Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Europe: beginning with Germany and France in the Middle Ages. The term “Ashkenazi” refers to Jewish settlers who established communities along the Rhine River in Western Germany and in Northern France dating to the Middle Ages. Once there, they adapted traditions carried from Babylon, The Holy Land, and the Western Mediterranean to their new environment. The Holocaust of the Second How Much Money Does Dan Howell Make War decimated the Ashkenazim, affecting almost every Jewish family.
Genetic studies on Ashkenazim—researching both their paternal and maternal lineages—suggest a predominant amount of shared Middle Eastern ancestry, complemented by varying percentages of European admixture. References for “Who is an Ashkenazi Jew? In Jeremiah 51:27, Ashkenaz figures as one of three kingdoms in the far north, the others being Minni and Ararat, perhaps corresponding to Urartu, called on by God to resist Babylon. In the Yoma tractate of the Babylonian Talmud the name Gomer is rendered as Germania, which elsewhere in rabbinical literature was identified with Germanikia in northwestern Syria, but later became associated with Germania. Sometime in the early medieval period, the Jews of central and eastern Europe came to be called by this term.
Outside of their origins in ancient Israel, the history of Ashkenazim is shrouded in mystery, and many theories have arisen speculating on their emergence as a distinct community of Jews. The history of Jews in Greece goes back to at least the Archaic Era of Greece, when the classical culture of Greece was undergoing a process of formalization after the Greek Dark Age. Estimating the number of Jews in Antiquity is a task fraught with peril due to the nature of and lack of accurate documentation. Louis Feldman, previously an active supporter of the figure, now states that he and Baron were mistaken. Philo gives a figure of one million Jews living in Egypt. Bartlett rejects Baron’s figures entirely, arguing that we have no clue as to the size of the Jewish demographic in the ancient world. They collected an annual temple tax from Jews both in and outside of Israel. 117 CE had a severe impact on the Jewish diaspora. A substantial Jewish population emerged in northern Gaul by the Middle Ages, but Jewish communities existed in 465 CE in Brittany, in 524 CE in Valence, and in 533 CE in Orleans.
Charlemagne’s expansion of the Frankish empire around 800, including northern Italy and Rome, brought on a brief period of stability and unity in Francia. This created opportunities for Jewish merchants to settle again north of the Alps. Charlemagne granted the Jews freedoms similar to those once enjoyed under the Roman Empire. Historical records show evidence of Jewish communities north of the Alps and Pyrenees as early as the 8th and 9th century. By the 11th century Jewish settlers, moving from southern European and Middle Eastern centers, appear to have begun to settle in the north, especially along the Rhine, often in response to new economic opportunities and at the invitation of local Christian rulers. In the 11th century, both Rabbinic Judaism and the culture of the Babylonian Talmud that underlies it became established in southern Italy and then spread north to Ashkenaz. Numerous massacres of Jews occurred throughout Europe during the Christian Crusades. Inspired by the preaching of a First Crusade, crusader mobs in France and Germany perpetrated the Rhineland massacres of 1096, devastating Jewish communities along the Rhine River, including the SHuM cities of Speyer, Worms, and Mainz.
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at its greatest extent. By the 15th century, the Ashkenazi Jewish communities in Poland were the largest Jewish communities of the Diaspora. The answer to why there was so little assimilation of Jews in central and eastern Europe for so long would seem to lie in part in the probability that the alien surroundings in central and eastern Europe were not conducive, though there was some assimilation. In the first half of the 11th century, Hai Gaon refers to questions that had been addressed to him from Ashkenaz, by which he undoubtedly means Germany.
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Rashi in the latter half of the 11th century refers to both the language of Ashkenaz and the country of Ashkenaz. In the literature of the 13th century, references to the land and the language of Ashkenaz often occur. In the Midrash compilation, Genesis Rabbah, Rabbi Berechiah mentions Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah as German tribes or as German lands. It may correspond to a Greek word that may have existed in the Greek dialect of the Jews in Syria Palaestina, or the text is corrupted from “Germanica”.
In later times, the word Ashkenaz is used to designate southern and western Germany, the ritual of which sections differs somewhat from that of eastern Germany and Poland. Thus the prayer-book of Isaiah Horowitz, and many others, give the piyyutim according to the Minhag of Ashkenaz and Poland. According to 16th-century mystic Rabbi Elijah of Chelm, Ashkenazi Jews lived in Jerusalem during the 11th century. The story is told that a German-speaking Jew saved the life of a young German man surnamed Dolberger. Material relating to the history of German Jews has been preserved in the communal accounts of certain communities on the Rhine, a Memorbuch, and a Liebesbrief, documents that are now part of the Sassoon Collection. In 1740 a family from Lithuania became the first Ashkenazi Jews to settle in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.
In the generations after emigration from the west, Jewish communities in places like Poland, Russia, and Belarus enjoyed a comparatively stable socio-political environment. A thriving publishing industry and the printing of hundreds of biblical commentaries precipitated the development of the Hasidic movement as well as major Jewish academic centers. In the context of the European Enlightenment, Jewish emancipation began in 18th century France and spread throughout Western and Central Europe. These included 3 million of 3.
In Israel, the term Ashkenazi is now used in a manner unrelated to its original meaning, often applied to all Jews who settled in Europe and sometimes including those whose ethnic background is actually Sephardic. Jews of any non-Ashkenazi background, including Mizrahi, Yemenite, Kurdish and others who have no connection with the Iberian Peninsula, have similarly come to be lumped together as Sephardic. Religious Ashkenazi Jews living in Israel are obliged to follow the authority of the chief Ashkenazi rabbi in halakhic matters. In this respect, a religiously Ashkenazi Jew is an Israeli who is more likely to support certain religious interests in Israel, including certain political parties. Ashkenazi Jews have played a prominent role in the economy, media, and politics of Israel since its founding. See also: Who is a Jew?
Religious Jews have Minhagim, customs, in addition to Halakha, or religious law, and different interpretations of law. Different groups of religious Jews in different geographic areas historically adopted different customs and interpretations. On certain issues, Orthodox Jews are required to follow the customs of their ancestors, and do not believe they have the option of picking and choosing. In a religious sense, an Ashkenazi Jew is any Jew whose family tradition and ritual follows Ashkenazi practice. Until the Ashkenazi community first began to develop in the Early Middle Ages, the centers of Jewish religious authority were in the Islamic world, at Baghdad and in Islamic Spain. In this respect, the counterpart of Ashkenazi is Sephardic, since most non-Ashkenazi Orthodox Jews follow Sephardic rabbinical authorities, whether or not they are ethnically Sephardic. New developments in Judaism often transcend differences in religious practice between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.
Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This section contains information of unclear or questionable importance or relevance to the article’s subject matter. This section needs additional citations for verification. Culturally, an Ashkenazi Jew can be identified by the concept of Yiddishkeit, which means “Jewishness” in the Yiddish language. Yiddishkeit is specifically the Jewishness of Ashkenazi Jews. France’s blended Jewish community is typical of the cultural recombination that is going on among Jews throughout the world. Although France expelled its original Jewish population in the Middle Ages, by the time of the French Revolution, there were two distinct Jewish populations.
But after emancipation, a sense of a unified French Jewry emerged, especially when France was wracked by the Dreyfus affair in the 1890s. Then, in the 1990s, yet another Ashkenazi Jewish wave began to arrive from countries of the former Soviet Union and Central Europe. The result is a pluralistic Jewish community that still has some distinct elements of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic culture. But in France, it is becoming much more difficult to sort out the two, and a distinctly French Jewishness has emerged. In an ethnic sense, an Ashkenazi Jew is one whose ancestry can be traced to the Jews who settled in Central Europe.
For roughly a thousand years, the Ashkenazim were a reproductively isolated population in Europe, despite living in many countries, with little inflow or outflow from migration, conversion, or intermarriage with other groups, including other Jews. A 2006 study found Ashkenazi Jews to be a clear, homogeneous genetic subgroup. Ashkenazi Jew’s ancestors came from Poland, Russia, Hungary, Lithuania, or any other place with a historical Jewish population, they belong to the same ethnic group. Ashkenazi Jews may differ from those of Sephardi Jews, particularly in matters of custom.