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Talk like a Jewish pirate – in Ladino!

Geneablogger colleague John Newmark in St. Louis, Missouri, has noted that in addition to being Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, it is also International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which gives Tracing the Tribe another opportunity to talk about Sephardic Jewish pirates.

While John covers Jean Lafitte and Moses Cohen Henriques, there are others

Tracing the Tribe has always been interested in this topic and has written numerous posts covering this in some way. Here are some:

Dr. Steven Plaut’s talk for the Jewish Family Research Association (Israel)

Putting the Oy back in Ahoy … Haifa University professor Steven Plaut’s article … Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean…Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Manischewitz!

Jamaica’s pirate history.

Samuel Pallache and Ladino-speaking pirates.

Singing Jewish Pirates … in the Yiddish version of the “Pirates of Penzance”

Even Chris Dunham got into the act:


Read John’s post above which focuses on Jean Lafitte.

While John wonders if the above Jewish pirates recited the Al Chet (confession of sins) yearly on Yom Kippur, what has been established is that the rabbi on a Caribbean island strongly chastised the Jewish pirates for attacking a fellow Jew’s ship. The pirates were believed to have established a community on an island where they observed Jewish laws and holidays. There is a South American marine museum that preserves pirates’ letters written in Ladino.

Thanks, John, for providing this reminder about Talk Like a Pirate Day. But we’ll need to learn Ladino!


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