AUCTION 37 | Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 210


Autograph Letter Signed in Portuguese, by Manuel Lopes Suasso, of the Portuguese Jewish Congregation of Amsterdam, addressed to the Governors of Mikveh Israel at Curacao, concerning the settlement of Mikveh Israel’s internal conflict through the Decree issued by Prince William of Orange-Nassau in 1750 Two pages, integral blank. paper browned and silked where loss appears. 4to. * Accompanied by full transcription and English translation

12th May 1750

Est: $2,000 - $2,500
In 1744 the Curaçao Jewish community was agitated by a dispute arising out of the desire of one Samuel de Leao to annul the obligations undertaken in his ketubbah, a dispute which eventually reached the attention of the States General at The Hague. This was followed by another quarrel concerning the Neveh Shalom synagogue in Otrabanda (the section of the capital of Willemstad, lying to the west of the harbor). Members of the Jewish community had lived there since 1732, worshiping in a local synagogue which remained under the jurisdiction of the main congregation. Disputes arose in connection with the building of a new synagogue in 1745. The bitterness led to street fights. The Haham, Samuel Mendes da Sola, excommunicated certain parties, which led to the right of burial being denied them. At one stage of the dispute, the Governor had to send soldiers to every Jewish burial. The dispute was settled in 1750 by decree of Prince William of Orange-Nassau. In the present letter, after exchange of mutual courtesies, Lopes Suasso stresses the Governors of Mikveh Israel the importance of abiding to the settlement issued by Prince William of Orange, in the hope that it will end all internal community conflict. See Emmanuel, Isaac S. and Suzanne, History of the Jews of the Netherlands Antilles, Vol. I, pp. 181-212, esp. pp. 206-210