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    Solomon Nunes Carvalho

    Jew Score:



    April 27, 1815 – May 27, 1897

    A question that has been asked in EVERY Hebrew school EVER:

    "If you're on a desert island, and there is nothing to eat but a pig... Could you eat the pig?"

    And the rabbi will furrow his brow, and sigh, and say, yes, it's fine to eat the pig in this unlikely scenario, because the matters of life and death are a bit more important than the laws of Kashrut. And that's pretty cool. We give Judaism props for that.

    Which brings us to Solomon Nunes Carvalho, a painter and early photographer who joined explorer John Fremont on one of his expeditions 1853. Carvalho's daguerreotypes were some of the earliest images of the American West ever made. When the party got stuck in snow, it was left with little choice: they had to eat their mules and horses. And equines are not Kosher...

    Perhaps Carvalho never went to Hebrew school? Or the rabbis of the 19th century were a little less lenient? Whatever the case may be, the man who actually hid his Jewishenss from his fellow explorers did not eat horse meat. That left him on the brink of death, and he had to stay in Utah when the rest of the party went home. Some kind Mormons(!) had to nurse him back to health. At the end it all worked out, as Carvalho made it back and lived to the ripe age of 82.

    We would have eaten the horse.

    Verdict: Jew.

    January 13, 2020

    See Also

    Emil Bessels

    Peter Freuchen

    Sven Hedin

    Benjamin Roth

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