1800 - 1810 ONE TENTH OF THE GERMAN JEWISH POPULATION CONVERTED
ONE TENTH OF THE GERMAN JEWISH POPULATION CONVERTED
C. 1800 ABRAHAM MORDECAI (USA)
Founded a store and cotton gin on the bluffs near the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers in Alabama. In 1805, the Indians burned it down and cut off his left ear for allegedly cavorting with a chief's squaw. He returned in 1814 to rebuild what was later to become the city of Montgomery.
1801 - 1825 REIGN OF ALEXANDER I (Russia)
Though at first a liberal, he rapidly changed his perspective. However, he envisioned the eventual emancipation for the Jews and their absorption into Russian "Christian" culture and life.
1801 - 1875 ZECHARIA FRANKEL (Germany)
"Father of Conservative Judaism". As a moderate reformer, he objected to the changing of tradition. His views became known as "Historical Judaism". Frankel advocated an evolving Judaism which would only permit changes which were not in variance with the spirit of historical Judaism. As such he was against transferring all the prayers to the vernacular. As resident of the Breslau Seminary from 1854 until his death, he published many works, including a treatise on the Septuagint. His works include an examination of the Jewish oath Die Eidesleistung bei den Juden, an introduction to the MishnaDarkhei ha-Mishnah and an introduction to the Jerusalem Talmud Mevo ha-Yerushalmi.
1801 BUCHAREST (Romania)
A blood libel led to the death and wounding of 128 Jews.
1802 - 1810 BERLIN (Germany)
Fifty out of the 405 Jewish families in the city converted.
1802 - 1867 SOLOMON MUNK (Germany-France)
Historian and orientalist. He was a friend of Zunz and wrote a translation and criticism of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, tracing his sources back to the original sources of Maimonides. His works also included his famous History of Eretz Israel in which he traced events from the Crusaders until the present time.
1802 HAYIM VOLOZHINER (Belorus, Russia)
Founded the Volozhin Yeshiva. Rav Hayim introduced in his school the hevruta style of study whereby one learns with a colleague rather then by oneself. Volozhin soon gained a reputation as one of the greatest Jewish centers of learning in the world. With its strict entrance exams and insistance on a high level of consistency, the school soon became the model for other schools of its kind, e.g. Mir (1815), Radun (1869), Telz (1875) and Navaredok (1896).
1804 JEWISH STATUTE (Russia)
After two years of deliberation, Alexander I published legislation regarding the future of the Jews in Russia. Based on the premise that the Jews (especially those absorbed from Poland) were undesirable elements, it was declared that efforts should be made to transform them into "productive" citizens. On the one hand, Jews were allowed to attend university, open their own secular schools, and become involved in industry. On the other hand, in the villages they were severely restricted with regard to occupations and land ownership. This was part of his policy to cast blame on the Jews (rather then on the Polish nobles) for the exploitation of the peasants.
1804 NATHAN THE WISE (Germany)
A play by Gotthold Lessing (see 1729) was produced in Germany. Lessing was said to have used his friend, Moses Mendelssohn, as his role model. The play preached toleration.
1804 - 1881 BENJAMIN DISRAELI (Earl of Beaconsfeld) (England)
Despite his father's conversion to the Anglican faith and his own baptism at the age of thirteen, he never lost his pride in being part of the Jewish people. He was elected as a conservative member of Parliament in 1837. Soon after, he founded the Young England movement with other young Tories. He was a favorite of Queen Victoria and became Prime Minister of England, leading the Tory Party in 1868. In 1875, he helped England acquire the Suez Canal and had Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India. In two of his novels, Alroy and Tancred, he described the Jewish desire for independence in their own land.
1804 - 1851 KARL GUSTAV JACOBI (Germany)
Mathematician, known especially for his contributions in the fields of algebra, and rational mechanics, as well as his theory of elliptic functions. In 1824 he converted to Christianity in order to obtain a position as professor of mathematics at Konigsberg, and later at the University of Berlin.
1804 - 1890 SALOMON SULZER (Austria)
"Father of Modern Hazzanut and Synagogue Music". The first to call himself cantor instead of Hazzan, he was a friend of Franz Shubert and one of the first to interpret Shubert's music.
1805 - 1889 SAMUEL ALATRI (Rome, Italy)
Led the battle for Jewish freedom in Italy during the Risorgimento (Resurrection) Period (of Mazzini, 1834). Even Gregory XVI was forced to call him "Our Cicero".
1805 - 1855 ZEVI HIRSCH CHAJES (Brody-Lemberg, Germany)
One of the foremost Galician talmudic scholars. His work, Mevo Hatalmud (Introduction to the Talmud), is a valuable work, although it is more a commentary than an introduction.
1805 June 29, BLACK SABBATH (Algiers)
Hundreds of Jews were killed in rioting following the assassination of Naftali Busnach. Busnach, a shipping magnate, was the head of the Jewish community. He had a monopoly on much of the trade and extensive influence on the treasury. The Turkish garrison, jealous of his power, blamed him for the shortage of wheat and had him assassinated.
1806 - 1860 SAMUEL HOLDHEIM (Poland-Germany)
Radical Reform leader. Holdheim totally divorced Judaism from nationalism and changed the Sabbath to Sunday. In his book Ueber die Autonomie der Rabbinen und das Prinzip der juedischen Ehe he laid down his ideology, which included a separation of religious or ethical Judaism from nationalism. He was thus not against mixed marriages which he considered nationalist in content. He was helped by Abraham Geiger and vigorously opposed by Samson Rafael Hirsch.
1806 - 1868 ISAAC LEESER (Germany-USA)
One of the foremost rabbis and educators in the USA during the 19th century. Leeser established the first Jewish monthly in the US - The Occident in 1843. He published numerous Jewish textbooks for children, initiated the first Jewish college, Maimonides, in Philadelphia and was one of the founders of Jewish Publication Society of America. His translation of the Bible was the accepted Jewish translation in the United States for 50 years.
1806 July 26, NAPOLEON (France)
Formed the Conference of Notables to deal with the relationship of the Jews and the French State. It consisted of 112 deputies from all parts of the French empire. At the assembly, which was led by the financier Abraham Furtado and Rabbi Joseph David Sinzheim, the delegates were confronted with a questionnaire on polygamy, usury, loyalty, and intermarriage. Pleased with their answers, Napoleon decided to re-establish the Sanhedrin under his careful direction, with representatives from all congregations. Even though the assembly was to be held on the Sabbath (some claim this was a loyalty litmus test), they decided to attend and not risk the wrath of the Emperor.
1807 - 1879 (1 Shvat 5640) MOSES SCHICK (Maharam Shick) (Slovakia-Austria)
Rabbi, Halachist and Jewish leader. Schick was a student of Moses Sofer. He established a Yeshiva at Hust, Hungary which attracted many students. Although he was a vigorous opponent of the Reform movement, he believed that sermons could be preached in any language. Schick was also a strong supporter of the Old Yishuv in Jerusalem. He composed almost 1000 responsa and is remembered for his works Maharam Schick, and Derashot.
1807 - 1867 ABRAHAM MAPU (Slobodka, Lithuania)
First modern Hebrew novelist and one of the leaders of the Haskalah Movement in Eastern Europe. His most famous book was called Ahavat Zion (Love of Zion) which described the longing of the Jewish people for a better life. The book quickly went though 16 editions and was translated into nine languages. Aside from four novels, he also wrote three textbooks, all of which showed his creative talents.
1807 February 9, PARIS (France)
First meeting of the Napoleonic Sanhedrin under the leadership of the Assembly of Jewish Notables. It opened amid great pomp and celebration under the direction of the financier Abraham Furtado. The Sanhedrin was modeled on the ancient tribunal in Jerusalem and consisted of 71 members; 46 Rabbis and 25 laymen. Rabbi David Sinzheim of Strasbourg was its president.
1807 May 14, BADEN (Germany)
Judaism was recognized as a tolerated religion. Although their rights improved, especially for the Schutzjuden (protected Jews), full emancipation would only be granted over 50 years later (see 1862).
1808 - 1863 BENEDICT STILLING (Germany)
An anatomist, he believed in the possibility of transplants. He was offered a senior position on condition that he renounce Judaism, but refused. He was then transferred to a small village. He resigned his position but continued to practice medicine and came to be considered one of the fathers of modern anatomy. Stilling was credited with determining the relationship between muscles, veins and arteries, and the role of the nervus sympathicus.
Jews were ordered into ghettos (mellahs) by the ruler of Morocco, Mulay Suleiman (1792-1822). This affected the cities of Tetuan, Rabat, Sale, and Mogador.
1808 - C. 1860 NATHANIEL ISAACS (South Africa)
Explorer. While on a rescue mission in 1825 he was shipwrecked in Port Natal. Isaacs served as the spokesman for those who were shipwrecked with the Zulu king, Tchaka, who regularly used torture and execution as a method of rule. Isaacs succeeded in gaining the King's trust, even leading a war party for Tchaka's benefit. In the process he was named Tamboosa (brave warrior) by the king. He spent the next seven years teaching the Zulus to raise cattle and sugar cane, while encouraging trade with the British. He urged the British to annex the territory. He left after seven years at the age of 24.
1808 - 1810 TEN DISCIPLES (Eretz Israel)
Of the Vilna Gaon settled in Eretz Israel almost a decade after the arrival of two of his pupils, R. Hayim of Vilna and R. Israel b. Samuel of Shklov. In all there were three groups of the Gaon's students which emigrated to Eretz Israel. They formed the basis of the Ashkenazi communities of Jerusalem and Safed, setting up what was known as the Kollel Perushim. Their arrival encouraged an Ashkenazi revival in Jerusalem, which until this time was mostly Sephardi (Levantine). Many of the descendents of the disciples became leading figures in modern Israeli society. The Gaon himself also set forth with his pupils to Eretz Israel, but for an unknown reason he turned back and returned to Vilna where he died soon after.
1808 - 1863 GABRIEL RIESSER (Germany)
An assimilated Jew, he refused to adopt Christianity and became the leader of the Jewish Emancipation movement in Germany. He established a periodical called Der Jude (The Jew).
1808 - 1888 (27 Tevet 5658) SAMSON RAPHAEL HIRSCH (Germany)
Father of traditional Jewish orthodoxy in the " modern" world. As rabbi of Frankfurt, he formulated his philosophy which stressed that tradition could satisfy modern society without losing orthodoxy. His vast works include his philosophical Horeb and Nineteen Letters of Ben Uziel, and his commentaries on the Bible, the Psalms and the Siddur. He was a staunch opponent of the Reform movement in Germany.
1808 January 29, CANADA
Ezekiel Hart (1767-1843), though elected to the Canadian parliament, was prevented from taking his seat because, as a Jew, he could not take the oath "on the true faith of a Christian." Though re-elected in May 1808 and in April 1809, he was prevented from being seated each time. Only in 1832 did legislation pass allowing Jews to hold public office and giving them full civil rights.
1808 March 17, INFAMOUS DECREE (Decret Infame) OF NAPOLEON (France)
Cancelled any debt owed to Jews by those in military service, or by women if it was signed without the approval of their husbands or parents. It abolished the freedom of trade of the Jews by forcing them to acquire permits (which were almost never given) from the local prefects, and prevented Jews from settling in the area of the Upper and Lower Rhine.
1808 October 17, DUCHY OF WARSAW (Poland)
With Napoleon's arrival, the new State parliament called for equal rights. Unfortunately, this did not include the Jews, whose rights would be postponed for 10 years "in the hope of eradicating all their distinctions which set them apart".
1808 December 1, JEROME BONAPARTE
Granted full emancipation to the Jews in Westphalia.
1809 - 1847 FELIX MENDELSSOHN (Bartholdy, Germany)
Grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, he was raised as a Protestant and became a world-renowned composer. His works include five symphonies and a great number of violin and piano concertos, and oratories (Elijah, St. Paul).
1809 - 1879 (1 Tishrei 5640) MEIR LEIBUSH MALBIM (Chief Rabbi of Bucharest) (Romania)
Rabbi and commentator. His commentary on the Bible, showing the close relationship between the Oral and the Written Law, is widely used today. He also authored Hatorah V'Hamitzva, Ayelet Hashachar and other works. Malbim fought vociferously against the Reform movement, which had been making strong inroads in German Jewry, to the extent that he was briefly imprisoned. In Vilna, Moghilof, and Koenigsberg he was declared persona non grata by the local people.
1809 August 8, ERETZ ISRAEL
Hillel Rivlin (1758-1838) arrived at the head of the third group of 70 pupils of the Vilna Gaon. Most of them settled in Jerusalem with Rivlin or in Safed with Hayim b. Tobiah and Israel of Shklov. They revitalized the Ashkenazi community.