For the Jews of France, as for their fellow countrymen, the French Revolution came to constitute the myth of origin, the birthdate of a new existence. On September 27, 1791, two years after the storming of the Bastille and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the French National Assembly voted to admit the Jews of Alsace-Lorraine to citizenship. Subsequent generations would recall this momentous event as a turning point of extraordinary magnitude, and would view themselves as compelling evidence of its transformative power. Their memories tended to be dominated by images of celebration and glory, comparing the Revolution to the Sinaitic revelation and referring to it in messianic-redemptive terms. Not surprisingly, the many setbacks and misfortunes suffered by the generation of 1789 were largely absent from these recollections, while only meager appreciation for the complexities introduced into Jewish cultural life can be detected in the half-century following the Revolution. Even more significant was the ascendant historical view, undoubtedly colored by a pervading sense of optimism among leaders of French Jewry, that credited the Revolution with having put an end to centuries of humiliation, legal discrimination, and exclusion from the mainstream of society.