Jeremiah LamentsThe Land of Israel is a natural bridge between the African and Eurasian continents, not only in terms of territory, but also between different peoples, cultures, languages and religions.  It has been the focus of so much attention, the home of so many nations, and the stage for many events that have shaped world history.  The Jewish people have called it their home for over 3,000 years.  It is where they were born, matured and molded into a nation.  This process was often challenging and involved several defining events, including the Babylonian Exile and the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem as, arguably, the most important of them all.

The profound effects of the Babylonian Exile were far-reaching:  it transformed the Judeans into Jews, from one of many peoples into the People of the Book.  1,000 years later in 500 CE, they completed the Talmud, yet their 2,500 year sojourn in Babylon ended when they were deported from Iraq in 1951.

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