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themselves from these heavy intellec- were persecuted, tortured, burned, killtual and spiritual shackles, the Jews of ed, expelled; and in their bitter misery, Eastern Europe still live, for the most drawing together more closely than ever, part, in strict accordance with the letter they gradually forged that profound of the Thorah and the Talmud.
sense of solidarity which is still, perhaps, The law of Moses being not only the- their greatest source of strength. ological and moral, but agrarian, civil, The Protestants of the Reformation, and hygienic as well, no sooner did the after trying vainly to convert the Jews, Jews begin to live abroad than it be turned angrily against them, 'The Jews came necessary for them, if they would are brutes, cried Luther, in a passion. avoid contamination, to draw together 'Their synagogues are pig-styes; they
‘ in intimate communities, and to beg must be burned, for Moses would do so from the authorities, in the name of if he came back to the world. They their religion, certain exceptions and drag the divine word in the mud; they privileges, just as they are demanding live by rapine and evil, they are wicked them to-day, under the rubric of 'mi- beasts who ought to be driven out like nority rights,’ in Poland and Roumania. mad dogs.' Thus, in Rome they could not be haled But the religious wars had now fairly into court on a Saturday; in Alexandria begun, and in the heat of the struggle they were not subject to the common between Catholic and Protestant, the municipal regulations, but had their own Jews, greatly to their good, were wellsenate, courts, and mayors.
nigh forgotten. For them, the worst Antiquity was tolerant; but not so was over. In the seventeenth century, the Middle Ages. There came a time though a number of onerous restrictions when, with the slow dissolution of feud- were put back into effect by the Church, alism, the various peoples of Europe, the return of the Jews within the Chrisunder the influence of the Roman Cath- tian faith, so long desired, was confiolic Church, began to cohere into na- dently, though vainly, expected. tionalities. All over Europe the question The eighteenth century, like antiof nationality was identified with the quity, was tolerant. In Holland and question of religion, as it still is in East- England, no less than in Turkey itself, ern Europe and the Balkans. If you the Jews were happy and prosperous. did not belong to the Church, you were In 1791, the French Constituent Asnecessarily an enemy of the State. Ob- sembly voted full rights of citizenship serving. among them a people who to the Jews. It was the first act of the dressed, spoke, and behaved differently emancipation, which was now to follow from themselves, who claimed privi- rapidly in Central as well as in Western leges and exemptions, and desired to live Europe. Napoleon, at the head of his apart, the followers of the Church vin- armies, freed the Jews of Italy and dictively decreed that the Jews hence- Germany. The Jewish cult was written forth should be obliged to dress differ- into the French budget in 1830. The ently and to live apart; and instead emancipation was completed in Ausof having privileges granted to them, tria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and they were placed under a régime of spe- Greece by the Revolution of 1848; it cial restrictions. The Ghetto, which the was completed in England in 1860, and Jews had formed of their own free will, in Hungary in 1867. The last Western was now imposed on them by force. European Ghetto was abolished in 1870, From the eleventh to the sixteenth cen- with the fall of the Pope's temporal tury, the Jews, like all heretical sects,
Of the serious arguments of WestIII
ern anti-Semitism, two are political, and But though many Western European one — the least important, but perhaps Jews have been more or less assimila- the commonest is economic. Briefly ted during the last hundred years, there stated, the economic argument is that are still many others who, though eman- the Jew is congenitally a non-producer, cipated so far as external restrictions a parasite, living only in the cities, are concerned, have not desired, or have trading and lending money, swelling been unable, to shake off the clannish- the army of profit-devouring middleness, the peculiar mentality, inbred by men. Historically, this contention cantwenty or thirty centuries of almost not be sustained. The tribesmen of unbroken tradition; they may not go Israel were, originally, not traders, but to synagogue, or even to the reformed farmers and shepherds. As speculators tabernacle, but they would be repelled and traders, they were far surpassed in at the idea of marrying outside the race, antiquity, first by the Phænicians and and they preserve a special and seem- Carthaginians, and later by the Greeks ingly ineradicable tenderness for their and Romans. It was only after the disfellow Israelites, of no matter what so- persion that their mercantile propencial stratum, or what geographical sub- sities began to develop. The sudden division. Their inner emancipation, cessation of all their former activities their emancipation from the history and as husbandmen was due in the begincustoms of Israel, is still to be effected. ning to their religion, which, on the one There can be no true assimilation so hand, forced them to gather in communlong as there is not free intermarriage; ities so as to be able to escape the conand until there is evidence of a rapid- tamination of foreign ways and peoples, ly increasing assimilation, the Jewish and, on the other, taught them that they question, with its attendant fervor of must keep themselves pure for the evenanti-Semitism, will continue to occupy tual return to Jerusalem, and that in men's minds.
ploughing any soil save that of PalesA sharp distinction must be drawn at tine, a Jew would defile himself. All exthe present time between this question iled Jews were thus constrained to beas it presents itself in Western Europe come city-dwellers, and city-dwellers or and the United States, where the Jews town-dwellers they have since remained,
are externally emancipated, and as it until they have indeed, at last, become presents itself in Eastern Europe, where almost total strangers to the life of the the Jews still live mediævally to them- fields. selves, and where there is a tendency As city-dwellers, they were naturally on the part of the prevailing govern- forced into commerce, in order to live. ments to restrict them in various ways. At a time when other peoples were less The cleavage is somewhat blurred by well organized, the Jewish communities the fact that hordes of Eastern Euro- established in every considerable town pean Jews are still pouring annually of the Mediterranean countries, and in into Western Europe; nevertheless, gen- constant communication and sympaerally speaking, the distinction can be thy, provided an unparalleled system of maintained. As the arguments which commercial agencies to the Jewish tradare brought against the Jews in the ers, who, in consequence, soon began East include and elaborate those ad- to prosper greatly. It was only in the duced in the West, it will simplify mat- Middle Ages that the Jews began to speters if the latter be considered first. cialize in money-lending and the gold traffic. This, again, was forced upon cal anti-Semitism; for, if the latter were them rather than of their own seeking; unsustained, the former, I feel sure, but as in periods of recurrent wars, bad would soon cease to exist. crops, and famine the need for loans The political argument against the and credit was very great, it was gen- Jews is that they are an 'international erally agreed that the necessary bank- nation,' more attached to the Jewish ing business should be turned over to cause, in whatever part of the world, the Jews. Not infrequently, the Jewish than to the ideals and interests of the money-lender was merely the agent of country in which they live, and from some Christian merchant or noble, who which they claim the privileges of prodid not dare lend money in person, for tection without according in return fear of excommunication. At the same their political allegiance. To this is now time, the growing power of the guilds, frequently added, as a corollary, that each with its patron saint, began, on the Jew is a 'born revolutionist.' We religious grounds, to force the exclusion are here, as I have already indicated, at of the Jews from most of the principal the very heart of the Jewish question; branches of trade and commerce. The for there is no state, there is no people, second-hand trade and the banking so good-natured and so confident of its business were about all that remained. own strength, that it will unprotestingThe latter, moreover, was congenial to ly tolerate in its midst a body persisthe Jews; for in that day of persecution tently and willfully foreign, especially and expulsion they were very glad to be when this body at the same time asable to keep their wealth in a compact, pires to take a leading part in the naeasily hidden, and easily transportable tional economic or political life. That form.
the Jews, after their dispersion, were If, therefore, in modern times, the originally such a tenaciously foreign Jews appear to be a people of town- body, in every community where they dwellers, practising, at the bottom of settled, is beyond dispute. That they the social scale, peddling, petty-retail remained so, partly of their own will, ing, pawnbrokerage, the poorer trades, partly under compulsion, up to the and, at the top of the scale, banking and time of the emancipation, fifty or a
, corporate commerce, the cause, evident- hundred years ago, is equally inconly, is less innate than historic. Even testable. The point that remains to the remarkable success of individual be determined is, to what extent, since Jews in modern finance can perhaps be the emancipation, a true assimilation attributed less to any special racial fit of the Jews has been effected in the ness than to a business tradition, to a United States and in the various counfreedom from local prejudice, and to the tries of Western Europe. To this point spirit of coöperation clearly visible be- I shall have occasion to return presenttween scattered Jewish individuals and ly. Meanwhile, the corollary, that the communities — a coöperation which Jew is a 'born revolutionist,' is worthy other peoples have not as yet been able of careful consideration. to attain in anything like the same de- Abstractly, there is certainly somegree. I myself am inclined to subordi- thing in this assertion— something pronate economic anti-Semitism to politi- found, which reaches to the very centre
of the ancient Hebraic religious concep1 Their first real specialty was that of slave
tion. The sturdy monotheism of Israel, dealers, in which they were greatly encouraged both by Charlemagne and by the Caliphs.
teaching that man shall obey Jehovah THE AUTHOR.
alone, carries by implication the idea
that all merely human authority is un- internationalists, in the literal sense justified and therefore negligible. This of the word. If it were not for this cosindependence of conscience and reason mopolitan character of the people as a is probably developed further in Juda- whole, the revolutionary proclivities of ism than in any other religion, for it is a few individuals would perhaps have considered as binding even on Jehovah passed almost unnoticed. Once more, himself. The Talmud relates how, in a we are brought face to face with the dispute between rabbis over a point of conclusion that the Jewish problem is, doctrine, the voice of Jehovah inter- above all, a problem of assimilation, vened from the void; but no sooner was The belief that the Jews are involved this divine voice heard to pronounce in a definite conspiracy for world-revoin favor of Rabbi Eliezir, than Rabbi lution arose at the time of the French Josua protested, saying: 'It is not mys- Revolution, simultaneously with the terious voices, it is the majority of the emancipation of the French Jews by sages, who should henceforth decide the Constituent Assembly. An intimate questions of doctrine. Reason is no relation between the Kabbala and Freelonger hidden away in heaven, the Law masonry had long been suspected; and is no longer in heaven; it has been given now the Catholic Royalists were able to the earth, and it is for human reason to remark that not a few Jews seemed to understand and explain it.'
to be active members of the various Moreover, implicit in Judaism, is a lodges — Masons, Illuminists, Rosicrusentiment, quite different from the res- cians, Martinists— in whose secret conignation of Christianity and of Moham- cla ves the revolution was supposed to medanism, that the joy and satisfaction have been planned. The influence of which are the birthright of every man Jewish agitators was again remarked who keeps the Law should be forthcom- in the uprisings of 1830 and 1848. ing, not in some future existence, but But the great reproach that Eurohere on earth. Even after they have pean conservatives hold against the forsworn their religion completely, a sons of Israel is that Karl Marx and Fertendency has been remarked among dinand Lassalle, the founders of modern the Jews to cling to the idea, not only Socialism, were both of Jewish origin. that all men are entitled to be happy “This descendant of a line of rabbis even in this life, but that all men are and doctors,' writes Lazare, of Marx, equal before God, and that none can be 'inherited all the force of logic of his held responsible save to his own mind ancestors; he was a clear-headed and and conscience. A poor man, imbued lucid Talmudist . . a Talmudist who with this spirit, and looking about him went in for sociology, and who applied upon the present world, is inevitably ex- his native qualities of exegesis to a posed to the temptation of becoming a critique of political economy. He was malcontent, or even an agitator. More animated by the old Hebraic materialimportant, however, than this vague ism, which dreamed perpetually of an traditional predilection for revolution- earthly paradise ... he was also a ary doctrines is the fact that the Jewish rebel, an agitator, a bitter polemist, and people, for more than twenty centu- he got his gift of sarcasm and invective ries, has been cosmopolitan, bound to from the same Jewish sources as Heine.' no country and to no lasting patriot- The famous Manifesto of 1847 was ism save that of Israel. It is no more
drawn up jointly by Marx and Engels. than natural that the emancipation The meeting of 1864, which founded the should have left a large number of them Internationale, was inspired by Marx; and in the general council, Karl Marx desired by the Jews themselves, whose was secretary for Germany and Russia, devotion to both the civil and religious and James Cohen was secretary for aspects of the Jewish Law is here as Denmark.
fervent as it is complete. The net result The work of Jewish agitators in the is that the typical Polish Jew, like the Paris Commune was the subject of much Lithuanian, Bessarabian, and Ukraincomment. Among the leaders of mod- ian Jew, is a being absolutely apart from ern Socialism were not only Marx his Christian neighbors. The reader and Lassalle in Germany, but the Jews should peruse, in this connection, the Adler and Libermann in Austria, and remarkably intimate and sympathetic Dobrojanu Gherea in Roumania; while studies of Jewish life recently published the rôle of the Russian Jews in the re- in Paris by Jean and Jérôme Tharaud, cent Russian Revolution is known to which will unveil to his occidental vieveryone. All these facts have tended sion a world undreamed of. When to to keep alive the old yarn of a Jewish these vivid distinctions are added the world-conspiracy.'
economic and racial differences, which
have already been described in discussIV
ing the more or less assimilated West
ern European Jews, it is difficult to find Exact statistics are, of course, un- a single remaining trait wherein the available; but there are supposed to be Eastern Jews may be said to resemble in the world, at the present time, from the Christian Pole, Lithuanian, Rustwelve to fourteen million Jews, of sian, or Roumanian. Those who have whom about a fourth are in the United not seen this community cleavage for States, a fourth scattered in various themselves can scarcely imagine, how countries, east, west, north, and south, thorough it is, or what profound antiwhile the remaining half are concen- pathy it instinctively engenders. trated in Eastern Europe, or, more specifically, in Poland, Bessarabia, and
V the Ukraine. Poland alone is believed to have four or five million Jews, and So much having been said, a specific thus becomes by far the greatest Jewish explanation of the present revival of state of the day. It is precisely in East- anti-Semitism is almost superfluous. In ern Europe, moreover, that the Jewish Russia the majority of Jews, for obvinationality is to be observed in its pur- ous reasons, have rallied to the Soviet est form, for here there is scarcely so government, thus exciting against themmuch as the beginning of even a politi- selves the always latent hatred of the cal assimilation; though indigenous for anti-Bolshevist parties. The Jews of centuries, the children of Israel still Poland and Roumania, being regarded, form a large and entirely distinct for not altogether without reason, as foreign minority. The fact that, in East- eigners inclining to sympathize with ern Europe, religion and nationality – the enemy (Soviet Russia), are subas in mediæval times throughout the jected to all the consequences that a whole of Europe - are still regarded as similar situation provoked in America, practically inseparable, is not a suffi- during the war, between Americans and cient explanation of this phenomenon. Germans. As for the half-assimilated The restrictive measures of the prevail- Jews of Hungary, they earned the lasting governments have merely served ing enmity of the peasants and the to accentuate a distinction ardently administrative caste by flocking in far