Rebbe is a Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word rabbi, which means "master", "teacher", or "mentor". Like the title rabbi, it refers to leaders of Judaism. In common parlance of modern times, the phrase the Rebbe is used by Hasidim to refer to the leader of their Hasidic movement; the Yiddish term rebbe comes from the Hebrew word rabbi, meaning "My Master", the way a student would address a master of Torah. It was an honorific given to those who had Smicha in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era. Since vowels were not written at the time, it is impossible to know whether it was pronounced rah-bee or r-bee; the English word rabbi comes directly from this form. In Yiddish, the word became reb-eh —now spelled rebbe (—or just reb; the word master רב rav means "great one". The Sages of the Mishnah known as the Tannaim, from the 1st and 2nd centuries of the common era, were known by the title Rabbi. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, the leader of Jewry in Mishnaic Times, was called Rabbi, as being the rabbi par excellence of his generation.
The Sages of the Talmud known as the Amoraim, from the 3rd, 4th and early 5th centuries, those born in the Land of Israel, are called Rabbi. Today, rebbe is used in the following ways: Rabbi, a teacher of Torah – Yeshiva students or cheder students, when talking to their Teacher, would address him with the honorific Rebbe, as the Yiddish-German equivalent to the Hebrew word Rabbi. Personal mentor and teacher—A person's main Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva teacher, or mentor, who teaches him or her Talmud and Torah and gives religious guidance, is referred to as rebbe as an equivalent to the term "rabbi". Spiritual leader—The spiritual head of a Hasidic movement is called a rebbe, his followers would address him as "The Rebbe" or refer to him when speaking to others as "the Rebbe" or "my Rebbe". He is referred to by others as the Rebbe of a particular Hasidut. In Hebrew, a hasidic rebbe is referred to as an AdMoR, an abbreviation for Adoneinu, Moreinu, veRabbenu. In writing, this title is placed before the name of the Hasidut, as in "Admor of Belz".
In the Litvishe world, when not referring to a hasidic rebbe, the word can be pronounced "rebbee". Sephardic Jews can pronounce it as "Ribbi"; the Lubavitcher hasidim have a tradition that the Hebrew letters that make up the word rebbe are an acronym for "Rosh Bnei Yisroel", meaning "a spiritual head of the Children of Israel". An ordinary communal rabbi, or rebbe in Yiddish, is sometimes distinct from a rav, a more authoritative halakhic decider. A significant function of a rav is to answer questions of halakha, but he is not as authoritative as a posek; the short form reb is an honorific for Orthodox Jewish men, who are most to have profound knowledge of the Talmud and Torah, as opposed to Reconstructionist, Reform or Conservative Judaism. This title was added to the names of Jews at the time of the schism with the Karaite sect, as a sign of loyalty to the original rabbinic tradition, known today as Orthodox Judaism; as a rule, among hasidim, rebbe is referred to in Hebrew as admor, an abbreviation for Hebrew adoneinu moreinu v'rabeinu, meaning'our master, our teacher, our rabbi', now the modern Hebrew word in Israel for rebbe.
Hasidim use the term rebbe in a more elevated manner, to denote someone that they perceive not only as the religious leader or nasi of their congregation, but as their spiritual adviser and mentor. The Rebbe or my Rebbe in this sense is a rav or rabbi whose views and advice are accepted not only on issues of religious law and practice, but in all arenas of life, including political and social issues. Sometimes a hasid has a rebbe as his spiritual guide and an additional rav for rulings on issues of halakha. Hasidim use the concept of a rebbe in the simple sense of rabbi, as the Yiddish-German equivalent to the Hebrew word רַבִּי rabi. For example: "I will ask my rebbe, Rabbi Ploni, for advice about this personal matter." A Hasidic rebbe is taken to mean a great leader of a Hasidic dynasty referred to as "Grand Rabbi" in English or an ADMOR, a Hebrew acronym for Adoneinu-Moreinu-veRabbeinu. Outside of Hasidic circles, the term "Grand Rabbi" has been used to refer to a rabbi with a higher spiritual status.
The practice became widespread in America in the early 1900s when Hasidic rebbes began to emigrate to the United States, was derived from the German Grossrabbiner. Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, is regarded by Hasidim as the first Hasidic rebbe. During his lifetime he was referred to as "The holy" rather than as "Rebbe", his disciples were "magidim" or "preachers", such as the Magid of Chernobyl or the Magid of Mezritch; the first "rebbe" to be known as such was the Baal Shem Tov's grandson, Rabbi Boruch of Mezhibozh, referred to as "The Rebbe" during his lifetime. After him, those who rose to positions of leadership and their successors began to be called rebbe; the title came to suggest a higher spiritual status. Each Hasidic group refers to its leader as "the rebbe". Hannah Rachel Verbermacher known as the Maiden of Ludmir or the "Ludmirer M
Safed is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of 900 metres, Safed is the highest city in Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold snowy, winters. Safed has been identified with Sepph, a fortified town in the Upper Galilee mentioned in the writings of the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus; the Jerusalem Talmud mentions it as one of five elevated spots where fires were lit to announce the New Moon and festivals during the Second Temple period. In the 12th century CE Safed was a fortified city in the Crusaders' Kingdom of Jerusalem, known to them as Saphet; the Mamluk Sultan Baibars captured the city in 1266 and appointed a governor to take charge of the fortress. The city became the administrative centre of Mamlakat Safad, a province in Mamluk Syria whose jurisdiction included the Galilee and the lands up to Jenin. Under the Ottomans, Safed functioned as the capital of the Safad Sanjak, which encompassed much of the Galilee and extended to the Mediterranean coast.
Since the 16th century, Safed has been considered one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem and Tiberias. Rabbi Isaac Luria introduced interest in the Kabbalah to the city in the 16th century. Due to its mild climate and scenic views, Safed has become a popular holiday resort frequented by Israelis and by foreign visitors. In 2017 it had a population of 35,276. Legend has it. According to the Book of Judges, the area where Safed is located was assigned to the tribe of Naphtali, it has been suggested that Jesus' assertion that "a city, set on a hill cannot be hidden" may have referred to Safed. Safed has been identified with Sepph, a fortified town in the Upper Galilee mentioned in the writings of the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, it is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud as one of five elevated spots where fires were lit to announce the New Moon and festivals during the Second Temple period. There is scarce information about the town of Safed prior to the Crusader conquest in 1099.
The city appears in Jewish sources in the late Middle Ages. In the 12th century, Safed was a fortified city in the Crusaders' Kingdom of Jerusalem, known by the Crusaders as Saphet. King Fulk built a strong castle there on a steep hill, kept by the Knights Templar from 1168. Benjamin of Tudela, who visited the town in 1170, does not mention any Jews as living there; the remains of this castle can now be found under the "citadel" excavations, on a hill above the old city. Safed was captured by the Ayyubids led by Saladin in 1188 after one year's siege, following the Battle of Hattin in 1187. Saladin allowed its residents to relocate to Tyre. Samuel ben Samson, who visited the town in 1210, mentions the existence of a Jewish community of at least fifty there. In 1227, the Ayyubid emir of Damascus, al-Mu'azzam'Isa, had the Safed castle demolished to prevent it being captured and reused by potential future Crusades. In 1240, Theobald I of Navarre, on his own Crusade to the Holy Land, negotiated with the Ayyubids of Damascus and of Egypt and finalized a treaty with the former against the latter whereby the Kingdom of Jerusalem regained Jerusalem itself, plus Bethlehem and most of the region of Galilee, including Nazareth and Safed.
The Templars thereafter rebuilt the town's fortress. In 1260, the Mamluk sultan Baybars declared the treaty invalid due to the Christians working in concert with the Mongol Empire against the Muslims, launched a series of attacks on castles in the area, including on Safed. In 1266, during a Mamluk military campaign to subdue Crusader strongholds in Palestine, Baybars captured Safed in July, following a failed attempt to capture the Crusaders' coastal stronghold of Acre. Unlike the coastal Crusader fortresses, which were demolished upon their capture by the Mamluks, Baybars spared Safed from destruction. Instead, he appointed a governor to be in charge of the fortress. Baybars preserved Safed because he viewed its fortress to be of high strategic value due to its location on a high mountain and its isolation from other Crusader fortresses. Moreover, Baybars determined that in the event of a renewed Crusader invasion of the coastal region, a fortified Safed could serve as an ideal headquarters to confront the Crusader threat.
In 1268, he had the fortress repaired and strengthened. Furthermore, he commissioned numerous building works in the town of Safed, including caravanserais, markets and converted the town's church into a mosque. By the end of Baybars' reign, Safed had become the site of a prospering town, in addition to its fortress; the city became the administrative centre of Mamlakat Safad, a province in Mamluk Syria whose jurisdiction included the Galilee and the lands further south down to Jenin. According to al-Dimashqi, who died in Safed in 1327, writing around 1300, Baybars built a "round tower and called it Kullah..." after levelling the old fortress. The tower is built in three stories, it is provided with provisions, halls, magazines. Under the place is a cistern for rain-water, sufficient to supply the garrison of the fortress from year's end to year's end. According to Abu'l Fida, Safed "was a town of medium size, it has a strongly built castle, which dominates the Lake of Tabariyyah. There are underground watercourses, which bring drinking-water up to the castle-gate...
Its suburbs cover three hills... Since the place was conquered by Al Malik Adh Dhahir from the Franks, it has been made the central station for the troops who guard all the coast-towns of
Hasidism, sometimes Hasidic Judaism, is a Jewish religious group. It arose as a spiritual revival movement in contemporary Western Ukraine during the 18th century, spread throughout Eastern Europe. Today, most affiliates reside in the United States. Israel Ben Eliezer, the "Baal Shem Tov", is regarded as its founding father, his disciples developed and disseminated it. Present-day Hasidism is a sub-group within Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, is noted for its religious conservatism and social seclusion, its members adhere both to Orthodox Jewish practice – with the movement's own unique emphases – and the traditions of Eastern European Jews, so much so that many of the latter, including various special styles of dress and the use of the Yiddish language, are nowadays associated exclusively with Hasidism. Hasidic thought draws on Lurianic Kabbalah, and, to an extent, is a popularization of it. Teachings emphasize God's immanence in the universe, the need to cleave and be one with him at all times, the devotional aspect of religious practice, the spiritual dimension of corporeality and mundane acts.
Hasidim, the adherents of Hasidism, are organized in independent sects known as "courts" or dynasties, each headed by its own hereditary leader, a Rebbe. Reverence and submission to the Rebbe are key tenets, as he is considered a spiritual authority with whom the follower must bond to gain closeness to God; the various "courts" share basic convictions, but operate apart, possess unique traits and customs. Affiliation is retained in families for generations, being Hasidic is as much a sociological factor – entailing, as it does, birth into a specific community and allegiance to a dynasty of Rebbes – as it is a purely religious one. There are several "courts" with many thousands of member households each, hundreds of smaller ones; as of 2016, there were over 130,000 Hasidic households worldwide, about 5% of the global Jewish population. The terms hasid and hasidut, meaning "pietist" and "piety", have a long history in Judaism; the Talmud and other old sources refer to the "Pietists of Old" who would contemplate an entire hour in preparation for prayer.
The phrase denoted devoted individuals who not only observed the Law to its letter, but performed good deeds beyond it. Adam himself is honored with the title in tractate Eruvin 18b by Rabbi Meir: "Adam was a great hasid, having fasted for 130 years." The first to adopt the epithet collectively were the hasidim in Second Temple period Judea, known as Hasideans after the Greek rendering of their name, who served as the model for those mentioned in the Talmud. The title continued to be applied as an honorific for the exceptionally devout. In 12th-century Rhineland, or Ashkenaz in Jewish parlance, another prominent school of ascetics named themselves hasidim. In the 16th century, when Kabbalah spread, the title became associated with it. Jacob ben Hayyim Zemah wrote in his glossa on Isaac Luria's version of the Shulchan Aruch that, "One who wishes to tap the hidden wisdom, must conduct himself in the manner of the Pious." The movement founded by Israel Ben Eliezer in the 18th century adopted the term hasidim in the original connotation.
But when the sect grew and developed specific attributes, from the 1770s, the names acquired a new meaning. Its common adherents, belonging to groups each headed by a spiritual leader, were henceforth known as Hasidim; the transformation was slow: The movement was at first referred to as "New Hasidism" by outsiders to separate it from the old one, its enemies derisively mocked its members as Mithasdim, " pretend hasidim". Yet the young sect gained such a mass following that the old connotation was sidelined. In popular discourse, at least, Hasid came to denote someone who follows a religious teacher from the movement, it entered Modern Hebrew as such, meaning "adherent" or "disciple". One was not a hasid anymore, observed historian David Assaf, but a Hasid of someone or some dynasty in particular; this linguistic transformation paralleled that of the word tzaddik, "righteous", which the Hasidic leaders adopted for themselves – though they are known colloquially as Rebbes or by the honorific Admor.
Denoting an observant, moral person, in Hasidic literature tzaddik became synonymous with the hereditary master heading a sect of followers. The lengthy history of Hasidism, the numerous schools of thought therein, its use of the traditional medium of homiletic literature and sermons – comprising numerous references to earlier sources in the Pentateuch and exegesis as a means to grounding oneself in tradition – as the sole channel to convey its ideas, all made the isolation of a common doctrine challenging to researchers; as noted by Joseph Dan, "Every attempt to present such a body of ideas has failed". Motifs presented by scholars in the past as unique Hasidic contributions were revealed to have been common among both their predecessors and opponents, all the more so regarding many other traits that are extant – these play, Dan added, "a prominent role in modern non-Hasidic and anti-Hasidic writings as well"; the difficulty of separating the movement's philosophy from that of its main inspiration, Lurianic Kabbalah, determining what was novel and what a recapitulation baffled historians.
Some, like Louis Jacobs, regarded the early masters as innovators who introduced "much, new if only by emphasis".
A synagogue, is a Jewish or Samaritan house of worship. Synagogues have a large place for prayer and may have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices; some have a separate room for Torah study, called the בית מדרש beth midrash "house of study". Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh reading and assembly. Halakha holds. Worship can be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together. However, halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan. In terms of its specific ritual and liturgical functions, the synagogue does not replace the long-since destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. Israelis use the Hebrew term beyt knesset "house of assembly". Ashkenazi Jews have traditionally used the Yiddish term shul in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews use the term kal. Spanish Jews call the synagogue Portuguese Jews call it an esnoga. Persian Jews and some Karaite Jews use the term kenesa, derived from Aramaic, some Mizrahi Jews use kenis.
Some Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative Jews use the word "temple". The Greek word synagogue is used in English to cover the preceding possibilities. Although synagogues existed a long time before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, communal worship in the time while the Temple still stood centered around the korbanot brought by the kohanim in the Temple in Jerusalem; the all-day Yom Kippur service, in fact, was an event in which the congregation both observed the movements of the kohen gadol as he offered the day's sacrifices and prayed for his success. During the Babylonian captivity the men of the Great Assembly formalized and standardized the language of the Jewish prayers. Prior to that people prayed as they saw fit, with each individual praying in his or her own way, there were no standard prayers that were recited. Johanan ben Zakai, one of the leaders at the end of the Second Temple era, promulgated the idea of creating individual houses of worship in whatever locale Jews found themselves.
This contributed to the continuity of the Jewish people by maintaining a unique identity and a portable way of worship despite the destruction of the Temple, according to many historians. Synagogues in the sense of purpose-built spaces for worship, or rooms constructed for some other purpose but reserved for formal, communal prayer, existed long before the destruction of the Second Temple; the earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of early synagogues comes from Egypt, where stone synagogue dedication inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BCE prove that synagogues existed by that date. More than a dozen Jewish Second Temple era synagogues have been identified by archaeologists in Israel and other countries belonging to the Hellenistic world. Any Jew or group of Jews can build a synagogue. Synagogues have been constructed by ancient Jewish kings, by wealthy patrons, as part of a wide range of human institutions including secular educational institutions and hotels, by the entire community of Jews living in a particular place, or by sub-groups of Jews arrayed according to occupation, style of religious observance, or by the followers of a particular rabbi.
It has been theorized that the synagogue became a place of worship in the region upon the destruction of the Second Temple during the First Jewish–Roman War. The popularization of prayer over sacrifice during the years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE had prepared the Jews for life in the diaspora, where prayer would serve as the focus of Jewish worship. Despite the possibility of synagogue-like spaces prior to the First Jewish–Roman War, the synagogue emerged as a stronghold for Jewish worship upon the destruction of the Temple. For Jews living in the wake of the Revolt, the synagogue functioned as a "portable system of worship". Within the synagogue, Jews worshipped by way of prayer rather than sacrifices, which had served as the main form of worship within the Second Temple; the Samaritan house of worship is called a synagogue. During the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, during the Hellenistic period, the Greek word used in the Diaspora by Samaritans and Jews was the same: proseucheµ.
The oldest Samaritan synagogue discovered so far is from Delos in the Aegean Islands, with an inscription dated between 250 and 175 BCE, while most Samaritan synagogues excavated in the wider Land of Israel and ancient Samaria in particular, were built during the 4th-7th centuries, at the end of the Roman and throughout the Byzantine period. The elements which distinguish Samaritan synagogues from contemporary Jewish ones are: Alphabet: the use of the Samaritan script Orthography; when the Samaritan script is used, there are some Hebrew words which would
Old synagogues of Tiberias
The Old synagogues of Tiberias are a group of synagoues situated in the old city of Tiberias, that date form the 18th and 19th centuries. They include: Etz Chaim Synagogue or Abulafia Synagogue, established in 1742 by Rabbi Chaim Abulafia on the site of earlier synagogues. Abulafiah immigrated to Tiberias from Istanbul in 1740 at the invitation of Zahir al-Umar; the synagogue he built still stands, although it underwent major reconstruction following the Near East earthquake of 1759, the Galilee earthquake of 1837 and the great flood of 1934. Karlin-Stolin Synagogue, established by Karlin-Stolin Hasidim who arrived in the Holy Land in the mid-19th century, settling in Tiberias and Safed. In 1869 they redeemed the site of a former synagogue in Tiberias, built in 1786 by Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and destroyed in the Galilee earthquake of 1837. Construction of a new synagogue was assisted by funds from the diaspora; the synagogue has a notable Torah Ark in Eastern European style. Chabad-Lubavitch Synagogue.
The El Senor Sephardic synagogue, now a standing ruin with an intact roof. A North African synagogue
History of the Jews in the Soviet Union
The history of the Jews in the Soviet Union is inextricably linked to much earlier expansionist policies of the Russian Empire conquering and ruling the eastern half of the European continent before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. "For two centuries – wrote Zvi Gitelman – millions of Jews had lived under one entity, the Russian Empire and the USSR. They had now come under the jurisdiction of fifteen states, some of which had never existed and others that had passed out of existence in 1939." Before the revolutions of 1989 which resulted in the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, a number of these now sovereign countries constituted the component republics of the Soviet Union. The history of the Jews in Armenia dates back more than 2,000 years. After Eastern Armenia came under Russian rule in the early 19th century, Jews began arriving from Poland and Iran, creating Ashkenazic and Mizrahi communities in Yerevan. More Jews moved to Armenia during its period as a Soviet republic finding more tolerance in the area than in Russia or Ukraine.
After World War II, the Jewish population rose to 5,000. However, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union many left due to inadequate services and today the country's Jewish population has shrunk to 750. Despite small numbers, a high intermarriage rate, relative isolation, a great deal of enthusiasm exists to help the community meet its needs. There are about 100 Jews presently living in the Republic of Armenia in the capital Yerevan, they are of Ashkenazi origin and some are Mizrahi Georgian Jews. The History of the Jews in Azerbaijan dates back to Late Antiquity. Jews in Azerbaijan have been represented by various subgroups Mountain Jews, Ashkenazi Jews and Georgian Jews. After Sovietization all Zionism-related activities including those of cultural nature that were carried out in Hebrew were banned. In the early 1920s a few hundred Mountain Jewish families from Azerbaijan and Dagestan left for Palestine and settled in Tel Aviv; the next aliyah did not take place until the 1970s, after the ban on Jewish immigration to Israel was lifted.
Between 1972 and 1978 around 3,000 people left Azerbaijan for Israel. 1970 was the demographic peak for Azerbaijani Jews after World War II. Many Jewish émigrés from Azerbaijan settled in Haifa. There are large communities of Mountain Jewish expatriates from Azerbaijan in New York City and Toronto. Similar to many immigrant communities of the Czarist and Soviet eras in Azerbaijan, Ashkenazi Jews appear to be linguistically Russified; the majority of Ashkenazi Jews speak Russian as their first language with Azeri sometimes being spoken as the second. The number of Yiddish-speakers is unknown; the Jews in Belarus known as Byelorussia were the third largest ethnic group in the country in the first half of the 20th century. Before World War II, Jews were the third among the ethnic groups in Belarus and comprised more than 40% of the population in cities and towns; the population of cities such as Minsk, Mahiliou, Babrujsk and Homiel was more than 50% Jewish. In 1897 there were 13.6 % of the total population.
Some 800,000 Jews—90% of the Jewish population—were killed in Belarus during the Holocaust. According to the 2009 census, there were 12,926 Jews in Belarus; the Jewish Agency estimates the community of Jews in Belarus at 70,000. Marc Chagall, Mendele Mocher Sforim, Chaim Weizmann and Menachem Begin were born in Belarus. By the end of the 19th century, many Belarusian Jews were part of the general flight of Jews from Eastern Europe to the New World due to conflicts and pogroms engulfing the Russian Empire and the anti-Semitism of the Russian czars. Millions of Jews, including tens of thousands of Jews from Belarus, emigrated to the United States of America and South Africa. A small number emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine. During the first years of Soviet occupation of Belarus, Jews were able to get managing positions in the country. In WW II, atrocities against the Jewish population in the German-conquered areas began immediately, with the dispatch of Einsatzgruppen to round up Jews and shoot them.
In the second half of the 20th century, there was a large wave of Belarusian Jews immigrating to Israel, as well as to the United States. In 1979, there were 135,400 Jews in Belarus; the collapse of the Soviet Union and Belarusian independence saw most of the community, along with the majority of the former Soviet Union's Jewish population, leave for Israel, when most of the former Soviet Union's Jewish population left for Israel. The 1999 census estimated. However, local Jewish organizations put the number at 50,000, the Jewish Agency believes that there are 70,000. About half of the country's Jews live in Minsk. Despite anti-semitic government policies, national Jewish organizations, local cultural groups, religious schools, charitable organizations, organizations for war veterans and Holocaust survivors have been formed. Since the mass immigration of the 1990s, there has been some continuous immigration to Israel. In 2002, 974 Belarusians moved to Israel, between 2003 and 2005, 4,854 followed suit.
The history of the Jews in Estonia starts with individual reports of Jews in what is now Estonia from as early as the 14th century. However, the process of permanent Jewi
The Holocaust known as the Shoah, was a genocide during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by local collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews—around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe—between 1941 and 1945. Jews were targeted for extermination as part of a larger event during the Holocaust era, in which Germany and its collaborators persecuted and murdered other groups, including Slavs, the Roma, the "incurably sick", political and religious dissenters such as communists and Jehovah's Witnesses, gay men. Taking into account all the victims of Nazi persecution, the death toll rises to over 17 million. Germany implemented the persecution of the Jews in stages. Following Adolf Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in January 1933, the regime built a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and those deemed "undesirable", starting with Dachau on 22 March 1933. After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March, which gave Hitler plenary powers, the government began isolating Jews from civil society, which included a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933 and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935.
On 9–10 November 1938, during Kristallnacht, Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked, smashed or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria, which Germany had annexed in March that year. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, triggering World War II, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews. Thousands of camps and other detention sites were established across German-occupied Europe; the deportation of Jews to the ghettos culminated in the policy of extermination the Nazis called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question", discussed by senior Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942. As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized. Under the coordination of the SS, with directions from the highest leadership of the Nazi Party, killings were committed within Germany itself, throughout occupied Europe, across all territories controlled by the Axis powers. Paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen, in cooperation with Wehrmacht police battalions and local collaborators, murdered around 1.3 million Jews in mass shootings between 1941 and 1945.
By mid-1942, victims were being deported from the ghettos in sealed freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, they were killed in gas chambers. The killing continued until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945; the term holocaust, first used in 1895 to describe the massacre of Armenians, comes from the Greek: ὁλόκαυστος, translit. Holókaustos; the Century Dictionary defined it in 1904 as "a sacrifice or offering consumed by fire, in use among the Jews and some pagan nations". The biblical term shoah, meaning "destruction", became the standard Hebrew term for the murder of the European Jews, first used in a pamphlet in 1940, Sho'at Yehudei Polin, published by the United Aid Committee for the Jews in Poland. On 3 October 1941 the cover of the magazine The American Hebrew used the phrase "before the Holocaust" to refer to the situation in France, in May 1943 The New York Times, discussing the Bermuda Conference, referred to the "hundreds of thousands of European Jews still surviving the Nazi Holocaust".
In 1968 the Library of Congress created a new category, "Holocaust, Jewish". The term was popularized in the United States by the NBC mini-series Holocaust, about a fictional family of German Jews, in November 1978 the President's Commission on the Holocaust was established; as non-Jewish groups began to include themselves as Holocaust victims too, many Jews chose to use the terms Shoah or Churban instead. The Nazis used the phrase "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Most Holocaust historians define the Holocaust as the enactment, between 1941 and 1945, of the German state policy to exterminate the European Jews. In Teaching the Holocaust, Michael Gray, a specialist in Holocaust education, offers three definitions: "the persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945", which views the events of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938 as an early phase of the Holocaust; the third definition fails, Gray writes, to acknowledge that only the Jewish people were singled out for annihilation.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum defines the Holocaust as the "systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators", distinguishing between the Holocaust and the targeting of other groups during "the era of the Holocaust". According to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, most historians regard the start of the "Holocaust era" as January 1933, when Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. Other victims of the Holocaust era include. Hitler came to see the Jews as "uniquely dangerous to Germany", according to Peter Hayes, "and therefore uniquely destined t