"Diaspora is a Greek word for a Jewish condition". Thus begins Dan Diner's foreword (alas, in German) to Doron Mendeles and Arye Edrei's very important new book Zweierlie Diaspora: Zur Spaltung der antiken juedischen Welt. I'll talk about the book someday, but that first sentence is arresting on its own. Back in the Helenic world, people lived where they were supposed to live; a nation living in dispersal while remaining a nation was odd enough to require a word be invented to contain the thought.
Later the word took on many additional meanings, of course, but that initial condition is of great significance. More than 2,000 years ago the Jews were already doing things differently from everybody else.
Old habits die hard. Ancient ones, it seems, don't die at all.