by saul silas
4,000 years of history in 74 pages
|One of my 4 already published books is "History of the Jews and Israel", which is available on Amazon.com.
The importance of this region of the Middle East is far more than its oil reserves or its location as a buffer zone amid countries at war. It has been the center of moral and religious thought and learning that has influenced Jews, Christians, and Muslims all over the world. From this land of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers has flowed a wealth of culture and learning that spread throughout the region along many of the silk trade routes to India, along the coast of North Africa, and all the way to Spain. At the heart of this cultural explosion has been the Jewish people.
It is here that the Babylonian Talmud, by which every observant Jew today guides his life, was compiled and written down and eventually shared throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. The scholarship to produce this document alone generated the establishment of the first synagogue ever built and the founding of schools and rabbinical universities that were dispersed all over the region.
With the dissemination of knowledge and a moral code also came the transmission of culture in the form of cuisine, music, highly crafted wares, and art. Though this region was no large conquering nation like Rome or Greece or even Egypt, it nevertheless was truly the cradle of civilization, the place where moral thought was debated and codified and where education and skill became a means to elevate a people.
This cultural explosion did not happen on its own. It was stimulated by the experiences of Jews living in the region and how they dealt with landlessness and their own identity. It is a story of leaving and returning that repeats itself over the centuries and becomes a catalyst for self-examination of a people and its beliefs. This story also identifies some of the roots of conflict between Arabs and Jews today and helps to reveal the kinship of these two groups of people.