The Ashkenazim, the Sephardim and the Mizrahim Jews Essay

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After the Romans conquered Jerusalem and caused the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD many Jewish people fled to Europe and other countries. The two main groups that emerged during this time were the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim. Both these groups set up new lives in foreign countries and had to grow accustomed to their traditions and beliefs. The Ashkenazim settled mainly in Germany and spoke Yiddish while the Sephardim settled mainly in Spain and spoke their own distinct language, a combination of Hebrew and Spanish, known as Latino. Ladino is written using Hebrew letters and is still spoken among the Sephardi community today. Both groups spoke Hebrew although slightly differently. The Sephardic Jews are sometimes split into two…show more content…
However, some Ashkenazi Jews experienced anti-semitism violence in these Christian countries. Many Jewish people were killed during this violence in what Robert Seltzer called a “supercharged religious atmosphere” (1980). In the closing centuries of the Middle Ages many Ashkenazi Jews moved to Italy and Poland in search of new and better opportunities and to escape their deteriorating living conditions in the Rhineland and central Europe, “migrations took place to Italy and Poland… by the sixteenth-century Poland had emerged as the foremost centre of Ashkenazic Jewish scholarship” (Eliezer, 2009, 67).
The Sephardic Jews were from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East. Often they are split into two groups, the Sephardic Jews of Spain and Portugal and the Mizrahi Jews of North Africa and the Middle East. The term Sephardim “comes from the place-name Sephard in the Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible, referring to a land where Jews were exiled after the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem” (Karesh, 2006, 461). By 720 Spain was under mostly Muslim control and the “Sephardic culture was highly influenced by the interaction with Muslim Arabs” (Karesh, 2006, 462), they also spoke Arabic. The Sephardic Jews flourished under Muslim rule and produced high standard poets and
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