Nazarene Space

One of America’s most constant allied relationships has always been with the modern nation of Israel.  But many do not know that the births of these two nations are actually
tied closely together.  The birth of
modern Israel came about as an indirect result of the birth of the United
States of America. 


 


Jews came to the thirteen colonies in colonial times seeking freedom of religion that could not be found in Europe.  The American Revolution was
a joint effort between Christians and Jews, and much of the financial support
for the American Revolution came from the Jewish community. 


 


Haym Solomon died on January 6, 1785.  Just a few months later on July 14, 1785 another important and prominent Jewish American was born, Mordecai Manuel Noah. 


 


In 1811 President James Madison, who as a member of the Continental Congress was sponsored by Haym Solomon appointed  Noah as consul at Riga, then part of Imperial Russia, but Noah declined the appointment.  Madison called upon Noah again in 1813 when he nominated him
Consul to the Kingdom of Tunis.  While
serving his country in that capacity Noah managed to rescue many American
citizens being kept as slaves by Moroccan masters.  He also managed to secure the release of some hostages being held
in Algiers.


 


In 1815 the question arose, was the United States of America a Christian Nation, or a Judeo-Christian Nation?  The then Secretary of State James Monroe challenged Noah’s right to serve, claiming that Noah’s Jewish religion was "an obstacle to the
exercise of [his] Consular function. 


 


Noah protested and gained letters from Founding Fathers John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison supporting the freedom of religion in the United States. Prominent Rabbi Isaac Harby was moved to write, in a
letter to Monroe:


 


[Jews] are by no means to be considered as a religious


sect, tolerated by the government. They constitute a portion


of the People. They are, in every respect, woven in and compacted with the citizens of the Republic.


 


In 1825 in a precursor to modern Zionism Noah tried to found a Jewish "refuge" at Grand Island in the Niagara River, to be called "Ararat,".  Noah had brought
with him a cornerstone which read:


 


Ararat, a City of Refuge for the Jews,


founded by Mordecai M. Noah


in the Month of Tishri, 5586 (September, 1825)


and in the Fiftieth Year of American Independence.


 


(It is now on permanent display at the Buffalo Historical Society in Buffalo, NY.)


 


Noah maintained a belief which was common at that time, that some of the American Indians were decedents of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel[1], and his concept at the time was a reunion of the two Houses of Israel. 


 


On September 2 thousands of Christians and Jews assembled for what was expected to be a historic event. Noah led a large procession, paraded to St. Paul's Episcopal church.  Here,
there was a brief ceremony which included including a singing of the psalms in
Hebrew  and a proclamation establishing
the refuge was read.


 


The idea of a Jewish Homeland in the United Staes did not attract many followers and Mordecai Noah started to advocate the creation of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, then a part of the Ottoman Empire, and thus
modern Zionism was born.  Noah then
instigated a current in Judaism supporting a return to Zion which grew in
popularity especially in Europe, where anti-semitism was growing. Jews began to
emigrate to “Palestine”.


 


Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel started in earnest in the wake of these efforts. Most immigrants came from Russia, escaping the frequent pogroms and state-sponsored persecutions. A number of agricultural
settlements were founded with financial support from Jewish philanthropists.
Further immigration followed the Russian Revolution and Nazi persecution with
support from American Zionists who provided funding and influence in
Washington, D.C. through the highly effective American Palestine Committee.


 


After World War II and the Holocaust, a massive wave of stateless Jewish refugees, mainly Holocaust survivors, began migrating to The Land of Israel in small rag tag boats in rebellion to the British rulers. The
British government either imprisoned these Jews in Cyprus, including many
orphaned children, or sent them to the British-controlled Allied Occupation
Zones in Germany. This resulted in almost universal Jewish support for Zionism
and the refusal of the U.S. Congress to grant economic aid to Britain. Zionist
groups attacked the British in Palestine and, with its waning empire facing
bankruptcy, Britain was forced to refer the issue to the newly created United
Nations.


 


In 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on
Palestine recommended the creation of a Jewish state in the Land of
Israel.  This plan was adopted on
November 29, 1947 with UN GA Resolution 181, 33 votes in favor, 13 against, and
10 abstentions.  As the vote approached,
it appeared to be about three votes short of passing.  However in the final hours the United States lobbied hard and
convinced three nations to change their vote (it is even rumored that the US
threatened to withhold financial aid from certain nations prepared to vote no,
unless they would agree to vote “yes”). 






[1] Noah’s papers on this topic are printed in the Appendix to my book Hebrews in Ancient America available at http://www.lulu.com/nazarene



Donations on the chip-in counter are down 50% following two months in which they were down by 33%. Over the summer when donations were down we were able to defer large portions of our electric bill (my wife is disabled and they had a special program for the disabled this last summer) which must now be paid out over the next five months. In short this is the worst possible time for donations to decline even further. In fact had it not been for donations from our recent speaking engagement with the Nazarene Assembly in Kansas, we would be in deep trouble already, but we are facing trouble soon, as the first of those larger electric bills are due on the 25th.

Folks it is time to step up to the plate. You need to support this work with more than just words.


You make this work possible. Don’t forget to do your part, we are in this together.


You make this work possible.


You can donate by going to the chip-in counter at http://www.nazarenespace.com; or donations can be sent by paypal to donations@wnae.org

Donations can also be made out to “Nazarene Judaism” and sent to:

Nazarene Judaism
PO Box 471
Hurst, TX 76053


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