Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Jew of the Week: Benjamin Disraeli

Prime Minister of the U.K.

Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) A descendant of Sephardic Jews from Portugal – which came to Britain by way of Italy – Disraeli was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1874 until 1880. His Conversative Party made great strides for Britain, and it was said he did “more for the working classes in five years than the Liberals have in fifty.” Disraeli was a staunch imperialist, working hard to spread the borders of the British Empire. He purchased the Suez Canal, invaded Afghanistan, and made Queen Victoria the Empress of India. If that’s not impressive enough, he also wrote 18 novels and 8 non-fiction books. Despite being baptized by his father at a young age, Disraeli always identified as a Jew. On one occasion, while debating in Parliament, a fellow MP attacked him with an anti-Semitic remark, to which Disraeli replied: “Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the Right Honourable Gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the Temple of Solomon.”

Words of the Week

A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.
– Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi