BIBLEITZY (BIBLISTS), called also Bibleiskoe Bratstvo (Bible Brotherhood):
Name given to a body of religious reformers, organized in the spring of 1882 among the Jewish working classes of Elizabethgrad, South Russia, subsequent to the riots against the Jews. The founders of the brotherhood, believing that Talmudism in that region was chiefly to blame for the false accusations of the anti-Semitic press, decided to do away with dogmatic theology and all religious ceremonies, including even prayer. As one of their leaders, E. Ben Sion, expressed their views: "Our morality is our religion. . . . God, the acme of highest reason, of surest truth, and of the most sublime justice, does not demand any useless external forms and ceremonies."
Several of the members of the new brotherhood were among the first of the Russian Jewish immigrants who came to the United States in 1882, and who were incorporated into the "First Jewish Agricultural Colony," established by H. Rosenthal at Sicily Island, near Bayou Louis, Catahoula parish, Louisiana. The air of freedom and cosmopolitanism that they found on reaching the United States has left them without a legitimate ground for their propaganda.
- Dubnov, Kakaya Samoemansipatziya Nuzhna Yevreyam, in Voskhod, v.-viii., 1883;
- Morgulis, in Yevreiskoe Obozryenie, v. 1884;
- E. Ben Sion, Yevrei-Reformatory, St. Petersburg, 1882;
- Voskhod, 1882, July-Aug., p. 1;
- Russki-Vyestnik, Feb., 1883.