Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ups and Downs of Jews Being Accepted in Western World

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    
Antiochus IV Epiphanes King of Greece

The Roman Empire had no specific anti-Jewish religious discimination laws in the Roman Empire--
 except for going into their temple and putting up a statue of Zeus and taking over with King Antiochus IV Epiphanes the Greek in about 150 BCE  as the Roman leader who fought against Judah Maccabee.
Arch of Titus leading away Jewish slaves and temple gold when they led thousands of Jews away as slaves for Rome and beyond.  
Judah Maccabee
.  Our holiday of  Chanukah in December is all about Judah Maccabee reclaiming our Temple and putting in the eternal light once again by retrieving oil from a nearby town to rekindle it..  Discrimination happened like when in sports and players played naked.  Jews were circumcised and it was noticed and remarked about by making fun, and discriminating.  No specific anti-Jewishness laws were written down except in taking over Judah and burning down Jerusalem and the Temple.  That's all.
Jews had benefited from the Edict of Roman Emperor Caracalla who was of Punic and Syria descent in 212 CE which extended universally the rights and duties of citizenship to Jews as well.

Then in 640, 721 and 873 Jews in the Byzantine Empire were forcibly converted to Christianity.  1146 was when Jews of Spain were first forcibly converted to Christianity, and then they did it again to them in 1391.
It was from the 4th century onward, that the Christian Empire had an elaborate system of discrimination against the Jews which was adopted and used in medieval Europe as well as in the Islamic world.  From this came laws of discrimination against Jews throughout the world that have lasted in many places throughout the whole world for the past 2,000 years.  It's still going on in United Nations.

 In 1096 the German Crusade massacred Jews in European towns.  In 1099 Jews in Jerusalem were massacred by the Crusaders.  The Crusades changed the moral atmosphere towards Jews for the worst, contributing to the process which drove Jews out of trade and forced them increasingly into the profession of moneylending which was taboo for Christians according to their church morality.  It was looked down upon.
A DNA article from this past year stated that in 1200-1400, there were only 350 Jews left in Western Europe.  This goes along with DNA results showing that Ashkenazi Jews of today originated from only 4 Jewish women.  

There were the 1298 massacres in Germany started by Rindfleisch, a knight, 1336  by fanatics named Armleder, and in 1348/9 at the time of the Black Death (epidemic that killed a great part of the population of Europe and led to murderous attacks on many Jewish communities, particularly in Germany, especially from 1348 to 1349)  when Jews were accused of causing and spreading perpetrated with extreme barbarism by the Germans.  Over 350 Jewish towns suffered and over 200 Jewish communities were utterly wiped out. The townspeople accused Jews of poisoning their wells. Though German Jews were hit the hardest, attacks on a smaller scale to Jews happened in Poland, Catalonia and northern Italy.    In 1356 "as a consequence of the fictitious confessions extracted under torture from the Jews of Trent, the populace of many cities, especially of Ratisbon, fell upon them all possible evils.   In the 2nd half of the 14th century, the survivors were kept perpetually poor by the imperial authorities' cancellation of the debts due to them.

 Throughout the Middle Ages Jewish men continued with talmudic study.  Toward the close of the Middle Ages, most large German cities banished Jews.  The 16th century began with Jews only in Frankfort-on-Main and Worms surviving.

It was intensified by the Ghetto system which aimed at the complete expulsion of the Jews from gentile society.
In 1290 Jews were expulsed from England and were not allowed back in until 1655.  Jews were expulsed from France in 1306. In 1355, 12,000 Jews were massacred by the mob in Toledo, Spain. From 1349-1360 Jews were expelled from Hungary.  In 1420 the Jewish community in Toulouse, France was annihilated.  1421 saw Jews expelled from Austria,  1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, 180,000 Jews were expulsed from Spain while 50,000 converted to Christianity in order to remain in Spain.  Most descendants today are called Anusim and are returning to Judaism.  Jews were expelled from Lithuania in 1495.  Sicilian, Sardinian and Portuguese Jews were expulsed in 1497.  All Jews of Rhodes were forcibly converted, expelled or taken into slavery in 1502.  Jews of Naples, Italy were expelled in 1541.
In Ukraine-E. Poland the Chmielnicki Massacres and Rabbi Nathan Hanover and family were trapped in it.  
Then the horror happened from 1648 to 1656 when 100,000 Jews were murdered in the Chmielnicki massacres in Poland.    Jews were expelled from living in Russia in 1727 and 1747.  Catherine II ordered that they would only live in the Pale of Settlement-never Russia again.   So between 1882 to 1890 750,000 Jews from Russia were resettled in the Pale.  It wasn't until 1891 that Jews from Moscow and St. Petersburg, large cities, were expelled.  Like the movie, Fiddle on the Roof, between 1871 to 1921 there had been anti-Jewish pogroms in towns of Russia.  This is when many immigrated to the USA, especially by 1900.  The most inhuman laws came from Russia with the MAY LAWS of 1882.  It took the Russian Revolution to change life in 1917-the end of WWI.  Romania managed to evade laws that came to their land by the Berlin Conference of 1878.  Full emancipation only came in Czechoslovakia.
Imam Ali Mosque in Meshed, Persia
The whole Jewish community in Meshed, Persia (Iran today) were forcibly converted to Islam in 1838.  the Muslims excluded Jews from full rights only in certain states of theirs, so the Nazis reversed the process and used race to exclude, saying Jews were a race and not a religion.

New settlements were established by the cultured and Europeanized Spanish and Portuguese Marrano (Anusim) settlers in Northern Europe in the 17th century.  They were treated normally as emancipated people.  The same can be said of the "Court Jews" were were on a higher social status in Germany at that time.
In the British Colonies in North America, Jews tended to intermingle with their neighbors on equal terms, though the first Jews had trouble landing in New Amsterdam (New York) in 1654  being they were Jews.  It wasn't until it was known that they were part of the Dutch Trading Company that started New Amsterdam that they were allowed to land. "In 1654, 23 refugee men, women and children fleeing from the former Dutch colony of RecifeBrazil, landed in New Amsterdam. "   Jews  had taken part in events leading up to the American Revolution.
1776 was the birth of the USA.  Virginia had full religious freedom in 1785, pretty good for a state that had racial intolerance.  The constitution of the USA in 1787 formally completed emancipation in stipulating that no religious test should be required as a qualification for any public office.  I'm afraid they were thinking more of Protestant and Catholics and not Jews.  Maryland's emancipation wasn't until 1825.  North Carolina in 1868.  New Hampshire in 1876-7.

France was different.  Jewish emancipation was a natural corollary of the Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789 and was extended in 1790 to the long-established Jews in Avignon and the Sephardim of Bordeaux.  I notice people had rights, but Jews seemed to be a special case that was handled individually, then.  Again, more went into the declaration between Christian religion than contemplating others.
Alsace Jews suffered. Alsace is a northeastern French region on the Rhine River plain. Bordering Germany and Switzerland, it has alternated between German and French control over the centuries and reflects a mix of the 2 cultures.  Jews living there were Germanized and it was with great difficulty that they finally came under emancipation in 1791.  Napoleon's decret infame of 1808 restricted Jewish municipal rights in Alsace.  It expired in 1818 and was not renewed.  It wasn't until 1831 that emancipation included Jews in France and became a subsidized state religion like Christians were.  It was the armies of the French Revolution that introduced the conception of Jewish emancipation into the countries they conquered.  

Jews of Holland were easily socially assimilated but formally emancipated in 1796.  Jews of Belgium were treated better when Belgium's independence was established in 1830.  Italy and Germany were introduced in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era by the French.  Westphalia in 1807, Frankfort in 1811, Prussia even conceded a qualified emancipation in 1812.
Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821
Then Napoleon fell.  All these concessions were rescinded or diluted in varying degrees.  The Jews were expelled from some towns in Germany and the ghetto system was restored in Rome and other parts of Italy where it began in the first place and received the name "ghetto."

   By the 19th century, life was a see-saw process of treatment of Jews.  Emancipation was again gradually  accepted in Germany under Hesse-Cassel in 1833 (a state directly subject to the Emperor);  Brunswick in 1834;  Prussia in a modified degree in 1850;  Baden in 1862;  Saxony in 1868;  and was included in the constitutions of the N. German Federation of 1869 and of the German Empire in 1871.  It was introduced into Austro- Hungary in 1867.  In Italy the kingdom of Piedmont had established it in 1848 and it spread throughout all of Italy.  Denmark began in 1814 and granted municipal emancipation. in 1837 and political in 1848.  Other Scandinavian countries followed somewhat later.  The Swiss had been highly intolerant but modified their attitude from the mid-19th century and in 1874 had full religious liberty.
English man in 1700s
.  Returning in 1655 after being expulsed for 365 years,  Jews of England now had a high degree of personal liberty in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Catholics were emancipated in 1829 and they started treating Jew more tolerantly but it happened only gradually.  Laws against them were removed piecemeal.  Jews were allowed in municipal offices from 1830 to 1855, and to parliament after a long struggle.

Britain was ahead of emancipation where it was established in the Barbados from 1802-1820, Jamaica in 1831, Canada in 18311-1832, while in South Africa and Australia there was no legal discrimination on religious grounds anyway.
Pre-War 1930s in Germany and how they treated the Jews.  The Jewish population of Greater Germany in 1938 was about 540,000.  By September 1939, the number was half that.  By 1942 none remained.  

Warsaw, Poland Ghetto 1943 before slaughter of Jews here
Murder of 6 million Jews took place from 1939 to 1945 by German Nazis and their European collaborators-the Holocaust.  Germany's economy had fallen and Jews were again the scapegoats to blame.  Many of their businesses were still afloat and that made the ones who had lost their income angry.  Here is an example of being successful as being the force bringing about hatred.  Instead of being a handicap on the German society, they had been helping to keep it afloat for as long as it had.

Baghdad's Jews were then attacked by mobs killing 180 of them  in 1941, hatred spilling out from Germany.  Jews in the Soviet Union from 1917 to the present day were denied the right of their national identity.  Synagogues had been closed.  They were not allowed to study Hebrew.  Many have now made aliyah to Israel.  Arab countries from 1948 on with the birth of Israel were persecuting Jews for the change in the Middle East of Palestine.  There were mass expulsions.  As many Jews were forced to flee to Israel as there were Palestinians who were forced to leave Palestine by their leaders, not by the Jews.  It was not a planned trade-off of population, but seemed to happen at the same time.  Jews had to leave their treasures, money in the Arab countries.

Champions of the Jewish cause to be treated equally were John Toland and T.B. Macaulay in England;  Aabbe Gregoire in France, C.W. von Dohm in Germany and M. d'Azeglio in Italy.

Update: 7/30/15 6:43pm 
Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia on Emancipation
facts about Israel  from division of Information, ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem


  1. lots of info here that i did not know in this detail. thanks nadene. my maternal J1c3e2 was from sardinia and the piedmont region of italy. it makes me wonder if possibly they were jewish converts because i think it is possible that that mtdna J1 haplogroup may have a jewish root. i have no certainty about it but do show some jewish dna on gedmatch oracle search when i look at eurogenes jtest.

    sure makes me want to know more about my family.......

  2. I wrote a reply yesterday and it didn't get in about your Italian Jewish heritage. Hmm. I had said that you might have ancestors who were Jewish and some who also converted. A Jewish man could have married a gentile girl and she converted. That sort of thing. Also, I note that I'm related to the Kalonymus family of Italy way back-discovered through triangulation's DNA. There was a Shabbethai Ben Kalonymus born in Rome about 1030 and also called "Kalonymus of Rome." . His father was president of the Jewish community and he was a Talmudic authority. People sent him questions to answer from Worms, Germany, Arles, France and other places. When Jacob bar Yakar died in 1070, Kalonymus was called to the rabbinate of Worms which he held until 1096 when he was a victim of the Crusaders' killing spree of Jews. Kalonymus directed the rabbinical school of Worms. and had as his pupils a few who became famous such as Yakar ben Samuel ha-Levi and the French exegete, Joseph kara. Rashi quoted his commentaries on the Talmud.
    What you should do is have your dna test transferred to Family Tree DNA. I did that with my results first done at 23&Me. It costs a few dollars, less than taking the test over again there. This company has many Jewish people to compare with and you can see if you match more Jewish people. Also, get your results into GedMatch and you can compare with people from many companies. It's just that not everyone puts their results in there. I for one need help in doing it and also have a few cousins to enter there.

  3. yes nadene, your articles from earlier postings have really highlighted your jewish roots and i find it all very interesting, so that is why i am taking note that there is quite possibly-maybe even probably-a maternal jewish root in my J1c mtdna , and also the possibility of one on the paternal side based on the circumstancial details (involving my katz (later spelled catt) family immigrated from wuertemberg germany which also has a materrnal root. you have written details that are pointing directions for me to look into this in those many excellent articles. i am already participating in family tree dna. that was the company i chose to test through. and yes, i have some jewish cousins i have matches with, and yes, it was on gedmatch that i looked at results that were run on my kit that detects askenazi jewish dna in the mix.

    i don't know much about how to read the results but thus far, what is understandable at this point to me, is giving me some clues.

    i enjoy reading your posts and they help shape and form my understanding about the ancient jewish history and also how this is all playing out in our world today. when i read the Bible i note that the jewish people have had such a definitive role to play in how the world works and is. it spares nothing to talk of the degraded part played out in the history of the jewish people themselves, and also the degradation that the peoples of the world unfairly, even jealously, hatefully, put them through (and still do), but--------all comes to a mighty crescendo of long awaited final and complete peace and blessing that the world will know that israel's God has always had a word to fulfill in His choosing the hebrew nation,singled out for Himself with a particular story to tell through time. it is glorious in the entire picture, poignat and beautiful-a story only God could write and share with the world through His beloved israel. it is God's story and the hebrew people are the pen and ink (blood actually) in His hand to tell it.

    i totally love learning anything and everything i can about all of this.