Jewish Faith And Heritage Faced Relentless Persecution Essay

Jewish Faith And Heritage Faced Relentless Persecution Essay

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It is well-documented that people of the Jewish faith and heritage faced relentless persecution . Whether a rabbi or a non-practicing descendent of Jewish heritage, oppression and anti-Semitism was a daily reality for Jews. When the layers of the deep-seeded hatred of Jews are peeled back, it reveals a fascinating link between the New World and the Old. For centuries, citizens of the New World depended on educated Jewish immigrants to operate trade routes in the Caribbean region. The Jews of the Old World were taken for granted and unappreciated, whereas Jews of the New World lived among people who embraced diversity to a greater degree than they ever experienced in Europe. Even though Jewish smugglers were frequently identified as cut-throat pirates, they were highly-payed, community-supported merchants in the New World because as Jews flocked to the West-Indies following the Iberian expulsion, they were highly educated in navigation, business, and medicine, and imported affordable goods to residents of the Gulf.
As Jews migrated into the New World, they brought with them the stories of their pasts. Eighteenth century privateer, Jean Lafitte, wrote of the atrocities his grandmother told him she witnessed at the hands of the Spanish during the Inquisition. By the time of Jean Lafitte’s rule on the gulf, a hatred for the Spanish was so ingrained in island life that the overtaking of a Spanish ship was largely celebrated. It is no surprise then, that Jewish pirates sailing in the area would take arms against Spanish vessels with no hesitation. They were often permitted to do so by letters of marque, in which case they were called privateers instead of pirates. These documents gave sailors government permission to take ships, ca...


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...ca, &c. As also in the Continent of Mexico, Peru, & other Places of the West Indies, To the total destruction of those Countries (London: 1656)

England and Wales, Lord Protector (O. Cromwell), A declaration of His Highnes, by the advice of his Council (Edinburgh: 1655)
Jean Lafitte, The Journal of Jean Lafitte: A privateer-patriot’s own Story (Woodville: Dogwood Press, 1994)



Simeon L. Guterman, Religious Toleration and Persecution in ancient Rome (London: Aiglon Press, 1951)
Graham Stanton, Tolerance and intolerance in early Judaism and Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)
Yael Halevi-Wise, Sephardism: Spanish Jewish history and the modern literary imagination (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012)
Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: a history of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War (New York: Hold, Rinehart, and Winston, 1986)

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