JEAN LAFITTE And JEWISH PIRATES

JEAN LAFITTE THE JEWISH PIRATE #jewishpirates

The Buccaneer starring Yul Bryner is a favorite movie that my father and i would watch together when i was a. boy.
We shared a love to this day for movies of action and pirates and this ranks up there.
We both love history and when i traveled all through Louisiana the lessons were not lost on me. 
Deep in the bayous on a motor boat i made my way among the moss laden swamp and this movie provided the content
.A number of years ago i learned Jean Lafitte was of Jewish origin and his grandparents hailed from Majorca one of the islands in the Balearics in Spain. This is the string of islands where i live in the summer.
Jean Lafitte was descended from a Sephardic Jewess, Zora Nodrimal, who fled Spain to the Americas with her daughter, after her husband, Abhorad, was murdered during the Inquisition. In addition, on the flyleaf of a Bible, which purportedly belonged to Lafitte, is inscribed:
“I owe all my ingenuity to the great intuition of my grandmother, a Spanish Jewess, who was eyewitness to the Inquisition. ”
Lafitte swore vengeance forever on Spain attacking mostly their ships .His seconds in command were his brothers.
Many Jewish pirates sailed the seas and i have been studying them and their exploits . The island i live on Formentera was once abandoned to pirates and i suspect most of them were of Jewish origin who originally came from Spain and were forced to flee to what is now Tunisia and North Africa to Muslim lands to escape the brutality of the Inquisition. The tiny island of Formentera always held a Jewish population and one of the principle occupations was indeed piracy. The island is just north of the famous Barbary Coast and when i look out upon these waters i cannot help but let my imagination run riot. I have even explored a pirate hole and cave on this island . When i watch this movie i am a little boy again.

ARRRRGH GEVALT !!!!!!!!!
JEWISH PIRATES  #jewishpirates

At the end of the fifteenth century, the Spanish Inquisition forced many Jews to flee the country. The most adventurous among them took to the high seas as freewheeling outlaws. In ships bearing names such as the Prophet Samuel, Queen Esther, and Shield of Abraham, they attacked and plundered the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding.

Formentera was a pirate island for a couple of hundred of years . Barbarossa the legendary pirate was at one time their leader. He had among his captains 5 who were Jews originally from Spain. His second in command was “the Great Jewish Pirate” Sinan, ; Among the pirate Jewish community was the pirate rabbi Samuel Palache, who founded Holland’s Jewish community; Abraham Cohen Henriques, an arms dealer who used his cunning and economic muscle to find safe havens for other Jews; and his pirate brother Moses, who is credited with the capture of the Spanish silver fleet in 1628–the largest heist in pirate history. were among many Jewish pirates. Go down to the Caribbean and you will find Jewish graves of pirates with skull and crossbones decorating their graves. This is not fiction but fact.

They had fled to present day Tunisia and there sought refuge with the pirates and deferred by their custom to Muslim yet still retained their Jewish identities . Their flag i have discovered was Solomon’s Seal and each ship they commanded had a Hebrew name. They swore terrible vengeance on Spain because of what they had gone through in the Inquisition. This island because of the many raids by pirates was abandoned to them after many were carried off to slavery in the Muslim lands that lay directly due south in the infamous Barbary Coast. I have read of three incidents when Jews were among those captured on hapless ships and instead of being ransomed were delivered safely.This piqued my interest and advancing theory about the origin of some of these pirates at least.
There has been a missing history about the Jews and we have often been portrayed as hapless and submissive victims but we have done an amazing thing.
As a race and culture we have survived these thousand years after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and we have our own state standing these past 70 years against what ? 59 Islamic states and 200 odd Christian states.
We were not sheep being herded into the gas ovens of Treblinka and Bergen Belson. There is more to the story.

This is a pirates cave dating back to neolithic times.I crawled down the hole with the admonishment
,”If i am not back in an hour,,,”
My voice trailed off then….There is a window at the far end of the cave that opens up directly to the Barbary Coast .I yearned to find treasure falling back on one of my favorite childhood books Treasure Island.This was downright exciting as i burrowed around in my pirates cave.

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