What you think is “brown sugar” isn’t. It’s just bastardized white sugar. Ah, but there actually IS a brown sugar. Sugar that’s brown because the molasses never left it. And that, my friends. That is muscovado.
If there’s one thing that separates humans from the other animals, I’d say it’s our immense talent for creating divisions among ourselves. Of creating an “us” vs. a “them.” Of tribalism.
Jews, I’m sorry to say, are no different.
Behold, Theodor “Dirk” Kerckring. Son of Dutch East India Co. captain Dirk Kerckring and Margaretha Bas, the daughter of former Amsterdam Mayor Dirk Bas. Scion of wealth and privilege. Son of the republic. I want to punch that smirk right off his face.
Rabbi Aboab da Fonesca was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Until it was time to build a lasting monument to the community he served.
July 27, 2019. On this day, 363 years ago, Baruch Spinoza was kicked out of the Portuguese Sephardic community in Amsterdam. We know the words that were uttered as he was drummed out of the insular society, but there is so much more that we don’t know about that event.
When I imagine how Rabbi Saul Levi Morteira, the first intellectual powerhouse in Amsterdam’s Portuguese Sephardic community, must have felt about himself and his job, I imagine he compared himself to Moses.
The new Portuguese community quickly worked to set up Jewish institutions in their new home.. But these also required rabbis — men of advanced religious training — in order for the community to truly function.
At long last, Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” is due for a bath and a little TLC. Perhaps soon, it will be a little easier to see the details Rembrandt committed to immortality.