What is unique and enduring about the history of the Hebrew peoples?

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How one considers the “uniqueness” and enduring legacy of the Hebrew civilizations of the past and of Judaism today is partly dependent upon one’s views of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.  Even without strict adherence to the Bible, however, enough is known about the history of Judaism to posit some suggestions.

The oldest of the three major monotheistic religions, the Hebrews are recorded in the Bible as having held a special place in God’s design for humanity.  The Hebrew civilization goes back thousands of years, and involved innumerable hardships.  One of the things that make it unique, however, has been its survival.  Forced into countless exiles and subjected to multitude of pogroms, culminating in the 20th Century’s most horrific episode, the Holocaust, the Hebrew civilization has persevered and, in many instances, prospered.  The 1948 establishment of the State of Israel represented for most Jews the...

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