Why did Jews have the support of the merchants in the push for Emancipation in England?

Why did Jews have the support of the merchants in the push for Emancipation in England?

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This is somewhat counter-intuitive -- often one reads of Jews being seen as competition or resented for their role as money lenders even though in fact the latter is also counter-intuitive since being able to borrow money is critical for many businesses.

So was there something unique in the role of Jews in England or was it simply, by the 19th century, seen as old fashioned to discriminate against Jews by many, including merchants who had dealings with the Jews?

EDIT: This is mentioned in the Wikipedia article Emancipation of the Jews

EDIT: Perhaps this merits another question entirely, but as I responded to a comment below, I wonder if there are other instances of groups supporting Jews, even in countries where they ended up being expelled? I know of Bishops and Popes who did try to speak against anti-Jewish factions but nowhere other than this instance in pre-20th century Europe do I hear of support. Interestingly, abolitionists (in at least one notable case) in the USA were sometimes openly anti-Jewish. (Wm. Llyod Garrison mentioned J. P. Benjamin's religion in a very negative way.) I am of course aware of the Turkish Sultan who was, out of enlightened self-interest, very helpful to the Jews after the 1492 expulsion from Spain.

Toleration of Jews was renewed in England during the Cromwellite era, beginning in the 1650s, when a few Jews were allowed to slip back to England to live. That's not an accident. The rise of the Puritans basically represented the ascendancy of the urban, industrial interests over the rural (landlord and peasant) interests supporting the king. The industrialists saw Jewish moneylenders as being complementary or "enabling" to their functions, while the rural interests considered them stumbling blocks.

Because of the support of moneyed Jews of the Crown during the Jacobite Revolution of 1745, "ordinary" Jews were allowed back into England under the Jewish Naturalization Act of 1753. Basically, the progress of the Industrial Revolution made the Jews more and more "tolerated," especially by the growing industrial elite, to the point where a converted Jew (Disraeli) was elected Prime Minister.

This phenomenon extended to other parts of Europe. For instance, Jews were more tolerated in more industrialized Germany than in more agrarainRussia (or Russian Poland), in the 19th-early 20th centuries (before Hitler).

Atlantic Charter

The Atlantic Charter was a joint declaration issued during World War II (1939-45) by the United States and Great Britain that set out a vision for the postwar world. First announced on August 14, 1941, a group of 26 Allied nations eventually pledged their support by January 1942. Among its major points were a nation’s right to choose its own government, the easing of trade restrictions and a plea for postwar disarmament. The document is considered one of the first key steps toward the establishment of the United Nations in 1945.

Jews Legally Purchased ‘Palestinian’ Land Before The Holocaust. Rashida Lied.

The history behind the rebirth of Israel is so deeply intertwined with Palestinian propaganda that it is difficult for most Americans to answer a simple question: how did Jews come to possess the land now known as Israel? Palestinian-first Rashida Tlaib has elucidated this propaganda plague through her recently publicized statements of Jew-hatred, letting us know how calm and cozy she feels when she thinks about the Holocaust extermination of 6 million Jews. Leftists came to her defense, justifying her Jew-hatred as entitlement because her poor Palestinian predecessors allegedly helped the post-Holocaust Jews take their land, but now find themselves victims of these Jews. Rashida plainly lied and regurgitated Palestinian propaganda &mdash she retold revisionist history.

Jews Purchased The Land Before The Holocaust

In the 1800s, Jewish zionists, which are diaspora Jews who wanted to return to their biblical homeland, started buying land in the region of Palestine, which belonged to the Ottoman Empire (the Turks). The Empire made these land purchases very difficult, discriminatorily restricting Jews&rsquo ability to purchase land in the region as much as they could through legislation. By the 1900s, land purchase became easier and Zionists accelerated their land purchases of the Turk-controlled land.

According to the Ottoman census of 1875, Jews constituted a majority of the population of Jerusalem. By 1905, they comprised two-thirds of Jerusalem. The Encyclopedia Britannica of 1910 stated Jerusalem&rsquos population as 60,000, of which 40,000 were Jews. The population of both Jews and Christians surpassed that of Muslims in Jerusalem by the start of the twentieth century.

After WWI, the Ottoman Empire was no more, and the British took control of the land known as Palestine. The 1917 Balfour Declaration had declared Great Britain&rsquos support for the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine, in recognition of the ancient Jewish claim and connection to the land of Israel, describing this land as the &ldquonational home for the Jewish people.&rdquo The League of Nations (predecessor the the UN) unanimously adopted the British Mandate in 1922, overturning Ottoman-era restrictions and creating a legal right for Jewish people to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Meanwhile in the early 1900&rsquos in Europe, pogroms began. These were public lynchings of Jews and burnings of Jewish homes, businesses, schools, and places of worship. The Holocaust followed after WWII began in 1939. By 1945, six million Jewish people were murdered. The scale of the eradication was unprecedented. Consider a single weekend in Ukraine in 1941, in which 33,771 children, women, men, and elders were shot dead because they were born of &ldquoJewish blood.&rdquo

The lucky European Jews who escaped or survived the brutalities had no more home in Europe. They needed to cement a Jewish nation where they can live safely, they need a permanent home. They went back to their historic homeland where many of their Jewish brethren were already established. These Zionists asked the League of Nations to formally recognize Israel as their own country, as their homeland.

Israel was recognized as a country in 1948. The Arabs responded immediately by declaring war, vehemently opposing the establishment of a Jewish state. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia attacked Israel. The tiny, infantile country of Israel stood strong over its older, established Arab neighbors. Israel won the battle, but an Arab-world war against Israel had but begun.

Palestinian Arabs Fought Jews Since The 1800&rsquos

&ldquoPalestinians&rdquo are not a distinct ethnic group and are instead a collection of impoverished Arabs who lived in the Palestinian region under the Ottoman Empire. Most were not landowners but were instead laborers who rented land from wealthy Turks that owned the land in the Palestinian region. The Palestinian identity was born when the Jewish state of Israel was internationally recognized. The majority of those identifying as Palestinian today are in fact Jordanian.

From the beginning of the Zionist migration, Palestinian Arabs hated the Jews. This stemmed from centuries of living under an Islamic empire which categorized Jews as a diminutive class of people to the Muslim ruling class. Palestinians aligned with the Nazis during WWII and planned to exterminate their Jewish neighbors.

Palestinian Arabs have fought Jews on land and religion since the 1800&rsquos and their descendants continue to do so today. There is nothing novel about the &ldquoGreat Return March&rdquo that plagued Israel for the past year it is but a continuation of status quo.

Knowing their opponents well, the Israelis kept all of the land purchase records.

Palestinian Propaganda

Rashida Tlaib, who identifies as a Palestinian first and foremost, is on a propaganda spree against Israel. This has been her primary goal after being elected into office. Her first course of action was to put a stickie over Israel on her office map with the word &ldquoPalestine&rdquo written on it. She has made it clear that she supports the eradication of Israel and replacement of the world&rsquos only Jewish country with an Islamic Palestine.

&ldquoThere&rsquos always kind of a calming feeling, I tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors &mdash Palestinians &mdash who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports,&rdquo Tlaib said in an anti-Trump podcast.

&ldquoAnd, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And, I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.&rdquo

History is thus revised, from land purchased from Ottoman Turk landowners, to land taken from Palestinians and redistributed to the Jews. And, in the revisionist version, that this was done post WWII, not something that started in the 1800&rsquos.

This type of history revisionism is part of the Palestinian propaganda movement. Palestinian propaganda includes revisionist history, brainwashing children, &ldquopallywood&rdquo distortions, manipulation of leftist politics, calls to Jihad, and manipulation of the media, amongst other similarly disturbing techniques. And of course there&rsquos the outlandish anti-semitic Jew-blaming for anything and everything, like earth quakes.

A staple of the Palestinian propaganda ideology, as parroted by Tlaib, is the concept that Jews took their land. Luckily, those Jews kept the receipts from the land purchases.

Astonishingly, the usually pro-Palestinian CNN has changed their tune and done their part to counteract Tlaib&rsquos propaganda. But they appear to be in the minority on the left.

For as long as leftists and their bowing media continue to act as an echo chamber for Palestinian propaganda, Tlaib and others like her will continue to thrive and brainwash our unassuming liberal youth.

Instrumenting the Presence of a Jewish Community

We model the network of Jewish communities as one way to see whether the effect of Jews on city growth was indeed casual. By examining how Jewish communities expanded we hope to isolate a source of exogenous variation in the presence of a Jewish community.

We assume that a Jewish community is more likely to be established close to another Jewish community because of trade networks, financial relationships, or cultural linkages. We then calculate the closest travel path between Jewish communities using our information about the location of roads and river networks and estimates of premodern transport costs. The important assumption we make is that if cities with Jewish communities share certain “unobservable” characteristics that might make them more likely to grow rapidly, these characteristics become less correlated with distance.

We then divide Europe into 5km x 5km grids and assign the lowest travel cost to each grid. We apply Djikstra’s algorithm to determine the lowest cost of travel between all 3,211,264 city pairs (van Etten, 2012). This allows us to create a measure of ‘Jewish network access’ for each city.

Jewish network access itself is, of course, correlated with the unobservable characteristics of the city for which it is calculated. To overcome this we adopt two strategies to create valid instruments out of the network access measures. First, we calculate Jewish network access for cities that are only more than a certain distance away from each other. Second, we use information on expulsions to weight our measure of Jewish network access. The intuition behind this is that Jewish expulsions consist of an exogenous “push” factor leading to Jews settling in new cities close to the existing network of Jewish communities. Using these two strategies we obtain similar (though larger in magnitude) effects from the presence of a Jewish community on city growth. This provides further suggestive evidence that the correlation we found in our baseline analysis was indeed causal.

3. Jewish Best Friend

One of Lincoln&rsquos closest friends was Abraham Jonas, a Kentucky merchant, lawyer and politician who supported and encouraged Lincoln for most of his life. Jonas was one of the very first public figures to encourage Lincoln to run for president he was also the only person Lincoln ever referred to as &ldquoone of my most valued friends&rdquo.

Abraham Jonas

Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in England, Jonas moved to Cincinnati with his brother as a teenager in 1819. The pair established Ohio&rsquos first synagogue. Jonas later served in the Kentucky House of Representatives, and eventually settled in Quincy, Illinois, where he became a lawyer and politician. There, Jonas&rsquo religion was plain to all: his law office was in the same building as Quincy&rsquos Congregation B&rsquonai Abraham synagogue, which Jonas and his brothers had helped establish.

Congress&rsquo passage of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing the westward expansion of slavery into new states, horrified both Jonas and Lincoln both spoke out against the measure and against slavery. It was Abraham Jonas who first invited Lincoln to debate Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, who supported the Act, in what would become the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates, some of the most seminal American political speeches ever made, concerning slavery and the nature of the American union.

When the Civil War broke out, both Lincoln&rsquos and Jonas&rsquo own families found themselves on both sides of the divide: two of Abraham Jonas&rsquo five sons fought for the Confederacy. When his neighbors in Quincy demanded that Jonas resign his position as the city&rsquos postmaster because he had sons fighting Illinois, Jonas issued an anguished response:

If it be true, as they say, that two of my sons are in the rebel army, however grieved I may be at the knowledge thereof, all true men who know me will sympathize with me and admit that I have no control in the matter. My five boys were in the South many years before the rebellion, and when last heard from were all loyal to the Union. That two of them, like hundreds of other loyal men, should have been compelled to join the rebel army I am not prepared to deny, since I have not received a line from any of one of them since the commencement of this unhappy war.

Jonas&rsquo son Charles was captured and sent to a Union prisoner of war camp in Ohio. Abraham Jonas&rsquo health began to deteriorate, and in 1864, as Jonas lay on his deathbed, his daughter Annie sent word to Lincoln that his old friend wasn&rsquot long for the world, and asked that Charles be released so he could visit his father once more before he died. Lincoln at once penned a note to Charles&rsquo jailers: &ldquoAllow Charles H. Jonas, now of prisoner of war at Johnson&rsquos Island, a parol(e) of three weeks to visit his dying father.&rdquo Charles rushed home to Quincy on June 8, 1864, just in time for Abraham Jonas to see and recognize him. Abraham Jonas died later that day and was buried in the Jewish Sunset Cemetery in Quincy, Illinois.

On The Left and the Myth of the ‘Jewish Proletariat’

‘The weight of the Jews’ exploitation is great and their harmfulness unlimited. … If we find it possible to preach revolution, and only revolution against the nobles, how can we defend the Jews?’
Ukrainian Communist Revolutionary, 1876.[1]

In the months immediately before his coronation in 1189, Richard the Lionheart became aware of rising anti-Jewish sentiment among the people of England. This ill-feeling was the result of decades of rampant usury, property seizures, social disparities, and what historian Robert Chazan described as the “effective royal protection” of Henry II.[2] Eager to ally himself with the mood of the nation, particularly in the tenuous early days of his reign, Richard appealed to the sentiments of the masses by banning Jews from attending the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. News of the ban was welcomed by the people, but the move was deeply unsettling to England’s Jews. The prohibition was nervously perceived by the nation’s Hebrews as a weakening of the vital Jewish relationship with the elite. This relationship, particularly the protection it provided to Jewish loan merchants, had been absolutely essential to the untroubled continuation of the Jews’ highly antagonistic financial practices among the lower orders. Without this protection, the position of the Jews in England would no longer be viable. Therefore, in a desperate attempt to resist a decline in Jewish influence, on the day of the coronation a party of senior Jews arrived at the doors of Westminster Abbey bearing lavish gifts and sycophantic tongues. The effort was in vain.

The Jewish party were refused entry by nobles and officials, and the group was then stripped and flogged for their flagrant defiance of royal orders. Since this punishment was a public display, a story soon circulated among the peasantry that the new king consented to general action against the Jews, and that the royal elite was now siding with the people. In the ensuing days, luxurious Jewish homes were burned, and castles containing Jewish debt rolls were stormed and their contents destroyed. These actions, however, were built on an assumption of elite backing that was in reality non-existent. The expectations of the masses were soon rudely crushed. The Lionheart’s banning of the Jews had been a mere measure of propaganda intended to endear him to his subjects, and the flogging of the intruding party was carried out without his consent. In truth, the King remained as beholden to the sway of mammon as his predecessors. When push came to shove, the peasantry, unlike ‘his’ Jews, were expendable. Richard wasted little time in rounding up and executing the ringleaders of the anti-Jewish action, even including those who had damaged Jewish property by accident. He then issued orders to “the sheriffs of England to prevent all such incidents in the future.”[3] In the aftermath of this crushing of the people, the Jews of England would once again remain under high levels of royal protection until ‘the Lionheart’ left the country for the Third Crusade — a venture, ironically, to relieve people in foreign nations of the tyranny of ‘infidels.’ The entire affair remains a perfect illustration of the centuries-old symbiotic relationship between Jews and our native elites, and the thread of parasitic capitalism that binds them.

Here we are in 2016, and so little has changed. More than that, we find that another Lionheart is making the news in Britain in relation to protected Jews and a suffering peasantry. In one of the more perverse insults to follow notorious financial parasite Philip Green’s frenzied feeding on the British Home Stores (BHS) pension fund, it has emerged that the Jewish billionaire recently purchased his third luxury yacht, aptly named Lionheart. While Green and the $120 million Lionheart float serenely on the Mediterranean, more than 20,000 former BHS workers struggle through the day, wondering if they will ever receive the pensions they spent their working lives contributing to. Elite responses to this tragic and incendiary grand larceny have been anodyne and, much like Richard the Lionheart’s early gesture, limited to tokens of mere propaganda. Green’s activities have recently been described by a British Parliamentary committee as the “systematic plunder” of a formerly thriving business, with the committee’s host of banalities concluding that the Green saga was the epitome of “the unacceptable face of capitalism.” In one of the blandest possible statements on the egregious crimes of this apex predator, the politicians chirped that there was “little to support the reputation for retail business acumen for which he received his knighthood.” These insipid chastisements have been followed by Prime Minister Theresa May’s clownish and empty proclamation that she wants to “reform capitalism.”

Notably absent among these and similar complaints about ‘corporate largesse’ and ‘the failings of capitalism’ has been any real interest in the Green case from the Far Left. There are distractions of course, and these arise chiefly from the current predominance of cultural Marxism in the Leftist mind rather than its economic counterpart. Western socialists are now incessantly, and from an economic standpoint counter-productively, engaged in assisting government efforts to flood our nations with cheap exotic labor. The modern Left thus plays a crucial role in depressing the salaries, living conditions, and public services of the working class they claim to speak for. Other recent moral-ideological Leftist crusades have included agitation for same-sex marriage, the opening of various ‘anti-racism’ ventures, and the creation and expansion of Black Lives Matter militancy — none of which benefit native workers in any form.

In summary, the modern Left appears to have abandoned its empty mantra that a successful ‘class struggle’ would abolish a host of ‘capitalist-inspired prejudices.’ The ‘class struggle’ has thus been made subordinate to the greater task of ‘reforming’ society, an ambition that is demonstrably foreign in origin and will inevitably bring great harm to the White working class.

There is, however, a deeper reason for Leftist neglect of the Green case and many similar to it. Indeed, it can be considered an axiom that when a yarmulke is seen atop “the unacceptable face of capitalism” on too many occasions then our erstwhile class warriors and champions of the peasantry will shuffle their feet nervously and move swiftly along. When the Socialist Worker recently covered the latest revelations from Britain’s Sunday Times Rich List, it carefully omitted that around half of the twenty-five richest ‘Britons’ were in fact Jews, Arabs and Indians. Absent also was any reflection on the astonishing fact that Jews like Philip Green possessed more than 22% of the boasted ‘British’ billions despite being a mere 0.5% of the UK population. Rather than an indictment of ‘British’ capitalism, the Rich List in fact provided valuable insight into the groping tentacles of international finance and the tyranny of unproductive foreign speculators.

Equally notable, yet hitherto unexplored, was the quite evident ethnic networking of the listed Jewish billionaires and their mutual over-representation in the annals of white collar crime. For example, the list-topping Reuben brothers have a long and twisted trading history with other Jewish billionaires on the list, including parasitic oligarchs like Roman Abramovich. This doesn’t even take into account their well-established links to other Jewish crooks like the notorious ‘Americans’ Marc Rich and Pincus Green. Despite struggling to find any other possible links between these ‘Britons,’ ‘Iraqis,’ ‘Russians’ and ‘Americans,’ the only commonalities appear to be their Judaism, white collar crime, worker exploitation, and their extreme aversion to paying taxes. The genuinely British members of the list, meanwhile, showed no evidence of forming a ‘capitalist clique’ of tax-evaders and criminals, and were either aristocratic wealth inheritors like the Duke of Westminster or highly creative meritocrats like the inventor Sir James Dyson.

Marxists would of course jump to defend themselves by claiming that they oppose ‘the bosses’ regardless of nationality and ethnicity. However, just ponder for a moment the conscious intellectual effort it must take to ignore the fact that throughout history Jews have contributed most heavily to the very ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ that non-Jewish socialists claim to oppose. This willful ignorance, and its attending silence, have bred a situation in which so-called champions of the people are in fact the noisy cheerleaders for that people’s economic, spiritual, and physical destruction.

This begs a number of questions.

What do young ‘Red’ radicals actually know about Jewish history? How do they interpret this history? How has this history has been interpreted for them? If one attempts to investigate opinions on, and knowledge of, the Jewish Question held by the average young ‘Red’ radical one is first struck by a paucity of organized discussion forums. The non-Jewish Far Left lacks a depth of conviction and energy, and this is reflected in its lack of a systematic approach to communications. In terms of size, the r/socialism Reddit forum is probably the largest Far Left discussion forum, but its numbers pale next to those of its nationalist equivalents. The discussion forum (at one time billed as the ‘Red Stormfront’) and the r/communism Reddit forum are both around ten times smaller than their White Nationalist equivalents in terms of registered members, and around twenty times smaller in terms of visitors. Numbers aside, the level of participant commitment also appears weak, a point perhaps illustrated most clearly in the regular struggle of to meet its monthly operational target of $110 (they are $40 short this month). That raising $110 from a membership of 23,000 is such a trial is an instructive irony for a group of individuals boasting the rallying cry ‘share the wealth.’ Indeed, several RevLeft members have written public posts indicating their disbelief that Stormfront’s ‘agents of capitalism’ were raising sixty times the RevLeft monthly target with apparent ease.

There were other disparities. Comparing my investigation of Far Left discussion groups with the findings of Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s ‘The Data of Hate,’ it was clear from the quality and subject matter of written posts that while the age profile of these Leftist groups and Stormfront were roughly similar, the latter had a markedly higher educational profile. The former groups also had a limited and repetitive repertoire of discussion threads that indicated that its members were not, in the words used by Stephens-Davidowitz to describe Stormfront members, “news and political junkies.” That is to say, young Leftists do not appear to be as well-read or as concerned with current affairs. The Leftist forums also demonstrated a significantly weaker grasp of the mechanics of modern politics. The aggregate significance of these findings ensured that, methodologically speaking, the fare for my investigation would be lean.

Discussions of Jews and anti-Semitism, either in theory or history, are limited to a handful at the r/communism Reddit forum. This surprised me given that it is commonly accepted in mainstream historiography that Jews featured to an extraordinary degree among the nineteenth-century devisers of revolutionary socialism.[4] Historian of the Jews, Paul Johnson, writes that Communism itself sprang from the “extraordinary capacity for hatred” in Karl Marx, that Marx’s methodology was “wholly rabbinical,” and that his entire doctrine was “deeply rooted in Jewish apocalyptic and messianism.”[5] Since critiques of revolutionary socialism have invariably highlighted these Jewish roots for well over a century, including critiques from within Communism itself, it is quite remarkable that the subject is not engaged with to a greater degree by contemporary Red radicals.

To the extent that anti-Semitism is discussed at r/communism, these discussions take place on a very superficial level. Some of the superficiality of these discussions appears intentional, in the sense that there is a palpable resistance to meaningful inquiry into the subject. For example, when one forum participant asked why it was so necessary for the USSR to punish anti-Semitism with the death penalty they were met with dismissive responses ranging from carbon copy mantras on the origins of racism in the class system to the even lazier “Death to all Anti-Jews.” The overall tone of the discussion indicates that this was an unwelcome question.

In another discussion thread, the persistence of anti-Semitism in the USSR despite the advent of Communism and the abolition of class-based prejudices, along with Stalin’s own later suspicions of Jews, are weakly attributed to a vague ‘crypto-conservatism’ in Soviet society.

Finally, a thread calling for Leftists to provide information and facts intended to “tackle and debunk anti-Semitism with ferocity” elicited a mere eighteen replies, none of which challenge a single claim of ‘anti-Semites.’ This despite the encouragement of one discussion participant who wrote: “As a Jewish communist I really appreciate this comrade.” Not one work of Jewish history, mainstream or otherwise, is referenced at r/communism.[6]

Discussions of Jews and anti-Semitism are considerably more abundant at RevLeft. While also slightly more sophisticated, these discussions are replete with inaccurate perceptions of history, and arguments that are flatly contradicted by the historical record. One example worth focusing on is from a thread intended to “debunk the Jewish-Bolshevik theory.” Here the argument is made that the theory arises “because of the odd historical accident that Jews have been overrepresented both as finance capitalists and as especially oppressed workers and peasants.” Ignoring for a second the habit of Red radicals and Jewish apologists to rely on “odd historical accidents” as a serious intellectual argument, to what extent is it even possible to describe Jews in Tsarist Eastern Europe as “especially oppressed workers and peasants”?

Modern historiography has in fact entirely debunked the theory of a Jewish proletariat in nineteenth-century Russia, Poland and Lithuania. We now know that this myth of a Jewish proletariat had been popularized and disseminated since the dawn of the Soviet Union where, as one historian puts it “it was not easy to write about the key role played by Jews” in the exploitation of the peasantry.[7] This was essentially a Bolshevik taboo imposed, both culturally and politically, in order to rewrite history and present the fiction of Jews and workers as joint victims of the Tsar and the nobles.

In truth, the Jewish economic profile was always radically different from the peasants and the workers. Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor, and Life in the Kingdom of Poland is one of the more interesting texts on Jewish history to emerge from Oxford University Press in recent years. In the course of the book, historian Glenn Dynner explains that Jews dominated urban and semi-urban life in Eastern Europe for around three centuries, often running taverns which sold alcohol on credit as well as issuing cash loans. In a pattern that we know extended over regions and time, including the England of Richard the Lionheart, Dynner explains that the local nobles operated monopolies but enabled “the Jew…to benefit from unique opportunities to serve the nobleman, most importantly by leasing and operating his taverns and distilleries. This scenario prevailed throughout all the tsar’s formerly Polish and Lithuanian lands.”[8] Jews were invited by nobles to act as predators upon the peasantry, and in return were offered “privileges, economic opportunities, and protection.”[9] The peasant meanwhile “remained a serf.”[10]

In reality, there was no common ground between the workers of the field and the Jews. Dynner cites the Yiddish writer S.Y. Abramovitsch (1835–1917) as writing “the markets and the shops, the merchants and middlemen, the taverns and inns, were all Jewish.”[11] The peasants worked the surrounding fields, and were often compelled to spend their meager allowance in the Jewish taverns, where their drunkenness and induced debt would ruin their lives to the benefit the Jews and the selfish elites. Eastern Europe was built on what Dynner describes as “an interethnic mercantile system” that “involved a symbiosis between the landowning nobility and Jewish merchants.”[12] As well as the production and wholesale of liquor, which in the form of wine had also long attracted the Jews of France,[13] the Eastern European arenda system permitted “an even stronger noble-Jewish symbiosis.” Within this system “noble landowners leased their mills, tolls and taverns almost exclusively to Jews.”[14] Samples from contemporary records show figures of around 94% of Eastern European taverns in identifiably Jewish hands.[15] Many Jews became “extraordinarily wealthy” by exploiting the peasantry, and a large number channeled their wealth into the Hasidim.[16] Money was thus taken from the gentile workers, and provided for a Jewish community built on the total rejection of occupational employment.

As the century progressed, reformist state officials began pondering the emancipation of the peasants and the extension of their economic rights. This was directly in conflict with what Dynner calls “the lord-Jew alliance,” prompting the noble to “intervene with officials on behalf of ‘his’ Jew.”[17] Rather than improving the lot of the peasantry, the nobles and the Jews were keen to wring every cent from them. In many areas it was made illegal to purchase liquor anywhere else or to make one’s own, and in some areas the purchase of liquor from Jews was made compulsory by the noble. This practice enabled the lord to siphon off any surplus money the peasants had managed to obtain, and in this practice Dynner explains the Jews “were fully complicit.”[18] Jews also benefited by offering credit — at interest. Via peasant debt, Jews were able to obtain vast amounts of the worker’s petty property, enabling their sons to go into the second-hand furniture and pawn businesses with ease. It was remarked in those days that the Jews knew every possession a peasant had, “every sheaf in the field, every head of cattle in the herd.” A popular saying was “the peasant drinks at the inn and the Jew does him in.”[19] An 1844 Prussian report on newly acquired Polish lands stated that “the Jews’ economic and occupational habits, especially those created by petty trading and the sale of alcohol, are still damaging the lower classes of the people.”[20]

Not all members of the elite acted as traitors to their people however. In 1802 King Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia wrote to a Polish noble expressing his discontent that he would abuse his peasantry with Jewish lessees in his taverns.[21] In 1821 the Ukrainian military governor Prince Nicholas Repnin expelled the Jews from Chernigov and Poltava, explaining that “some landowners, tempted by the money they received from Jews, thoughtlessly protected them…Being indifferent to the welfare of the peasants who belong to them, for their own selfish temporary advantage they want to have Jews present in the country in order to make money through them.”[22] Meanwhile benevolent state officials were working hard to emancipate the serfs at last.

The emancipation of the serfs is generally regarded by historians as detrimental to the Jews, a telling indication of their disparity of interests. The full picture is rather complex. Jewish historians have been at pains to suggest that the emancipation of the serfs pushed the entire lower classes (magically including Jews) out of the fields and into the factories. However, new data suggests that while the number of Jews becoming artisans modestly increased in the 1850s, a significantly larger number merely moved into different areas of trade. Petty trade alone (small loans, pawn, second hand goods) accounted for just under 40% of the Jewish population of the Russian Empire in 1897.[23] Nobles who had earlier been in alliance with the Jews now no longer had free labor in their fields and thus began a slow decline. Their loyalty to their Jews wasn’t reciprocated. In a scenario that was perversely just, Dynner explains that many nobles now became indebted to Jews, often losing swathes of land to them in default. The Jewish timber trade began to boom in the wake of the bankruptcies of the lords. One Yiddish writer wrote that “the dense forests of Poland moaned, thinned, and fell into Jewish hands. The logs were bound into rafts. And during the summer season the Jews sent the logs floating down the Vistula and the Zholdevka to Germany.”[24] During a period in which Jewish apologetics and Communist historians would have us believe the Jews were toiling in the factories, Dynner explains that: “the question of whether Polish-Jewish moneylending — so downplayed by early modern historians — increased in the wake of peasant emancipation cannot be answered definitively at this point for lack of data, but the impression is that it grew explosively.”[25] In short, emancipation pushed Jews out of the taverns and into a more diverse array of exploitative practices.

Jews did not join the proletariat, but instead continued to embody “the unacceptable face of capitalism” as they had so frequently done for centuries. For this very reason the period 1880–1945 witnessed an almost constant series of conflicts and flashpoints between Jews and gentiles in Eastern Europe. It was one of the great deceptions of Bolshevism to mask and distort this history, and it remains a great deception among young Red radicals. Through clever propaganda, and in some cases Judeo-Bolshevik butchery of opposition, the constant and eternal enemy of the workers emerged as their champion. While the worker continues to be bled dry, Jews continue to steer and manipulate left-leaning non-Jews away from the clearer vision of true socialists like Wilhelm Marr, Adolf Stocker, Georg Ritter von Schonerer, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Alphonse Toussenel. It is no “odd historical accident” that Antifascist Action (AFA), the most militant wing of the modern hard Left, was born in London in 1985 out of the Jewish Socialist’s Group and its associates. We can be sure that the ‘worker’s paradise’ promised by these Asiatic barbarians would differ little from the bloodbaths of Béla Kohn, or the Ukrainian Terror Famine that sacrificed twelve million gentile souls on the altar of Marx’s “wholly rabbinical” doctrine.

Some of our young people may well be earnest in their desire to “fight the system.” However, they must see that this ‘system’ has always involved a vile symbiotic relationship between treasonous elites and a foreign people. They cannot claim to attack one head of Orthrus while feeding and stroking the other. They cannot claim to ‘fight the man’ while serving his interests. History, facts and science contradict their poisonous doctrine a doctrine designed to blind, divide, mislead, and ultimately return them to the serfdom their ancestors suffered under. It is a doctrine designed to replace the exploitative symbiotic relationship we now experience with a purer tyranny. Our elites are only ever expediencies, and they too will eventually give way, as they have in the past, to the “Jewish proletariat.” I can think of no better way to close than with a quote from the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

It does not take long to prove how excessively, and above all how over-zealously, Jews took part in the abuse of the half-dead Russia by the Bolsheviks. … The Russian people have never before experienced Jews in power. Now, however, one experiences them at every step and turn, and their power is brutal and unlimited.

[1] S. Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, The Jews and Israel (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), p.187.

[2] R. Chazan, The Jews of Medieval Christendom: 1000-1500 (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p.160.

[3] R.V. Turner & R. Heiser, The Reign of Richard Lionheart: Ruler of The Angevin Empire, 1189-1199 (Routledge, 2013), p.92.

[4] P. Johnson, A History of the Jews (London, 1987), 346.

[6] This is apparently part of a wider hostility towards the scholarly process, science and empiricism at the forum. In one thread a poster makes it plain that “natural (psuedo)science is used to justify racism, sexism, and capitalism, and remains widespread.” Like any cult, the only objective ‘proof’ accepted by those posting to the forum threads is that they cite their revered doctrine.

[7] G. Dynner, Yankel’s Tavern: Jews, Liquor and Life in the Kingdom of Poland (Oxford University Press, 2014), p.9.

Why did Jews have the support of the merchants in the push for Emancipation in England? - History


(Courtesy: Volodymyr Kubijovyč, Vasyl Markus)

Jews (Ukrainian: zhydy, ievreï). Jews first settled on Ukrainian territories in the 4th century BC in the Crimea and among the Greek colonies on the northeast coast of the Black Sea (see Ancient states on the northern Black Sea coast). From there they migrated to the valleys of the three major rivers&mdashthe Volga River, Don River, and Dnieper River&mdashwhere they maintained active economic and diplomatic relations with Byzantium, Persia, and the Khazar kaganate. The latter empire consisted of Turkic tribes that converted to Judaism in about 740 AD. In the aftermath of Khazaria's conquest in 964 by the Kyivan prince Sviatoslav I Ihorevych, Khazarian Jews settled in Kyiv, the Crimea (see Karaites), and Caucasia.

Throughout the 11th and 12th centuries Khazarian Jews steadily migrated northwards. In Ukraine the Jewish population developed a distinct presence. In Kyiv they settled in their own district called Zhydove, the entrance to which was called the Zhydivski vorota (Jewish gate). Jews fleeing the Crusaders came to Ukraine as well, and the first western-European Jews began to arrive from Germany, probably in the 11th century.

The Kyivan princes Iziaslav Mstyslavych and Sviatopolk II Iziaslavych, Prince Danylo Romanovych of Galicia-Volhynia, and the Volhynian prince Volodymyr Vasylkovych were well disposed to their Jewish subjects and assisted their activities in trade and finance. Jews were also appointed to administrative and financial posts. However, as in other parts of Europe, this benevolent treatment was not consistent. During the Kyiv Uprising in 1113 the Zhydove district was ransacked, and during the rule of Volodymyr Monomakh Jews were expelled from Kyiv. The Mongol conquest of the Crimea and of Kyivan Rus&rsquo strengthened commercial relations, and brought peace and prosperity to the Jewish community up to the time of the Tatar-Lithuanian War (1396&ndash99).

The expulsion of the Jews from the states and cities of Western and Central Europe in the 13th&ndash15th centuries led Jews to flee eastward, to Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire. By 1500, Jews living in Ukrainian lands under Polish rule could be found in 23 towns and constituted one-third of all Jews in the Polish kingdom. The central European Jews (ashkenazim) spoke Yiddish (a German dialect), wore distinctive dress, and lived apart from the local population, either in separate districts or ghettos of cities, or in small, predominantly Jewish, settlements (shtetl). They were usually poorer than the earliest Jewish immigrants to Ukraine. Barred from owning land and from the professions, the majority of Jews were engaged in modest occupations, as artisans and in petty trade. Protected by the Polish monarchs against hostile nobles and urban dwellers, Jews were directly subordinate to the king, paying a separate tax for which they were collectively responsible. In return, royal decrees (dating back as early as 1264) allowed the Jews to govern themselves. In 1495 King Alexander Jagiellończyk established autonomous local governments (see Kahal), with jurisdiction over schools, welfare, the lower judiciary, and religious affairs. From the mid-16th century to 1763 the central institution of Jewish life in the Polish Kingdom was the Council of the Four Lands (Great Poland, &lsquoLittle Poland,&rsquo Chervona Rus&rsquo [Galicia], and Volhynia). The council met semiannually (later irregularly), with the site alternating between Jarosław and Lublin, to apportion the responsibility for taxes and decide on matters of concern to the Jewish community.

In the late 15th century Jews from Poland and Germany began arriving in Ukrainian territories under Lithuanian rule (especially the Kyiv region and Podilia). Kyiv became a famous center of Jewish religious education. This period was also one of suffering for both the indigenous and the Jewish populations because of the Tatar raids. In 1482 many Jews were seized by the Tatars and sold into slavery in the Crimea.

The largest migration of Jews to Ukrainian territories took place in the last quarter of the 16th century. Some came from other parts of Poland and Lithuania to settle the newly opened areas others from as far as Italy and Germany. In 1569, with the creation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (see Union of Lublin) and the transfer of Ukraine from Lithuanian to Polish administration, vast areas of Ukraine were opened to colonization and to commercial agricultural development for trade with Western Europe. Between 1569 and 1648 the number of Jews in Ukraine increased from about 4,000 to nearly 51,325, dispersed among 115 towns and settlements in the Kyiv voivodeship, Podilia voivodeship, Volhynia voivodeship, and Bratslav voivodeship. If the older Jewish community in the Rus&rsquo voivodeship and Belz voivodeship is included, at the turn of the century there were 120,000 Jews in Ukrainian territories, out of an estimated total population of 2 to 5 million. This rapid increase was a result not only of migration but also of natural population growth.

Jews began taking advantage of the new professional and economic opportunities in the frontier territories of Ukraine. As Polish and Lithuanian nobles accumulated more land, Jews came to act as their middlemen, providing indispensible services to the absentee and local lords as leaseholders of large estates, tax collectors (see Tax farming), estate stewards (with the right to administer justice, including the death penalty), business agents, and operators and managers of inns, dairies, mills, lumber yards, and distilleries. In trade, they supplanted Armenians and competed with urban Ukrainians. Jews came to be perceived as the immediate overlords of the peasantry and the most important competitors to the urban Christian Orthodox population.

The situation of the Jewish population became increasingly vulnerable in the early 17th century. Dissatisfaction with the difficult conditions on the part of the enserfed peasantry, the Cossacks, and urban Orthodox Ukrainians led to the 1648 uprising under Bohdan Khmelnytsky (see Cossack-Polish War). Polish landowners, Catholics, and Jews were the main victims of the uprising. In many cities, particularly in the Podilia and Volhynia regions and Left-Bank Ukraine, the Jewish population was decimated. Jewish eyewitness chroniclers (eg, Nathan Hanover) estimate the figure of casualties between 100,000 and 120,000. In light of the size of the estimated Jewish population in Ukraine in 1648 (51,325) this figure reflects rather the trauma of the experience and not the actual numbers. Nonetheless Jews, perceived as representatives of the Polish landlords, suffered greatly during the uprising. To escape persecution, some Jews converted to Christianity.

The status of Jews was very different in the Russian-dominated Hetman state. The Russian government was opposed to Jewish immigration and, beginning with Peter I, forbade Jews from settling in Left-Bank Ukraine. Nevertheless, because the economic value of Jewish settlers was recognized by officials of the Hetmanate, the decrees issued by Saint Petersburg for the expulsion of Jews from Left-Bank Ukraine were not always enforced, and several petitions were addressed to Saint Petersburg requesting permission to allow Jews in. Most Jews, however, lived in Right-Bank Ukraine, which remained under Polish control until 1772.

The economic hardship of the peasantry and the intensified national and religious oppression by Poland in these areas caused popular unrest that came to be directed also against Jews. This unrest was manifested in the Haidamaka uprisings, and especially the Koliivshchyna rebellion of 1768, when 50,000&ndash60,000 Jews perished out of a total Jewish population of about 300,000 in Right-Bank Ukraine. Nevertheless, Jewish immigration to Ukraine continued throughout the 18th century, and while most Jews lived in poverty, some began to acquire great wealth.

After the partition of Poland in the late 18th century, the presence of 900,000 Jews on what was now Russian imperial territory forced the Russian government to abandon its previous policy of exclusion of Jews from Russia proper. In 1772 (and 1791, 1804, 1835) the government established a territorial region called the Pale of Settlement beyond which Jewish settlement was prohibited. In Ukraine this area included almost all the former Polish-controlled territories the Left-Bank Chernihiv gubernia and Poltava gubernia, except for the crown hamlets New Russia gubernia Kyiv gubernia, but not the city of Kyiv and Bessarabia (1812). The Pale existed, with some special criteria permitting individual Jews to live outside it, until 1915.

During the reign of Alexander I (1801&ndash25) the position of Jews initially improved as restrictions on their movement and enrollment in schools were eased and official anti-Semitic propaganda abated. Economically, Jews prospered in Southern Ukraine, where they played a major role in the grain trade they acquired an especially strong presence in such commercial centers as Odesa, Kremenchuk, and Berdychiv. In 1817 Jews owned 30 percent of the factories in Russian-ruled Ukraine. Towards the end of Alexander's rule, however, state-sponsored conversion attempts and expulsions from certain areas were encouraged.

Under Nicholas I (1825&ndash55) official persecution of the Jews increased dramatically. Of the 1,200 laws affecting Jews between 1649 and 1881, more than half were instituted during his reign. Among these provisions were compulsory military service for Jews (1827), including the conscription of children expulsions from cities (Kyiv, Kherson, and Sevastopil) abolition of the kahal (1844) banning of the public use of Hebrew and Yiddish aggressive conversion measures and further travel and settlement restrictions (1835). In 1844 a decree was issued that created new Jewish schools similar to the parish and district schools and that aimed to assimilate the Jews.

Jews benefited from the brief period of liberalism that initially characterized the reign of Alexander II (1855&ndash81). With the rise of the Jewish emancipation movement a few restrictions were loosened: some Jews&mdashamong them merchants of the first guild (1859), university graduates (1861), and various categories of artisans and tradesmen (1865)&mdashwere granted freedom of movement and conscription of Jews into the army was placed on the same basis as for other subjects of the empire (1856), which included the abolition of the conscription of children. By 1872 Jews were actively engaged in the major industries in Ukraine: they comprised 90 percent of all those occupied in distilling and 32 percent in the sugar industry. But with the Odesa pogrom in 1871, the momentum for reform was quickly reversed, especially after the assassination of the tsar, and new laws restricting Jewish economic activity were introduced. In 1873, the rabbinical college in Zhytomyr was transformed by the authorities into a secular school.

The reign of the tsar's successors, Alexander III (1881&ndash96) and Nicholas II (1896&ndash1917), ushered in an era of state-supported pogroms (1881&ndash2, 1903, 1905), charges of ritual murder in the Beilis affair (1913), expulsions from Kyiv (1886) and Moscow (1891), and stricter segregation of the Jewish population with in the Pale of Settlement (1882). Wide-scale pogroms took place in October 1905, when in one month 690 pogroms were carried out in 28 gubernias (of which 329 pogroms were in Chernihiv gubernia alone). Many of these outbursts were encouraged by the anti-Semitic Black Hundreds movement.

The government limited educational opportunities in 1887 and again in 1907 by placing a quota on Jews to be admitted to secondary schools and universities: 10 percent within the Pale of Setllement, 3 percent in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and 5 percent in the rest of the empire. Jews could be admitted to the bar only with permission of the minister of justice (1887), and they could not vote in district zemstvo assembly elections (1890), even though they were obliged to pay zemstvo taxes. Economically, Jews were deprived of an important source of livelihood when the government forbade them to acquire property outside towns or large villages (1882), forcing them into the cities, and again (1894) when the state declared a monopoly on the sale of spirits, refusing Jews licences to sell spirits (see Propination). The desperate economic position of Jews in the Pale was reflected in the fact that 30 percent had to be supported by philanthropic relief. In essence, the Jews never achieved or were never granted emancipation under tsarist Russian rule.

The reaction to these repressive measures and activities was a dramatic increase in Jewish emigration to North America, increased support for the Zionist movement (the largest Jewish political movement by 1917), and active participation in all-Russian revolutionary or Jewish socialist political parties. Among the latter were the Bund and the smaller Jewish Socialist Labor party, Zionist Socialist Labor party, and Poale Zion.

During the First World War more than 500,000 Jews were deported from the military zones, and as the Russian army defeats increased, so the position of the Jews deteriorated. They were accused of being spies and traitors and of undermining the regime.

In Austria-Hungary, Jews did not receive rights equal to those of the general population until 1868. Until then, their rights were limited by the Josephine patents (see Joseph II), which sought to assimilate Jews and to involve them in agriculture. When Galicia (1772) and Bukovyna (1774) were incorporated into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, most Jews in Galicia were concentrated in the eastern part of this crown land. They made up about 11 percent of the population of Galicia both in 1869 (575,433) and in 1900 (811,183). Sixty percent of Jews were engaged in trade and commerce in an area where 75 percent of the population (and 94 percent of Ukrainians) earned its livelihood from agriculture and forestry. Jews formed an absolute majority in many important trading centers, such as Brody on the Russian border. Jews figured prominently as officials attached to the estates (stewards, overseers, labor recruiters) as storekeepers, leaseholders of Polish estates, and tavernkeepers as officials in local government and in the working class (as workers in the petroleum industry centered in the Drohobych-Boryslav Industrial Region).

Only about 60 percent of eastern Galicia's Jews lived in cities and towns. Jews in rural areas represented a sizable portion of Galicia's Jewish population, and they were an anomaly in comparison to Jewish demographic patterns elsewhere. Both in terms of their numbers and because of their precarious position as middlemen between lord and peasant, rural Jews were often the scapegoats for dissatisfaction and resentment. Many among the non-Jewish population shared a hostile view of Jews as exploiters and servants of the Polish nobility and landowners, even though the vast majority of Jews lived in poverty, like their Ukrainian neighbors. In contrast to conditions in the Russian Empire, however, there were no pogroms rather, the social and economic character of this antagonism was expressed in political and economic competition. As a vulnerable minority, Jews in Galicia usually voted with the ruling Polish nation, and throughout the second half of the 19th century Poles and Jews worked closely during the elections to parliament. After universal male suffrage was proclaimed in 1907, some Jews (especially supporters of the Zionist movement) allied themselves with Ukrainian political parties.

The collapse of tsarism in March 1917 (see February Revolution of 1917) soon brought emancipation for the Jews in the Russian Empire. On 20 March the Provisional Government declared that Jews were now equal citizens they were not, however, granted national minority status or autonomy.

In Ukraine, the Central Rada established in March 1917 decided in late July to invite the minority nationalities (Russians, Poles, and Jews) to join its ranks. As a result, 50 Jews, from all the major parties, joined the Central Rada and 5 joined the Little Rada. The Jewish parties were also represented in the General Secretariat of the Central Rada (later the Council of National Ministers of the Ukrainian National Republic). Moisei Rafes, a Bundist, took on the post of general controller. Within the secretariat of nationalities, departments were set up for each minority and Moishe Zilberfarb, of the United Jewish Socialist Workers' party, was appointed under secretary for Jewish affairs. He became general secretary for Jewish affairs, with ministerial ranking, on the formation of the Ukrainian National Republic (20 November 1917), and then minister for Jewish affairs when the proclamation of Ukrainian independence was issued (25 January 1918). Responsibility for Jewish affairs under the Central Rada thus passed from a department (undersecretariat) to a secretariat and then to a ministry. An advisory council representing the main Jewish parties was formed on 10 October 1917 and the Provisional National Council of the Jews of Ukraine convened in November 1918. Yiddish was one of the languages used by the Central Rada on its official currency and in proclamations, and the law on national-personal autonomy gave non-Ukrainian nationalities the right to manage their national life independently. However, during the regime of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky (see Hetman government), this law was rescinded (9 July 1918) and the Ministry of Jewish Affairs abolished.

Under the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic, the Ministry of Jewish Affairs (headed at first by Abraham Revusky) was re-established, and the law on national-personal autonomy was re-enacted. From April 1919, as the Directory was forced to move constantly westwards, the minister of Jewish affairs was Pinkhas Krasny. Other Jews who occupied prominent positions in the Central Rada or Directory governments were Solomon Goldelman, a deputy minister of trade and industry and of labor, and Arnold Margolin, a member of the Ukrainian Party of Socialists-Federalists who was deputy minister of foreign affairs and a diplomatic representative in London and at the Paris Peace Conference talks. Several prominent Zionists also supported Ukrainian autonomy, including Vladimir Zhabotinsky, D. Pasmanik, and Joseph Schechtman.

The Central Rada government was the first in history to grant Jews autonomy (see National minorities), and its relationship with Jewish political parties was generally amicable. All Jewish parties in the Central Rada voted for the creation of the Ukrainian National Republic and, because they were categorically opposed to the Bolsheviks, saw the Republic as the only remaining parliamentary democracy. The subsequent declaration of independence, however, was opposed by the Bund, and the other Jewish parties, including the Zionists, abstained from voting. In general, the mainstream Jewish public did not respond positively to the Central Rada and Jews preferred a united all-Russian government to better represent the interests of the Jewish minority. Neither was there full confidence in the Ukrainian government's ability or willingness to halt the spread of pogroms in Ukraine and to organize a strong military presence.

The scale of the pogroms during the struggle for independence (1917&ndash20) in Ukraine was devastating for the Jewish population. The Whites (see Anton Denikin), peasant bands, otamans, and some units of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic, having regarded Jews as pro-Bolshevik, all took part in these atrocities, as did the anarchists (see Nestor Makhno) and the Red Army. However, just before the formation of the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic, elections to the Jewish communal councils indicated that of the 270,497 votes cast, 66 percent were for non-socialist parties (Orthodox and Zionist), while 34 percent voted for socialist party representatives.

The government and high command of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic tried to combat the instigators of the pogroms. Orders were issued imposing courts-martial for pogromists and some executions were carried out. The government assisted pogrom survivors and co-operated with both the Jewish community and foreign representatives in investigations of the pogroms.

In Galicia, Jews were neutral in the Polish-Ukrainian conflict (see Ukrainian-Polish War in Galicia, 1918&ndash19) but later supported the Western Ukrainian National Republic government. They were granted equality and national rights, including permission to create their own police units. Some Jews served in the ranks of the Ukrainian Galician Army (see Jewish Battalion of the Ukrainian Galician Army).

The consolidation of Bolshevik rule brought the Jewish community both hardships and opportunities. Under War Communism (1918&ndash21), when free commerce was banned and private businesses nationalized, Jews suffered great economic setbacks. Moreover, the Bolsheviks seemed determined to destroy the last vestiges of organized Jewish life. In April 1919 they abolished most community organizations. As part of their general antireligious propaganda they also closed down many synagogues and outlawed religious and Hebrew education. In Ukraine the Bolsheviks pursued a vigorous anti-Yiddish policy aimed at assimilating Jews eg, the number of Yiddish books published declined from 274 in 1919 to 40 in 1923.

At the same time, formal and informal restrictions against Jewish participation in government and administration were abolished, especially for those who chose the path of assimilation. Special Jewish sections (the so-called yevsektsii) were formed within the Communist Party to facilitate Jewish participation, and it was often these groups that most strongly attacked the Zionist and traditional Jewish parties. Individual Jews benefited from the pro-Russian and pro-urban orientation of the Party, and many became part of the system, especially in education, the economy, and the middle echelons of the Party administration and government. Although only one-half of 1 percent of the total Jewish population joined the Bolshevik party, they constituted a large percentage of all Bolsheviks in Ukraine, in 1922 approx 13.6 percent of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine (CP[B]U). Fully 15.5 percent of the delegates to the 5th and 7th All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets in 1921 and 1922 were of Jewish origin.

In an effort to consolidate the regime and broaden its support among the non-Russian nations, the Bolsheviks instituted a number of important changes in 1923. As a solution to the &lsquonationalities problem&rsquo the policy of indigenization was adopted. This policy encouraged the use of national languages and the recruitment of non-Russians into the Party, education, and the government. It is difficult to judge what effect the Ukrainian version of indigenization, Ukrainization, had on Ukraine's Jewish population. Since only 0.9 percent of all Ukrainian Jews (in 1926) declared their mother tongue to be Ukrainian, the introduction of Ukrainian as the official language certainly limited their opportunities in the Party, government, and scholarship. Moreover, the active recruitment of Ukrainians meant that the Jewish proportion would decline in these sectors. In 1923 Jews constituted 47.4 percent of students at higher educational institutions, but in 1929, only 23.3 percent, and their percentage in the CP(B)U fell from 13.6 in 1923 to 11.2 in 1926. Yet, in a speech to the 15th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) (CP[B]) in December 1927, Grigorii Ordzhonikidze, the head of the Central Control Commission of the Party, reported that Jews still constituted 22.6 percent of the governmental machinery in Ukraine and 30.3 percent in the city of Kyiv. The first secretary of the Central Committee of the CP(B)U from 1925 to 1926, Lazar Kaganovich, was of Jewish descent. In the end, Ukrainization was only a partial success, and it was finally abandoned in 1933 in favor of strict Russification.

Indigenization brought obvious benefits to the Jews as well. Jewish culture flourished in Ukraine, and several Yiddish theaters, institutes, periodical publications, and schools were established. Soviets in which the official language was Yiddish were established to administer the Jewish population: there were 117 such Soviets in 1926 and 156 by 1931. Moreover, Yiddish-language courts were set up, and the government offered a variety of services in Yiddish.

The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced in 1921 to allow for some measure of private capitalist activity, was another significant development for the Jewish community. Many Jewish artisans re-established their private shops and at least 13 percent of all Ukrainian Jews became involved in commerce (1926). According to the census of 1926, fully 78.5 percent of all private factories in Ukraine under NEP were Jewish owned. This situation was short-lived. In the second half of the 1920s the Soviet authorities increasingly cut back on private capitalism, and NEP was for all practical purposes stopped by 1930.

In the 1920s the Soviet regime placed a major emphasis on changing the traditional social and economic structure of Jewish life, primarily by encouraging Jews to become engaged in agriculture. Jewish agricultural colonies had existed in Ukraine, especially Southern Ukraine, from the late 18th century. In 1924 the Soviet government setup two official bodies to promote Jewish rural settlement they were assisted by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which provided funds and machinery. From 69,000 in 1926, the number of Jewish farmers in the Ukrainian SSR increased to 172,000 in 1931 of these, 37,000 lived on colonies established under Soviet rule. One of the goals of some Jewish community leaders was the establishment of a Jewish territorial unit&mdashan autonomous oblast or even Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic&mdashon Ukrainian territory. As a first step, three Jewish raions were established: Kalinindorf (in Kherson okruha), founded in 1927 Novozlatopil (Zaporizhia okruha), in 1929 and Stalindorf (Kryvyi Rih okruha), in 1930. Eventually this plan was abandoned, at least partly because of the opposition of Ukrainian government leaders who feared the truncation of their republic instead, in 1934 the Birobidzhan Jewish Autonomous oblast was established in the Far East. In the second half of the 1930s, most Jews left these agricultural colonies, either for Birobidzhan or for the cities.

The end of indigenization brought an end to the renaissance of organized Jewish life in the USSR. The Yiddish-language governmental institutions, the yevsektsii, the Yiddish writers' organizations, and many major cultural and scholarly institutions (eg, the Institute of Jewish Culture of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kyiv) were closed down, and the formal support given by the regime to Jewish developments was replaced by a growing official anti-Semitism. Many Jewish activists fell victims to the Stalinist terror of the 1930s.

In Western Ukraine during the interwar period strong economic competition from Ukrainian co-operatives and from private commercial and industrial firms eroded the economic base of Jewish life in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Rumania. The Polish government, and such Polish anti-Semitic groups as Rozwój, initiated anti-Jewish measures and activities. Despite the perception of economic antagonism between Jews and Ukrainians, there was some political co-operation: eg, in the 1922 and 1928 elections to the Polish Sejm, when Ukrainian and Jewish parties joined the coalition Bloc of National Minorities, and in the elections to the Czechoslovak and Rumanian parliaments. Repressive Polish measures against Ukrainians and the co-operation of some Jewish leaders with the Polish government led to resentment of the Jews.

The first Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine (1939&ndash41) followed the pattern already established in the USSR. On the one hand, Jewish national and cultural rights were limited, traditional institutions were abolished, and the economy was restructured and nationalized, bringing great hardships to artisans and merchants. On the other, individual Jews were given better opportunities as the official quotas, limiting their access to education and the professions, were abolished. Overall, many Jews welcomed the Soviet occupation, as it brought an end to the official anti-Semitism of the Polish regime and staved off the threat of Nazi occupation.

The German occupation of Ukraine during the Second World War&mdashand, indeed, the entire war period&mdashwas a tragedy for Ukrainian Jews. Within the enlarged 1941 boundaries of the Soviet Union, 2.5 of the 4.8 million Jews were killed. In Western Ukraine only 2 percent (17,000) of the entire Jewish population survived. The destruction of Jews began in fall 1941, initially in central Ukraine and then in Western Ukraine. In Kyiv alone, 35,000&ndash70,000 Jews were murdered at Babyn Yar. Mass murder of Jews was carried out throughout Ukraine in 1942&ndash4. Apart from the involvement of individuals and some organized auxiliary units, the Ukrainian population did not take part in these genocidal actions. Despite the penalty of death for aiding Jews, a number of Ukrainians, among them Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, tried to save Jews.

The Jewish population suffered severe discrimination in the postwar years. The crackdown on Jewish community life intensified as the teaching of Hebrew was prohibited, the Yiddish theater was abolished, Yiddish publications were suspended, hundreds of Jewish leaders were arrested (1948), and Yiddish writers were imprisoned. Twenty-four of the more prominent leaders and writers in the USSR were executed after a secret trial in August 1952. In 1953 Joseph Stalin's persecutions came to a head with the so-called doctors' plot, in which nine doctors, six of them Jewish, were accused of conspiring with Western powers to poison Soviet leaders. Thousands of Jews were removed from official posts, particularly from the armed forces and security services, and their role in the Communist Party was reduced. In higher educational institutions quotas were imposed on the numbers of Jewish students admitted.

After Stalin's death the situation for individual Jews improved somewhat, but the assimilatory campaign and repression of Jewish culture and religion continued. Anti-Semitism in the guise of &lsquoanti-Zionism&rsquo became part of Soviet internal and foreign policy. Soviet Ukrainian educational institutions were also used in this campaign for example, the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in 1963 published T. Kichko's anti-Semitic pamphlet, Judaism without Embellishment. Only about 60 synagogues survived into the 1980s in the USSR, and, of these, more than half were in Georgia.

After the 1967 Six-Day War in the Middle East and the emergence of the dissident movement in the Soviet Union, a strong Jewish emigration movement arose. In the 1970s there was a massive emigration of Jews from Ukraine to the West, including Israel and North America. Between 1970 and 1980, 250,000 Soviet citizens emigrated on Israeli visas. By 1980 severe restrictions were placed on Jewish emigration it is estimated that in 1981 alone, approx 40,000 were refused permission to emigrate.

Ukrainian dissidents, including Ivan Dziuba, Sviatoslav Karavansky, Yevhen Sverstiuk, Viacheslav Chornovil, Leonid Pliushch, and Petro Grigorenko (Hryhorenko), have worked with Jewish activists (eg. E. Kuznetsov, A. Shifrin, A. Radygin, and Yosyf Zisels) in advocating Jewish-Ukrainian co-operation. Ukraïns&rsquokyi visnyk, the Ukrainian samvydav journal, continuously reported on the persecution of Jewish activists.

In 1979 Ukrainian Jewish émigrés in Israel formed the Public Committee for Jewish-Ukrainian Cooperation, which in 1981 became the Society of Jewish-Ukrainian Relations, headed by Ya. Suslensky. Even earlier, in the 1950s, a commission of Jewish-Ukrainian affairs was established at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in New York, and in 1953 the Association to Perpetuate the Memory of Ukrainian Jews was formed in New York, headed by Mendl Osherowitch.

Demography. At the end of the 19th century there were approx 3 million Jews living in ethnographic Ukrainian territories (see Table 1). Ukraine at that time had the highest concentration of Jews in the world, with some 30 percent of the total world population of Jewry (1.3 million Jews lived in Poland and 1.2 million in Lithuania and Belarus). In the eight Ukrainian gubernias of Russian-ruled Ukraine in 1897, 43.3 percent of all Jews worked in commerce, 32.2 in crafts and industry, 7.3 in private services, 5.8 in public services (including the liberal professions), 3.7 in communication, 2.9 in agriculture, and 4.8 in no permanent occupation.

Almost 60 percent of Ukrainian Jews lived in cities and constituted one-third of the urban population of the country. Because of their confinement to the Pale of Settlement, the Dnieper River served as a major demographic demarcation line. In Western Ukraine and Right-Bank Ukraine, Jews made up 10&ndash15 percent of the population, but in Left-Bank Ukraine, only 4&ndash6 percent. In most cities of Western and Right-Bank Ukraine they constituted a relative majority (40 percent on average), while they formed an absolute majority in such cities as Berdychiv (78 percent), Uman (58 percent), and Bila Tserkva (53 percent).

The First World War and the subsequent upheavals of 1917&ndash21 in the central and western lands led to a significant decrease in the Jewish population as a result of casualties and a sizable emigration. The abolition of the Pale of Settlement enabled Jews to move to other parts of the old Russian Empire as well as to eastern Ukraine and the Kuban region. As a result, the Jewish population in Ukrainian territories decreased from 8.3 percent of the total population in 1897 to 5.5 percent in 1926. (Jewish population distribution is given in Table 2.)

Overall, the greatest percentage decreases occurred in Right-Bank Ukraine, while the greatest increases occurred in Slobidska Ukraine (particularly in Kharkiv). The distribution of Jewish population by geographic region for 1897 and 1926 is given in Table 3.

Demographic data for the Ukrainian SSR in 1926 (see map: Jews in Ukraine in 1926&ndash31) illustrate the high rates of Jewish urbanization: 26 percent of the total Jewish population lived in villages, 51.6 percent lived in cities of 100,000 or less, and 22.2 percent lived in cities with a population of more than 100,000. Moreover, the concentration of Jews in medium- and large-sized cities, a process that began in the 19th century, continued. Between 1897 and 1926, the number of Jews decreased by 33 percent in villages and by 22 percent in towns of less than 20,000 meanwhile, their number increased by 7 percent in cities of 20,000 to 100,000 and by 106 percent in cities of over 100,000. In 1897, 27.4 percent of Ukraine's urban population was Jewish in 1926, 22.8 percent.

The cities with the largest populations of Jews in 1926 (1897 figures in parentheses) were Odesa, 154,000 or 36.5 percent of the total population (140,000, 34.8 percent) Kyiv, 140,500 or 27.3 percent (31,800, 12.8) Kharkiv, 81,500 or 19.5 percent (11,000, 6.3) and Dnipropetrovske, 62,000 or 26.7 percent (40,000, 35.5). In 1931 Lviv's Jewish population numbered 98,000 or 31.9 percent (in 1900 the respective figures were 44,300 and 26.5), and in Chernivtsi, 42,600 or 37.9 percent (21,600 or 32.8 percent). Before the First World War, Odesa had the third-largest Jewish population in the world after New York and Warsaw. According to the 1926 Soviet Ukrainian census, the distribution of the Jews by occupation was as follows: 20.6 percent in arts and crafts, 20.6 in public services (administrative work), 15.3 workers, 13.3 in commerce, 9.2 in agriculture, 1.6 in liberal professions, 8.9 unemployed, 7.3 of no profession the rest were classified in a miscellaneous category. The proportion of Jews in economic administration was 40.6 percent, and in medical-sanitary administration, 31.9 percent.

The use, and even the knowledge, of Yiddish began to decline sharply in the 20th century, particularly in larger cities: in 1926 only 76 percent of Jews in the Ukrainian SSR claimed Yiddish as their mother tongue (70 percent of the urban and 95 percent of the rural population), while 23 percent listed Russian and barely 1 percent listed Ukrainian. The extent of Russification is evidenced by the fact that only 16 percent had no written knowledge of Russian and as many as 31 percent had no written knowledge of Yiddish (78 percent could not write in Ukrainian).

On the eve of the Second World War there were about 3 million Jews in Ukrainian lands they constituted 20 percent of the total world Jewish population and 60 percent of the Jewish population of the USSR. During the war the Germans murdered most of the Jews in the territories they occupied. The only ones who survived were those who had been saved by Ukrainians at the risk of their own lives or were evacuated to the eastern reaches of the USSR before the German advance, and some in Transcarpathia, Bessarabia, and Bukovyna, where there was no direct German occupation, and where the deportation and extermination of the Jewish population was not as complete.

Since the Second World War the Jewish population in the Ukrainian SSR has declined steadily. In the 20 years from 1959 to 1979 it decreased by 24.5 percent, from 840,000 in 1959 to 777,000 in 1970 (which constituted 1.65 percent of the population of Ukraine, and 36.1 percent of the total Soviet Jewish population) and 634,000 in 1979. This decline has been caused by low birth rates, the rise in intermarriages, and, since 1971, mass emigration. Table 4 shows the 1959 and 1970 figures of the distribution of Jews in Kyiv and in oblasts in which they numbered more than 20,000. Jews now live almost exclusively in provincial centers and in larger cities. They are virtually absent in towns and villages.

Cultural life. From the very beginning of mass Jewish settlement in Ukraine, Jewish cultural and religious life was highly developed. The impressive stone synagogues throughout Ukraine serve as interesting historical monuments to Jewish material culture. The more notable ones, such as those in Volhynia (in Dubno, Lutske, and Liuboml), date back to the 16th&ndash18th centuries. The Cossack uprisings of the 17th century, the destruction wrought by the Cossack-Polish War of 1648&ndash57, and the general social and economic dislocations of the era initiated a period of great change for the Jewish population of Ukraine. Many Jewish scholars fled to the West, where they founded Talmudic centers in Holland, Germany, and Bohemia. Religious disillusionment spread and many Jews sought solace in a variety of ascetic or mystical movements. Hasidism, which was founded in Ukraine by Israel Ba'al Shem Tov, became the dominant religious trend in Western Ukraine. In the late 18th century the Haskalah or Enlightenment movement, inspired by Moses Mendelssohn, emerged. Adherents of this movement sought a synthesis of Jewish religious tradition with the demands of modern life. The Enlightenment movement later fostered the spread of Zionism, which had many adherents in Ukraine.

The rebirth of Hebrew and its application to modern life also originated with Jews from Ukraine. Ahad Ha-Am (1856&ndash1927), who was born in the Kyiv region, is considered the founder of &lsquocultural&rsquo or &lsquoSpiritual&rsquo Zionism. Also of Ukrainian origin are the famous Hebrew lyric poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik (1873&ndash1934) and the poet Saul Tchernichowsky (1875&ndash1943). The brilliant tradition of Yiddish culture in the 16th&ndash18th centuries was continued in Ukraine by Sholom Aleichem (Rabinovich, 1859&ndash1916), who profoundly influenced an entire generation of Jewish writers. After 1920 Chernivtsi became an important center of Jewish culture.

The Jewish press developed rapidly from the mid-19th century. The first serials, published in Russian and Yiddish, appeared in Odesa they included Rassvet (1860) and Zion (1861). In the early 20th century in Galicia, the Jewish daily Chwila and a number of other periodicals were established in Lviv.

In the Ukrainian SSR during the period 1923&ndash34, Jews benefited from the granting of national rights and freedom for cultural development. Yiddish was recognized as an official language and used in administrative matters in Jewish soviets. Many Jewish periodicals were established eg, Stern, the official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Council of Trade Unions. All laws and government directives were also published in Yiddish. In the Ukrainian SSR in 1925 there were 393 trade and technical schools in which the language of instruction was Yiddish, attended by 61,400 students or one-third of the total Jewish student population. There were four Jewish pedagogical institutes and separate departments in the Institute of People's Education in Odesa. In 1928, 69,000 students attended 475 Jewish schools, and by 1931 there were 831 schools and 94,000 students. The closing of Jewish schools began in 1933&ndash4, at the same time as the abolition of Ukrainization. By the start of the Second World War, the Jewish educational system had, for all practical purposes, been abolished.

The higher academic institutions devoted to the study of Jewish culture included the Hebraic Historical-Archeographic Commission and Chair of Jewish Culture of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, which became the Institute of Jewish Culture of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1929. The All-Ukrainian Mendele Mokher Seforim Museum of Jewish culture was established in Odesa, while the Central Jewish Library was located in Kyiv.

Jewish theaters, which had been prominent in the theatrical and artistic life of prerevolutionary Ukraine, continued to exist under Soviet rule. In 1922 permanent Jewish theaters were organized in Kyiv and Odesa, and a Jewish department of the Kyiv Institute of Theater Arts was established in 1934. Many Jewish poets and writers became active in the 1920s, publishing in Yiddish, including Leib Kvitko, I. Fefer, D. Feldman, Der Nister, Kh. Hildin, and A. Reizin. Their works were translated into Ukrainian by Pavlo Tychyna, Maksym Rylsky, and others. Jewish cultural activists were subjected to the same wave of repressions in the 1930s as were directed at Ukrainians and many Jewish institutions were closed by the authorities. After the Second World War all expressions of Jewish culture were stifled in Ukraine. From 1950 to 1952 a number of Jewish writers and cultural activists were murdered by the NKVD, among them D. Bergelson, D. Hofstein, Perets Markish, I. Fefer, L. Kvitko, P. Kaganovich (Der Nister), and A. Kushnirov.

Ukrainian themes are found in the works of Jewish writers active in Ukraine, such as M. Mokher Seforim (1836&ndash1917), Sholom Aleichem, Sh. Frug, Sh. Asch, and B. Horowitz, and among those active in the diaspora, such as H.N. Bialik, Sh. Bikel, and R. Korn.

A number of Jewish writers became part of the general Ukrainian literary process: the poets Leonid Pervomaisky, Sava Holovanivsky, Ivan Kulyk, Abram Katsnelson the prose writers Natan Rybak, Leonid Smiliansky the dramatist L. Yukhvid the literary historians and critics Yarema Aizenshtok, Aleksandr Leites, Samiilo Shchupak, Illia Stebun (Katsnelson), Oleksander Borshchahivsky, Yevhen Adelheim, and A. Hozenpud. Also active in Ukrainian circles were the historians Yosyf Hermaize and S. Borovoi and the linguist Olena Kurylo. Many of the above were repressed during the purges in the 1930s. In the 1970s and 1980s, the poets Leonid Kyselov (Kiselev) and Moisei Fishbein (the latter emigrated to the West in 1979) also wrote in Ukrainian.

Two of the more prominent translators of Ukrainian poetry were D. Hofstein, who published translations of Shevchenko's poetry in 1937, and A. Klein, who published a collection of translations of Ukrainian folk works in Kolomyia, in 1936. An important role in the popularization of Ukrainian literature was played by Yakiv Orenshtain, the founder and owner of Ukrainska Nakladnia, a publishing house based in Kolomyia and Berlin. It was established in 1903 and in the next 30 years published hundreds of Ukrainian titles.

An interesting development was the attempt made by Jewish émigrés to establish a Ukrainian theater in the United States. In Philadelphia, I. Ginzberg led a Jewish-Ukrainian acting company in 1910&ndash12, I. Elgard (Izydor Elgardiv) led a touring theater group in 1916&ndash17, and D. Medovy led his own Jewish-Ukrainian theatrical company in 1917&ndash28. All of them staged Ukrainian plays and helped popularize them.

The unique nature of Jewish-Ukrainian relations is reflected in the Ukrainian oral tradition. The popular folk song of the traditional spring cycle Ïde ïde Zel&rsquoman hearkens back to the days when Jews held leases on Ukrainian churches. Motifs on Jewish privileges appeared frequently in the dumas. One of the so-called younger dumas is called Zhydivski utysky (Jewish Oppressions). In various vertep dramas and intermedes the sympathetic and comic figure of the Jew appears with the Zaporozhian cossack, the noble, and the Gypsy. Among the many Ukrainian authors who have portrayed Jews have been Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Stepan Rudansky, Yakiv Shchoholiv, Tymotei Borduliak, Modest Levytsky, Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Oleksander Oles, Arkadii Liubchenko, Leonid Pervomaisky, Mykola Khvylovy, Borys Antonenko-Davydovych, Yaroslav Hrymailo, and Yurii Smolych.

Today the role of Jews in Ukraine has significantly decreased, although they remain the second largest minority after the Russians. (See also Anti-Semitism.)

Modern Jewish History: The Pale of Settlement

PALE OF SETTLEMENT (Rus. Cherta [postoyannoy yevreyskoy] osedlosti), territory within the borders of czarist Russia wherein the residence of Jews was legally authorized. Limits for the area in which Jewish settlement was permissible in Russia came into being when Russia was confronted with the necessity of adjusting to a Jewish element within its borders, from which Jews had been excluded since the end of the 15 th century. These limitations were consonant with the general conception of freedom of movement of persons which then applied. At the time, most of the inhabitants of Russia, not only the serfs but also townsmen and merchants, were deprived of freedom of movement and confined to their places of residence.

After the first partition of Poland in 1772, when masses of Jews living within the former country came under Russian rule, it was decided (1791) to permit the presence of the Jews not only in their former regions of residence, but also in the new areas which had then been annexed from Turkey on the Black Sea shore, in whose rapid colonization the Russian government was interested. On the other hand, Jewish merchants were prohibited from trading in the provinces of inner Russia. These decrees were intended to serve the national and economic interests of the state by preventing competition of the Jewish with Russian merchants and encouraging settlement in the desolate steppes of southern Russia after a time these formed the provinces of *Kherson , ʭnepropetrovsk (Yekaterinoslav), and Taurida (ʬrimea). The Russian government also sought thus to reduce the excess of Jews in the branches of commerce and innkeeping within the territory annexed from Poland. In 1794 the earlier decree was ratified and applied to the regions which had been annexed with the second partition of Poland (1793) also – the provinces of *Minsk , *Volhynia, and *Podolia – as well as to the region to the east of the River Dnieper (the provinces of ʬhernigov and *Poltava ).

With the third partition of Poland (1795), the law was also applied to the provinces of *Vilna and *Grodno. In 1799 ʬourland was added to the Pale of Settlement. In the "Jewish Statute" promulgated in 1804, the province of Astrakhan and the whole of the northern Caucasus were added to the regions open to Jews. In 1812, upon its annexation, ⪾ssarabia was also included. The "Kingdom of Poland," incorporated into Russia in 1815, which included ten provinces that later became known as the "Vistula Region," was not officially included within the Pale of Settlement, and until 1868 the transit of Jews through it to the Lithuanian and Ukrainian provinces was prohibited by law. In practice, however, the provinces of the Vistula Region were generally included within the Pale of Settlement.

To sum up, it was the intention of the Russian legislators of the reigns of Catherine II and Alexander I to extend the Pale of Settlement beyond the regions acquired from Poland only to those areas where Jews could serve as a colonizing element. However, from the reign of Alexander II the restrictive aspects of the Pale of Settlement became accentuated, for while freedom of movement for non-Jews in Russia increased, in particular after the emancipation of the serfs, the restrictions on the movement of Jews beyond the Pale remained in force, and became explicitly underlined within the Pale itself. This was accomplished both by anti-Jewish enactments on the part of the government and by the growing impatience of Jewish society and liberal public opinion with these disabilities.

Czar Nicholas I (under whom the term "Pale of Settlement" was coined) removed Courland from the Pale in 1829 however, the rights of the Jews already settled and registered there were maintained. In 1835 the provinces of Astrakhan and the northern Caucasus were excluded from the Pale. In 1843 Nicholas I ordered the expulsion of the Jews from a strip of 50 versts (about 33 mi.) in width extending along the border with Prussia and Austria. Many difficulties were encountered in the application of this law, and in 1858 it was redrafted to apply only to those Jews who would wish to settle in the border zone after that year. A similar law which had applied to the provinces of Russian Poland (where the border zone closed to Jewish residence was 21 versts in width) was abrogated in 1862. In 1827 severe restrictions were imposed on the residence of Jews in Kiev, the largest town in southern Russia, that served as an important commercial center for the surrounding regions which had a dense Jewish population.

Under Alexander II, rights of residence beyond the Pale began to be granted to various classes of the Jewish population: in 1859 to merchants able to pay the registration fees of the First Guild in 1861 to university graduates, as well as those engaged in medical professions (dentists, male and female nurses, midwives, etc., from 1879) and in 1865 to various craftsmen. The right of residence throughout Russia was also granted to ⫊ntonists who had remained Jews and to their offspring (the so-called "Nicholas soldiers"). The Jews hoped that these regulations would prove to be the first steps toward the complete abolition of the Pale of Settlement. However, they were disappointed when these alleviations came to a complete halt after 1881, as part of the general reaction in Russia at this period. The "Temporary ( *May ) Laws" of 1881 prohibited any new settlement by Jews outside towns and townlets in the Pale of Settlement (this law did not apply to the Vistula Region). Jews who had been living in villages before the publication of the decree were authorized to reside in those same villages only. The peasants were granted the right of demanding the expulsion of the Jews who lived among them. These decrees were bound up with intensified administrative pressure, brutality by local authorities, and the systematic acceptance of bribery on the part of the lower administrative ranks. Occasionally, new places were excluded from the Pale of Settlement, such as *Rostov and *Taganrog (1887) and the spa town of *Yalta (1893). During the years 1891�, thousands of Jewish craftsmen and their families were expelled from *Moscow .

At the beginning of the 20 th century political and economic pressure on the Russian government intensified, and in various places alleviations in the "Temporary Laws" occurred. From 1903 some village settlements which had assumed an urban character were given the status of townlets, and the Jews were thus granted the legal right of living in them. Up to the outbreak of World War I some 300 settlements were thus opened for Jewish residence. In 1904 instructions were issued that all the Jews authorized to reside outside the Pale of Settlement could also settle in the rural areas there.

In 1910 the Jewish members of the ʭuma, N. ʯriedman and L. *Nisselovich , with the support of the Constitutional-Democratic Party, proposed a bill for the abolition of the Pale of Settlement. However, the balance of power in the Duma between the liberals and reactionaries made the proposal of demonstrative value only. The extreme Right retorted with a counter-motion "to expel the Jews from Russia" the original motion was voted upon in February 1911 and transferred to the commission for personal freedom, where it fell into oblivion and was no longer mentioned in plenary session of the Duma. In August 1915, when many thousands of expelled and refugee Jews from the battle zones streamed into the interior of Russia, the government was compelled to permit the residence of these refugees in the towns of inner Russia, with the exception of St. Petersburg and Moscow thus the existence of the Pale of Settlement in practice was brought to an end. After the Revolution of February 1917 the provisional government abolished the Pale of Settlement among the rest of the anti-Jewish restrictions.

The Pale covered an area of about 1 million sq. km. (386,100 sq. mi.) from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. According to the census of 1897, 4,899,300 Jews lived there, forming 94% of the total Jewish population of Russia and c. 11.6% of the general population of this area. The largest of the other nations living within the area of the Pale were the Ukrainian, Polish, Belorussian, Russian, Lithuanian, Moldavian (mostly in Bessarabia), and German. These (with the exception of the Germans) were essentially concentrated in their own territorial regions, where they formed the majority of the population. The Jews were a minority in every province (from 17.5% in the province of Grodno to 3.8% in the province of Taurida) 82% of the Jews lived in the towns and townlets of the Pale and their concentration in these was prominent: They formed 36.9% of the urban population, and in nine provinces they formed the majority of the urban population (province of Minsk – 58.8% Grodno – 57.7% Mogilev – 52.4% etc.). In the townlets and many small towns all the inhabitants or the overwhelming majority were Jews. The 10 largest communities were *Warsaw (219,149 persons) *Odessa (138,915) *Lodz (98,677) *Vilna (64,000) *Kishinev (50,237) *Minsk (47,562) ʫialystok (41,900) ⪾rdichev (41,617) Yekaterinoslav (ʭnepropetrovsk 40,009) *Vitebsk (34,470), and *Kiev 31,800.

It was, however, not only the limitation of their residential area which oppressed the Jews. By force of historical circumstances they were also restricted in their occupations. They were concentrated in commerce (38.6% of the Jews gainfully occupied) and crafts (35.4%) 72.8% of the total of persons engaged in commerce within the Pale of Settlement were Jews, as well as 31.4% of those engaged in crafts. Jewish artisans concentrated in certain branches of crafts (tailoring shoemaking). Very few had the possibility of engaging in agriculture. The competition among the merchants, shopkeepers, and craftsmen was intense and gave rise to pauperization and the development of a Jewish proletariat which could not be integrated. This situation, together with the incessant anti-Jewish decrees and the waves of pogroms, especially during the years 1881� and 1903�, resulted in a constant stream of Jewish emigration from the Pale of Settlement to Western Europe and the United States. Even this great emigration was, however, insufficient to counterbalance the natural growth of the Jews in the Pale of Settlement.

The language spoken by the Jews in the Pale of Settlement was Yiddish (according to the census of 1897 by 99% of the Jews). Most Jewish children received a Jewish education in the �r and the yeshivah. Jewish literature and newspapers in Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and Polish circulated in many thousands of copies. The masses of 𞉚sidim were attached to the "courts" of their spiritual leaders in *Lubavich (Chabad), *Stolin , *Talnoye (Talna), *Gora Kalwaria (Gur), ʪleksandrow , etc. More modern movements such as *Ḥibbat Zion and Zionism, the ʫund and the socialist parties were also active in the towns and townlets of the Pale, either openly or illegally underground.

World War I, the disintegration of the Russian Empire, the Revolution, and the civil war in Russia, destroyed the foundations of this Jewish world, which was finally annihilated in the Holocaust. With the perspective of time, assessment of the Pale of Settlement has changed it is necessary to consider not only its negative aspects but also its positive, unintended results, as forming a framework for an independent Jewry, as the area of settlement of a whole Jewish nation in which generations of Jews developed their own culture, and as the source of the establishment and development of large Jewish centers in America, South Africa, and many other countries, as well as Israel.

Sources: Map from The Routledge Atlas of Jewish History Ed. 8 by Sir Martin Gilbert. Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group. © 2007 Martin Gilbert. Yu. Hessen, in: YE, 7 (c. 1910), 590𠄷 J. Bikerman, Cherta yevreyskoy osedlosti (1911) Dubnow, Hist Russ, 3 (1920), index J. Lestschinsky, Dos Yidishe Folk in Tsifern (1922), 13� B. Dinur, in: Zion, 23 (1958), 93� I. Maor, Sheɾlat ha-Yehudim ba-Tennuɺh ha-Liberalit ve-ha-Mahpekhanit be-Rusyah, 18901914 (1964) S.W. Baron, The Russian Jew under Tsars and Soviets (1964), index Y. Slutsky, in: He-Avar, 13 (1966), 41� S. Ettinger, Toledot Am Yisrael, 3 (1969), index S.V. Teḥum ha-Moshav. Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.

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Why did Jews have the support of the merchants in the push for Emancipation in England? - History

Jewish massive settlement in Middle and Eastern Europe has been recorded since the end of the 11 th century. The first arriving Jews were merchants (dealing between east and the west) who were referred to as Radhanites. They were fluent in many languages, including Arabic, Persian, Greek, Spanish, "Franklish" and "Slav". One of them was Ibrahim Ibn Yacub, who authored the first known extensive article about Poland, took a journey from his hometown - Toledo - in (Moslem) Spain to the Holy (Christian) Roman Empire in 965 or 966 and then he went to the Slavonic countries.
The map below illustrates the migration waves of Jews into central Europe.

At the end of feudal disintegration in Central and Eastern Europe (occured in the 13 th and 14 th centuries) the rulers encouraged Jewish immigration. In the 14 th and 15 th centuries the Jews were mainly middlemen in trade between Poland, Hungary, Turkey and the Italian colonies on the Black Sea.

Jewish immigrants headed east to Poland during the reign of Casimir the Great, who encouraged Jewish settlement by extending royal protection to them. One of the first mentions about Jewish settlements was in Lwow about 1356. Other places are also mentioned in the second half of the 14 th century.

In the 15 th century Jews appeared in many cities in Great Poland, Little Poland, Kuyavia, Pomerania and Red Ruthenia. In the 1450's Polish towns gave shelter to Jewish refugees from Silesia which was then ruled by the Habsburgs.

Map of Jewish expulsions and resettlement areas in Europe

Welcoming of Sephardim Jews to Turkey in 1492 by Sultan Beyazit II. A painting by Mevlut Akyildiz.
It is believed that the destiny of our Turkels' forebears begins with the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. More than 300,000 "Sephardic" Jews spread out throughout the Mediterranean world, welcomed by the Ottoman Empire in 1492. Spain had been one of the centers of Jewish life at that time, a place where Jews had flourished for a thousand years (the first seven centuries under Moslem rule). Up to the 16th century most those expelled Jews settled in Italy, the Turkish Empire, North Africa, and the New World. The most fortunate of the expelled Jews succeeded in escaping to Turkey.

In 1495 Jews were ordered out of the center of Krakow and allowed to settle in the "Jewish town" of Kazimierz. In the same year, Alexander Jagiellon, following the example of Spanish rulers, banished the Jews from Lithuania. For several years they took shelter in Poland until they were allowed back to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1503. At that time Jews lived in about 85 towns in Poland. Their total number was around 18,000 in Poland and 6,000 in Lithuania, only 0.6 per cent of the total population of these two countries.

In the 16 th and the first half of the 17 th Jewish population grew consierably, up to 500,000 Jews in Poland, about five per cent of the total population of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. New arrivals were due to "Sephardic" Jews, who had been driven away from Spain and Portugal. There is a reason to believe (see the 17 th century legend) that the Turkels are "Sephardic" Jews, who arrvied from Spain/Potrugal to Poland via Turkey. Still we are not sure when exactly they arrived to the Eastern and Central Europe.

In the 16 th and 17 th centuries the Jews were required to defend the towns they lived in either by service or by monetary contributions. Sometimes Jews fought on both sides, leading to family tragedies. During Poland's wars with Sweden (1655-60), Russia (1654-67) and Turkey (1667-99) Jews provided recruits and participated in the city's defense. There are war stories about relevant places such as Buczacz, Trembowla (see also here) and Lwow (see also here).

In 1648 the Cossack uprising under Chmielnicki broke up. There was a breakthrough in the history of both the "Commonwealth" and Polish Jewry. The country was plunged into economic crisis due to the wars against the Ukraine, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and the Tartars, which Poland fought almost uninterruptedly between 1648 and 1717. As a result of Chmielnicki's revolt and wars against the Ukraine and Russia Jewish communities in the areas occupied by enemy troops were completely wiped out. Some Jews were murdered, some emigrated to central Poland and the rest left for Western Europe. The sharp drop of the Jewish population is estimated as to be 100,000-125,000 out of 500,000.

Folowing 1717 there was a rapid growth in the number of the Jewish population, up to about 750,000 Jews in 1766 (ref. tax census), which constituted 7% of the total population of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. About 29% of all Jews lived in ethnically Polish areas and 27% in regions with a predominantly Ukrainian population. The population census conducted in Poland in 1790-91 shows a further increase in the number of Jewish inhabitants, about 900,000.

The partition of Poland took place in 1772, among Russia, Prussia and Austria.
At that time there were about 171,850 Jews (6.5% of the total population) in Galicia. In 1775 the authorities granted tax exemptions to those individuals who settled on uncultivated land. This may explain the spread out of the "Turkel Tribe" to many Galician shtetls , around Krakow, Lemberg (Lwow) and Tarnopol. The same law forbade rabbis to wed those who had no permanent earnings. Consequently many poor Jews moved away from Galicia, mostly to the east.

The Pale of Settlement fingers point to places Turkels settled on the skirt of pale

It is important to elaborate that there were different regulations in the Prussian and Austrian partition zones. In the Prussian zone, according to the decree issued by Frederick II, the Jewish population was to be subordinated to the Prussian Jewish ordinance (General Judenreglement) of 17 April 1797. The right to permanent residence in towns was granted only to rich Jews and those engaged in trade. The poor Jews, the Bettel Juden, were ordered by Frederick II to be expelled from the country, and the Jewish self-government organizations were exclusively limited to religious affairs.

    During the initial period, the reign of Maria Theresa and the first years of rule of Joseph II, the separateness of the Jewish population from the rest of Galician society was retained and Jewish self-government was preserved, although the poorest Jews were expelled from the country. Those who remained were limited in their right to get married, removed from many sources of income and forced to pay high taxes. This might explain lack of records about the Turkels also intermarriage within the family. In the years 1782-3, the Jews in Austria were obliged to assume permanent family names.

    In 1791, the Russian Empress, Catherine the Great, established the Pale of Settlement and decreed that all Jewish inhabitants of her realm (with minor exceptions) must live within its borders and this restriction remained in force until 1917. During the Kosciuszko Insurrection and wars against Tsarist Russia in 1794 Jews supported the uprising either in auxiliary services or in arms.

Obviously many Jews refused to join the Tsarist Army, and this may conform with the 18 th century legend about the origin of the surname Turkel . Jews employed many methods to avoid induction including the use of false documents. Many young men simply ran away from their communities when their draft date approached. Jews were required to register all births, marriages etc. in the Synagogue to which they were assigned. After 1857 the records were kept by Crown Rabbis who were usually not the spiritual leaders of the respective communities.

The Emancipation of European Jewry

As late as the middle of the 19th century, Russian Government officials complained about the frequent change of family names among Russian Jews who lived in different communities under different surnames .

Basic changes in the situation of Galician Jewry took place after 1848. Some Jews were quite active in the revolutionary movement of the period, which resulted in a Polish-Jewish reconciliation and Jewish emancipation. In the years following 1859 the Austrian authorities began to gradually repeal legal restrictions. In 1867-68 all citizens, Jews included, were finally made equal in the eyes of the law.

Return to Bad Times

Map of pogroms and antisemitic acts of violence
in Russia and the Pale from 1871-1906

The difficult economic situation in Galicia caused violent actions (pogroms) against Jews, who due to the situation chose to emigrate elsewhere. Generally, Jews from Galicia sought work in other countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, sometimes in Vienna, and also in Hungary and the Balkan countries. Between 1881 and 1900 about 150,000 left elsewhere, and between 1900 and 1914 about 175,000 Jews from Galicia left for the United States of America. At the same time various Zionist movements emerged and a few of our Turkel folks made Alyiah to the Holy Land aka Eretz Israel. Like other Jews many members of the 'Turkel Tribe' immigrated to the USA.

At ths end of ths First World War Galicia was annexed to Poland. The Jews expected to have right for autonomy but the Polish government never yielded. Moreover the situation of the Jews was dramatically deteriorated. Their rights were quite limited compared to other nationals. Following 1924 the immigration to the USA was stalled. Jews looked for alternative ways to get out of Poland, in particular to Palestine, but the British Mandate denied entry of many. The fate of most of the Jews were doomed in the Holocaust during the Second World War. About Six Million Jews, half of them (3 millions) in Poland and about 450,000 Galician Jews were murdered. More than 90% of the Turkel families (those who remained in Poland/Galicia) lost their lives.

Here we return to our main quest to find out the common ancestors of the 'Turkel Tribe'. We pursuit genealogy, including legends and stories of these East European Jews.

Liberal Politics and Jewish Idealism

How Jewish voting trends reflect the innate Jewish drive.

If we look at the last 100 years of Jewish political affiliation in the U.S., we see that, as with so many aspects of Jewish history, it remains an anomaly. Since the arrival of 2.5 million Eastern Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia between 1882 and 1914, an average of about 75% of the Jewish population has voted Democrat in national elections.

While approximately 23% of Americans classify themselves as liberal, the Jewish number is almost three times as high at around 73%. The question is why?

Much has been written on the topic. In the book, Jews in American Politics, Anna Greenberg & Kenneth Wald write:

Jewish Americans do not exhibit the same political tendencies as other demographically equivalent groups. For instance, we might expect Jewish Americans to become more conservative in their beliefs and voting preferences as succeeding generations attain higher levels of affluence and education. In fact, Jewish Americans are among the most highly educated, professional, and affluent members of the population&hellip

But when we compare these Jewish American voters to non-Jews with the same socio-economic status, the Jews remain politically distinctive.

Simply put, as Jews mainstreamed into American society and their socio-economic status improved, the norm should have been for Jews to move to the right politically &ndash toward a greater affiliation with the Republican party. Yet this has not been the case.

Much of the explanation for this continued strong affiliation with the Democratic Party has been linked to the historical experience of the European Jews in modern history. Jews fleeing from conservative/reactionary Tsarist Russia would naturally move in the opposite direction upon their arrival in America. In addition, the vast majority of these new immigrants arrived as poor laborers who worked for very little money in the sweat shops of New York under very difficult conditions. They would obviously choose to support the party generally regarded as more championing the rights of the working class &ndash the Democratic Party.

While these historical experiences certainly helped to shape Jewish voting patterns in the first half of the 20th century, they fail to explain the continued strong affinity Jews seem to hold for the political left. Something is missing here. The sociologist, Ernest van den Haag, hints at this when he wrote:

Utopian dreams, millennial prophecies, and messianic expectations are as much part of their [the Jews] cultural heritage as is the practical worldly attitude&hellip With emancipation, Jews have tried to influence their actual environment, in this world. But they have not given up their dreams. Many have become reformers many others have become radicals&hellip Of all groups&hellip Jews are most prone to expectations of radical change&hellip Although very few Jews are radicals, very many radicals are Jews: out of one hundred Jews, five may be radicals, but out of ten radicals five are likely to be Jewish&hellip What attracts them so disproportionately to radical causes? ("The Jewish Mystique," 1969)

Interestingly, Judaism provides a deeper explanation. A look into the Bible helps us understand what truly drives this phenomenon. We begin at the beginning &ndash with Abraham, the first Jew, whose uniqueness was two-fold:

  • He was a non-conventional/think-outside-the-box genius who was able to come up with the idea of an infinite God in a world that was entirely polytheistic.
  • He was a tremendous intellectual and idealist, willing to put everything on the line for truth.

In short, Abraham&rsquos greatness came from his clarity and his commitment. Judaism teaches that these traits were passed on to his descendants, the Jewish people, and continue to manifest themselves in the collective personality of the Jews.

This explains another fascinating aspect of the Jews. Despite being only 0.2% of the world's population, at all times and in all places, they have always had a disproportionate impact on the world. This anomaly has not gone without notice in the non-Jewish world, as Mark Twain once wrote:

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of smoke lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk&hellip He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all ages: and has done it with his hands tied behind him.

This Jewish "drive" is a neutral force that constantly pushes the Jewish people throughout history. It explains why Jews have won 23% of all the Nobel Prizes since 1901, but it also explains the disproportionate Jewish involvement in the early history of organized crime and major Wall Street financial scandals. Whatever Jews do, they usually do it BIG.

The 19th century German writer, Goethe, probably said it best:

Energy is the basis of everything. Every Jew, no matter how insignificant, is engaged in some decisive and immediate pursuit of a goal&hellip It is the most perpetual people of the earth.

This drive also explains the anomaly of Jewish political affiliation. From Abraham onward, Jews have constantly been trying to fix the world. Abraham's mission was to do this by reconnecting humanity to God, but in more recent times, when most Jews have been largely disconnected from Judaism, they have tried to do this in many other ways. This explains the hugely disproportionate level of Jewish involvement in so many causes, as well as the strong affinity Jews demonstrate for revolutionary and progressive movements such as communism and socialism.

Any top-down, holistic ideology that tries to right the wrongs of the world will always attract Jews. Edmund Wilson, the famous U. S. literary critic, saw this very clearly when he wrote:

The Jew lends himself easily to Communism because it enables him to devote himself to a high cause, involving all of humanity, characteristics which are natural to him as a Jew.

This innate drive also explains the continued Jewish affinity for Liberal/Democratic ideology. An ideology that advocates using government as a top-down solution to fix the ills of society, care for the needy and provide basic health and welfare benefits for all citizens, will naturally be very attractive to the Jewish personality.

The real question from the traditional Jewish perspective is what constitutes correct political affiliation? While it is true that the tree of liberal ideology has largely been nurtured in a soil rich with Jewish values, it would be a mistake to believe that Judaism and liberalism are identical. If God could vote, His party affiliation would be "independent" and His political platform would be the Torah.

The concept of ethical monotheism and the values that come from the Torah have been the greatest moral, civilizing force in human history. Directly or indirectly, the idea of one God and one absolute standard of morality have profoundly impacted history and have served as a critical foundation for the creation of the modern, liberal Western world.

Sadly and ironically, the Jewish people, who brought these ideas to the world, are largely disconnected from them today. While 92% of Americans profess belief in God, American Jews statistically are the least religiously affiliated of any group in the United States. It seems that to a large extent the messenger has forgotten the message &ndash and yet that high-powered Jewish soul continues to push the Jewish people into every &ldquoism&rdquo&hellip except &ldquoJudaism.&rdquo

It is my firm belief that in a world changing so rapidly, humanity desperately needs a strong dose of transformative Jewish values. The challenge facing the Jewish people today is to reconnect, to re-Jew-venate themselves &ndash and then to collectively use that incredible Jewish drive to finish the job that Abraham started nearly 4,000 years ago.