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The French Revolution and the Jews: Assessing the Cultural Impact

  • Jay R. Berkovitz

For the Jews of France, as for their fellow countrymen, the French Revolution came to constitute the myth of origin, the birthdate of a new existence. On September 27, 1791, two years after the storming of the Bastille and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the French National Assembly voted to admit the Jews of Alsace-Lorraine to citizenship. Subsequent generations would recall this momentous event as a turning point of extraordinary magnitude, and would view themselves as compelling evidence of its transformative power. Their memories tended to be dominated by images of celebration and glory, comparing the Revolution to the Sinaitic revelation and referring to it in messianic-redemptive terms. Not surprisingly, the many setbacks and misfortunes suffered by the generation of 1789 were largely absent from these recollections, while only meager appreciation for the complexities introduced into Jewish cultural life can be detected in the half-century following the Revolution. Even more significant was the ascendant historical view, undoubtedly colored by a pervading sense of optimism among leaders of French Jewry, that credited the Revolution with having put an end to centuries of humiliation, legal discrimination, and exclusion from the mainstream of society.

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1. For several references to the Revolution in messianic-redemptive and revelatory terms, see Marrus, Michael, The Politics of Assimilation: A Study of the French Jewish Community at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair (Oxford, 1971), pp. 9092, 106–107. Among the works that emphasized the dramatic changes introduced by the Revolution, see Lambert, Lion-Mayer,Précis de I' histoire des hébreux depuis leparriarche Abraham jusqu' en 1840 (Metz, 1840). esp. pp. 406407;Kahn, Leon, Les Juifs de Paris (Paris, 1898), p. 356; and the triumphalist remarks of Simon Debre, Rabbi, “The Jews of France,” Jewish Quarterly Review 3 (1891): 367435. On the general tendency to use the Revolution for political purposes, see Hobsbawm, Eric, “Mass-Producing Traditions, 1870–1914,” in The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric, Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 270273. On the Revolution as myth, see Gérard, Alice, La Révolution: mythes et interprétations, 1789–1975 (Paris, 1976).

2. The role of the French Revolution as an agent of change in modern European society is still fiercely contested even after two centuries. According to the conventional view, it was one of history's pivotal events, an upheaval which triggered decisive changes in political, social, and economic life, first in France, and subsequently in the rest of Europe. All vestiges of feudalism were swept away, peasants were freed from ecclesiastical tithes and seigneurial dues, and free trade was established throughout the territories under French control, while autonomous corporations were abolished, local and provincial privileges were curtailed, and a new democratic tradition emerged. However, beginning with de Tocqueville's assertion of continuity in political behavior and attitudes before and after the Revolution, a tendency to minimize the historical significance of the events of 1789 has gained in strength and may today be dominant. Georges Lefebvre concluded that the economic impact of the Revolution, particularly with respect to agrarian reform, had been greatly overstated, and for many scholars specializing in social history, the pace of modernization, and not the Revolution, was the decisive factor. Data cited by Maurice Agulhon and Eugen Weber concerning the steadfast traditionalism of vast sectors of the rural population throughout most of the nineteenth century suggest how ineffectual the Revolution was in the countryside. Others point to extensive indications of social change before 1789, claiming that modernization in France, ironically, may very well have been interrupted by the Revolution. Most recently, Simon Schama has added to this last argument the claim that the legacy we normally associate with the Revolution was already represented at the highest levels of French society before 1789. The “great period of change,” according to Schama, “was not the Revolution but the late eighteenth century.” See de Tocqueville, Alexis, L' Ancien regime et la revolution (Paris, 1856); Lefebvre, Georges, “La place de la Revolution dans l' histoire agraire de la France,” Annales d' histoire economique et sociale 1 (1929): 506523.Agulhon, Maurice, La Republique an village (Paris, 1970); Weber, Eugen, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870–1914 (Stanford, 1976); and Schama, Simon, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (New York, 1989), esp. pp. xv, 184185. On political culture in revolutionary France, see Hunt, Lynn, Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution (Berkeley, 1984). For an excellent review of the literature on the role of the Revolution in the countryside, see McPhee, Peter, “The French Revolution, Peasants, and Capitalism,” American Historical Review 94 (1989): 1265–1280.

3. The remarkable degree of uniformity present in Jewish communal life throughout western and central Europe until the mid-eighteenth century provides the basis for a comparative approach to the changes that would soon transform European society. Precisely what triggered the breakdown of traditional Jewish life, and just when that break occurred, remains the subject of much scholarly debate. For a rich array of sources indicating a decline in religious observance in the early part of the eighteenth century, see Shohet, Azriel, The Beginnings of the Haskalah in Germany [Heb.] (Jerusalem, 1960). Shohhet's work evoked considerable criticism; cf. Mevorakh's, Barukh review in Kiryat Sefer 37 (1961 /62): 150155, and Katz, Jacob, Out of the Ghetto: The Social Background of Jewish Emancipation, 1770–1870 (Cambridge, Mass., 1973), pp. 3436. Cf. Baron, Salo W., “New Approaches to Jewish Emancipation,” Diogenes 29 (1960): 5758.

4. Hyman, Paula, “L' Impact de la Revolution sur I' identite et la culture contemporaine des Juifs d' Alsace,” in Histoire politique des Juifs de France: Entre universalisme et particularisme,ed. Pierre, Birnbaum (Paris, 1990), p. 29.

5. See Meyer, Michael A., Jewish Identity in the Modem World (Seattle, 1990), esp. pp. 39. On trends in Germany, see Lowenstein, Steven M., “The Pace of Modernisation of German Jewry in the Nineteenth Century,” Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 21 (1976): 4156. Initially, the term “secularization” was used to describe the transfer of church property to state control. It has also been used to refer to the decline in religious observance, and to the failure of religious rituals and symbols to answer questions about the meaning of life. Our use of the term will draw on its original meaning, i.e., expropriation-not with respect to property, but to domain or authority. Employing the tools of sociology, Peter Berger has made several important contributions to our understanding of secularization. Cf. The Sacred Canopy (Garden City, N.Y., 1969) and 77ie Heretical Imperative (New York, 1979). For several examples of specialized studies which are particularly useful, see Kselman, Thomas, “Funeral Conflicts in Nineteenth-Century France,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 30 (1988): 312332, esp. 328–330; Vernon Lidtke, “Social Class and Secularization in Imperial Germany-the Working Classes,” Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 25 (1980): 21–40; Wilson, Bryan, “Secularization: The Inherited Model,” in The Sacred in a Secular Age, ed. Philip, E. Hammond (Berkeley, 1985), pp. 920.

6. For a recent study devoted to this subject, see Parker, Noel, Portrayals of the Revolution: Images, Debates and Patterns of Thought on the French Revolution(Carbondale, 111., 1990).

7. The distinction between “culture” and “identity” requires some clarification. By “culture” we are referring to public, socially established structures of meaning in terms of which people behave. See Geertz, Clifford, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York, 1973), pp. 12, 89. Denoting any historically transmitted system of thought, belief, and values, culture is expressed in symbolic forms. “Identity,” by contrast, lacks the dimension of continuity associated with culture. It is the consciousness or self-reflection resulting from a confrontation with the realities of the day and is therefore given to more frequent shifts and mutations; its contours are shaped by significant events, ideological currents, and social forces. Nevertheless, “identity” and “culture” are not independent entities, but act reciprocally upon one another. Manifestations of identity are all potential forms of culture, especially when institutionalization transforms them from ephemeral to more lasting expressions. They may also represent an orientation that can predispose individuals to greater or lesser receptivity to a particular cultural legacy. “Culture,” by the same token, can serve as the basis upon which identity is constructed and may influence the forms of its expression. Prior to the Revolution, identity flowed evenly from Jewish culture. Questions of identity were far less pressing, if at all relevant, in an age when Jews lived in an insular cultural environment where a consensus on values prevailed. With the Revolution and the ensuing encounter with modernity, culture and identity were split apart. As connections to Jewish culture became somewhat attenuated, issues of identity became increasingly compelling.

8. The Prague community's inclination toward western traditions has been noted by Eric Zimmer, “Relations of German Jewry to Influences of the Center in Poland in the Early Seventeenth Century” [Heb.], Sinai 102 (1988): 233. Although the precise nature of the bond with Prague is still unclear, we may note that most of the rabbis who served Metz in the eighteenth century had previously held positions in Prague, including Gabriel Eskeles (1694–1703); Abraham Broda (d. 1713); Jacob Reischer (1719–33); Jonathan Eibeschutz (1742–49). Others, such as Shmuel Hilman, a native of Krotoschin, first went to study in the Prague yeshiva and then held rabbinic positions in Moravia and Germany before coming to Metz. This was also the case for Rabbis David Sintzheim and Moses Munius, both descendants of Prague families, who studied in Prague before assuming positions in Alsace. On westward migrations from Poland, see Moses Shulvass, From East to West (Detroit, 1971).

9. For evidence of strong ties between the Jews of Poland and the Jews of France, see Bartal, Israel, “Polish Jews in Southwest Europe in the Middle of the Eighteenth Century,” in Changes in Modern Jewish History: Essays Presented to Shmuel Ettinger [Heb.] (Jerusalem, 1988), pp. 413437. On their own, these ties do not prove that Metz and Poland were part of the same cultural orbit. The claim of cultural affinity will require additional evidence of shared minhagim, halakhic views, liturgical rites, and linguistic similitude.

10. The practice of leaving home to engage in Torah study was a time-honored tradition intended to broaden the intellectual horizons of budding scholars, and rabbinic literature consistently endorsed the custom approvingly. The phenomenon of the wandering yeshiva student in the medieval period has recently been treated by Breuer, Mordecai, “Wandering Students and Scholars-A Prolegomenon to a Chapter in the History of the Yeshivot” [Heb.], in Culture and Society in Medieval Jewry: Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Haim Hillel Ben-Sasson, ed. Menahem, Ben-Sasson, Robert Bonfil, and Joseph Hacker (Jerusalem, 1989), pp. 445–468.

11. According to Eibeshutz, R. Jonathan, superior conditions in the West account for the influx of Polish yeshiva students to Melz. See the statement in his sermon of Av 5509 (1749), published in Ya' arot Devash, 2 vols. (Jerusalem, 1984–85), vol. 2, p. 121. The linkage between economic prosperity and cultural prominence is also argued by Samuel Kerner, “La Vie quotidienne de la communaute juive de Metz au dix-huitieme siecle” (These de Doctorat de 3eme Cycle, Universite de Paris, 1977–79), p. 3. The situation in Metz contrasted sharply with conditions in Germany at mid-century. Yeshiva students in Frankfurt complained of not being fed, while the Mainz community was forced to limit its support to four poor yeshiva students. See Shohet, Beginnings of Haskalah, p. 112.

12. The biography of Issachar Berr Carmoly (1735–1781) vividly exemplifies the pattern of movement and the adventurism of his Alsatian peers. A native of Ribeauville, he attended the local yeshiva and was subsequently sent to Metz to study under R. Jonathan Eibeschiltz. After three years in Metz, having received the title haver (indicating the completion of the first level of rabbinic studies), he was invited by his great uncle, R. Jacob Poppers, av beit dinof Frankfurt am Main, to study there and become acquainted with the German branch of the family. In Frankfurt, Carmoly became a student of R. Jacob Joshua Falk, author of the P' nei Yehoshua, but after a year, returned to Metz, resumed his studies with Eibeschiitz, and then with R. Shmuel Hilman, Eibeschiltz's successor, from whom the young scholar received the title rav haver. From there he went to FUrth and studied under R. David Strauss. Carmoly subsequently returned to Nancy, married the daughter of a wealthy pamas of Soultz, and through the influence of his father-in-law was appointed av beit din. Some years later, he established a yeshiva in neighboring Jungholtz. Carmoly was the author of numerous works of rabbinic scholarship, all of which are in manuscript, with the exception of Yam Issachar on Tosefta Beiza (Metz, 1768). See Carmoly, Eliakim, “Issachar Carmoly,” Revue orientale 2 (1842): 345349, 3 (1843–44): 240–244. Shlomo Lvov, another itinerant student originally from Mannheim, studied first in Alsace, then Fiirth, before coming to Metz. He lived in Alsace for the remainder of his life. See the introduction to his Heshek Shlomo, ms. (Dittwiller, 1784), Institute of Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem, no. 8° 3394. Yedidiah (Tiah) Weil (1721–1805), whose father Netanel (author of Korban Netanel) had studied in Metz under R. Abraham Broda, came to the Metz yeshiva himself in 1745 after the Prague expulsion, but returned to Prague, as did most other former Jewish residents, when the order was rescinded in 1748. The institutional framework most directly responsible for the nurturing of scholarly traditions and religious norms was, of course, the yeshiva. Regrettably, no scholarly treatment of the yeshivot of Alsace-Lorraine has yet been undertaken. Bischeim, Bouxwiller, Ettendorf, Mutzig, Nancy, Niedemai, Ribeauville', and Jungholtz are several of the small academies that dotted the terrain of the region. For rare information on the founding of one these academies, see Blum, Raphael, “Le fondateur du grand Beth Hamidrash de Bouxwiller,” Univers israeilite 35 (1879): 8588, 112–114. Heading these yeshivot were impressive, though not very well-known, talmudists, including R. Stlssel Moyse Enosch, Issachar Berr Carmoly, Wolf Jacob Reichshoffen, Yizhak Netter, Itzik Phalsbourg, and Abraham Isaac LunteschUtz. Each has left novellae,which together contain rich material for a history of rabbinic learning in pre-revolutionary Alsace-Lorraine. Until this literature, most of which is in manuscript, is studied carefully, it will be impossible to make any definitive judgments concerning the nature of the local scholarly and popular traditions. For an illustration of the exclusively Alsatian character of the body of students at the yeshiva of Ribeauville, see the list published in Carmoly, “Issachar Carmoly,” pp. 346–347.

13. See the observations of Israel, European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, p. 237.

14. On the general history of the Metz rabbinate, see Cahen, Abraham, “Le Rabbinat de Metz pendant la pdriode francaise,” Revue des etudes juives 7 (1883): 103116; Ibid. 8 (1884): 255–274; Ibid. 12 (1886): 283–297; Ibid. 13 (1886): 105–114. The tradition of appointing foreign rabbis was not uncommon; it was also practiced in FUrth, Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbeck, and Prussia, for example, as indicated in in Shohet, The Beginnings of Haskalah in Germany, pp. 93–94. The significance of a “foreign” rabbinate for the religious life and communal affairs of Metz still awaits careful investigation. On the offer to Scheuer, see Carmoly, Eliakim, “Notice biographique,” Revue orientate 3 (1843–44): 249. Halberstadt gained his appointment with the assistance of his teacher, R. Eibeschiltz. Others, such as Aviezri Auerbach and Lazarus Moyses, who came to Bouxwiller and Haguenau respectively, were undoubtedly attracted by the relatively good conditions in Alsace at mid-century.

15. Although no systematic study of marriage among Jews of the region has yet been done, there is abundant evidence that Alsatians frequently looked eastward for their partners. See Raphael, Freddy and Weyl, Robert, Juifs en Alsace: culture, society, histoire (Toulouse, 1977), pp. 133134. In part, this was linked to patterns of yeshiva study. For an example of this phenomenon as it related to the relations between Metz and Treves, see Ginsburger, M., “La Famille Schweich,” Revue des Etudes juives 47 (1903): 128131. On the appointment of Enosch, see Ginsburger, M., “Une 61ection rabbinique au XVIII siecle,” Univers israilite 58 (1903): 625628, and the archival sources published by Rene' e Neher-Bernheim, Documents inidits sur I' entree des juifs dans la societe francaise (1750–1850), 2 vols. (Tel Aviv, 1977), vol. 1, pp. 108–118.

16. See the various siddruim and mahzorim published in Metz, beginning with Seder Tefilah ke-Minhag Ashkenaz (Metz, 1764/65).

17. On the liturgical rite followed in Ribeauville, see Archives Israelites de France 5 (1844): 542–547, and on Enosch, see Ginsburger, “Une election rabbinique.”

18. Lough, John, An Introduction to 18th Century France (London, 1960), p. 70.

19. The seven volumes of Me' orei Or were published under the following titles: Me' orei Or, vols. 1–3 (Metz, 1790–3); Be' er Sheva (Metz, 1819); Od la-Mo' ed (Metz, 1822); Bin Nun(Metz, 1827); Kan Tahor (Metz, 1831). On Worms, see Briill, Nahum, “Ner la-Ma' or,” Ozar Ha-Sifrut 1 (1887): 2031; Catane, Moshe, “Rabbi Aaron Worms and His Student Eliakim Carmoly” [Heb.], Areshet 2 (1960): 190198; Jay R. Berkovitz, “Halakhah and Minhag in the Works of Rabbi Aaron Worms,” Proceedings of the Eleventh World Congress of Jewish Studies Div. C, vol. 1, pp. 65–72. The standard text of minhagim of the Maharil is the collection assembled by Zalman of St. Goar, Sefer Maharil, ed. Shlomo, Spitzer (Jerusalem, 1989).

20. Varying degrees of disapproval of the Isserles glosses were voiced repeatedly in the central European rabbinic literature, typically accompanied by expressions of reverence for the Maharil. Cf. the stern critique advanced by Hayyim ben Bezalel Friedberg, Viku' ah Mayyim Hayyim (Amsterdam, 1712), introduction, and the implicit criticism of Yair Hayyim Bacharach, Mekor Hayyim (Jerusalem, 1982). On attitudes toward the Maharil in medieval and early modern halakhic writings, see Hamburger, Benjamin S., “The Historical Foundations of Minhag Ashkenaz,” in The Minhagim of the Worms Community According to R. Juspa Shamash, ed. Israel, Mordekhai Peles (Jerusalem, 1988), pp. 101105,

21. Steinhardt, Joseph, Zikhron Yosef (Fiirth, 1773), p. 52b. This collection of responsa spanned his career in Alsace and Bavaria. The expression b' nei Rhinus appears innumerable times in the various compendia of minhagim assembled in the fourteenth century, including approximately seventy references in Sefer Maharil alone.

22. Various orders of selihot point to the differences in the customs of the Upper Rhine and Metz. Compare, for example, Selihot mi-kol ha-Shanah ke-minhag Alsace (Frankfort am Main, 1691/2) with Seder Selihot ke-minhag ha-Ashkenazim (Metz, 1768/9). Because virtually all of the rabbinic scholarship in northeastern France has remained in manuscript, it is impossible at present to judge whether the halakhic orientation there was consistent with the aforementioned general cultural patterns. For a preliminary study of these trends, see Berkovitz, Jay R., “Rabbinic Scholarship in Revolutionary France: Rabbi Aaron Worms' Me' orei Or,” Proceedings of the Tenth World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, 1990), Division B, vol. 2, pp. 251258

23. The rabbinic contract offered to Samuel Hilman included the phrase “to restore the crown to its former glory,” suggesting that the Metz community may have previously suffered some decline. In the contract offered to Aryeh Loeb Giinzberg in 1766, the Metz community demanded a twelve-year commitment, accompanied by penalties should the rabbi leave before the end of the term. It is conceivable that the community's insistence on a lengthy commitment was motivated by concern over its ability to compete successfully for distinguished rabbinic candidates. The Hilman contract was reprinted in Blatter fur Judische Geschichte und Litteratur,1900, pp. 39–40, and the GUnzberg contract was published and annotated most recently by Schwarzfuchs, Simon, “The Rabbinic Contract of the Sha' agat Aryeh in Metz,” Moriah 15 (1986): 8190.

24. Lvov, Heshek Shlomo (above, n. 12). For examples of similar complaints voiced three decades earlier, see Eibeschutz, ye' arot Devash (above n. 11), sermon of 5507 [1747], vol. 1, pp. 301–2, and Landau, Ezekiel, Derushe Ha-Zelah (Warsaw, 1899) [reprinted Jerusalem, 1966], p. 16a. See discussion in Shohet, Beginnings ofHaskalah, pp. 110 ff.

25. Labrousse, C. E., Esquisse de mouvement des prix et des revenues en France au XVIII siecle (Paris, 1933), vol. 1. pp. 188, 304; vol. 2, pp. 468, 598, 602; Histoire economique et sociale de la France, vol. 2, p. 399. Although population figures tend to be unreliable, it is clear that the number granted the right of domicile by the community was on the decline. In the years 1759–1769, twenty-four foreigners were naturalized; the next two decades witnessed a total of thirteen. See Kerner, La vie, pp. 75–77. The reglement concernant le droit de residence of February 24, 1780 indicates that economic troubles were increasingly problematic: “Le temps est de plus en plus trouble et le moment exige qu' on erige des remparts pour amdliorer la situation de notre sainte communaute'. ”Taxes and duties were heavy, and the treasury of the conseil was insufficient to meet its responsibilities. The many young men who arrived in Metz were, purportedly, sapping the resources of community residents. For a full description and for a translation of the text of the reglement, see Kerner, La vie, pp. 75–78, and appendix, pp. xxii–xxxvi. On the yeshiva, see p. 184 bis. Also see Hertzberg, French Enlightenment and the Jews, p. 129, based on Anchel, Les Juifs de France, pp. 165–167.

26. Ford, Franklin, Strasbourg in Transition, 1648–1789 (Cambridge, Mass., 1958), pp. 142157.

27. On the deterioration of the financial condition of the Jews in northeastern France, see Szajkowski, Jews in the French Revolutions, pp. 204–205

28. Information on the yeshivot is extremely scarce. According to local record books, the Frankfurt yeshiva counted 120–130 students in 1780; by 1793, however, the number declined to 60. Figures for FUrth are not available, except for 1827, the year it closed, when there were, according to one source, 150 students. The yeshiva of Mayence had approximately 50 students in 1782. For a brief summary of these and other yeshivot in the region, see Eliav, Mordechai, Jewish Education in Germany in the Period of the Enlightenment and Emancipation [Heb.] (Jerusalem, 1960), pp. 149153. Statistics for the Metz yeshiva are not extant; however, we do know that the rabbinic contract of R. Aryeh Loeb Giinzberg allowed for the support of 25 students, and that the number of foreign students was at least 60 in 1780.

29. Katzenellenbogen returned to his native Haguenau in 1805 when he accepted the position of rabbi of that community. See Revue orientate 2 (1842): 339.

30. See the letter from Cerf Berr to R. Wolf Reichshoffen, 4 Iyar 5546 (May 1786), published in Weil, J., “Contribution a 1' histoire des communautes alsaciennes au 18eme siecle,” Revue des etudes juives 81 (1925): 169180. In his summary of the document, Weil mistakenly calculated the date as 1787. In congratulating Reichshoffen on his decision “not to abandon his people and homeland,” Cerf Berr's letter evinces strong sentiments of loyalty to the French province even before the Revolution.

31. Steinhardt, Zikhron Yosef, introduction

32. Evidence of sexual immorality and claims of a breakdown in discipline are cited by Kerner, La vie quotidienne, pp. 208–218. For examples of Eibeschtltz's criticisms, see Ya' arvt Devash, sermon of 7 Adar 5504 (1744), vol. 1, pp. 60–61, and the sources noted in Hertzberg, French Enlightenment and the Jews, pp. 164–165, esp. n. 67, and 212–213. Shlomo Lvov, in his Heshek Shlomo, decried the rapidly declining religious standards of his day (1784), and the failure of the rabbinic leadership to exhort the people. The problematics of using musar (moralistic) literature to determine levels of religious observance have been discussed by Barukh Mevorakh in his review of Shohet, Beginnings of the Haskalah, above, n. 2.

33. Posener, S., “The Social Life of Jewish Communities in France in the Eighteenth Century,” Jewish Social Studies 7 (1945): 215217. From the resolution of the conflict between Rabbis Lehmann and Sintzheim we may infer that by the early 1780s the Frankfurt beit dinhad surpassed the rabbinic courts of Alsace-Lorraine in prestige. The case was submitted to the Frankfurt beit din, which ruled in favor of Lehmann. Moreover, the rabbi of Niedernai was ordered to read the decision publicly in the synagogue. On the conflict and its resolution, see Ginsburger, M., “Families Lehmann et Cerf Berr,” Revue des etudes juives 59 (1910): 106130, and Loeb, Les Juifs de Strasbourg, p. 174.

34. See Malino, Frances, “Competition and Confrontation: The Jews and the Parlement of Metz,” in Les Juifs au regards de I' histoire: Melanges en I' honneur de Bernhard Blumenkranz, ed. Gilbert, Dahan (Paris, 1985), pp. 327341. For a discussion of parallel conditions in Germany, see Sorkin, David, The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780–1840 (New York, 1987), pp. 4950. Sorkin asserts that state encroachment on communal autonomy stripped rabbis of their civil jurisdiction, and as a result, Jews turned to non-Jewish courts. In Sorkin's words, “the political interference of the state and mercantilist economics impinged on the Jewish community at the time when its religious leadership was least able to respond forcefully.”

35. For details, see Hertzberg, French Enlightenment and the Jews, pp. 241–243.

36. Posener, “Social Life of Jewish Communities,” pp. 217, 202–203. The Jews of eastern France had been excluded from the assemblies which prepared the cahiers de doleances and from the election of delegates to the Etats Geneiaux. After complaints by Cerf Berr, the Jews of Alsace-Lorraine and Metz were permitted to submit a report, though not a cahier, and one rabbi, David Sintzheim, was in fact among the six delegates chosen to prepare the draft. On the preparation of this report, see Godechot, J., “Comment les juifs ilurent leurs deputes en 1789,” Revue des itudes juives 81 (1925): 4854, and David Feuerwerker, U emancipation des Juifs en France de I' Ancien Regime a la fin du Second Empire (Paris, 1976), pp. 241–261. On the role of the rabbi in the provincial organizations of the northeast, see for example Weil, J., “Contribution a l' histoire des communaute's alsaciennes au 18eme siecle,” Revue des etudes juives 81 (1925): 169180, and the Extrait duprotocole de la nation de Vassemblee du 21 lyyar 5537, published in Loeb, Les Juifs de Strasbourg, pp. 181–198. On the efforts of Cerf Berr, see Hertzberg, French Enlightenment and the Jews, pp. 314–318, and Neher-Bernheim, Renee, “Cerf Berr de Medelsheim et sa famille,” Saisons d' Alsace 20 (1975): 4761.

37. Baron's position is summarized in “New Approaches to Jewish Emancipation,” Diogenes29 (1960): 57–58. On the general decline of Jewish religious authority, see Abramsky, Chimen, “The Crisis of Authority within European Jewry in the Eighteenth Century,” in Studies in Jewish Intellectual and Religious History, ed. Siegfried, Stein and Raphael Loewe (University, Ala., 1979), pp. 1328.

38. An appreciation for the critical importance of the reform of Jewish mores was certainly in evidence among some Jewish intellectuals in the years preceding the Revolution, particularly in the writings of Zalkind Hourwitz, Isaiah Berr Bing, and Berr Isaac Berr. Their proposals, which include criticism of the rabbinic leadership, appeals for the elimination of moneylending, the assertion that Jews are obligated by their religion to love members of other faiths, and recommendations for educational reform, bear striking similarity to views advanced by maskilimelsewhere. For a discussion of Hourwitz, Bing, and Berr, see Berkovitz, Jay R., The Shaping of Jewish Identity in Nineteenth-century Fiance (Detroit, 1989), pp. 5777. My contention in this paper is that the promise of civic equality, and its eventual realization, set the consciousness of French Jews apart from that of their coreligionists abroad.

39. See Kahn, Leon, Les Jiiifs de Paris pendant la Revolution (Paris, 1898).

40. Isaac Berr, Berr, Lettre d' un citoyen, membre de la ci-devant communaute des Juifs de Lorraine a ses confreres, a I' occasion du droit de citoyen actif rendu au.x Juifs par le decret du 28 Septembre 1791 (Nancy, 1791). For a similar use of religious imagery, see Gerson-Levy, , Orgue et Pioutim (Paris, 1859), p. 108.

41. On Lacretelle's use of the term regeneration, see Cohen, Richard I., “The Rhetoric of Jewish Emancipation and the Vision of the Future” [Heb.], in The French Revolution and Its Impact, ed. Richard, I. Cohen (Jerusalem, 1991), pp. 148149, and on Gregoire, pp. 149–162. Grdgoire's work originated as an essay submitted to the competition sponsored by the Society royale des arts et sciences de Metz in 1785. It was subsequently revised and finally published in Paris in 1788.

42. The controversial passage in Gregoire's Essai, p. 132, reads as follows: “L' entiere liberte religieuse accordee aux Juifs sera un grand pas en avant pour les reformer, et j' ose le dire, pour les convertir.” It is clear that Gregoire envisioned the eventual conversion of the Jews to Christianity, and that he regarded improved treatment of the Jews and their civic emancipation as laying the groundwork for that eventuality. But whether this was to be achieved through a direct, aggressive policy is another matter. Paul Gruenbaum-Ballin has argued persuasively that Gregoire's statements in his Essai and subsequent writings ought to be understood as having mystical significance only. See his “Gregoire convertisseur? ou la croyance au ' Retour d' Israe' l,' ” Revue des etudes juives 121 (1962): 383–398. My sense is that one can legitimately attribute more than mystical meaning to Gregoire's plan without necessarily concluding that the abbi had missionary objectives. It is not unlikely that Gregoire, like others, expected that the Jews would gradually become convinced of the superiority of Christianity through political and cultural regeneration. For an example of the reactionary-Christian position on this subject, compare the view of Louis de Bonald, Mercure de France, February 8, 1806, where the author argued that the regeneration of the Jews would remain impossible until they first accepted Jesus.

43. For a useful discussion of the meaning of regeneration in early Christianity, see Ladner, Gerhart B., The Idea of Reform: Its Impact on Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers (Cambridge, Mass., 1959), pp. 1032, 50–51. Ladner notes that in the Gospel of John and the Letter to Titus, rebirth signified spiritual regeneration through baptism, and that the individual Christian “must die with Christ, be reborn in Him, and begin a new life following Him” (p. 51). On the term regeneration in its revolutionary context, see Cohen, “Rhetoric of Jewish Emancipation,” pp. 145–169, and Ozouf, Mona, “La Revolution francaise et l' idee de l' homme nouveau,” in The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture, ed. Colin Lucas, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1988), vol. 2, pp. 213232. We may infer from the Ozouf article (p. 218) that in the immediate aftermath of the Revolution the idea of regeneration was still in transition between its religious and political meaning. As Ozouf points out, for some, such as Lamourette, regeneration was the meeting point between Christianity and the revolutionary enterprise.

44. The full French text reads as follows: “Si vous etes vainqueurs, e' en est fait des tyrans. Les peuples s' embrassent, et, honteux de leur longue erreur, tls eteignent a jamais le flambeau de la guerre. On vous proclame les sauveurs de la patrie, les fondateurs de la Republique, les regenerateurs de l' univers,” cited in Alfred Rambaud, Histoire de la civilisation contemporaine en France (Paris, 1888), p. 136.

45. For additional evidence of the secularization of regeneration, see Kates, Gary, The Cercle Social, the Girondins, and the French Revolution (Princeton, N.J., 1985), pp. 99120. Jews, too, would occasionally use the term regeneration to refer to a universal-secular messianic vision. See, for example, Des riformes religieuses et du Judaisme, par un habitat de Metz[anon.] (Metz, 1842), p. 8. For one of the most vivid descriptions of the concept of regeneration,see Sagnac, Philippe, La Formation de la societe francaise moderne, 2 vols. (Paris, 1946), vol. 2, p. 298: “Mais au-dessus de cet ensemble, le maintenant, le vivifiant, lui donnant le mouvement et la vie, il est un sentiment puissant qui lui communique une energie infinie-infinie comme la religion meme-c' est la foi en la ' regeneration' de la societe francaise. ' Regeneration de chaque Francais d' abord, resurrection des Francais en hommes,' comme dire Andre Chenier, et en ' citoyens,' et union de tous les citoyens en une ' nation.' Acte de foi, de volonte. Par lui, la synthese des elements spirituels recueillis par le siecle acquiert un dynamisme insoupconne, exaltes toutes les forces individuels et collectives. La puissance que semble avoir perdue la religion, cette foi nouvelle la conquiert. Elle est une religion. C' est la grande esperance en la ' regeneration' des hommes de France et meme de l' humanite. Revolution essentiellement morale et, par la-meme, revolution sociale.”

46. Kates, Cercle Social, p. 120.

47. See Ozouf, Mona, “Regeneration,” in A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, ed. Francois, Furet and Mona Ozouf (Cambridge, Mass., 1989), p. 782.

48. For a fuller treatment of the ideology of regeneration as understood by Jewish communal and intellectual leaders, see Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, pp. 73–76, 87–89, 139–14

49. Ibid., pp. 17, 206–210. On the preeminence of the religious over the secular in the definition of identity among French Jews, seeSzajkowski, Zosa, “Secular versus Religious Jewish Life in France,” in The Role of Religion in Modern Jewish History, ed. Jacob, Katz (Cambridge, Mass., 1975), pp. 107127, and Girard, Patrick, Us Juifs de France de 1789 a 1860 (Paris, 1976), pp. 133149

50. On the modernization of the Jews in the Habsburg Empire, see Silber, Michael K., “The Historical Experience of German Jewry and its Impact on Haskalah and Reform in Hungary,” in Toward Modernity: The European Jewish Model, ed. Jacob, Katz (New Brunswick, N.J., 1987), pp. 107157, and “The Enlightened Absolutist State and the Transformation of Jewish Society: Tradition in Crisis? State Schools, Military Conscription, and the Emergence of a Neutral Polity in the Reign of Joseph II” (Paper presented at the Conference on Tradition and Crisis Revisited: Jewish Society and Thought on the Threshold of Modernity, Harvard University, October 1988). On modernization in Germany, see Kober, Adolf, “Emancipation's Impact on the Education and Vocational Training of German Jewry,” Jewish Social Studies 16 (1954): 160; on Jewish schools in Germany, see Eliav, Mordecai, Jewish Education in Germany in the Period of the Haskalah and Emancipation (Jerusalem, 1962), and Sorkin, Transformation of German Jewry, pp. 125 ff.

51. The first societies for the encouragement of Jewish vocational training were established in Metz and Paris in 1823, although the arrangement of Jewish apprenticeships had already been undertaken with private initiative several years before. See Shai Weissbach, Lee, “The Jewish Elite and the Children of the Poor: Jewish Apprenticeship Programs in Nineteenth-Century France,” AJS Review 12 (1987): 123142; Christine Piette, Les Juifs de Paris (1808–1840): la marche vets Vassimilation (Quebec, 1983), pp. 43–44. The French translation olDivre Shalom ve-Emet, published anonymously by Berr-Isaac-Berr under the title Instruction Salutaire adressee aux communautes juives de I' empire, appeared in Paris in 1782

52. Posener, “Immediate Effects,” pp. 308–312.

53. See Marx, Roland, “La Regeneration e' conomique des Juifs d' Alsace a l' epoque revolutionnaire et napoleonnaire,” in Les Juifs et la Revolution Franfaise, ed. Bernhard, Blumenkranz and Albert Soboul (Paris, 1976), pp. 105120, and Hyman, Paula, The Emancipation of the Jews of Alsace: Acculturation and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century (New Haven, 1991), pp. 3049.

54. The territorial marginality of Alsace–Lorraine in the period preceding the Revolution is evident in the customs restrictions which prevented the region from trading with the rest of France. On this point see Lough, Introduction to Eighteenth Century France, p. 70. The persistence of the view that the region was not an integral part of France accounts for the retrograde conditions well into the nineteenth century. See Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen

55. On the general history of rural France in the nineteenth century, see Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen, and on the slow pace of modernization of French Jewry, see Hyman, Paula, “Emancipation and Cultural Conservatism: Alsatian Jewry in the Nineteenth Century” [Heb.], in Umah ve-toldoteha, ed. Shmuel Ettinger (Jerusalem, 1984), pp. 3948; idem, Emancipation of the Jews of Alsace, and Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, pp. 86–110, 161–163.

56. Loeb, Les Juifs a Strasbourg, pp. 142–153.

57. The riots were concentrated in Upper Alsace. Outbreaks were reported in Nancy and Metz, but not as serious. See Szajkowski, , “Riots in Alsace during the Revolutions of 1789, 1830, and 1848,” Zion 20 (1955 /56): 88–91, and Jacob Toury, Turmoil and Confusion in the Revolution of 1848: The Anti-Jewish Riots in the “Year of Freedom” and Their Influence on Modern Antisemitism [Heb.] (Tel Aviv, 1968). The right of refuge in Switzerland had been obtained in connection with trading permits. The 708 Alsatian Jews who fled to Basel in 1789 were not granted residential authorization, however, only temporary asylum. Cf. Kaufmann, Uri, “Swiss Jewry: From the ' Jewish Village' to the City, 1780–1930,” Yearbook of the Leo Baeck Institute 30 (1985): 283299, and Feuerwerker, L' emancipation des Juifs, pp. 288–292. Riirup, Reinhard, “The European Revolutions of 1848 and Jewish Emancipation,” in Revolution and Evolution: 1848 in German-Jewish History, ed. Werner Mosse, Arnauld Paucker, and Reinhard Riirup (Tubingen, 1981), p. 33.

58. Reuss, Rodolphe, “Quelques documents nouveaux sur l' antisemitisme dans le Bas-Rhin, de 1794 a 1799,” Revue des 4tudes juives 59 (1910): 248276.

59. The election was for the canton of Oberhausbergen, and is noted in Ginsburger, M., Histoire de la communaute de Bischeim au San in (Strasbourg, 1937), p. 54. Cf. Feuerwerker, L' Emancipation des juifs, pp. 437–440, for a case where the town council of Bischeim sur Saum prevented at least five prominent Jews from taking the civil oath by requiring them to cross themselves. Eventually, in April 1792, the requirement was removed upon the order of the departmental directory.

60. Charles Mull, Histoire economique et sociale de Haguenau, 3 vols. (These pour le doctorat de 3eme cycle, Universite de Strasbourg, 1974), vol. 3, pp. 925–926.

61. Szajkowski, Zosa, “Riots against the Jews in Metz in 1792” [Heb.], Zion 22 (1957): 76.

62. Graetz, Michael, “Jewish Economic Activity Between War and Peace: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Army Suppliers” [Heb.] Zion 56 (1991): 255273. For the larger French and European context, see Blum, Jerome, The End of the Old Order in Rural Europe (Princeton, 1978), esp. pp. 95304, 367–376.

63. Two-page Hebrew broadside issued by the Metz kehillah, 7 Ab 5552 (1792), beginning with the words “El Azilei B' nei Israel.” I am grateful to dr. Michael Silber for bringing this document to my attention.

64. Szajkowski, Poverty and Social Welfare, p. 7; Godechot, G., “Les Juifs de Nancy de 1789 a 1795,” Revue des etudes juives 86 (1928): 46.

65. See Mahler, Raphael, A History of Modern Jewry (New York, 1971), pp. 4753;Szajkowski, Zosa, “The Attitude of the French Jacobins toward Jewish Religion,” in Jews in the French Revolutions of 1789, 1830, and 1848 (New York, 1970), pp. 399412, and “Jewish Religious Observance during the French Revolution in 1789,” Ibid., pp. 785–808; Moise, and Ginsburger, Ernest, “Contributions a l' histoire des Juifs d' Alsace pendant la terreur,” Revue des ttudesjuives 47 (1903): 283299; and Henri Tribout de Morembert, “Les Juifs de Metz el de Lorraine (1791–1795),” in Les Juifs et la Revolution francaise, pp. 87–104. Memories of the persecution suffered during the Terror have been preserved in various books, manuscripts, and traditions. R. David Sintzheim, for example, described the burning of Torah scrolls and holy books, the closing of the house of study, and his own wanderings in Yad David (Offenbach, 1799), introduction. Others, such as R. Jacob Mayer of Niedernai, were imprisoned, while R. Simon Horchheim of Mutzig was arrested and nearly executed for violating the order prohibiting Sabbath observance. On the latter, see Scheuer, Herz, Turei Zahav,she Reis (Mainz, 1874 /75), p. 175. Among the most poignant traditions is one describing R. Jacob Gougenheim of Haguenau, who was ordered to turn the keys of the synagogue over to the authorities of the city, and was thereafter prohibited from bearing the title “rabbi.”

66. For an example of a pamphlet that criticized the Jews for their alleged idleness, see Les Juifs d' alsace, doivent-ils eve admis au droit de citoyens actifs? (n.p., 1790). The Jacobin quotation is cited in Reuss, “Quelques documents nouveaux sur l' antise' mitisme,” pp. 251–252.

67. Only fragments of information on the lives of French rabbis of this period remain. For Sarassin, see Univers Israelite 16 (1860–61): 185–186, and Souvenir et Science (February 1934): 24–26. On Lunteschutz, see M. Kayserling, “Les Rabbins de Suisse,” Revue des etudes juives 46 (1903): 269–275, and Carmoly, E., “Galerie israelite francaise,” Archives Israelites de France 23 (1862): 157159. Lunteschutz himself provided some autobiographical information in his collection of novellae entitled Kelilat Yofi (Roedelheim, 1813), preface and pp. 29a, 30a.

68. Grand Rabbis Arnauld Aron, Marchand Ennery, Lion-Mayer Lambert, and Emmanuel Deutz were all trained in Germany. The lone exception appears to have been Aaron Worms (1754–1836), who was the only major rabbinic figure in the pre-1840 era who received his entire training in Alsace and Metz.

69. The letter is cited in Robert Anchel, “Contribution levee en 1813–1814 sur les Juifs du Haut-Rhin,” Revue des etudes juives 82 (1926): 495–501.

70. Posener, “Immediate Effects,” p. 215.

71. To Kassel alone nine Jewish families from Alsace immigrated in 1812. See Walter Roll, “The Kassel Ha-Meassef of 1799,” in The Jewish Response to German Culture, ed. Jehuda Reinharz and Walter Schatzberg (Hanover, Mass., 1985), p. 40. Szajkowski, “Riots in Alsace,” pp. 82–102.

72. This situation would persist in some areas well beyond the revolutionary era. For example, the training of rabbis in France at midcentury suffered from what Ismar Schorsch has called a “lack of determined government enforcement,” in “Emancipation and the Crisis of Religious Authority: The Crisis of the Modern Rabbinate,” Revolution and Evolution: 1848 in German-Jewish History, p. 228.

73. For an example of the use of the expression emancipation interieure, see Olry Terquern's remarks, cited in Meyer, Michael, Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism (New York, 1989), p. 166 and n. 74, and Archives israelites de France 4 (1843): 3. Examples of the differentiation of the terms emancipation industrielle, civile, and politiquecan be found in the 1845 report of the Societe d' encouragement au travail en faveur d' israelites du Bas-Rhin, published in Archives israelites de France 7 (1846): 192. Cf. the views of Zunz, cited in Nahum Glatzer, “Leopold Zunz and the Revolution of 1848,” Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 5 (1960): 122–139.

74. See E. Carmoly, “Napoleon et ses pane' gyristes hebreux,” Revue orientate 2 (1842): 25–33. For a most useful collection of Hebrew poems published in this era, see Mevorakh, Barukh, Napoleon utekufato (Jerusalem, 1968). A decade before, Moses Ensheim had composed a Hebrew poem that was recited in the Metz synagogue on October 21, 1792 in honor of the revolutionary victory. Entitled Lamenaze' ah Shir (Metz, n.d.), the eight-page poem was translated into French by Isaiah Berr Bing, under the title, Cantique a Voccasion de lafite civique, celebrie a Metz le 22 octobre [ 1792], l ' an premier de la Republique, dans le temple des citoyens israelites. See also Shmuel Verses, “The French Revolution as Reflected in Hebrew Literature” [Heb.], Tarbiz 58 (1988–89): 483–521, esp. 488–491

75. On the involvement of French maskilim in the Berlin Haskalah, see Helfand, Jonathan I., “The Symbiotic Relationship Between French and German Jewry in the Age of Emancipation,” Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 29 (1984): 331344.

76. De Bonald's article appeared in Mercure de France, February 8, 1806. For the response, see Simon Mayer [-Dalmbert], Au Redacteur du journal de I' Empire, Paris, July 30, 1806. On Mayer-Dalmbert's subsequent advocacy of a separate Jewish school in Paris, see I' Israelite francais 1 (1817): 86–93.

77. Overall, the most important vehicle for the concretization of revolutionary ideals was the Code Napole' on. Promulgated in 1804, it endowed France with a uniform legal system, codifying the laws produced by various revolutionary assemblies. Equality before the law, freedom of conscience, freedom for trade and industry, and the registration of births, deaths, and marriages by municipal authorities were all reconfirmed by the new civil code. Cf. Lough, Introduction to Eighteenth Century France, esp. pp. 320–332. Formulated slightly differently by Emmet Kennedy, A Cultural History of the French Revolution (New Haven, 1989), p. 377, “Napoleon synthesized the egalitarianism of the Revolution with the authority and centralization of the old regime.”

78. See Zeldin, Theodore. France, 1848–1945: Politics and Anger (New York, 1982). pp. 16, 20; Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen, pp. 95–96; Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, pp. 148–149.

79. For a discussion of Mendelssohn's views on this issue, see Altmann, Alexander, Moses Mendelssohn: A Biographical Study (Philadelphia, 1973), pp. 465468.

80. See Baron, Salon W., The Jewish Community, 3 vols. (Philadelphia, 1942), vol. 2, pp. 115116, and Katz, Tradition and Crisis, pp. 85–86. Aaron Worms had been a delegate to the Assembly of Jewish Notables and the Paris Sanhedrin. Toward the end of his life, after having served as community poseq, dayyan, and teacher in Metz, he was named chief rabbi (in 1831). In the final volume of his major work, Me' orei Or (Metz, 1831), vol. 7, pp. lOb–llb, commenting on the talmudic discussion of b' nei Noah, Worms cited the address which he had made before the Paris Sanhedrin on the status of gentiles according to Jewish law. Worms's discourse was clearly the foundation for the assembly's pronouncements on attitudes toward Frenchmen, and specifically on the subject of moneylending; see Berkovitz, “Rabbinic Scholarship in Revolutionary France,” pp. 251–258. For a similar evaluation of Eibeschutz, see Shohet, Beginings of Haskalah, pp. 210–220.

81. On the Paris Sanhedrin, see Simon Schwarrfuchs, Napoleon, the Jews and the Sanhedrin (London, 1979) and Malino, Frances, The Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux (University, Ala., 1978). The use of the decisions of the Sanhedrin to strengthen the arguments of religious reform is quite well known. See, for example, Philipson, David, The Reform Movement in Judaism (New York, 1931), pp. 149163. One example of reliance on the Sanhedrinal decisions by opponents of religious reform is a letter from Rabbi Salomon Klein of Colmar to the Minister of Instruction Publique et les Cultes, in Archives Nationales F19 11037, December 31, 1856. Klein argued that in recommending certain ritual reforms, the 1856 Paris rabbinic conference had violated the religious status quo as set forth by the Sanhedrin and subsequently confirmed by the Napoleonic regime.

82. In 1841 the Metz primary school administrative committee, for example, was composed of the local chief rabbi, Lion-Mayer Lambert, and several maskilim. On this, see Archives Israelites de France 2 (1841): 538.

83. The tcole rabbinique of Metz exemplifies the pluralism that prevailed in French Jewish life. S. Krllger, one member of the Talmud faculty who had been associated with Frankel before assuming a position at the Metz school, issued a sharp attack against R. Samson Raphael Hirsch for having criticized the 1856 Paris rabbinical conference. In a pamphlet entitled De la competence de M.S. R. Hirsch, rabbin de la confrerie religieuse a Francfort-sur-Mein (Paris, 1856), Krttger expressed the widely felt Franco-Jewish rejection of the denominationalism that came to dominate Jewish life in Germany. Condemning religious extremism, Kriiger warned Hirsch that his style of orthodoxy had no chance of success in France inasmuch as French Jewry was protected from the abuse of rabbinic authority by the consistorial system.

84. Although the consistories were apparently overburdened by bureaucratic duties, and therefore failed to provide effective leadership for the modernization of French Jewry, they nonetheless did play an absolutely decisive role by providing both a formal administrative structure and, no less important, a framework of symbolic unity. On the consistorial system, see Albert, Phyllis Cohen, The Modernization of French Jewry: Consistory and Community in the Nineteenth Century (Hanover, Mass., 1977). The absence of a religious reform movement is generally explained by the potent forces of cultural conservatism in the rural northeast and the resistance of the region's rabbinic leadership to ritual innovation. See Albert, pp. 263–265, 290–302, and Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, pp. 187–188, 210–214. My emphasis here on the structural impediments to religious reform stresses the Napoleonic foundations of this phenomenon.

85. The literature on the Jewish question in Restoration France is too vast to cite here. Two of the best-known works are Bail, Charles-Joseph, Des Juifs au dix-neuvieme siecle (Paris, 1816) and Moureau, Agricole, De V incompatibility entre le Jtidaisme et I' exeivise des droits de cite et des moyens de rendre les Juifs citoyens (Paris, 1819). In addition, an essay contest sponsored by the Socie' te des sciences, agriculture et arts of Strasbourg in 1824 on the Jewish question in Alsace generated a considerable literature. For a survey of this material, see-Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, pp. 45–56. On the debate that began with the appearance of Bail's book, see Cologna, Abraham, Quelques observations sur la deuxieme edition de I' ouvrage intitule “Des Juifs au XIXe siecle” de M. Bail (Paris, 1817); Silvestre de Sacy, Antoine Isaac, Lettre a M.***, Conseiller de S.M. Le Roi de Saxe, relativement a I' ouvragement intitule: “Des Juifs au XIXe siecle” (Paris, 1817); and Cologna, Abraham, Reflexions adressees a M. Le Baron S. deS. (Paris, 1817).

86. Typical of the optimism voiced in the early years of the new regime is the characterization of the 1814 Charte by Jewish community leader Alphonse-Theodore Cerfberr: “le vaste et magnifiquc Edifice d' une legislation nouvelle, temple sainte ou sont gravies les liberte's publiques, les security's nationales,” in Observations sur les voeux emis par les Conseils gen6raux des dipartemens du Haut et Bas-Rhin, relativement aux mesuies a prendre contre les Juifs, par suite de Dicrit du 17 mars 1808 (Paris, 1817), p. 9.

87. V Israelite frangais (Paris, 1817–18). See Archives Nationales C 2738, no. 72, Paris, January 3, 1816, and C 2741, no. 38, Paris, 1817. For a similar appraisal of the role played by the journal in the battle against the 1808 reglement, see Dubnow, Simon, History of the Jews, 1925 ed., trans. Moshe Spiegel, 5 vols. (South Brunswick, N.J., 1967 –73), vol. 5, p. 212

88. Although the journal did offer a forum for discussion of religious, philosophical, and literary subjects, political issues were accorded the highest priority, as is evident from the following excerpt appearing in the journal's introduction, pp. ii–iii: “C' est pour arriver plus promptement a cette solution, et par consequanl a une amelioration desiree par les gens de bien et commandee par l' esprit du siecle, qu' on publie {' Israelite francais. Le genre d' utilit6 qu' il prdsente, et le concours des savans qui se disposenl a 1' enrichir en font esperer le succes.”

89. See Abramsky, Chimen, “The Crisis of Authority within European Jewry in the Eighteenth Century,” in Studies in Jewish Intellectual and Religious History, ed. Siegfried Stein and Raphael Loewe (University, Ala., 1979), pp. 1328, and Sorkin, Transformation, pp. 125–129.

90. On Jewish schools in France, see Szajkowski, Zosa, Jewish Education in Fiance 1789–1939 (New York, 1980); Albert, Modernization of French Jewry; pp. 128–136; and Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, pp. 150–191

91. Archives Israelites de France 9 (1848): 609–611

92. On the restoration of the Metz yeshiva in 1820, see Archives Israelites de France 5 (1844): 387–394. The appeal for funds was published in Netter, Nathan, Vingt siecles d' histoire d' une communaute juive (Paris, 1938), pp. 312317.

93. Sharp criticism of the level of study, and of the students, was repeated frequently. See the report presented by the administrative council of the school on January 20, 1841, Archives nationales F19 11052. For a listing of the first class at the ecole centrale rabbinique, see Bauer, Jules, “Ecole centrale rabbinique,” Revue des etudes juives 84 (1927): 53. For details on the geographical distribution of rabbinical students during the first thirty years of the institution, see Salomon Ulmann, Lettre pastorale, October 23, 1860. The dimensions of the Jewish marriage market contracted in similar fashion. See Hyman, Emancipation of the Jews of Alsace, p. 53.

94. Until recently the most complete list of titles issued by the Metz press was published in Carmoly, Eliakim, “De la typographic hebrai' que a Metz,” Revue orientate 3 (1843 –44): 209215, 283–289. Now see Vinograd, Yeshayahu, Thesaurus of the Hebrew Book (Jerusalem, 1993), pp. 458461. On the disappearance of liturgical variants in the more recent prayerbooks, compare Seder Tefilah ke-Minhag Ashkenaz (Metz, 1764/65) with Mahzor shel Rosh Ha-Shanah (Metz, 1817). Also see Schwarzfuchs, Simon, Du Juif a I' lsraelite. Histoire d' une mutation (1770–1879) (Paris, 1989), p. 299.

95. Meyer, Michael, “Jewish Religious Reform and Wissenschaft des Judentums: The Positions of Zunz, Geiger and Frankel,” Leo Baeck Institute YearBook 16(1971): 1941; Ismar Schorsch, “Breakthrough into the Past: The Verein fur Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden,” Ibid. 33 (1988): 3–28.

96. In a letter to Leopold Zunz (October 7, 1822), Sylveslre de Sacy warned that while he had the greatest respect for the work of Wissenschaft des Judentums, the utility and difficulty of the work would be appreciated only in Germany. With respect to the scholarly elite, de Sacy's views on the lack of enthusiasm among French Jewry were certainly not borne out, though his remarks were accurate insofar as the general Jewish public was concerned. Sacy's, De letter appeared in Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland 5 (1892), “Aus Leopold Zunz' Nachlag,” pp. 223–268. The quotation appears on pp. 259–260.

97. One exception to the general rule was Michel Berr. Upon his return to France in 1809 he became active in the literary life of Paris.

98. Archives Israelites de France 28 (1867): 154–167, and Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, pp. 141–146.

99. The Liber quotation appeared in Univers israelite 77 (1922): 559. See Pierre Birnbaum, “L' entree en Ripublique. Le personnel politique juif sous la Troisieme Republique,” in Ideologies, partis politiques et groups sociaux, ed. Y., Miry (Paris, 1989), pp. 89100

100. On demands for state aid for Jewish schools, see Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, p. 160.

101. In the estimation of contemporary observers, both Jewish and gentile, the law of February 8, 1831 signified the final step of emancipation. According to the 1843 report of the prifet of the Bas Rhin, “la veritable emancipation des Israelites ne date pas de la loi qui a proclame leur egalite' civile et politique avec les Chretiens, mais de celle par laquelle PEtat a reconnu leur culte et declare que ses ministres seraient salaries par la loi… lorsque les Israelites virent leur culte et ses ministres mis sous la protection de l' Etat et traites a l' egal des cultes Chretiens, ils commencerent seulement a croire a l' etendue de leur liberte civile et religieuse. Cette croyance les releva a leur propres yeux, leur donna de l' assurance et les conduisit a se de' pouiller dans leur relations avec leur concitoyens des autres cultes, de cette humilite rampante, resultat de leur longue oppression. La nouvelle loi ne manque pas non plus son effet sur la population chretienne a qui cet acte 16gislatif apprit a accepter une egalite' plus positive, avant l' objet de son dedain. Alors une nouvelle ere commenca pour les Juifs.” This excerpt is cited in David Cohen, “L' Image du Juif dans la socie' te francaise en 1843 d' apres les rapports des prefets,” Revue d' histoire economique et sociale 55 (1977): 84–85. The law of 1831 was understood to be of greater significance than the 1844 abrogation of the more judaico, which was regarded more as an embarrassment than a serious legal disability. Emphasizing the symbolism of the more judaico, Samuel Cahen, for example, referred to it as “ce dernier vestige de barbarie d' un autre age,” in Archives Israelites de France 6 (1845): 104.

102. The duty of representing the Jewish community to the general public can be observed in the sermons pronounced at ceremonies marking the initiation religieuse and the dedication of new synagogues. The public nature of these events, at which Christian clergy, local officials, and townspeople were present, extended an opportunity and a challenge to Jewish leaders to improve the image of Judaism. The incessant efforts made by leaders of the consistory and the rigenirateur movement to persuade rabbis to preach in French were related to this goal. Only the French-speaking rabbi, it was argued, would be able to represent Judaism appropriately to the larger, Christian society. After citing an excerpt from a local Nancy newspaper reporting on the sermon pronounced by R. Salomon Ulmann at the inauguration of the synagogue in Chateau-Salins in 1844, the Archives Israelites stated the following: “Le temps est passe ou les catholiques allaient a la synagogue pour en rire. La dignite est rentree dans le temple de Salomon avec Emancipation civile des juifs. Puissent-ils comprendre tous les avances de la societe francaise a leur egard, et elever leurs coreligionnaires des classes inferieures a la hauteur du titre de citoyen francais.” In the view of the Archives israelites, the matter was at the heart of emancipation. See Archives israelites de France 5 (1844): 868–869.

103. On the notion of French society as a family, see Shell, Marc, The End of Kinship (Stanford, 1988). The expression la grande famille francaise appeared innumerable times in Jewish sources. See, for instance, Cahen's, Samuel remarks in Archives Israelites de Fiance 1 (1840): 658. For an example of the claim that the refusal of Jews to marry gentiles was an obstacle to social integration, see Tourette, A., Discours sur les Juifs d' Alsace (Strasbourg, 1825), p. 37. On the debate over “fusion,” Rabbi Abraham Cologna, for one, protested against the use of the term in the following remarks: “Let no one speak to us any more of ' fusion,' away with these vague expressions, let us call things by their names: it is only a matter of civil and political association, which has nothing and which can have nothing in common with belief in the messiah who has come or who is to come,” in his Reflexions adressfes a M. Silvestre de Sacy (Paris, 1817), pp. 9, 17, cited in Posener, “Immediate Effects,” pp. 325–326. Later, Isidore Cahen expressed his opposition to the use of the term fusion sociale; see Archives israelites de France 21 (1860): 217–218.

104. Ratisbonne served as secretary of the Societc d' encouragement au travail en faveur des israelites du Bas-Rhin. In a memoire he composed in 1824, Ratisbonne had advanced recommendations for reform that aimed at realizing the vision of fusion sociale. For excerpts of the memoire, see Journal de la Societe des Sciences, Agriculture, el Arts, du Bas-Rhin 3 (1826): 376–377. Until his conversion in 1827, Ratisbonne was active in the work of the Societe d' encouragement. According to Ratisbonne and fellow converts Isidore Goschler and Jules Lewel, their involvement in Jewish communal affairs was undertaken at the insistence of their mentor, Louis Bautain, as a preparatory step before undergoing baptism. On this involvement, and on the use of the term regeneration, see Philosophie du Christianisme: correspondance religieuse de Louis Bautain, 2 vols. (Paris, 1835), 1, esp. pp. xliii–liii, lxxii, cvi, cviii. On radical religious reform, assimilation, and conversion, see Graetz, Michael, From Periphery to Center: French Jewry in the Nineteenth Century (Jerusalem, 1982), chap. 4, and the recent exchange in Jewish History 5 (1991): 47–71.

105. The numerous examples of Munk's, collaboration with French scholars include the assistance he provided to Eugene Bore in publishing “Une seance du Tahkemoni, Journal asiatique (January, 1837): 2143; a cooperative project on the Druse with Sylvestre de Sacy, published in Temps, March 2, 1838; the help he gave astronomer J.-B. Biot for the latter's work on Abulafia in 1843; and the general assistance he gave to Ernst Renan, who preceded him as professor of Hebrew and Syriac literature at the College de France. See Schwab, Moise, Salomon Munk: sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1899), pp. 44120, and Graetz, Periphery to Center, p. 2

106. See, for example, Gerson-Levy's report on Dukes's work, presented to the Academie de Metz, published in Archives Israelites de France (February 1848). Gerson-Levy was also a member of the Soci6t6 Asiatique and the Academie de Stanislas, Nancy. For additional biographical data, see Thiel, M., Notice sur la vie de Gerson-Levy, Extrait du memoires de I' Academie de Metz (Metz, 1864 –65).

107. Schwab, Solomon Munk, pp. 44–46, 68, 70, 131.

108. La Bible, traduction nouvelle, ed. Samuel, Cahen, 18 vols. (Paris, 1831 –51).

109. Berkovitz, Shaping of Jewish Identity, p. 272, n. 40.

110. Ibid., pp. 142–144. , Munk's views were articulated in his book Palestine: Description geographique, historique et archeologique (Palis, 1845), pp. 99, 132–140.

111. See Artz, Frederick, France under the Bourbon Restoration, 1814–1830 (New York, 1963), pp. 158163, 170–176.

112. Archives Israelites de France 4 (1843): 3–4. Cahen's son Isidore, who succeeded him as editor of the Archives israelites, commented on French Jewry's ill-preparedness with the following observation: “Nos coreligionnaires, appeles par la Revolution au benefice de la liberty civile et politique. n' avaient encore ni les moeurs ni meme la conscience de leur nouvelle situation; il ne connaissaient guere que le trafic pour occupation, et leur foi etait entachait d' abus et des superstitions; les chaines Aetaient tombees, mais les membres dtaient engourdis; de nouveaux horizons s' ouvraient pour les Israelites, mais leur oeil n' etait pas fait encore a les contempler.” Archives Israelites de France 28 (1867): 265

113. See Ibid. 7 (1846): 602–608.

114. For two examples of studies that argue for the decline of the rabbinate, see Albert, Modernization of French Jewry, pp. 240–302, and Jean-Marc Chouraqui, “De 1' emancipation des Juifs a l' e' mancipation du Judaisme: le regard des rabbins francais au xixe siecle,” in Birnbaum, Histoire politique, pp. 39–57.

115. On the distinctiveness of Alsatian Jewish culture, see Raphael, Freddy and Weyl, Robert, Juifs en Alsace: Culture, Societe, Histoire (Toulouse, 1977), and idem, Regards nouveau sur les Juifs d' Alsace (Strasbourg, 1980).

116. I do not take issue with the claim made by Michael Marrus, in The Politics of Assimilation, that assimilationism blinded French Jewry to the dangers of antisemitism. However, it does appear that for those Jews who did not subscribe to assimilationism, a different mechanism had to have been employed in order to reconcile the occasional outbursts of anti-Jewish hostility with their abiding faith in the new order. When anti-Jewish riots erupted in Alsace in 1848, the Archives Israelites explained that “l' Alsace… est, quant a la tolerance religieuse, une contree a part,” and that the hostilities should therefore not be regarded as a failure of the revolutionary legacy because Alsace was distinct from France proper. See Archives Israelites de France 9 (1848): 467 and 5 (1844): 868–869. In a more realistic sense. Reinhard RUrup has seen the riots as an indication of the limitations of the Revolution in transforming the popular image of the Jews. See Rtlrup, “European Revolutions of 1848,” p. 33.

117. See, for example, the views of Bloch, Simon and Dreyfus, Rabbi Samuel, in La Regeneration 1 (1836): 180, 340–341, cited in Hyman, “L' Impact de la Revolution,” pp. 30–31, and of Rabbi L.-M. Lambert, Precis de I' histoire de hebreux, p. 406.

118. This last formulation is based on Hobsbawm, Eric, “Mass-Producing Traditions, 1870–1914,” in The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger (Cambridge, 1983). p. 264.

119. Schwab, Salomon Munk, pp. 37, 56–58. The quotation from Munk was that “en France, la religion ne constitue pas le moindre difference.” This statement should certainly not be construed as suggesting a lack of sensitivity to the tensions posed by religious elements within French society. Munk and others were critical of the Catholic resurgence and were concerned about the dangers of religious extremism. But this concern did not overshadow their optimism about the future, nor their conviction that conditions in France were still superior to those in Germany. Cf. the remarks of Olry Terquem, Archives Israelites de Fiance 4 (1843): 722–723.

120. See Ibid. 5 (1844): 864, where Samuel Cahen. in response to Ludwig Philippsohn, asserted that “celui qui n' a pas de droil dans un pays, ne peul sincerement soutenir que ce pays est sa patrie.”

121. For excellent examples of the reverence felt for French civilization and culture, see the remarks of Metz grand rabbin Lion-Mayer Lambert, Precis de Vhistoiie des hebreux, pp. 406–407, and Archives Israelites de France 2 (1841): 596. Also see the important remarks of Theodore Zeldin, Fiance, vol. 2, pp. 6–24.

122. On parallel developments in French society at large, see Hampson, Norman, “The Enlightenment in France,” in The Enlightenment in National Context, ed. Roy Porter and Mikulas Teich (Cambridge. 1981), p. 53.

123. The term re' ge' ne' ration was used in virtually all sectors of the community, including Orthodox circles. Rabbis Samuel Dreyfus and S. Levy, both Alsatian, employed the term to mean something akin to a revival. Dreyfus saw regeneration religieuse as one of two objectives, the other being political emancipation, that were mandated by the Revolution. Levy used the expression regeneration in describing R. Salomon Klein's combined yeshiva and ecole de travail. See Univers israelite 9 (1853): 211–213, 231. By mid-century the term had become part of the mainstream vocabulary. Central Consistory Grand Rabbi Isidor, like his predecessor R. Salomon Ulmann, referred in his 1867 inaugural discourse to I' oeuvre de regeneration that had been pursued together during the preceding twenty years. See Archives Israelites de France 28 (1867): 308.

124. Involvement in the regeneration of Algerian Jewry was hardly surprising, insofar as Algeria was a French colony. The general concern for other communities in the Ottoman Empire, Near East, and North Africa, though spearheaded by Baron James de Rothschild and his almoner, Albert Cohn, was fully consistent with the sense of responsibility which French Jewry understood to be central to its ideology of emancipation. In articulating the goals of the Alliance Israelite Universelle at the organization's sixth annual general assembly, Adolphe Cremieux described regeniration as follows: “La regeneration des Juifs, nous n' avons pas a nous occuper autour de nous: c' est au loin que nous portons nos regards, c' est dans l' Orient que nous intervenons, au milieu de populations si loin de notre civilisation actuelle. ou les Juifs vivent encore sous le poids de prejuges les plus accablants,” published in Archives israelites de France 28 (1867): 14. The vast literature on these activities includes Michael Laskier, The Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco, 1862–1962 (Albany, 1983); Schwarzfuchs, Simon, Les Juifs d' Algerie et la France (1830–1855) (Jerusalem, 1981); Aron Rodrigue De Vinstruction al' emancipation (Paris, 1989); idem, French Jews, Turkish Jews (Bloomington, Ind., 1990); Michael Graetz, Periphery to Center, chap. 3; and Albert, Modernization of French Jewry, pp. 150–169.

125. According to Samuel Cahen, “notre liberte, nos droits publics, et la tolerance religieuse dont nous sommes l' objet, ne nous appartient pas a nous seuls; ils sont aussi le patrimoine de nos freres repandus sur la surface des deux hemispheres. Car la France est le phare qui eclaire le monde.” And in more universal terms, “la regeneration de toute l' Europe” dated from the era of liberty. Archives israelites de France 9 (1848): 209–210.

126. For the Cahen quotation, see Archives Israelites de France 1 (1840): 642. The First of May, originally a popular fertility festival, was transformed in the 1830s into a national holiday dedicated to the honoring of King Louis Philippe. This was not an uncommon phenomenon, as many popular festivals went through a similar political transformation; see Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen, pp. 377–398. The Bloch quotation appeared in Univers Israelites 17 (1861): 6.

127. See Salvador, Joseph, Histoire des institutions de Mo' i'se et de peuple hebreu, 3 vols. (Paris, 1828), and Graetz, From Periphery to Center, pp. 154–185. Also see Marrus, Politics of Assimilation, pp. 106–107

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