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Pre-Zionist Jewish Life in Israel

Despite defeat and mass exile, Jewish life in Israel continued. By the 9th Century, when Israel was under Muslim rule, large Jewish communities were established in Jerusalem and Tiberias, and growing communities were apparent in Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea. Over the following centuries, numerous Jews, including scholars and rabbis, returned to Israel. A strong Jewish presence was apparent in Safed in the 1500s, where the study of Kabbalah flourished. By the mid-1800s, some 8 000 Jews resided in Jerusalem, comprising a majority of the city’s population.