Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean by Edward Kritzler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the last 10 years or so many stereotypes about Jews are being broken. Most people would never suspect the Jews of having been capable of being pirates. It is only recently that people are coming to terms that Jews have been and continue to be capable of being great warriors.
The history of the Jews in Spain is well known. In 1492 they were given a choice to convert to Catholicism, leave Spain or die. Many Jews converted to Catholicism and a small number of those may have practiced their Judaism in secret. Many went over to Portugal and a good number perished at the hands of the Inquisition. In 1391 the Jews could have seen this coming as that was a year of a gigantic massacre of Jews.
Just prior to the proclamation of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle Columbus (maybe a Jew ) himself was giving a right and resources to explore a way to India. In this endeavor he was assisted by several well placed jews who knew that this might afford a way out for the Jews once the edict would be issued.
So Columbus traveled first to Hispaniola and then next to to other island. A good number of Jews went with him. Most cartographers and pilots were Jews as they were the onlyn ones with enough education to read a map. From this point on many Jews made their way to the new world to etch out a living for themselves. But soon the Inquisition would catch up to them their as well. As a result many Jews fled to Amsterdam to make a living and live as open Jews. Jews were often the merchants and credit lenders.
Jews were also pirates. During those turbulent times Spain was at war with Holland, England and France. These warring countries gave privateers to the right to engage in piracy against enemy countries provided the pirates shared some of the loot. Jews were eager to join in this endeavor.
In the Mediterranean Sea , A Jew, named Sinan joined up with Barbarossa the pirate known as red beard. Sinan was expelled from Spain thanks to the inquisition. So in siding with pirates he helped the Turkish empire secure many gains and a whole lot of loot. Things came to a head when the Turks controlled Tunisia and had it wrested from them by the Spanish. Sinan and Barbarossa got away.
Another famous pirate was Rabbi Samuel Palache. This rabbi’s son studied Talmud in Morrocco. Later he would move to Amsterdam and wheel and deal between the various governments all to work against Spain. So Jews were pirates and if they were not involved in Piracy they would fund the Corsair and share in the profits oft times selling back the good to the New World.
The Jews also helped the Dutch find and settle Brazil. After several battle with the Portuguese the Dutch lost it. A merchant company called the Dutch West India Company was given the right to do business and raise an army outside of government circles. With this the Jews were influenctial playing a big part in liberating Brazil from the Portuguse a second time. From their under Abraham Cohen they would gflee to other Dutch held land or into England and other properties held by her. Jamaica would become a refuge or jews and pirates alike. Taken over by the British this provided a safe haven for Jews until an Earth Quake destroyed Port Au Prince. But the Jews would still use their pirating skills to help America against Britain in the war for independence.
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