Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, August 12, 2019 

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Columbus set sail from Spain on the 9th of Av, 1492.  This submission was by a good friend for the RR readers.  Enjoy.

1493-1494: On Aug 2, 1492 Columbus sets sail to become the first to settle in the Americas. We “now” know from letters and research Columbus and at least 5 of his crew were Jewish. The very day of his departure the Jews of Spain were issued a new Royal Decree: “All Jews will convert, leave Spain, or be executed”. 

It was an era of great tragedy for Jews, but the first step in creation of a nation called America that would become a safe haven for Jews and the foremost protector of the new State of Israel to come in 1948. The years of 1493 & 1494 were times of great suffering for the Jews of Spain.

It is estimated between years 1480 & 1530 there were more than 2,000 Jews executed, 40,000 expelled, and the rest forced to become “conversos”. Many of the conversos were later found to still be practicing their Jewish faith along with their new Christian faith and were executed.

Columbus wrote in first page of his diary, “This same month which his Majesties issued the edict that all Jews should be driven out of the Kingdom and it’s territories, in the same month they gave me the orders with sufficient men to undertake the expedition to discover the Indies.” 

Columbus notes the irony of Jewish persecution on the 9th of Av, and Spain’s support for Columbus “the Jew” – on the same date. God prepares the way through the mystery of his prophesies, and providence. From those who suffered the most came more blessings to the World than we will every know. 

From Jewish people – who suffered most: 

  • Came Christopher Columbus, who without intent (by accident?), discovered and opened the doors to the greatest source of blessing to the Jews and of the world…and also blessings to the United States of America. 
  • Came a nation of protection for the Jews (for most part). By the 18 century, American was a nation with more Christian principles than any other.
  • Came the greatest of scientists, artists, physicians, professors, writers, and economists of the world (mostly Americans) – 23% of Nobel Prize winners as of 1901 – Jewish – 35% of Women Nobel Prize winners in research as of 1901- Jewish – 29% of Nobel Prize winners in research as of year 2000 – Jewish Yet…Jewish people = only 0.2% of world’s population!  The statistics indicate that Jews are more then 10,000 times more likely to win a Nobel Prize than one would expect from the Jewish world population.

Week 33
Memory Verse: Luke 14:33 So in the same way, whoever does not renounce all that he has, cannot be My disciple.

* 161 8/12  Monday:       Luke 9:10-62

162   8/13  Tuesday:      Mark 9-10

163   8/14  Wednesday: Luke 12

164   8/15  Thursday:     John 3-4

165   8/16  Friday:          Luke 14

The question of the day:  Today’s reading begins when Yeshua tells the disciples to feed the 5,000.  Was Yeshua really only concerned that everyone eat something?

Answer:   As with almost everything, Yeshua has many meanings.  Of course He wanted the people to have their hunger satisfied.  But more than that He wanted to teach the disciples to feed the people with spiritual food as well.  

Yeshua blessed 5 loaves and 2 fish and instructed the disciples to feed the people.  How is it that there were 12 baskets of leftovers?  Yeshua was teaching on the Kingdom of God.  God alone is the creator.  He alone makes something out of nothing.  This is how so many could be satisfied from so little.  

The same is true today.  Yeshua takes a few words (the bread of life) and uses them to heal (and continue to heal) the whole world.   We are His sheep who hear His voice and follow Him.