It is the Torah which unites the Jewish people. To properly understand Jewish history, it is vital to recognize the dependency that mainstreamed Jews have on the guidance and decisions of the Torah scholars.
New environments and circumstances invariably generate issues and the conscientious Jew must know how to deal with them in accordance with the guidelines of the Written and Oral Torahs. Determination of Torah guidance is based upon keen and non-biased analysis of teachings and precedence, not on human preference.
Given a world without telecommunication for almost all of its fifty-seven-hundred years, we can see how crucial it is for the Torah scholars and academies to be part of the dispersion plan.
For most of the first thousand years of Jewish history, Israel was the center of Torah guidance.
The first exile to Babylon occurred in three waves. A small number of captives were led away during the first wave and comprised the leading Torah scholars. In retrospect, we see this as a preparation so that Babylon can establish itself as a center of Torah learning prior to the arrival of the bulk of the population. Upon the subsequent return to Israel and the construction of the Second Temple, the Jewish people had multiple Torah centers, the beginning of a trend.
Of the two, Israel was eventually restored as the dominant Torah center until the third century, never to regain its status for the next seventeen-hundred years.
Babylon's days are numbered, also.
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