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Inventing the IsraeliteJewish Fiction in Nineteenth-Century France$
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Maurice Samuels

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804763844

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804763844.001.0001

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Village Tales: Alexandre Weill and Mosaic Monotheism

Village Tales: Alexandre Weill and Mosaic Monotheism

(p.154) Four Village Tales: Alexandre Weill and Mosaic Monotheism
Inventing the Israelite
Stanford University Press

In 1867, Alexandre Weill lamented the continuing prejudice and hatred toward the Jews in France despite the spread of enlightened tolerance. However, he blamed the French Jews themselves for their sorry state because of their cupidity, their selfish desire to accumulate wealth, and most of all, their failure to support the revolutionary ideals that played a role in their emancipation and which could have helped them overcome the hatred they were facing. Unlike Karl Marx, who proposed communist revolution as the solution to the so-called Jewish question, Weill advocated Jewish religious reawakening that would enable French Israelites to become French Jews once again. He called for a rejection of the Talmud and a return to the Pentateuch as part of his plan for the modernization of Judaism. Weill argued that Mosaic monotheism is the foundation of a modern political and social organization based on democratic values, with the French Jews as the agents or apostles of this creed, and attempted to put his theories into practice through his fiction.

Keywords:   Alexandre Weill, French Jews, France, monotheism, Judaism, Jewish question, religious reawakening, Pentateuch, fiction, Talmud

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