The Evidence That Alexander Hamilton (the man on the Series 2004A U.S. $10 bill) Was Jewish, Is Flimsy and Unreliable

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The Professor’s Two Claims

Professor Porwancher’s claims are based upon two arguments.(1) Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Faucette, who was of French Huguenot descent, was previously married to John Lavien before she had a child with James Hamilton. John Lavien’s name sounds Jewish, so he may have been Jewish, since 25% of the people who lived there were Jewish. Since he may have been Jewish, she may have converted to Judaism in order to marry him.

(2) There is evidence that Alexander Hamilton may have attended a Jewish school.

That’s it. Two very spurious pieces of evidence.

The Gemara In Yevamos

The Gemara in Yevamos 46b states that if a person comes forward and states that he is a ger, we would have thought that he (or she) is believed. Talmud lomar, the word “it’cha” in the verse in Vayikra (19:33) comes to teach us that he needs to be muchzak as a Jew. The Gemara concludes that whether in Eretz Yisrael or outside, proof of his Judaism must be brought in order to consider him a Jew.

Rav Betzalel Zolty, zt’l, writes in his responsum that this individual had to have been known to act as an observant Jew for at least 30 days.

Here, however, Hamilton himself had never claimed that he was a Jew and always stated that he was a Christian.

See the full article that debunk these 2 pieces of evidence.

What is my motivation to present this new item now?

Recently, I posted on the front page of an article about the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

I am aware of many people who have tried to give Ten Lost Tribes status and privileges to a wide list of Gentiles, based on flimsy evidence. I therefore am using the Alexander Hamilton story to remind my readers to be very cautious before deciding someone has Israelite (Jewish) status.

Appendix 1: From an audio lecture of Rabbi Hershel Schachter on conversions it appears that the opinion of Rav Betzalel Zolty, zt’l, cited earlier in this article is a very lenient opinion and one should consult an Orthodox rabbi, in case a question in this area arises to see if this is the accepted opinion.