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The Jewish Culture

The Jewish culture encompasses a conglomeration of both the global individuals and secular societies that identify with the Jewish culture. The international community of Jews has historically been known as a people who really value their religion rather than a people who practice their culture, also known as ethnocentrism. This culture has been diluted by the Judaist guidelines over the years to the extent that it has become very hard to distinguish between what is Jewish culture and what is simply a Jewish cultural practice. In addition, the secular aspect of this culture is quite inseparable from the religious aspects. It is widely acknowledged that Judaism has greatly shaped the religious practices of the Jewish people. That is why it is said that Jewish religion, art and architecture and traditional literature all make up the components of the secular Jewish culture. (Jeffrey, 2009)

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The Jewish people all over the world have a very artistic culture. For instance, their cooking is often a combination of several cultures that they have historically interacted with. These include the people living around the Middle East, Spaniards as well as the people of Eastern Europe. Their academic culture mostly draws from the Torah and to some extent Jewish scriptures. These have a strong bearing on their moral beliefs especially religious practices and traditions. However, in the recent past most people who subscribe to the Jewish culture seem to be deviating from the conservative morals and adopting a more political leftist life. This is more evident among the secular Jews who live in Europe and America. Indeed, some have played a remarkable role in the advancement of sociological livelihoods as well as participated in various civil rights groups. (Landa,1969)

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The economic advancements of the Jewish people were greatly limited. For a very long time the European stood on their way to attaining land ownership and instead encouraged them to pursue other more complex careers that the British were unwilling to get into. Moreover, there was the historical time commonly referred to as the medieval period when they were greatly stigmatized for their culture of money laundering. This time saw their Christian colleagues turn against them leading to their eventual total prohibition from land ownership by the Roman Catholic governments. (Goldstein, 2006). Besides, the Christians used the bible scripture in Leviticus 25:36 to declare their economic activity of lending money for interest unholy. However, because the ecclesiastical punitive measure that the popes declared upon Christian money lenders did not apply to them, some Christian rulers used this art to become rich by letting them do it on their behalf. (Goldstein, 2006)

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Their literary skills have had quite an international acknowledgement. These are basically expressions in the secular Jewish culture especially the Hebrew language and to a limited extent the English language. This literary art is said to have began in the 19th Century although it recorded a considerable decline in the 20th Century. In fact, it was the 20th Century that saw the revival of the Hebrew language in what is historically known as the Zionism. (Curcio, 2005). Besides, their culture has had a good association with the medical art. The medieval period actually saw most of the Jews pushed into studying technical things like medicine. This has persisted today with a good number of them being credited as being the founding fathers of medicine. As late as 2004, the Jews have continued to win the Nobel Peace Prize for medicine. Apart from medicine, the Jews are also prevalent in professions like finance and commerce. (Jeffrey, 2009)The Jewish people generally have very little to do with visual arts although they do quite very well in the fields of music or theatre. This has been historically linked to their conservative religious traditions. It is said that before their emancipation, their religious authorities held the belief that the biblical second commandment that talks about graven images prohibited the use of visual arts. However, a lot of artistic objects exist in the Jewish culture. These include but are not limited to the Tabernacle and the two temples of Jerusalem. In fact later on the Jewish art became a very popular phenomenon among the Christian artists and the craftsmen. (Landa, 1969).

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The political situation of the Jewish people has never known tranquility since the days of a united monarchy. This has served to disperse the Israelite section mainly in Central as well as Eastern Europe while the Sephaedi Jews were majorly displaced towards the Mediterranean and the Mizrahi to the western parts of Asia. In Europe, the Jewish people have always been regarded as outsiders and therefore shut out of political participation until their recent enlightenment. However, this section of the greater Jewish community has also taken an active role in politics. For instance, the followers of Haskalah became active champions of what is known as “coming out of the ghetto”. This movement was actually led by a successful Jewish philosopher perhaps serving to raise their profile further. Perhaps it is the recent re-emergence of the Jewish culture and their increased participation in the left wing politics will serve to unite them. Indeed, the Israelites have since stopped being a centre of tourist attraction because they have generally adopted a more sophisticated political system for themselves. This is the sure way that will see these historically great people take their actual place in the global arena, otherwise history will continue to push them to the sidelines to their disadvantage.

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