It is a titanic story though one rather slow-moving by contemporary standards. In 79, the Temple destroyed, the Jewish rebellion crushed, the Romans enslaved thousands and deported them to Italy or southern France in order to extinguish the Jewish people forever. Yet they did not give up their religion or civilization. The Empire fell and the lights of civilization went out. Over almost one thousand years, their descendants moved ever northward and eastward, through the French-speaking lands into the German-speaking lands.
And after almost another five hundred years of prosperity alternating with persecution, they went on again, northward and eastward into the Polish and Lithuanian-speaking lands. There they sojourned another five hundred years, often of grinding poverty and sporadically of serious oppression. Then, again they were on the move but faster and farther than ever. Some to lands unknown for most of that time, North America and even to Australia and South Africa; more still back to the Land of Israel, full circle two millennia after they were supposed to cease existing, back to almost the precise spot from which they had set out.
“Do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.
“One can write much more about our town, and if it does not have historical value, it is of interest to the descendants of our town, wherever they are, to see how life in our town evolved from generation to generation, and were it not for the fact that the Archevil One put an end to that life, who knows where this life would have reached.”
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.”
–William Blake, “To see a world”