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The Jews settle in Babylonia. There are some attempts to remember Zion and Jerusalem, attempts to come back, but overall they remain in exile.

52 years after the destruction of the Temple is the story of Purim- almost the genocide of the Jewish people.

The Persians conquer Babylonia and there arises a Persian emperor by the name of Cyrus the Great who gives permission for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem.

Few Jews came back, less than 10%, because they were comfortable in Babylonia.

For the Jews who came back under Zerubavel and others, the land was difficult and the political climate was difficult.

The people in the land, especially in Jerusalem, were the Samaritans. The Samaritans were “semi-Jews”, they were a mixture of Jewish and idolatry. They violently opposed the Temple being built.

However, two great people- Ezra and Nehemia arrive on the scene to fix the situation.

Ezra sparks the religious/spiritual revival of the Jewish people, while Nehemia sparks the physical revival (with an army, materials, etc.)

The Samaritans are defeated, and the Second Temple rises. It is at first vastly different from the first Temple. Physically, it lacked the expensive materials and beauty- and Spiritually, it lacked the same level of miracles which existed in the First Temple.

Still, it is a Temple, and the Jewish people are allowed to continue and build the house of G-d according to Jewish Tradition.

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