora’ means literally ‘to disperse.’ There have been two major Jewish Diasporas: after the destruction of the first temple, and another after the destruction of the second temple. The first began in 3338 (423 BCE) and lasted for 70 years. During this period, the Jewish people were mainly concentrated in the Babylonian Empire. This exile ended with the incredible story of Purim and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

Destruction of the 2nd Temple by David Roberts (1850).

The Second Diaspora is the one we are now living in. After the Romans destroyed the second temple in 3830 (70 CE), Jews fled all across the Mediterranean world. Many settled in already flourishing Jewish communities in Egypt, Morocco and Italy.

To ensure that Judaism would never be lost, pioneering sages wrote down the Mishnah for the very first time. Previously, the “oral Torah,” as it was called, had been handed down through the generations from teacher to student. This, however, had become impossible due to the dispersion of the Jewish people, so writing down the Torah proved vital.

Now, one question remains: When will the Diaspora end? In short, it is when the Temple of Jerusalem will be rebuilt by Moshiach and all the Jewish people will return to the Land of Israel.

The Western Wall in Jerusalem.

When will Moshiach come? One word: NOW.

I learned in Hebrew School that our mission in this world is to make it a dwelling place for Hashem by uncovering the beauty and godliness hidden in everything. We do this by fulfilling our role in Hashgacha Pratis, Hashem’s Divine Master Plan in which everything that happens falls into. Through every Mitzvot, through every good deed, through every act of kindness, we add another brick to the Temple.