Jewish Studies

The anti-Jewish hostility first arose in Europe when people started developing some hatred towards those with Jewish origin. The main reason why hostility begun was due to some economic, social and racial challenges which dominated at that time. The hostility begun long time ago, it reached the epidemic level in 175 BC notably in the Roman Empire. People begun to fear the Jewish people who despite of being far from their country, continued to honor and respect their Jewish laws, while opting to dishonor the Gentile Government. The Hellenistric rulers saw the Jews as a major obstacle towards their cultural advancements. The Roman community, on the other hand, denoted Jews as the descendants of lepers and was therefore unclean in their eyes.

The hostility rose during the 13th century when the Jewish communities in France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and England were expelled and brutally killed. They also confiscated their properties and forcefully possessed their wealth to enrich themselves. Likewise, it was during this period that hundreds of Jewish communities were violently destroyed and killed by the Germanic Empire in 1348.

The Bible prohibited charging of interests to a fellow Jew. The Jewish in the middle age, therefore, opted to practice the money lending activities as the middlemen. They mediated between a noble man who could lend them some money and the Jew could in turn lend the money to other non-Jewish peasant and charge interest on top. However, their position was risky, since the peasants could hardly pay back the money. In order to spread the risk of losses and earn some interest, they diversified their market in the money lending activities.

The historic economic activity of the Jews has been to act as a middleman or in other term a broker. An aspect which has made them spread all over Europe in order to diversify their brokerage businesses. During the Middle Ages, the Jews deeply penetrated in England, France, Portugal, Spain and in some parts of Italy. However, their wide spreading across Europe posed threat to the Europeans who expelled, killed and destroyed them in fear of being overturned.

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