Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity and religion are interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel; the Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE. The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as'Hebrews'. Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian captivity and exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history and memory.
Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Since the population has risen again, as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2% of the total world population. The modern State of Israel is the only country, it defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, based on the Declaration of Independence. Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both and in modern times, including philosophy, literature, business, fine arts and architecture, music and cinema, science and technology, as well as religion. Jews have played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.
The English word "Jew" continues Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea"; the Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region; the Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים Yehudim. Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Yiddish ייִד Yid; the etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g. يَهُودِيّ yahūdī, al-yahūd, in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" /"Juive" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc. but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are in use to describe a Jew, e.g. in Italian, in Persian and Russian.
The German word "Jude" is pronounced, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" is the origin of the word "Yiddish". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, It is recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility; some people, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun. Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, a culture, making the definition of, a Jew vary depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used.
In modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, halakhic conversions; these definitions of, a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism's written and oral laws; the first sage for whom the Mishnah uses the title of rabbi was Yohanan ben Zakkai, active in the early-to-mid first century AD. In more recent centuries, the duties of a rabbi became influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title "pulpit rabbis", in 19th-century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance. Within the various Jewish denominations there are different requirements for rabbinic ordination, differences in opinion regarding, to be recognized as a rabbi. For example, Orthodox Judaism does not ordain women as rabbis. Non-Orthodox movements have chosen to do so for what they view as halakhic reasons as well as ethical reasons; the Hebrew word "master" רב rav, which means "great one", is the original Hebrew form of the title.
The form of the title in English and many other languages derives from the possessive form in Hebrew of rav: רַבִּי rabbi, meaning "My Master", the way a student would address a master of Torah. The word Rav in turn derives from the Semitic root ר-ב-ב, which in biblical Aramaic means "great" in many senses, including "revered", but appears as a prefix in construct forms. Although the usage rabbim "many" "the majority, the multitude" occurs for the assembly of the community in the Dead Sea scrolls there is no evidence to support an association with the title "Rabbi." The root is cognate to Arabic ربّ rabb, meaning "lord". As a sign of great respect, some great rabbis are called "The Rav". Rabbi is not an occupation found in the Hebrew Bible, ancient generations did not employ related titles such as Rabban, Ribbi, or Rab to describe either the Babylonian sages or the sages in Israel; the titles "Rabban" and "Rabbi" are first mentioned in the Mishnah. The term was first used for Rabban Gamaliel the elder, Rabban Simeon his son, Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, all of whom were patriarchs or presidents of the Sanhedrin in the first century.
The title "Rabbi" occurs in the books of Matthew and John in the New Testament, where it is used in reference to "Scribes and Pharisees" as well as to Jesus. Sephardic and Yemenite Jews pronounce this word רִבִּי ribbī. Other variants are rəvī and, in Yiddish, rebbə; the word could be compared to the Syriac word ܪܒܝ rabi. In ancient Hebrew, rabbi was a proper term of address while speaking to a superior, in the second person, similar to a vocative case. While speaking about a superior, in the third person one could say rabbo; the term evolved into a formal title for members of the Patriarchate. Thus, the title gained an irregular plural form: רַבָּנִים rabbanim, not רַבָּי rabbay; the governments of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were based on a system that included the Jewish kings, the Jewish prophets, the legal authority of the high court of Jerusalem, the Great Sanhedrin, the ritual authority of the priesthood. Members of the Sanhedrin had to receive their ordination in an uninterrupted line of transmission from Moses, yet rather than being referred to as rabbis they were called priests or scribes, like Ezra, called in the Bible "Ezra, the priest, the scribe, a scribe of the words of God's commandments and of His statutes unto Israel."
"Rabbi" as a religious title does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. All of the above personalities would have been expected to be steeped in the wisdom of the Torah and the commandments, which would have made them "rabbis" in the modern sense of the word; this is illustrated by a two-thousand-year-old teaching in the Mishnah, Ethics of the Fathers, which observed about King David, "One who learns from their companion a single chapter, a single halakha, a single verse, a single Torah statement, or a single letter, must treat them with honor. For so we find with David King of Israel, who learned nothing from Ahitophel except two things, yet called him his teacher, his guide, his intimate, as it is said:'You are a man of my measure, my guide, my intimate'. One can derive from this the following: If David King of Israel who learned nothing from Ahitophel except for two things, called him his teacher, his guide, his intimate, one who learns from their companion a single chapter, a single halakha, a single verse, a single statement, or a single letter, how much more must they treat them with honor.
And honor is due only for Torah, as it is said:'The wise shall inherit honor','and the perfect shall inherit good'. And only Torah is good, as it is said:'I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake My Torah'." With the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish monarchy, the decline of the dual institutions of prophets and the priesthood, the focus of scholarly and spiritual leadership within the Jewish people shifted to the sages of the Men of the Great Assembly. This assembly was composed of the earliest group of "rabbis" in the mor
Criticism of Islam
Criticism of Islam has existed since Islam's formative stages. Early written disapproval came from Christians and Jews as well as from some former Muslims such as Ibn al-Rawandi; the Muslim world itself suffered criticism. Western criticism has grown in the 21st century after the September 11 attacks and other terrorist incidents; as of 2014, about a quarter of the world's countries and territories had anti-blasphemy and anti-apostasy laws or policies, of which 13 nations, all of which were Muslim majority nations, had the death penalty for apostasy. Objects of criticism include the morality of the life of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, both in his public and personal life. Issues relating to the authenticity and morality of the constitutional scriptures of Islam, both the Quran and the hadiths, are discussed by critics. Islam has been viewed as a form of Arab imperialism and has received criticism by figures from Africa and India for what they perceive as the destruction of indigenous cultures.
Islam's recognition of slavery as an institution, which led to Muslim traders exporting as many as 17 million slaves to the coast of the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, North Africa, has been criticized. Another criticism focuses on the question of human rights in the Islamic world, both and in modern Islamic nations, including the treatment of women, LGBT people, religious and ethnic minorities, as evinced in Islamic law and practice. In the wake of the recent multiculturalism trend, Islam's influence on the ability or willingness of Muslim immigrants to assimilate in the Western world, in other countries such as India and Russia, has been criticized; the earliest surviving written criticisms of Islam are to be found in the writings of Christians who came under the early dominion of the Islamic Caliphate. One such Christian was John of Damascus, familiar with Islam and Arabic; the second chapter of his book, The Fount of Wisdom, titled "Concerning Heresies", presents a series of discussions between Christians and Muslims.
John claimed an Arian monk influenced Muhammad and viewed the Islamic doctrines as nothing more than a hodgepodge culled from the Bible. Writing on Islam's claim of Abrahamic ancestry, John explained that the Arabs were called "Saracens" because they were "empty" "of Sarah", they were called "Hagarenes" because they were "the descendants of the slave-girl Hagar". Other notable early critics of Islam included: Abu Isa al-Warraq, a 9th-century scholar and critic of Islam. Ibn al-Rawandi, a 9th-century atheist, who repudiated Islam and criticised religion in general. Al-Ma'arri, an 11th-century Arab poet and critic of Islam and all other religions. Known for his veganism and Antinatalism. In the early centuries of the Islamic Caliphate, Islamic law allowed citizens to express their views, including criticism of Islam and religious authorities, without fear of persecution; as such, there have been several notable critics and skeptics of Islam that arose from within the Islamic world itself. In tenth and eleventh-century Syria there lived.
He became well known for a poetry, affected by a "pervasive pessimism." He labeled religions in general as "noxious weeds" and said that Islam does not have a monopoly on truth. He had particular contempt for the ulema, writing that: They recite their sacred books, although the fact informs me that these are fiction from first to last. O Reason, thou speakest the truth. Perish the fools who forged the religious traditions or interpreted them! In 1280, the Jewish philosopher, Ibn Kammuna, criticized Islam in his book Examination of the Three Faiths, he reasoned that the Sharia was incompatible with the principles of justice, that this undercut the notion of Muhammad being the perfect man: "there is no proof that Muhammad attained perfection and the ability to perfect others as claimed." The philosopher thus claimed that people converted to Islam from ulterior motives: That is why, to this day we never see anyone converting to Islam unless in terror, or in quest of power, or to avoid heavy taxation, or to escape humiliation, or if taken prisoner, or because of infatuation with a Muslim woman, or for some similar reason.
Nor do we see a respected and pious non-Muslim well versed in both his faith and that of Islam, going over to the Islamic faith without some of the aforementioned or similar motives. According to Bernard Lewis, just as it is natural for a Muslim to assume that the converts to his religion are attracted by its truth, it is natural for the convert's former coreligionists to look for baser motives and Ibn Kammuna's list seems to cover most of such nonreligious motives. Maimonides, one of the foremost 12th century rabbinical arbiters and philosophers, sees the relation of Islam to Judaism as theoretical. Maimonides has no quarrel with the strict monotheism of Islam, but finds fault with the practical politics of Muslim regimes, he considered Islamic ethics and politics to be inferior to their Jewish counterparts. Maimonides criticised what he perceived as the lack of virtue in the way Muslims rule their societies and relate to one another. In his Epistle to Yemenite Jewry, he refers to Mohammad, as "hameshuga" – "that madman".
In Dante's Inferno, Muhammad is portrayed as split in half, with his guts hanging out, representing his status as a schismatic. Some medieval ecclesiastical writers portrayed Muhammad as possessed by Satan, a "precursor of the Antichrist" or the Antichrist himself. Denis the Carthusian wrote two treatises to refute Islam at the request of Nicholas of Cusa, Contra perfidiam Mahometi, et contra multa dicta Sarracenoru
Fascism is a form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum. Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, the state, technology; the advent of total war and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war; the war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.
Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies. Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have described themselves as fascist, the term is instead now used pejoratively by political opponents; the descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far-right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th-century fascist movements.
The Italian term fascismo is derived from fascio meaning a bundle of rods from the Latin word fasces. This was the name given to political organizations in Italy known as fasci, groups similar to guilds or syndicates. According to Mussolini's own account, the Fascist Revolutionary Party was founded in Italy in 1915. In 1919, Mussolini founded the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento in Milan, which became the Partito Nazionale Fascista two years later; the Fascists came to associate the term with the ancient Roman fasces or fascio littorio—a bundle of rods tied around an axe, an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrate carried by his lictors, which could be used for corporal and capital punishment at his command. The symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is broken, while the bundle is difficult to break. Similar symbols were developed by different fascist movements: for example, the Falange symbol is five arrows joined together by a yoke. Historians, political scientists, other scholars have long debated the exact nature of fascism.
Each group described as fascist has at least some unique elements, many definitions of fascism have been criticized as either too wide or narrow. One common definition of the term focuses on three concepts: the fascist negations. According to many scholars, fascism—especially once in power—has attacked communism and parliamentary liberalism, attracting support from the far-right. Historian Stanley Payne identifies three main strands in fascism, his typology is cited by reliable sources as a standard definition. First, Payne's "fascist negations" refers to such typical policies as anti-communism and anti-liberalism. Second, "fascist goals" include an expanded empire. Third, "fascist style" is seen in its emphasis on violence and authoritarianism and its exultation of men above women and young against old. Roger Griffin describes fascism as "a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultranationalism". Griffin describes the ideology as having three core components: " the rebirth myth, populist ultra-nationalism, the myth of decadence".
Fascism is "a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism" built on a complex range of theoretical and cultural influences. He distinguishes an inter-war period in which it manifested itself in elite-led but populist "armed party" politics opposing socialism and liberalism and promising radical politics to rescue the nation from decadence. Robert Paxton says that fascism is "a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion". Racism was a
Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Orthodox Judaism. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, Religious Zionists were observant Jews who supported Zionist efforts to build a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. After the Six-Day War, the capture of the West Bank, a territory referred to in Jewish terms as Judea and Samaria, right-wing components of the Religious Zionist movement integrated nationalist revindication, evolved into Neo-Zionism, their ideology revolves around three pillars: the Land of Israel, the People of Israel, the Torah of Israel. In 1862, German Orthodox Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer published his tractate Derishat Zion, positing that the salvation of the Jews, promised by the Prophets, can come about only by self-help. Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner was another prominent rabbi; the main ideologue of modern Religious Zionism was Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, who justified Zionism according to Jewish law, urged young religious Jews to support efforts to settle the land, the secular Labour Zionists to give more consideration to Judaism.
Kook saw Zionism as a part of a divine scheme which would result in the resettlement of the Jewish people in its homeland. This would bring salvation to Jews, to the entire world. After world harmony is achieved by the refoundation of the Jewish homeland, the Messiah will come. Although this has not yet happened, Kook emphasized that it would take time, that the ultimate redemption happens in stages not apparent while happening. In 1924, when Kook became the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, he tried to reconcile Zionism with Orthodox Judaism. Religious Zionists believe that "Eretz Yisrael" was promised to the ancient Israelites by God, the right of the Jews to the land is permanent and inalienable. To generations of diaspora Jews, Jerusalem has been a symbol of the Holy Land and of their return to it, as promised by God in numerous Biblical prophecies. Despite this, many Jews did not embrace Zionism before the 1930s, certain religious groups opposed it as some groups still do now, on the grounds that an attempt to re-establish Jewish rule in Israel by human agency was blasphemous.
Hastening salvation and the coming of the Messiah was considered religiously forbidden, Zionism was seen as a sign of disbelief in God's power, therefore, a rebellion against God. Rabbi Kook developed a theological answer to that claim, which gave Zionism a religious legitimation: "Zionism was not a political movement by secular Jews, it was a tool of God to promote His divine scheme, to initiate the return of the Jews to their homeland – the land He promised to Abraham and Jacob. God wants the children of Israel to return to their home in order to establish a Jewish sovereign state in which Jews could live according to the laws of Torah and Halakha, commit the Mitzvot of Eretz Israel. Moreover, to cultivate the Land of Israel was a Mitzvah by itself, it should be carried out. Therefore, settling Israel is an obligation of the religious Jews, helping Zionism is following God's will."Religious Jews disapproved of the Zionists because many were secular Jews or atheists, taking their cue from Marxism.
Socialist Zionism envisaged the movement as a tool for building an advanced socialist society in the land of Israel, while solving the problem of anti-Semitism. The early kibbutz was a communal settlement that focused on national goals, unencumbered by religion and precepts of Jewish law such as kashrut. Socialist Zionists were one of the results of a long process of modernization within the Jewish communities of Europe, known as the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. Rabbi Kook's answer was as follows: Secular Zionists may think they do it for political, national, or socialist reasons, but in fact – the actual reason for them coming to resettle in Israel is a religious Jewish spark in their soul, planted by God. Without their knowledge, they are contributing to the divine scheme and committing a great Mitzvah; the role of religious Zionists is to help them to establish a Jewish state and turn the religious spark in them into a great light. They should show them that the real source of Zionism and the longed-for Zion is Judaism and teach them Torah with love and kindness.
In the end, they will understand that the laws of Torah are the key to true harmony and a socialist state that will be a light for the nations and bring salvation to the world. Shlomo Avineri explained the last part of Kook's answer: "... and the end of those pioneers, who scout into the blindness of secularism and atheism, but the treasured light inside them leads them into the path of salvation – their end is that from doing Mitzva without purpose, they will do Mitzva with a purpose." The first rabbis to support Zionism were Zvi Hirsch Kalischer. They argued that the change in the status of Western Europe's Jews following emancipation was the first step toward redemption, that, one must hasten the messianic salvation by a natural salvation – whose main pillars are the Kibbutz Galuyot, the return to Eretz Israel, agricultural work, the revival of the everyday use of the Hebrew language; the Mizrachi organization was established in 1902 in Vilna at a world conference of Religious Zionists.
It operates a youth movement, Bnei Akiva, founded in 1929. Mizrachi believes that the Torah should
Moses ben Maimon known as Maimonides and referred to by the acronym Rambam, was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. In his time, he was a preeminent astronomer and physician. Born in Córdoba, Almoravid Empire on Passover Eve, 1135 or 1138, he worked as a rabbi and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt, he died in Egypt on December 12, 1204, whence his body was taken to the lower Galilee and buried in Tiberias. During his lifetime, most Jews greeted Maimonides' writings on Jewish law and ethics with acclaim and gratitude as far away as Iraq and Yemen. Yet, while Maimonides rose to become the revered head of the Jewish community in Egypt, his writings had vociferous critics in Spain. Nonetheless, he was posthumously acknowledged as among the foremost rabbinical decisors and philosophers in Jewish history, his copious work comprises a cornerstone of Jewish scholarship, his fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah still carries significant canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic law.
He is sometimes known as "ha Nesher ha Gadol" in recognition of his outstanding status as a bona fide exponent of the Oral Torah. Aside from being revered by Jewish historians, Maimonides figures prominently in the history of Islamic and Arab sciences and is mentioned extensively in studies. Influenced by Al-Farabi and his contemporary Averroes, he in his turn influenced other prominent Arab and Muslim philosophers and scientists, he became a prominent polymath in both the Jewish and Islamic worlds. His full Hebrew name is Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, whose acronym forms "Rambam", his full Arabic name is Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin Maimūn bin ʿUbaidallāh al-Qurtabī, or Mūsā bin Maymūn for short. In Latin, the Hebrew ben becomes the Greek-style patronymic suffix -ides, forming "Moses Maimonides". Maimonides was born in Córdoba during what some scholars consider to be the end of the golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula, after the first centuries of the Moorish rule. At an early age, he developed an interest in sciences and philosophy.
He read those Greek philosophers accessible in Arabic translations, was immersed in the sciences and learning of Islamic culture. Though the Gaonic tradition in its North African version, formed the basis of his legal thought, some scholars have argued in the 21st century that Muslim law, including Almohad legal thought had a substantial influence. Maimonides was not known as a supporter of mysticism, although a strong intellectual type of mysticism has been discerned in his philosophy, he expressed disapproval of poetry, the best of which he declared to be false, since it was founded on pure invention. This sage, revered for his personality as well as for his writings, led a busy life, wrote many of his works while travelling or in temporary accommodation. Maimonides studied Torah under his father Maimon, who had in turn studied under Rabbi Joseph ibn Migash, a student of Isaac Alfasi. A Berber dynasty, the Almohads, conquered Córdoba in 1148, abolished dhimmi status in some of their territories.
The loss of this status left the Jewish and Christian communities with conversion to Islam, death, or exile. Many Jews were forced to convert, but due to suspicion by the authorities of fake conversions, the new converts had to wear identifying clothing that set them apart and made them subject to public scrutiny. Maimonides's family, along with most other Jews, chose exile; some say, that it is that Maimonides feigned a conversion to Islam before escaping. This forced conversion was ruled invalid under Islamic law when brought up by a rival in Egypt. For the next ten years, Maimonides moved about in southern Spain settling in Fez in Morocco. During this time, he composed his acclaimed commentary on the Mishnah, during the years 1166–1168. Following this sojourn in Morocco, together with two sons, he sojourned in the Holy Land, before settling in Fustat, Egypt around 1168. While in Cairo, he studied in a yeshiva attached to a small synagogue. In the Holy Land, he prayed at the Temple Mount, he wrote that this day of visiting the Temple Mount was a day of holiness for him and his descendants.
Maimonides shortly thereafter was instrumental in helping rescue Jews taken captive during the Christian King Amalric's siege of the Egyptian town of Bilbays. He sent five letters to the Jewish communities of Lower Egypt asking them to pool money together to pay the ransom; the money was collected and given to two judges sent to Palestine to negotiate with the Crusaders. The captives were released. Following this triumph, the Maimonides family, hoping to increase their wealth, gave their savings to his brother, the youngest son David ben Maimon, a merchant. Maimonides directed his brother to procure goods only at the Sudanese port of ‘Aydhab. After a long arduous trip through the desert, David was unimpressed by the goods on offer there. Against his brother's wishes, David boarded a ship for India, since great wealth was to be found in the East. Before he could reach his destination, David drowned at sea sometime between 1169 and 1177; the death of his brother caused Maimonides to become sick with grief.
In a letter, he wrote: The greatest misfortune that has befallen me during my entire life—worse than anything else—was the demise of the saint, may his memory be blessed, who drowned in the Indian sea
State of Palestine
Palestine the State of Palestine, is a de jure sovereign state in Western Asia claiming the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jerusalem as the designated capital, although its administrative center is located in Ramallah. The entirety of territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestine has a population of 4,816,503 as of 2016, ranked 123rd in the world. After World War II, in 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. After the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighboring Arab armies invaded the former British mandate on the next day and fought the Israeli forces; the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948 to govern the Egyptian-controlled enclave in Gaza. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan.
Though jurisdiction of the Government was declared to cover the whole of the former Mandatory Palestine, its effective jurisdiction was limited to the Gaza Strip. Israel captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria in June 1967 following the Six-Day War. On 15 November 1988, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in Algiers proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority was formed to govern the areas A and B in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza would be ruled by Hamas in 2007, two years after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza; the State of Palestine is recognized by 136 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations – which implies recognition of statehood. It is a member of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, G77, the International Olympic Committee and other international bodies.
Since the British Mandate, the term "Palestine" has been associated with the geographical area that covers the State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. General use of the term "Palestine" or related terms to the area at the southeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea beside Syria has been taking place since the times of Ancient Greece, with Herodotus writing of a "district of Syria, called Palaistine" in which Phoenicians interacted with other maritime peoples in The Histories; some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of the geographical region of "Palestine" include Canaan, Land of Israel, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. The areas claimed by the State of Palestine lie in the Levant; the Gaza Strip borders the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Egypt to the south, Israel to the north and east. The West Bank is bordered by Jordan to the east, Israel to the north and west.
Thus, the two enclaves constituting the area claimed by State of Palestine have no geographical border with one another, being separated by Israel. These areas would constitute the world's 163rd largest country by land area. In 1947, the UN adopted a partition plan for a two-state solution in the remaining territory of the mandate; the plan was accepted by the Jewish leadership but rejected by the Arab leaders, Britain refused to implement the plan. On the eve of final British withdrawal, the Jewish Agency for Israel declared the establishment of the State of Israel according to the proposed UN plan; the Arab Higher Committee did not declare a state of its own and instead, together with Transjordan and the other members of the Arab League of the time, commenced military action resulting in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. During the war, Israel gained additional territories that were designated to be part of the Arab state under the UN plan. Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and Transjordan occupied and annexed the West Bank.
Egypt supported the creation of an All-Palestine Government, but disbanded it in 1959. Transjordan never recognized it and instead decided to incorporate the West Bank with its own territory to form Jordan; the annexation was rejected by the international community. The Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel fought against Egypt and Syria, ended with Israel occupying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, besides other territories. In 1964, when the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, the Palestine Liberation Organization was established there with the goal to confront Israel; the Palestinian National Charter of the PLO defines the boundaries of Palestine as the whole remaining territory of the mandate, including Israel. Following the Six-Day War, the PLO moved to Jordan, but relocated to Lebanon after Black September in 1971; the October 1974 Arab League summit designated the PLO as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" and reaffirmed "their right to establish an independent state of urgency."
In November 1974, the PLO was recognized as competent on all matters concerning the question of Palestine by the UN General Assembly granting them observer status as a "non-state entity" at the UN. After the 1988 Declaration of Independence, the UN General Assembly acknowledged the proclamation and decided to use the designation "Palestine" instead of "Palestine Liberation Organization" in the UN. In spite of thi