Race and Religion has had a prominence in the recorded history of human kind. However, religion and race are only labels of distinction. Meanwhile, man has used race and religion as economic and political tools. Therefore, we see the confusion of race, religion and the confusion of Hate and those that denounce the existence of God.
Carl A. Patton, FreedomJournal
THE ENIGMATIC HEBREWS
Part 8: The Diaspora: A
the name of God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.
The word Diaspora became the name
applied to the Hebrews living outside Palestine and maintaining their religious
faith among the Gentiles. The Diaspora also is noted as the scattering of the Hebrew
people after captivity in Babylon. Further definitive qualities of The Diaspora
are revealed in the Old Testament.
Thus, in the Old Testament we see a
warning to the Hebrew people through Moses. This warning revealed that
dispersion among other nations would be their lot if they departed from the
Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 4: 27: 28: 64-68).
For the record Hebrews are not the
only people that have had a significant period of dispersion. The people from
the "Land of the Blacks" also known as Africa also have people
scattered throughout the world. However, these people have always been
classified first by race and ethnic origins. Thus, for Blacks in the Diaspora
an economic policy was justified with the establishment of racism. Meanwhile,
religion for these displaced souls had a historic presence as a tool of
oppression and economic exploitation.
Meanwhile, the Blacks in the Diaspora
have never lost their racial identity. However the loss of religious identity
has been part of the Black Holocaust that began with the rape and pillage of
the "Land of the Blacks" of its human and natural resources by
Europeans. Meanwhile many Afro-Centric scholars and Cultural Nationalists
insist that Blacks in America were robbed of their African Traditional Religions.
Therefore is the belief in monotheism (One God) handed down by the Egyptians to
the Hebrew people essential to any religious belief?
The kidnapped people from the
"Land of the Blacks," came in various religious postures. Many were
Muslim and believed in one God. However many were also steeped in African
Traditional Religions that embraced many gods. The belief
in more than one god is noted as Paganism by those that believe that there is
only one Supreme God. Those that believe in one Supreme God believe that God
rules the heavens the earth the universe and all that exist. Thus, is religion
best defined as Black or White? Therefore is one a racist or a Black Demagogue
when he or she believes that everything Black is Bad or everything White is
Bad? Also can any race claim to be the sole possessors of any religion? What is
the relationship of culture and religion? Would you serve a prejudiced or
However, the scattering of the
Hebrews begins the unique multi-racial make-up of the Hebrew people. Thus, we
continue to see the enigma of the Hebrew people unfold. Therefore, for our
analysis the fusion of race and religion reveals the survival of Judaism. The
survival of Judaism is in contrast to the Hebrew race which is assimilated with
various people throughout the world. Thus, the Hebrew race has become virtually
extinct except those left in Africa and a scattering in the Middle East.
The geographer Strabos writing in the
1st century B.C. argued: "In the entire civilized world, hardly a place
could be found where the influence of the Jews could not be felt." With
this statement in mind many Jewish scholars argued that the birthrate did not
cause the population increase of the Hebrew people. Thus, conversion must have
played a part.
Conversion to Judaism meant that one
embraced a particular religion. However, from most accounts this conversion was
the acceptance of an ethno-religious doctrine. Here we find the confusion of
race and religion because religion does not supercede race nor can a religion ascribe
race to converts.
The Hebrew people and those that
embraced Judaism were found throughout the Roman Empire, Palestine, Syria,
Egypt, North Africa, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Gaul and throughout the Parthian
Empire. Meanwhile the Hebrew people were not the only people dispersed by
choice or by force.
Nonetheless the Hebrew people were
unique because they managed to maintain their distinct identity and to survive.
The unique religious system of the Hebrews which kept them separated from their
neighbors, helped preserve their identity. Meanwhile we see the impact of the
Hebrew people throughout Egypt and the lands to the south, east and west.
Hebrews (Jews) lived in Egypt from
the beginning of their history. Often during the first two millennia B.C. Palestine
was part of Egypt, or under its influence. The Prophet Jeremiah along with many
other Hebrews settled in Egypt after the fall of Jerusalem. Also, Alexander the
Great who founded Alexandria encouraged Hebrews to settle in the new city.
Although a million Hebrews lived in
Egypt, Syria had the largest Jewish population. Thus during the 1st century
A.D. Jewish historian Josephus noted that outside Judea, Syria had the largest
Jewish population. The Diaspora and the scattering of the Hebrew people continued
to affect Judaism. Therefore, the development of synagogues in the Diaspora
instilled the religious fervor of Judaism among the displaced Hebrew people.
The Diaspora also revealed that Judaism no longer depended on a national
homeland for survival. However, the survival of Judaism did not mean the
survival of the Hebrew race. Meanwhile, assimilation and inter-marriage caused
the decline of the Hebrew race to a large extent.
Therefore, the Diaspora preserved the
Jewish religion but not the Hebrew race. Judaism thus came to embody the belief
that God was everywhere. Thus, one did not have to be in Jerusalem to pray to
God. Did the dispersion of the Hebrew people preserve Judaism? What best
defines Judaism: race or conversion?