Tag: genealogy

The Court Jew (Stern)

The phrase “court Jew” is sometimes facetiously used today to describe the powerful underling of a major political or business leader, who acts obsequiously and with excessive discretion because he is Jewish. If the original Hofjuden or Court Jews of 17th- and 18th-century Europe were sometimes embarrassed by their Hebraic blood, it was because they…

The de Solas: A Distinguished Sephardic Lineage

When Abraham de Sola arrived in Montreal in 1846 to serve as spiritual leader of the city’s Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, he carried a letter from his father, David de Sola, rabbi of London’s Bevis Marks synagogue, beseeching the community to look after him because he was only 19 years old. Abraham de Sola was…

Shining a light on Jewish names

A Talmudic source indicates that after Alexander the Great conquered Palestine in 333 BCE, all Jewish boys of priestly families born the following year were named Alexander as a form of tribute. Like his namesake, a contemporary Alexander is proving a skilled and savvy conqueror. Alexander Beider, the Paris-based onomastician, has marched from one province…