Can Palastinian Americans Be Prosyltes?


I applaud KVAL NEWS for their coverage of this event.

When I saw the photo of Oregon Hillel I recalled that I had gone here and saw a Rabbi about becoming a Proselyte to Judaism. I was discouraged because it would take much learning. That was 1991. My knowledge is a thousand fold!

What – came to me – was this! My Rosamond Ancestors fought alongside Francis Salvador during the American Revolution. A relative of Francis read my post on this amazing Jewish Patriot, and bought the “Plantation Lands” where my kindred owned two plantations on what was called “the Jews Land”  I was promised two acres. That promise was not kept.

When I receive this land, I am going to give it to Palestinian Americans who convert to Reform Judaism. Francis is the father of Reform Judaism, that can be seen as bringing Israel out of her darkness. Note “Isiah 60” on the Trump coin, that has the Seal of the United State of America on the reverse. I believe the bond between the Jews and the citizens of the United States – is yet to be fulfilled – in THE LAND OF THE FREE where True Patriots fought a infamous war, so that We the People will have no kings over us! Why is our American Eagle next to so many hungry king lions of Judah?

Let us plant the seeds of Peace in this Democracy. Let us set the example – for the future! My kindred, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, is a famous proselyte.

I have another book. I need help writing it! I have been given a sign. I have opened a seal! Ships like clouds, like white doves soaring with an olive branch, over the water. A new land. A new Nation! A new unity!

Jon ‘The Nazarite’

Isaiah 26

Wail, you ships of Tarshish;
    your fortress is destroyed!

15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:

16 “Take up a harp, walk through the city,
    you forgotten prostitute;
play the harp well, sing many a song,
    so that you will be remembered.”

17 At the end of seventy years, the Lord will deal with Tyre. She will return to her lucrative prostitution and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the Lord; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the Lord, for abundant food and fine clothes.

Isaiah Chapter 60

Verses 1-12: Isaiah foresees a time when Israel will arise out of her “darkness” and “shine” with God’s glory. Then the “Gentiles shall come” to her light. Thus the “sons of strangers” described in this chapter, will come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.

EUGENE, Ore. – Tensions continue to rise in the Middle East this week, and local Oregon students are doing their part to highlight the toll that it’s taking on Palestinian refugees.

A group of students have differences of opinion on the politics of the region, but remarkably, they have one thing in common.

While tensions between Jews and Palestinians in Israel show little signs of decreasing, local students, many of who have relatives in the Conflict Zone, can agree on one thing: the violence must stop

The Student United for Palestinian Rights group gathered on the UO Campus to stand in solidarity with those who had lost their lives.

“I woke up by a mess in the news what happened in Gaza yesterday,” said Abdul Abusaq, part of the student group. “It’s pretty sad, about 52 people were killed and they were just protesting peacefully at the time.”

On Monday, the U.S. officially relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the move was met with clashes and protests along the Israel-Gaza border.

“I think we are all, as human beings, obligated to share and sympathize with the Palestinian people and even raise the awareness, spread the word about their lot,” said Abusaq. “Because here, this is why they need it. When I call anyone from there, they say ‘Please let them know, we’re here.'”

Hillel Oregon, a campus Jewish Community shared sympathy with their university classmates for those affected by the ongoing conflict.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to those whose lives we certainly would never have wanted to see things happen and unfold the way they have,” said Andy Gitelson, with the Oregon Hillel Foundation. “It’s a growing tragedy, and I think that it’s continuing to weigh on not just the Jewish community,k but as a community of people.”

At least two Palestinian protesters died from Israeli gunfire on Tuesday during protests near the border. The protests marked the 70th anniversary of the expulsion of 700,000 people during the creation of Israel.

When we think of Jewish heroes of the American Revolution, Haym Salomon, the “financier” of the patriot cause or Isaac Franks, aide-de-camp to General George Washington, are the first names that come to mind. Rarely do we hear of South Carolina’s Francis Salvador, the first identified Jew to be elected to public office in the entire British Empire, the first Jew to be elected to an American colonial legislature, the only Jew to serve in a revolutionary colonial congress, and the first Jew to die for the cause of American liberty.

Francis Salvador was born in London in 1747, the fourth generation of Salvadors to live in England. His great grandfather Joseph, a merchant, established himself as a leader of England’s Sephardic community and became the first Jewish director of the East India Company. When George III ascended the British throne, Joseph Salvador arranged an audience for the seven-man delegation that officially congratulated the king on behalf of the Jewish community.

Even before Francis Salvador’s birth, his family developed interests in America. Salvador’s grandfather teamed with two other leaders of the London Jewish community to raise funds to send some of London’s destitute Jews to the new British colony in Savannah, Georgia. The Georgia trustees subsequently voted to ban Jewish immigration to Georgia but not before grandfather Salvador and his two associates had landed forty-two Jewish settlers in Savannah in July, 1733. When the founder of the colony, James Oglethorpe, intervened on behalf of the Jews, the trustees decided to let them stay. The Salvador family then purchased personal land holdings in South Carolina.

As a young man, Francis Salvador was raised in luxury in London. He was well educated by private tutors and traveled extensively. At age twenty, he married his first cousin, Sarah, and took his place in the family shipping firm. The devastating effects of a 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, where the family had extensive interests, weakened the family fortune. The failure of the East India Company completed its ruin. By the early 1770’s, virtually the only thing left of the Salvador family’s immense wealth was the large plot of land they had purchased in the South Carolina colony.

In 1773, in an attempt to rebuild the family fortune, Francis Salvador moved to South Carolina. Intending to send for his wife Sarah and their children when he had prepared a proper home for them, Salvador arrived in Charleston in December and established himself as a planter on a seven thousand acre tract he acquired from his uncle. Salvador found himself drawn to the growing American movement against British rule and unhesitatingly threw himself into the patriot cause. Within a year of his arrival, at the age of 27, Salvador was elected to the General Assembly of South Carolina. He became the first Jew to hold that high an elective office in the English colonies. He would hold the post until his sudden death.

In 1774, Francis Salvador was elected as a delegate to South Carolina’s revolutionary Provincial Congress, which assembled in Charleston in January 1775. The Provincial Congress framed a bill of rights and prepared an address to the royal governor of South Carolina setting forth the colonists’ grievances against the British crown. Salvador played an important role in the South Carolina Provincial Congress, which appointed him to a commission to negotiate with Tories living in the northern and western parts of the colony to secure their promise not to actively aid the royal government.

When the second Provincial Congress assembled in November 1775, Salvador urged that body to instruct the South Carolina delegation in Philadelphia to vote for American independence. Salvador played a leading role in the Provincial Congress, chairing its ways and means committee and serving on a select committee authorized to issue bills of credit to pay the militia. Salvador was also part of a special commission established to preserve the peace in the interior parts of South Carolina, where the English Superintendent of Indian Affairs was busily negotiating treaties with the Cherokees to induce the tribe to attack the colonists.

When the Cherokees attacked settlements along the frontier on July 1, 1776, massacring and scalping colonial inhabitants, Salvador, in an act reminiscent of Paul Revere, mounted his horse and galloped nearly thirty miles to give the alarm. He then returned to join the militia in the front lines, defending the settlements under siege. During a Cherokee attack early in the morning of August first, Salvador was shot. He fell into some bushes, where he was subsequently discovered and scalped. Salvador died forty-five minutes later. Major Andrew Williamson, the militia commander, reported of Salvador that, “When I came up to him after dislodging the enemy and speaking to him, he asked whether I had beaten the enemy. I told him ‘Yes.’ He said he was glad of it and shook me by the hand and bade me farewell, and said he would die in a few minutes.”

His friend Henry Laurens reported that Salvador’s death was “universally regretted,” while William Henry Drayton, later Chief Justice of South Carolina, noted that Salvador had “sacrificed his life in the service of his adopted country.” Dead at twenty-nine, never again seeing his wife or children after leaving England, Salvador was the first Jew to die waging the American Revolution. Ironically, because he was fighting on the frontier, he probably did not receive the news that the Continental Congress in Philadelphia had, as he urged, adopted the Declaration of Independence.

In 1824, these 47 Charleston Jews, two-thirds of whom were native-born, submitted a petition to Beth Elohim’s leadership decrying the lack of decorum during services and calling for English sermons, shorter services, and less Hebrew and more English so members could better understand the prayers. The average age of the petitioners was 32 while that of Beth Elohim’s leadership was 62. The congregation’s leaders dismissed the petition out of hand since it did not follow Beth Elohim’s strict procedures for amending the constitution. Twelve members of the petitioning group, including its leaders Isaac Harby and Abraham Moise, decided to break away from Beth Elohim to form their own congregation, which they named “The Reformed Society of Israelites.”

This new congregation soon attracted many other members; by 1826, the society had 50 members, while Beth Elohim’s numbers had dropped to only 70. The Reformed Society soon moved away from strictly ritual issues, adopting a philosophical critique of Rabbinic Judaism that rejected Talmudic law as unsuited to the modern world. The group dispensed with head coverings and added musical instruments to their services. Their bylaws did not ban intermarried Jews from membership. The group put together their own prayer book, which became the first Reform prayer book ever written in America. Women were given a more prominent role in the Society. The Society’s prayer book gave brides a speaking part for the first time in Jewish wedding liturgy, included a new naming ceremony for baby girls, and even contained prayers written by Caroline Harby, Isaac’s sister.

PicturePortrait of Abraham Moise, ca. 1790

The Reformed Society met in a local Masonic Hall and began to raise money to build what it called a “temple.” This initial enthusiasm eventually waned and the group disbanded in 1833. Most of the society’s members rejoined Beth Elohim, where they were welcomed back after paying a fine. If these reformers lost this battle, they soon won the war, as Beth Elohim began to embrace the principles and practices of Reform Judaism. Abraham Moise, who had been a leader of the Reformed Society, helped to write Beth Elohim’s new constitution in 1836, which incorporated such ritual changes as English sermons. The congregation established a religious school in 1838, only the second Jewish congregation in the United States to do so. They used lesson plans written by the pioneer Jewish educator Rebecca Gratz of Philadelphia.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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