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The Jewish advance. (Chicago, Ill.) 1878-1881, October 25, 1878, Image 1

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Execute the Judgment of Truth and Peace in your Oates.
A WEEKLY JOURNAL DEVOTED TO SOCIAL INTERESTS AND PROGRESSIVE JUDAISM,
VOL. I.
CHICAGO, OCTOBER 2 5, 1878.
No. 20.
Summer Dreaming-.
Winding- through the shady grove,
In jov its ripples dancing;
Where 'twist the maple’s darkling leaves
The sun’s bright rays are dancing.
Tuned with the hum of summer bees.
Low music makes thy gushing.
As o’er their pebbly rock-strewn way
Thy waters swift are rushing.
“Where goest thou, brooklet? tell me where:
Tell me where is thy ending; ”
“ I never stop, but onward e’er
To the sea my way am wending "
Still lingering, murmuring in mine ear,
Its silvery voice was seeming:
While in the bright warm summer’s sun
1 on the bank lay dreaming.
A. Danabeld, in Waverlu May.
oFor tho Jewish Advance.
ALBERT COHN.
(Continued.)
XII.
The first Jewish colony which has set
tled in Northern Africa, was brought
from Judea by Ptolemeus 1st. from his
expedition against'Jerusalem in the year
320 B. C* The Jews lived mostly in the
’■pTOvitiees^of Leontopolis. C^wcmua’ancT
Lybia. Since that time there has been
a constant increase of Jewish emigration
from Asia into Africa. They sought
safety in that continent from the perse
cution of the Syrians, Romans, and of
the Arabians, after the triumph of Ma
homed. At a subsequent period the
Jews of Spain also sought a refuge in
the African provinces from the persecu
tions of the Visigoths, and latterly of
the Inquisition, It was especially the
great persecution of the Jews in Spain,
in the year 1301, and their being ban
ished from that country in the year 1492,
which have brought large numbers of
Spanish exiles into Africa, who settled
in the districts which are known at the
present time as Morocco. Algeria, Tunis,
and the principalities of Tripoli.
In the earlier times the Jews were
very prosperous in Africa. Their influ
ence must have been very great in the
first centuries of the present era, since
Tertulien, St. Cyprien, St. Augustin, and
other fathers of the Church found it ne
cessary to write special epistles against
that influence. There were flourishing
Jewish schools in Caiman, Fez, and
■other cities. Great Jewish Rabbins, like
Huziel, Hanaunel, Nissim and others;
Jewish physicians, as Isaac-ben-Solei
man and Dunash-ben-Tamim were na
tives of Africa. The names of Maimon
ies and Alphasi are associated with that
■country. Rabbi Isaac-ben-Sheshet
and Rabbi Simeon-ben-Zemah
Duran, whose decisions in rabbinical law
•are considered of the highest authority,
even at the present time, were natives
of Algeria.
^ince the rise of the Mahomedan re
ligion. however, the African Jews were
* According- to some historians, there were
Jews in Africa at the time of Alexander the
Great, and even at an earlier period.
severely oppressed by the Arabs and the
Turks. They had to pay territorial and
head taxes ; certain articles of apparel
they were not .permitted to wear ; they
were prohibited to ride on horseback, to
pass by a mosque with their shoes on.
The princes have constantly pressed
them for money. From the year 1509 to
1543. they have suffered continually by
the Spanish expeditions against Oran,
Bougiah, Tunis and Tripoli. In the year
1009 they were expunged from Oran by
the Spaniards, and could not return
thither until the latter had yielded that
place, in the year 1792. The Jews of
Morocco suffered similar trials. Not
withstanding all this, they have rendered
great services to the State. The African
kings were often compelled to send Jews
as ambassadors, or to entrust them with
negotiations in foreign countries.
The Jews of Algeria have at last been
reduced to a fearful state at the begin
ning of the present century. Notwith
standing the financial resources which
they had at their command, and which
wt»i 1. Law:
advantage, regardless of their great ser
vices to the State as merchants and as
artisans*; they had to suffer almost
daily the most cruel outrages, Thus
writes a witness of their sufferings :
“ The disdain of the masses weighs
heavily upon them. They are forbidden
to wear red on their garments. Instead
of a turban they must wear a black
shawl. Coming by a mosque they must
carry their shoes in their hands, and bow
down or simply creep on the ground un
til they pass the place. At the foun
tains, when coming to draw water, the
rear place is assigned them. They are
prohibited to ride horses, or even to en
ter the city mounted on an ass. A san
guinary jurisdiction threatens them at
any moment with the worst outrages.
Should the Dey desire to take possession
of the property of a Jew, he has only to
pick up the least quarrel with him ; this
consigns the Jew to execution, and his
property is confiscated for the Dey. A
delinquency for which a slave is pun
ished with the bastinado, the Jew is
burned for it at the stake, or hanged.”
From such a horrible situation did the
French conquest of Algeria extricate
the Jews.
The Jews of Algeria have been mixed
up in various manners with the expedi
tions of France in that country. The
origin of the conflict which broke out in
the open warfare of France against the
Dey of Algiers (in 1830), was an old
debt which had been due to France for
provisions by two Algerian Jews—Bus
* They have exercised all sorts of trades.
There were among them masons, carpenters,
tinsmiths, embroiderers, gilders, jewelers, ar
morers. Baron Baude writes (Vol. I. Extraitx
le VAl()i‘rir) of them: “ Their ehildreu frequent
our schools, speak our language and adapt our
manners. They are devoted business clerks,
public notaries, and clerks of the administra
tion. They are already initiated in our legis
lation, and poor people choose them as their
attorneys.”
nacli and Bacri: During the war the
Jews had rendered great services to
both the Algerian and the French ar
mies. The Jew, Durand, lias played an
important part in the negotiation be
tween Abd-el-Kader and the French,
which culminated in the convention of
Tafta, in the year 1837. He has often
come to the French headquarters, during
the war. to deliver to the troops provis
ions which Abd-el-Kader had sold them;
and even at the conclusion of peace, he
has delivered to them 2,000 oxen. An
other Jew, Busnach by name, was em
ployed in the negotiation with Bey Ah
met, of Coustantine, and he has been
awarded the title of Knight of the Lee/ ion
D'honeur for his valuable services. A
Jew of Tunis, Bajo by name, has also
taken part in that negotiation. Other
Jewrs have also rendered valuable servi
ces, sometimes as guides for French gen
erals. and oftener still by blunting the
atrocities of the war, and aleviating the
sufferings of the soldiers. In 1843, Oran,
which had been left almost without any
Mn-isomwastattacked by the Arabs,,
The Jews then courageously took part
in the defence, and two of them, J. M.
Cohen Scali and Guernon, have distin
guished themselves in their sallies
against the assailants. In 1845, M. Xa
hon, of Oran, served on the staff of Gen
eral de La Hue, as interpreter. Another
interpreter, Isaac Levy, died on the bat
tle field, in the engagement of Djemea
Razouat. xVll the officers of Colonel de
Montagnac fell in that engagement.
Isaac Levy placed himself at the head
of thirty men that were left. “ Surren
der Jew ! ” called Abd-el-Kader’s Arabs
to him. “Iam a Frenchman,’’ replied
Levy. “ We die rather than surrender.”
Another Jew, Leon Ayas, was honorably
mentioned for his bravery in the report
of the engagement of October 18th of
the same year (1855), by the comman
der-in-chief de Mostaganem. So also
are the names of the Narbonis, the Na
hons, the Mascluf-Calfrons, and a host
of other Jews, known for the great ser
vices they have rendered to the French
troops.
The opposition journals of France
have not rendered the credit due to the
Jews. On the contrary, they have re
proached the Government for having
employed them in its service. Marshal
Clausel, who has conducted the unfor
tunate expedition against Constantine
in 1836, Has espoused these sentiments,
and has treated the Jews very rudely,
so that Duran and three others were
compelled to bring complaints against
him at the Chamber of Deputies. The
impartial judgment, however, has taken
into consideration the delicate position
in which the Jews found themselves du
ring the war, and how useful they have
been to the French expedition. The
sympathy of the Jews was naturally on
the side of those who brought them lib
erty. The Arab knew this perfectly
well, and made the Jews expiate every
defeat they have suffered. Hundreds of
Jewish families became the victims of
resentment at the hands of the con
quered Arab. At the approach of the
French troops to any place, the Jews
had to flee in order not to be massacred
by the population. When, in 1837, the
Freftch troops attacked Constantine, the
Arabs left the city, and the Jews were
compelled to remain, under the penalty
of death. About 2,000 of them were en
listed in the Arabian army. Ben Aissa,
the lieutenant of Bey Ahmet, made
them work at repairing the breaches of
the fortress under the tire of the French
cannons. In the same year, Abd-el-Ka
der having recaptured Moseara, all the
Jewish inhabitants of that place were
compelled to escape to Oran and to Tie
man, and they became so impoverished
that Baron James de Rothschild, of Pa
ris, was obliged to send 10,000fr. for their
assistance. In 1841, the French, having
taken Tlemen and Moseara, Abd-el-Ka
residents of those cities to follow him
into the interior of the country. Many
others were simply massacred by the
Arabs, and their property was pillaged ?
Pursued by the French troops, the Emir
was compelled to setliis Jewish captives
free. Those, unfortunate, were met by
a company composed of French and sub
jected Arabian soldiers, who took them
for enemies, and butchered large num
bers of them. In April, 1842, about
4,000 of these poor captives arrived at
Oran, dying with hunger and fatigue.
The Jews had to pay, with their blood,
for their sympathies with the French,
and yet they have shown at every occa
sion their gratidude to the nation which
has delivered them from oppression. In
the first periods of that cruel war they
filed a petition to serve as Algerian mi
litia.' In 1837, they petitioned that the
l)uc of Nemours be appointed vice-roi
of Algeria. They learned the French
language rapidly, and were anxious to
send their children to the schools estab
lished by the French Government, An
Algerian Rabbi, Abraham Belays, hon
ored the royal family of France by the
dedication of his poems and other works.
At the time of the French conquest,
the number of Israelites in Algeria was
not large. According to the estimation of
Baron Baude, after the census of 1838
and ’39, there were, in Algeria, 6,065
souls ; in Oran, 5,637; id Bone, 421 . in
Bouziah, 10 ; in Mostaganem, 698, and
in Constantine, 3,038—total, 15,867.
Mr. Joseph Cohen estimated their
number, in the year 1845, to 10,962 souls.
But this estimat was undoubtedly
very incomplete. It certainly did not
comprise the singular Jewish tribes
which lived on terms of equality with
the Arabs in the provinces of Constan
tine ; the Tvabiles on the Mazania, the

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