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The Esperança de Israel: A Mission to Cromwell

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Chapter Summary

Esperança de Israel contains two distinct parts: the first contains António de Montezinos' story about how he found the 'Lost Tribes', while the second is ben Israel's description and analysis of the work of previous authors on the subject of the 'Lost Tribes' along with his own opinion on the content of Montezinos' report, particularly when it concerns the Jewish origin of the American Indians. As part of ben Israel's mission to Cromwell, a mission which he was apparently reluctant to undertake for some years, several documents were sent by ben Israel to Cromwell, to formally appeal for the readmission of the Jews into England. The author recalls that ben Israel was attempting to secure a safe harbor for those of his 'nation' while Cromwell, inspired by that spirit of conversion common in his days, was trying to attract Jews with the objective of later converting them to Christianity.

Keywords: António de Montezinos; ben Israel's mission; Christianity; Cromwell; Esperança de Israel; Lost Tribes

10.1163/9789004259126_004
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