Thursday, May 22, 2008
"WHEN SCOTLAND WAS JEWISH" - "The Judaic Colony at Aberdeen"
On this topic Hirschman and Yates write:
We propose that Aberdeen's phenomenal growth as a trading center and financial capital was due to the fact that it was a Crypto-Jewish burgh. It is very likely thatall the dominant families in the city, from 1100 to the 1800s, were of Jewish descent, originating early on from southern France, then from England after the 1290 expulsion, and finally, 1492 onward, from the Iberian peninsula and shifting safe-havens of the Sephardic Diaspora. The DNA results from prominent Aberdeen families...already support this proposition...
Let us begin with the mysterious "St. Machar," to whom not one, but two, parishes were dedicated in the dawn of Aberdeen history...there is no written or archaeological record of a saint named Machar, at least no Roman Catholic St. Machar, ever setting foot in Aberdeen, or Scotland for that matter. What does exist, however, is a church in Old Aberdeen dedicated to a "St. Machar" around which prominent members of the citizenry have been buried since its founding...
The candidate we would like to examine is the Davidic-descended master teacher of the Jewish community in Provence in southern France whose title was, in fact, Machar...and who was active there during the appropriate timeframe. This spiritual leader, Machar, would have been the central figure to persons practicing Judaism in France in the time just before the migration by Jews to Britain with William the Conqueror in 1060 C.E. To dedicate a religious center to this man would be very much in keeping with contemporaneous Talmudic practice of naming religious sites after their founders. (pp. 152-155)
The authors claim that during construction at St. Nicholas Kirk in 1740 the grave of Sir Robert Davidson was opened. A small silk scullcap was found buried with him. Additionally they state that Fyvie Castle owned by the Gordons and Setons is a "virtual trove of Judaic, Cabalistic and Islamic imagery" (pp. 155-157)
They also claim that on the Charter of Abroath (1320) are depictions of William the Lyon (King of Scotland 1165-1214) and David I the Saint (King of Scotland 1124-1153). It contains also two entwined snakes (a Cabalistic symbol) and lacks Christian symbolism. (p. 158)
There are other examples of Jewish and Islamic symbolism presented in this chapter as well. Interestingly the name Hay is contained in one of the many name lists, and the authors claim that even today it is a common Jewish surname. (p. 166)