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Written in Amsterdam Yiddish and full of colourful invective, these weekly dialogues in the satirical tradition of the ""English Spectator"" and similar periodicals allowed the breakaway community (the ""naye kille"") to expose the inequalities and foibles of the establishment community (""alte kille""), which was heretofore supported by the government. In the wake of the reforms of the French Revolution, a Dutch Decree of Emancipation in 1796 meant that city governments could no longer intervene in internal affairs of the Jewish communities, and the newer community sought not only fuller civic rights for all Jews, but less community power and privileges for the corrupt rich men who dominated the affairs of the old community. Not content to ignore the upstarts, the old community fought back with its own weekly dialogues, using the same format and even the same characters. The resulting 33 18th-century ""Diskursn"", selections of which are translated and edited here for the first time, constitute a unique phenomenon in Jewish history and Jewish journalism.
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About the Author

Jozeph Michman is the founding director of the Institute for Research on Dutch Jewry, Dinur Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Marion Aptroot is Professor of Yiddish Culture, Language, and Literature at the Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany.

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