The Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean

Published on Feb 19, 2021
Long Before the Dread Pirate Roberts or Pirates of the Caribbean entered our consciousness, there were once Jewish pirates who sailed the seven seas and wreaked all sorts of semi-kosher mayhem across the Mediterranean.

It’s kinda hard to believe, but in the Middle Ages there honestly were Jews who operated under the skull and crossbones.

Taking on unforgettable names like “Great Jew” and the “Pirate Rabbi,” some indulged in the whole swashbuckling pirate life. Others took to the high seas as revenge against an oppressive regime.

Of course, there’s those who say that most of the Jewish pirates served more as advisors to other leading (non-Jewish) pirates of the day. That might be true (watch the video to find out more), but don’t let the debate over whether they were privateers, buccaneers, pirates or smugglers spoil an awesome story about Jews who stood up to their enemies.

Let us know what you think about this obscure chapter of Jewish history by leaving your comments below.


Special thanks to Arnon Shorr for allowing the use of portions of his film The Pirate Captain Toledano, you can follow the film @jewishpirates on Twitter and Facebook, and find his film on Amazon Prime Video:

Pirate Crew by Ross Budgen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License -

The Buccaneer's Haul by Shane Ivers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License -

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Moses Cohen Henriques, Sinan Reis, The Great Jew, The Pirate Rabbi, Samuel Pallache, kabbalah, sephardic jews, spanish inquisition
Who were the Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean?
#Pirates #Jewish #Explainer


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