Calmeyer Lawyer 1s

Calmeyer’s Legacy

Hans Calmeyer Righteous Gentile 1903-1972

“The Dutch Schindler”

 Lawyer for Life

New Israel


Israel today is the re-establishment of Jewish residence after many years of Jews having been scattered around the world The scattering did not happen due to 20th Century wars but had been the result of repeated invasions and ruler-ship over Jewish peoples and then Judea as a nation and then over the various collections of Jews in many places. But the first dramatic scattering was of the 12 Tribes of Israel itself, leading to the so-called Lost Tribes of Israel, about which we still do not know very much at all. Theories abound that the lost tribes include civilizations we consider non-Semitic today, including highly controversial ideas such that many of the western European groups that then eventually also emigrated to America, were in fact remnants of the lost tribes. We have no idea who is right, we simply believe in Jewish-Christian solidarity because it is the right thing to do under a shared G_d.

A shared God also includes a shared appreciation and respect for Israel, the land chosen by G_d for His chosen people. For the Jews, Israel is a place that has received 90% of divine wisdom on earth (Kiddushin 59b), and represents special holiness and a closer relationship with G_d for those living there. This is Yeretz Yisroel (follow the link), then and today.

We will not go into all this in too much detail here (links are offered for the reader to make their own conclusions if it proves of interest). But also pertinent here, to a Judeo-Christian theme and commonality, is the profound impact made on the New World, America, by the Judeo-Christian Puritans that virtually founded Christianity in America, and who placed very little emphasis on the New Testament. We are interested in the common bonds of Judeo-Christian civilization, and this story is an illustration of close collaboration, rather than conflict, between Jewish beliefs and traditions and Christian attempts to extend the scripture that is in common with the Jews by recognizing a Messiah for whom Jews still wait.

PURITANS WERE MORE JEWISH THAN PROTESTANTS  ?                           Hugh Fogelman

 A Puritan is a name often misunderstood. During the 17th century English Civil War (known as the Puritan Revolution), the  Puritans were Protestant fundamentalists who wished to purify€ť the  Church of England. Some of the Puritans, known as Separatists  separated, forming their own church. The Puritans felt that  Parliament, and not the King, should have the final say and that the  moral guidance for all legal decision should come from the Jewish Bible  which they considered to be the highest authority in all matters.

The Puritans were obsessed  with the Bible and came to identify their political struggle against  England with that of the ancient Hebrews against Pharaoh or the King of Babylon. Because they identified so strongly with ancient Israel ,  they chose to identify with the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). (World Book Encyclopedia & Encyclopaedia Judaica).  In 1620, the Separatists€ť sailed for America on the Mayflower. The  Separatists/Puritans who settled at Plymouth Colony called themselves  Pilgrims because of their wanderings in search of religious freedom.  The Puritan culture of New England was marked from the outset by a deep association with Jewish themes. No Christian community in history identified more with the Israelites of the Bible than did the first  generations of settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who believed  their own lives to be a literal reenactment of the biblical drama of the chosen people they were the children of Israel and the  ordinances of God’s Holy covenant by which they lived were His divine  law. Since they viewed themselves as the persecuted victims of the  sinful Christian establishment of the Old World ( England ), the  Puritans also had a natural sympathy for the Jews of their own time. The Protestant Puritan leader Cotton Mather repeatedly referred to the Jews in his prayer for their conversion as God's "Beloved People. The New Israel―The influence of the Hebrew Bible marks every step of the Puritan exodus to their Zion in the wilderness of the New World . The Jewish Bible  formed their minds and dominated their characters; its conceptions were  their conceptions.

The "Separatists,€ť ready to depart from England for the new land, fasted in a manner reminiscent of the fasts held by the Israelites before any new undertaking. Their  Pastor Robertson read I Samuel 23:3-4 and then they sailed to the New Canaan in America . The biblical basis for this procedure is  manifest; just as the ancient Israelites prayed and fasted before  undertaking an uncertain venture, so did the Puritans. And once settled  in America , the custom was retained and frequently renewed. Early in 1620, the very year of the Pilgrims' landing in the new Plymouth , a solemn day of prayer was observed; Pastor Robinson spoke, again quoting from I Samuel 23:3-4, by which he strove to ease their fears and  strengthen their determination. This custom, combining prayer and  fasting with biblical readings on momentous occasions, persisted and as  late as 1800, President Adams likewise called a national day of prayer  and fasting.

The next major group of  Puritan settlers to arrive in New England (1630) was headed by John Winthrop (1588-1649) and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They were ruled initially by an elite of leading Puritan families  - since the colony itself was based on biblical principles and was moved  by the Puritan spirit of the Scriptures €”was the Holy Jewish Bible. The  Puritans wholeheartedly believed that it was their special mission to  establish in America a society precisely modeled on the precepts of  Sacred Jewish Scriptures. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was at the very  least a state inspired by and thoroughly devoted to the Jewish Bible.  "If we keep this covenant," Governor John Winthrop assured his people,  "we shall find that the God of Israel is among us, but if we deal  falsely with our God... we be consumed out of the good land whither we  are going." The Jewish covenant concept was thus the bedrock of all Puritan religious communities.

When the Puritans, a bitterly persecuted  people by the English government, reached America , they drew clear  analogies between themselves and the Jews of antiquity. They constantly  referred to the Hebrew Bible, renewing the similarities to their own  experience, so that its philosophy and spirit came to permeate their  lives.  Also, like Israel of old, the Pilgrims (and  their fellow Puritan counterparts) regarded themselves as the elect of  God, so that throughout the Revolutionary War they visualized their  enemies as Amalekites or Philistines. And in a manner reminiscent of the traditional Jewish Passover night, the Pilgrims too memorialized their  passage into freedom. In searching the Scriptures for readings pertinent to their own situation, the Puritans readily discovered the general  similarity between themselves and the ancient Israelites, and proceeded  to draw from it some very particular conclusions. They firmly believed  that the Hebrew prophets were speaking to them as directly as they had  spoken to the Israelites. Thus the history of the Israelites as related  in the Bible served, according to the ministers of the day, as a mirror  in which the Puritans could see their own activities reflected. Still  considering themselves as Christian Protestants, the Puritans related to the Israelites and their Jewish belief for their fundamental  grounding.

In this respect they differed sharply from the majority of traditional Christian theologies. To the Puritans the primary lesson of the Old Testament was that a  nation as well as an individual could enter into a covenant with God.  The Puritans reasoned in America the concept of the covenant would  assume new dimensions. Once they reached the colonies a new factor  entered into the matter of the covenant. In this New Israel the Puritans established a completely new society based solely upon the Jewish  concept of a covenant between God and man. Thus the Puritans made  certain of the biblical system they wished to establish in the New  World . When, during a convention of Puritan ministers at Boston on  May 26, 1698 , they confirmed the belief that "under the Old Testament,  the Church was constituted by a covenant." Because of this concept, the  Puritan Church was not ruled by a formal and rigid papal  hierarchy but derived its direction immediately from God, ruled by His  word as revealed in the sacred Jewish Scriptures.

The Bible was in all  circumstances and for all occasions the ultimate source of knowledge and precedent. The Jewish Bible was the inspired word of God which was for  them a matter of absolute conviction, and, hence, indisputable.  Accordingly, failure to abide by the strict reading and literal  interpretation of the Scriptures was severely punished: If any  "Christian so called€ť spoke contemptuously of the Scripture, or the  holy penmen thereof, they were to be punished by fine or whipping. Laws  were also passed punishing those who violated the Sabbath.  Laws and regulations adopted by them, which, at the present day, are  stigmatized as singularities, were in many instances, the legitimate  fruits of their strict adherence to the teaching of the Bible.

Most of the official acts  of the colonies were determined by the Jewish Scriptures. One of these,  the Connecticut Code of 1650, adopted a near Mosaic form of government.  Its fifteen Capital Laws, Pentateuchal citations and language are later  found in the Massachusetts Code of 1660. The guide of early  Connecticut was Thomas Hooker, a man deeply touched by the Bible and  its spirit, and called by some "the founder of American democracy." He  wrote in a letter (1648) to Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts on the subject of liberty under the law: Sit liber judex, as the lawyers  speak. Deuteronomy 17:10–11: "Thou shalt observe to do according to all  that they inform, according to the sentence of the law. Thou shalt seek  that Law at his mouth: not ask what his discretion allows, but what the  Law requires." The Puritans' incorporated the Mosaic code and  injunctions from the Old Testament into their own legal framework. It is worthy of note that fully half of the statutes in the Code of 1655 for  the New Haven colony contained references to or citations from the Old Testament, while only three percent referred to the New Testament.

Accordingly, the first settlers in New England called themselves "Christian Israel." Comparison of the Puritan leaders with the great leaders of ancient  Israel especially Moses and Joshua were common. So the names of  Daniel, Jonathan, Esther, Enoch, Ezra, Rachel and a host of others were  in constant use among the Puritans. Interestingly enough, there was a conspicuous absence of the names of Christian saints. Names of cities, towns and settlements likewise derived from Hebraic sources. This widespread use of biblical names, however, was not confined to the  naming of offspring, cities and towns - names of many biblical heights  were eventually bestowed upon the great mountains of America . Mount Carmel and Mount Horeb , home of the Prophets, were popular names,  as was Mount Nebo , the final resting place of Moses. Names like  Mount Ephraim , Mount Gilead , Mount Hermon , Mount Moriah ,  Mount Pisgah , were all popular as well. Some mountains in the New  World were even called  Mt. Sinai , Mount Zion and Mount Olive . .
Puritan obsession with the Bible led them to try and incorporate many  aspects of the Jewish commandments into their lifestyle based on their  literal interpretation of Hebraic laws. One of the most significant was  the concept of the Sabbath as a day of rest and meditation. Puritan  Sabbath observance began at sundown and no work of any kind, even  household chores, was allowed for the next 24-hours. Sabbath observance  was strictly monitored by local officials.

In summary: The majority of the earliest settlers were Puritans from England . Unlike their  cousins back home, these American Puritans strongly identified with both the historical traditions and customs of the ancient Hebrews of the Old Testament. They viewed their emigration from England as a virtual  re-enactment of the Jewish exodus from Egypt : England was Egypt , the English king was Pharaoh, the Atlantic Ocean their Red Sea ,  America was the Land of Israel , and the Indians were the ancient  Canaanites. They were the new Israelites, entering into a new covenant  with God in a new Promised Land.

These settlers found themselves in a New World which had no  existing laws or government. Their first task, therefore, was to create a legal framework for their communities and the first place they looked for guidance was the Hebrew Bible. Thus most of the early legislation  of the colonies of New England was determined by Scripture. The most  extreme example was the Connecticut Code of 1650 which created a form of fundamentalist government based almost entirely on Jewish law using  numerous citations from the Bible. The same held true for the code of  New Haven and many other colonies.

At the first assembly of New Haven in 1639, John Davenport  clearly declared the primacy of the Bible as the legal and moral  foundation of the colony: "Scriptures do hold forth a perfect rule for  the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to  perform to God and men as well as in the government of families and  commonwealth as in matters of the church ... the Word of God shall be  the only rule to be attended unto in organizing the affairs of  government in this plantation."

Thanksgiving which has evolved into a national day of feasting and celebration was initially conceived by the Pilgrims, in  1621, as a day similar to the Jewish Sukkot, the holiday of joy as told  in Leviticus 23:40. It was for the Puritans and is for the Jews a day of  great joy  because it was the time of the year for the gathering grain and fruits from  their fields into their homes. A time for introspection and prayer,  because it was God, not man who allowed the first harvest.

Judeo-Christian Cross