By Jay R. Berkovitz

In September 1791, years after the Revolution, French Jews have been granted complete rights of citizenship. Scholarship has typically fascinated about this turning element of emancipation whereas usually overlooking a lot of what got here sooner than. In Rites and Passages, Jay R. Berkovitz argues that no severe therapy of Jewish emancipation can forget about the cultural historical past of the Jews throughout the ancien r?gime. It used to be throughout the overdue 17th and eighteenth centuries that numerous lasting paradigms emerged in the Jewish community—including the excellence among rural and concrete groups, the formation of a powerful lay management, heightened divisions among well known and elite faith, and the tension among neighborhood and local identities. each one of those advancements mirrored the transforming into pressure among culture and modernity earlier than the tumultuous occasions of the French Revolution.Rites and Passages emphasizes the resilience of spiritual culture during times of social and political turbulence. Viewing French Jewish historical past in the course of the lens of formality, Berkovitz describes the struggles of the French Jewish minority to take care of its cultural strong point whereas additionally engaging within the greater social and monetary matrix. within the ancien r?gime, ritual platforms have been a formative aspect within the conventional worldview and served as a very important repository of thoughts and values. After the Revolution, ritual signaled adjustments within the means Jews regarding the country, French society, and French tradition. within the towns specially, ritual assumed a performative functionality that dramatized the epoch-making adjustments of the day. The phrases and ideas of the Jewish non secular culture hence remained critical to the discourse of modernization and performed a strong position in assisting French Jews interpret the various meanings and implications of emancipation.Introducing new and formerly unused basic assets, Rites and Passages deals a clean viewpoint at the dynamic dating among culture and modernity.

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Extra resources for Rites and Passages: The Beginnings of Modern Jewish Culture in France, 1650-1860 (Jewish Culture and Contexts)

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In Haguenau the parnassim bought their charges, which were subsequently confirmed by the Intendant and Magistral. 3' As a rule, the local parnassim were either named by the seigneur (as in Strasbourg), elected (as in Xeuf-Brisach or in Haguenau), or in some instances chosen by the rabbi. For all practical purposes, those appointed by the seigneur acted as representatives of the feudal authority, while those who were elected to their position performed a variety of communal functions, from policing to forming lists for taxation.

Using his economic influence to intimidate the electors, he had also purportedly insisted on an open vote instead of the customary secret ballot. 88 Quite ironically, the controversial selection of Enosch, the first nonnative appointed regional rabbi in Alsace, was a turning point in the creation of an indigenous Alsatian rabbinate. Immediately after his arrival, a new yeshivah was formed in Ribeauville under his direction. While little is known of the yeshivah itself, its impact was far-reaching.

They also demanded an end to the system of life appointments. Supportive of the established leadership, the king upheld the validity of the by-laws of 1760 and 1763, conceding only that two non-elders, appointed by the elders themselves, could attend all tax-related meetings. Moreover, the composition of the body of elders, which was limited to former syndics, was preserved. Similar disputes in Saint-Esprit-les-Bayonne would continue to disrupt communal affairs through the end of the century. 33 Though unquestionably disruptive, the aforementioned demands for increased representation did not seriously challenge the authority of lay leaders in Bordeaux and Bayonne.

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