Was explorer Christopher Columbus Jewish? There is extraordinary evidence pointing to that conclusion.
On March 31, 1492 the Edict of Expulsion (also called the Alhambra Decree) Every Jew in Spain was forced to shoose between conversion to Christianity or leaving the country forever leaving their possessions behind. 150,000 Jews left Spain, many went to Portugal where they received a short welcome before being asked to convert, die or leave as in Spain.
On July 31, 1492 (7th of Av), the last Jew left Spain. Columbus sailed on August 3, 1492. He did insist that all of his crew be onboard August 2nd.
His historic voyage was financed by wealthy and influential Jews-many themselves converts-rather than a magnanimous King and Queen of Spain.
Columbus’s voyage was not financed by Isabella selling her jewels as is often stated. The major financiers were two court officials – both Jewish conversos – Louis de Santangel, chancellor of the royal household, and Gabriel Sanchez, treasurer of Aragon.
The Jews in Spain became the target of pogroms and religious per-secution. Many were forced to renounce Judaism and embrace Catholicism. These were known as Conversos, or converts.
In response to a petition to Rome to introduce the Inquisition and find a final solution to their Jewish Problem, in 1487 Spain obtained a Papal Bull. The introduction of the Inquisition was motivated by the greed of King Ferdinand attempting to seize all the power and wealth in Spain. It was an instrument of avarice and political absolutism. Four years later tens of thousands of Jews, Marranos, and even Conversos were suffering under the Spanish Inquisition. According to the Christians of the day, Jews were considered “Infidels” (Sound familiar?)
As Spain and Portugal was killing and expelling the Jewish people, Turkey had accepted the Chosen people of G-d and was rewarded. Spain and Portugal’s economies declined, while the Ottoman Empire became one of the greatest powers in the world. The next two sultans, Selim I and Suleiman I, expanded the empire as far as Vienna, Austria.
God had given Abraham and his descendants a special blessing:
“I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you, and through you, will be blessed all the families of the earth.” (Genesis 12:3)
Christopher Columbus may or may not have been a Jew, but he paved the way for a country that would be accepting of the Jewish people, and keeping with G-d’s blessing, has been a nation abundant in liberty, wealth, and opportunity for all people.
Several sites explain the evidence and possibilites. Check them out! Just do a google search <Christopher Columbus jewish>
Happy Columbus day all!