By Esther Benbassa
Within the first English-language version of a basic, artificial background of French Jewry from antiquity to the current, Esther Benbassa tells the fascinating story of the social, monetary, and cultural vicissitudes of a humans in diaspora. With verve and perception, she finds the range of Jewish lifestyles all through France's areas, whereas displaying how Jewish identification has always redefined itself in a rustic recognized for either the Rights of guy and the Dreyfus affair. starting with overdue antiquity, she charts the migrations of Jews into France and lines their fortunes in the course of the making of the French country, the Revolution, the increase of contemporary anti-Semitism, and the present renewal of curiosity in Judaism.As early because the fourth century, Jews inhabited Roman Gaul, and through the reign of Charlemagne, a few figured prominently at court docket. The notion of Jewish effect on France's rulers contributed to a conflict among church and monarchy that will culminate within the mass expulsion of Jews within the fourteenth century. The publication examines the re-entry of small numbers of Jews as New Christians within the Southwest and the emergence of a brand new French Jewish inhabitants with the country's acquisition of Alsace and Lorraine. The saga of modernity comes subsequent, starting with the French Revolution and the granting of citizenship to French Jews. precise but quick-paced discussions of key episodes keep on with: development made towards social and political integration, the transferring social and demographic profiles of Jews within the 1800s, Jewish participation within the economic climate and the humanities, the mass migrations from jap Europe on the flip of the 20 th century, the Dreyfus affair, persecution lower than Vichy, the Holocaust, and the postwar arrival of North African Jews. Reinterpreting such topics as assimilation, acculturation, and pluralism, Benbassa reveals that French Jews have built-in effectively with out continually risking lack of id. released to nice acclaim in France, this ebook brings very important present concerns to endure at the learn of Judaism mostly, whereas making for dramatic studying.
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Extra info for The Jews of France: A History from Antiquity to the Present
This movement displayed many similarities with that of the shepherds. During the great epidemic known as the Black Plague in 1348–49, one of the gravest catastrophes Europe has known, Jews were accused of propagating the scourge and put to death in the few French localities where they were still able to reside. Even Pope Clement VI intervened in their favor, emphasizing the emptiness of the accusation and the fact that they themselves were victims of the disease. Whole communities were decimated in the Savoy and in Provence.
Pointing to the hardship that these circumstances entailed, Jewish leaders resisted them in France as well as in the rest of Europe, and demanded perpetuation of the right, which formerly had been theirs, of living where they wished—that is, of choosing their master. In making law for the Jews of the entire kingdom, Saint Louis asserted the growing authority of royal power, generally to the detriment of that of the nobles, who found their position increasingly undermined. One also sees taking shape during this period the desire to make the Jews, who were a source of proﬁt and taxable at the sovereign’s pleasure, the king’s Jews—a pretension that, in the end, succeeded.
Famines and epidemics were frequent. Populations were decimated. Everywhere in the West there were social, economic, political, and religious crises. Mystical movements grew up in various places and assumed exacerbated forms, as in the case of the Flagellants, a group of penitents who had a great popular impact. For such movements, often apocalyptic, Jews constituted an obstacle to the realization of messianic promises. The leaders of these movements stirred up the hatred of the poor against the Jews, who were accused of poisoning the wells and subsequently were massacred.
The Jews of France: A History from Antiquity to the Present by Esther Benbassa