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Most club members "From guestwriters" do not have their own blog, but shall write under their own name as "Guestspeaker" on the Lifestyle magazine Stepping Toes.
Those who do have their own website can be looked at underneath:
Please do find those independent authors their recent postings on their own website:
Van de schrijvers die een eigen blog hebben kan u op hun site als laatste artikels vinden:
Originally posted on FabFourFamily:
Do you remember life before the internet? In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, it’s easy to forget how dramatically our lives have been transformed by the advent of the internet. For those of us born in the early 1990s, we had the unique experience of witnessing the world both before and…
Originally posted on Akemsblog.com:
Do you remember life before the internet? Life before the widespread use of the internet was quite different compared to the world we live in today. Here are some notable aspects of life before the internet: Communication: People relied heavily on traditional methods of communication such as landline telephones, letters,…
In general, before internet life was at ease and we made more personal contacts and real friends, much more sharing things with each other.
Turkey is still very far from being a possible bridge builder between East and West and between Russia and NATO countries, and the 2023 Turkish elections showed us that Turkey is driving away from democratic values.
In addition to being a once-in-a-generation talent that changed American music, Tina Turner, who died Wednesday 24, 2023, her voice shall sound forever.
Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often? – Heeft u een citaat waarnaar u leeft of waaraan u vaak denkt? Doe een ander niets aan wat je zelf niet zou willen dat met jou zou gebeuren.
Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often? Do not do anything to another what you would not like to happen to yourself.
3 June has been declared World Bicycle Day in 2018 and should encourage us to make more use of that sporty and healthy means of transport.
Er heerst zoveel vervuiling dat ons klimaat helemaal overstuur ligt. Wij moeten beseffen dat wij zelf heel wat in de hand hebben om dat rot weer tegen te gaan. Indien wij de auto wat meer aan de kant zouden laten staan zou dit al een heel klein beetje helpen. Morgen 3 juni is het de […]
By Daniel Hardaker A pleasure cruiser is at the centre of the police investigation into the Bournemouth beach tragedy. Meanwhile, hotel migrants have staged a protest in central London over being denied single rooms. Pleasure boat at centre of police investigation into Bournemouth beach tragedy A restored pleasure cruiser is at the centre of a […]
Israel’s Iron Dome system intercepting rockets launched by Hamas Credit: AFP How Israel is preparing for an attack from all sides By James Rothwell IN TEL AVIV It’s a searing hot afternoon in Tel Aviv and I’m rolling up to a checkpoint under the glare of two eagled-eyed teenage conscripts. After a few probing questions, […]
By Daniel Hardaker An increasingly vocal cohort of Conservative MPs are urging the Prime Minister to scrap inheritance tax, a move that The Telegraph is supporting. Meanwhile, two people have died and a man has been arrested following an incident off Bournemouth pier. By Sam Hall Good evening. A man has been arrested on suspicion […]
April 18, 2023 event: The U.S. and its NATO allies must remain alert for signs Russian President Vladimir Putin could use a tactical nuclear weapon in a “managed” escalation of his war in Ukraine, the second-highest U.S. diplomat said on Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman issued the warning during the opening session of […]
Christians in politics have been accommodated through a policy of don’t-ask, don’t-tell, but some argue endlessly about which bathrooms trans people should be allowed to use. Cisgender psychologists and sexologists pathologise the transgender experience according to their own biases, cisgender insurance executives arbitrarily what is and isn’t “necessary care” for transgender policyholders, and so on.
Het kan niet genoeg herhaald worden: antizionisme is geen antisemitisme.
Originally posted on Quo Vadis:
Zionisme is het (blijven) streven naar en behoud van een Joodse staat. Anti-zionisme is dus het verzet tegen de enige joodse staat. Behalve de genoemde landen met een islamitische meerderheid, zijn praktische alle andere landen, incl Israel, seculier, geen enkele religie is dominant en er is godsdienstvrijheid. Godsdienstvrijheid is één…
Een kijk (door Willem Frederik Veltman) op wat de beste remedie is tegen nationalisme.
Introducing a news website that may well deserve your attention as it also debunks fake news and brings out the true facts.
Voorstelling van een nieuwswebsite die gerust uw aandacht mag verdienen omdat deze ook fake news ontkracht en de ware feiten nar boven brengt.
Event Turkey has broken Nato unity on Finland and Sweden’s push to join the alliance, blocking an initial vote on accession after President Erdogan demanded that the two countries hand over dozens of Turkish exiles he accused of “terrorism”. The veto came hours after Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary-general, hailed a historic moment for western […]
The Times, May 2, 2022 Event Ukraine, one of the most fertile and productive countries in the world, has been known historically as the “bread basket of Europe”. Now it is facing a complex and unprecedented agricultural crisis, in which landmines are only one of numerous interlinked problems. The United Nations estimates this year’s harvest […]
BBC, April 22 + Audit of antisemitic incidents Event The number of anti-Semitic incidents around the world dramatically increased last year, a study by Tel Aviv University has found. The report identifies the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia as among countries where there was a sharp rise. This was fueled by radical left- […]
The letter to the Hebrews shows how the Law of Moses pointed forward to Christ. Chapter 9 tells how he was prefigured in the tabernacle and its contents (Exodus 25–27), and in the calendar of feasts and sacrifices which Israel had to follow. And what was true for the tabernacle, the temporary shrine in the […]
The short letter of Paul to Philemon has some valuable lessons for us about spiritual relationships one with another. Paul is writing as “a prisoner of Christ Jesus” (verse 1) and Timothy is with him – and other visitors support him, “Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke” (verse 24). He tells Philemon, “I remember you in […]
In Joshua 14 we read of the blessings received by a man who “wholly followed the LORD”. Caleb was the other man who with Joshua spied out the land and brought back an optimistic report; this was after the people had miraculously escaped from Egypt, been fed in the wilderness, built the tabernacle and received […]
Door Jezus Christus zijn wij vrijgekocht en horen zo niet meer gebonden te zijn aan de wereld, maar aan God met wie wij één willen zijn en Hem toebehoren.
Door zich als loskoper aan God aan te bieden kunnen allen die in Jezus willen geloven genieten van die vrijgave in Christus, maar dan wordt er van hen ook verwacht dat ze God, Jezus en hun naaste liefhebben.
De veldtocht van Sanherib “In het veertiende regeringsjaar van koning Hizkia trok koning Sanherib van Assyrië op tegen de versterkte steden van Juda en nam ze in” (Jesaja 36:1). Het zal je maar gebeuren: je doet je uiterste best om naar Gods wetten te leven, en dan word je ineens met een schijnbaar onoplosbaar probleem […]
Bij be kennismaking van bijzondere vrouwen in de Bijbel kijken we vandaag nar Ruth.
Sommigen zullen zeggen dat Bijbellezen geen nut heeft omdat er gedeelten in staan die geen toegevoegde waarde hebben voor het geloof. David schreef dat hij meer van God begreep uit zijn studie van de wet, en zo is dat ook voor.
Het evangelie van Johannes diept de boodschap van Christus heel ver uit en velen missen de symboliek en de verwijzingen naar het Oude Testament.
Het centrale thema van het evangelie van Lukas is discipelschap. En gezien zijn nauwe banden met de bekeerde schriftgeleerde Paulus mogen we hier ook zeker diens inzichten verwachten aan te treffen. En inderdaad zien we verschillende koppelingen tussen de kennelijke bedoelingen van Lukas’ beschrijvingen en de leer die we vinden in Paulus’ zendbrieven. Lukas begint, […]
Belangrijk voor ons is te weten en te geloven dat wat de Wet niet vermocht is door het zoenoffer van Jezus mogelijk gemaakt.
Redenen om voor God te zingen, Hem te prijzen en eren.
Jezus gaf het voorbeeld om tot God te bidden. Diegene waarin God welbehagen heeft, bidt ook tot Jehovah God.
Zij die geloven dat Jezus God is zouden best eens nagaan in hoeveel Bijbelfragmenten Jezus zijn plaats tegenover God kenbaar maakt en hoe hij met God in communicatie gaat en ons leert bidden tot God zoals hij tot God bad.
In voorgaande artikelen kon u al lezen hoe Jezus als hij wonderen had gedaan, tegen de mensen zei dat ze niet hem, maar God moesten danken. (Één van de onmisbare tekenen dat Jezus niet God is.) Voor hem was God danken ook een vorm van gebed waaraan hij en zijn discipelen zich ook aan hielden. […]
Bible prophecies do not deal only with the ancient past. They also accurately foretell events that are taking place in our day. But at the moment we focus at numerous prophecies preserved in the Hebrew Scriptures (commonly called the Old Testament) which long before the man was born told about events which would happen in his time and around him, his betrayal, humiliation, torture, execution, death, and burial. From those writings of the Old and New Testament nobody should have doubts who that man is who is called Immanuel, the son of man and Messiah, born out of the root of Jess in the tribe of king David.
In Scripture, all things are directed towards a man who was a servant of servants, in whom people should come to have faith. First we saw the connection with Eve and her seed, and in this article you may see the connection with Abraham.
Already in the Old Testament we find the focus on a son of man who is called the son of God, who shall be the most pure set apart (holy) servant of God who was been told about in the Garden of Eden, to be the one bruised.
Many Old Testament writers wrote about the prophet to come, about whom is spoke in the book of Moses and who shall be the special “Seed of a woman” given by God and who will bruise Satan’s head whilst his heel would be bruised with nails on the wooden stake.
Jewish and Christian literature since the time of Yeshua or Jeshua have pointed to Genesis 3:15 as the first reference to the Messiah in the Torah. Genesis 3:15 NHEBJE I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his […]
Review Questions on Chapter Two Describe the birth of Jesus. To whom did the angels appear? What happened on the eighth day of Jesus’ life? Who were two of the people present? What do we know of Jesus’ early years? Jesus was what kind of youth? + Preceding Luke 2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Luke […]
Luke 2:41-52 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple LK2:41 Now each year [Jesus’] parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. LK2:42 So when Jesus was twelve years old he went up with them according to the custom of the festival. LK2:43 After fulfilling the days [of the festival] [the parents] returned but […]
Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows LK2:39 Now when everything had been fulfilled according to YHWH’s law they returned to the village of Nazareth in Galilee. LK2:40 And so the child continued to grow stronger and stronger being filled with wisdom, and God’s unmerited favor was upon him. *  God’s unmerited favor was […]
Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting LK2:36 Now there was a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, [a widow] who had only lived seven years with her husband from her virginity. LK2:37 She had been widowed eighty-four years and was never missing from […]
Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning LK2:25 Now look, there was a person in Jerusalem named Simeon. And he was righteous and reverent and was waiting for Israel’s consolation, and holy Pneuma was upon him. LK2:26 For it had been revealed to him by holy inspiration that he would not experience death until he […]
20 jaar geleden bracht een triller een debat op gang dat vervolgd en verder uitgediept zou worden in 2006 bij het uitbrengen van vertalingen van Nag Hammadi geschriften.
Twenty years ago there was a lot to do about discussions brought forward by the speculation that Jesus would have fallen in love with Mary Magdalene and would have had children by her. In the previous posting you could read that after his third novel, Deception Point (2001), Dan Brown returned to Langdon with The […]
Twenty years ago a novel saw light in a world where already more people were coming up against the Catholic Church, but this time also telling a lot of historical lies.
We have come to a dangerous moment, Russia possibly resorting to nuclear weapons to avoid completely losing in Ukraine.
In several places around the world, one can find portraits, paintings and sculptures depicting Jesus as a white man. But that is not at all consistent with the real appearance of the man who was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth. By the way, there is scientific evidence to back that up.
First of all to come to a good relationship with some one, one has to talk with that person and has to listen to what that person has to tell. God talks to the people by the way of His Word, presented to mankind by the many Bible translations, so that most people can read […]
The One Who created everything and Who gave His Word, did all He did with a purpose and out of love. The Bible teaches us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Everything God does is motivated by love. Out of love created man in His image also with the intention to have a good relationship […]
In the previous writings we saw that the Divine Creator gave His Word to the world so that people could come to know Him. The Bible is a gift from God. It gives us information that we can’t find anywhere else. For example, it tells us that God created the heavens, the earth, and the […]
It is never too late to start the good habit of regularly reading the Bible, a Book of hope and comfort.
At the beginning of the new schoolyear there is a good reason from now on to invest each day in meeting with God.
Through the corona crisis internet became introduced by many of our members, giving them the possibility to still join and feel connected with fellow believers.
° In Jewish life, actions transmit more than words. Lighting Hanukkah candles; blotting out Haman’s name; cleaning out the hametz; tashlikh; fasting; dancing with the Torah. Yes, all of those things come with a story. And there’s so much more background and history and ideas and textual sources that go along with the story. But […]
A brief animated overview of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the events leading up to it.
Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. If we bear all this suffering […]
At 12h, today, 2023 April 19th, Warsaw remembered the heroes of the Ghetto who fought against the horrors of the Nazis 79 years ago.
Met het internet is er volgens sommigen een indringer in het huis gevonden die het geloofsleven op de proef kan stellen.
Mag men zeggen dat het dankzij de lockdown periode tijdens de coronacrisis is dat het internet meer ingang kon krijgen bij Joodse groeperingen?
Het woord in het Hebreeuws en Grieks Het Hebreeuwse woord voor dienaar of slaaf is ebed, en het bijbehorende werkwoord abad. Deze woorden duiden een algemene situatie aan waarin de ene mens ondergeschikt is aan de andere. Ze kunnen zowel een vrijwillig als een gedwongen dienen aanduiden. De Septuaginta (de Griekse vertaling van het […]
Looking at the Biblical terminology used to denote the term “righteousness”, the Hebrew tsadiq translated by the Greek dikaiosune and its various forms in both the LXX and the NT.
God heeft alles Zelf in de hand en daarom spreekt de Schrift soms zelfs over dingen die nog moeten gebeuren, alsof ze al zijn gebeurd, en in termen die aangeven dat ook de consequenties daarvan al blijvende werkelijkheid zijn.
Bij de Parasja Nitsawiem 5782 kijken wij uit naar een sjana tova oemetoeka voor ons allen.
Dit jaar zijn er nog 2 sjabbatot tot Soekot en is er voor elke sjabbat een parasja en de sjabbat voorafgaande aan Rosj Hasjana lezen wij nu de de parasja Nitsawiem.
Verwonderlijk kreeg ik vandaag het bericht van WordPress dat ik tegen een jubileum mag aankijken. Gefeliciteerd met je jubileum bij WordPress.com! Je hebt je 5 jaar geleden geregistreerd op WordPress.com.Bedankt voor het gebruiken van onze service! Ga zo door met bloggen. Wat zijn die vijf jaren voorbij gevlogen. Voordat mijn pen al mijn gedachten kon […]
Kijkend naar de geschiedenis van het Joodse Volk in Oekraïne staan zij nu weer op het punt dat er vele doden onder hen kunnen vallen.
Met Rosj Hasjana denken wij aan de wondere scheppingsdaad van de Allerhoogste. Spijtig genoeg moeten wij toegeven dat de mensheid van die schepping een janboel heeft gemaakt.
The apostle Paul wrote about the dispersion, the dispersed House of Israel. They had been “without covenant“, but Paul was sent out to recover them. So they were “grafted in again“ (Romans 11/23). Or, Grafted back in“. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been […]
Rob Mac wonders when the door to door will return? He wrote this a while back, and went sharing it again. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses hate the door to door ministry, although they won’t readily admit it. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses have developed ‘creative’ ways of counting their time doing this work, and many strategies for avoiding actually […]
Constantine wanted unity in his realm, and his call in 325 C.E. for a council of his bishops at Nicaea, located in the Eastern, Greek-speaking domain of his empire, across the Bosporus from the new city of Constantinople was in a certain way his goal to achieve some agreement by which many could live. Constantine […]
Superstition, misunderstanding and hatred caused the Christians trouble for many generations, and governmental repression they had to suffer occasionally, as a result of popular disturbances. No systematic effort was made by the imperial authorities to put an end to the movement until the reign of the Roman emperor (249–251) who fought the Gothic invasion of […]
Self-enhancing When the apostles had died there came a time when those in charge of teaching and going around telling about the gospel, started coming to see themselves as special people. Some even started to consider themselves as ‘clergy of the highest order’. After a time the organisation of the church was given only to […]
God heeft de wereld van Zijn woord en Zijn profeten voorzien, maar niet altijd wensten de mensen van die leiders of profeten weten, waardoor er verscheidene groeperingen ontstonden die elk dachten of denken de juiste aanbiddingswijze te hebben.
Does one need proof to come to a certain belief? We can look at the signs in nature and find out what happened to certain people in the past, such as Noah and Paul. With the Book of Books, Allah has provided the world with His Interpretative Word.
Heeft men bewijzen nodig om tot een bepaald geloof te komen? Wij kunnen naar de tekenen in de natuur kijken en nagaan wat er in het verleden met bepaalde mensen, zoals Noach en Paulus is gebeurd. Met het Boek der boeken heeft Allah de wereld van Zijn Alzeggend Woord voorzien.
When we speak about “Faith” (iman) we look at acceptance of the Belief in the existence and oneness of God (Allah).and the existence of the Book of books of which God is the author, existing of five main parts, the Torah (revealed to Moses),,the Psalms (revealed to David).and the Writings of Kings and prophets as well as the Gospel (revealed to Jesus) with the writings of his apostles,
Wanneer wij over “Geloof” (iman) spreken, zien wij op de aanvaarding van het Geloof in het bestaan en de eenheid van God (Allah) en het bestaan van het Boek der boeken waarvan God de auteur is, bestaande uit vijf hoofdstukken, de Torah (geopenbaard aan Mozes), de Psalmen (geopenbaard aan David) en de Geschriften van Koningen en Profeten, alsmede het Evangelie (geopenbaard aan Jezus) met de geschriften van zijn apostelen,
Vergeet niet dat u bij elk van bovenstaande blogs u als volger kan registreren.
Remember that at each of the above blogs, you can register as a follower.
When you have a Facebook account, you may also connect to following Facebook Pages ("Like" them), to get updates of newly published articles.
Wanneer u een Facebook Account hebt kan u de volgende Pagina's ook "Leuk" vinden en aangeven dat u berichtgevingen wenst te ontvangen zodat u steeds op de hoogte wordt gehouden van nieuwe publicaties.
May we recommend to visit also the following sites:
Mogen wij U ook onderstaande sites aanbevelen:
This club of writers was initiated by Marcus Ampe founder of Lifestyle magazine Stepping Toes
Dr. Miller looking at Jews in France
About the Author Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
Yvette Alt Miller earned her B.A. at Harvard University. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Jewish Studies at Oxford University, and has a Ph.D. In International Relations from the London School of Economics. She lives with her family in Chicago, and has lectured internationally on Jewish topics. Her book Angels at the table: a Practical Guide to Celebrating Shabbat takes readers through the rituals of Shabbat and more, explaining the full beautiful spectrum of Jewish traditions with warmth and humor. It has been praised as “life-changing”, a modern classic, and used in classes and discussion groups around the world.
Jews and France: 11 Interesting Facts
As France headed to the polls, Dr. Miller presented some fascinating points about Jews and France through the ages on Aish.com
As France went to the polls in the first round of its presidential election, France’s 500,000-strong Jewish community was in the spotlight: two front-runners, Marine Le Pen and Jean Luc Melenchon, having been accused of making high-profile anti-Semitic comments.
Long before France’s unpredictable election, Jews have been making history in France. Here are 11 interesting facts about Jews and France through the ages.
Greatest Jewish Scholar
Rashi, acronym of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzḥaqi (born 1040, Troyes, Champagne—died July 13, 1105, Troyes), renowned medieval French commentator on the Bible and the Talmud (the authoritative Jewish compendium of law, lore, and commentary).
A modern translation of Rashi’s commentary on the Chumash, published by Artscroll
Rashi, as the great Medieval Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki is known, is the most widely consulted Jewish rabbi of all time. His commentaries on the Bible and Talmud are considered crucial to understanding these Jewish texts. Rashi’s explanations help us understand the Torah and at times, a knowledge of French can help us understand Rashi.
Monument in memory of Rashi in Troyes, France
That’s because this greatest of Jewish scholars had humble beginnings. Rashi lived in the northern French town of Troyes from 1040 to 1105. Out of a total population of 10,000, Troyes was also home to about 100 Jewish families. Jews travelled from far and wide to consult Rashi. Many of these visiting Jews lodged with nearby Christian families.
Troyes centre ville – capital of the department of Aube in north-central France
In some respects, Rashi was very French. He earned his living as a vintner (wine maker), and incorporated some French words in his commentaries. A typical example comes in Rashi’s discussion of the Torah’s description of the beautiful golden Ark that our ancestors were commanded to build, which stood in the Temple in Jerusalem. Its gold ornaments were joined together, or soulderix (soldered in Old French), Rashi explained (Rashi on Ex. 24:18).
Rashi’s sons-in-law and grandsons – who continued to live in northern France – became rabbis of nearly his towering stature, penning additional commentaries on the Torah and leading European Jewry. Their scholarship continues to define Jewish life to this day.
Talmud on Trial
In the year 1239, Paris was witness to a very strange trial; the Talmud was accused of insulting Christianity.
The Talmud was defended by the Chief Rabbi of Paris, Rabbi Yechiel ben Joseph, though there were restrictions on what Rabbi Yechiel could say. Leading the charge against the Talmud was Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity who seemingly harbored an intense hatred of his fellow Jews or, possibly, a desire to impress his new Christian co-religionists. He was encouraged to make fun of the Talmud, quoting its text out of context and distorting its meaning. Presiding over the trial was none other than the Queen Mother of France, Blanche of Castille, and several Archbishops.
After hearing the “evidence”, the Talmud was found guilty and condemned as “dangerous to Christianity”. Volumes of the Talmud were confiscated. In 1242, 24 cartloads of hand-written tractates of the Talmud, representing countless thousands of hours of work, were brought to a public square in central Paris and burned.
In 1095, Pope Urban II called for a holy Crusade to conquer Jerusalem and wrest it from Muslim rule. (The temptation to launch a crusade might have been closer to home. Historians note that the harvest of 1095 was particularly bad in northern Europe; calling for a crusade was a way to distract the population and encourage them to plunder wealth in other lands.)
100,000 men signed up for the Crusade. (The term “crusade” refers to the French word for the crosses they sewed on their clothes.) Soon, their attention turned from conquering Jerusalem to attacking Jewish communities along their path. In three waves, spanning a hundred years, over ten thousand Jews were murdered in Europe and Israel. Frenzied demonization of and violence against Jews became a hallmark of the Crusader period.
France’s Jews were periodically expelled during this intense period of Jew-hatred, as well. In 1182, and again regularly in the 13th Century, Jews were forced to leave French cities, only to be let in again a few years later. In 1306, a more organized expulsion was decreed by France’s King Philip. Short of money after war with Flanders, King Philip decided to force French Jews to flee, and compound their property.
The decree was handed down on July 21, 1306, which was Tisha B’Av, the Jewish day of mourning on which we mourn the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other calamitous events in Jewish history. The following day, July 22, 1306, 100,000 Jews were arrested. France’s Jews were ordered to leave the country within one month or face death. French Jews were allowed to leave only 12 sous (cents) apiece. Their property was confiscated, auctioned off, and all proceeds reverted to the French crown.
(King Philip’s decree was reversed by his son King Louis, but Jews continued to be banned from France and were ordered to leave in 1322 and 1394 again, before returning slowly over the subsequent years.)
French Chocolate’s Jewish Origins
Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, and the introduction of the Inquisition into Portugal in 1536, some Jews fled to the French town of Bayonne, near the Spanish-French border. There, they used their contacts with Jewish traders in the New World to import materials and know-how to process cocoa, a New World product which was just starting to take Europe by storm.
Dark Chocolate with Espelette pepper.
Bayonne Jews adapted cocoa recipes to European tastes, creating sweet versions of chocolate and using additives like milk, butter and nuts. Jews built the Bayonne area into a chocolate center, but their very success undid them: once local Christians learned how to make chocolates too, they petitioned local authorities to ban Jews from the chocolate industry.
Jews were only permitted to resume making chocolate in 1767 when a court annulled the decree. In 2013, the town of Bayonne formally recognized the contribution of Jews to the region’s famed chocolates. “Since we are the inheritors of the Jews’ savoir faire”, explained Jean-Michel Barate, head of Bayonne’s Chocolate Academy, “it was our duty to thank them….” and to right the historical wrong of overlooking the fact that it was Jewish refugees who created sweet chocolate confections as we know them today.
Palais des Papes – Avignon in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river
Although Jews were banned from France for many years after the 14th Century, by the 1700s about 40,000 Jews lived in France, particularly in Bordeaux and Avignon, which never formally expelled their Jewish inhabitants.
These 40,000 Jews became the first Jews in European history to gain full and equal rights with the French Revolution. The decision wasn’t easy: France’s new rulers deliberated for over two years about whether they should extend their new regime’s ideal of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” to Jews. When they did, in 1791, it was seemingly with some regret: “The Jews” explained a leading revolutionary, “conscious of the error of their ways, have felt the need for a fatherland; we have offered them ours.”
The Emperor Napoleon styled himself “defender” of the Jews, noting that he had (unsuccessfully) tried to conquer the Land of Israel for France. Back home, even though Jews were nominally recognized as citizens, Napoleon harbored much of the intense anti-Jewish prejudice that was typical in France at the time.
Seeking to assure himself that Jews were indeed “Frenchmen”, Napoleon decided to invite Jews from throughout France to participate in what Napoleon called, with much pomp, a “National Assembly of Notables”. Napoleon deliberately scheduled the Assembly for a Saturday; the “notables” he invited turned up despite the assembly’s scheduling on Shabbat, and voted yes or no to a series of questions Napoleon had devised to ascertain whether Jews could indeed be French. The “notables” were asked whether Jews could engage in manual labor, whether they could marry Christian women, whether Jews would help defend France, etc.
Cover page to siddur used at the Grand Sanhedrin of Napoleon, 1807.
Not satisfied with his Assembly, Napoleon sent word to the governors of France to elect Jewish representatives to a new group, which Napoleon grandly named the Sanhedrin, the ancient Jewish court that governed Jewish conduct for hundreds of years. Like the Sanhedrin of old, this new “Sanhedrin” contained 71 members, was governed by a leader (picked by Napoleon) whom he gave the traditional Hebrew title Nasi, or “prince”, and was meant to issue new decrees for the Jewish people.
Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin” met in Paris with great pomp, and the puppets making up this group did indeed go along with many of Napoleon’s requested declarations. They declared that Jews serving in the French army were free of Jewish mitzvot, or commandments, and (echoing long-held prejudice against Jews, who’d long been forced into the money-lending business by European rulers) declared money-lending illegal for Jews. Even the stooges on Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin” drew the line at some of the Emperor’s requests, refusing to countenance mixed marriages, for instance.
Despite the assurances of this “Sanhedrin”, Napoleon went on to issue a host of infamous Jewish decrees, restricting Jewish rights to live in certain parts of France, suspending repayment of debts to Jews for ten years, and limiting Jews’ rights to go into some areas of business.
Another legacy of Napoleon’s rule was an official list of approved names that could be given to babies born in France. Most of these were Christian saints’ names, though a number of Jewish names were included on the list, as well.
The list was abolished in 1993, though even in recent years French authorities have banned some names. In 2016, for instance, a French judge ruled against two parents who wanted to name their newborn Mohamed Merah, after the terrorist who murdered a rabbi and three children outside of a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse in 2012.
The Dreyfus Affair
Jews were ostensibly equal French citizens, but the dramatic 1894 trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus exposed deep anti-Jewish hatred in France. After being arrested on manufactured charges of spying for Germany (Dreyfus was later exonerated; the real culprit had fled to England and some of Dreyfus’ fellow soldiers forged evidence against him), Dreyfus was publicly humiliated and sent to prison, while a mob of French men and women shouted “Death to Jews!”
Throughout Dreyfus’ trial, French Catholic authorities continued to stir up Jew-hatred. The intense bitterness made many in France conclude there was little future for Jews in France. Emile Zola, the non-Jewish great French author, wrote in 1896 “For some years I have been following with increasing surprise and disgust the campaign which some people are trying to carry on in France against the Jews. This seems to me monstrous….” Two years later, Zola wrote his famous open letter, beginning with J’accuse, or “I accuse”, directed against French President France Felix Faure, complaining about irregularities in Dreyfus’ trial. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel and fled to England for a year to avoid imprisonment.
Another observer came to a similar conclusion during Dreyfus’ trial, realizing that Jews faced an uncertain future in France. Theodore Herzl was a young reporter for the Viennese newspaper the Neue Freie Presse, and he covered Dreyfus’ trial in Paris. He later wrote that the chants of “Death to Jews” shook him to the core, and helped him realize that only a Jewish state could provide security and safety for the world’s Jews. In 1897, Herzl organized a Zionist Congress in Zurich, where he called for the reestablishment of a Jewish country.
France and the Holocaust
With World War II looming, France became a destination for desperate Jewish refugees fleeing Germany and Eastern Europe. From a Jewish population of about 80,000 in 1900, by 1939 France’s Jewish population had swelled to 300,000 as Jews fled to France for safety.
Tragically, that safety proved illusory. After Germany invaded France, it divided the country into a northern, “occupied” zone, and a southern “free” zone which was allied with Nazi Germany. Both areas of France willingly participated in the deportation of Jews from France; in the nominally independent southern part of France, it was French policemen and authorities who helped implement Hitler’s so-called “final solution to the Jewish ‘problem’”. Over 70,000 French Jews were sent to concentration camps; only about 2,500 survived.
After the War, France’s devastated Jewish community was revived by an influx of Jews from former French colonies in North Africa. In the 1950s and 1960s nearly a quarter of a million Sephardi Jews moved to France from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
In recent years, tragically, the call “Death to Jews!” has once more rung out in the streets of Paris and elsewhere in France.
A string of horrific attacks has targeted Jews throughout France. In 2006, Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man living in Paris, was lured into a trap by local Muslim hoodlums; he was tortured for a month in a public housing project in Paris before being murdered; it later emerged that his ordeal was an open secret in the neighborhood, but no one intervened. His mother later had Ilan buried in Israel, fearful, she explained, that if he was buried in France his grave would be desecrated by anti-Semites.
In 2012, in the central French city of Toulouse, a terrorist shot three children and a rabbi at point-blank range in front of a Jewish school. In 2014, a mob rampaging through the streets of Sarcelles, a Paris suburb, chanted “Death to Jews!”, burned Jewish-owned businesses, and surrounded a synagogue, baying for the murder of those Jews inside. For hours, scores of Jewish families cowered inside, fearing for their lives, until police finally managed to disperse the mob late that night. In 2015, terrorists murdered four hostages in a kosher synagogue in Paris. In 2017, two Jewish brothers were forced off the road in a heavily Muslim neighborhood near Paris and attacked by passers by; one of the brothers’ thumb was sawn off in the attack.
In fact, the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes is going up. In 2014, there were 423 reported hate crimes against Jews in France. In 2015, there were 851 reported anti-Jewish hate crimes.
In the face of rising hatred, more and more Jews are fleeing France. One 2016 poll found that fully 43% of French Jews are considering moving to the Jewish state. In 2014, a record-breaking 6,658 Jews moved to Israel from France. (By way of comparison, only 1,923 French Jews had moved to Israel in 2010, when the number of anti-Semitic crimes was lower.) In 2015, 7,469 French Jews moved to Israel.
France in Israel
Beach promenade of Netanya (Hebrew: נְתַנְיָה, lit., “gift of God”; Arabic: نتانيا) a city in the Northern Central District of Israel, and the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain.
As more French Jews move to the Jewish state, parts of Israel are gaining a distinctly French accent. In 2015, the Times of Israel noted that the Israeli seaside city of Netanya calls itself the “Israeli Riviera” and that in recent years, it has indeed come to resemble the famed French Riviera: “walking along its main pedestrian boulevard, one would be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its twin city of Nice” in France. French restaurants, French style – and French Jews – have given parts of Israel a very French feel.
One recent immigrant from France explained that the rising anti-Semitism in France sparked her family’s desire to move to Israel: “Here we get the feeling that we can protect ourselves. There we have the impression that we are on our own and if, God forbid, something happens we will have to manage.”
Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter
Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism
The Rise of Anti-Seminism
If you’re going to be a hater, make sure you’ve done your homework.
Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, History, Political affairs, Religious affairs
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