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Jewish ethnicity, nationhood and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the Kingdom of Israel, and the Kingdom of Judah.

In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility.

Some people, however, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own.

the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian Captivity and Exile, to Babylonian Captivity and Exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and Exile, and the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history, identity and memory.In addition to issues with census methodology, disputes among proponents of halakhic, secular, political, and ancestral identification factors regarding who is a Jew may affect the figure considerably depending on the source.Israel is the only country where Jews form a majority of the population.Since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, most Jews have lived in diaspora.Genetic studies on Jews show that most Jews worldwide bear a common genetic heritage which originates in the Middle East, and that they bear their strongest resemblance to the peoples of the Fertile Crescent.