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Sarah Bernhardt[edit]

Please can we replace Portman with her. She is divine. @Nishidani: @Jasphetamine: --Monochrome_Monitor 01:03, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

(For those who may not know, the issue of the infobox images was discussed a couple of months ago at Talk:Jews/Archive 26#Portraits.) I have nothing against Bernhardt, but my opinion is to leave Portman. Portman is a good representative of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and she currently has wide appeal. Sundayclose (talk) 03:00, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
I strongly want to keep Portman, for all the reasons I gave then. Debresser (talk) 08:09, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
But why not have the best? No one thinks Portman is a better actress than Bernhardt. Likewise, Gershwin considered Irving Berlin a greater songwriter than he. I might make the latter edit. --Monochrome_Monitor 17:41, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Portman is so far no where near the historic significance of Sarah Bernhardt. This is obvious. As to the edit summary I am very fond of Rita Levi-Montalcini, her breakthrough was done under absurdly trying conditions, -banned by fascism from working, at risk of death, and working in a cubby hole to get the results that led to her Nobel -was an iconic figure for decades in Italy. Emmy Noether is on a par, if not superior intellectually, but worked in a community, and died before the horror could affect her genius. And I think your own academic interests influence your preference there! Nishidani (talk) 18:15, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Re Gershwin -- he may well have considered Berlin a greater songwriter than himself, but recall that Gershwin was also a composer of serious music, including what is probably the single best piece of music by an American composer. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:40, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
@Nishidani: Agree completely on Bernhardt. I didn't know about Rita's story, that's pretty damn awesome. My only complaint is the picture. It's old and unflattering and my black and white keeps getting reverted. You're also completely right about my academic interests!! And on Gershwin, I made an unforgivable foible. Gershwin was the composer, and his wife the librettist. So sorry. --Monochrome_Monitor 04:29, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Oy. --jpgordon::==( o ) 05:44, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Another anecdote about R L-M. She was appointed senator for life in the Senate by the President of the Republic in her 90s, an honorary position. But, no she took it seriously. When Berlusconi, head of a rampaging group of corrupt lobbyists was buying off votes and Romano Prodi's coalition had a razor-thin majority in that house, where lack of a majority vote could block any reform legislation, she plunked herself down day in day out at critical periods, and sat out the most devastatingly tedious arguments of the opposition for several hours a day in her late 90s, in order to cast her decisive vote to keep a good government in power. She never forgot what fascists are, and how they get to power. Bright as a button and tough as nails: they don't make'em like that anymore. Civic obligations even trumping a natural desire to rest on one's hard-earned laurels or enjoy a life of ease and continued scholarship.Nishidani (talk) 07:23, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Damn that's cool. I'm gonna restate the black and white. Now help me get Bernhardt on here!!!! --Monochrome_Monitor 14:19, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
@Nishidani: DING! --Monochrome_Monitor 15:40, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Hang on, I refrained even from backing you initially because with my bad reputation, anything I suggest, whoever else might be endorsing it, tends to get a thumbs down. Cheers, kid, and may your studies (and life) thrive.Nishidani (talk) 17:25, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
You as well! You know, you could help your "bad reputation" by moderating some of your political views a bit. I have, Quand même (as Bernhardt would say). --Monochrome_Monitor 22:23, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Um, I'm not political. I've never voted for four decades. My politics are those based on a generic reading of the ideal of a polis based on universal human rights, i.e. opposed to any wrong based on inhuman policing. This was a pretty normal outlook for the generations raised in, and immediately after the dark aftermath of, WW2, in households whose fathers and mothers had witnessed, and risked their lives to avert, the worst of what we are capable of.Nishidani (talk) 16:21, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
@Monochrome Monitor Really, not nice to garner support for your edit in such a way. In any case, I just wanted to repeat my point of view, that we should have Portman, as she is more modern and well-known. As I have said before, these collages are not only about merit, of which both Sarah Bernhardt and Portman are not lacking, but also about presenting an easily recognizable face to the general reader. Debresser (talk) 10:09, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I have refrained from taking sides until now, but Debresser's argument for keeping Portman seems a very sound and convincing one. Not that Sarah wasn't "divine", but MM's endless advocacy (two sections on this page) and exhortations over one photo have become tiresome, and I suggest it is time to move on. Hertz1888 (talk) 10:32, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree it's inappropriate to seek consensus support by pinging only editors that you think will support it. That's a form of WP:Canvassing. And I agree it's time to move on. If we could include both Portman and Bernhardt that would be great, but we can't. So I think the consensus on the images is settled and has been settled for a while. It's inappropriate to bring the issue up repeatedly and frequently. Sundayclose (talk) 16:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
You do realize that "the divine sarah" is an honorific given to her in 19th century popular culture? Obviously she wasn't divine. Also, why on Earth can't we include both? The 3x3 seems awfully stifling. --Monochrome_Monitor 22:16, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Also, the reason I'm bringing up this point is because I thought it was a refreshing departure from the typical battles on this talk page. Apparently not. Sorry for appearing whiny, remember to always take my proposals with a bit of humor. --Monochrome_Monitor 22:20, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
At this point I'd offer that we remove both Natalie and Sarah from the table and simply put a picture of Regina Spektor in her place! I know, I'm kind of a genius aren't I? Jasphetamine (talk) 06:38, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Heresy! --Monochrome_Monitor 07:05, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
For better or worse, looks like this gallery and all other such galleries may be removed soon forever per this RFC: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ethnic groups#Proposal for the deletion of all the galleries of personalities from the infoboxes of articles about ethnic groups. The voting is ongoing. --Off-shell (talk) 22:34, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

I approve! --Monochrome_Monitor 21:49, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

The lachrymose view of Jewish history. Wringing one's hands, and the handkerchief, in the lead[edit]

Jeff. I can see that my suggestions here are falling on deaf ears. What we have is what we had before the lead was questioned, tweaked and in some senses made even more wdded to an identifiable popular story that has no scholarly merit. The latest is pure overegging the pud:

Since then, while maintaining rule over their homeland during certain periods—such as under the Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judah, the Hasmonean Dynasty, and the Herodian Kingdom—Jews also suffered various Exiles and Occupations from their homeland—from Ancient Egyptian Occupation of the Levant, to Assyrian Captivity and Exile, to Babylonian Captivity and Exile, to Greek Occupation and Exile, to the Roman Occupation and Exile. These events subjected Jews to slavery, pogroms, cultural assimilation, forced expulsions, and more, scattering Jews all around the world, known today as the Jewish diaspora.

is part of what Salo Wittmayer Baron, reacting to Heinrich Graetz's Liedensgeschichte approach, famously described as the lachryomose conception of Jewish history.' It is utter nonsense to describe 6-1 centuries BCE, as exile,captivity, occupation, slavery. You could apply this to virtually any empire in antiquity by equally selective showcasing as general realities what were episodes in a long history. The majority of Jews were outside of Palestine and there are zero grounds for portraying the collective world of Jews in this way, except of course to underwrite the tedious fables of schoolrooms. Ah well, if the consensus is for the fairy tale, by all means. . . (The use of the scholarly sources is all synth) Nishidani (talk) 18:36, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Nishidani, what are your proposals? I see that 'their homeland' is POV, and the use of the term Jews to refer to the occupant of the Kingdom of Samaria, and Judah is OR. The reference to exiles and to slavery, and cultural assimilation. needs RS. Where Judeans sent into slavery, where there forced expulsions 'all around the world"? No the elite were taken to Babylon. However, this time period also includes forced conversion of others by Judeans, conquest and occupation of land previously occupied by others, e.g. King David's mighty empire, and plenty of civil war between groups who worshipped Yahweh and other gods, slaughter of Cannanites, etc. Is it this latter excluded material that you wish to include?Johnmcintyre1959 (talk) 20:00, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
King David didn't have a mighty empire and there was no slaughter of Cananites, the Jews were the Cananites. Jews were forced into slavery, etc. Drsmoo (talk) 21:35, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
That is the minimalist theory. Since Canaanites had no ethnic identity, nor did Israelites at the time, one cannot say that 'the Jews' (an anachronism for the period) came from the Canaanites except by caricature. This thesis has academic roots, but in the scholarly literature, the assumption that proto-Israelites came from Canaan does not translate into 'the Canaanites were 'Jews'/'Israelites'. In any case, the thesis, since it contradicts the whole biblical narrative, means that almost everything there is a tissue of lies, rather than being a late national/novelistic recension of several legendary traditions shared by the tribally distinct groups whose unified identity was forged by Yahweh worship.Nishidani (talk) 11:48, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
@Drsmoo That may be your version of events, but any article about Jews will have to at least prominently mention the version of Johnmcintyre1959. Debresser (talk) 00:34, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I won't be making edits to the article because so far every one I have made has been relentlessly reverted by any one of several editors, so it is a waste of time. I think the on-page editing is disruptive when the talk page is vetting numerous proposals and conflicted material ranging over several issues. The proper thing would be to hammer out a consensus here, using a section as a work page. I won't participate of course, except as I have, to provide some sources.
For example, the diaspora is central to the Jewish experience, and needs expansion, but it obviously can't be phrased in terms of the Roman expulsion myth. Diaspora was due to war's uprooting (Babylonia -but note that most Israelites remained in Palestine: the administrative priestly class was exiled, and came back with the key ideas, developed in the exile, as to what constituted real Jewishness), but also to choice, conversion (often imposed on Itureans, Edomites in Jewish wars), economic opportunity. You'd never guess from this weepy emphasis on diaspora and exile that Jewish units served in Alexander's campaign and that during the Seleucid period, Jewish military forces from Babylonia played an important role in many battles all over Asia Minor, Lydia, Phrygia etc., and that as was the norm, these Jewish soldiers then settled in numerous cities to form one of the nucleuses for the new city-states, such as Antioch. The diaspora after the Babylonian exile evinces numerous examples of successful Jewish growth, economic, military and cultural, abroad, in line with the Tanakh's advice, per (Jeremiah 29:7). In Egypt, Libya and the West (Mediterranean) generally, there was no external compulsion to explain the creation of Jewish settlements. They may have fled to avoid the Assyro-Babylonian onslaught, or followed the Levantine-Greek practice of pursuing economic opportunities in new lands. The Himyarite Kingdom which extended over much of present Saudi Arabia, and which accounts for much of the extensive impact of Judaism on the emergence of Islam, was autochthonous and due to conversion. All of these things clash with that monocular focus, in the rabbinical religious myth, of the decisive impact of an ostensible 'expulsion' from Palestine after the fall of the Second Temple, which plays into the lachrymose version we have here (None of this means one should underestimate the cultural impact of the structural myth in Jewish narratives of displacement as testing, that goes back to Adam's expulsion, through to the Exodus. It sits paradoxically, next to the genocidal narrative of the acquisition of the land by total destruction of the indigenous population in the Book of Joshua, and the mythic version of the events of 70-135 makes the Roman onslaught outrageous, while the version of the conquest of Canaan, which in story form, was equally devastating, is celebrated).Nishidani (talk) 11:08, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
For once I would agree with many of the things what you wrote here but your strange obsession with a "rabbinical myth" when it has been explained to you many times it was a *Christian* myth, not a Jewish one. Benjil (talk) 13:29, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
'Strange obsession'? When prizes were handed out at year's end for one's close work on textual sources for some interpretation in the good old days, no one told me I got mine because of some weird compulsion. Merit for scrupulousness was rewarded, because that is how the disciplines of philology and history graded students. If you check the source I quoted. It was a myth shared by Christians and Jews. I have no obsessions, at least here, except in trying to pin down the precise state of knowledge in contemporary and historical articles.Nishidani (talk) 14:10, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

'The fact that the bulk of the Jewish diaspora long preceded the rise of Christianity, or the destruction of the Second Temple, was conveniently forgotten. The myth of the ‘wandering Jew’ became part of a continuing Christian myth, a myth often absorbed and perpetuated by Jews themselves Jews are forced to wonder, so the dogma went, because of their party in the killing of Christ.' Robin Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction Routledge, 2008 pp.23-6 p.26

All religions are grounded in myths, as most of our opinions and convictions are derivative of hearsay. In this one, just as the post exilic priesthood developed the idea that the exile was part of God's providence and punishment for the sins of kings in the early kingship period, so too rabbinical tradition thought of the fall of the Second Temple as a punishment for infidelity. That is in the Bavli and indeed there was at least one halakhic ban in the early first millenium prohibiting return to the Land of Israel until the Messiah came. That means the rabbinate in Babylon actively encouraged the retention of the diaspora. Christians, being originally Jews, found polemical ammunition in this old tradition of assigning blame and penitence, this time exclusively to the conservative Judaism that kept the faith rather than accept the heretical rewriting that got underway with the Pauline dispensation. In that way, interreactively, the two diverging raditions overlapped in the premise of what was behind the diaspora. The difference is that the Jewish secular version of the narrative, prominent not only in Zionism, blamed Rome, ignoring the fact that in religious terms, the exile was canonically interpreted as being a punishment from God. Nishidani (talk) 14:27, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Jewish sources interpret the destruction of the Second Temple in a multitude of seemingly strange ways see Kamsa and Bar Kamsa. Generally the rabbis seem to think that winning vs the Romans would have been possible except for internal divisions within the Jewish people.
In other words the rabbis blame the sectarian divisions between Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots etc. Many rabbis imply that it was caused by a minor sin that broke the camel’s back.
Maimonides says it was because the Jews sinned by not learning the art of war. Jonney2000 (talk) 15:23, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Attempt to restart this discussion before the {{POV-inline}} tag is removed again for procedural reasons: the version of Jewish history in the lede as a blatantly biased view. This issue needs a resolution. Is there an older version of the lede that we can revert to? QVVERTYVS (hm?) 05:35, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

  1. There is no consensus for removal of this information. In addition, the claims are true and abundantly sourced. There is no doubt that the Jewish people has been subject to "slavery, pogroms, cultural assimilation, forced expulsions, genocide, and more" ever since the cradle of its existence as a people.
  2. Moreover, even if there were truth to the claim that Jews overstate these facts, that fact in itself would need to be mentioned.
  3. I do think the sentence is a bit too detailed for the lead. I would rewrite "Since then, while maintaining rule over their homeland during certain periods—such as under the Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judah, the Hasmonean Dynasty, and the Herodian Kingdom—Jews also suffered various Exiles and Occupations from their homeland—from Ancient Egyptian Occupation of the Levant, to Assyrian Captivity and Exile, to Babylonian Captivity and Exile, to Greek Occupation and Exile, to the Roman Occupation and Exile. These events subjected Jews to slavery, pogroms, cultural assimilation, forced expulsions, genocide, and more, scattering Jews all around the world, known today as the Jewish diaspora." to "Since then, while maintaining rule over their homeland during certain periods—Jews also suffered various exiles and occupations from their homeland, which subjected the Jews to slavery, pogroms, cultural assimilation, forced expulsions, genocide, and more, scattering Jews all around the world, in what is known today as the Jewish diaspora.". Debresser (talk) 10:10, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Based on the given sources, one can write a very different history, and one should if one takes Cohen 1997 seriously: "until a few years ago, most characterizations of diasporas emphasized their catastrophic origins" (p. 21), but "Jewish migratory experiences were much more diverse and more complex than the catastrophic tradition allows" (p. 22). Yet that tradition is what is being presented here, in an overly simplistic account. Even Graetz included in his history of suffering the religious and scholarly tradition that was kept alive during the diaspora.
The cherrypicking that goes into the present summary of several millennia of history is evident in the quote lifted from Botticini and Eckstein. That paper is actually about the voluntary conversion of Jews to other religions (for economic reasons), and about the economic specialization of the remaining (educated) believers, resulting in a "voluntary Diaspora of the Jews in search of worldwide opportunities in crafts, trade, and moneylending" (from its own introduction). What is lifted from this source is what fits the argument, while its thrust is ignored. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 16:21, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Until editors stop fixing the page with community comfort myths, and start rewriting it according to scholarly sources, with all of their openness to dissonances, there's no hope that we'll ever have here a page which mirrors the richness of Jewish experiences, as opposed to one which trots out the fairytales one learns in pre-school.Nishidani (talk) 20:33, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
@Qwertyus The accusation of cherry picking is hard to defend, because any article will have to decide what to include, and especially regarding the lead, so any article and even more so any lead invovles cherry picking. I don't think there was anything untoward in the way t was done in this case. Debresser (talk) 21:54, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
@Nishidani Your post has few content and much whining. In addition, I notice you ignore my argument #2, which basically says tat yo can not base yourself on scholarly sources exclusively and in every case, because real-life people and life itself are not exclusively and in every case based on them. Debresser (talk) 21:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Debresser, perhaps I don't understand your position, and I request that you clarify it. I've shown that the current text directly contradicts several of the sources stated for it, but you don't seem to try and counter that. What is the argument in favor of keeping the current text in the lede? QVVERTYVS (hm?) 20:37, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

I've posted a note at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#Summary of Jewish history. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 12:08, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Merneptah stele[edit]

Since the discussion above seems to have gotten stuck even though the tag is still there, I'll try to reopen the discussion.

The portion in question:

The discovery of the Merneptah Stele confirms the existence of the people of Israel in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE.

I wouldn't say it has to be removed, but it simply has to be clarified then. Currently, the curious reader will see the previous sentence ("The Jews trace their ethnogenesis to the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel.") and deduce that Jews were already there 3300 years ago. I hate getting into semantics but we all know what implications the word "Jew" brings: it generally refers to a religious or at least ethnic concept; this has little to do with that and yet Wikipedia closes the gap.

What seems to be overlooked is the ambiguity of the terms Israelites, Jews, and people of Israel. Equating all three leads to misconceptions about what the sources intend. For example, Brenner states: "Exactly what was then understood by the term “Israel” remains something of a mystery, but this inscription testifies to the existence of a group of people in Canaan designated by that name." It "confirms" only that there was a group in Canaan that was designated by the Egyptians as "Israel". He later states: "What we know from archaeology indicates that the first Israelites were shepherds and farmers, most of whom lived in broadly autarkic village communities around the turn of the millennium," and "What the Israelites of that period understood by religion must be envisaged as a far cry from the idealized monotheism of a later era. The history of Israel up to the beginning of the first millennium BCE is largely unknown." Most importantly, he declares: "There is not a shred of evidence even for the existence of a united kingdom of Israel and Judah in the tenth century BCE."

Greenspahn gives us: "In the early stages, in the thirteenth century B.C.E., Israel was a pastoralist or bedouin people, identified by the Egyptians as part of the larger Shasu group, resident in the general southland, that is, the vast desert that stretches across Sinai, the Negev, Edom, and northern Arabia." Egypt saw a group that was part of the Shasu inhabiting the Land of Israel. The concept of Jews is so far from all this that we really can't make this big of a jump. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 23:09, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

The concept of Jews is indeed so far from all these if we are considering "Jews" as a religious designation only. But if considered as an ethnic designations as well, then all these would no more be irrelevant. What I believe works best here is to provide enough details in the article and give voice to all significant scholarly POVs. As it is, all reputable scholars agree that the Merneptah Stela mentions the presence of a people called Israel in geographic Palestine. But that's about as much as the agreement goes. EyeTruth (talk) 20:44, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
The debate on historicity of United Monarchy is not related to the existence of the people of Israel to whom this section refer. This people of Israel were likely polytheistic people, yet most of the scholars do relate them to Israelites. Israelites were according to overwhelming majority of population geneticists and historians the ancestors of modern Jews. The modern concept of ethnogenesis and nationhood is 19th century invention, yet that does not mean that modern people (for example Greeks) do not have their roots in ancient past.Tritomex (talk) 21:11, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure what point you're arguing. All the scholarly sources that I've seen admit that the relationship between the Stele and the later Israelites is a bit of a mystery (though only few will argue against it). I agree with Prinsgezinde, the jump that the lede is making is far too big. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 12:23, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Exactly to which scholars (and text) you refer? I am not aware of any reliable scholar who denies the relationship between the Israel Stele and Israelites, while the list of those who confirm it is very long.Tritomex (talk) 17:16, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
E.g., Whitelam 2000. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 18:07, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
In historic science there is a very strong consensus that the Israel stele do refer to Israelites-see the debate Hasel, Michael G (1998). Domination and Resistance: Egyptian Military Activity in the Southern Levant, 1300–1185 BC Page 197. I could name here at least 15 books and leading scholars on this question. As in all historic questions with possible political connotation, there are fringe views that are rejected by overwhelming majority. Israel Finkelstein who is certainly not a politically motivated historian, writes on this issue "It is conventional wisdom that each scholar works in a given ideological, philosophical and political environment. This is true for all European, US, Israeli and Arab writers, Edward Said and Keith Whitelam not excepted. The subjective environment threatens objectivity and excellence of scholarship. The question is whether a scholar dealing with the past can free himself from the burden of the present." --Tritomex (talk) 19:07, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Anyway, this is not the real issue. The issue is that one of the sources cited for the claim in the lede, Brenner, says that

Exactly what was then understood by the term "Israel" remains something of a mystery, but this inscription testifies to the existence of a group of people in Canaan designated by that name.

(I'm repeating myself.) QVVERTYVS (hm?) 19:50, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Qwertyus is right. Since there is no consensus on it it most certainly does not belong in the lead in its current wording. The dispute tag will have to remain until we find a solution. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 13:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hasel (1998, p. 215–217) also summarizes the state of affairs as a debate between four positions, without explicitly favoring any one of them or naming any as consensus. They range from "this Israel as the first evidence of early Israel as a socioethnic entity" to the position of Whitelam. The two positions in between are to give "cursory mention" of the stele while acknowledging that "it is difficult to link this with monarchical Israel", and to treat Merneptah's Israel as a geographic designation "either with or without a people named Israel".
A related problem is the "Ancient Egyptian Occupation of the Levant" mentioned later on. This seems to be taking the stance that the people of Israel/the Jews can be identified as a people during the period of the New Kingdom of Egypt, i.e., before 1077. But AFAIK, the archaeological record is silent until the tenth or ninth century BCE. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 12:00, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


Forgive me if I'm simply mistaken, but this article seems to neglect Jewish culture, unlike its treatment of Jewish history, ethnicity, and religion. I think it could greatly benefit from a "culture" section with subsections on things like cuisine as well as the fields mentioned in the lead. --Monochrome_Monitor 21:52, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

"Jews" is a very broad topic, so one article cannot cover the entirety of the topic. Thus, other more specific articles are linked, including links to Jewish culture, Jewish identity, and other related issues. The average reader will not have difficulty finding this information. Sundayclose (talk) 22:12, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Your'e not mistaken, the culture is absent and should be covered in a brief section of its own. Infantom (talk) 16:01, 25 January 2016 (UTC)


There's an updated source(per 2015) that includes the figure of ~17M under the "Population with Jewish parents" category. See [1] (page 25). Last consensus regarded the "Enlarged Jewish population". Infantom (talk) 14:14, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

I agree with Infantom, it seems perfectly factual to use the updated source. Jeppiz (talk) 15:06, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Why use that and not the explicit "The size of world Jewry at the beginning of 2014 was assessed at 14,212,800" from the same source? I don't have a preference either way, just want to hear the arguments. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 20:41, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
I guess it boils down to that never-ending question "Who is Jew?". Needless to say, there are millions of people who see themselves as Jewish, who are Jewish under Israel's Law of Return, but whom the Chief Rabbis of Israel do not consider Jewish. Any one number would force us to take side in that argument, better to report the span between the different views. Jeppiz (talk) 21:53, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
These people are not Jewish under Israel's Law of Return, they just have the right to emigrate to Israel and become citizens. But the law defining Who is a Jew in almost the same as the Rabbinate (there are a few differences). Benjil (talk) 16:10, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Whoho, Benjil, you are mixing up your terms. The Law of return say nothing about who is a Jew, only concerns the question who has the right to become a citizen of the State of Israel. Debresser (talk) 16:49, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
I never said that the Law of Return states who is a Jew, I said that the definition of who is a Jew according to the State of Israel is very close to the rabbinic definition (but slightly different).Benjil (talk) 07:35, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
We already talked about this! STOP RE-ADDING IT! It's in the freaking archive! @Sundayclose:
Last consensus was to exclude the "Enlarged Jewish population" which included "non Jews in Jewish households". Read the archive yourself! Your'e probably confused because of the new source with bigger numbers and, as usual, edit of your own accord. Infantom (talk) 23:35, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Monochrome, yes we talked about it and there was no consensus just as there is no consensus know. You're edit warring and shows signs of claiming ownership. I recommend you to drop it. If you have arguments, present them but stop shouting at other users to stop editing. Jeppiz (talk) 23:39, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not confused. There is no "new source", the reference box lists the same exact source with the same exact reasoning. @Jasphetamine: --Monochrome_Monitor 01:19, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Same source? now i see you didn't even bother to click on it. The new source(2014): Core Jewish population: 14,212,800, Population with Jewish parents: 17,236,850, Enlarged Jewish population: 20,109,400. the old source(2013- the one your are taking about): core: 13,854,800, Jewish parents: 15,772,800, enlarged: 18,197,400. see the difference? notice these are same figures that were discussed in the archive. And stop calling other editors, you are violating WP:CANVAS. Infantom (talk) 02:07, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
First off, Everyone needs to cool their jets about this. We're talking about a rough count of a complex demographic group. It isn't a huge deal. Population figures are never going to be terribly accurate or precise. They are always estimates. It is very hard to count humans. The enlarged number is not valid to use; by consensus, common sense, and by virtue of being called "enlarged" in the source cited. It isn't valid. Since a child born to a Jewish mother would be Jewish, and "Jewish parents" is plural which I'd take to mean both parents are Jewish, that number would seem to be the best one to use. In addition to that reasoning, it is the number in the middle. Those tend to be the safe bets. Ultimately I see no reason why the population field can't contain the word "Approximate" and use the middle of the road figure from the latest source. We're working on an encyclopedia, not an official census. We should use what would be most useful to someone looking up this subject. I feel that would be a rounded population figure from the middle three, which is 17,000,000 and clarified with "Approximate" just to be safe. I will make this change.
Infantom I certainly hope your allegations of WP:CANVAS aren't merely in response to me being pinged here. This page is on my watch list already. I care about this page being a good article, not about who gets their way. Jasphetamine (talk) 06:12, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
To clarify... I pinged (her/him)? Because of a prior discussion on my talk page about it which we had before it was changed. I pinged sundayclose because he/she was a part of the first discussion on this. --Monochrome_Monitor 16:00, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't think you can approximate it like that, it's probably synth. --Monochrome_Monitor 16:01, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Dear god it's worse than before now. --Monochrome_Monitor 16:03, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I see your argument though. Non Jews with Jewish parents are different from non-jews in jewish households, but still flawed. The people don't indentify as Jewish and no one in their household identified them as Jewish. --Monochrome_Monitor 16:07, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think if we can find a source, then "Approximately X" with X being a very round number would be best. Not sure it can be done this way from the current source, though. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 17:52, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

I don't think it is synth to round a number. If that is synth, then you can use the exact number from the source but keep approximately. Monochrome Monitor since this article opens by defining Jews as an "ethnoreligious" group that means we're not necessarily looking for a number representing people who identify as Jewish, but rather that Judaism says are Jews. That being their mother was a Jew. We're talking statistics here. To use myself as an example to try to explain my thinking, I do not identify as a feminist at all however I'd put women's rights in the top 3 social issues I care about. If someone was studying feminism and wanted to know how many feminists were in NYC, I'd count as one. You don't pick what demographic you are put in, the method of data collection and analysis does. Jasphetamine (talk) 20:21, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand why he's determined to use the largest estimate he can find. Most figures give 13.9-14.2 million, and so should we. It's silly to use a definition of Jewish that Jews don't use. --Monochrome_Monitor 01:10, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
If we are going to use a range I think we should do 14.2-16.5 million. 14.2 are people identifying as jewish and 16.5 are people with one jewish parent. But it's quite silly to just give a high estimate. [2] --Monochrome_Monitor 01:14, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Wait a minute. After reading it I noticed that people with a Jewish parent who do not identify as Jewish and do not profess another religion are included in the core population. This must mean that "people with a jewish parent" includes people who don't identify as Jewish and identify as a different ethnicity and religion, thus they shouldn't be included.

Definitions provided: Core Jewish population: Includes all persons who, when asked, identify themselves as Jews, or, if the respondent is a different person in the same household, are identified by him/her as Jews; and do not have another religion. Also includes persons with a Jewish parent who claim no current religious or ethnic identity. "people with a Jewish parent": Sum of (a) core Jewish population; (b) persons reported as partly Jewish; and (c) all others not currently Jewish with a Jewish parent. They don't necessarily even identify as partly Jewish. In contrast, the 16.5 estimate only considers people who consider themselves partly Jewish. --Monochrome_Monitor 01:48, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm not opposed to including a broader estimate at all. I just think it's silly that people who do not identify as Jewish, are not identified by anyone in there family as Jewish, and consider themselves to be a different ethnicity or religion, would be considered Jewish because a parent is. --Monochrome_Monitor 01:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I think unless someone does the legwork to get inside how these numbers came up there is no reason for us to keep worrying about it. We should either pick a nice safe number in the middle of the range that is approximately the population, or we should remove that section of the infobox. There is no reason to keep worrying about this issue. We know approximately how many Jews are out there. We have a source. We stipulate it is not an exact figure in the infobox. This isn't an article about polling ethics or data manipulation. Come on lets just lock something in and leave it until better data comes out in a year or two.Jasphetamine (talk) 02:03, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
@Monochrome Monitor: The middle number was a lie. I used the CIA world factbook and my TI-83+ and according to the US Gov't you were right to push for the lower number. The CIA puts world population at 14 million. I think the infobox should be "Approximately 14,000,000" and I think the CIA is a pretty great source to have for settling this whole thing. Yah? Jasphetamine (talk) 02:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I have a TI-84 plus silver :D I think the figure should be listed as approx 14 million, but the 16.5 part should at least be mentioned in the reference box. But if we are going to summarize the data 14.2 million works. --Monochrome_Monitor 03:08, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
The number is not a "lie", that's an estimation that includes also ancestry(which is also used in other ethnic groups articles such as English, Italians, Russians..). Moreover you're ignoring Reforms and conservatives definitions that counts at least one parent. It's impossible to know the number of Jews outside of Israel and i can't see why the CIA is a better source than the demographic study we already have (Actually, i won't be surprised if it is based on such studies). Why is that obsession to determine such a controversial matter and not represent a range of estimations and let the readers to make their own conclusions? Infantom (talk) 03:49, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
But for english, italians, russians, they identify as having italian ancestry. These people don't identify as jewish ethnically or religiously. --Monochrome_Monitor 04:54, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
The CIA is a better source because not only is it within the range we'd already established, it only has two significant digits and we can cite that figure so there is no WP:SYNTH issue with saying "14,000,000." Look dude, a population is not a range unless the people involved are nomadic or something. It is a damn number. We got two sources that both point to using 14,000,000. Both are good. Why not let readers make their own conclusions? You open an encyclopedia specifically to get access to other peoples' opinions! Besides, since readers can edit, why not let them just write their conclusions into the article? Oh wait, that is WP:SYNTH. Oh, also buddy I didn't mean the middle number was actually a lie intended to deceive; it is a saying. "Numbers lie." "The G train is a lie." It is called hyperbole. Jasphetamine (talk) 04:59, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Monochrome Monitor, 1)how do you know they identify as such? it is not mentioned in the articles 2)People's ancestry is a fact, their self identification is irrelevant. Jasphetamine, how exactly presenting the full picture from a single source is SYNTH? quiet the opposite. The Jewish population is indeed a range, as it includes several definitions of a scattered people. You suggest writing your conclusion, i suggest to copy directly from a demographic study. Infantom (talk) 12:29, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
You forgot a colon in this reply and you stated something I wrote was "quiet the opposition. That aside, I agree completely with your last statement above: I suggest we copy it from a demographic study. I have said this over and over in the 24 hours -- the demographic study conducted by an organization with unlimited funds, expert staff, and unrestricted access to any data they want to have from anywhere in the world. Result: 0.2% of seven billion people are Jewish, which is 14,000,000. The infobox should say that. Since you agree I'll make the edit. Jasphetamine (talk) 23:23, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree that the figure should be around 14 millions and not include people who do not define themselves as Jews. Benjil (talk) 07:36, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

United Monarchy[edit]

As noted by Prinsgezinde, above, Brenner notes that there is no evidence for the existence of a Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), and our article on the topic cites further historians and archaeologists who have come to the same conclusion. Yet, the Origins section presents its existence as established fact. This needs to be resolved. We can either do the same as with the Exodus narrative, explain that the United Monarchy's existence is not taken for granted anymore, or find a new formulation that avoids the issue so as not to overburden the section with controversies. Thoughts? QVVERTYVS (hm?) 17:13, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps make it more clear where historical fact ends. While unproven religious claims are typically well footnoted in this article, they are often intermingled with actual fact making them very difficult to separate. This is not ideal. Lexlex (talk) 20:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for taking initiative. I'd say we could indeed go into more detail in the Origins section, so long as the lead accurately yet concisely reflects the issue. I agree though that overburdening it won't help. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 22:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The lede doesn't mention the United Monarchy. It jumps from the Merneptah stele to the two-state situation. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 13:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)