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Bidding Information
Lot #    7552
Auction End Date    7/13/2004 11:46:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Raccolta Degli Atti dell' Assemblea Degli Israelit
Author    [Napoleon]
City    Milan
Publisher    G.G. Destefanis
Publication Date    1807
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   316, 116, [4] pp., 224:135 mm., wide margins, light age and damp staining. A very good copy bound in later half vellum and cloth boards.
   Proceedings and decisions of the Sanhedrin in France called by Napoleon in Italian. The full title, in translation, is, Collection of the actions of' Assembly of the Israelites of France and the reign of Italy convened in Paris. The book is in two parts, the first dealing with communications, correspondence, inquiries and responses, the second is, Processi Verbali e Decisioni del Gran Sinedro (court records and decisions of the Great Sanhedrin). There is an introduction from the editor to the first part and an indice to both parts at the end of the volume. Included in part II is a list of names of the participants, headed by that of R. David Sintzheim (Yad David, 1745-1812), the head of French Jewry.

The Sanhedrin referred to was an assembly of 71 leading French Jews convened in Paris during February-March 1807 by 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." R. 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.

   EJ; Schwarzfuchs, Napoleon the Jews and the Sanhedrin
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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