Presentation on theme: "Info for the Teacher This lesson focuses on a brief history of Judaism, and some of the perceived differences which prompted exclusion and anti-Semitic."— Presentation transcript:
Info for the Teacher This lesson focuses on a brief history of Judaism, and some of the perceived differences which prompted exclusion and anti-Semitic responses. This lesson provides background information to help answer the question “Why?” This lesson also includes a link to a video clip of John Green’s “Crash Course in World History.” I only show the first 4 minutes or so. – ** PLEASE PREVIEW the clip to determine suitability for your students, and how much you would like to show, if at all. The clip links up to Youtube, so be aware of ads on the webpage. ** Teacher Tip: The Do-Now focusing on differences is a good choice to pair with this lesson!
Terms to Take Note of … Diaspora Diaspora Monotheism Monotheism Polytheism Polytheism Anti-Semitism Anti-Semitism Scapegoating Scapegoating Propaganda Propaganda
“Why?” When we study the Holocaust, inevitably these questions come up: – Why – Why did Hitler hate the Jews? – Why – Why were the Jews scapegoated and targeted? To begin to address these questions, it is important to look at the history of Judaism.
Judaism: A Basic History The early part of the story of Judaism is told in the Old Testament of the Bible. “It describes how God chose the Jews to be an example to the world, and how God and his chosen people worked out their relationship.” “God chose Abraham to be the father of a people who would be special to God, and who would be an example of good behaviour and holiness to the rest of the world.” John Green explains here:here “Christianity from Judaism to Constantine: Crash Course World History #11”
Judaism: A Basic History The Assyrians, Babylonians, and eventually the Romans caused the Jews to flee Israel. Diaspora The “scattering” of the Jews to other lands is called Diaspora. Israel, today
Diaspora and Differences Once scattered, most Jews weren’t allowed to become full-fledged citizens of any country, so as a result, they formed tightly-knit communities for support and socialization. After Diaspora, as the Jews tried to establish communities in other countries, they were often denied basic rights, such as the right to own property. – For example, the UK did not allow Jewish citizens the same rights as others until the 1860’s. Although Jews were an important piece of the fabric of the economies and communities in which they lived and worked, they still had to live a life apart and were not fully accepted.
Differences Breed Suspicion The Jews were considered highly unusual and suspect because of their different beliefs and practices. The roots of anti-Semitism lie in the different practices of the Jews as compared to the other populations they lived with. Anti-Semitism: Anti-Semitism: hostility to or prejudice against Jews
Major Differences Monotheism: Monotheism: the belief that there is only one God – Judaism became a monotheistic religion. – Co-existed alongside the polytheistic religions such as those of the Egyptian and Romans. – The strong, faithful following the religion gained was viewed as a threat by others. – Eventually, Christianity grew out of Judaism, both Christianity and Islam were established as monotheistic religions. Circumcision: Circumcision: – The covenant Abraham made with God. – This practice was viewed by the Romans as barbaric.
Education As a result of limited rights and the inability to own property, the community encouraged a focus on education. The reason for this focus was the belief that once a person is educated, no one can take away their education. The members of the Jewish community were often more educated than the locals. Jewish women were also, for the most part, educated, which was very unusual at the time. The tradition of placing great emphasis on education remains an important part of the Jewish culture today.
Work Jews often set up shop as merchants because it was one of the few employment options allowed them. Although Jews were an important piece of the fabric of the economies and communities in which they lived and worked, they still had to live a life apart and were not fully accepted. Being merchants allowed them to pick and move if necessary, taking their goods with them and setting up in a new place. Because of their focus on education and positions as merchants, the members of the Jewish community were often successful, and, as a result, sometimes viewed suspiciously by poorer people.
Modern History and World War II These same differences contributed to the prejudice that Hitler espoused during the era leading up the World War II. Germany was in a serious economic depression due to the steep reparations paid after World War I. The Jewish community had been contributing to the German economic system in a positive manner for generations, but during the difficult years, some were better-off than their neighbors.
Scapegoating This success bred resentment as well as an environment in which it was easier for Hitler to create a scapegoat to blame for Germany’s economic crisis. Hitler referred to the Jews as “foreigners,” “exploiters,” “robbers,” and “destroyers of civilizations.” propaganda His anti-Jewish propaganda united a weary German population looking for someone to blame for their problems. In this environment, the tracks were laid in order for a genocide of unimaginable brutality to take place.
Take Away … How How does this background information enhance our study of Night? Why Why is this background information important to our studies? – How does it shape or frame our reading of Night?
Exit Ticket Can you make a connection to this lesson?