Whereas we have many original newspapers containing Judaica-themed content, finding issues with mentions of Sabbatai are quite rare. If you’ve never heard of Sabbatai Zevi, the infamous 17th century, self-proclaimed, long awaited Jewish Messiah who converted to Islam, he’s certainly worth exploring. We recently came across a report in an Oxford Gazette (issue #8) from 1665 which we believe may very well be his first mention in a bonafide newspaper (see below). The problem with “firsts” is that a first is only a first as long as a newly unearthed earlier first doesn’t relegate the older first to a second. 🙂
Has anyone ever viewed or heard of an earlier mention of him in a newspaper?
While one of our Rare & Early Newspapers‘ staff was researching a client request she noticed an interesting Judaic-themed article on the front page of a National Intelligencer dated June 14, 1842 which proves saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. I wonder if the ruling by this mid-1800’s judge has an implications for today. The same issue also had Dorr Rebellion content which led us to brush up on our mid-1800’s history. Such is the pleasure of the rare newspapers collectible. Please enjoy.
Today I traveled back to New York City by the means of the New York Evening Post dated July 2, 1816. Under the “Died” column is “Departed this life, at 9 o’clock this morning, the Rev. Mr. GERSHOM SEIXAS, the venerable Pastor of the Hebrew congregation, in the 71st year of his age…”.
Mr. Seixas was the first Native-born American rabbi. He also delivered the first Thanksgiving address in an American synagogue after the adoption of the United States Constitution. He was one of the fourteen ministers to participate in George Washington’s first inauguration.
At the merger of the 200th anniversary of his death and the 240th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence it is fitting to consider how quickly the Jewish population became acclimated and accepted in the United States. While not without considerable bumps in the road, George Washington’s outspoken support for Jewish citizens was certainly a good beginning.
Question: Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI received a response from Rabbi Moses Seixas. If anyone can confirm whether or not Moses and Gershom were related, please contact Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org.