Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Columbus Sailed a Spanish Jew in 1492?

Dr. Cecil Roth discusses in an interview evidence that Christopher Columbus was a Spaniard and a Jew:

There was an old gentleman in New York who noticed that on the right-hand side on the top of some of Columbus’s letters there was a little squiggle, and he remembered that his father used to write Baruch HaShem at the top, right-hand corner of all his letters. He tried to read these marks as B’ezras HaSham and thus to show that Columbus tried to reveal his Judaism by putting two Hebrew letters at the top of every letter he wrote. He wasted quite a considerable fortune on this rather pathetic and ludicrous attempt.
His interviewer, Rabbi William Berkowitz, adds this excellent bit of apocrypha:
Whenever the name of Columbus comes up, I recall the story of the Jewish immigrant who appeared before the examiner and was exceedingly nervous. After he gave his name and address the next question was about when he had arrived in America. Instead of saying 1941, he said 1491. The examiner turned to him and said, “Why didn’t you wait another year; you could have come with Columbus!” [Link]

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