Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell
Controversial Jewish journalist and political lobbyist Lucien Wolf (1857-1930) co-founded the Jewish Historical Society of England in 1893, editing this work in 1901. It comprises a series of pamphlets and tracts written by Menasseh ben Israel (1604-57). An Amsterdam rabbi and founder of the city's first Hebrew publishing house, Menasseh was well regarded among non-Jewish theologians. As an advocate of messianic tradition, he sought to scatter the Jews across the world, leading him to England in the 1650s to campaign for their readmission following Edward I's edict of expulsion in 1290. The material presented here is chiefly concerned with Menasseh's interactions with Oliver Cromwell and shows the rabbi taking advantage of the contemporary drive for reinstatement for reasons of religious toleration as well as practical politics. The work includes the famous petition from the Jewish community and offers valuable insight into the history of the Jews in England.