Historical Tidbit

user submitted pictureMost of us consider President’s Day simply a day off or an inconvenience, depending on whether you’re a student/federal employee or a self-employed shlub trying to cash a check. But here’s a reason to think kind thoughts about our country’s forefather this Monday: In the first documented correspondence with the Jewish community, newly-elected head of state George Washington responded to Savannah, Georgia congregational leader Levi Sheftall, who thanked George the Good on May 6, 1789 for “enfranchis[ing] [American Jewry] with all the privileges and immunities of free citizens, and initiated us into the grand mass of legislative mechanism” with the heralding of the U.S. Constitution.
Washington’s response: “May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, planted them in a promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of heaven and make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.”
Such a nice sentiment. Of course, 300+ years later the same words would probably get him impeached.
Read Washington’s whole letter to the Jews of Savannah, published in the Jewish Ledger.

3 thoughts on “Historical Tidbit

  1. Who better to interpret our consitution and principles than our own founding fathers? This is a wonderful testament to the inclusion of all religions and people’s into the fabric of our society. These crazy fools in the white house and their campaign to exclude and play favorites to the radical christians is bad news for the rest of us. What ever happen to all of those jews in georgia? I guess their grand-grand-grand- daughethers are getting descriminated in cheerleader practice!

  2. Another fun fact, George and the boys (foundingfathers) talked about having Hebrew as the official language of the U.S. As all of them had learned it at the various universities they attended.

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