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The Chosen Few by Zvi Eckstein, Maristella Botticini

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Introduction

THIS BOOK IS A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME, EMBARKED UPON IN ORDER TO uncover why the Jews became the people they did. The journey begins in Jerusalem in Judea and in Sepphoris and Tiberias in Galilee during the first and second centuries. It takes us to Babylon in Mesopotamia in the fifth and sixth centuries; to Baghdad, Cairo, Córdoba, and Palermo, the new urban centers of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, in the ninth and tenth centuries; to Tudela in Spain and Mangalore in India in the late twelfth century; and back to Baghdad in the 1250s before ending in Seville in 1492.

The purpose of this passage through 1,500 years of Jewish history is to ask and answer a variety of questions. Why are there so few Jewish farmers? Why are the ...

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