Does America Owe Its Origins To A Jewish Accountant?

His name appears in many variations – Abarbanel, Abrabanel, Abarvanel, and his full name Don Isaac Abarbanel, immortalized by Shlock Rock’s take on Barbara Ann, sacrilegious though it may be.  I Couldn’t find BobberAnn on it’s own, so you’ll have to make it through Everyone Knows It’s Rashi first.

Lest you think this an easy tune to do, Shlock’s Lenny Solomon does it much better than The Who (now you know why they went with Baba O’Riley instead).

To redeem your ear, here is the original:

A direct descendant of King David, Abarbanel was quite the Renaissance Man.  In addition to being an accomplished Judaic scholar, he was skilled in the secular world and excelled at finance.  King Ferdinand, who along with Isabella would bankroll Columbus, was reportedly of Jewish descent on his mother’s side, and knew a good accountant when he saw one.

Abarbanel wasn’t just an accountant.  He was the Minister of Finance and rumored to be a proponent if not originator of the idea for the voyage of Columbus that resulted in the first sustained European exposure to the Americas.  Was Columbus himself Jewish?  Was there a collaboration between Abarbanel and Columbus to find an outlet for the Jewish people to escape the Spanish Inquisition?  That would be something, and some have suggested this was indeed the case.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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