When Haman Wore the Union Blues
An excerpt from new release When General Grant Expelled The Jews
Next week our friends at Nextbook Press release their latest title, Jonathan Sarna’s When General Grant Expelled The Jews. Ulysses S. Grant, to whom history has not been kind, was similarly reviled by Jews during the civil war after he signed what was the most notorious anti-Jewish order in history, General Orders no 11, which blamed Jews “as a class” for the war zone black market and required them to leave a vast area. As Sarna writes in both the book and in a recent piece in Jewish Week, horrified American Jews were quick to draw parallels between the General and the villain of our current holiday,
When Grant Expelled The Jews will be available March 13th.
“…he found himself compared, in some Jewish circles, to historic enemies of the Jewish people, a long and ignoble list. The most common comparison was to the wicked Haman, vizier of Persia and villain of the biblical book of Esther, whose order to exterminate the Jews of his day was overturned by Persia’s King Ahasuerus–with disastrous consequences for Haman and his family. The Hebrew journal Hamagid, published in the Prussian town of Lyck, in recounting the Grant episode for Hebrew-speaking Jews across Europe, used the very language of the book of Esther to underscore these parallels between the biblical story and the contemporary one. It also anticipated that Jews would one day have their revenge on the general: “the day will come,” it predicted, “when he will pay in judgment for all of the damage that he wrought upon the Children of Israel by his ignorant and wicked order, and his deeds will recoil upon his own head.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.