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Issac Casaubon: The French Reuchilin?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:19 am
by EzraLB
In his recent podcasts on the Spanish Inquisition, Bill mentioned how many crypto-jews fled Spain for the New World and Amsterdam, but less known is that they also poured over the border into southern France and took refuge among the nascent Protestant-Huguenot communities with whom they had common cause against the persecutions of the Catholic church.

A leading Huguenot figure of the French Reformation was Issac Casaubon (1559-1614), who was born in Geneva to "refugee" parents but raised in France. Like many Huguenots, Casaubon was intensely interested in all things jewish and spent his life studying obscure jewish writings in the belief that only these spiritual "big brothers" could correctly interpret the Scriptures. Thus he had much in common with the liberals of the German Reformation, like Johannes Reuchilin, to whom Casaubon has often been compared. Supposed jewish "scholars" have taken great interest in Casaubon because of his "philo-semitism". ... onnection/

Like John Calvin, Issac Casaubon was a judaizer, who went so far as to exonerate the jews from the charge of Deicide by claiming the jews, under the mishneh laws, could not be held responsible--oddly using the satanic Guide For the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides as a "divine" authority. And like John Calvin, we may not ever know for sure if Casaubon was himself a descendant of crypto-jews, though known portraits of him don't exactly look aryan.

Apparently, the early Huguenots believed they were part of the Lost Tribes of Israel--just like some of the early American Puritans; and that belief, unfortunately, created great sympathy for the plight of the persecuted crypto-jews or "New Christians" arriving in France in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition. Both the Huguenots and crypto-jews were known to dress alike--and even talk alike in a strange dialect that locals had trouble understanding--which to me sounds like a form of Yiddish.

There can be little doubt that many crypto-jews from Spain took on the religion of the Huguenots to blend in to these communities of French Christians. Yet when the Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes, which declared Catholicism as the State religion, many Huguenots fled France for the New World--and Amsterdam--two new hotbeds of jewry.

In fact, among Americans of Huguenot descent there is evidence that some of them may, in fact, have ancestors who were crypto-jews, at least according to family lore. Charleston, South Carolina was a center of jewish money power in the American South, and it also happened to be where many Huguenots settled: ... uenots.pdf

The Huguenot reliance on the jews for their understanding of Scripture may have had serious repercussions, not just in terms eschatology, but also perhaps racially. As Richard Kilbye, an English Herbraist and associate of Issac Casaubon once noted,

"For no one can ever understand the Hebrew masters perfectly on his own, but one must use the help of a Jew."