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(pl. darshanim; fem., darshanit) The word darshan has the same root as the word midrash and is thus related to the idea of expounding on a text. A darshan is a preacher who gives the sermon (derashah) on Sabbaths and holidays. [See Preachers and Preaching.]

de non tolerandis Judaeis

(lit., “nontoleration of Jews”) In Poland and elsewhere, a royal privilege permitting specific towns to prohibit Jewish residence issued mainly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.


(lit., dispersion; Heb., golah) Especially in modern parlance Diaspora has come to refer to Jewish communities outside of the Land of Israel (Erets Yisra’el). It is sometimes used as an ideologically neutral term as opposed to the theologically charged “exile” (Heb., galut; Yid., goles).

Dohm, Christian Wilhelm von

(1751–1820), Prussian bureaucrat and intellectual. When Moses Mendelssohn received a request from the leaders of the Jews in Alsace to compose a petition in favor of the granting of equal rights to Jews in France, he turned to Dohm, who wrote what would eventually be published, in revised form, as Über die Bürgerliche Verbesserung der Juden in 1781. The book was quite influential, widely translated, and played a role in the debates over Jewish rights in Poland, the Habsburg Empire, and elsewhere. In 1783, for example, a summary of Dohm’s pamphlet appeared in the Polish press.