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    Jean Lafitte

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    1776 – 1826

    When we were growing up, we wanted to be firefighters. "Son, there are no Jewish firefighers," our parents would say.

    Saddened, we decided to become astronauts. "I'm sorry to tell you there are no Jewish astronauts either," was the response. This was before Judith Resnik.

    Where were we to turn? One obvious solution. We wanted to be pirates! "Sigh," our parents said. "There are so many great professions for a young Jewish boy. A pirate is just not one of them. There just aren't — and there never have been — Jewish pirates."

    So we listened, and picked more proper professions. And all seemed well. But somewhere, in the back of our mind, that pirate dream still remained.

    Oh, why did we listen to our parents? No Jewish pirates? There WAS a Jewish pirate! Meet Jean Lafitte. A French-born Sephardi Jew. And a pirate.

    And what a pirate! The most feared pirate in the Caribbean! The mere sound of his name would send chills down one's spine. Jean Lafitte. He pillaged treasure. Jean Lafitte. He showed no mercy. Jean Lafitte. He was a Jew.

    Oh, why did we listen to our parents?

    Verdict: Borderline Jew.

    May 23, 2008

    See Also

    Moses Henriques

    Jeffrey Hoffman

    Samuel Pallache

    Sinan Reis

    Judith Resnik
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