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THE

SCOTTISH REVIEW.

JULY, 18 91.

ART. I.-THE ORIENTAL JEWS.

THE question now agitating the Jewish world has not as yet

attracted the general attention which it perhaps deserves and is destined to excite; but it is not the less worthy of serious thought, such as it has received during the past year from those who are vitally interested in its solution. A sudden outbreak of persecution in Russia causes the expulsion of the Jewish population of Moscow and of St. Petersburg, through the enactment of unjust and tyrannous laws, which not only are ruinous to Jewish trade and industry, but which also aim at the forced conversion of the Jews to the Greek orthodox faith, and at the suppression of their religious observances, and the secularisation of their Sabbath. It is doubted by some who may be in a position to judge whether this persecution has not been concealed from the Czar; and its chief instruments certainly belong to the official class from whom Russia continually suffers more and more. But whoever be the agents, and whatever be the real motive of the revival of a persecution of which we have heard little during the last ten years, there appears to be no immediate prospect of the reversal of this cruel policy, the results of which may be important and widely spread.

The accounts published in the leading Jewish newspapers, represent a condition of affairs which carries us back to the

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Middle Ages. The Jews are driven within the pale,' where it is foreseen that they must starve and crowd one another out. Even those whose position is best secured have begun to realise their property and to leave the country. The police have reaped a harvest, it is said, by selling immunities to the rich, and have vented their fury on the poor, who are unable to pay. Many have been cast into prisons and condemned to bread and water, for no reason, save their having disregarded laws as to residence, wbich bave long been in abeyance, and which are now suddenly revived. Jewish women have been obliged to inscribe themselves as prostitutes as a condition of being allowed to remain in their homes. Some have been hounded to suicide, some have been forced to abjure their faith. Synagogues have been sold, and the ships from Hamburg and Odessa are daily carryiug away penniless fugitives to America and Palestine. A general panic exists in Russia. At Odessa, a census is ordered, to determine how many out of 120,000 Jews, are pow living within the 'pale,' and to the rest, six months is to be given in which to dispose of their property.

. The population thus about to be displaced is variously reckoned at from one to three millions, and no country in Europe seems willing to receive the refugees. The anti-Semitic party has acquired strength, both in Austria and in Germany, and the hatred of the Jews in France finds expression in many violent publications. At one meeting alone of the anti-Semites of Leipzig, 150 congratulatory telegrams are said to have been received, some however of which were manufactured by the conveners of the meeting. In England, the necessity of legislation to check the immigration of such pauper families has been urged, and mediaval calumnies bave been revived in Corfu. Thus bounded out of Europe, and thrown on their own l'esources, the Russian Jews have found friends only among their brethren, and the Jews of the West have set themselves seriously to consider how to provide for the outcasts of their faith in the East.

This persecution somewhat recalls that of the Huguenot population of France towards the close of the seventeenth century. The wise toleration of Richelieu was reversed by the

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