I watched all five episodes of the Simon Schama series, The Story of the Jews. It may be the best series I’ve seen on Judaism, that really makes you understand why certain things happened.
Much of this is my interpretation of what he showed. The Romans destroyed the temple, probably figuring by doing that, they destroyed Judaism.
Jews and Christians were living in many places in peace, but for certain Christian leaders, that made conversions more difficult. Hence, demonizing the Jews. Some days, I wish I could be as bad as made out. Just needed to inject that sarcasm.
Then, in the Middle Ages, because we could charge interest, we were useful until there were riots and the debt needed to be cancelled. Then, a ruler could cancel the debt, and send us all packing. Gives being fired an entirely new meaning.
Poland invited us in and it was a haven, until the country was divided between Austro-Hungary, Prussia and Russia. Then to quote an old American TV show, things really got rotten. Catherine the Great ended up with all these Jewish subjects, she didn’t want, who were competition for Russians. As Jar Jar would say in Star Wars, “How Wude!”
The Enlightenment promised liberation from the ghettoes. Then nationalism reared its ugly head. Hence the Dreyfus Trial and Mayor Karl Luger in Vienna, making Theodore Herzl think there was no future for Jews anywhere, but their own country.
The Shoah needs retelling, but you get the point. The ultimate happened. Then, the creation of Israel.
I finally got to read the book, and it was excellent. You can see how we evolved, at least until 1492, when this volume ends. It is a long involved history. Do you have time to sit down and listen. I suggest you make time.