By: Israel Lévi
French rabbi; born in the last quarter of the eighteenth century; died at Bordeaux, 1836. During the Reign of Terror (1793-94) his energy and eloquence prevented the erection of a guillotine in the market-place of St. Esprit (near Bayonne), and instead of the guillotine the town was adorned with a statue of Jean Jacques Rousseau. He was an active member of the Great Sanhedrin which met at Paris in 1807. While rabbi at St. Esprit he was elected "deputy of the Jewish nation" to the assembly of notables convoked by Napoleon I. in 1806. He was on the committee of nine charged with the organization of the Sanhedrin, and devoted himself in a serious and broad-minded spirit to the work of that body. In 1809 he was elevated to the office of chief rabbi of Bordeaux, in which position he remained till his death, maintaining friendly relations with the authorities of the Catholic Church.