The Hebrews

   The ancient Middle East and Mesopotamia was a dynamically multicultural society composed of small, often insignificant kingdoms frequently torn between the forces of mighty empires, from Babylon to Egypt to Greece to Rome. But one of these small kingdoms, for the most part utterly insignificant in the drama of early civilization, became through its religion, philosophy, and law one of the most important cultures in Middle Eastern and Western history. Beginning inauspiciously as a closely-knit, war-like group of wandering tribes, this culture enjoyed for a blink of a historical eye a mighty empire, but it soon lapsed into a small and besieged state. Curiously, it was in defeat, dominated over by foreigners whose fathers came from across the Mediteranean sea, that the Hebrews would emerge as one of the most significant progenitors of the culture of the West and Middle East, giving us monotheism, law, and a new history for the west. The journey is an epic one, from dim and unpromising beginnings to empire to the loss of home and dispersion throughout the world, from Hebrew to Israelite to Jew, carrying with them always the promise that the one god would protect and preserve them over all others.