A History of the Jews in England

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The Jewish population of the British Isles has never formed any but a numerically insignificant proportion of the Diaspora. Yet, despite this relative insignificance of Anglo-Jewry, the story of the Jews in this country is of supreme importance to the student of the philosophy of Jewry and of Jewish history. The adage that history repeats itself is well worn, but none the less true. The history of the Jews in England is the history in miniature of the Diaspora. Since the opening of the Christian era the story of the Jews has everywhere been the same - continual alternations of prosperity and persecution. With nations as with individuals the wheel of fortune ever revolves, but with the Jews its progress seems to have been more rapid, for the alternations have been more numerous than with any other race. But with the Jews the wheel lingers during the period of depression and hurries through that of elation in order to recover the time that has been lost. The story told in the following pages shows all the vicissitudes common these two thousand years to the lot of Jewry. The times of prosperity in England have been among the happiest in the annals of the race. At other seasons Anglo-Jewry has reached the lowest depths of despair, when but a step seemed to separate the community from annihilation. Yet that step here as elsewhere has never been taken.

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