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Jewish diaspora

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Jewish diaspora (Hebrew: Tefutzah, or Galut, "exile") refers to the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world. The notion of diaspora is commonly accepted to have begun with the Babylonian Captivity in 597 BCE. Many Middle Eastern Jewish communities were established then as a result of tolerant policies and remained notable centers of Torah life and Judaism for centuries to come. One outcome of that was Babylonian Talmud.

The defeat of the Great Jewish Revolt in 70 and of Bar Kokhba's revolt in 135 against the Roman Empire notably contributed to the numbers and geography of diaspora, as many Jews were scattered after losing their state Judea or were sold to slavery throughout the empire.

Missing image
Expulsion_of_the_Jews_in_the_Reign_of_the_Emperor_Hadrian_AD_135_How_Heraclius_turned_the_Jews_out_of_Jerusalem_Fac_simile_of_a_Miniature_in_the_Histoire_des_Empereurs_Manuscript_of_the_Fifteenth_Century.png
Expulsion of the Jews in the Reign of the Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 135): "How Heraclius turned the Jews out of Jerusalem."--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the "Histoire des Empereurs," Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century, in the Library of the Arsenal, Paris.

Subsequent numerous exiles and persecution, as well as political and economic conditions and opportinuties, affected the numbers and dynamics of Jewish diaspora. In today's diaspora, the largest number of Jews (5,671,000 in 2003 1) live in the United States.

Israel's Jewish population, though very diverse in background, is usually not considered as diaspora, was about 5,094,000 in 2003 1. See Demographics of Israel.


1According to the article by Tovah Lazaroff, Jewish people near zero growth published in Jerusalem Post on June 24, 2004.

See also

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