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1,168,948 live in America, mostly in the United States; in Europe there are 8,581,772; in Asia, 318,677; in Africa, 362,432; and in Australasia, 17,040-a total of 10,448,869.
The exact distribution of the race is by Prof. Richard Gottheil, in The World's Work, given as follows:
Norway and Sweden......
Spain (with Gibraltar)...
Cyprus and Malta.......
The same author says regarding their occupations:
It is a common fallacy to think that the well-to-do Jews are all bankers or merchants, the poor Jews all small traders and street hawkThat very many do earn their livelihood in this manner is beyond
all cavil; the laws and usages of the Middle-Ages made this the only means of existence for them, and modern legislation in eastern European countries has tended to conserve inherited customs. But this is only a part of the truth. Even under most adverse circumstances the Jews have gone into every walk of life, and have engaged in every manner of work. In 1893 the number of Jewish artizans in Russia was 395,942. In Roumania the statistics of 1892 show that there were at least 18,015 Jewish artizans, making up with their families a round 100,000. In 1899 there were 4,082 artizans among the Jews of Algiers. Still more interesting is the fact that Jewish agriculturists are not as infrequently met with as supposed. In 1899 in Russia there were 278 Jewish agricultural colonies with a population of 63,223; and 11,984 working outside the colonies. In Palestine there are 4,450, and in the Argentine Republic 4,885 Jewish farmers.
It is most singular to contemplate the fact that ever since the overthrow of the Jewish polity by Nebuchadnezzar, the Jews have been the object of animosity in the world. Anti-Semitism is by no means a modern sentiment. Alexander the Great and his sucsessors encouraged the policy of dispersion, and Jewish colonies were soon found in the larger cities of Persia, Asia Minor and Egypt. The Roman Cæsars followed the same policy. The Jews continued to disperse. Thousands of them settled in Rome, while others were driven out to the conquered provinces. And everywhere they had to maintain themselves in the midst of opposition that sometimes burst forth in uncontrollable flames of persecution. More than once they were banished from Rome. Frequently they were the objects of the ill will of the populace, and where they became most numerous, they were hated the most. They were compelled by this very fact to disperse. Says the late historian,
How numerous even in Rome the Jewish population was already before Cæsar's time, and how closely at the same time the Jews even then kept together as fellow-countrymen, is shown by the remark of an author of the period that it was dangerous for a governor to offend the Jews in his province, because he might then certainly reckon on being hissed after his return by the populace of the capital. Even at this time the predominant business of the Jews was trade. At this period, too, we encounter the peculiar antipathy of the Occidentals toward this so thoroughly Oriental race and their foreign opinions and customs. This
Judaism, though not the most pleasing feature in the nowhere pleasing picture of the mixture of nations which then prevailed, was nevertheless an historical element developing itself in the natural course of things which Cæsar, just like his predecessor Alexander, fostered as far as possible. They did not, of course, contemplate placing the Jewish nationality on an equal footing with the Hellenic or Italo-Hellenic.
But the Jew who has not, like the Occidental, received the Pandora's gift of political organization, and stands substantially in the relation of indifference to the state; who, moreover, is as reluctant to give up his sense of national idiosyncrasy, as he is ready to clothe it with any nationality at pleasure and to adapt himself, up to a certain degree, to foreign habits-the Jew was, for this very reason, as it were, made for a state which was to be built on the ruins of a hundred living polities, and to be endowed with a somewhat abstract, and, from the very outset, weakened nationality. In the ancient world also Judaism was an effective leaven of cosmopolitanism and of national decomposition.
With the advent of Moslem influence, the position of the Jew became, if possible, less tolerable than before. The Mohammedans despoiled them most unmercifully. During the eighth and ninth centuries they evidently were crowded northward in great numbers, for tradition has it that they became so numerous and influential in Russia that the question of adopting Judaism as the national religion was seriously considered by the Muscovites. But this was not to be.
So-called Christian rule has been most cruel toward the Hebrews. When the Christians became predominant in Constantine's empire, laws were made that closed all offices to the Jews, and prohibited the erection of synagogues. During the reign of Charlemagne, the state rather protected Jews, but the church became a bitter persecutor. This sentiment finally prevailed in the state, too, and Shakespeare's Shylock became the image of the Jew, impressed upon the public mind. In the thirteenth century, Jews in Europe were compelled to wear a yellow badge. They were shunned as lepers, and had to live in Judengassen. As for business, they were confined to the second-hand clothes stores. Even upon their marriage, restrictions were placed designed to check the growth of the race. Often they suffered at the hands of the
mob. But they grew, notwithstanding all, in numbers and influence, and they became the great money-lenders of the western world. But the hatred against them also grew in intensity, with the growth of their prosperity. Sometimes they were swept away as by a cyclone of persecution; now from one country, and then from another. Thus in 1290, A. D., England drove out the Jews by decree. They were not readmitted till the time of Cromwell. France followed England's example in 1395, A. D. Spain deported them in 1492, A. D., and Portugal rid herself of them in 1495, A. D. These exiles found their way to Germany, Austria, Poland and the adjoining countries. The sentiment against the race has been perpetuated to our present time, notwithstanding the revolutions fought for "liberty, equality, and fraternity." The outrages at Kishineff, the persecutions in the Balkan states, the French antiDreyfus agitation, and numerous other recent incidents, are fresh in memory. They all prove that anti-Semitism is by no means
It is remarkable that this sentiment should be chronic to every age. It is not because the Jews are morally, or intellectually inferior to any other people. The Jews have, on the contrary, a brilliant record in history. They have dictated the policy of continents. They have wrested from nature some of her most precious secrets. They have thrilled the hearts of man by song, music, and oratory. They have held audiences spell-bound while interpreting human emotions, upon the stage.
If we turn the leaves of history, we cannot fail to notice Judas Macabæus, the notable patriot and soldier; Josephus, the calm and lucid historian; Disraeli, the creator of an empire; Rothschild, the true Napoleon of finance; Moses Montefiore, the philanthropist, Elisa, Rachel, and Sarah Bernhardt, the actresses; Sonnenthal, the dramatist; Heinrich Heine, the poet and pupil of Schlegel; Israel Zangwill, the author; Lombroso and Nordau, the students of the secret causes of crime; Mendelssohn, the musical genius. These are only a few representative Jews. We have not mentioned in this connection the law-givers, poets, heroes, prophets, seers, apostles of sacred history; nor the infinitely greatest of all, the Captain of our Salvation. Profane history and the present day record, furnish a cloud of witnesses to the great fact that the
Jewish race is still capable of the leadership among the nations of the earth. Throughout these long centuries they present to the wondering world the picture of the triumph of intellect over the most adverse circumstances. Why, then, the hatred?
Only one answer is really possible to this question. It is providential. In the first place, persecution has been the means of preserving their nationality and their religion. In Russia, in Roumania, and in other places where they are ostracized and driven from pillar to post, they keep the traditions of their fathers more scrupulously than elsewhere. They are more particular about the observance of the Sabbath, their prayers, etc. In this country, where they have full liberty, there is more carelessness about religious matters. The tendency is strong to amalgamation with gentiles. Persecution seems to have been necessary for the preservation of the race in the midst of the nations of the earth. It has certainly also had the effect of strengthening the Jews, as a people, for the role they are still to play in the world. And this role. is indicated by the author of the Epistle to the Romans, in the following well known question: "For if the casting away of them is the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"
And this leads us to a brief contemplation of the future of this people. Nothing is more certain than this, that they, according to divine word, are to be gathered and given a standing as a nation, with their own country and government, and with a peculiar mission full of power and glory.
Joel, one of the most ancient and highly revered prophets of the Hebrew dispensation, closes his prophetic writing with this positive declaration of a final restoration of the Jews and their country:
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell forever, and Jeru