Background of the American Revolution
No one can understand the foundations of the American nation without understanding the English Civil War from a century earlier. In September 1655, Manesseh ben Israel—with Cromwell’s support—publishes a petition requesting the Jews be allowed to return to England.
Wherefore I humbly entreat your Highnesse, that you would with a gracious eye have regard unto us, and our Petition, and grant unto us, as you have done unto others, free exercise of our Religion, that we may have our Synagogues, and keep our own publick worship, …
His Highnesse the Lord PROTECTOR
Common-wealth of ENGLAND,
SCOTLAND, and IRELAND.
The Humble Address of Menasseh Ben Israel, a Divine and Doctor of Physick, in Behalf of the Jewish Nation.
GIVE me leave, at such a juncture of time, to speak to your Highnesse, in a style and manner fitting to us Jewes and our condition. It is a thing most certaine, that the great God of Israel, Creator of Heaven and Earth, doth give and take away Dominions and Empires, according to his owne pleasure; exalting some, and overthrowing others: who, seeing he hath the hearts of Kings in his hand, he easily moves them whithersoever himselfe pleaseth, to put in execution his Divine Commands. This, my Lord, appeares most evidently out of those words of Daniel, where he, rendring thanks unto God, for revealing unto him that prodigious Dreame of Nebuchadnezar, doth say: Thou that removest Kings, and sets up Kings. And else-where, To the end the living might know, that the Highest hath dominion in Mans Kingdome, and giveth the fame to whom he please. Of the very same minde are the Thalmudists likewise, affirming that a good Government, or Governor, is a Heavenly Gift, and that there is no Governor, but is first called by God unto that dignity: and this they prove from that passage of Exodus: Behold I have called Bazalèl by name, &c. all things being governed by Divine Providence, God dispensing rewards unto Vertues, and punishment unto Vices, according to his owne good Will. Read More…