Resistance and rebellion in eighteenth-century France

In a sermon of ethical rebuke preached to the congregation of Metz in 1744, Rabbi Jonathan Eybesch?tz chastised the young for performing their religious obligations in a superficial and mechanical way, and bemoaned the seductive powers of greed.((Jonathan Eybesch?tz, ‘Sermons of Ethical Rebuke’. Marc Saperstein, of Washing? ton University, Saint Louis, kindly made his translation available to the author)) More than half a century later, Zalkind Hourwitz, renegade Polish Jew and French revolutionary, accused the ‘rich and devout’ syndics (lay leaders) of Metz of fearing the suppression of the Jewish quarters because they possessed many homes there which they rented most dearly to their poor co-religionists. They also feared, Hourwitz admitted with equal annoyance, that their children would imitate the ‘abominations’ of the Christians, for example by attending the theatre, cutting their beards and dressing fashionably.((Zalkind Hourwitz, in a letter to the government suggesting he participate in the compilation of

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