The Roots Of Judaism And Christianity Essay — страница 4

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Jews in the countries he conquered, and the ghettos were abolished. After Napoleon’s fall (1814-15), the German states revoked the rights he had granted the Jews, but the struggle for emancipation continued. Equal rights were achieved in the Netherlands, and more slowly in Great Britain. Germany and Austria, even after 1870, discriminated against Jews in military and academic appointments; in these countries much popular hostility continued, now called Anti-Semetism and supposedly justified on racial rather than religious grounds. In the American colonies the Jews had suffered relatively minor disabilities; with the founding of the United States, Jews became full citizens- - although in a few states discriminatory laws had to be fought. Jews entered the life of the Western

world with keen enthusiasm; they contributed significantly to commercial, scientific, cultural, and social progress. But the old structure of Jewish life was severely damaged: community controls became less effective, and neglect of religious observance, mixed marriage, and conversion to Christianity occurred. In response to such challenges, new modernist versions of Judaism were formulated; these movements originated in Germany and had their greatest development in North America. In Russia hopes of improvement were soon abandoned; the government engaged in open war against Jews. Under Nicholas I (r. 1825-55), 12-year-old Jewish boys were drafted into the army for terms of more than 30 years (whereas other Russians were drafted at 18 for 25 years); and Jewish conscripts were

treated with the utmost brutality to make them convert to Christianity. After 1804, Jews were allowed to reside only in Poland, Lithuania, and the Ukraine; Russia proper was closed to them. This Pale of settlement was later made smaller. From 1881 on, anti-Jewish riots, tolerated and sometimes instigated by the government, sent thousands fleeing to Western Europe and the Americas. Because Russia refused to honor the passports of American Jews, the United States abrogated a trade treaty in 1913. In response to these policies, new trends appeared in Russian Jewry. A movement of Jewish nationalism expressed itself in a revival of Hebrew as a secular language and in a few attempts at colonization in Palestine. A Jewish socialist movement, the Bund, appeared in urban centers,

stressing the Yiddish language and folk culture. The violent outburst of hatred that accompanied the Dreyfus Aaair in France inspired Theodor Herzl to launch the movement of Zionism, which sought to establish a Jewish state. Its chief support came from East European Jews; elsewhere Herzl’s proposals were considered impractical and a threat to newly won civil status. During World War I, East European Jews suffered heavily from troops on both sides. American Jewry now found itself for the first time the leading element in the world Jewish community, bearing the major responsibility for relief and reconstruction of the ravaged centers. The peace treaties guaranteed equal rights to minorities in the newly constituted or reconstituted countries, but these agreements were not

consistently upheld with regard to Jewish minorities, and colonization in Palestine expanded considerably. In the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Great Britain announced its support for a Jewish national home; this purpose, approved by the Allied governments, was embodied in the mandate for Palestine that Britain assumed after the war. British agents had secretly made contradictory promises to Arab leaders, however, and growing Arab nationalism expressed itself in anti- Jewish riots in Palestine in 1920-21 and 1929. In the latter year leading non-Zionist Jews, convinced that Palestine alone offered hope for impoverished and oppressed millions (since Western nations had rigidly restricted immigration), joined with the Zionists to form the Jewish Agency to assist and direct Jewish

settlement and development in Palestine. The Communist Revolution of 1917 did not end the sufferings of the Jewish population in Russia. Much of the fighting in the Civil War of 1918-20 took place in the Ukraine, where the White Russian armies conducted savage pogroms in which thousands of Jews were massacred. Although discriminatory decrees were abolished and anti-Semitism was banned as counterrevolutionary under the Soviet system, Judaism suffered the same disabilities as other religious groups. After the fall of Leon Trotsky, the old anti-Semitism was revived as a government policy. In Germany the Weimar Republic for the first time abolished all official discrimination against Jews. The republic was unpopular, however, and anti- Semitism was popular. Calculated use of