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Lesson 13 Lecture Notes. East European Jewry Part I.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson 13 Lecture Notes. East European Jewry Part I."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson 13 Lecture Notes

2 East European Jewry Part I

3 Western Europe/Eastern Europe  [insert map of Europe]

4 Historical Background: Poland (13 th – 17 th centuries)  Jewish Community Lived separately Lived according to Jewish law  Economics Jews prospered Jews involved in wheat trade  Culture/Governance Center of Jewish Learning Council of the Four Lands

5 Historical Background: Cossacks  Cossacks “free person” Privileges in return for military svc Revolt when privileges are threatened  Chmielnicki Insurrection Led by Bogdan Chmielnicki Goal: create independent state Uprising against landlords and Jewish estate managers Known as the Deluge Bogdan Chmielnicki

6 Historical Background: Partition  Weaker Kings mean weaker country No longer saw Jewish advantage Decline of Jewish community  Partition of Poland Neighbors (especially Russia) took bites 1772, 1793, and 1795 Russia absorbs most of Poland & her Jews

7 Historical Background: Pale of Settlement,  Pale estb by Catherine the Great 90% Jews already there Other Jews sent there  Other Tsars expand 1 mil. Sq. miles in W  Part of larger plan 1. Undermine Jewish life 2. Restructure community 3. Direct into useful, “non-Jewish” occupations

8 Laws Relating to the Jews  Statutes Concerning the Organization of Jews Alexander I ( ) Limits Jewish movement Send children to public schools Use only Russian, Polish or German Dress in Russian or Polish fashion  Statutes Regarding the Military Service of Jews Nicholas I ( ) Jews serve military for 25 years Under 18 preliminary service first Alienate Jewish children Alexander I Nicholas I

9 Religious Life: Hassidic Judaism  Jews searching for something spiritual Jewish Study until 18 th century – Pilpul  Available primarily to wealthy Jews Recovering from Deluge  Israel ben Eliezer of Miedzyboz Ba’al Shem Tov Besht Taught through folk tales  Hassidism Religious fundamentalism Worship through joyous prayer Find goodness and Godliness in all things

10 Religious Life: Mitnagdim  Many Jews opposed Hassidim Mitnagdim (those opposed)  Elijah ben Solomon Zalman ( ) Vilna Gaon (Genius of Vilna) Leader of Mitnagdim Pronounced herems (excommunications)

11 Cultural Life: Haskalah I  Definition: The Jewish Enlightenment was known as the Haskalah (from the Hebrew for “Reason”). It was a Jewish secular movement which encompassed education, Jewish literature and culture. Its proponents were known as maskilim.

12 Cultural Life: Haskalah II  Education Maskalim set up secular schools to help improve future generations of Jews Curriculum  National language (not Yiddish)  Secular subjects (not Talmud)  New job skills (farming, crafts) – elevate Jews Dress – like Russians and Poles Tsar Nicholas I and Maskalim on same page for awhile

13 Cultural Life: Haskalah III  Secular Jewish literature increased Poetry – in Hebrew and Russian Judah Lieb Gordon  Awake My People! (1866)  Optimistic  Forward-looking  Take advantage of opportunities  For Whom Do I Toil? (1871)  Despair  Didn’t see results he was looking for

14 Cultural Life: Haskalah IV  Language Debate  Russian – Arguments For  Yiddish – Arguments For and Against  Hebrew – Arguments For Debate never really resolved  Haskalah leads to growth of literature in all 3 languages  Modern Hebrew grows out of Haskalah literature

15 Next Class  Preview Increased Anti-Semitsm Emigration Socialism


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