Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

History Series / Part 2

Item #: 0054

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Napoleon's impact on Jewish history loomed as large as his effect on the world. With the express goal of assimilating Jews, he convened a "Sanhedrin" that would answer to him. He appointed 71 Jews of diverse backgrounds: some Torah scholars and some Reform leaders. And because the majority of French Jews were only too eager to embrace his agenda, he is responsible for hastening assimilation more than any other non-Jewish leader in history.

• the French Revolution and Napoleon's rise to power
• his military exploits up until Waterloo
• the "emancipation" of the Jews
• Napoleon's loaded questions to the "Sanhedrin"
• how the rabbis finessed the questions

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