James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

The American Revolution and Haym Solomon

with one comment

Haym Solomon - Son of Liberty

Haym Solomon - Son of Liberty

Jews have many reasons to celebrate the Fourth of July.  Most notably, America is undoubtedly the freest place in the world when it comes to religious tolerance.  Jews thrive in America for this reason, and despite occasional problems with antisemitism, live freer lives than almost anywhere in the world.

But, there is another reason for Jews to be proud.  Haym Solomon, a Polish-American Jew who was an active member at the Sephardi congregation Mikveh Israel, was among the founders of this great country.  According to the National Park Service, which operates an excellent site on the American Revolution:

He seems to have been drawn early to the Patriot side and was arrested by the British as a spy in 1776. He was pardoned and used by the British as an interpreter with their German troops. Salomon, however, continued to help prisoners of the British escape and encouraged German soldiers to desert. Arrested again in 1778, he was sentenced to death, but managed to escape to the rebel capital of Philadelphia. (link)

Haym Solomon was an early inspiration for me.  Indeed, I created a CafePress store, Hebrew American,  in large part as a creative outlet to for my strong identity as both an American and a Jew.  If you like the graphic to the right, which was among my first designs, and want to buy it on apparel or other items, you can do so here.

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Written by JamesEJ

Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

Posted in liberty

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Cantor Larry at B’nai Tikvah, down here in Vista, CA, did a spiel on how Jews won the American Revolution. I knew about Haym Solomon, but Cantor Larry went into talking about Johannes de Graaff and the Jews of St. Eustatius island, owned by the Dutch Crown. I included a link for a better description of the sacrifices the Jews of St. Eustatius, than I can make in a short blog reply.

    It reminded me of Golda Meir’s role in breaking the British blockade to get arms to independence fighters. It reminds me that Jews have been, allegedly, accused of piracy and gun-running before. I don’t want it to turn into a “Esau always hates Jacob” story, though. Back to my point, Jews won the American Revolution from breaking British Blockades, investing their personal fortunes, smuggling arms to the British colonies and by fighting side-by-side with their non-Jewish American brethren.

    So, it’s very fitting that a Jew, Irving Berlin, wrote “God Bless America.”

    OK, I haven’t blogged in a while, so this wasn’t a very focused post.

    Am Yisrael Chai! God Bless America! Happy Independence Day!

    Nathan Kieso

    Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm


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