Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
(Editor’s Note: The following is a fairly long quote about Moses Peixotto taken from An Old Faith in the New World, David and Tamar De Sola Pool, Columbia University Press, 1955, pages 174-175.)
Peixotto was born in Curacao on February 11, 1767. After the death of his first wife, Rachel, daughter of Isaac Jessurun Sasportas, he went to Amsterdam. There, in 1797, he married Judith, daughter of Samuel Lopez Salzedo. He was ‘a dark featured, square-built, middle-sized man, greatly addicted to snuff taking.’ At the age of forty he came to New York, arriving on June 11, 1807, with his wife and six children. He was a merchant and he went into business, but he found time also to be active as a freemason, a trustee of the synagogue [Congregation Shearith Israel], and occasional hazzan. He was a close personal friend of Hazzan [Gershom Mendes] Seixas (1745 – 1816). After the death of [Reverend] Seixas when Peixotto and Eleazar S. Lazarus took over the hazzan’s duties, he continued for four years to maintain his business activities alongside his ministry. But in March, 1820, he wrote to the board of trustees
I hold it undignified to continue the duties of hazzan with that of a merchant … now must make my election either to offer myself as hazzan of this congregation or return to the pursuits of commerce. I do not hesitate to say that I prefer the former.
After becoming officially the hazzan, although in his fifties, he applied himself to the study of the English language. Eventually he was able to deliver sermons in English on Thanksgiving Day and on other special occasions. His son, Dr. Daniel Levi Maduro Peixotto, said of him that
occasional Discourses on moral and Religious Subjects were composed with a facility derived in part from a familiar acquaintance with the language of the Scriptures and from native strength of intellect; but an irrepressible enthusiasm for the cause in which he labored had by far the greater share.
Rebecca Gratz wrote of ‘the humble yet dignified figure of the venerable Mr. Peixotto’ that he ‘has since his clerical appointment studied and become as learned as he is intelligent.’
When he passed away in his sixty-second year, on July 16, 1828, he was given all the honors of a synagogue funeral. This friendly, helpful, modest man had won the affection and respect of all his community. The oration at the memorial service held under the auspices of the Hebra Hased Va-Amet was spoken by New York’s most notable Jewish citizen, Mordecai M. Noah.
During the course of his address he said:
The writings of the Hebrews are generally acknowledged to be unequaled for the simplicity and dignity – the strength, conciseness and boldness of their style; the perfect truth to nature of their imagery; their animated eloquence and sublime figures. The conceits and puerile vanities which disgrace much of classical literature are altogether banished from their pages. It may, however, be suggested that these writings were inspired. This assertion is more imposing by its speciousness than forcible by its application. The great truths and sublime doctrines which were inculcated by Moses and the Prophets were undoubtedly derived from immediate communication with the Almighty.[vi]
Dr. Yitzchok Levine, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. “Glimpses Into American Jewish History” appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i]Jewish Encyclopedia.com http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=158&letter=P#599
[iii]Jewish Encyclopedia.com http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=158&letter=P#599
[v]Daniel L. M. Peixotto, M. D. by Daniel Peixotto Hays
About the Author: Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He now teaches as an adjunct at Stevens. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at email@example.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
A variety of glatt kosher food will be available for purchase at Kosher Korner (near Section 1).
Jewish Press South Florida Editor Shelley Benveniste will deliver a talk.
Corey Brier, corresponding secretary of the organization, introduced the rabbi.
Even when our prayers are ignored and troubles confront us, Rabbi Shoff teaches that it is the same God who sent the difficulties as who answered our prayers before.
I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.
His parents make it clear that they feel the right thing is for Avi to visit his grandfather, but they leave it up to him.
Orna Porat was a former Christian and a member of the Hitler Youth.
There is a rich Jewish history in this part of the world. Now the hidden customs are being revealed, as many seek to reconnect with their roots.
There are times when a psychiatrist will over-medicate, which is why it’s important to find a psychiatrist whom you trust and feel comfortable with.
On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder created one of the most famous, and valuable, pieces of film and became forever linked with one of the greatest American national tragedies when he stood with his camera on an elevated concrete abutment as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Exhibited here is […]
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom I’ve been thinking a lot about worrying. Anxiety is an issue close to my heart – […]
The student followers of the Malach stood in direct opposition to his philosophy and to the standards of the yeshiva.
Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]
After his marriage he was successfully engaged in the lumber business.
He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.
This was a most unusual step to take in those days, given the difficulties of travel to Europe. Nonetheless, on May 1, 1860 he sailed from New York on the steamship Hammonia.
The ship’s captain apparently respected the Friedenwalds’ strict adherence to halacha because he allowed them to use his cabin for davening and other religious observances.
I happen to believe that for a couple to spend a few years in kollel is a wonderful way to start a marriage.
Penn wrote the following to a friend in England: “I found them [the Indians of the eastern shore of North America] with like countenances with the Hebrew race; and their children of so lively a resemblance to them that a man would think himself in Duke’s place, or Barry street, in London, when he sees them.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/glimpses-ajh/moses-and-daniel-peixotto/2008/01/30/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: