What it is to be a Jew

Famous people expound

Winston S. Churchill:

“Some people like the Jews, and some do not.

But no thoughtful man can deny the fact

that they are, beyond any question,

the most formidable and most remarkable race

which has appeared in the world.


John F. Kennedy:

Israel was not created in order to disappear-

Israel will endure and flourish.

It is the child of hope and the home of the brave.

It can neither be broken by adversity

nor demoralized by success.

It carries the shield of democracy and

it honors the sword of freedom.


David Ben Gurion:

“In Israel , in order to be a realist,

you must believe in miracles.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe:

“Energy is the basis of everything.

Every Jew, no matter how insignificant,

is engaged in some decisive and immediate pursuit of a goal.

It is the most perpetual people of the earth.


John Adams:

“I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more

to civilize men than any other nation.

If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate,

I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews

to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations…

They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth.

The Romans and their empire

were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews.


Leo Tolstoy:

“What is the Jew?

What kind of unique creature is this

whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world

have disgraced and crushed and

expelled and destroyed;

persecuted, burned and drowned,

and who, despite their anger and their fury,

continues to live and to flourish.

What is this Jew

whom they have never succeeded in enticing

with all the enticements in the world,

whose oppressors and persecutors

only suggested that he deny (and disown) his religion

on and cast aside the faithfulness of his ancestors?!

The Jew – is the symbol of eternity. …

He is the one who for so long had guarded

the prophetic message and transmitted it to all mankind.

A people such as this can never disappear.

The Jew is eternal.

He is the embodiment of eternity.


Eric Hoffer:

“The Jews are a peculiar people:

Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.

Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people,

and there is no refugee problem.

Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it.

Turkey threw out a million Greeks and

Algeria a million Frenchmen.

Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese–

and no one says a word about refugees.

But in the case of Israel ,

the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.

Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab.

Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs

an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.

Other nations when victorious on the battlefield

dictate peace terms.

But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace.

Everyone expects the Jews

to be the only real Christians in this world.


Mark Twain:

“…If statistics are right,

the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race.

It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust

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.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names

in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine,

and abstruse learning

are also away out of proportion

to the weakness of his numbers.

He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages;

and had done it with his hands tied behind him.

He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose,

filled the planet with sound and splendor,

then faded to dream-stuff and passed away;

the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise,

and they are gone;

other people have sprung up

and held their torch high for a time,

but it burned out,

and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all,

beat them all,

and is now what he always was,

exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age,

no weakening of his parts,

no slowing of his energies,

no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.

All things are mortal but the Jew;

all other forces pass, but he remains.

What is the secret of his immortality?”

January 2, 2018 | 27 Comments »

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27 Comments / 27 Comments

  1. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Thank you ….at last…my great emotion…was ..merely a pre-empting of your inevitable rehashing of your “credentials” and bound to come, further nonsense.

    When I want emotion, meaning a laugh, I think of “Arsenic and Old Hairs” (great name for a play)_and half-demented Danish dentists… ….Towards you, it takes the form of disbelief, incredulity, and astonishment at your cut-and-paste skill.

    Fare Thee well. This long goodbye has already been too long, because you need to have the last word . I’m being perverse.

  2. @ Edgar G.:
    You closed the subject with great emotion. Don’t be a hypocrite and move on, already. This is a minor topic; without conceding anything, I’ve lost interest.

  3. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Awsome can mean lots of things, but it doesn’t credit your Bonapartist knowledge. Post with impunity as you wish, (why “impunity”) you were never in any peril) but my amateur silliness will still be present…… Please don’t reply..exceeding my amateur silliness, as you were doing. Degree or not (not in Bonaparte) I see you have no in-depth concept re Boney. Your cut and paste Wiki wallpaper (arsenic”..Forshufvud ??) plastered all over these pages showed that. What you considered important even more so.

    (An interesting pint about that arsenic is that in 2008 The Nuclear Science Dept in an Italian Uni. tested 4 hairs. from Boney’s youth,,when in Elba, the day he died, and the day after. They all showed the same amount of arsenic… hair from Josephine and his son Nap 2, also tested showed the same comparable levels. So it must have been environmental, of the times, food etc. The surprise was that the levels then were over 100 times what they are today…He wasn’t poisoned by Arsenic. DEFINITE.

    And you started the whole embroglio.

    Still, I know what I know, and you don’t. To me you are talented, true, but you can’t know everything -like you try to imply. Professor Dr. Menachem Mansoor of Wisconsin University, whom I said here, that he took gold medal degrees in Dublin University and was my teacher -and later mentor. I kept in touch with him,.. He specialised in Hebrew studies and Biblical matters but also in Jewish History, in which, coincidentally, Napoleon had a temporary effect. We discussed it, I have the letters somewhere. Anything about Napoleon or his times,interested me.

    The subject is closed. So your cheap shots can stay cheap….at half the price in the bin outside the dusty old shop door. We can more amiably connect with other subjects, but please…..cut out the cut&paste torrents.

    What was your subject period may I ask…just out of interest.

  4. @ Edgar G.:
    Awesome. Then, I will post with impunity and not have to deal with your amateur silliness. As it happens, I do have a degree in History, Magnum Cum Laude, was mentored by famous historians, won awards for papers, and turned down the professorial track because I saw which way the University was going, politically.

  5. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    OK leave it here. You still don’t know what you were talking about. Large amounts of arsenic have to be eaten for a long time before it can cause cancer, and then more in the organs than in the stomach. You can’t get away from the fact that it was GASTRIC cancer, and his father and grandfather both died of the very same thing

    The only way arsenic in old wallpaper (I’ve read several 18th-19th cent.detective novels about the very same thing) can cause arsenic poisoning is to strip the wallpaper, steep a 200 lb. of paper in water for weeks and then boil down the liquid. more or less. George was crazy in spasms all throughout his life, and sometimes for weeks sometimes for years. Inbreeding probably. Royal families had a habit of it. And they were closely associated Germans.

    You started the whole thing by reading Boney’s proclamation to the Jews when ihe was in Jerusalem and wanted aid and support and to stir up trouble. He did the same when he was in Egypt, as I’ve already pointed out, became a Muslim.

    Anyway. I’m not a historian although that was a subject I’ve delved deeply into. I’ve written articles and synopses on historical matters. A hobby of my whole life, especially Napoleonic, US Civil War, and The Hasmonean Period.

    This is it. I’m ceasing to discuss this period except with someone who has more that he sees in Wiki.

    I’m sorry to have hurt your feelings but you plastered this page with stirring Napoleonic proclamations. He could produce a hundred similar proclamations on different subjects out of his hat in 10 minutes. This was his schtik -or one of the many. he had. As I said he was unique. Living today he’d be the BOSS of Bosses and at the same time, Secretary of State or higher.

  6. @ Edgar G.:
    I take exception to your tone. And what does any of that have to do with whether he was poisoned and if so, whether it was Lowe or someone — or something, there’s another theory that it was the arsenic in the wallpaper which also is said to have driven King George III mad — which was the topic at hand? I’m reading a rambling jumble of irrelevant information. Do you have a history degree?

    If you looked into this, there were studies done in the 1950s and recently. There is no question that it was cancer from arsenic poisoning, there is a consensus about that, the question is whether it was deliberate and if so, who. At most, it’s controversial. Lowe died in poverty and unable to get a job because his contemporaries didn’t believe him when he said he was innocent.

    And I told you the submarine article was included by mistake. It’s irrelevant. Why were you answering it?

    Let’s leave it here.

  7. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    @ Sebastien Zorn:

    You’re talking through your hat. Boney died from the same stomach gastric cancer that his father and grandfather died from. About 20 years ago, a group of experts a examined all the records and previous conclusions etc. and were absolute in their agreement. He died from stomach cancer, the strychnine that Forshufvud chased around the world to acquire 3 dubious hairs, to experiment on, was all nonsense. and died a natural death. I knew all about it as soon as he came on the scene. Wrote to him a few times, never replied. Napoleon has very scanty, very thin hair….by the way.

    Forshufcud was nothing more than an obsessed Bonapartist with a mission-a big joke.

    The idea that Hudson Lowe would poison him is nonsense. He was a regulation bound strict, unimaginative automaton, whose idea of life was his duty only. He was frightened to death that Napoleon would escape and created huge imaginary scenarios of all sorts of things, especially that Boney would die under his care. O’Meara aided Boney’s plans to pester and bamboozle Lowe with every annoyance they could contrive, because O’Meara, a complete neophyte, was the most Bonapartist Bonapartist who ever lived, Indeed, there was none who could stand up to Boney’s blandishments when he exerted himself to claim you for his side. He used him.

    Of course, there WERE many plans and schemes to rescue Bonaparte and bring him to America, but none eventuated. However he kept the Boney legend going strong. There was even a time when he (well publicised) sold his silverware so that he could create a valid complaint as to his all-round bad treatment…

    I have read or possess nearly everything pertinent about Napoleon, right down to the Balcombe Family, their interaction with Napoleon, particularly intimate accounts of Nap and Betsy playing games together, purely harmless, her childish romantic feelings, (Nap, was then middle aged, heavily corpulent snd not attractive except for his mind) their leaving St. Helena, their emigration to Australia and their descendants all the way to Norman Brooks the Wimbledon singles champion. Properties granted to them, their affiliation with the Bonapartists, their later property dispositions etc.etc.

    I’ve been interested in Boney and his whole period for about 70 years,since a kid.I even have a 1st ed of Las Casas, his family’s Island stay in attendance, the jealousies, the gossip, etc. Las Casas is reputedly reliable on the whole, where many are not. (it was the most I’d ever paid for a book)

    I had a much larger post, even involving his fatalist attitudes, his instantaneous grasp of PR opportunities, like the Sun of Austerlitz, the soft ground and 2 hours late start of Waterloo with Boney sitting in a coma and everyone afraid to disturb him,, etc. but the computer revolted, and I lost it. Lucky for you, not to have to read it all.

    Let this be the finish of the speculations. else I could be drawn into a year long discussion on all aspects of the subject.

  8. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    @Edgar G.

    Sorry, the first link in the previous post was unintentionally cited, however interesting, it was a copy and paste error, it all comes from the link to the article you, yourself, cited.

    Or as Johnson’s Boswell or Napoleon’s O’Meara would have written, to be then echoed and immortalized by the likes of Heine and Byron:

    “My bad.”

  9. Edgar G. Said:

    look up “Who was Barry O’Meara” by Peter Hicks,

    I read it and far from discrediting O’Meara, it reveals what a great man he was, in his own right. Byron and Heine both praised him in poetry.


    I believe Napoleon was murdered by the British and so did Napoleon:

    “My death is premature. I have been assassinated by the English oligopoly and their hired murderer.”

    “What killed Napoleon Bonaparte?
    Since his death in British custody on the island of St Helena in 1821, the claims that Napoleon Bonaparte was either murdered or spirited off the island have never completely gone away. Now, in her new ebook, Siân Rees examines these theories in detail.

    Here, writing for History Extra, she explores the many deaths of Napoleon…

    “My death is premature. I have been assassinated by the English oligopoly and their hired murderer.”

    “Many people suspected O’Meara was right, but nobody could prove it. No method yet existed to prove the presence of arsenic in a corpse, and Napoleon’s was, in any case, buried in four coffins and under a large slab of rock. If Napoleon had been murdered, it looked as if the killer had got away with it – until, that was, a pipe-smoking Swedish dentist came across the story some 100 years later and took up where O’Meara had left off.
    When the private papers of Napoleon’s valet de chambre were published in the 1950s, offering intimate accounts of the emperor’s final days, Dr Sten Forshufvud believed he had spotted a smoking gun. Of 31 symptoms of arsenic poisoning discovered by scientists since 1821, Napoleon presented 28, so Forshufvud asked a Scottish university to conduct a newly-invented arsenic-detection test. Neutron activation analysis (NAA) was carried out on hairs from Napoleon’s head dated to 1816, 1817 and 1818 – he was a prodigious gifter of locks – and revealed fatally high levels of arsenic in his system. O’Meara, it seemed, had been right…”

    And then there were theories about somebody else doing it, of it being naturally ocurring arsenic poisoning or of it being a double, the real Napoleon having escaped, etc.

    The original team of doctors — all British — announced it was natural causes, stomach cancer.

    Why is it so hard to believe that Sir Hudson Loewe, his British jailor, had him murdered?


  10. @ Edgar G.:

    I have read in memoirs that in difficult negotiations, he sometimes would lie on the floor and kick and scream etc.etc. All faked to the occasion.

  11. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Yes he was a great man, and I admire him. I have + – 100 books on him and his period, and have read maybe the same amount I don’t own. But the “Great Sanhedrin” was composed only of French Jews, and in my opinion and that of many experts it was purely political. It certainly was not representative of the Jewish People as a whole. There were only 40,000 Jews in France, which I believe. But Boney at another time, said that there being so many Jews that they were all over the place and he should make use of them. In his terms he meant that there was much manpower going to waste. And a little later when Jews were a great help to him with supplies on one of his German campaigns, he was quoted as saying (paraphrased) with a laugh, “Well that Sanhedrin wasn’t a bad idea after all, eh?”,

    He was a great liberator, no doubt, and I’ve always admired him, as I’ve said. But, I try to put his actions in proper context. He was the consummate actor, could feign joy and fury within moments, both fraudulent. He would coax and cozen, to get his way, going through all the phases from despair to happiness in about “10 easy steps” and all, repeat all, faked. He was in public an Emperor, and in private an ordinary homebody who liked to get down on the carpet and play with his nieces and nephews. Massively ambitious, he had the ability to attempt and succeed at anything.

    I don’t think there was ever anyone like him. I learned many years ago, that, next to the Bible, there had been (and still continue to be) more books written and printed about him than anyone in history. Well over 200,000 different books, from all sides and angles. .That was about 50 years ago. How many by now I can’t even guess.

    I’ve been reading the “Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon”, by his chief valet and confidant, for 15 years Louis Constant (Wairey). I think I mentioned this one time before. Very long and detailed, about everything. 12 large volumes and I’m only about 3/4 way through the 2nd. It jumps around a bit back and forward in time. It’s taken me about a year or more to get this far, as I have to be in the mood. I have about 10 different book sites on the go all the time.

  12. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    I happen to have a copy of “A Voice from St. Helena”…….. O’Meara’s reminiscences have been heavily criticised by many experts, as well as those who remained on the Island after he was kicked off. He was Boney’s doctor (who hated and had little or nothing to do with them his whole life. His first medical attention ever aged about 50, was when O’Meara took out a bad tooth for him) for less than 3 years, met him on the ship taking him to the island. He was an assistant surgeon, (unqualified) from the age of 18…….???? He made a career out of the Emperor, becoming involved with all the family and partisans for the rest of his life. He used to write letters about Hudson Lowe to the Admiralty behind Lowe’s back accusing him of all sorts. When he was eventually fired, he said that Lowe asked him a year before to poison Napoleon.

    He was a very turbulent and disputatious man, who became devoted to the Emperor, the way that millions of French had been.

    Sebastien, look up “Who was Barry O’Meara” by Peter Hicks, it’s on the internet under that title. Fascinating, and revealing. More like a synopsis or large essay.

  13. Western Wall Subway Station To Be Named After Trump, Transport Minister Says
    December 27, 2017 By Reuters
    President Trump at the Western Wall, May 22, 2017
    Getty Images

    President Trump at the Western Wall, May 22, 2017

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel wants to name a train station after President Trump to thank him for recognizing Jerusalem as its capital, but the site of the planned building could be as divisive as the U.S. president’s declaration.

    Transport Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday he had chosen a proposed subway stop near the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City – right in the middle of the area that the Palestinians want as their own future capital.

    “I have decided to name the Western Wall station … after U.S. President Donald Trump for his courageous and historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Katz said in a statement.

    The envisaged underground extension of a high-speed rail link between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is still on the drawing board and a transport ministry spokeswoman said other departments still needed to approve it.

    The announcement was quickly condemned by Palestinian leaders already angered by Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to overturn decades of U.S. policy on the city.

    “The Israeli extremist government is trying to race against time to impose facts on the ground in the city of Jerusalem,” Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, told Reuters.

    If the station name goes through, it would not be the first location in Israel to be named after the president — a park in the northern city of Kiryat Yam has already been named after Trump.

    Share This:
    Read more: https://forward.com/fast-forward/390925/western-wall-subway-station-to-be-named-after-trump-transport-minister-says/

  14. Which is why Theodore Herzl went from assimiliationist to Zionist overnight when he encountered visceral blood-thirsty anti-semitism so widespread among the French masses/mobs during the Dreyfus trial. In the home of liberte, egality, fraternite. Napoleon’s home.

    Beethoven was wrong to tear up his dedication to the Eroica. Because he crowned himself Emperor, they couldn’t execute him, and he was able to escape Elba and try again. And, he made a new nobility based on merit.

    Napoleon was a supreme mensch.

    But, in the end, he was alone.

    And, so are we.

    But unlike Napoleon, who helped us so much, and laid so much important groundwork for what was to follow, we are undefeated.

    “And the beat goes on.”

    Nevertheless, I feel that a thank you is in order to this hero and friend. Every so often.

    Maybe a nice commemorative holiday, or something. Friends deserve acknowledgement.

    He really was a righteous gentile.

  15. Now, how did Napoleon’s involvement with the Jews come about? It started on the 9th of February 1797. When Napoleon occupied Ancona, a strange thing happened. He was amazed when he saw some people wearing yellow bonnets and arm bands on which was the “Star of David.” He asked some of his officers why these people were wearing the bonnet and arm bands and what was its purpose.

    Napoleon authorized the closing of the ghetto and allowed the Jews to live wherever they wanted.
    When he was told they were Jews and they had to be identified so they could return to the ghetto in the evening, he immediately gave an order that they should remove the yellow bonnet and armbands. He then authorized the closing of the ghetto and allowed the Jews to live wherever they wanted and to practice their religion openly.


    Following the conquest of north Italy by Napoleon, Italian

    Jews even established their own units and fought with the

    emperor all over Europe. However, during the reactionary period

    in north Italy following the final defeat of Napoleon in

    1815, Jews were debarred from military service.


    During the Middle Ages Jews were generally excluded from

    military service except in times of emergency. Their position

    remained unchanged until 1789 when, following the outbreak

    of the French Revolution, all Frenchmen, including Jews, were

    made liable for military service. Many Jews served in Napoleon’s

    armies, among them Brigadier General Marc-Jean-Jerome

    Wolffe (1776–1848) who commanded the first cavalry

    brigade of the Grande Armée and Captain Alexandre Marcquefoy

    who was awarded the Legion of Honor by Napoleon

    himself; 800 Jews were estimated to be serving under Napoleon

    in 1808, among them a number of Italians and Poles.

    Berek (Berko) *Joselewicz, the Polish patriot, commanded a

    regiment in Napoleon’s Polish Legion. The outstanding Jewish

    soldier in Napoleon’s army was Henri *Rottenbourg who

    was made major general in 1814. Nevertheless, conditions of

    the Jewish soldiers were made difficult by the refusal of many

    commanding officers to allow Jews into their ranks and the

    restrictions on the rights of promotion.


    At the turn of the 19t? century a number of Jews

    joined Napoleon’ army and fought for France in Italy and

    Eastern Europe. Joselewicz himself commanded a regiment

    of Polish cavalry, and another Polish Jew, Caspar Junghof, was

    awarded the Legion of Honor. Similarly Jews volunteered for

    the army of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw established by Napoleon

    in 1807. Among them was Josef *Berkowicz, the son of

    Joselewicz, who fought with other Poles in the French army

    which invaded Russia in 1812.

    After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, Jews in the area of

    Poland under czarist rule played an active part in the Polish

    uprisings of 1830, 1848, and 1863.


    Jews were allowed to bear arms in Holland from the 17t? century

    when the country became an independent state under the

    House of Orange. In 1808, during Napoleonic rule, Jews were

    granted equal rights and were therefore obliged to do military

    service along with the rest of the population. ..


  16. The Jews of France offered a special prayer in Napoleon’s honor because they were so thankful to him for having granted them religious freedom. These pages are a reproduction of the original Hebrew prayer. For it’s English translation, see Below.

    Prayer of the Children of Israel
    Citizens of France and Italy
    for the success and prosperity of our Mater’s Army
    The Emperor, the King Napoleon the Great
    (may his glory shine)
    Composed in the month of Cheshvan, year 5567 (1807)

    Psalms chapter 20,21,27, 147

    I implore Thee, Creator of Heaven and the Universe and all who inhabit it. Thou hast established all boundaries and limitations of the world and each nation with its respective language. Thou didst give the Sceptre of power into the hands of their kings to lead the people under their reign with righteousness, justice, an uprightness; that each person in his own place should live in peace.

    How fortunate we are, how good is our lot, that from Thy hand glory and beauty were poured out upon the head of a powerful man, full of vibrancy, NAPOLEON the Great, to sit on the Throne of France and Italy. Could another be found as worthy as NAPOLEON deserving of such honours and kingship, who shepherds his people with sincerity and with the understanding of his heart? Thou, GOD, hast wondrously bestowed Thy kindness upon him. As other Kings of the world approached to fight him, Thou didst protect him on the day of war, Thou didst save him from those who stood up against him, until he subdued them and they sought peace from him. With his kind spirit, he spoke words of peace to them.

    Kings have now untied to break their treaty and replace peace with the blood of war. They have gathered armies to fight against him and against all those who admire him. They have come to our borders, and our master, the Emperor, the King, is standing with the might of his army to confront them.

    O GOD, master of greatness, strength, power and beauty, we implore Thee to stand next to his righteousness; help him, support him with Thy mighty arm: guard him as the apple of Thine eye with an abundance of strength and health. Save him from all evil and tell him “I am your salvation.”

    Send Thy light and truth, that they may lead him. Render foolish all those who rise against him for evil. Let Thy light shine upon his plans. Strengthen his armies and those of his allies.

    May he succeed in all his endeavors and reign over his enemies. May they seek peace from him, for he is a man who loves peace, and peace he will exercise among his nation.

    Father of compassion, Master of Peace, implant in the heads of all Kings and their advisors thoughts of peace and tranquility for the benefit of all mankind. Let the Sword not pass through our land and spill the blood of our brethren. Let all nations unite in total peace and tranquility forever.

    May the words of our prayers be acceptable to Thee.



    Go to link for reproduction of original pages in Hebrew.

  17. And yet, here is another incident of interest. On the 12th of June 1798 when the French occupied Malta, Napoleon learnt that the Templar Knights did not allow the Jews to practice their religion in a synagogue. The Knights enslaved their Jewish prisoners and mercilessly used them or sold them. He immediately gave permission to the Jews to build a synagogue…

    When Napoleon came to power, he did not liberate the Jews for political reasons because there were not much more than 40,000 in all of France, and they were living in various provinces…

    This was the first time since the Sanhedrin was disbanded in Israel that it was reconvened, by the great liberator “Napoleon.”

    The reconvening of the Sanhedrin drew a historical comparison between Napoleon and the ancient heros, one of whom was “Cyrus the Great.” Cyrus, the King of Persia, was the initiator of Israel’s first restoration.

    Tsar Alexander of Russia, protested violently against the liberation of the Jews and encouraged the Orthodox Church in Moscow to protest aggressively. He called Napoleon the “Anti Christ and the enemy of God” because he liberated the Jews. Austria also protested. In Prussia, the Lutheran Church was extremely hostile towards Napoleon’s decision and reaction in Italy was also not favourable but not as aggressive.

    A most venomous attack on the Sanhedrin came from the “Holy Synod” of Moscow, which issued an open manifesto against the Sanhedrin. This proclamation dated December 1806 states: “In order to bring about a debasement of the Church, he (Napoleon) has convened to Paris the Jewish Synagogue, restored the dignity of the Rabbis and founded a new Sanhedrin…”

    Judaism became the official third religion of France and the method Napoleon implemented to have Rabbis serve the nation is still in effect today and is the basis of the government’s relation to the Jewish population…

    The Imperial Almanac of 1811 reported that the Jewish religion was now one of three religions accepted by the French government. The efforts of Napoleon to liberate the Jews was effective, not only in France, but in all the other countries where France ruled. The new Civil Code, which Napoleon created, assured liberty, fraternity, and equality of all peoples regardless of their religion or station in life.

    In 1811, thanks to Napoleon’s efforts, Portugal allowed Jews complete freedom and permitted them to open their synagogues that were closed for over 200 years.

    The Napoleonic period brought to the Jews of France, the Netherlands, Western Germany and Italy the first intimations of modernity. It brought equality before the law, an end to oppressive taxation and enforced residential restrictions, and the opportunity to participate as free men in public and political life.

    In those parts of Spain to which French authority did not reach, the Inquisition continued to function. The sovereigns of the post-Napoleonic era had a weakness in learning nothing and forgetting nothing.

    After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, the Holy Alliance was convened at the Congress of Vienna. At that time the laws permitting equality, liberty and fraternity were retracted and were not applied again until 1830, when the principles fixed by the French Revolution and the First Empire, were re-instated…

    It is also interesting to know that the laws that were passed in France, in 1808, are still in existence even to this day.

    Bitter irony covers the historical fact that Napoleon’s defeat stopped Emancipation and plunged the Jewish youth into utter disillusionment and despair.

    The encounter of the Jewish people with Napoleon was a turning point of Jewish history. For the first time, a modern statesman had envisaged the Jewish problem as a fundamental issue of international politics.

    Napoleon did more than any other leader prior to his time, to give security and religious freedom to the Jews in nations under his control. He had little in the way of political motivation for his policy, as there were no more than 40,000 Jews living in France at that time…

    The Jews of France and the Empire recognized that this was a reflection of his humanity towards mankind and his respect for other nationalities and religions. They were so thankful to him for having granted them equality and religious freedom, that they offered a special prayer in his honor. This prayer was inserted into the prayer books in every synagogue in countries under Napoleon’s control. As a result, all Jews who attended prayers in these synagogues would recite this prayer.


  18. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    …More substantive was the invasion of the territory of the Pale of Settlement by Napoleon I in 1812, which resulted in legal changes in the Polish parts of the empire. But with the defeat of Napoleon, the situation returned to the status before the invasion…


    The Napoleonic Code-The First Civil Polish Records, 1808-1825

    For 17 years, Polish civil registry offices registered persons of various nationalities without regard to their faith and descent….A question comes to mind: what did Napoleon have to do with Polish metrical records? The Code was invented and worked out in 1804 by the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, whose armies’ battle lines at that time stretched all across Europe. The influences of its reforms were felt in other countries, including what was at the time formally independent Poland, that is, the Duchy of Warsaw.

    The Napoleonic Code is a true masterpiece of legislative law that became the model for future metrical registration….”


  19. @ Edgar G.:

    Because of the tremendous amount of criticism that Napoleon was receiving from such famous personalities as Chateaubriand, Cardinal Fesh, Marshal Kellermann, Tsar Alexander and numerous others, Napoleon felt obligated to introduce a “Restrictive Decree.” On the 17th of March 1808, this decree limited the freedom given to the Jews. His plan was to reduce criticism to a manageable level and then gradually, over time, remove the restrictions one-by-one.

    On the 11th of April 1808, Napoleon received into a special audience, Mr. Furtado and Maurice Levy of Nancy, who wanted to express the emotions of their co-religionists about the restrictive decree. After hearing them out, he immediately ordered 13 departments, including those of Le Midi, The Southwest and Les Vosges to eliminate the decree. In June of that same month, Livourne and the lower Pyrenees were also ordered to remove the “Restrictive Decree.”

    Therefore, within three months of this restrictive decree, more than half of the departments involved were able to reinstate the liberty extended to their Jewish citizens. The last holdout was Alsace. This province eventually removed the restrictions.

    Read the whole article. It suggests he was sincere.

    Why did Napoleon do this?
    It just doesn’t make sense, because he had nothing political to gain. However, the answer could be discovered in a private conversation that Napoleon had with Dr. Barry O’Meara, which took place on the Island of St. Helena. On the 10th of November 1816, Dr. O’Meara (who was Napoleon’s personal physician at the time) asked the Emperor point blank as to why he was encouraging and supporting the Jews. The Emperor Napoleon replied, and I quote, “My primary desire was to liberate the Jews and make them full citizens. I wanted to confer upon them all the legal rights of equality, liberty and fraternity as was enjoyed by the Catholics and Protestants. It is my wish that the Jews be treated like brothers as if we were all part of Judaism. As an added benefit, I thought that this would bring to France many riches because the Jews are numerous and they would come in large numbers to our country where they would enjoy more privileges than in any other nation. Without the events of 1814, most of the Jews of Europe would have come to France where equality, fraternity and liberty awaited them and where they can serve the country like everyone else.”

    During the different periods of Napoleon’s career, his sympathy for the Jews was clearly noted. He did everything he could to assure that the Jews were treated on an equal basis as Catholics and Protestants.


    From a much longer article. Go to above link.

  20. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    Sorry Arnold, it wasn’t all that simple…. That proclamation was when he was in Israel probably and wanted their support and money, and/or maybe just to make a diversion. . Don’t forget, that when he was in Egypt and sitting down with the Pashas, he “conveniently” became a Muslim……. sort-of. Later, in about 1805-6 he emancipated the Jews, wanting them to be like any other French people. A few years later he reversed, and deprived them again of many rights, but I think before he went to Russia he restored their rights again. He likely was doing all this as it became or not an advantage to or against him and the French.

    Experts all said that he wanted the Jews to assimilate, their children to join the army and forget they were Jews. He hated moneylenders, but realised that the Jews were forced to this.

    Anyway, when he was defeated and sent to St. Helena, all benefits throughout Europe were taken away from the Jews, but revolutions were brewing everywhere, so they eventually became ..not free, but better off.

    (I recall in one of my many Napoleonic books, is a 1st Ed. of Labaumes commentaries on the 1812 Russia campaign. He was then acting as the secretary of Eugene, the Regent. He mentioned the Jewish villages they passed through as helpless people, verminous, starving, filthy etc.) .

  21. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    I had heard of Napoleon Bonaparte’s policies freeing he Jews from the restrictions against our Jewish nation which had been emplaced more or less ever since the break up of the Jewish kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon. But this the first occasion upon which I had read the text of his public letter to our forefathers.

    Well written, Emperor. Your intentions on behalf of our benefit ought to have been sufficient to mark you as the first European Zionist.

    But I wonder if Adolf Hitler, fresh upon his conquest of France in 1940, was aware of your majestic intent in our favor, when he visited your tomb and memorial in Paris in the summer of 1940.

    On the other hand, Hitler proved dumb enough to follow Napoleon’s steps of attempted conquest when he led his Nazi armies to disaster in the two successive winters in great Russia.

    ArnoldHarris, Outspeaker

  22. Napoleon Bonaparte:

    Letter to the Jewish Nation from the French Commander-in-Chief
    Buonaparte (translated from the Original, 1799)

    General Headquarters, Jerusalem 1st Floreal, April 20th, 1799,
    in the year of 7 of the French Republic


    Israelites, unique nation, whom, in thousands of years, lust of conquest and tyranny have been able to be deprived of their ancestral lands, but not of name and national existence!

    Attentive and impartial observers of the destinies of nations, even though not endowed with the gifts of seers like Isaiah and Joel, have long since also felt what these, with beautiful and uplifting faith, have foretold when they saw the approaching destruction of their kingdom and fatherland: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35,10)

    Arise then, with gladness, ye exiled! A war unexampled In the annals of history, waged in self-defense by a nation whose hereditary lands were regarded by its enemies as plunder to be divided, arbitrarily and at their convenience, by a stroke of the pen of Cabinets, avenges its own shame and the shame of the remotest nations, long forgotten under the yoke of slavery, and also, the almost two-thousand-year-old ignominy put upon you; and, while time and circumstances would seem to be least favourable to a restatement of your claims or even to their expression, and indeed to be compelling their complete abandonment, it offers to you at this very time, and contrary to all expectations, Israel¹s patrimony!

    The young army with which Providence has sent me hither, let by justice and accompanied by victory, has made Jerusalem my headquarters and will, within a few days, transfer them to Damascus, a proximity which is no longer terrifying to David’s city.

    Rightful heirs of Palestine!

    The great nation which does not trade in men and countries as did those which sold your ancestors unto all people (Joel,4,6) herewith calls on you not indeed to conquer your patrimony; nay, only to take over that which has been conquered and, with that nation¹s warranty and support, to remain master of it to maintain it against all comers.

    Arise! Show that the former overwhelming might of your oppressors has but repressed the courage of the descendants of those heroes who alliance of brothers would have done honour even to Sparta and Rome (Maccabees 12, 15) but that the two thousand years of treatment as slaves have not succeeded in stifling it.

    Hasten! Now is the moment, which may not return for thousands of years, to claim the restoration of civic rights among the population of the universe which had been shamefully withheld from you for thousands of years, your political existence as a nation among the nations, and the unlimited natural right to worship Jehovah in accordance with your faith, publicly and most probably forever (Joel 4,20).


  23. William Shakespeare:

    [The Nations have] disgraced me, and
    hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
    mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my
    bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
    enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. Hath
    not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
    dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
    the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
    warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
    a [Muslim] is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
    if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
    us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
    revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
    resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a [Muslim],
    what is his humility? Revenge. If a [Muslim]
    wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
    [Muslim] example? Why, revenge. The villany you
    teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
    will better the instruction.