Document-Based Questions Document-based questions are one of three different types of essays you will need to be able to write on the AP exam, and in class.
But they have a surprise coming. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, we also wept, when we remembered Zion. We hung our lyres on the willows in its midst. For there those who carried us away captive required of us a song; and those who tormented us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy. It may be hard to imagine today what it must have meant back then, because we really have no basis of comparison.
In those days normative Judaism meant living with the constant presence of God, which was always accessible at the Temple. Miracles occurred there daily and could be witnessed by anyone.
For example, whichever way the wind was blowing, the smoke of the sacrifices always went straight to heaven. Feeling spiritual today is nothing compared what it was like to feel spiritual in the Temple.
With such intense spirituality it was clear that God was with the Jewish people. The same thing could be said for the land. One miracle that the land exhibited was that every six years there was a bumper crop so that the Jews could take the seventh year -- the sabbatical year -- off from labor.
Now all of that is gone. The land, the Temple, God's presence. No wonder they wept by the rivers of Babylon. However, even in exile God is looking after the Jewish people, even if His presence now is concealed. We see this with the preparation God lays for the exile.
In the previous chapter we noted that when the Babylonians first attacked Israel, they took away 10, of the best and the brightest with them.
That seemed like a disaster at the time, but now that all the Jews are coming to Babylon it turns out to be a blessing. Because when the Jews arrive in Babylon, there is a Jewish infrastructure in place. Yeshivas have been established, there is a kosher butcher and a mikveh.
Jewish life can continue and as a result we see hardly any assimilation during the Babylonian exile. How different was that? Starting at aroundmillions of Jews fleeing from persecution in Czarist Russia start coming to the New World.
But they don't find yeshivas and synagogues there. And what's the consequence? We get the single greatest mass assimilation of Jews in Jewish history. Therefore, this turn of events in Babylon turns out to be a tremendously positive thing.
It's a great example of God putting the cure before the disease, which we see over and over in Jewish history. For I am the Lord their God; I will remember them because of the covenant I made with their original ancestors whom I brought out from the land of Egypt, in the sight of the nations, so that I might be their God.
It's a highly unusual phenomenon to take a whole people and throw them out of their country. Multiple exiles are unheard of, since, after the first one, the people generally disappear -- they simply become assimilated among other peoples. As a matter of fact, in human history, multiple exiles and dispersions are unique only to the Jewish people.
He is given the title of Resh Galusa in Aramaic. It is a Semitic language, and it is closely related to Hebrew. It is the language in which most of the Talmud is written. The Jews of Babylon speak Aramaic and even when they return to the land of Israel, they continue to speak Aramaic.
Even though he's not a king in the land of Israel, he's recognized as not only being the representative of the Jewish community in Babylon but also having noble status.Most often, shared writing happens on chart paper or on a SmartBoard, so that the whole class can work together on a story (or essay, song, poem, or any kind of writing).
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