New Israel / New England
Jews and Puritans in Early America
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
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Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations
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Like Judaism, Puritanism was a profoundly discursive faith, and its practitioners were never more themselves than when they debated each other. In their own writing about and interaction with actual Jews, Puritans could be at once harshly judgmental and strangely admiring. Although their high ...
“We Shall be Friends”: The European Background for Puritan Judeocentrism
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In the seventeenth century two European peoples sought safe haven, both in Holland and in the New World, from the imperial influence of the Roman Catholic Church. These two peoples shared a reverence for the Hebrew Bible, and they both sought spiritual edification through their ...
Chapter 1. “Jews, Turks . . . and Anti-Christians”: Alien Encounters with Puritan Hebraism
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New England Puritans could never make up their minds about whether or how actual Jews were important. Right up until the end of the seventeenth century the arrival and temporary settlement of at least a dozen Jews in, respectively, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island eluded ...
Chapter 2. “New-England is Seldom Wholly without them”: Boston’s Frazon Brothers and the Limits of Puritan Zeal
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On November 22, 1705, the Boston News-Letter’s correspondent in Barbados received word that Samuel Frazon, a Boston merchant of Sephardic parentage who was initially “feared to be Lost in coming from on board a Man of War” while sailing to Antigua from Boston had in fact ...
Chapter 3. “A Jew Rarely Comes Over to us but he Brings Treasures with him”: The Conversion and Harvard Career of Judah Monis
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Cotton Mather’s failure to bring about a miracle with Samuel Frazon may have dampened his enthusiasm at the prospect of being an instrument of God’s merciful redemption of the Jews, but conversionminded New Englanders needed only to wait a few years before their prayers and efforts would achieve an even more fortuitous result. The ...
Chapter 4. “A Handsome Assembly of People”: Jewish Settlement and the Refinement of New England Culture
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The development of a viable Jewish community in Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1750s coincided with what one historian has famously described as the evolution of religiously pious Puritans into commercially enterprising Yankees.1 Ironically, this increase in Jewish visibility also ...
Chapter 5. “An Openness to Candour”: Scholarly Ecumenicism in Pre-Revolutionary Newport
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Isaac Touro, the Hazzan of Yeshuat Israel, was not the only member of Newport’s clergy to deliver a Thanksgiving sermon on November 28, 1765.1 Two short blocks from the new synagogue, Ezra Stiles addressed Newport’s Second Congregational Church on the same occasion. Born ...
Chapter 6. “A most Valuable Citizen”: Moses Michael Hays and the Modernization of Boston
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Moses Michael Hays sought a private transformation when he quoted “The Great Mr. [Alexander] Pope” in his 1770 letter to Aaron Lopez and Jacob Rod Rivera,1 but the words he borrowed from the English poet’s “Essay on Man” spoke as well to cultural changes that were ascendant ...
Conclusion: “Gone are the Living but the Dead Remain”: The Jewish Legacy in Nineteenth-Century New England
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In February 1790 Manuel Josephson, president of Philadelphia’s Mikveh Israel congregation, wrote to Moses Seixas of Newport about the “capricious & whimsical disposition of some of the individuals” associated with the Rhode Island synagogue. The Philadelphian reflected on the ...
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Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2011