History: Modern Times – to 1880
MODERN TIMES – TO 1880Introduction
Dawn of the Enlightenment
Influence of Mercantilist Absolutism on Jewish Status
Enlightened Absolutism and the "Betterment of the Jews"
Arguments for Toleration
Egalitarianism and Emancipation in the U.S.
The French Revolution
Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Sanhedrin
The Congress of Vienna and Romantic Reaction in Germany
Emancipation in Germany and England
Period of the Polish Partitions
Incorporation into Russia
Economic and Social Developments in Western and Central Europe after Emancipation
Migration Trends from the End of the 18th Century
The East European Shtetl
Divergences in Jewish Society in the West and East of Europe
Radical Trends in Eastern Europe
Religious and Cultural Differentiation
Organization of Mutual Assistance on an International Scale
Trends in Religious Reform
Modern Manifestations of Anti-Jewish Prejudice
Jewish Life in Ereẓ Israel
Several changes in political and social theories in Christian society, as well in the political structure of Europe, combined to usher in modern times for the Jews, though they were not concerned primarily with these developments. The centralization of the state that began in the France of Richelieu and Mazarin spread gradually, both in fact and in theory, to most of the states in Europe. In its progress the new disposition of relations between the state and those living on its territory caused many changes, for both good and evil, in the position of the Jews and their legal status. The centralist state created, by its very nature, an aversion to particularism in any shape, whether organizational, legal, or cultural. It opposed, above all, the corporations as the essence of the old feudal, uncentralized, state. Everything standing between the sovereign and the individual was now considered not only a barrier, but a sin. Whereas, in medieval kingdoms, the Jewish community was but one in a network of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies, which were then considered the skeleton of the body politic, it now appeared one of the most obnoxious, because persistent, manifestations of egoistic group-will against the all-inclusive rights of the state. As the centralist state also opposed local dialects and customs, the Jewish community was doubly obnoxious, for it was a corporation devoted to a separate culture, way of life, language, and religion. Many of the clashes between the state and the Jews in modern times, many of the misunderstandings between Jews and some of their best friends, were the result of this basic antagonism between iron centralism and the unflinching Jewish will for autonomy.
Centralization demanded one law for all in the state and by its very nature opposed the existence of different legal statuses for different groups living in one state. When centralization was later combined with egalitarian trends, this added a raison d'état to political philosophy, and thus made legal equality for the Jews a logical as well as a political necessity for a centralist, egalitarian state.
The disfavor into which corporations had fallen and their rapid disintegration were also hastened by economic developments. That meant, for the Jews in the cities, the weakening and disappearance of social and economic bodies fundamentally inimical to Jews because of their Christian foundations and their long tradition of excluding Jews from trade and crafts and of hatred toward them. The forces working against the corporations also opposed on the ethical and conceptual level the corporative medieval spirit that abhorred competition and innovation. The break-up of the corporations unstopped the dam that had long held up individual energies; Jews benefited from this moral revolution as did other restricted individuals.
As with many other changes to be encountered in modern times, the change in status of the corporation had ambivalent effects for Jews. It bettered their economic and social opportunities and weakened the social elements that were the main carriers of hostility toward them. On the other hand, it made Jewish national semi-independence, and social and cultural creativity, antiquated and offensive. Centralization meant, on the whole, abolition of inequalities, but it also meant suppression of particularities. Jewish society found itself in the new modern state facing the break-up of its national, religious, and social cohesion in exchange for the benefit of material and individual gains. At this time it seemed – to those Christians who, because of general social trends, interested themselves in the lot of the Jews – that the dissolution of a separate Jewish framework and absorption into the general body of the state were a matter of time, and of a short time only. In countries where the centralist trends were strongest, in continental Western and Central Europe (apart from the Netherlands and England), the Jews numbered several thousand at the most in one state. As general cultural and spiritual currents were moving in the same direction, only "people fighting the trend of history" seemed to be making the foolish attempt to oppose them.
The 18th century also witnessed the dawn of the great ahistorical school of the Enlightenment. This saw men in the abstract, as disembodied individuals only; national culture and religious separateness were so many "coats of paint." The pasthad no compelling force; only the present mattered, and this could be improved and perfected by the use of reason. In the application of this theory, writers and ideologists of the cast of *Voltaire did not dream of abandoning French as a vehicle of expression or the basic French values of life. They were more anti-Christian than anti-national. Many of them developed a hatred of Judaism as the matrix of Christianity. Though extremely individualistic in theory, many of them searched for another parentage or anchorage than the Jewish for their culture. This prompted the 18th-century flirtation with the Far East, and the latter-day anti-Jewish tinge to their admiration for the Greek past. Many criticized the Old Testament with the old anti-Jewish odium to which was now added the goal of discrediting Christianity. In the Enlightenment, as in the trend toward centralization and against the corporations, Jewish society met an attitude that was favorably inclined toward the individual Jew while inimical toward his traditions and social cohesion. The demand for disavowal of nationality on rationalist grounds meant in practice for the Jew acceptance of French or German or some other national culture instead of his own. This groping between extreme individualism in theory and national assimilation in practice had already become, by the end of the 18th century, the source of some of the greatest individual successes as well as of the most distressing tragedies in Jewish existence in modern times.
New economic views, in particular mercantilism, combined with an even greater and more radical expression of the centralist state – first absolutism and, later on in the 18th century, enlightened absolutism – to create differing approaches to Jewish legal status and Jewish economic activity. The mercantilist and absolutist ruler of the early 18th century looked at every increase in population as desirable, so long as and on the condition that it served economic progress. This progress was no longer measured by agrarian standards. The growth of industry and trade, the increment of precious metals, and coin circulation in the state were now valuable goals.
The type of economic activity practiced by Jews had thus, by the 18th century and even earlier, begun to exert an influence in social economic theory and practice. At the same time political theory with regard to Jews had not yet changed in ruling circles, where they were hated and despised as before. As this combination of economic innovation and political conservatism with regard to Jews existed mainly in the countries of Central and Western Europe, where the Jewish population was relatively small, it created a new approach for the treatment of the Jews.
This approach aimed mainly at having as many "useful" Jews in the state as possible – "useful" in this connotation meaning a rich Jew who could help the industrial and commercial development of the country through his activity. Such a Jew must be made to contribute the maximum possible to the state treasury; this extortion sometimes took curious turns of invention, as in the case of the Judenporzellan in *Prussia, so called because Jews were obliged to buy a certain quantity of porcelain wares on the occasion of their weddings in order to promote directly the development of this industry.
At the same time it was the policy of the absolutist ruler to ensure that the economic opportunities and well-being afforded to the useful Jew for the sake of the state should not result in the calamity of an increasing Jewish population. Jews therefore had to register officially, and their weddings were supervised (see, e.g., *Familiants Laws). A "protected" or "privileged" Jew on these principles could not transfer his rights to all his children but only to one of them. The others had to apply for rights for themselves, granted for a proper payment only if they were considered useful in their own right. Otherwise they were demoted to the status of the unprivileged, unprotected Jew who always faced the threat of expulsion and had usually to pay piecemeal for continuing his existence in the state. The 1750 Prussian regulation for Jews embodies systematically and in detail the execution of these principles.
This situation contributed to accelerate the fragmentation of Jewish society. The privileged Jew became richer, the unprivileged one, poorer. The first went into trade and finance operations on a large scale, with the state's blessing. The unprivileged Jew had either to earn his livelihood as an official or servant of a privileged Jew or to eke out his living precariously as a peddler or a moneylender on pawn in the old style. As this situation became a rule in many principalities of Germany in particular, it put for the Jew a premium on enrichment and economic initiative as the only means of bettering his lot and obtaining some type of broader acceptance by the state. Combined with the former structure of the Court Jews, it led during the 18th century to unprecedented variegation in economic Jewish activity, in particular among the richer strata, hand in hand with an unprecedented social and cultural differentiation in Jewish society. As most of the communities thus affected lacked strong continuous traditions, this being the result of the multiple expulsions in the German Empire from the 16th century onward, disintegration proceeded unchecked by cultural strength. With the development of the *Landjudenschaften type of communal leadership, the influence of the Court Jew and of the rich Jew grew, while estrangement between him and poorer Jews also became proportionately greater.
In the Netherlands and southern France (*Bordeaux, *Nantes) there was another line of cleavage – between the more prosperous Sephardi Jew, who was more acculturated to the host society, and the less well-to-do and less acculturated Ashkenazi Jews in these countries, in particular in France, where the line of division had also a regional character, most of the Ashkenazi Jews being concentrated in *Alsace and *Lorraine.
Enlightened absolutism added another element to the former attitude of mercantilist absolutism toward Jews. This aimed at the "betterment of the Jews" so as to make them less "harmful" to general society – for whose weal the enlightened absolutist ruler felt himself responsible – as well as to prepare them gradually for increased rights and better conditions if and when they might deserve them. The tolerance edict of Emperor *Josephii issued in Austria in 1782 embodies the most systematic attempt to carry out this policy in relation to Jews. It continued the attempts to hold down their numbers, though granting them a few alleviations in the field of economic activity, while setting out a whole system of measures aimed at their "education" through their linguistic and social *assimilation and curtailment of their unproductive economy.
At the same time, several circles of intellectuals and sectarian divines of the 16th to 18th centuries developed more intensely and more consequentially the approach to real toleration and a different appreciation of the Jew and his status. Jewish apologetics of this period found a more appreciative reception in these circles. Typical and most systematic of such innovators was John *Toland of England. In his Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland, On the same foot with all other Nations, Containing also, A Defence of the Jews against All Vulgar Prejudices in all Countries (1714), he relies expressly on the work of Simone Luzzatto, which he promises to translate into English. He uses many mercantilist arguments in favor of the Jews. Toland is ironic toward the anti-Jewish Christian hierarchy, applying a new twist to an old Reformation accusation against the Christian hierarchy that it derived its hieratic and hierarchical spirit from the precedents of Jewish priesthood. In the spirit of upholding the "betterment of the Jews" he promises that they will achieve productivization after they had been granted rights. Even Toland was not ready to permit them to hold state office, though he was prepared to see them as officials in the municipality and the bourse. He adduces
Those whole streets of magnificent buildings that the Jews have erected at Amsterdam and The Hague: but there are other Jews now in the World to adorn London or Bristol with the like, the fifth part of the People in Poland (to name no other country) being of this Nation … (ibid., 17)
as an argument for encouraging Jewish settlement, in which mercantilist considerations are combined with a novel appreciation of the masses of the Jewish population, not only a few of them.
Presaging a different attitude toward Jewish culture and the Jewish fate, his words express a new attitude:
Tis true, that in Turky they enjoy immoveable property, and exercise mechanic arts: they have likewise numerous Academies in Poland, where they study in the Civil and Canon Laws of their nation, being privileg'd to determine even certain criminal Causes among themselves: yet they are treated little better than Dogs in the first place, and often expos'd in the last to unspeakable Calamities (ibid., 43).
This acceptance of Jewish learning and a Jewish autonomous judiciary as positive factors still had long to wait before they were appreciated even among friends of the Jews in the 19th century. Toland was representative in this connection of the positive religious attitudes held by small Christian sects in Western Europe toward Jews and Judaism and which are often overlooked in the general picture of the change of attitude to Jews. Typical of this approach and its innovatory, almost prophetic, view of Jewish potentialities are his words in a letter to a friend in 1709:
Now if you'll suppose with me this pre-eminence and immortality of the mosaic republic in its original purity, it will follow; that, as the Jews known at this day, and who are dispers'd over Europe, Asia, and Africa, with some few in America, are found by good calculation to be more numerous than either the Spaniards (for example) or the French: So if they ever happen to be resettl'd in Palestine upon their original foundation, which is not at all impossible; they will then, by reason of their excellent constitution, be much more populous, rich, and powerful than any other nation now in the world. I would have you consider, whether it be not both the interest and duty of Christians to assist them in regaining their country … (Appendix 1, to his Nazarenus (1718), 8).
Pro-Jewish argumentation proceeded along the main line of enlightenment reasoning in Germany. Its principal and most influential spokesmen were Christian Wilhelm von *Dohm and Gotthold Ephraim *Lessing. In a series of literary works – his drama Die Juden, his Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts, and most influential and celebrated of all, his Nathan der Weise – Lessing put the case for treatment of Jews as equals in humanity on the basis of deistic conceptions of religion and enlightenment conceptions of nationality and mankind. His parable of the "Three Rings" became famous as expressing the basic similarity of all monotheistic religions. Lessing did not defend Jewish separate existence, he defended the right of the individual Jew to be treated like a human being, despite his religion and outward appearance. Lessing was influenced in this, like Dohm later, by the personality and views of Moses *Mendelssohn. Dohm in his work proposed achieving the betterment of the Jews with a clearly defined aim toward improvement of their condition.
The impact of Moses Mendelssohn represented an old-new type of Jewish encounter with the host society, unfamiliar in Germany. As a scholar in the employment of a rich Jew, his position was very similar to that of the scholars in the retinue of the Jewish courtiers in Spain. Mendelssohn met intellectuals as an intellectual, men of enlightenment as a leader in the enlightenment philosophy. He put the case not of the material "usefulness" of a Jew but of his cultural usefulness. Defending the separation of Church and State, and defining Torah as a social constitution or Jewish national law, he presented a Jewish approach toward *enlightenment. There were several families in his Berlin circle who were more radical in their efforts to achieve practical assimilation. Some of them despised the Jewish faith and culture. The readiness of Christians of high social and cultural standing to meet individual Jews as equals, and the refusal of the enlightened absolutist state to grant rights even to "enlightened" Jews, created conditions of social temptation and psychological pressure to leave the faith and become apostates. This was the beginning of the considerable trend toward apostasy, which at the end of the 18th century and during the 19th was to take away more than 200,000 Jews from Judaism in Europe.
The *United States of America opened a totally different line of approach to the Jews. In the new land, uncontaminated by traditions of oppressive practice toward Jews, where many sectarians appreciated the model of the "Mosaic republic" for their own society, *emancipation of the Jews came as part of the independence and liberation of the American states. Despite former partial limitations included in the constitutions of the former colonies, the new states accepted equality of peoples of all religions as a matter of principle and of fact. The views of the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, in the 17th century were thus fulfilled. Some social discrimination and several remaining legal disabilities were quickly removed during the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. Thus 1776 is a date not only in United States history but also in Jewish history marking the first emancipation as a matter of general policy.
With the growth of revolutionary sentiment after the American Revolution, many people were prepared to regard the equality of the Jews as a test case for the application of egalitarianism as a guideline for political and social life. Yet the *French Revolution did not grant immediately, or as a self-understood matter, equality of rights to Jews. Despite the preparatory work accomplished by the historiography of Jacques *Basnage and the works of Abbé *Grégoire, the hostile tradition of public opinion toward Jews was still very strong in France. In the long and complicated discussions and legal enactments that took place between 1789 and 1791 an important role was played by the fact that many in France were ready to grant – and indeed granted – rights to the "good" Sephardi Jews of the south, while they were reluctant to grant similar grants to the "uncivilized" Jews of Alsace-Lorraine. Jewish emancipation met here – not for the first time in history, but for the first time in the course of emancipation in modern times – with the fact that the egalitarian principle is dependent upon popular sentiment, and often these do not coincide in regard to the attitude toward Jews.
Final emancipation was carried through in the end as a matter of revolutionary logic by Robespierre and his followers in 1791. The same logic demanded that emancipation be granted only to Jews as individuals – which, spelled out in practice, meant only to Jews ready and willing to leave their own culture and identify and to assimilate into the French – and not to Jews as members of a separate nation.
The tensions and complexities underlying emancipation in a country with an old anti-Jewish tradition were brought into sharp relief under Emperor *Napoleon Bonaparte. On the one hand, he carried on the tradition of the French republican revolutionary armies, which had brought equality to Jews in the Netherlands, in Italy, and in German cities and principalities. On the other hand, Napoleon sensed the historic unity and character of the Jews and disliked their independent spirit. He was also sensitive to the disturbing problem of Jewish moneylending as it had emerged in Alsace-Lorraine. He therefore turned to ancient notions of creating a semi-representative type of leadership for Jews as an instrument for carrying out his objectives concerning them. In 1806 he convened an *Assembly of Jewish Notables and later on created a *Sanhedrin to give religious sanction to the answers of the Assembly to the questions put to it by his emissaries. The two institutions, constituted of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews from France, Italy, and Germany, accepted the main demands of the centralist empire while striving to keep as far as possible within the framework of Jewish law and tradition. The Sanhedrin's decisions of 1807 to a large extent provide an explanation of Jewish customs and morals in terms understandable to French Bonapartist society. They cover much legal ground, and, without explicitly departing from the basis of messianic hope and Jewish national cohesion, make patriotism to the present-day state "the religious duty of all Jews who were born or who settled in a state, or who are so considered according to the laws and conditions of the state to regard this state as their fatherland" (["… de regarder le dit Etat comme sa patrie]" from Décisions Doctrinales du Grand Sanhédrin qui s'est tenu à Paris au mois d'Adar Premier, l'an de la Création 5567 (Fevrier 1807), Sous les Auspices de Napoléon-Le-Grand, Avec la traduction littérale du texte Français en Hébreu (1812), 42).
While exacting this declaration of French patriotism from Jewish notables and rabbis, Napoleon prepared a series of laws which in practice limited the equality of Jews before the law. Demanding from the Jews the full consequence of emancipation, he denied them part of its content. It is a historical irony that Napoleon's decrees against the Jews lapsed through their non-renewal by the Restoration Bourbon regime.
In the west of Europe Jewish status did not deteriorate after the downfall of Napoleon: the struggle for the full emancipation of the Jews in England went on in a relatively tranquil atmosphere, while the Netherlands, and *Belgium which separated from it in 1830, retained Jewish emancipation. In France, after the lapse of the Napoleonic decrees in 1818, the condition of the Jews continued to improve. In 1831 the state began to pay salaries to rabbis; in 1846 the last minor legal disabilities for Jews were abolished through the influence of Adolphe *Crémieux, a French Jewish statesman who obtained in 1870 a decree conferring equality on the Jews of Algeria.
The Congress of Vienna and Romantic Reaction in Germany
In Germany there were different developments. The Romantic reaction against revolutionary rationalism reasserted in modern terms the validity of old Christian assumptions against the equality of the Jews. The Congress of *Vienna refused to ratify the rights of the Jews acquired under the Napoleonic conquest: the implications of the proposal concerning their rights "in" German cities and states were changed by substituting ratification of laws granted "by" German cities and states. Even worse was the reaction of public sentiment. Respectable philosophers deliberated on the impossibility of Jews being citizens of a historic Christian state. Vulgar publicists like Hartwig *Hundt-Radowsky advised expulsion of the Jews, vilified their character, and hinted that their murder would be no more than a minor transgression. The so-called *Hep! Hep! disturbances against Jews that occurred in Germany in 1819 were but a violent expression of this reactionary movement. The equality of Jews in German society was actually hindered by deep-rooted popular prejudice against them. Their legal equality was much delayed and complicated by the fact that even their friends were divided into those who demanded, as in the 18th century, their assimilation and "betterment of character" as a precondition to the equality of individual Jews, and those who saw emancipation as a precondition to assimilation and "betterment of character."
Typical of modern German society was the attitude of German radicals to "Die Judenfrage" ("the Jewish question"). Feuerbach and his disciples carried over the 18th-century enmity to Jews on the grounds of their religion and prejudices. Bruno *Bauer actually demanded their Christianization before any acceptance of Jews into society. Karl *Marx considered Judaism evil, and Mammon the Jewish God. He differs from Bauer in considering that Jews could be emancipated legally while remaining as themselves in society because, as he formulated it, capitalist society is becoming "Judaized." Social emancipation would come only in a revolutionary society where there is neither Judaism nor Christianity and the historical trend of "capitalist Judaization" is stopped and reversed. Until then Marx considered it axiomatic that the Jewish religion include contempt of theory, of art, of history, and of man as a goal in itself: "The social emancipation of the Jew means the emancipation of society from Judaism." This scion of the Jewish people thus despised past Jewish creativity and tradition, declaiming in a prophetic tone against the culture of the Jews.
Jewish emancipation was achieved in German states as a result of various legal enactments, their retraction, and their reenactment throughout most of the 19th century (see *Bavaria, *Prussia), while German society, in particular its higher echelons, did not accept Jews during this period. In England Jewish emancipation was completed through a struggle for the abolition of Christian formulas in the oath upon taking a seat in parliament or entering public office. Radical opinion in England was much more prepared for the granting of full religious equality than in France. The Welsh philosopher Richard Price criticized paragraph 10 of the French "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" of 1789 because of its rider to religious equality – "provided his avowal of them does not disturb the public order established by the law." In his view this was mistaken: "For it is obvious that in Turkey, writing against Mahomet; in Spain, against the Inquisition; and in every country, against its established doctrines, is a disturbance of public order established by law; and therefore, according to this article, punishable." He would have enacted the right of man "also to discuss freely by speaking, writing, and publishing all speculative points, provided he does not by any overt act or direct invasion of the rights of others …" (from his appendix to "A Discourse on the Love of Our Country," 1789). This historical tradition of the recognition of separate entities as equal, and not of individuals only, was to find expression in the whole approach to the "Jewish Question" in England as well as in the United States. When the historian *Macaulay in 1833 supported the proposal to abolish Jewish disabilities, he based his case not only on actual situations and abstract principles, but also to a large degree on the glorious Jewish past which guarantees a great future for the Jews as emancipated citizens in any state (see also *Apologetics). He did not demand of Jews that they should give up their messianic belief. He equated it with the Christian millennarian belief in the coming redemption. When at last Lionel Nathan *Rothschild was enabled to take his seat in Parliament in 1858 as a professing Jew, the struggle for Jewish emancipation in England closed in accordance with principles laid down long ago by sectarian forces and ideals.
The changes in Jewish life, culture, and status in Western and Central Europe that had resulted through the impact of economic and cultural processes at work in general society with implications for the Jews, and the entry of Jews supported by the interests and aims of the host societies into various economic and social functions, influenced relatively small numbers of Jews. In Eastern Europe the changes resulted from political and social upheavals that influenced masses of Jews, mainly in the direction of evolving new systems and developments of their old culture and society. The partitions of Poland-Lithuania (1772, 1793, 1795) between Austria, Russia, and Prussia broke up the greatest Jewish concentration of Europe into three parts, disconnecting old lines of communication and severing long-established relations between communities in towns and regions. The political and spiritual turmoil into which Polish society was thrown preceding the partitions, and the revolt led by Kościuszko against the partitions and its failure, raised, among a host of other problems, the Jewish question too.
The growing importance of the Christian third estate at the time of the death throes of Poland-Lithuania was an adverse factor for the Jews. On the other hand the economic importance of the Jews there and the egalitarian principles penetrating from the West began to work for Jewish equality. How to achieve the "betterment" of the Jews and their "productivization" became themes of some importance about this time in some circles of both Polish and Jewish society. Their effects on relations between Jews and Poles for the time being were doomed to remain theoretical considerations only. The status of the Jewish masses of former Poland-Lithuania was to be determined from now on by powers influenced by totally alien traditions of treatment and attitude toward Jews.
Russia, which obtained the lion's share of the Jewish population, had had no Jews under its rule since the 15th century, when the "Judaizing" movement caused such a scare that Jews had been totally excluded from the country. In campaigns before 1772 the Russian armies would drown Jews or kill them in other ways in cities they had taken. This could not be done with the vast masses of Jews she now acquired. Of the other powers, both Prussia and Austria were already dedicated to the mercantilist-absolutist system of discriminating between individual Jews and controlling their population. Both were now confronted by large numbers of Jews, the majority of whom were poor and whose demographic growth could not be stopped.
Empress *Catherineii was prepared to see the Jews as an integral part of the town population in the newly acquired districts, and she defined their legal status as such, granting them even the right to vote for municipalities. This almost immediately created difficulties: the Russian autocratic government did not permit townsmen to settle in villages; yet, many Jews were living in them. To this was added the aim of the now politically dispossessed Polish nobility to take over the place the Jews had filled in the economy of the villages. The Russian government, on its side, was troubled by the situation, in which it found itself socially allied to the Polish Catholic nobility, while from a religious and national point of view it felt obliged to promote the interests of the Belorussian and west Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox peasantry. Jewish merchants began to enter eastern, originally Russian, districts, and to compete with local merchants. The government therefore began to consider ways and means of dealing with this new Jewish aggregate and the problems it raised.
Czar *Alexanderi met, in the committee he created for clarifying this problem, with two opposed opinions similar to those currently debating this question in the West. Some members of the commission considered that Jews had first to be granted rights so as to improve them and "make them harmless." Others considered that the Jews had first to be rendered harmless and to be "improved" before they could be granted new rights. The statute for the Jews promulgated in Russia in 1804 was largely based on the second view. One of the main measures to prevent their causing harm to the peasants, by inducing them to buy alcoholic drinks and damaging them in other ways, was the demand that Jews should leave all the villages within four years. Another result of this trend was the unique invention of drawing a second borderline within the border of the state: Jews were not permitted to settle or live in the territory east of this line. The permitted area included regions taken over from Poland with an addition of several more in the southeast of the state. Thus the *Pale of Settlement of the Jews was created in Russia (in a process of line drawing and area redistributions that went on well into the 1830s), to remain in existence until the Revolution of 1917.
The Pale of Settlement, from its creation, was doubly constricting. Jews could not go beyond its borders, while within them they were driven from the villages to the townships and cities. As the Jews were an integral part of the village economy, and village occupations constituted the livelihood of a considerable number of Jews, their expulsion from the villages was not easy to implement; many decrees and counter-decrees were issued through the greater part of the 19th century, and still it was not accomplished in full. Jews also left the villages because of other reasons. The Polish uprisings of 1830 and 1863 caused much impoverishment among the Polish nobility; many of its most enterprising members emigrated from the country, and the Jewish village economy was thus much impaired. In the 1840s Jews tried to carry on their former business in alcoholic beverages through leasing the vodka monopoly from the government. From the 1860s, however, they even left this branch.
Economic and social developments in West and Central Europe were different from those in Eastern Europe. The upper strata of Jews in Central and Western Europe became wealthier with emancipation or semi-emancipation. The banking house of the *Rothschilds developed from its relatively modest origins at Frankfurt on the Main to become the arbiter of international loans and monetary transactions in Europe in the first decades of the 19th century. Byron could exclaim:
Don Juan, Canto 12, V">
Who hold the balance of the world? Who reign / O'er congress, whether royalist or liberal? / Who rouse the shirtless patriots of Spain? / (That make old Europe's journals squeak and gibber all). / Who keep the world, both old and new, in pain / Or pleasure? Who make politics run glibber all? / Jew Rothschild, and his fellow-Christian, Baring … (Don Juan, Canto 12, v).
In France, the brothers Pereire dealt in international *banking on a smaller scale. Gerson von *Bleichroeder was not only a banker of first magnitude in the third quarter of the 19th century, but also the financial adviser of *Bismarck. These banking houses participated to a large degree in the financing of *railroad construction too, as did also Baron Maurice de *Hirsch. The importance and function of these international rival banks was already declining by the 1880s, when national banks and limited liability share banks took over much of the finance and financial activity in many countries. Many of these Jewish bankers and largescale contractors and merchants were ennobled, and thus moved even farther away from common Jews.
In Western and Central Europe, Jews also entered the "free professions." In *medicine, they continued a long and much respected Jewish tradition. In other professions they were newcomers. In the legal profession they were new (see *Law) in the sense that Jews did not participate in general, state-regulated law practice until the emancipation, but they brought with them an old tradition of Jewish legal deliberation and practice. Jews entered newspaper publishing, editing, writing, and reporting (see *Journalism). The great news agencies of *Reuter in England and Bernhard *Wolff in Germany were founded and directed by Jews. Though university chairs were still withheld from Jews, they entered many of the lower ranks of the academic world. Many Jews contributed to literature; some apostates like Heinrich *Heine and Ludwig *Boerne were notable. Among apostates who gained prominence in *politics and social thought were Benjamin *Disraeli, Julius *Stahl, and Karl Marx. Jews also entered politics, some gaining prominence, like Lionel Nathan Rothschild and David *Salomons in England, Adolphe Crémieux in France, and Gabriel *Riesser in Germany. Jews were active in the leadership of revolutionary movements, as Hermann *Jellinek and Adolf *Fischhof in the 1848 revolution of Austria. Many Jewish intellectuals were active in the 1848 revolution in Germany. The names of Ferdinand *Lassalle and Moses *Hess were prominent among revolutionary leaders. Many Jewesses of the upper circles were famous for their *salons and cultivated mode of life, both in Berlin and in Vienna at the time of the Vienna Congress. Later on, Jewish patrician social life became well known in Central and West European cities. At the same time, small merchants and peddlers, horse and cattle dealers, smallscale moneylenders, and representatives of other lesser occupations were common among Jews in Bavaria, Alsace-Lorraine, and above all, among immigrants coming from the eastern districts of Germany and Austria to the central districts.
Jewish migration in Europe had changed direction by the end of the 18th century – or even somewhat earlier – and up to the 1890s. It now went from east to west, but occurred mainly within the borders of states. In Russia, it moved from the densely populated parts of Lithuania and *Belorussia to the more thinly populated districts of the *Ukraine. In Germany, it moved from the Posen (*Poznan) districts to the center and west of the country, filling gaps created by the apostasy of the Jewish upper strata and veteran families. In Austria, it went from Galicia to the regions of Vienna and Hungary; in France, from Alsace-Lorraine to the center and west of the country. Jews from Bavaria, as well as other districts of Germany, in particular up to the unification of Germany in 1870, emigrated to the United States and some to England. All these immigrants in their new places of settlement met with the manifestations and results of the industrial and commercial revolution in Europe. They also gradually absorbed, in layer after layer of immigration, the new trends of cultural adaptation and assimilation already at work among the older communities there. The Sephardi communities of England and the United States were pioneering in this process. Their members became the upper layer of Jewish society in these countries.
In Eastern Europe, Jewish occupations remained at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century within their former framework. The shtetl not only developed an economic structure of its own during the first half of the 19th century under the impact of the expulsions from the villages, and through the development of a new chain of economic and social relations with the villages from the shtetl centers, but also created an ecological pattern of its own. The shtetl economy of small shopkeepers, craftsmen, peddlers, and peddling craftsmen established itself to become the typical economic set-up for the majority of Jews in the Pale of Settlement. In its midst, and at the heart of shtetl life, was the central market place, around which there stood the main shops and taverns for tea and alcoholic beverages. Market day was the time of earning and activity, when the villagers arrived to buy and sell. For many shtetl Jews their township was actually their home from Friday through Sunday only, since the rest of the week they spent peddling or working as itinerant craftsmen – cobblers, tailors, smiths – in the villages. Social differentiation was much slower in developing, and up to the 1840s only a sprinkling of Jews had entered the newly opened free professions. A few Jews enriched themselves in Russia as large-scale traders and bankers, or somewhat later, as railroad-building contractors, such as Samuel *Poliakoff or the *Guenzburg family. By the 1880s, master craftsmen and journeymen in the Pale together numbered approximately half a million. In the incipient industries, such as cloth manufacture in *Lodz, a Jewish proletariat was beginning to emerge.
In West and Central Europe developments in Jewish society took their direction from the upper circles connected with the centralist state structure. Jews contributed to its economy in loans and banking, industrial enterprise, and largescale international trading, in particular in the extreme west and northwest of Europe, at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. Up to the 1880s there was a progression toward banking and commercial undertakings on an increasingly greater scale, toward entry in considerable numbers into the free professions and general society, and toward political and social leadership. In the East, while the typical shtetl economy and society was developing, the social distance was widening between the increasingly impoverished strata of shopkeepers, peddlers, and craftsmen, and toward the end of this period, some industrial proletariat, and the relatively narrow group of wealthy bankers, builders, and largescale merchants.
Despite these differences between East and West, which gradually became even greater in Europe, and were at their most prominent between the Jews of the West and those of the Ottoman Empire and Islamic countries who had suffered from the general cultural and economic backwardness of their host society, the consciousness of unity and contacts between different elements of the Jewish populations did not diminish. Even where demographic and economic developments differed, cultural forces and traditions common to all were strong unifying factors.
This is evinced in the process of the remarkable population growth among Jews during most of the 19th century, accelerated in the 1890s. At the beginning of the 19th century there were approximately 3.25 million Jews in the world, of whom 2.75 million were in Europe, mostly Ashkenazim, and about half a million outside Europe, mostly Sephardim. At the beginning of the 1880s there were 7.5 million Jews, of whom about seven million were in Europe, mostly Ashkenazim (see *Demography; *Vital Statistics). The rate of growth of the Jewish population was almost everywhere twice that of the general population, even in backward countries. This was at a time of a great growth of *population everywhere. The Jewish population naturally benefited from its concentration in Europe, where the gains of medicine and preventive hygiene first made their mark, as well as from their concentration in towns, where again these cultural advances first had their effects. However, the specifically high Jewish rate of growth was mainly due to two factors: to a much lower infant mortality and to the good care taken of the ill and aged. Here old cultural-religious traditions gave an advantage to the Jewish population. As a result of the developments in population growth and migration the distribution of Jews in the world at the beginning of the 1880s was approximately four million in czarist Russia, 1.5 million in Austria-Hungary, 550,000 in united Germany, approximately 300,000 in the Ottoman Empire, and approximately 200,000 in the United States.
Several developments in Eastern Europe between the 1860s and 1880s led to a considerable radicalization in the ideology of the youth and a marked cleavage within Jewish society; on the other hand, through the selfsame developments, the social structure and the problems of Eastern Jewry began to closely resemble those of the Western Jewish communities. The demand of the Russian government (1827) requiring the Jewish community in most of the Pale of Settlement to supply youngsters as *Cantonists for prolonged Russian army service gave rise to much bitterness within the communities between the leading circles, who were responsible for mustering the quota, and the lower strata, who suspected the former of evading this onerous duty in the case of their own children and putting it on the children of the poor. Jewish society as a whole was embittered toward the tyrannical government of Russia that used army service as a means of bringing about the assimilation of young boys.
The government of Czar *Nicholasi again put forward a constitution for the Jews in 1835. Apart from exclusion of the paragraph concerning expulsion from the villages, this constitution was a summary of former disabilities, including a prohibition on Jewish residence within 50 versts (33 miles) of the western border. The constitution promised various alleviations for Jews turning to Russian culture, again a continuation of former policies. Thousands of Jewish families applied for agricultural settlement, and many were settled in the south. In 1840 a new commission for research into the Jewish legal status and existence was set up. Both the premises it worked on and the decisions arrived at had a markedly anti-Jewish bias. Czar Nicholas i also attempted to enforce changes in Jewish education and dress; he abolished Jewish kahal autonomy in 1844, and planned to classify the Jewish population into five classes, according to their "usefulness." This project, as well as his cruel policy toward the Jews, was abandoned after his death in 1855.
Czar *Alexanderii attempted the solution of the Jewish problem, again on the basis of discrimination between Jews but in this case through showing favor toward small professionally educated groups of Jews, with the aim of bringing, by their example, the general Jewish population – to which no alleviation was granted – to the main road of general culture and productivization. During the 1860s various groups of such Jews were granted various exemptions from anti-Jewish discriminatory legislation, the main prize being the permission to live outside the Pale of Settlement. This right was granted to Jewish merchants who paid the highest scale of tax, to Jews who had academic diplomas, and, in 1865, to Jewish craftsmen. This trend was not continued in the 1870s, while public opinion as well as state policy turned against minorities in Russia in general, and Jews in particular. Only in *Romania was the Jewish status and Jewish existence even worse than in czarist Russia. The intervention of the Congress of *Berlin in 1878 in favor of Jews in the Balkan states, and chiefly of those in Romania, helped them only formally, but not in actual practice.
Jewish autonomy all this time was being attacked, both from without and from within, not only in its form as a corporation, but also as a bastion of religious and social separatism. The early Jewish enlightenment circles regarded the community establishment as an institution for enforcement of Orthodoxy and meddling in their personal lives which they did not intend to suffer. To intellectual dilettantes of means, of the type of Isaac *D'Israeli, the father of Benjamin, community service was a nuisance. As he declared in 1813 to those who had elected him parnas of the community,
A person who has always lived out of the sphere of your observation, of retired habits of life, who can never unite in your public worship, because as now conducted it disturbs instead of exciting religious emotions, a circumstance of general acknowledgment, who has only tolerated some part of your ritual, willing to concede all he can in those matters which he holds to be indifferent; such as a man, with but a moderate portion of honour and understanding, never can accept the solemn functions of an Elder in your congregation, and involve his life and distract his business pursuits not in temporary but permanent duties always repulsive to his feelings (in: C. Roth, Anglo-Jewish Letters (1938), 238, no. 115).
This is an expression not only of D'Israeli's personal taste and indolence, but also of the trend toward assimilation and a renunciation of Jewish social cohesion and cultural tradition. With increased assimilation, such tendencies against autonomy became sharper and more meaningful. For people who appreciated the way of life and habits of the society of their environment, the forms of Jewish prayer, burial and marriage customs even looked ludicrous.
Despite these forces undermining the organized Jewish community, it not only continued to exist in the West but even gained new strength and an articulate structure there through the system of *consistories imposed by Napoleon, who was interested in utilizing the community organs as functionaries of the state. This situation continued with some changes in most of continental Western Europe. In England the *Board of Deputies of British Jews began to act on behalf of the whole of the British Empire from the time of the chairmanship of Moses *Montefiore (1838). The Jewish organizational framework in England – and, patterned on it, in many of the dominions – acquired an even more authoritative position in the second half of the 19th century with the establishment of the authority of the chief rabbi and with the organization of the rigid *United Synagogue.
Communal organization in the United States proceeded along different lines. Divisions between the first layer of Jewish immigration there, the Sephardi, the second, mainly German Jews, and the beginnings of the third, of Eastern European Jews, in conjunction with the size of the country and the huge size of the cities in which the Jews tended to concentrate, combined to create the type of synagogue community established by the exiles from Spain (see above). This was later to develop, with the mass immigration of Eastern European Jews after 1881, into the Landsmannschaften form of community, which still retained many of the religious aspects of community leadership and life. The same factors also led to the creation of secular ideological associations, such as the Arbeter Farband and *Workmen's Circle. By the mid-19th century attempts toward centralization were made in the United Statesalso, though in the main ephemeral. About this time there also developed a type of organization suited to the upper-middle-class elements of U.S. Jewry, introducing orders on the Masonic pattern devoted to Jewish problems. One of the first, and still the most influential, was the *B'nai B'rith order, founded in 1843.
In Central Europe, religious and social fragmentation led to many breaches within the Jewish community, mainly brought about by the Orthodox wing which felt itself threatened by the growing predomination of *Reform elements in Jewish society. By the 1880s the Orthodox sector achieved in both Hungary and Germany – ironically with the help of liberals in Parliament – the right for every individual Jew to leave his local community. It resulted in the institution and ideology of the Austrittsgemeinde (see also Samson Raphael *Hirsch; Isaac Dov *Bamberger). These religious and cultural orientations led to new forms of linkage within the state of the Reform and Orthodox sectors, and, in Hungary, also of the *neolog trends. They convened their own conferences and synods of rabbis (see below).
In Eastern Europe Jews in general retained a strong attachment to the ancient community structure. *Ḥasidism on the one hand and the emergence of secular Jewish political and social organizations on the other produced new elements of leadership, which mostly cooperated with the community organization, while trying to use it for their own purposes and according to the ideals guiding them. Thus in regions where Ḥasidism predominated the local rabbi became very much subordinated to the authority of the ḥasidic *ẓaddik, whose follower he was, or to the authority of the ẓaddik who had the largest following in the community.
From about the beginning of the 1880s the aims and weight of secular political parties began to influence the policies and composition of the community leadership. The abolition of the kahal by the Russian government in 1844 did not greatly restrict actual community work. The Jews continued with their own leadership structure even if having to use different names for it in reference to the state authorities.
The adherence of Jews to their own conception of the personality and type of education required for religious leaders was strongly in evidence in their reaction to the requirement of the czarist government that rabbis be educated in Russian culture and enlightenment trends. Seminaries for such rabbis were opened by the state at Jewish centers such as *Vilna and *Zhitomir but were boycotted by traditional scholars, and the graduates were considered ipso facto unfit for the rabbinate. The government therefore deputed its own state-appointed rabbis in many places, the so-called *kazyonny ravvin; however, the Jews continued to acknowledge their own rabbis, generally looking upon the kazyonny ravvin as an insult or joke.
Religious and cultural life between approximately the middle of the 18th century and the 1880s underwent a continuous process of differentiation, enrichment, and involuntary pluralism. Ḥasidism introduced the charismatic personality as a regular element of leadership, which was later on institutionalized in the dynasties of ḥasidic ẓaddikim. At first Ḥasidism was bitterly opposed both for its tenets and the temper and way of life of ḥasidic groups, in particular at the courts of the ẓaddikim. The opposition failed, although it was led by the greatest rabbinical authorities who made lavish use of their powers of excommunication (see *Elijah b. Solomon Zalman, the Gaon of Vilna) and by the lay community leadership which strongly attacked it. As a result the opposition itself created a new school of Lithuanian yeshivot expressive of its own ideals and attitudes, and gradually formed a new *Mitnaggedic-Lithuanian pattern of Jewish subculture. Due to the basic conservatism of Ḥasidism, despite the suspicions cast on it by its opponents, and since the main attention of its opponents was concentrated on giving direction to their own pattern of culture, there emerged (more or less by the 1830s) an uneasy coexistence between these two groups.
As the *Haskalah movement and the maskilim also remained within the framework of Jewish society, despite the sharp disagreement and suspicion between them and the conservative elements, Jews began, by about this time too, to accustom themselves to the existence of various trends within Jewry. Both the tension between them and the reluctant partial recognition reciprocally accorded by each side now resulted, for the first time since the period of the Second Temple, in the existence of clearly defined groups – differing in many aspects, cultural, religious, and social – but all regarding each other as within Jewry and partaking of Judaism, and each considering its own brand of Jewishness to be superior. Even Reform and assimilated Jews were defined publicly as Jews. This situation led to a heightening of intolerance on the formal level but to mutual toleration in practice. Jewish life was much enriched by the competing cultural streams, variety in modes of life, and diverse types of leadership existing within Judaism side by side in disharmony but with a tacit agreement to disagree.
The great personalities of the founders of these trends became the ideal prototypes for future generations – both through the history of their own lives and by means of the legends and semi-legends woven around them. In Ḥasidism, *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov and the circle of his pupils, among the Mitnaggedim, Elijah Gaon of Vilna and his circle of pupils, and, in Haskalah, Moses Mendelssohn and his disciples, served both to fructify and influence cultural trends and individual behavior, as well as to accentuate differences.
Elements in Ḥasidism such as the ḥasidic *dance and song, the camaraderie of ḥasidic groups and courts, ḥasidic tales and accounts of wonders, not only colored the culture of the majority of East European Jewry but later, in the 20th century, influenced semi-secular and secular teachings and movements, like those of Martin *Buber and *Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir in its early stages, as well as the patterns of behavior of many other Jewish youth groups in the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century, and much of secular Hebrew and Yiddish literature.
The Mitnaggedic Jewish culture both created representatives of a scholarly lay elite in the Lithuanian towns and townships, and did much to give new stature and dimensions to the *talmid ḥakham. The influence of Mitnaggedim ideals and attitudes is reflected in the teachings of men like Simon *Dubnow and in much of the secular and non-ecstatic trends of Jewish life in Ereẓ Israel, the United States, and *South Africa.
Haskalah led in many cases to extreme assimilation, but on the other hand it continued, in particular in Eastern Europe, its original cultivation of Hebrew and its creation of a secular Jewish literature, in philosophy, historiography, and above all, in belles lettres. In Central and Western Europe its influence bifurcated in the often convergent directions of the *Wissenschaft des Judentums on the one hand, and of Reform Judaism on the other (see also Abraham *Geiger; Leopold *Zunz; Samuel *Holdheim; Aaron *Chorin). In Eastern Europe Haskalah often provoked the opposition of the Jewish masses through the collaboration of its enthusiasts with oppressive governments in attempts to impose on them secular education and changes of language, *dress, and custom. Yet it was mainly on the foundations laid by Haskalah thinking, methods, and achievements that secular Hebrew culture and literature could develop within the framework of Zionism in the 20th century.
Western and Central European Jews were thoroughly emancipated by the end of the 1860s. While increasingly involved with the culture and society of their environment, they could not remain unmoved by the plight of their unemancipated brethren in Eastern Europe, in the Balkan states, and in the Ottoman Empire. The rebuffs met with by many of the assimilationists in gentile society, and their own emotional and intellectual inability to adhere strictly to the rationalist (ahistorical) dogmas of the enlightenment, caused Jewish assimilation to remain paradoxically a specific phenomenon, in both Jewish and Christian societies. Cumulatively, these factors led in 1860 to the creation of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle, an international organization of assimilated Jews. These united their efforts, for the sake of religious brotherhood, to help their oppressed and inarticulate coreligionists, despite national differences. The activities of this organization included diplomatic action and the establishment of schools and welfare institutions in the countries of "backward" Jews, thus subconsciously expressing Jewish solidarity. Its many successes in part provided a challenge that led antisemites to readapt ancient libels about Jewish strivings for world domination into a malignant and influential myth through the forgery of the Protocols of the Learned *Elders of Zion. In a relatively short time the international structure of the Alliance began to weaken under the strain of national solidarities. Anglo-Jewry created its own *Anglo-Jewish Association, and German Jews eventually established their own *Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden.
Cultural differentiation also led to many innovations and changes in Jewish life. Exponents of the Reform trend admitted explicitly that it was proposed to break down halakhic barriers – which were considered latter-day increments on the core of pure Jewish faith – between Jew and gentile. These included kashrut, the prohibition on *mixed marriages, and many of the Sabbath laws; there was also a move to abolish mention of the hope for a Messiah and for the return to Zion, and the use of the Hebrew language in prayer. On the last points Zacharias *Frankel seceded from the radical majority of the Reform movement and demanded a more conservative and historical approach (see *Conservative Judaism). This created yet a new facet of Jewish religious and cultural activity in Central Europe and later in the United States.
With the aim of throwing light on, as well as learning about, their own past, in order to present the case for emancipation and proposals for assimilation on a more respectful and firmer basis, the leading scholars of the *Wissenschaft des Judentums gradually developed a broader and increasingly secularized approach to their research into the Jewish past. The historical work of I.M. *Jost is the first sustained modern attempt of this type by a Jew.
Jewish ideals underwent a reformation with the aim of serving and reorientating Jewish religious consciousness. Reform circles tended to regard the Messiah not as a person who would come to redeem Israel but as a universalist process to redeem humanity. On the basis of this conception Leopold Zunz called the European revolution of 1848 "the Messiah." A later development of this conception was the theory of Jewish "mission": Israel had to see itself as the guardians and carriers of pure monotheism for all mankind; in modern circumstances assimilation would only help to fulfill this duty. Pointing to the social, religious, and political failings of Christianity, such theorists considered their "purified" Judaism the destined vehicle for making monotheism paramount. "The spring of nations" of the 1848 revolution introduced a new complication and an added tinge to the trends of assimilation and acculturation. Jews in Prague for example found themselves caught between the crosscurrents of German and Czech nationalism. In *Budapest they were caught in the triangle of German, Magyar, and Slav national demands, and in Galicia in the triangle of German, Polish, and, later on, Ukrainian demands. The upsurge of national consciousness gave rise to animosity against Jews. The Czechs resented the assimilation of Jews into the German sector, while many Slav nationalities opposed their assimilation into the Magyar group. Hence from now on the question whether to assimilate or not to assimilate was joined with the problem into which nationality to assimilate.
With the growing democratization of political processes in various European states to the west of the Russian border, and the emergence into political influence of the mass of elementary school graduates, Jews were to encounter in most of the countries of their emancipation mounting popular prejudice and a new phenomenon in the influence of the stereotype, whereby the press, and popular art and literature destined for the masses, presented various social manifestations through the medium of clichés and images. The stereotype image of the Jew in modern times was based on and bore the imprint of the baneful image of the Middle Ages, but its representation by various groups was fashioned by their own fears. To conservative and right-wing groups the Jew had become by the 1860s the prototype of the wicked arch-innovator, and Jews were stigmatized as the destructive bacteria of the social web. To the left-wing radical he appeared the evil representative of the capitalist spirit, the arch-schemer and arch-exploiter. The common bond of the medieval anti-Jewish legacy let these opposed stereotypes coexist and even complement each other.
The blood libel case in Damascus (the *Damascus Affair) in 1840 shocked Jews everywhere, not only because of the cruelties inflicted on the victims and absurdity of the charge but also and mainly because they saw a recrudescence of an extreme medieval-type expression of Jew hatred. It led Moses *Hess in his Rom und Jerusalem (1862) to reject his own assimilationist and revolutionary past. His sense of isolation and humiliation caused by the anti-Jewish attitude of the left-wing Marxist radicals brought him back to a deep feeling of the historic continuity of the Jewish nation and to place great hopes for its future in its own homeland. Hess had a much greater impact than commonly accorded him: his response fitted the challenge felt by many Jews in West and Central Europe.
The historian Heinrich *Graetz was deeply moved and influenced by this work. In 1863 he wrote to Hess: "I am now in a state to let you know something that will interest you. The plan of settlement in Ereẓ Israel – or Yemot ha-Mashi'aḥ [Hebrew in the original] – is beginning to crystallize." In 1870 he communicated to Hess an idea of "a very cultured Englishman, a Christian"; Graetz was not permitted to communicate the whole idea, but could only ask "whether in France, in which Jews already have military training, and there are men of courage among them, there may be found about 50 that could become a kind of gendarmerie. They will find excellent employment but they must bring with them a certain measure of Jewish patriotism …. Please look into this matter and tell me your opinion" (published in: Ẓevi (Heinrich) Graetz, Darkhei ha-Historyah ha-Yehudit, ed. by S. Ettinger (1969), 268, 272).
The state of mind of Jews, in particular those who from alienation returned wholly or partially to Judaism, was influenced in the 1860s to 1890s both by their hostile reception in Christian society and the spectacle of awakening nationalism among suppressed peoples. When Italy united in the 1860s a geographical term became a political reality. Germany united to become a mighty empire through its victory of 1870–71. Slav peoples were demanding independence and fighting for their cultural identity against German or Magyar demands for their assimilation. Other Slav nations had revolted against the Ottoman Empire and established their independence. Ancient Greece had been resurrected relatively long ago (at the end of the 1820s), and Philhellenism had become a long-enduring fashion and ideological trend among cultured people in Europe. The whole meaning of Jewish assimilation was questioned in the light of these developments. Was Jewish continuity and culture less cogent and valuable than that of Serbs? Were Jews better received by the dominant nations than the Slavs and the Magyars? Inevitably the question was asked, "Why give up?"
From the 1840s gentile circles in England expressed hopes and formulated plans for "Jewish restoration to the Holy Land." These projects were supported not only by sectarians without political power but also by political leaders like the Earl of Shaftesbury. Pamphlets were published. Some activists like Laurence *Oliphant went to Ereẓ Israel to try to work them out. These projects and ideas were in a large degree prompted by the rapid and visible weakening of the Ottoman Empire and the anarchy within it. The Ottoman Empire was considered at that time "the sick man of Europe." The Crimean War was fought in the 1850s over the settlement of its fate. Though subsequently kept alive, this empire appeared to offer good opportunities for obtaining concessions and charters, in particular as the system of *capitulations made interference in its affairs possible and even easy.
This combination of external circumstances and the examples of national struggle and national resurrection was noted inside Jewish society by people who were either disappointed in their contacts with the environment or who, rooted in Jewish culture and society, reacted to the ravages brought about by assimilation. It was no accident that the pioneers of the idea of combining the reawakening of Jewish national consciousness with the return to Ereẓ Israel came either from the cultural borderline of assimilation like Moses Hess and his followers, or from the social borderline of the eastern districts of Germany where Jews living their own traditional life saw destructive influences advancing upon them; such were Elijah *Gutmacher and Ẓevi Hirsch *Kalischer, or Judah *Alkalai from the heartland of the Slav struggle for independence against the Ottoman Empire in Serbia (*Yugoslavia). In the United States of America Mordecai Manuel *Noah proposed (1825) the creation of the Jewish state "Ararat," first in the United States, although later his attention shifted to Ereẓ Israel.
Jewish society and settlement in Ereẓ Israel was then in a stagnant phase, following earlier development. A certain renaissance of Jewish life in the land began with the groups who went there under the leadership of *Judah ḥasid (1700) from Europe and Ḥayyim b. Moses *Attar from the Maghreb (1742). Social and religious activity in Eastern Europe brought over groups of both Ḥasidim (1777) and Mitnaggedim (1808–10). By the mid-19th century all these groups, and additional immigrants, mostly of a mature age, had coalesced into a fixed pattern of settlement and society. Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed were "the four lands of holiness" in which Jews customarily settled. The income of over half of them, according to some estimates even up to 80% of the community, came from *ḥalukkah. At this time ḥalukkah was a much respected institution for rendering financial assistance and homage by those remaining in the Diaspora, with its comforts and opportunities, to those who went to Ereẓ Israel to represent the nation in prayer and Torah study at the holy places.
Jewish culture reached high standards in this society. Most Jews there devoted their lives to divine worship in one way or another. The ḥalukkah distribution also imposed a pattern of social organization since the *kolel unit was formed according to the source of ḥalukkah income and perpetuated the settlers' ties with their towns and regions of origin. The Sephardi element in this society tended to engage more frequently in ordinary business and crafts than the Ashkenazi. That element was thus more congenial to the first Ḥovevei Zion and Zionist pioneers who arrived in Ereẓ Israel in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This was also the background for the choice of the Sephardi pronunciation for modern Hebrew by its pioneer Eliezer *Ben-Yehuda. The capitulation system helped to keep the settlers in touch with the consuls of their lands of origin. While abroad the meshullaḥim (emissaries) not only collected money for the ḥalukkah but also brought the message of Ereẓ Israel to the Diaspora, and kept Jews everywhere in living contact with Ereẓ Israel through the sermons they delivered and accounts of conditions there. One of the main grounds of division between the Orthodox and Reform sectors in Jewry derived from differences in attitude toward messianic hopes, Ereẓ Israel, and the use of the Hebrew language in prayer, thus emphasizing in minds and emotions the centrality of these factors to Jewish life and thought.
The position of the Jews at the end of the foregoing period can be briefly summarized. By the end of the 1870s the Jewish population was in the process of constant and unprecedented growth, due largely to the persistence of old traditions of family cohesion and philanthropy. In the West both economic and social developments were moving in an upward direction, the old Sephardi families leading the way in these achievements, whereas in Eastern Europe conditions were growing worse, with a greater proportion of Jews deriving their livelihood from small businesses and workshops, and some growth of a working proletariat. The shtetl economy and society had crystallized. Migration was still largely taking place within the borders of states, in the general direction of east to west. Apostasy and assimilation, and to a certain extent also mixed marriages,
had made considerable inroads into the upper strata of Jewish society in the great cities of Central and Western Europe, which were largely filled by the human and cultural reservoir of East European Jewry. In Central and Western Europe Jewshad entered almost all professions, though their appointment to state and university posts was very slow. Although Jewish emancipation was complete almost everywhere in Europe except for czarist Russia, the equality granted to Jews in Romania and other Balkan states by the intervention of the powers and international conferences, like the Berlin Congress in 1878, remained on paper only. Growing achievements, acculturation, and emancipation had taught that the attainment of equality was as much a social and psychological problem as one of legal status. The first two aspects could not be legislated. The stereotype of public expression and propaganda, and the attainment of the masses to political and social power, did not permit the slow and delicate processes of social and cultural adjustment to equality to develop naturally. Jews were active and had achieved positions in science, in law, in the press and journalism, in medicine, in the arts, and in trade and banking. Some occupied important places in politics, yet their Jewish origin always remained recognizable to others as well as to themselves, even in the case of apostates like Benjamin Disraeli or Karl Marx. Their reactions to this situation differed from denigration of the Jewish character and culture (Marx) to pride in Jewish descent and even a claim to racial superiority (Disraeli). Most Jews active in public life preferred not to help fellow Jews or to become involved in Jewish matters. In this attitude there was little difference between the conservative Achille *Fould in France and the liberals Eduard *Lasker and Ludwig *Bamberger in the German parliament or the revolutionaries Ferdinand *Lassalle and Johann *Jacoby. Jewry had become much diversified as a result of over a century of intense differences in opinion and changes in mood. Yet it remained united in consciousness though divided emotionally and in ways of life. Toward the end of this time the example as well as the antagonism of awakening nationalism had combined with the beginnings of a renaissance of Jewish national and cultural consciousness and creativity to influence in various ways – some starting originally as paths to assimilation like the Wissenschaft des Judentums – in the renewed striving for cohesion, internalized cultural creation, and direction of a vaguely felt need for independence in the land of their fathers.
[Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson]