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03/28/2023 03:46:35 PM

Mar28

The Jews of France are asked to be "authentically French"

The dawn of modernity and emancipation was a mixed blessing for European Jews. On the one hand, more freedom beckoned. On the other hand, would Jews—given a choice—remain connected to their religious heritage? A political challenge of this period was when Napoleon offered the Jews of France the chance to be full citizens but only if they agreed to live openly as Frenchmen and thus give up their “clannish” ways. Napoleon convened a “Sanhedrin” based on the old rabbinic model of two thousand years ago in which Jewish notables were asked if they could commit to being authentically French. Except for demurring about intermarriage, they readily agreed.
 
The upshot was that Jews ceased being an autonomous community—they were no longer a state within a state. The setback was less cohesion in the Jewish community. Many Jews stopped identifying actively as Jews. A crisis was brewing.
 
Enter Reform Judaism – next time!
 
PS, If you or someone you know in the congregation is ill, including of course in the hospital, please let me know. 

Wed, February 21 2024 12 Adar I 5784