Walk the plank ya putz.’ A Jewish pirate looks back on his years of kvetching.
(photo credit: JROAST STAFF)
Ever since the publication of Jewish Pirates of the Carribean in 2008 there has been renewed interest in the life of Jewish pirates. However new discoveries of a diary of prominent Jewish pirate Shalom ‘Pegleg’ Azaryahu brings to light a less than romantic life full of ailments, oy-ridden rants and depressing family dinners on Passover where pirates were scolded by their parents for not becoming doctors.
Shalom ‘Pegleg’ terrorized Spanish shipping in the Carribean between 1530 and 1542, before retiring in St. Augustine, Florida. He is considered one of the first Jewish retirees to move there. He was hacked to death after several years by a former compatriot but left behind a diary with a map.
The map led no where, but according to professors at the University of Liberty City who transcribed the diary from Ladino, the life of Pegleg was not full of glory. Jewish pirates not only had to put up with over-bearing mothers, but because they refused to fight on Shabbat, their exploits often came to failure. In one entry from 1536 Shalom notes that Spanish soldiers threw pork bellies and dried bacon at Jewish pirates and shouted anti-semitic comments.
In 1540 Shalom notes that he came upon self-hating Jews who scolded him for his wayward choices. “We landed at a small port on Grand Cayman island and went to shule, expecting to be welcomed, but aaarrgh, our high-brow brethren called us ‘human rights violators’ and told us we were no ‘light unto the nations’. They were also angered that some of my crew came to the minyan drunk and stabbed several of the worshippers, but this was only after they had said ‘not in our name’ at a protest by our anchorage.”
After launching into an expletive ridden account of this dispute Shalom concludes, “there is no rest for a pirate. It seems romantic but actually is no good choice for a young man.”
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