Since the beginning of the Judaism, the Jewish people have been subject to hardships and discrimination. They have not been allowed to have a stabile place of worship and have also faced persecution and atrocities that most of us can not even imagine. Three events that have had a big impact on the Jewish faith were the building and destruction of the First Great Temple, the Second Great Temple and the events of the Holocaust. In this paper, I will discuss these three events and also explain and give examples as to why I feel that the Jewish people have always been discriminated against and not allowed the freedom of worship.
King David secured the beginnings of a prosperous Israelite empire; he made Jerusalem its capital and brought the Ark of the Covenant there with the hopes of building the First Great Temple for his people. However, it would be his son, King Solomon who would be the one to accomplish this. The Great Temple housed the Ark of the Covenant and also had places to make offerings. Having been nomadic, this temple finally gave the Israelites a stabile place to worship. In fact, the text World Religions by Mary Pat Fisher says that the Israelites looked at this Great Temple as “a central stationary place where God would be most present to them” (Fisher 250). This Temple was a beacon of hope and a place to go where they knew that they would be closer to God.
However, this place of worship was not meant to last for the Israelites. In 586 BCE, the Babylonians led by King Nebuchadnezzar II, captured Jerusalem and set fire to the Great Temple. The Temple wasn’t the only thing destroyed. According to the article, Babylonian Exile written by Jeffrey Spitzer, “the palace and all of the houses of Jerusalem were burnt, the walls of the city were torn down, and the remaining treasures from the Temple were taken to Babylon” (Spitzer). After enduring the seizing of their Kingdom and the burning of their Temple and homes, most of the Israelites were exiled from their homes. Consequently, it would take them fifty years to return to their first real home of worship.
After their exile, around fifty-thousand Jews returned to Jerusalem which was now called Judaea. The leader of Judea, the Persian King Cyrus, allowed the Jews to return and to build another place of worship (Fisher 251). The second temple was built in 515 BCE and according to the text Living Religions, became “the central symbol to a scattered Jewish nation” (Fisher). The temple became a place where the Torah was formed and where the religion prospered. However, Jewish prosperity was not going to last. After four centuries of Roman rule, that was domineering and dreadful, a group of Jews decided to rebel against their oppressors. This led to Jews being slaughtered by the Romans and to the second Temple being destroyed. All that is left of the Temple are foundation stones which are referred to as the Western Wall. The temple has never been rebuilt and the Western Wall has become a...