A Catholic Jew Pontificates

I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Jews, Convicts and Illegitimacy: A Tasmanian Jewish Story

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Joseph Solomon the President of the Hobart Synagogue and Member for the Huon in 1880 son of the convict Judah Solomon and his mistress Elizabeth Howell

The story of early Jewish settlement in Tasmania and on the Mainland of Australia is a fascinating area of study. Many Australian families are halakhically Jewish even though they are Christian by religion today. I have been researching a Tasmanian Catholic friend's genealogy and found out that she is descended from some interesting characters in the early days of Tasmania and Australia. 

 Edward Theodore Castle the father of Daisy Bell Castle

Her great-grandmother was the rather prettily named Daisy Bell Castle who was born in 1899 in the Glamorgan- Spring Bay area of coastal north eastern Tasmania near Little Swanport.  She was the daughter of Edward Castle of Green Hills and his wife Maria Radford. The Castle family were of convict ancestry and Edward's father Robert Castle was a womaniser who had 17 children with four different women. Edward was one of 9 children whom Robert had with his first wife Mary Jane Dyer who was a cousin of his from Somersetshire in England.

While the Castle family were Anglicans Edward's wife Maria Radford was of Jewish ancestry. Maria was born in the Spring Bay area in 1870. She was the illegitimate daughter of her mother Rachel Maria Radford (born 1850 in Spring Bay). Rachel at the age of 18 had an affair with a married leader in the Jewish community of Hobart Mr Joseph Solomon of Temple House in Argyle St, who would later be elected to Parliament for the Huon Valley area in 1880. He was also president of the Hobart Synagogue and came from a well-known family of Jewish convicts who became leaders in the Jewish community of Tasmania. Mr Solomon also had a son with Rachel called Jacob Radford. After the affair ended after the birth of Maria, Rachel in 1871 married Matthew Poole and went on to have a large family with him. Joseph Solomon did not have any children with his legal wife.


 Maria Frankel the mother of Rachel Maria Radford

However not only was Joseph Solomon Jewish as well as the illegitimate son of his father Judah Solomon's housekeeper but Rachel herself was Jewish and illegitimate. Her father George Radford who wasn't Jewish in religion but of Jewish ancestry through his mother was from a family that lived in Sorrell and at the age of 16 he got a young 14 year old Jewish girl pregnant. This teenager Maria Frankel ran away from her home to live with the Radford family and had two daughters with George Radford. After the birth of the second daughter Ruth Radford, Maria Frankel returned to her father's home in Hobart who then arranged a marriage for her in Sydney with a Jewish young man called Lewis or Louis Cohen. Maria's mother Miriam had previously died in Hobart in 1847 when Maria was about 11 years old. Sadly about a month after Maria's wedding her baby daughter Ruth, who she had left along with her older daughter Rachel in the care of George Radford's parents John and Mary (nee Buxton) Radford, died in April of 1854. Maria Frankel went on to have a large family of 12 children with her Jewish husband Lewis Cohen and they for many years lived in Launceston in Tasmania (from 1855 until about 1872 when they moved to Sydney). Rachel was raised as a child of her grandparents in Sorrell and Hobart.

Mary Ann Buxton who was the paternal grandmother of Rachel Radford (who reared her as her own daughter) was also on her mother's side Jewish. Mary Ann's mother Ellen Bott was the daughter of Jane Barlow (the daughter of  the Jew Isaac Barlow and his wife Sarah Solomon). Isaac Barlow's sister Sarah Barlow (b.1710) was married to Isaac Solomon. This Isaac Solomon (b.1710) was the grandfather of the convicts Judah and Joseph Solomon. Thus Ellen Bott and Judah Solomon were second cousins. Thus Joseph Solomon (Judah's son) and his mistress Rachel Maria Radford were third cousins twice removed. The Barlow surname originally was Bar Loeb or Lowe meaning "son of the lion".

Maria Frankel was the daughter of Louis Jacob Frankel a Polish born Jew of Breslau and his wife Miriam Sarah Moses of an English Jewish family from Bristol of whom many settled in Australia and Tasmania. The Moses family had originally come from Alsae in France in the early 18th century to Bristol and they intermarried with the Aaron family of Birmingham. Rabbi Moses Aaron was a Rabbi for the Jewish community in Birmingham in the late 18th century.

Louis and Miriam Frankel arrived to Tasmania on the "Calcutta" in 1842 and they settled in Hobart. Their daughter Maria or Mary Frankel was about 6 years old when they arrived from England. Maria had a brother Simeon and a sister Esther who were both younger than her. Her father himself remarried in 1857 to Miriam Mary Marks in Melbourne Victoria and they had about 5 children together. The Frankel or Fraenkel family of Breslau were devoutly orthodox Jewish and many of them Rabbinic scholars. Maria Frankel's brother Simeon Jacob Frankel was married in 1863 to Annie Cohen in Melbourne. They lived at different times in Tasmania, Sydney and Melbourne after their marriage. Maria's sister Esther Frankel married in 1860 in Sydney to Emanuel Jonas.

Miriam Sarah Moses' family were in business with and closely related to the Nathan family. Miriam's brother Samuel Jacob Moses had arrived in Australia with his wife Rosetta Blanche Moses (the daughter of Henry Zvi Moses and Esther Nathan). Samuel arrived in Hobart in 1841 a year before Louis and Miriam Frankel arrived in Hobart. It would seem that Miriam and Samuel's older brother David Moses in 1827 was convicted of a crime and sent to Tasmania for 7 years where he arrived in a convict ship the "Marmion" in 1828. This David Moses should not be confused with David Lionel Moses who died in 1845 from falling off his horse. This David was younger and was the brother of Rosetta Blanche Moses and of Mrs Harriette Nathan the wife of Louis Nathan. His Jewish funeral in 1845 caused great interest in the colony.


 Julia Moses the wife of Elias Moses and daughter of Abraham Moses

Miriam Sarah Moses (Mrs Frankel)'s brother Elias Moses arrived in Sydney in 1833 and went into business with Samuel Benjamin his shipmate. Two years later in 1835 Samuel Benjamin married Miriam and Elias' sister Rachel Moses.  Elias Moses married his relative Julia Moses the daughter of Abraham Moses. Another older sister of Miriam was Catherine Moses whose husband was Moses Benjamin a leading merchant in Melbourne and brother to Samuel Benjamin of Sydney. Moses went into business around 1838 with his brother David Benjamin and his half-brother Solomon Benjamin. Moses and Samuel Benjamin's mother was another Miriam Moses (b.1779) a daughter of Samuel Eleazar Moses. 

Miriam Sarah (nee Moses) Frankel also had a brother Solomon who married Deborah Hart in 1835 in Sydney as well as a youngest brother called Moses Moses (Moss). Moses married Esther Nathan on 16 November 1842 in Sydney.  She was a daughter of Nathan Lyon Nathan who was sent to Australia as 16 year old convict. He later returned to England and married there, and returned to Australia as a free settler. Nathan’s children and extended family were greatly involved in the establishment and growth of the Jewish communities in Australia and New Zealand. They were a prominent Jewish merchant family. Nathan's son Louis Nathan was married to Harriette Moses a sister of Rosetta Blanche Moses. The members of the extended Moses family were also great supporters of the Orthodox Jewish synagogue and communities throughout Australia.

There is much in the lives of the people here that I have touched on only very lightly and there is so much more to tell. The crimes they committed that led to their coming to Australia is also a fascinating story. The drama of Judah Solomon's wife coming from England and he refusing to give up his mistress and live with his legal wife is also an interesting story. The prettily named Anglican girl Daisy Bell Castle turned out to be of maternal Jewish ancestry and so are all her female line descendants. Daisy Bell Castle (b.1899) goes on her direct maternal line back to around 1720 and the birth of a Jewish woman called Judith Cohen who was the wife of Aaron Levy of Amsterdam and Hamburg. Judith Cohen is my friend's 8x great grandmother. 

By a strange coincidence another friend of ours who also attended our Passover Seder this year is also descended from these Jewish families of Bristol and Birmingham and I descend from Aaron and Judith too. Aaron Levy and Judith Cohen are her 6x great grandparents and they are my 7x great grandparents. Both my friends descend from their daughter Bertha (Batya) Levy who married Levy Moses of Birmingham and Bristol and I descend from her sister Rachel Levy of the Netherlands. They say there is only 6 degrees of cousinship separating most Jews and it would seem to be the case here. 

Let us redo the history of this line of women descended from Judith Cohen of Amsterdam via Miram Sarah Moses of Bristol and Hobart and their brokenness in illicit and/or difficult relationships in God's Divine Will so that healing will flow through the whole family. These stories also demonstrate that one can always come back from the disasters and problems in life and become a blessing to others. We all have an inner convict in us that is waiting for healing and freedom.

Judah Solomon and the Building of the Hobart Synagogue

Friday, April 07, 2017

The Lost Tribes of Israel and Genetics: A Discussion Group

 The Chin and Mizo claim to be the sons of Manasseh but are actually mostly from the Tribes of Asher and Gad which served under the Manassehite last King of Israel and his warrior horsemen of the tribe of Manasseh (Cuman/ Xiongnu/ Turks).

Recently I established a Lost Tribes of Israel and Genetics Discussion Group on facebook to discuss and provide sources for those interested in the search for the Lost Tribes of Israel. This has been a lifetime fascination for me and many of my family going back a number of generations. Until the advent of Genetics ydna research I held mostly to the identification of the Tribes as proposed by the British Israelites and the orthodox Jewish organisation Brit Am.



However by using the evidence of both the testing of living people and ancient dna with a study of history and the movements of people I have come to some different conclusions. I was once a great believer that the British and their crown commonwealth countries was the Ephraimite nation and company of nations. I now realise it is the Slavic Russians and Poles and other closely related Slavic peoples that make up this Ephraimite nation and company of nations. They are the birth-right Tribe of R1a Z283 ydna. The British and Irish turned out to be mainly from the Davidic House of Nathan (R1b L21). 


 Location of the Tribe of Eastern Manasseh in the 20th century. Many located in Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Western India as well as Kyrgyzstan,Tajikistan and southern Russia. As well as a hot spot in south-eastern Turkey and south eastern Iran.

Until very recently I believed that Manasseh was America but now I realise Eastern Manasseh is represented by the Turkish Sultans and those eastern peoples of R1a Z93 ydna. Only a percentage of the people of modern day Turkey belong to this group (about 10-15 %) and the largest group among the Turks of Turkey belong to J2 an Assyrian/ Ishmaelite clan at about 25%. In Western Europe the Western Manassehites (R1a L664) may be found and USA may have elements of both Manassehs among them. I also discovered in this reevaluation of the genetic evidence that many Asian peoples belong to the Tribes of Asher and Gad (both of O ydna haplogroup).

 I had always believed that the Tribe of Zebulon was among the Dutch and German people and this has proved to be correct and they mainly belong to R1b U106 ydna as well as R1b L238 ydna. This Tribe of Zebulon has been in Western Europe the longest of all the Tribes of Israel. Our present Queen's father George VI may have belonged to a Royal House descended from Zebulon and recent genetic studies identify the House of Saxe- Coburg and Gotha with R1b U106 Z305. So the Queen belongs to the Royal House of David only through a female lineage but on her direct male line she is a descendant of St Peter (Sh'mon ben Yochanan bar Yonah) and Jonah the Prophet who both belonged to the Tribe of Zebulon. The French Bourbon Kings also belonged to the Tribe of Zebulon (R1b U106 Z381).

I have also always believe that the Tribe of Reuben was to be found among the French and this has proved to be true with many French people belonging to R1b U152 which is numerous in France and Northern Italy. It is interesting that both the Plantagenet Kings of England and the Hapsburgs of Austria belong to the Tribe of Reuben and are only Davidic on a female line. Both the Stuart dynasty and the Oldenburg belong to R1b L21 and are direct male line descendants of the Davidic House. However some claim that it is not clear yet whether the Oldenburg House is R1b L21 (Davidic) or U106 (Zebulonite).
The Tribe of Reuben ( R1b U152) location in the 19th Century

As one can see from the above chart the great majority of the people of the world today are descendants on the male line from Noah's son Shem with exceptions of A, B, D and E haplogroups. A large portion of Europeans and Asians are male line descendants of Abraham (IJK). The numbers descended paternally from Jacob/Israel (NOP) are also immense. The Han Chinese people are nearly made up of 55 % of  Western Gad (O3 ydna) and about 10% of Eastern Gad (O1 ydna) as well as about 15%  of the Tribe of Asher (O2 ydna) and almost 10% of the Tribe of Naphtali (N ydna) and about 1% of the Tribe of Benjamin (Q ydna). The biggest group of non-Israelite male ancestry among the Chinese is Charranite C ydna which is about 5-10 % and about 1% of Tubalite D ydna. Thus both the Chinese and Japanese are mostly Israelite peoples on their direct male lines. However the Japanese are not as Israelite as the Chinese as they have a large percentage of non-Israelite D ydna about 35 % or more. The Ainu of Japan are over 87 % D ydna descendants of Japheth. The Koreans are about 45% of Western Gad (O3 ydna) and 30% of Asher (O2 ydna) and the Koreans have about 15% of non-Israelite C ydna as well as a small percentage of D ydna. The mother of Zilpah (the mother of the patriarchs Asher and Gad) was the handmaid of Laban's wife Adinah. Zilpah and Bilhah were maternally descended from the red-bronze daughters of Adan the wife of Japheth.


Saturday, April 01, 2017

Was Yeshua a Sabbath Breaker?: A Hebrew Catholic Perspective


Many Gentile Christians read the Gospels and see that Yeshua and his disciples at times broke the Sabbath laws and conclude that Yeshua (Jesus) did not value the Sabbath and that he abolished the Jewish Sabbath observance. Some Jewish Christians try to defend Yeshua and the disciples by denying the authority of the Rabbis and claiming that Yeshua didn't break the Biblical laws of the Sabbath. This is another form of sola scriptura that rejects the authority of the community and its leadership in being the interpreters of  Scripture and Tradition (Written and oral Torah). Yeshua as a devout Jew and Pharisee accepted both, he was no Saducee or Karaite.

While most Catholics reject this sola scriptura approach for the New Testament and its leadership, they often do accept it for the Old Testament and its leadership. Yeshua himself in Matthew 23 affirmed the authority of the Scribes and the Pharisaic Rabbis as sitting on the Seat or Chair of Moses and he also affirmed in Matthew 7 that he had no intention of abolishing even the smallest part of the Torah and Prophets. If he did then no Jew could follow him as he would be a false Messiah.

Did Yeshua and his disciples break the Sabbath laws? The answer is yes they did. However in doing this Yeshua adhered to Jewish Halachic principals. It would have been sinful for him not to break the Sabbath laws in certain situations because there are higher laws that one must obey. These higher laws are those of doing good by alleviating human need and suffering by showing compassionate mercy. 

The laws of mercy and love are higher than the laws of the Temple service just as the laws of the Temple Service are higher than the laws of the Sabbath. When they are in conflict the lower laws yield to the higher and the negative commandments to the positive. This is part of the kal v'chomer principles of Halachah. Today Pope Francis is returning Catholic teaching to this original approach to the rules and laws of the Catholic faith to its original sources in the Gospels and the teaching of Yeshua. And today we also have rigid Catholic Pharisees who oppose the Pope's reorientation to a Biblical approach rooted into the Halachic principals outlined by Yeshua himself as the priority of mercy and love.


Yeshua in laying out his approach to Halachah demonstrated through referring to the story of David and his men eating the shewbread that human hunger and need has a higher priority than the Temple laws. When Yeshua said that "something greater than the Temple is here", he on the level of peshat and drash was not referring to himself but to the law of mercy (doing good to others including animals) which is greater than the laws of the Temple service. However in no way did Yeshua intend to abolish the Sabbath laws but he did articulate with a kal v'chomer approach when it was lawful to break such rules when a higher priority was appropriate.

When Yeshua said that "the son of man is Lord of the Sabbath" he was not on the level of peshat (literal) and drash (homelectical) referring to himself as the Son of Man as he does in other places but referring to mankind. He is saying 'Man is master of the Sabbath' which complements 'The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath'. The more mystical interpretations of these sayings after reflecting on who Yeshua was as Messiah is a valid one and gives us greater spiritual insight. However we must first understand the levels of peshat and drash and what Yeshua was actually saying and how his Jewish audience was understanding him at that time. 


In Luke 14 at a dinner held by a prominent Pharisee leader who may have been Gamaliel himself Yeshua defended his Halachic argument about doing good or showing mercy on the Sabbath through healing. It would seem Gamaliel and the other Pharisees present agreed with his argument or at least had no reponse to it. Gamaliel later would defend the Apostles and St Clement reveals that Gamaliel became a secret disciple of Yeshua with the permission of St Peter in order to help the persecuted believers. Gamaliel who was the Nasi (Davidic president) and Av Bet Din (Chief Rabbi) of the Sanhedrin and thus the one who sat on the Seat of Moses thus defers to the higher authority of the Seat of Peter.

Any future Hebrew Catholic or Catholic Jewish community will have to use these Halachic principals as established by the Messiah just as Hasidic Jews accept that of their Rebbes. The Sacrifice of the Mass is the Temple service of the New Covenant and thus has a priority over Sabbath laws. Thus if one cannot walk to Mass or Adoration on Shabbat then it would be permissible for a Catholic Jew to travel by car, train or bus. Just as it is permissible for a catholic to miss Sunday Mass if they have to care for someone who is ill. Like in  the famous story of Schneur Zalman of Liadi (the founder of Chabad Hasidim) on Yom Kippor chopping wood and lighting a fire in order to help a woman who had just given birth, so the Hebrew Catholic would put doing good for others as the priority. 

Yeshua taught that it is not only if a life is endangered that one can break the Sabbath and Temple laws but if it will alleviate the suffering or distress of a person it is appropriate to do so immediately and this is a mitzvah which one should run to perform with joy. Pope Francis is presenting to us the terrible spiritual and emotional suffering of many Catholics in broken marriages and second marriages and asking us to put the priority of mercy and alleviating suffering above canon law. He is asking the priests and Bishops supported by the laity to run with joy to accompany these sufferers in their suffering and to do whatever they can to help alleviate that suffering of soul. This is nothing new but a return to the Gospels and the teaching of Yeshua which is taken to a new level of understanding in the ongoing development of doctrine in the Catholic Church (as articulated by Blessed Cardinal Newman) under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the one who sits in the Chair or Seat of Peter. Of course we need to always keep in mind that Jewish Sabbath observances are not salvific but a way of sanctity for Jewish people given by God himself at Sinai. However some form of Sabbath rest observance is universal as the Sabbath was given in the beginning to mankind to observe and the Church allows Gentile Catholics to fulfill this universal observance of a day of Rest on Sundays.




Monday, March 20, 2017

St Joseph and Our Hidden Vocation: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

 
 Jewish style St Joseph

Today we (a group of consecrated brothers or monacelli) are celebrating the feast of St Joseph at our Beit Achim (House of brothers) at our place called St Joseph's Hidden Place in a small valley in Tasmania we have named St Joseph's Hidden Valley. An important part of our vocation is the hiddenness of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the Holy House of Nazareth similar to that as lived by Blessed Charles de Foucauld and the servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. All of our brothers take Joseph as part of their consecrated name and we daily pray a perpetual novena to St Joseph as well as praying the Cloak of St Joseph prayers everyday during March.


The matyred monks of Thibirine in Algeria

Recently I watched the movie called "Of Gods and Men" about a group of Catholic monks in Algeria living a "hidden" life among the Muslim people who were later martyred by extremist Islamists. For some reason their life in Algeria reminded me of our life in Tasmania. We may not be surrounded by Muslims but we are living in a society that is very indifferent to religion and faith and we see ourselves as a presence of faith and prayer in a fairly hidden manner. In a sense we have a ministry to spy out the land and to plough it and hopefully plant some seed. 


 The unveiling of our Hidden Mashiach by the Archangels

Others often don't understand our way of life as they would if we were "active" brothers who worked with drug addicts or street people or who seek to take leading roles in the active life of the parish. In fact I did work with drug addicts and street people for many years earlier in my life. It is always a temptation to get drawn into activities that are not part of our charism of littleness and hiddenness. It is also hard to die to the desire to be appreciated and noticed when our calling is in fact to be forgotten and hidden. It is difficult to keep in mind that being missionary disciples of Jesus for us means doing it in a way that accords with our calling or vocation to be little and hidden in the darkness of the cloud of Joseph and the womb of Mary with our Eucharistic Lord.

View of part St Joseph's Hidden Place facing Jebel Torbul (name of the hill) covered with snow

So we embrace our life of hiddenness by accompanying Jesus in the tabernacle and in a hidden way pray with him in Divine Will for all people and all creation, for our archbishop, priests and people here in Tasmania and especially in the Huon Valley at the very southern end of the world as well as for the Universal Church. We are at the service of our brothers and sisters who are called to be more "active" missionary disciples of the Lord.

St Mary Our Hope Church with our Archbishop, our parish priest and a visiting Latin-Mass priest at the 150th celebration of its consecration on Jan 22 2017

The little Church in our town is named St Mary Our Hope but at the recent celebration of its 150 years the Archbishop revealed that it had originally been called St Joseph. So hidden under the name of Our Lady is her beloved spouse St Joseph who is totally eclipsed in her. I suspect St Joseph is rather pleased with the name change. The Archbishop asked to be informed when the name change occurred and I suspect it happened before the church in Geeveston was named in honour of St Joseph where Father Julian Tenison-Woods served as a missionary priest in the 1870's. Father Julian would later go on to found the two Australian religious communities of the Sisters of St Joseph and the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. One of my Hebrew Catholic friends in America founded a community of sisters named in honour of Our Lady under the name of Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope and part of our calling in Tasmania has to be involved with the orthodox Jewish community and its young Rabbi and to pray daily for the intentions of the Association of Hebrew Catholics and the Hebrew Catholic movement as well as for all Jewish people.


Brother Gilbert Joseph of the Divine Presence donning tefillin with the help of the orthodox Rabbi of Tasmania in 2014

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Anglo-Jewish Roots: The Hidden Jews



I came from an assimilated Australian family of Anglo-Jewish and Anglo-Celtic ancestry. I am one of seven children. My grandparents were not religious but my parents became devout Evangelical Anglicans and Hebrew Christians. I became a practicing orthodox Jew before becoming a Hebrew Catholic in 1987. One of my Jewish ancestors who has played and continues to play a great role in my spirituality is Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and his teachings. My crypto-Jewish, Hebrew Christian, Frankist and Marrano ancestry has also made a deep spiritual impact on me and drew me to the books of Cecil Roth when I was a teenager. 


My father's great-great-great great uncle Sir Moses Montefiore

There was an oral tradition that my mother's ancestress Hannah Mayer (Maher) a Frankist belonged to the Rothschild family and was the daughter of the famous Amschel Mayer Rothschild founder of the great Jewish Banking dynasty. Instead she turned out to be a paternal granddaughter of Hannah Rothschild a rather poorer first cousin to Amschel Mayer Rothschild! Imagined riches found and then lost due to further genealogical research. Oy vey! Both my parents descend also from the famous Sephardi Jewish family called Montefiore. Their common ancestor was Moses Vita (Chaim) Montefiore. He was an Italian born Jewish merchant who moved to London in the 1740's and was the grandfather of the wealthy Sir Moses Montefiore (my ancestral uncle on my father's side). 

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My great great great grandfather Thomas Williams grandfather of Henry Bartram. His father Solomon was an artist and his grandfather also Solomon was a Jewish glazier and goldsmith. He traveled with the Hebrew Christian evangelist Joseph Wolff to Palestine in the 1820's where he met and married his wife whose family were converted to Hebrew Christians by Joseph Wolff.

My great great great grandmother Eliza wife of Thomas Williams. She was the daughter of a Jewish Rabbi from Safed in Palestine. They left Palestine after the huge earthquake of 1837 to join her husband's family in Wicklow Ireland. Her family used the surnames of Segal, Pollard and Leason. Her grandmother Lea Segal was a daughter of Rabbi Leibush Segal who married Moses Pollard an American merchant who converted to orthodox Judaism in Palestine. Her father Rabbi Pinchus Segal (aka William Pollard/ Leason) married Miriam a daughter of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. She and her brother were removed from the Breslov family tree.

My more immediate ancestors left their homes in the British Isles in the 19th century so that I was born in Subiaco (a suburb of Perth) in Western Australia in 1963. When I was a baby my family moved to a small north-eastern wheat-belt town of Morowa where my parents took up wheat and sheep farming for a couple of years. Both my parents were from another small south-eastern wheat belt town in Western Australia called Dumbleyung. Dumbleyung was first settled by the Kersley, Cronin and Bartram families. For many years George Kersley and Henry Bartram (both my maternal ancestors) drove their sheep from Beverley to Lake Dumbleyung. The Kersley and the Irish Catholic family of the Cronins settled there permanently in the mid 1870's. My great aunt Essie who I was very close to and loved dearly married one of the Cronin boys even though she was very bigoted against Catholics. However her husband John Cronin was my grandfather Hillyer Bartram's best friend who he went shooting with on many weekends. Hillyer's grandfather James Bartram was also friendly with the Catholic Presentation nuns in Beverley. When I was in Thailand I became friends with a Presentation nun and while staying with her I found a book on the history of the Presentation nuns which mentioned James Bartram as well as the Williams family of his wife Jane.


My great great grandfather James Bartram father of Henry with his relatives on a visit back to England in 1858 (aged 31). His paternal grandmother Lady Bartram (on the far right) was born an Italian Jewess. 

Dumbleyung had been home to my mother's paternal Bartram family since 1886 when they arrived from another farming town called Beverley. My mother's paternal great grandfather James Bartram had arrived in the Swan River Colony in 1843 as a 16 year old from the village of Aylmerton in Norfolk. James' grandfather Robert was a Jacobite supporter and involved with James' father in the Albury Park movement of Sir Henry Drummond and his grandmother Lady Bartram was born an Italian Jewess and she attended secretly the Jewish synagogue in Norwick. These Bartram grandparents were fascinated with the search for the Lost Tribes of Israel and went to America for a visit around 1800 in search for the Lost Tribes of Israel among the American Indians of the Ojibwa in Wisconsin.They treked in to the wilds of Wisconsin with two of their children with Captain Anderson as their guide. I wonder if I inherited my interest in the lost Tribes partly from these intrepid ancestors. In 2006 I attended the Bartram family reunion in Dumbleyung where we celebrated the 120th anniversary of the Bartram's permanent settlement in Dumbleyung and the 163rd anniversary of their arrival in Western Australia and the launching of a new Family history book at which my Aunty Faye was honoured for her research into the family history.


My grandfather Hillyer Bartram. His father Henry was of Spanish Jewish and Scottish ancestry and his mother Elizabeth (Bessie) Kersley of English and rumoured Aboriginal ancestry

My mother's maternal family had arrived in Dumbleyung around 1908 when they left Corowa in New South Wales via Melbourne. Many of my mother's direct maternal ancestresses had been teachers and midwives for many generations. My mother's maternal grandmother Hannah (b. 1874) had been both a teacher and a midwife as had her mother Anne (b.1849) before her. Anne had established a school in Echuca in Victoria and then a maternity nursing home in West Melbourne and then another maternity nursing home in Wagin (a town near Dumbleyung). Anne's direct maternal ancestors originally came to Liverpool and then Ireland from the Dutch Jewish community in Holland. Recent dna testing demonstrated that this maternal lineage had a mt-dna Ashkenazi Jewish marker. Her daughter Hannah (Johanna was her birth name but she was always known as Hannah) in later life was a midwife to the group settler' families in the Northcliffe area among the huge Karri trees. Hannah's paternal ancestors were from the Syrian Jewish family of Kassan that were merchants and rabbis in Aleppo. My father's family moved to Wagin and then Dumbleyung during the Second World War when my father was a little boy.



My great-great grandmother Anne Ennis at 19 years of age. She belonged to a Frankist (Catholic Jewish) family descended from Jacob Frank via her grandmother Helena Moran.

My father's paternal ancestors arrived in Fremantle in 1865 on the "Racehorse". My father's direct paternal great-grandfather Edward Bloomer had been a soldier ( a bombardier) and came as an enrolled pensioner guard to the convicts on the ship. He must have been a terrific horseman as was my grandfather, my uncles and father. Edward as a bombardier rode on horseback with three other riders dragging a cannon with them, then they would jump off their horses, fire the cannon at the enemy, then leap back on their horses and charge to the next position. Edward spent 20 years in the Army in British India.  Edward's ancestors were also soldiers and his direct paternal great grandfather James Alexander Bloomer (b.1754) was a Loyalist soldier in the American Revolution (he fought under the name of Captain James Alexander). James' Irish born father James (O'Reilly) Alexander (of Scots ancestry) had come from Spain (where he grew up) to America where he died in the Indian Wars in 1756. He married Abigail Bloomer an American Jewess from whence the Bloomer surname entered my family's male line.


My grandfather George Bloomer (standing) with his father Christopher Edward Bloomer. He was a non-practicing Catholic of Hasidic Jewish ancestry. Many of his ancestors were followers and descendants of Reb Moshe ben Zalman the Son of the Alter Rebbe who became a Catholic with many other Hasidic Jews (mainly Chabad and Breslovers) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He was also descended from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and from Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov. They joined with and intermarried with the Papal Frankists in Ireland.

 James Alexander Bloomer himself married a London born Jewess - Judith Cohen of Savannah in Georgia. They settled in Cavan Ireland as soldier-settlers after 1783 but in 1795 James went to Russia (Tartu, Estonia) with his son John to fight in the Czarist armies under the Russian General Orurk. John's son Edward (the father of Edward the Bombardier) married General Orurk's daughter Henrietta Maria as his first wife. Most of the family returned from Russia to Cavan after 1815 and settled in the Rooskey area of Knockbride parish in Cavan. In Russia the family had become Frankists and John's son Edward (snr) (aka Efraim Zvi Barzel)) who was born in Russia in 1798 later went with his second wife and his children to live in Palestine after 1827 where they reverted to orthodox Judaism using the surname Barzel. After the huge earthquake of 1837 Edward and his wife re-embraced belief in Jesus as Hebrew Christians and fled Palestine with some of their children and leaving some with their relatives. He was the father of my great great grandfather Edward (who came to Western Australia) by his first wife.

My paternal grandfather was also a soldier in World War One and two of my father's brothers were soldiers in World War Two and my father was a soldier in the Korean War. My grandfather George and my uncle Colin featured in a episode of  "Who do you think you are?" as my uncle Colin's granddaughter is a famous Australian actress Lisa McCune. It is through George's mother that I descend from Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Rebbe Nachman and Reb Nosan (Nathan) of Nemirov as well as the Katzenellenbogen (anglicised to Kellington) family. Many of my father's ancestors on both sides were soldiers and some of his ancestors fought in the Battle of Waterloo. One of my mother's ancestral uncles John Pollard of the Royal Navy had written on his grave stone "the man who shot the man who shot Nelson" according to the tradition handed down in Australia and told to me as a young boy by my mother and Aunty Faye. We used to visit a very old relative Mr Pollard who had retired to Kelmscott who told me many stories about our ancestors.

My maternal grandmother Linda Lewis aged 15. Daughter of Leonard of Anglo-Jewish ancestry and Hannah Lewis of Irish Frankist and Jewish ancestry 

I also used to visit my great uncle Charlie (Leonard Charles Lewis) and quiz him about our family history which I would write down in a notebook when I was a teenager. He was a mine of information and very proud of his Jewish ancestry and told me stories about his Jewish West ancestors such as his great uncle Simeon Levi West Jnr (Uncle Levi) whose horse "Tradition" had come second in the 1888 Melbourne Cup and was a secret crypto-Jewish Rabbi or Hazzan. My aunty Faye and I went on many journeys together to visit relatives in search of the family history and I spent hours in libraries researching in the days before the internet. We also were in contact with a relative called Wesley West in New South Wales who was also researching our family history. I also wrote to many distant relatives who also sent me much fascinating information. I had been inspired to begin the search into my family tree when I was 13 or 14 in Year 9 Social Studies when we had to do an assignment on our family tree. 

In 1980 when I was in my last year of High School our family attended a huge Whittington family reunion celebration of the 150th anniversary of our ancestor Daniel Whittington's arrival in the Swan River Colony on the "Wanstead" ship from England to the Swan River Colony in Western Australia. My mother was descended from his daughter Eliza Whittington who was born in 1834 at Upper Swan (a name which caused much amusement to us). This was during the first very difficult years of the new colony when many children died due to starvation as all the crops failed due to the poor soul on the coastal strip. They established a farm at Guildford (where Eliza married her husband George Kersley in 1851) but later moved to the more fertile lands of the Avon-dale region discovered by the early explorers. However there is some question whether Eliza (and later siblings) was the daughter of  Daniel's Sussex-born wife or of a Aboriginal second 'wife'.

My father's maternal family came from Victoria in the 1890's to the Western Australian goldfields and then Perth where they were brick-makers, like they had been in Victoria. Some of both my mother and father's maternal ancestors had been publicans back in England among the crypto-Jewish families. An inn or pub was a good place where the publican doubled as a crypto Rabbi or Hazzan (worship leader) and the minyan could meet without drawing much attention. The publicans also were often farmers as well so they could provide kosher products to their crypto-Jewish flock.


 My ancestor Rebbe Nachman of Breslov who had strawberry blonde hair

According to Orthodox Jewish belief one is a Jew if one's mother is Jewish or of Jewish maternal ancestry or through conversion. Thus Halachically many Western Australians and indeed Australians are Halalichally Jewish without even realising it even though they may also be nominally or practicing Catholics, Anglicans and Protestants. Thus these are also hidden or lost Jews that need to be restored to their Jewish identity and people. They also need to be restored to Torah and mitzvot.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The New Crusade and Just War: A Hebrew Catholic Opinion

 St Lawrence of Brindisi leading the Catholic soldiers

Recently I was watching the movie about Blessed Macro d'Aviano and the Siege of Vienna in 1683. This incredible saint, who was a Franciscan friar, worked incredible miracles of healing and was known to bilocate and at the same time he rallied the forces of Catholic Europe to resist the Muslim advance into Europe. Watching this movie reminded me of an earlier saint who is also a doctor of the Church and Franciscan friar who led the armies of the Holy Roman Empire riding on a donkey or horse and holding up the crucifix with no other weapons against the Muslim invaders in 1601. 18,000 Christian soldiers defeated 80,000 Muslim troops. This saint was St Lawrence of Brindisi who has written some of the deepest insights of Marian theology.

It would seem to many that it is inconceivable that God would rise up holy Franciscans of such stature in spirituality to lead Catholic soldiers in battle against an unjust aggressor. But he did! The official teaching of the Church does indeed allow for participation in a just war. St Francis of Paola also prophesies that a holy hermit would inspire a future Catholic Duke to establish an order of military monks for the defense of Europe against the Muslims like in the days of the Crusades in Medieval times. This idea upsets many Catholic pacificists or those who think fighting a war in defense of one's faith or country is somehow wrong. 

At one stage of my life I seriously considered whether being a pacifist was the right Christian position to hold. However coming from a Jewish background I knew that I would have had to fight in World War II and could not have justified to myself not doing so against such a great evil as Nazism and its policies of genocide. Today with the rise of the evil of ISIS and Islamic terrorism I could also not justify supporting Christian pacifist ideas while respecting those who were sincere conscientious objectors. However while I could support the first Gulf War in defense of Kuwait, I could not support the Western invasions of Iraq or the interventions against the government of Assad in Syria. The fruit of these last two have led to the destruction of once flourishing Christian communities in Iraq and Syria. The West should have as it first priority the rescue and defense of these Christians. 



It has often been the Virgin Mary that has inspired those who rallied to the defense of Christendom such as the defeat of the Muslim fleet at Lepanto in 1571 especially under her title of Our Lady Help of Christians. I was baptised on the feast day of Our Lady Help of Christians on 24th May and Our Lady is the Patroness of Australia under this title too. Does this mean that Australia is in need of protection by Our Lady against a Muslim attack on Australia in the future? St Louis de Montfort taught that the Muslims would be conquered and converted under the direction of Our Lady. Will she do this once again through a holy monk, friar or hermit and a Great Monarch and Great Pope as prophesied in so many Catholic prophecies? Will we once again hear the cries of Deus Vult! Mater Maria! Santiago Matamoros! Cry God for Harry, England and St George! The Crusade! The Crusade! Vivo Christo Rey! Ave Christus Rex! Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V'Rabbeinu. Melech HaMashiach L'Olam Vaed!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Zohar on the Lion, the Bridegroom, Bride and the Sun: A Hebrew Catholic Insight


Zohar 1:6 b describes the Divine Presence as the ‘Image of the Lion’. This is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who descends on the Altar to consume the Sacrifices. It also describes the destruction of the two Temples and the slaying of the Lion of God (Ariel) who is the Light of God (Uriel). This slaying of the Lion alludes to the Lion of the Apocalypse who is the ‘Lamb that was slain’. This also reminds us of the sacrifice of Aslan in the Narnia Chronicles of C.S. Lewis. The evil Dog that tries to consume the sacrifices represents the Antichrist that would attempt to abolish the Sacrifice of the Mass (Eucharist). This reminds us of Anubis of Egyptian mythology. The Lady or Woman of Israel with her children (companions) are covered with crimson (i.e. the blood of Yeshua) and can endure the persecution of this evil one. 


Zohar 1:8a speaks of the Two Roses as the bride (kallah) and groom (khatan) mentioned in the Song of Songs. The Jewish tradition states that the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies of Scripture. Here we see the bride as Mother of the Community (Kneset Yisrael) united under the Huppah (marriage canopy) with her Son in his role as Body of Mashiach. The adornments and wedding finery of the Bride is the whole Torah – Written and Oral.

 Zohar 1:8a speaks of the righteous singing the Song of Torah. The ‘Heaven’ who is the Son and the male cherub (‘end of heaven’) is revealed as the Groom. The Bride is called ‘El’ (God) referring to her as Elleh (Goddess). She is ‘god’ or ‘goddess’ (El or Elleh) by adoption and divinisation. She becomes as or like God (El) and she attains to the Glory (Kavod) of God. This is why Jacob Frank refers to Our Lady at Czestochowa as the ‘Goddess’. This is the mystery of divinisation and the total living in the Divine Will. Our Lady and all her companions (khaverim) become gods and goddesses by adoption not by nature. Jesus is the only Son by nature or essence. 


The Zohar states that this Bride ascends from ‘glory to glory’. “She is called Glory as well as God, glory upon glory, radiance upon radiance, dominion upon dominion.” This is the coronation of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven and Earth and Queen of the Angels and Saints. She is specially associated with those who are ‘masters of the oath of the covenant of the bride’. These are those who have mastered sexual purity in body, mind and heart. Sins of impurity may lead one to Hell and to the Prince of Hell called Dumah (Silence) unless one repents as David did.





 Zohar 1:9a refers to this Groom as the Sun. “Dwelling in those skies, crowned in them, he is like a groom coming forth from his chamber.” This Sun is then linked to ‘the end of Heaven above’ which earlier was revealed as the male cherub on the Ark of the Covenant. Bereshit in Genesis 1:1 is made up of six letters (shoshan- the six petalled rose). It is followed by 6 words (bara Elohim et ha-Shamayim ve-et ha-aretz). This is linked to the six times that Y-H-V-H appears in Psalm 19:8-10. The mystery of the circuit of the sun (as male and female) is revealed in Psalm 19. ‘His circuit’ is the ‘end of heaven below’ who alludes to the female cherub. This is all part of the Mystery of the two Roses who become the two coloured Rosa Mundi (Rose of the World) which is hidden in a mystical reading of Genesis 1 and the rest of the Torah and Scriptures through the prism of the Song of Songs. However the obvious parallels with the Egyptian concepts of  the Sun God (Amon-Ra/ Aten) and Pharoah (Horus) and also the Greek concepts of Apollo and his sun chariot meant these mysteries could only be revealed to those spiritually mature Torah scholars who would not be influenced by any pagan elements.

 

Apollo and his Nine Muses and the Jewish Mystical Tradition