I'm sorry about the a) linguistically off and b) un-funny title but I'm only on cup one of coffee this morning. Anyway, in honor of Hanukkah and also because it was just too much 'my' kind of book, I've been reading Edward Kritzler's Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, and while it's not the most well written book out there, it IS extremely interesting, and adds a certain added flavor to our concept of buccaneers prowling the Spanish Main. I'm not entirely sure about the historical accuracy, but I certainly intend to dig into this further, as it's quite a wonderful thought, secret Jew/converso pirates attacking the ships of the Inquisition. One of them, in fact,Samuel Palache, is labeled the "warrior rabbi" by Kritzler: "Rabbi Palache, a Barbary pirate who was still capturing Spanish ships in his late sixties, held the first religious services in his home." (Prologue).
It is a nice counterpart to this image I saw today via the London Times online version, wherein the President of Poland, in a kippeh, is handing a Hanukkah candle to the chief rabbi of same, with the cultural attache' from Israel supervising, or something. Anyway, it just seemed so heartening that 60 years after a concerted effort to wipe out any vestiges of Polish Jewry, a major paper would be nonchalantly including this photograph.
Since I will be in the kitchen for about the next 48 hours, have a wonderful and restful holiday - and happy winter festival of your choice.
by at December 24, 2008 9:23 AM
I have also read this book, and my family are descendants of Samuel Palache. We recently found out through a geneologist working on the Cohen family, which is also mentioned in the book. I can't speak for the majority of the book, yet the account of Samuel is well written according to the research I have had access to.
Posted by: Eric Palache on January 22, 2009 2:42 PM