In the 6th-century BC, the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah. They tore down the city walls, burned the temples, and ran down every person who tried to escape. The few survivors were dragged out of their homeland and forced to live in Babylon as vassals to the men who butchered their children.
And yet, when the Jews in exile won their freedom, most of them didn’t leave. They stayed in Babylon – and kept a thriving community that lasted for more than 2,000 years.