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Answers and comments here are a combination of attributed researched fact and LookIsrael's editors opinion.

How big is Israel?
How many Jews are there in the world?
Where does the world Jewish population live?
Does Israel have any natural resources?
What types of Jews are there?
What do all these people have in common?
What is Zionism?
Why are the Jews called the "chosen people?"
What are the 613 commandments?
Tell me about Jewish Charity
The legal system
Why do Jews have a way with money?
Are there poor Jews?
Do Jews help each other?
Good Jews? Bad Jews?
Do Jews regard themselves above others?
Why does the world hate Jews?
Name 17 Jews (a question for Christian visitors)


 

How big is Israel?
Small. Very small. Israel would fit into Florida 8 times. See section on this subject here.

How many Jews are there in the world?
12.9 million - 0.2% of the world population

Where does the world Jewish population live?
42% in Israel. 40% in the USA. The remaining 20% live in Europe and around the rest of the world. Tel Aviv with 2.5 million and New York City with 2 million are the two world cities with the largest Jewish population.

Does Israel have any natural resources?
A few, mostly mineral and natural gas and oil used for domestic consumption. Imports most of its oil.

What types of Jews are there?
A number but two main types - Ashkenazi and Sephardi
Ashkenazi Jews account for 80% Jews worldwise. They are descended from the Medivial Jews of Germany and speak Yiddish - a mixture of Hebrew and German. The remaining 20% areSephardic Jews from the Iberian pininsula (Spain and Portugal) and represent 20% of the world Jewish polulation.



What do all these people have in common?
They're all Jews. Photo taken in Jerusalem.

What is Zionism?
Zionism states that Jews have the right to live in Israel.
You can be a Jew and not a Zionist and be a Zionist and not Jew.

Why are the Jews called the "chosen people?"
The Jews are so called because they believe that G-d chose them to bring the light, word and knowledge of a monotheist God to the world. As a result the Jews are held to a higher standard in God's eyes with 613 commandments. Non-Jews are held to 10 commandments.

What are the 613 commandments?
Look them up here: http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/practices/613.htm

Tell me about Jewish Charity
Giving - charity - for Jews is an obligation not just a nice thing to do. To do charity without expection of reward or acknowledgement is best. Jews provide extensive financial and volunteer support in the US and Israel.

Dr. Gary Tobin, of Brandeis University's Institute for Community and Religion, estimates that there are 7,000 Jewish foundations (in the USA), with assets totaling $10-15 billion. Source: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/philanthropy.html

The legal system
Did you know that Western and US law is based on Judiac historic - not Greek or Roman - legal practise?

Why do Jews have a way with money?
Not sure how true this is. Maybe because a persecuted and tormented people learn how to manage their money. There are many poor Jews.
Most banks and financial institutions are not owned and operated by Jews. During the middle ages while Europe was in the throes of feudalism, meaning you had a king, the clergy and the serfs.
The jewish polulation, being outsiders for religeous and cultural reasons, were not included in this system and were free to travel. They were forbidden to become professionals and some did what was left to them - lending money as bankers. These early bankers financed the kings who sometimes repaid their debts. Other times they banished and persecuted the bankers and the Jewish people.

Are there poor Jews?
Yes. 20% of the Jewish population in Israel lives below the poverty line.

Do Jews help each other?
Yes to a degree. It's a small community whose members rely on each other's support for historic and cultural reasons. Jews are obliged to help other people too inlcuding non-Jews. In my community just one of the synagogues provides gifts for 1,000 needy children at Christmas. The obligation to help each other is a lesson that would be put to good use by the rest of the world.

Good Jews? Bad Jews?
Like any other society or social strata there are good and bad in the jewish community. They are not above or below anyone else.
There are liberal Jews and orthodox Jews, narcissists and altruists, unscrupulous and moral, educated and ignorant, criminals and law-abiding citizens. Jews, in other words, are like everyone else.

Do Jews regard themselves above others?
This question or rather a statement was put to me by an highly intelligent and well known attorney last year. He said "You Jews look down on everyone." Jews don't look down on anyone anymore than anyone else in society. Jews sometimes appear to be elusive and seperate and I belive this is understandable given our history of persecution.

Why does the world hate Jews?
The world does not inherently hate Jews. Hatred is a learned process.

Sections of society hate Jews and have done so for millenia. Many who say they hate Jews, when asked why, are unsure why they hate.

Christianity has a large responsibility for this in blaming all Jews for the death of Jesus. Worth noting are the following facts: Jesus was born, circumcised, had his Bar Mitzvah at age 13, lived his life and died a Jew. After death he was prepared for burial as a Jew. His teachings were Jewish teachings. The Jews were his people.

When Jesus died he concluded a deliberately followed and fulfilled prophecy from Torah, specifically from the Psalms. The high priests were upset with him because he was opposed to corruption in their ranks - one would expect no different a reaction from any threatened political or religeous regime today.

Jews today regard Jesus as a prophet or Rabbi, not G-d.

Name 17 Jews (a question for Christian visitors)
Jesus, his mother Mary and father Joseph. His brother James, the twelve disciples and Mary Magdalene. All were born, lived and died as Jews. Worth mentioning - not everyone knows this by choice or design.

What can I do for Israel?

  • You can educate yourself on the truth of Israel and the Jews and tell your friends. Investigate any of the links in this document.
  • Visit Israel. It's one of the most beautiful and spiritually centered countries in the world. Great food, a beautiful and diverse people, history, culture, sun and lots to do. www.expedia.com
  • Donate money to a Jewish charity. Try this one: http://www.yadvashem.org/
  • Pray for peace and understanding among the people of world and the Jews.
 
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