Modern Responsa: 1800 to the Present

David Novak

in An Introduction to the History and Sources of Jewish Law

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262626
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682360 | DOI:
Modern Responsa: 1800 to the Present

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The French Revolution, especially Napoleon's reign and its diverse consequences, brought about immense changes in the social reality faced by Jews. Also, this period signifies how the modern nation state has been able to gain more importance for the Jews. From the period between 1800 to the present period, we realize that the Jewish community has undergone phases similar to that in the destruction of the Second Temple, since the religious and social attributes of the Jewish communities were overpowered by other various institutions. In this period, the traditional Jewish communities were being deprived of religious and social autonomy and the kehilot brought about significant historical transformations that consequently resulted in certain changes in the legal system. This chapter narrates how political emancipation presented the Jews with rights as individual citizens, while also providing collective privileges to communities.

Keywords: religious autonomy; social autonomy; kehilot; Jewish communities; French Revolution; individual citizens; rights; collective privileges

Chapter.  6934 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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