This word comes from the Greek and literally means dispersion. In the history of the Jewish people the concept of diaspora was used to refer to the voluntary disintegration of the Jewish people in the 3rd century BC. C, during the Roman period, when for demographic reasons they decided to move to other territories such as Carthage, Egypt, Libya and the Persian Empire. Diaspora
It should be noted that the idea of diaspora should not be confused with a similar one: galut. While galut means the forced exile of Jews throughout history, the diaspora refers to the process of geographic dispersion.
These are, therefore, two similar circumstances and for this reason the word diaspora is the most used to refer to both phenomena.
The concept of diaspora is related to the Jews who lived beyond the territory of Jerusalem
In antiquity, Jews were divided into two groups : those who lived in Jerusalem and practiced their religion with traditional criteria and those who were integrated into other cultures. The latter usually spoke several languages and were educated people engaged in commerce or a recognized professional activity. Diaspora Jews held their religious rituals in synagogues. Diaspora
On the other hand, they economically helped their Jewish brothers who lived in Jerusalem. Until then, the Romans maintained a certain tolerance for the beliefs and culture of diaspora Jews. In this sense, the Roman Senate authorized the Jewish communities so that they could maintain their internal organizational structure in the different synagogues. Therefore, Diaspora Jews could practice their rituals without coming into conflict with Roman authority.
The expulsion of Jews from Spain in the 15th century is one of the best known episodes of the diaspora
In 1492, Spanish Jews or Sephardic Jews who did not want to convert to Christianity were expelled from the country. The Catholic Monarchs were the ones who dictated the order of their expulsion, but who really promoted it was the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
There are several reasons that explain this fact: the imposition of religious unity in Spain, the confiscation of Jewish assets to increase the state’s coffers and the rejection of a part of society towards the Jewish population. Anyway, their expulsion produce a new diaspora. The expelled Hebrews dispersed to various territories: to North Africa, to the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands and Latin America.
Many of the Sephardim of Spanish origin who had to emigrate forcibly maintained their customs and beliefs. In fact, after more than 500 years the Sephardic or Judeo-Spanish language is still spoken in parts of Israel, Turkey and other Mediterranean territories. In recent years, the Spanish state has granted Spanish citizenship to all Sephardim who requested it. The granting of Spanish nationality is an attempt to repair the historical injustice committed against the Jews in the 15th century.
The State of Israel currently has a Ministry of Diaspora Affairs
This institution promotes the Hebrew traditions in all Jewish communities spread around the world. This initiative aims to strengthen the identity of the Jewish people.