Saturday, May 17, 2008


is the title of Chapter 6 in WHEN SCOTLAND WAS JEWISH, by Hirschman and Yates.

In this chapter the authors describe the inaccuracy of Scottish history:

Notwithstanding the evidence, many Scottish historians and writers of Judaica seem united in their desire to dismiss any early presence of Jews in Scotland....

In Edinburgh, the story goes, "Scotland never bore the problems or tested the advantages of a Jewish community within its borders until the year 1816 when twenty Jewish families then living in Edinburgh founded a 'Kehillah' or Congregation of Jews, the first ever to be seen in Scotland...

However, there is mention in one source of Masonic Jews in the Lodge of St. David and of Jewish burials in Edinburgh in one historian, Phillips', material. There is historical evidence for the presence of Jews in England. They followed William, Duke of Normandy, into Britain in "in the latter half of the eleventh century. The authors indicate that

William's congeniality (and that of subsequent Norman and Plantegenet English monarchs) towards the Jews was the belief that the royal lineage itself carried Davidic Jewish ancestry. (p. 89)

There is evidence that in 1290 C.E., when Edward I was on the British throne

he issued writs for the explulsion of all Jews who would not convert to Christianity. Likely at this time yet another set of English Crypto-Jews was created.

It is no surprise we should find additional families with French Jewish DNA making their way to Scotland at this time. And it is also not surprising that they would wisely choose to practice their religion in secret--pretending outwardly to be Christian, while adhering to Judaism among their families and close friends....both Crypto-Jews and the openly Jewish were present in England from 1290 until their "official" re-entry under Oliver Cromwell in 1654...
(p. 90)

The explusion of the Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal "provided the primary impetus for the second wave of Jewish emigres to Scotland". (p. 91)

"Presumably the Crypto-Jews who remained in England after the Expulsion in 1290 presented themselves as practicing Christians, which at that time would have meant Roman Catholism... (p. 91)

At the end of Henry VIII's reign, the Spanish Jews, both Crypto- and openly Jewish, were well established in England. Three of these included Dr. Hector Nunez, Dunstan Anes, and Simon Ruiz who lived in London and carried on successful professional careers. Nunez was even made a fellow of the College of Physicians in 1554 and Anes became a freeman of the Grocer's Company in 1557. Nunez, who presented himself publicly as a Calvinist minister, was in fact the rabbi of the Bristol, England, Jewish community.

These three men may serve to some extent for us as prototypes of Jewish experience in the mid-1500s in England. One, Hector Nunez, was so skilled as a doctor as to be allowed to enter the College of Physicians--a pattern we shall see followed in Scotland. Dunstan Anes (Ames) was a merchant in foodstuffs, another typical Jewish profession, and Dr. Henrique Nunes, the Crypto-rabbi of Bristol, England, pretended to be a Calvinist (Protesant) minister, before fleeing to France. What we will find in Scotland is very similar: Crypto-Jews in the merchant professions, as leading doctors and apothecaries, as Protestant ministers....

The Crypto-Jewish community in England, which included several prominent physicians and businessmen, affiliated itself with Protestants. For example, Katz...writes that Santa Cruz testified in Madrid, "He knows, as it is public and notorious in London that by race they are all Jews, and it is notorious that in their own homes they live as such observing their Jewish rites; but publicly they attend Lutheran Churches, and listen to the sermon, and take the bread and wine."...

...their bloodlines were, as is evident from modern genealogical research, deeply embedded in England's aristocratic peerage and country gentry...
(p. 92-93)

...some of the principle architects of the Protestant Reformation, in particular John Calvin of France and John Knox of Scotland, were descendants of Sehpardic Jews....

We propose that the reason so many leading Protestant clergy "suddenly" began advocating reading in Hebrew and poring over the Old Testament during the 1500s is because they were, in fact, either Crypto-Jews themselves or the sons of Crypto-Jews, and believed that the Old Testament (Torah) in Hebrew was, indeed, the Word of God.
(p. 94)

By 1688, a new day was dawning in Britain, Prince William of Orange, the Protestant ruler of the Netherlands, not only a friend of the Jews in that country but probably of Jewish descent himself...

By the 1700s...Sephardim were becoming recognized as valuable members of English society...a considerable part of the British inhabitants are the undoubted offspring of the Jews...
(p. 95)

That sure goes a long way toward explaining Brit Am and the likes of Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh. And it goes a long way toward explaining why speculative Freemasonry arose in England, if you are willing to consider why so many of the Masonic rites would appear to be Jewish in origin. I found this chapter something of a revelation if Hirschman and Yates are correct in their assumptions!


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