Immigration to the Land of Israel, 1808–1840

Arie Morgenstern

in Hastening Redemption

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305784
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784820 | DOI:
 Immigration to the Land of Israel, 1808–1840

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The Jewish population of the Land of Israel more or less doubled in size between 1808 and 1840. A significant segment of the immigrants were disciples of the Vilna Ga’on, who undertook an organized immigration effort beginning no later than 1806. Many were motivated by messianism, but some came in an effort to escape hardship in Europe. Many settled in the Galilee, in and around Safed, while others came to Jerusalem; there was a degree of rivalry between the groups (respectively led by Israel of Shklov and Menahem Mendel of Shklov). Immigration was adversely affected by recurring epidemics, natural calamities, poverty, and political instability. It increased substantially during the relatively enlightened and stable reign of Muhammad Ali, an Egyptian who took control of the Land of Israel from the Ottomans in 1831 and remained in power through the 1830s. The Montefiore Census of 1839 shows that nearly half of the Jewish population of the Land of Israel that year were under the age of twenty.

Keywords: Muhammad Ali; Montefiore Census; aliyah; yishuv; Safed; Galilee; Jerusalem; Israel of Shklov; Menahem Mendel of Shklov

Chapter.  13138 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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