Jewish Man, CC.0

In this grievous hour, I am reminded to reread George Washington’s letter to the Jewish Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, September 9, 1790:

“…May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.  May the Father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths…for happily the government of the United States, gives to bigotry no sanction…” George Washington

And also James Madison’s Letter to the Jewish rabbi Dr. Jacob de la Matta, August 1820:

“…Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect.  And it is particularly pleasing to observe in the good citizenship of such as have been most distrusted and oppressed elsewhere a happy illustration of the safety and success of this experiment of a just and benignant policy.  Equal laws, protecting equal rights, are found as they ought to be presumed, the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country, as well as best calculated to cherish that mutual respect and good will among citizens of every religious denomination which are necessary to social harmony, and most favorable to the advancement of truth.  The account you give of the Jews of your congregation brings them fully within the scope of these observations.”  James Madison

And, with a hope that we may rededicate ourselves to the vision of our nation’s founders, George Washington’s word in his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789:

“…That we may unite in most humbling offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People…”