Chapter

Familiar Strangers

Schechter Ronald

in Obstinate Hebrews

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780520235571
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929357 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235571.003.0007
Familiar Strangers

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Public discussion of the Jews faded substantially between 1792 and Napoleon's rise to power at the very end of the decade. The September 1791 legislation removing all legal distinctions between Jews and non Jews, combined with the prior decree of religious freedom in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, made it difficult to speak of “the Jews” as a discrete group. The abolition of the former Jewish corporations at the same time made it difficult for the Jews to register any collective grievances, or indeed to make any collective statements about themselves. No formally recognized rabbis or syndics could speak on their behalf, and any attempt to articulate specifically Jewish concerns risked provoking the accusation that the Jews were still a “nation within a nation.” The leader's particular interest in the Jews prompted their return to prominence in the public imagination.

Keywords: Napoleon; legislation; non Jews; grievances

Chapter.  17865 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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