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Bidding Information
Lot #    27930
Auction End Date    9/14/2010 12:36:31 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Continuazione della Raccolta . . .
Title (Hebrew)    creazione del Sinedrio
Author    [Sanhedrin - Community - Napoleon Bonaparte]
City    Mantua
Publisher    L'erede Pazzoni
Publication Date    1807
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 84 pp. octavo 195:129 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in modern cloth over boards.
   Italian record of the proceedings relating to the creation of the Jewish Sanhedrin in France by Napoleon. This volume is part two, the first part having been printed earlier in Verona. The title page describes it as Continuation of the Collection of official and authentic documents and of others written and anthologized pertaining to the subject, relative to the Jewish deputation convened in Paris, and his majesty’s invitation to the Italian deputies to concur to the creation of the Sanhedrin (Continuazione Raccolta dei documenti ufficiali ed autentici : e di altri scritti e squarci storici anologhi al soggetto, relativi alla deputazione ebraica convocatasi in Parigi, cominciando dall'invito di sua Maesta alla deputazione italiana a concorrere alla creazione del Sinedrio).

The French Sanhedrin was a Jewish assembly of 71 members convened in Paris during February–March 1807 on the request of Napoleon Bonaparte. The object of this assembly was to convert the "secular" answers given by the Assembly of Jewish Notables to the questions put to them by the government into doctrinal decisions, which would be binding on the Jews religiously, by drafting them as precepts based on the Bible and halakhah. Previously, on Oct. 6, 1806, the Assembly of Jewish Notables sent a manifesto to the Jewish communities in Europe, inviting them - in vague terms - to participate in the activities for "revival" and "freedom" which Napoleon was preparing through the Sanhedrin for the benefit of the Jewish people. The response of European Jewry to this manifesto was exceedingly poor. The Sanhedrin was constituted of two-thirds rabbis and one-third laymen (some of the rabbis and all the laymen had been members of the Assembly of Jewish Notables), all from the French Empire and the "Kingdom of Italy." David Sinzheim of Strasbourg, one of the eminent halakhic authorities of the day, was appointed president. The nine regulations issued by the Sanhedrin were confirmed in eight solemn and magnificent sessions. The doctrinal preamble to the regulations states that the Jewish religion comprises both religious precepts which are eternal, and political precepts which had no further validity from the time Jewry ceased to be a nation.

The regulations stated that: (1) polygamy is prohibited among Jews; (2–3) the Jewish bill of divorce or religious marriage has no validity unless it has been preceded by a civil act, and mixed marriages are binding upon Jews civilly (but not religiously); (4–5–6) the Jews of every country must treat its citizens as their own brothers according to the universalist rules of moral conduct, and Jews who have become citizens of a state must regard that country as their fatherland; (7–8–9) Jews must engage in useful professions, and the taking of interest from both Jews and gentiles shall be subject to the laws of the country. At first sight, it would appear that the drafters of the regulations subordinated Jewish law to that of the state, but in reality they did not undermine halakhic principles. It was only in subsequent generations that the declaration of the "separation of the political from the religious in Judaism" became a matter of principle among certain Jewish circles who became assimilated in the modern state.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
France:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
History:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Italian
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica