Monday, August 30, 2010

Menasseh Ben Israel's passport

Here are the records of the passports issued to Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel to enable him to visit England. These are contained in a record book called Council of State: Books and Accounts 1639-1660 (v.25 out of 139)"

November 22, 1652:

December 17, 1652:

September 16, 1653:

For posterity, the first reads "That a passe bee granted to Manasseh Ben Israel to Come out of Holland and into England."

The second: Whereas Manasseh Ben Israel a Rabbi of the Jewish Nation and well reported of for his learning and good affection to this State hath exprest his desire to have letters of safe conduct to come from Amsterdam to these parts. These are therefore to will and require all Officers belonging to this State as well by Sea as by land to whom the foresaid Menasseh Ben Israel may addresse himself on his way hithorward that they let him passe freely without molestation and give him all favourable entertainment and respect as to well affected foreigners and strangers (they behaving themselves without offence) is due. Given at Whitehall.

The third, "That a passe be granted to Manasseh Ben Israel of Amsterdam himself and ? ofsarios (?) necessaries to come into England without interruption."

In fact, he didn't arrive in England until 1655.


  1. I think you're right. I just could not manage to read it.

  2. My opinion is that it was written in Portuguese the mother tongue of Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel, as portuguese his name was Manuel Dias Soeiro. So,I interpreted that as "necessários" meaning necessaries in English.In the ancient Portuguese the letter "S" was also written "f" but I don't know why it was like



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