Reading an article about trauma in Jewish history I found the term "Yehud" (in addition to other terms) indicating the society, culture or community, for instance [1]:

Jeremiah W. Cataldo "Memory , Trauma and Identity in Ezra–Nehemiah"

[...] The exile is redefined as a collective trauma - Ezra-Nehemiah's cause of conviction - for the golah community and not the Am Ha'arets or even directly those Judeans remaining in Babylon. It provides the basis for legitimation of golah collective identity as that of a group predisposed to social-political authority within Yehud [...].

Is this a proper term for the historic Jewish community (in interfaith discussions or writings)? This question references the term; but, does not dig into its meaning or connotation.

*[update, on request] Disclaimer: I've not yet an opinion on it, the cite doesn't mean that I share or oppose the view/approach of the author

Here is the opening of the article:

Ruth Leys’s theory on trauma and memory, when used as a heuristic device, reveals qualities of Ezra–Nehemiah that frame the text as an autotelic response to a constructed, or fabricated, on the part of Ezra–Nehemiah, form of ‘survivor’s guilt’. While the experiences of the exiles helped shape the community’s collective identity, the events themselves, while important, were not the primary bases for golah identity. It was, as Leys’s theory on responses to trauma as identity narratives helps clarify, the golah community’s experience in Yehud that resulted in its internally legitimated response of identity. This response, the intent of which served to mobilize collective identity, supported a central belief that a restored ‘Israel’ was the end-goal of the experiences of the Judean exiles. Read this way, Ezra–Nehemiah exposes itself as [...]"

Also I remembered the link now. It was (a preprint?) at "academia.edu", see here: https://www.academia.edu/5787739/Memory_Trauma_in_Ezra-Nehemiah


  1. Article in "Methods , Theories , Imagination - Social Scientific Approaches in Biblical Studies (2014)" , see book table of contents and commercial info
  • 1
    The question you linked to does reference Yehud and provides a link to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehud_Medinata
    – avi
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 10:00
  • Hmm, do you want to say, that the author talks about that province only? (I was thinking that the article concerns the whole community as the bible writes about it - then I must have a gross misunderstanding here) Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 10:05
  • The paragraph is too small for me to understand what he is trying to say, but it sounds like he is trying to distinguish between the Jews who returned to Israel and had a community within Israel/Yehud and those who stayed back in the main babylonian cities within the province of babylon. All while only using the names of locations as named by the governing body during that time.
    – avi
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 10:08
  • 2
    This appears to be off-topic, as it's about Jews and not Judaism.
    – msh210
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 14:02
  • @msh210 : I'm a bit surprised, especially in view of the link to the other question which I'd found - it could have been a specific term/have a specific meaning in judaism (my original question was "Is the term 'Yehud' somehow conversational or scientific or generic for the (ancient[?]) hebrew community?"). But please feel free to "close" the question, I've already pondered to "delete" it at all after having arrived at the feeling, that I had not really understood the focus of the article with the first reading. Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


"Yehud" is an odd word choice in some ways, but just fine in other ways. In the context cited, it's used correctly to refer to the Babylonian-controlled province.

The words Yehud, Yehuda, Judah, Judea, and Jew all basically mean the same thing, though often refer to slightly different things depending on the context.

It basically refers to the Southern Kingdom of Israel which consisted of two tribes, Yehuda and Benjamin, as well as some members of the tribe of Levi. Also known as the Kingdom of Yehuda, Yehud, or Judea.

It is not a good choice if referring to all 12 tribes in ancient times, but is just fine if speaking specifically of the Kingdom of Judah or the Babylonian-controlled province.

  • I understand now, that it is nearest to "Judea" here; I've still a vague feeling, that the author want to mean more than the geographical region (and its inhabitants) but well ... the more I read the article the less I'm inclined to put this question deeper. Thanks for the help and "accepted" to close the case ( ah, and thanks to @Lee for having nicely cleaned up my question) Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 12:07
  • In the late biblical period, you'd refer to a Jew as a "yehudi" or the Jews as "the yehudim."
    – Shalom
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 13:57
  • This is just a common scholarly convention. See my answer, below. Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 20:22

This is actually a scholarly convention. In modern English academic literature about ancient Israel and Judah, the pre-exilic Southern kingdom is referred to as "Judah." During the Persian period, when we talk about the place to which the Jewish communities returned (think Ezra and Nehemiah), we call this geographical entity "Yehud." And finally, during the Hellenistic period on (I don't know when this changes in late antique scholarship), we refer to the land as "Judea."

In this particular case, since the author is discussing the Persian period, he follows the common convention and refers to "Yehud" as the place in which the golah and ʕam hāʔāreṣ live.

  • Thanks @jackweinbender for your information! I'll also look at the article again. Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 6:41

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