Geography• lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Egypt on the west, Syria and Jordan on the east, and Lebanon on the north
Its maritime plain is extremely fertile.
The southern Negev region, whichcomprises almost half the total area, is largely a desert.
The Jordan, the only important river, flows from the north through Lake Hule (Waters of Merom) and Lake Kinneret (alsocalled Sea of Galilee or Sea of Tiberias), finally entering the Dead Sea 1,349 ft (411 m) below sea level—the worlds lowest land elevation.
Etymology• According to the Hebrew Bible the name "Israel" was given to the patriarch Jacob ("persevere with God") after he successfully wrestled with an angel of God.• Jacobs twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel.• Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan in the "Exodus".
Info:• Land area: 7,849 sq mi (20,329 sq km); total area: 8,019 sq mi (20,770 sq km)• Population (2010 est.): 7,353,985 (growth rate: 1.6%); birth rate: 19.5/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.1/1000; life expectancy: 80.8; density per sq km: 319
Government: Parliamentary Democracy • President: Shimon Peres (2007) • Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu (2009)
Palestine, considered a holy land by Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and homeland of the modern state ofIsrael, was known as Canaan to the ancient Hebrews.
• A Hebrew kingdom established in 1000 B.C. was later split into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel; they were subsequently invaded by Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, and Alexander the Great of Macedonia.• By A.D. 135, few Jews were left in Palestine; most lived in the scattered and tenacious communities of the Diaspora, communities formed outside Palestine after the Babylonian exile.
• The Arabs took Palestine from the Byzantine empire in 634–640.• Interrupted only by Christian Crusaders, Muslims ruled Palestine until the 20th century.• During World War I, British forces defeated the Turks in Palestine and governed the area under a League of Nations mandate from 1923.
THE HEBREWS• Believed in Jehovah, an unseen God who was never identified with images or sacrifices• The worship of Jehovah was tied with right behavior in compliance with the Ten Commandments.• First rulers were the patriarchs.
HEBREW LEADERS• KING SAUL• No strong central government• Ruled for 40 years
HEBREW LEADERS• KING DAVID• The shepherd boy who killed Goliath• United the people of Judah and Israel• A gifted poet and harpist
HEBREW LEADERS• KING SOLOMON• Noted for his being wise and fair
Tanakh• Most important work (Jewish Bible)
Mishna• The Mishna, com piled around 200 CE, is the primary rabbinic codification of laws as derived from the Torah.
Talmud• Collection of treatises which are chiefly dedicated to the laws and legends of the Jews• Form is precise terminology and strict logic• Regarded as an extensive commentary on the Bible• Discussion is its hallmark.
Historical Development1.The Biblical Period2.Post Biblical Period 3.Middle Ages
Biblical Period• Ancient Hebrew historiography• Greater part of the Bible is history.• Written in rhythmic prose• Prophecy is written on the parallelistic form of poetry.
Post-Biblical Period• Extension of the Biblical Period• Many apocryphal and apocalyptic books were patterned after the Biblical prototype.• SEPTUAGINT, Greek translation of the Bible, is the cornerstone of the literature of the Jews.• Most popular literature is the HALAKAH, from the Hebrew Halak, meaning to go or a rule to go by.• Another is the HAGGADAH, from higgid, to tell, talks about folklore, ethics, poetry, and science.
Middle Ages• Literal interpretation of the Koran• Adapted from Western cultures
BIBLE• Collection of 66 books but for the Catholics, 72 books• Dates ranging from 750 BC to AD 100• Most widely read book in the world
Divisions of the Bible Old New testament testament Apocrypha