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Smaller midrashim

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A number of midrashim exist which are smaller in size, and generally later in date, than those dealt with in the articles Midrash Haggadah and Midrash Halakah. Despite their late date, some of these works preserve material from the Apocrypha and Philo of Alexandria. These small works, were in turn used by later larger works, such as Sefer haYashar (midrash) and Zohar[citation needed]. Important editors and researchers of this material include Abraham ben Elijah of Vilna, Adolf Jellinek, and Solomon Aaron Wertheimer.

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  • ✪ Lesson 1: Polish Partition and the Birth of Galicia
  • ✪ Stephen Greenblatt — Getting Real: The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve
  • ✪ Ashkenazi Jews


welcome welcome to this experimental course and I want to thank especially the University of Haifa for providing this incredible office which i think is maybe twice the size of my actual office at home with an incredibly interesting variety of books which I appreciate very much we're going to beginning 10 lectures in this experimental format and the history of Galicia a very underappreciated and exciting part of the East European Jewish experience it's forged in 1772 by the dismemberment of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and is surviving into the reformulation of Poland in 1919 however actually survives even beyond that it survives that in the mythological Glitzi honor Jew unfairly in mind view remembered as a course backward ignorant so on and he lives on in the immigrants who leave Galicia at the time and also today in popular memory and not only with Jews you see today in Ukraine Galicia is not only a memory it's also alive and well celebrating the apples coming out of the province of Galicia we're going to be looking at the history of Galicia in the context of the East European Jewish experience and here's the general overview of our first lecture first of all we'll begin we'll speak a little bit about this East European Jewish era and what it meant and why it was so important then we'll look at for maybe 10 minutes the history of the partitions of Poland and the so called invention of Galicia to quote one scholar how Galicia is created out of thin air from the former post of Iranian Commonwealth and finally we'll spend the bulk of today looking at the confrontation between Galician Jews and Habsburg rule and this means especially the legacy of the first two emperors of Galician control Maria Teresa and Yosef the second so let's speak a little bit about this thing the East European Jewish era and here you have a map of Europe just before the partitions of Poland in the end of the 18th century and you can see the Polish state on the right-hand side one of the largest states in all of Europe Jews come to Poland already in the late Middle Ages they're invited there by the kings and they're also being pushed out of Western Europe at the same time and they're given specific benefits and charters that were quite attractive guaranteeing certain rights and protections and so on but over time they develop actually a much better relationship with the Polish nobility who really have most of the power in the state by the 16th and 17th century and they begin to move away from the royal towns which were predominantly in the north and west and towards the privately owned towns of these polish magnates especially in the south and east in today's Ukraine and especially in what's today today's given later galician and here they become the managers of the estates of these magnets controlling the means of production they're running the mills the breweries marketing agricultural products other economic activities some money lending but not at all like the common stereotype the so called horrendous system where Jews are managing the economy for the Polish magnates whereas the ethnic what will later be called Ukrainians tend to be the peasants in this society and they have this relationship the Polish nobility who protected them and the Jews managing the Polish fuel system and in this context we have this incredible what which the historian Simon Dukes even duvan of like I talked about eras of Jewish history the great East European Jewish era why do we call it that for a variety of reasons first of all just the numbers just the demographics you have a huge growth in Jewish population from 1500 when you have maybe 1824 thousand Jews and the entirety of the of the area by the end of the 18th century you have nearly a million Jews by the end of the 19th century you have some six or seven million Jews in that same territory absolutely astounding and Jews are as well see later highly urbanized which means they didn't just live in these numbers but they lived in such concentrations that they felt they were living very much in a Jewish space and we'll talk more about that in a little while and second of all the cultural influence that by they by the early modern period the Jewish cultural intellectual life in Poland becomes the dominant in the Jewish world the dominant by the way in 1939 some 90 percent of Jews in the world are either living in Eastern Europe or emigrants from Eastern Europe so this truly is the dominant culture what do I mean the Uschi vote the to music academies become the model for to munich study in the rest of europe students are coming from germany Bohemia Moravia hungry even Italy coming to Eastern Europe to study the polish masters halakhah of Jewish law are the dominant influence in the Jewish world so for example the halacha rulings of the Krakov and galicia the crack of Rabbi Moshe is realists the Rama remain dominant in the Ashkenazic world to this day the timeyou the commentaries of Shlomo Lauria the Maharshi are unsurpassed Kabbalah which is not born in Eastern Europe but it grows there in such unprecedented ways so a book like the the Isaiah horowitz's neighborhood debate the show law is goes through hundreds of of printings the mystical traditions of Kabbalah from Poland blend in with local occultic beliefs in really exciting ways even women's literature the famous santa elena which was famously supposedly for women but on the front cover very famously was described as for women and men who are like women when men who really need this sort of book also which the publisher of course knew meant almost all the men that's also coming out of Eastern Europe and eventually in the 19th and 20th century we have all the forms of modernism meaning Zionism Jewish secularism Jewish socialism political orthodoxy Yiddish ISM and much more all of this coming out of that period and this is the reason perhaps that after the Holocaust is a certain nostalgia a certain grappling for what was lost so you have for example the following a very famous essay but Abraham Joshua Heschel and here's how he describes Eastern Europe the world of that he comes from here's how he describes it of course it's Carlin Bratislava Lubavitch Gare Lublin hundreds of towns are like holy books every place is a pattern an aspect away in Jewishness when a Jew utters the name of measurable herb additive it's as if he were to utter a holy name a splendour emanates from ordinary acts it's superfluous to speak of faith he writes for who does not feel the presence of God filling the entire universe to preach to those Jews the necessity of observing the 613 precepts would be banal to live according to the shokan hora becomes second nature but the Jews wanted more they wanted to be higher miracles no longer startled the people and it was believed that men endowed with the Holy Spirit were not uncommon the latter generations were no longer considered inferior to the earlier no longer looked down upon as epic guns this is Hesham obviously this is pretty problematic for a variety of reasons first of all there is no distinction made whatsoever between radically different forms of Jewish settlements it collapses small and large towns Galicia with Lithuania isolated rural Jews with massive Jewish communities this mythical town has no non-jews virtually at all except maybe the cliche of the drunken peasant and so on and it's an idea lidget ideologically driven image moderns Jews see the shtetl either as the root of Jewish backwardness or you have Yiddish or post cedars near romantics who see it as the embodiment of Jewish authenticity something like Fiddler on the Roof but as a good friend of mine once put it where are the Jewish prostitutes from Lublin where is the violence where is the crime all of that is crushed over so what we want to do here through the lens of the Austrian conquest of Galicia is to see the overview of this magnificent era from the time of poland's partition by Russia and Prussia and Austria until the Holocaust and even after we'll keep some comparisons we'll keep some perspective what we try to understand the history of this particular province of Galicia and in particular the last three or four lectures when we get to world war one and Galicia is reincorporated into the entire body of Poland we'll look at the whole read the region as a whole so we come to the partitions of Poland Poland had an inherent strength it was wealthy actually in the grain trade and particular was quite important but it was also quite weak because while the states surrounding Poland especially Russia and Austria and Prussia but also most famously France are developing the new absolutist model of monarchy developing larger tax structures larger standing armies Poland failed to do so poley remained a Commonwealth of nobility where if a single woman vetoed any legislation attempt in their famous Parliament miss Sam the Sun was exploded and that was it so in the one hand you have this state this massive territory with massive wealth and the other hand it wasn't able to develop for example a standing army at a time at the end of the 1700s when Russia Austria and Prussia had standing armies in this hundreds of thousands of soldiers Poland itself had maybe 20,000 soldiers at the territory the size that you see on your screen that's quite problematic and the other hand the nobility themselves were quite powerful and that power was very important for the Jewish community because the Jewish community had this alliance that was key to all of it the key hila the Jewish community the D the Jewish community structured the key HeLa was achieving Heights that had never achieved anywhere else in history unprecedented level unprecedented levels of self-rule with a highly ramified structure and the abolition of that state would be a critical step in the eventual if slow coming liquidation of this jewish corporation and the transformation of the jews a century later so what happens to the state well you can see on your screen the westernmost portion will simply be invaded and taken by Prussia that's the proportion surrounding the district of Posen the lion's share of Poland will go to the Russian Empire eventually will be divided between two parts you can see on your screen the kingdom of Poland and the west and what will later be called The Pale of Settlement in the east and this is essentially the countries of contemporary East Central Europe this means the Baltic States Belarus white Russia Ukraine and even parts of eastern Poland all of this in the parallel settlements but we are interested in the part that Austria takes the slice just north and east of the Carpathian Mountains that would soon be rechristened Galicia and over the next century and here we have Galicia over the next century two contradictory processes are happening on the one hand the pre partition feudal economy is continuing for many decades particularly the relationship between there's still powerful Polish nobility and the Jews and the Jews unique economic niche as the commercial class in this economy and particularly certain sectors most fame and most problematically alcohol on the other hand over the next century centralizing impulses from the absolutist monarchs in Berlin in Petersburg in Vienna are going to attempt to break down this relationship to curtail Jewish autonomy to integrate the Jews into the urban classes of those states and the tension between these processes between the the momentum of the feudal economy in the relationship of Polish nobility and Jews on the one hand and the attempt by the absolutist state to break this down and the economic legal and ethnic strife this produces this is the driver of history than were interested in and also one of the drivers that's going to separate these Jewish communities so that by the time you get to 1919 although there'll be certain commonalities between Galicia and other parts of the former polish Lithuanian Commonwealth there'll be things that are quite unique and different as well different empires different impulses so for example and by the way keep this in mind that the Emperor's you know it's not like I don't know Nikolas the first or who who Alexander the first is waking up every morning in in Russia and he wakes up and he stretches his arms and he thinks to himself how can I screw it the Jews today how can I mess with them how can I persecute them how can I do things with them they weren't that important but rather what we see is that what happens to the Jews is a byproduct of the nature of the state itself so for example when the partitions first begin Jews are gonna face a far more activist state in Austria than in Russia and this means it's going to seek to radically reshape all society not just the Jews but including the Jews this is a social and economic parallel if you will to the cultural tension between a Yiddish Hebrew based traditional Jewish society and the influence of Russian polish and German culture on the Jews you have a cultural interaction going on it's going to transform the Jews in different ways but you have a socio-economic political differences going on that's going to influence the Jews in different ways all right so let's begin to take a look now at the invention of Galicia this new this new conquest glitch was conquered in the very first partition in 1772 its rechristened the kingdom of galicia and lodomeria it was a name drawn from history coming from the Emperor's claim to this land is also being the Emperor of the Hungarian Empire and so on nobody believed that nobody cared it didn't make a difference the kingdom of galicia lodomeria was the largest of the empires crown lands or provinces it extends thirty one thousand six hundred square miles and if you look in the map on the upper right-hand corner you'll see the austria-hungarian empire after Austria splits into the dual monarchy in 1867 we'll talk about that some other time you see Galicia is forming about a quarter of the entire Austrian piece of the empire the capital la Veuve is renamed Lemberg and 150 years of Habsburg rule begins and it really is a scenic largely rural region beautiful on the opposite side of the Carpathian Mountains and it makes it seem even more distant than just in miles alone and by the way I have to just say if you go to Galicia today there will be some examples of the Soviet impact from the post-war period but by and large this is the image that you'll see when you go to Galicia today it remains today this sort of Wonderland and of course in popular memory how much more so this Wonderland mourned for decades with its own mythology and from the Austrian perspective - it seemed to be some Court of barbaric colony really it may be contiguous with the Empire but it's a colony that needs to be tamed and needs to be brought into the Empire and this by the way is going to include the province of Bukovina and the far south eastern edge of galicia is become part of galicia until 1861 when it's separated into its own crown land and will develop its own history or have many similar characteristics for example in the Hasidic movement will also grow quite strong in bucovina but because of the ethnic and political situation Bukovina it'll have its own history now galicia is largely divided between three different ethno-linguistic groups generally speaking we call them poles ruthenians and jews but these terms are problematic first of all don't think for a second that we're talking about nations or nationalities we are a century away from any kind of national movement we don't have an kind of feeling of nationhood among the even the poles much less Duluth Amiens or the Jews we don't have yet any sense of modern nationalism but even the notion of ethnic identity is quite problematic you know I'll give you I mean the obvious example is the Ruthenian some Athenians are the ancestors for the most part of people today who consider themselves Ukrainians but they didn't yet know what they were at that time even ethnically it wasn't clear but even the poles and I'll give you an example in 1846 there was an uprising and cracker which we'll speak about in a few classes and in their uprising the polish gentry rose up against Austrian rule and said to the polish speaking peasants come my brothers my polish brothers the time of our national freedom has arrived its overthrow the Austrian rule and we established the state and so on and the polish speaking peasants rose up and slaughtered the gentry and they went to the Austrian and said we're with you we're with you now why would they do such a thing a lot of reasons but one of them was clearly that their primary identity was not polish this they were primarily first and foremost serfs and peasants and Austrians and saw their lot better with the Austrian Empire we're a ways away from a polish national movement yet we do speak in any event about poles ruthenians and Jews in some sense and Jews also what they were I don't know but they certainly existed they existed that much we can say where do they live well if you look at the map here demographically the province was split you can see the purple in the yellow of course it's a rough estimate roughly along the Sun River in the western part of galicia was mostly polish and by the way today is mostly in poland facing the capital of krakow mostly polish with the significant Jewish minority Jews were maybe seven seven and a half percent of Western Galicia in the eastern portions more complicated mostly Ukrainian but a large polish minority especially in the cities and Jews are more prominent there maybe 13% of the population so if you do the math about three-quarters of Galician Jews are living in the east and when they come into the empire they are coming in culturally economically and otherwise identical to the Jews captured by the Russian Empire what does that it means number one they are yiddish-speaking and by the way we'll talk about this another time but litt is speaking but Hebrew or rather Hebrew Aramaic scholar as a scholarly language Yiddish is not a written language yet for the most part other than private correspondence all scholarship will be produced of the scholarly class in this Hebrew Aramaic language and that becomes very important when we speak about the Haskalah and later Zionism but in any event and that's totally normal the bilingualism is totally normal of a pre-modern society so you're just speaking it means religiously traditional soon to be Hasidic more on that tomorrow it means the rhythm of life from birth to death from mourning tonight from week to week is set by Jewish ritual and Jewish customs even as Jews are part of the landscape yes they are but the rhythm of life is set by Jewish culture and it's a largely commercial class economically distinct from the non-jews around them so for example 77% of poles are involved in agriculture 95% of the Ruthenians are involved in agriculture they don't have a ruling Gentry 95% of Athenians are involved in agriculture 14% of the Jews are there so as a result of that 2% of those in agricultural sector are Jews vs. 71% of those in trade and later on when Jews into the professional class a third of the professionals are Jews so ethnicity is being reinforced not simply by language and religion but also by occupation between Jews and non-jews and later between poles and loose Amiens moreover Jews are highly urbanized really an almost dominant presence despite large numbers in rural areas and small towns so for example the two most important cities in Galicia Krakov and Lemberg later la Veuve later l'viv over a quarter of the population is Jewish their majority or plurality and countless other towns and over all and just listen to this for a second overall nearly half of all city and town residents in Eastern Galicia were Jewish many with absolute majorities and about a third in western Galicia is Jewish that's an presents economically demographically and eventually this will mean politically Jews were a major factor in Galicia now suddenly this is true throughout Poland some of it this is unique to the Galician context alone and as this develops we'll see this in a going in a different direction than other parts of the Empire so let's talk about that impact for a little bit with the annexation of Galicia in 1772 Austria's Jewish population more than doubles to about 400,000 over half of whom are living in the new Crown land of Galicia unlike Russia Austria has a long history of Jews Russia had expelled the Jews centuries earlier so that's a whole different story Maria Teresa famously devout Catholic and also a rather as she's been described severe anti-semites he's famously for example expelled the Jews from Prague in 1744 she's suddenly confronted with this huge Jewish population and the first legislation is designed to curb its growth so for example in 1773 she imposes draconian restrictions on the right to marry and orders the deportation of all Jewish vagrants who's a Jewish vagrant anyone who has failed to pay the Jewish poll tax for three consecutive years for themselves and their families by the way Jews are going to avoid this marriage restriction simply by not marrying what will happen is they'll have religious ceremonies alone and they'll never tell the state this is a huge problem for the state which we'll come back to later on but it's one of the reasons why the so called number of children born out of wedlock in Galicia is astronomically high because they're trying to avoid the civil marriage which is always to me a problem we'll come back to that again Maria Teresa largely left internal Jewish administration intact and and Jewish communities retain significant autonomy judicial education charity structure and so on a few years later in 1776 she promulgates a single Galician Jewish ordinance designed to ensure a more efficient tax collection system and she actually instituted and increased a variety of particular Jewish taxes and she forms this general directory of the Jews which was designed to distribute the tax income among the the communities and there's six different districts established with another six at-large representatives and so on and provincial chief rabbi for the first time and this provincial chief rabbi he not only was serving as chief rabbi of the Jews in Galicia but also had administrative role with the government and this is rather unprecedented because now the rabbi is being co-opted into the arm of the state and the goal here again is absolutism absolutism the ideology that says power must be focused in the central monarch that all their castes other intermediaries to the population need to be broken down as much as possible so for example she begins to assert control over religious services she bans private services except in small communities that lacked a synagogue and even there they can only have religious services without a Torah scroll even there and there's also growing control of course over Catholic education Catholic with into services and so on her son she dies in 1780 and her son joseph ii views the province also has an absolutist but what we normally call enlightened absolutism and those of you who've done the reading by now have read all about this or revolutionary enlightened absolutism as larry wolf calls it i think that you're reading today from nancy sin cough captures this quite nicely the crafting of the state policies in the spirit of the progressive optimistic and rationalizing trends of the European enlightenment that valorized individual self cultivation of morality while still professing a belief in an omnipotent and omniscient creator and the just irrigation of power by one ruler enlightened absolutism and Joseph believed in it he truly did but he also saw as the best way as she puts it to thwart social unrest and this notion of Josephine ISM it was very much in contrast again to this barbaric untamed kaliesha which had to be tamed especially its Jews that means that administrative centralization has to be focused on Vienna it means also the relaxation of censorship it means the partial abolition of serfdom peasants given additional personal freedoms it means the assault on noble privilege nobility can no longer for example expel a serf or a peasant for no reason peasants are given more freedom children could learn a trade and so on and so forth and this is part of the whole ideology of mercantilism or cameral ISM a centralized and efficient state all resources guided to strengthen strengthen the state state for the benefit of all subjects and here we have Joseph the second he's not the Divine Right King he is first servant of the state all towards the state and the idea of the policy was to promote the maximum economic development of the Empire and its subjects especially through industry and commerce but in this regard Galicia was to be a market for Austrian and bohemian industry rather than develop its own and now the collisions cut off from its former markets and the other parts of the Commonwealth and are controlled by Russia and Prussia Posen and so on that means that essentially the feudal system is going to persist until the end of the 19th century and even beyond in some ways as absolutist they sought to break down social caste between the know rate curtailing the power of the nobility raising the rights of the legal status of the peasants and the same would go for the Jewish caste the Jews are essentially in pre-modern European society they're a caste they are a group with a specific list of rights and obligations and privileges that privileges and so on except of the states and he wants to incorporate the Jews into the Empire as much as all the other subjects and he's going to be influenced especially by discourse at the time talking about Jewish productive ization productive ization especially occupational this means moving them from commerce and trade which was viewed at the time as being somehow parasitical towards our crafts and agriculture which seemed house seemed more productive more also morally wholesome to integrate the Jews into broader society and there's an Enlightenment influence going on here but also it's not just the Enlightenment also reflects greater Habsburg hopes for German izing that Slavic province and again German izing means taming it means civilizing and Jews are a critical part this project and I want to contrast for a moment this language of Germanization because we're reading in this class at several points the the work of the famous historian modeler and other older scholars as well where they viewed Germanisation through the lens of assimilation and we have to make the distinction it's not simply assimilation it's you know mother can point to things that are quite negative you know the kosher meat tax is instituted in 1784 and Jewish leases on an alcohol licenses and mills and so on this is curtailed in 1785 we'll speak about that in a little bit but in general the goal is not malicious assimilation in some sort of science-fiction sense the way that resigns them will later use the term as well but rather it's to strengthen the German presence in the province and incorporate the province into the Empire as part of this goal of civilizing the province including the Jews not converting them for sure not assimilating them but some kind of radical social integration and acculturation so what are the enactments that sort of you'll see what I'm talking about here it's 1787 these are just a few of the enactments coming out of joseph ii 1787 coalition jews required to adopt german family names 1788 jewish clothing is going to be banned as of 1791 although this doesn't get enforced much this doesn't get enforced as a matter of fact and in 1788 the military draft jews become liable for the military service but again here you have to point out the military draft this is not like in Tsarist Russia many of you are familiar with the stories of the Canton is for example in the Tsarist Empire when that's when Nicholas the first first drafts the Jews and destroys with surrounding them the goal was rather to equalize Jewish service to the state and you know for example there was leeway to Jewish soldiers for Sabbath observance when possible Jews were put in transport units often no they're not not exclusively to help them with that this is a different situation this is an equalizing opportunity in many ways but of course Jewish soldiers detached from Jewish communal life detached from parts of religious observance and were and Jewish leaders certainly feared that these people might be candidates for assimilation and we actually are going to begin to see a polarization between Jewish reformers on one side on the side of enlightenment and undecided the government and Jewish traditionalists drawing on religion and custom in new ways especially once trusted ISM takes root against them and we'll see that more in the next two lessons this growing polarization between these sectors of Jewish society under Joseph do a communal autonomy also going to be restricted but again lots of communal Tana means are going to be restricted because this is an enlightened absolutists regime Joseph liquidated the general directly established by his mother and also liquidated the office of chief rabbi he liquidated the judicial autonomy of the key Lodz these are now going to be exclusively religious and charitable organizations they're gonna be reformulated now called kutis combined and cultural religious community something like this and they're gonna have a few civic functions for example registering births and deaths but for the most part are going to be religious or structures alone 141 of them in particular going to be established still a highly ramified governing and taxation structure and Jews are theoretically compensated for that loss of autonomy which was sort of the identity of pre-modern period theoretically compensated with access to municipal political office but that often remained on paper alone we'll see later on but often theoretical access to municipal governments but in the broader cities that often didn't translate in reality after a six-year period only those with a fluency in German would be eligible as Keela leaders and Hebrew and Yiddish including German written in Hebrew characters were banned in Jewish public and commercial records henceforth all Keela records birth and death registers and so on all must be kept in the German language and this was a critical part of the structure of the government obviously because army recruitment and tax and so on are coming from these records in 1789 the Emperor obligated Jewish children to attend German language schools a decree that was enforced indirectly by requiring proof of this attendance in order to obtain a marriage license or to serve as a community rabbi in the for regard again Jews could circumvent that simply by by not getting married officially by only getting married under a chuppah and not actually getting married with the state and this is part again of a broader reform of education throughout the empire well beyond Jews they're establishing so-called no mala Xuan in a host system of elementary and sudden post elementary education to bring literacy to the countryside to achieve an elementary education among everybody at least and there was pushback from others not only as we've seen a second from Jewish rabbinical establishment the Catholic Church for example also pushing back in some cases the Jews are part of a broader phenomenon and actually the first such German language Jewish school was established already in the early 1780s in Lemberg and the man most associated with these schools is on your screen right now here it's home Bernhard he is a very interesting character I wish I had more time to discuss him in the older scholarship he was viewed very much as a almost an evil person really a terrible person he was a mass-scale we'll learn about that tomorrow he was a person who sought to bring enlightenment to the Jewish community he also was problematic he was a one of the people collecting involved with the candle tax which was a very hated tax against the Jews will speak about in a minute so in the in the Galician Jewish memory he is viewed in very negative negative terms but essentially more recent scholarship especially led by Rocco manikin and others is really showing that he was not so terrible actually he was a normal mask ill he was not a heretic against Jewish religion he was trying to bring educational reform to the Jewish system some kind of standardized pedagogy basic sciences and so on I think that the efforts on the one hand of progressive but religious Jewish figure trying to push education reform against a system that's entrenched in an old way that is pedagogically problematic and lacks any kind of modern system I think it's something that maybe today as I'm recording in Haifa we can think about and it's not so foreign but in any event an interesting guy and you can read about him on your own these schools are Jewish schools staffed with Jewish teachers every key law was required to establish and fund such a school but all of their pedagogy and so on had to be approved by a state appointed administrator her Tom Berg was the head of this whole system and you have by 1792 a hundred of these schools and Galicia they eventually enroll about four thousand students before the shutdown in 1806 the whole system was shut down in 1806 so that's going to have an impact and all of these decrees are going to receive an official ratification in 1789 in the form of a udin ordinal a Jewish ordinance issued for all of Galicia and this is part of a system of edicts of toleration issued across the 1780s for the various parts of the Austrian Empire and it was part of that whole series of edicts trying to in some ways actually it's quite liberating for the Jewish community so I'll read you for example part of the preamble of the purpose the purpose was quote to a know the differences which legislation has so far maintained between Christian and Jewish subjects and to grant the Jews living in Galicia all the benefits and rights which are other subjects enjoy end quote I mean enlightened absolutism meant that to promote economic and individual development limited and sometimes less not so limited civil rights be granted freedom of Jews to settle in towns and in agricultural areas and villages if they farm they couldn't go there and become leasers like they used to be but they could go there if they were farming access to handicrafts and to guilds that have been closed to Jews in the past assuming a Christian master would take them permission to open factories permission to have Christian servants also guaranteed freedom of worship with specifics although there were certain limitations to assure Catholic superiority but you know for example private synagogues could now be established freely not for free they had to pay a special tax but they could be established freely and that by the way again it wasn't just the money it served to fortify the direct relationship of the individual Jews to the central government that tax lasted until 1810 after which it was waived I mean to be sure the edict has problems and guys like Mahler really focus on these for example it left the decision to grant municipal citizenship and civil rights to local city authorities and they universally refused to award them Jews will not gain that kind of power yet that kind of emancipation yet and it retained various special taxes on the Jews for example the kosher meat tax the marriage tax and even the toleration tax which besides the money obviously was quite degrading and besides this you know you have this lofty language opening up many vocations to the Jews that were heretofore forbidden but the Jewish ban on settlement and the villages except for those engaged in agriculture and handicrafts that was retained Jews are still forbidden to hold leases or distill or sell liquor which had once been and by the way off the records will continue to be central to their economic activity and this is really the rub by the way I wish we had more time to speak about it but the role of Jews as leasers and especially in excuse me an alcohol this is very important and this would be part of the discourse of Jewish and relations with the other ethnic groups in the province and with the state throughout the 19th century and again the goal of all of this in conjunction with the earlier decrees especially education it was Germanization social integration turning the province into a civilized german place and jews are part of that now Joseph dies in 1790 and in the wake of a Napoleonic turmoil his successors are going to rollback many of these progressive reforms of the eat of the various Edict of toleration but they're going to leave untouched some of the more oppressive aspects so above all of course they want to have the Germanisation they like this but not always consistently so what are some of those acts you see here so for example in 1797 you have the famous candle tax the taxes you have to pay not when you bought the can you have to pay whether or not you actually lit this the shot that the the Sabbath candles or not and this becomes by the way a symbol of the you know hatred of the Jews of the persecution of the Jews and the Empire and when it's rolled back when it's eventually cancelled becomes a symbol of their emancipation as well and 1806 German is required for all officials of the Jewish community that was the same year by the way you remember that Hamburg schools were closed in 1810 German language the ability of the German language is required to vote in community elections and 1814 and by the way this is going to come up later in in late nineteenth century period Hebrew and Yiddish documents are specifically invalidated as evidence and courts or in government bureaus Yiddish language is going to be a big issue because your dish is quite close to German I'm sure you know and so it is the problem of Yiddish as a sort of degenerate German symbolic of that degeneracy of the Jews who speak it becomes a continuing issue throughout the 19th century especially after 1867 as we'll see another time at the same time this is happening the Polish nobility are sort of reconciling themselves to Austrian rule and they're using the language of rights to risa cure their traditional privileges as well as the role of the Jews as their agents so the economy despite some of the earlier best intentions of Joseph the second the economy is going to continue as before in many ways Jewish lease holders for example are gonna continue to run the alcoholic beverage industry and there's going to be no move yet from Jews out of there out of the villages so what was the success rate how'd they do how successful were the Austrian officials efforts at Germanization at social integration and so on well on the one hand the tiny Jewish elites nearly all germanized during these years wealthy merchants Elisa's of Jewish taxes the meat and kennel tax and so on members of the professional intelligentsia and the Maskelyne the enlightened Jews supported by those earlier people all of them are going to move towards Germanization and Vienna's Germanisation program is going to feed quite nicely into the growth of the Haskalah of the Jewish enlightenment which is going to look to Berlin for inspiration and guidance at first and these people proudly speak German they educate their children in the German language and culture and they are absolutely loyal to the German Habsburg monarchs and they become Dyson German but in the cultural sense not in any national sense but in a cultural sense meaning as you see from the picture of the famous Moscow crossbow meaning they cut their sat there their pay out there the sidelocks means they wear short German style coats instead of long caftans and so on and they're distinguished from the Polish Jews now that they're polish in any kind of national or ethnic or linguistic identity but because they're traditional they wear paled they wear the long caftan they don't speak German they speak Yiddish the Polish Jews speak Yiddish keep that in mind they also construct German style reformed temples and that's one from Krakow that survived the Holocaust but when we say we form don't have in mind the kind of radical reform that's happening in Germany actually the the temples are a lot closer to what we might call Modern Orthodox today but nevertheless German so the one founded in Lemberg and in l'viv is called the Deutsche is a righteousness bet house the German Israelite temple or synagogue now later it will pulverize its name but not till much much later and even though these temples are not reform the reform enough to generate a lot of hostility between the members and rabbis of these places and the traditional establishment so much so that the rabbi of the Lemberg temple Abraham Cohen is actually poisoned and murdered along with one of his daughters in 1848 odka de Kock as they say in Hebrew dramatisation also took root among the Jewish masses all of them obediently adopted German family names Jewish knowledge of German language expanded in general especially because Yiddish was so close to determined that does increase a lot of students attended Homburg schools or some of the other German Jewish schools that are established in the early 19th century you have about 14 cities by each by the mid-century that have such schools with thousands of students going going through them and these are German I gemin through and through German they're officially known as German Israelite institutions German is being taught as quote the mother language of Galician Israelites and so on so Germanisation there is some accessor and it's success was largely limited by a lot of factors not the least of which was the spread of Hasidism in the early decades of the 19th century as we'll see next class from two classes Haas ISM had perhaps its greatest success in Galicia of anywhere and kinetic leaders adamantly adamantly opposed government and mass killing attempts at Germanisation and this is opposition sometimes really straddled the border between religious vigilance and just outright Ethne system so for example the famous Hasidic leader in Galicia Menachem Mendel or women of he'll it uses a Midrash a Midrash an interpretation of a biblical passage that's often used by Zionists actually at the end of the century there's a famous story by what merit by what merit were the ancient Hebrews redeemed from Egypt and the Exodus story and the Bible stood there the rabbi's are confused about it because after all the tradition tells them that the ancient Hebrews had become almost completely swallowed by Egyptian culture worshiping idols and so on but the Midrash tells us they were redeemed because of three things they didn't change their language they didn't change their names and they didn't change her clothes meaning their fashion obviously so what that means they didn't acculturate they didn't acculturate and based on that they were redeemed by God now this is a very popular Midrash as you can imagine by Zionists because it's arguing against acculturation ironically we'll see because inés themselves were the most acculturated but for him to use this in the early 19th century is really quite remarkable pushing for cultural uniqueness this is really the birth of what will later call orthodoxy keep your children as much as possible from foreign tongues and God will bring his nation to speedy deliverance in our day as he did for our forefathers in Egypt now these German Jewish schools were run by prominent mosque Elam would speak about the Haskalah tomorrow.with curriculum that's reflecting this philosophy so Orthodox opponents are going to rally against them and they'll often prefer the public Christian schools which at least in their mind doesn't D sanctify the Jewish tradition by teaching it through modern methods that's one area of undermining Germanisation success and also the Austrian bureaucrats themselves following in this reactionary period following the Poli onyx turmoil a lot of the Austrian bureaucrats a lot of the Austrian leaders are quite skeptical of reforming Jewish society as the mosque Elam wanted they simply wanted to placate it they wanted to keep things quiet and most importantly I would say the socio-economic composition of glish and jewelry which is still in the early 19th century quite similar to other areas of Poland much smaller than say other parts of Central Europe it was simply not especially conducive to Germanization I mean you have to ask yourself into which socio-economic group where the Jews supposed to integrate in Berlin or elsewhere in Central Europe and elsewhere in Europe there is there's no German middle class that existed there in Galicia how would the Jews suppose to integrate when they themselves constitute three-quarters or more of the commercial class the only German the only agency that could make it integrate into was the bureaucracy but that was largely closed to the Jews so with no significant Germans non-jewish German middle class available to absorb them the real effect of these efforts was simply not to transform the Jews into Germans but rather to widen the cultural gap between the Jews who do German eyes and Slavic neighbors in the one hand and other Jews on the other hand we can see some of this failure of Germanisation in the following there's a coalition journal penned by a Austrian german-speaking bureaucrat describing the Jews in 1821 some of this is imagined but it gives us a flavour a sense of what's going on here's the quote the Jewish people even in dispersal has so steadily preserved on a face stamp of nationality a special kind of existence a completely singular relation thus they may share with us the common protection of the law and the advantages brought to Europe by the progress of enlightenment the growth of industry and the improvement of education but they preserve all the marks of an individual tribe ultimately there was the constant resistance which governments today experienced resistance to the assimilation of these people with regard to various forms resistance the imposition of equal obligations resistance to closer unification through the bonds of a common fatherland and common destinies now be careful with this terminology nationality and so on don't use it in a way that they didn't mean but you do get a sense of the limits of this efforts in the early 19th century now there is an effort by this man the famous metonic of Austria of trying to blend the provinces various religious and ethnic groups trying to blend them into galicians to it as larry wolf put it to make collisions not believe invented Galicia invent the Galicians and that was the effort the idea would be to eventually german eyes the province in this sense so for example men and it created the Galician SEM its diet its Parliament it's part of the effort to forge a uniquely Galician identity and this works to an extent you do see people thinking about the Galician fatherland by the mid 19th century in fact even in the later 19th century we'll see nationalists themselves still talking about the Galician fatherland or the Galician motherland but ultimately that effort is going to be overcome by those national and religious and ethnic differences so what what he hopes to accomplish he wants to turn to the polls and ruthenians and Jews into collisions and he succeeds to an extent but eventually when those collisions become polls they're going to bring along with them the Germans and others who also had become galatians and they'll also become poles and another of jews with them to boot and then the event men are nick i have to end with him he never quite overcame his image of galicia galicia was quote a place of rags dirt Jews disease misery and death in that order so we come to the end of the first part moving ahead we are have to talk about the most important Jewish movements in early 19th century Eastern Europe or the 19th century Galicia number one cotton ism which as I said achieved some of its greatest success in coalition air and second of all the Haskalah the Jewish enlightenment which is born in Berlin is born in Central Western Europe but is going to move into Eastern Europe through the Austrian province because of that German connection following these two movements we can then look at the process of emancipation especially from 1848 and then how the Jews become transformed by that process of emancipation was completed in 1867 thanks


Principal works

The chief of these works are:

Survey of Collections

The more recent (circa 1900) collections of small midrashim referred to above and in Midrash Haggadah are the following:

  • A. Jellinek, B. H. parts i.-iv., Leipsic, 1853–57; parts v.-vi., Vienna, 1873–78;
  • Ḥayyim M. Horowitz, Agadat Agadot, etc., Berlin, 1881;
  • idem, Bet 'Eḳed ha-Agadot: Bibliotheca Haggadica, 2 parts, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1881;
  • idem, Kebod Ḥuppah, ib. 1888;
  • idem, Tosefta Attiḳta: Uralte Tosefta's, i.-v., ib. 1889-90;
  • S. A. Wertheimer, Batte Midrashot, i.-iv., Jerusalem, 1893–97;
  • idem, Leḳeṭ Midrashim, ib. 1903;
  • L. Grünhut, Sefer ha-Liḳḳuṭim, Sammlung Aelterer Midraschim. etc., i-vi., ib. 1898-1903; comp. also Abraham Wilna, Rab Pe'alim, ed. S. Chones, pp. 133 et seq., H. L. Strack, in Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyc. s.v. "Midrasch."

Other small midrashim and mystical literature

In these collections, especially in A. Jellinek's Bet ha-Midrash, there are many small midrashim, either edited there for the first time or reprinted, as well as a number of works under other names, a discussion of which belongs rather to an article on mystic literature. The following treatises, however, may be mentioned here, the titles being given for the most part according to Jellinek:

  • Agadat Mashiaḥ (Haggadah of the Messiah; ib. iii. 141 et seq.).
  • Baraita Ma'ase Bereshit (in S. Chones' addenda to Abraham Wilna's Rab Pe'alim, pp. 47 et seq.); also Seder Rabbah de-Bereshit (in Wertheimer, l.c. i. 1-31).
  • Gan 'Eden we-Gehinnom (Paradise and Hell; ib. v. 42 et seq.).
  • Ma'aseh R. Yehoshua' b. Levi (History of R. Joshua b. Levi; ib. ii. 48 et seq.).
  • Midrash Konen (in B. H. ii. 23-39);
  • Be-Ḥokmah Yasad (Divine Wisdom; ib. v. 63-69)
  • Masseket Gehinnom (Tractate of Gehenna; ib. i. 147-149)
  • Milḥamot ha-Mashiaḥ (War of the Messiah; ib. vi. 117 et seq.)
  • Misterot R. Shim'on b. Yoḥai (Mysteries of R. Simeon b. Yoḥai; ib. iii. 78 et seq.).
  • Otiyot de-Rabbi Aḳiba (Alphabetical Midrash of R. Akiba; first and second recensions in B. H. iii. 12-64; comp. ib. v. 31-33; vi., p. xl.; Wertheimer, l.c. ii. 23 et seq.)
  • Hekalot Rabbati (Great Hekalot; in B. H. iii. 83-108);
  • Masseket Hekalot (Tractate Hekalot; ib. ii. 40-47; comp. also ib. i. 58 et seq., iii. 161 et seq., vi. 109 et seq.);
  • Baraita Ma'ase Merkabah (in Wertheimer, l.c. ii. 15-25).
  • Otiyot Mashiaḥ (Signs of the Messiah; ib. ii. 58-63).
  • Pirḳe Eliyahu (Sections Concerning the Messiah; ib. iii. 68 et seq.).
  • Seder Gan 'Eden (Description of Paradise; ib. ii. 52 et seq.; second recension, ib. iii. 131-140; additions, ib. 194-198).
  • Sefer Eliyahu (Apocalypse of Elijah; ib. iii. 65 et seq.).
  • Sefer Zerubbabel (Book of Zerubbabel; ib. ii. 54-57; comp. also Wertheimer, l.c. ii. 25 et seq., 29 et seq.).


  • Jacob Elbaum. The Hebrew Narrative Anthology in the Middle Ages Prooftexts (2004) pp. 176ff.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Smaller Midrashim". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.

This page was last edited on 16 May 2019, at 14:53
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