Manasseh ben Israel

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Manasseh ben Israel,

1604–57, Jewish scholar and communal leader, b. Portugal. Early in his life he settled in Amsterdam, where he became a rabbi and started (1627) the first Hebrew press there. He is best known for his efforts to obtain the readmission of Jews into England, where they had been forbidden to live since 1290; he managed to obtain Oliver Cromwell's unofficial assent for Jews to settle in London. His Conciliador, an elaborate discussion of hundreds of conflicting passages in the Old Testament, was intended to make Judaism more understandable and acceptable to the Christian world. He wrote in five languages.


See biography by C. Roth (1934); L. Wolf, Menasseh Ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell (1910).

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The earlier exhibition at the Meadows Museum included a Bible that Menasseh ben Israel, a Dutch rabbi whose father escaped persecution in Portugal and who may have been a close friend of Rembrandt's, translated from Hebrew to Castilian.
The printing of Hebrew books in Amsterdam for Jews begins in 1627 with Menasseh Ben Israel, whose first title, a Sephardic rite prayer book, was completed on 1 January 1627.
In 1650, roughly one year before the date identified by Columbus as the culmination of history, Dutch-Jewish philosopher Menasseh ben Israel penned his own arguments asserting "that the first inhabitants of America were the Ten Tribes of the Israelites." And, like Columbus, Menasseh ben Israel wed the Indians' Jewish origins to the consummation of history, at which time these children of the Lost Tribes "shall return to their Land" of Israel and "be governed by one Prince, who is Messiah the Son of David." A la Columbus, he added: "no doubt that time is near." See Delno C.
(8) It gained its greatest notoriety, however, when included later that year in Menasseh ben Israel's Miqveh Israel, esto es Esperanza de Israel, which was reprinted and translated into Latin, English, Dutch, and Hebrew and proved to be of interest to a wide range of people outside the narrow confines of the author's Dutch Sephardic community.
In the Hebrew magazine of the 1780s, Ha-Me'assef, Moses Maimonides and Menasseh ben Israel were the two figures selected for readers' special attention.
Director of the Menasseh ben Israel Institute for Jewish social and cultural studies in Amsterdam, Wertheim argues that Jews in Germany just after World War I longed for salvation, and to find it turned to their renegade ancestor Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-77).
Also of note is her subtle treatment of William Prynne, Oliver Cromwell, Gerrard Winstanley, Margaret Fell, George Fox, and Menasseh Ben Israel, as well as of self-proclaimed prophets such as John Rogers, Abiezzer Coppe, and Anna Trapnel.
Claro esta que esta no fue la interpretracion que le dio Menasseh ben Israel al soprendente testimonio de Montezinos.
There is an entire chapter (6) devoted to information concerning the High Priest from the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, English accounts of these sources, the Apocrypha, and contemporary materials relevant to the problem, including the life and work of Menasseh ben Israel, John Dury, John Reeve, Lodowick Muggleton, John Robins, and others.
4) between the expulsion of the Jews in 1290 and the visit of Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel in 1655, the year after Selden's death.