Samuel Pallache

Samuel Pallache
Born circa 1550
Fez, Morocco
Died February 4, 1616
The Hague, Netherlands
Burial place Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel
Other names alternative spellings of surname: Palache, Palacio, Palatio, Palachio, Palazzo[1]
Years active 1580s - 1616 (death)
Known for Moroccan-Dutch trade agreement (1608)
Notable work first Portuguese minyan Amsterdam[2]
Denomination Sephardic
Spouse(s) Reina (Hebrew Malca)
Children Isaac (and Jacob/Carlos)
Parent(s) Isaac Pallache, rabbi
Relatives Joseph Pallache (brother) and nephews Isaac, Joshua, David, Moses, Abraham; Haim Palachi
Family Pallache family

Samuel Pallache (Hebrew: 'שמואל פאלאץ, Shmuel Palach) (c. 1550 – February 4, 1616), was a Jewish-Moroccan-born merchant, diplomat and pirate of the Pallache family, who, as envoy, concluded a treaty with the Dutch Republic in 1608.[1] He is likely an ancestor of Haim Palachi of 19th-Century Izmir.


Pallache was born in Fez, Morocco. His father, Isaac Pallache, was a rabbi there, first mentioned in takkanot (Jewish community statutes) in 1588. His brother was Joseph Pallache. His uncle was Fez's grand rabbi, Judah Uziel; his son Isaac Uziel was a rabbi of the Neve Shalom community in Amsterdam.[1]

His family originated from Islamic Spain, where his father had served as rabbi in Córdoba. According to Professor Mercedes García-Arenal, "The Pallaches were a Sephardi family perhaps descended from the Bene Palyāj mentioned by the twelfth-century chronicler Abraham Ibn Da’ud as 'the greatest of the families of Cordoba'."[3]

Sometime in the first half of the 16th Century, following the Christian conquest of Islamic Spain (the Reconquista), the family fled to Morocco, where Jews, like Christians, were tolerated as long as they accepted Islam as the official religion. How they arrived is unclear. One Italian historian states, "Verso i Paesi Bassi emigra anche la famiglia Pallache, forse dal Portogallo o dalla Spagna, oppure, secundo un'altra ipotesti, dalla nativa Spagna emigra a Fez, dove un Isaac Pallache è rabbino new 1588" (translation: "The Pallache family also emigrated to the Netherlands, perhaps from Portugal or Spain, or, second, another hypothesizes, they emigrated [directly] from their native Spain to Fez, where Isaac Pallache rabbi was in 1588.")[4]

(The surname is spelled "Palache" on his death certificate.[5] He signed his name also as "Palacio" and "Palatio"; other Dutch records show "Palatio," "Palachio," and "Palazzo."[1] As the family spread out of the Iberian peninsula, so did the spellings, which include: de Palatio, al-Palas, Pallas, Palaggi, Balyash,[6] as well as Palacci,[7] Palaty,[8] Palatie,[8] and Paliache[9] There are also Tunisian Jews with the surnames "Palatgi" and "Paligi."[10] Palacci is listed as a Spanish Sephardic name:[11] Pallache is listed as a Portuguese Sephardic name.[12])


Pallache arrived in the Netherlands between 1590 and 1597.[13] In 1591, Middelburg offered him residential permit, but Protestant pastors protested.[14]

After a delegation from the Dutch Republic visited Morocco to discuss a common alliance against Spain and the Barbary pirates, sultan Zidan Abu Maali in 1608 appointed the merchant Samuel Pallache to be his envoy to the Dutch government in The Hague. Officially, Pallache served as his "agent", not ambassador.

On June 23, 1608, Pallache met stadholder Maurice of Nassau and the States-General in The Hague to negotiate an alliance of mutual assistance against Spain. On December 24, 1610, the two nations signed the Treaty of Friendship and Free Commerce, an agreement recognising free commerce between the Netherlands and Morocco, and allowing the sultan to purchase ships, arms and munitions from the Dutch.[15] This was one of the first official treaties between a European country and a non-Christian nation, after the 16th-Century treaties of the Franco-Ottoman alliance.

The story goes that, one day, Pallache's horse-drawn carriage met the carriage of the Spanish ambassador in The Hague. The two carriages were unable to pass one another and, to cheers from onlookers, the Spanish ambassador's carriage had to make way for Pallache's carriage.

Research has shown that Pallache secretly acted as a double agent. He maintained close ties with the Spanish court and passed classified information about Dutch-Moroccan relations on to the Spanish. At the same time, he was passing information about Spain back to the Dutch and Moroccans. When this eventually came to light, he fell out of favor with the sultan.

In addition to his diplomatic affairs, Pallache also continued his activities as a merchant, actively trading between the Netherlands and Morocco. He also got permission from Prince Maurice for privateering activities. The goods obtained through these pirating activities were sold along the Moroccan coast.


[Archive card number] 19620
Name: Palache
Given Name: Samuel
Birth: (-)
Married to: (-)
Wedding date: (-)
Death: 16 Sebat 5376 - 4 Feb 1616
Buried: (field) A 13 - 174
Notes: Probably born in Fez; as early as 1579 contact with Philips II
Place of death [is] The Hague
dC page 54:Moroccan Envoy
One of the first 3-member Council of Beth Jahacob
LBH page 130 (carr. I-3)
[Appears] in many entries in SR (deed 386, note; 1971 page 112; deed 1184)
(deed 1968 (SR XVI 76) some years after [his] death found: Appoints Uri aLevy/Philips Joosten as his representative in order to broker/negotiate [free] access [to the city] for Jews with the city council [local/municipal government] of Groningen. Deed 231B v.XVIII bl. [page] 160
Extensive and clear Hebrew texts photos 43. -43A
3 sons: Isaac, Moses and David. SR. '85 [84?] nr. 2323
Buried next to him are buried [his] brother Joseph, [his brother's] son David and wife. family member Amalia[5]

In 1614, Pallache, having captured a Portuguese ship, was unable to bring its cargo ashore in Morocco and so sailed for the Netherlands. A heavy storm forced him to seek refuge in an English port where, by request of the Spanish ambassador, he was arrested and imprisoned. Eventually, Prince Maurice came to his aid and helped bring him back to the Netherlands. However, he had lost all his money by then and fell ill shortly thereafter.

On February 4, 1616, he died in The Hague, and was buried with gravestone (image[16]) in the Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, a "cemetery of the Portuguese Jewish community"[17] in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel near Amsterdam. The record for his grave spells his name as "Palache" and describes him as Morokkaans Gezant (Moroccan envoy). It cites a birth place of Fez (Morocco). It states a burial date in Hebrew calendar Sebat 16, 5376 (February 4, 1616). It lists three sons: Isaac, Moses, and David.[5]


Co-founder of Amsterdam Sephardic community

In the first pages of his 1769 Memorias do Estabelecimento e Progresso dos Judeos Portuguezes e Espanhoes nesta Famosa Cidade de Amsterdam, David Franco Mendes records the first minyan in Amsterdam with its sixteen worshippers: Jacob Israel Belmonte (father of Moses Belmonte), David Querido, Jacob Tirado, Samuel Pallache, Ury a Levy, Joseph Pallache, Jacob Uriel Cardoso, Isaac Gaon, Samuel Abrabanel Souza, Jeosuah Sarfati, Joseph Habilho, David Abendana Pereyra, Baruch Osorio, Abraham Gabay, Isaac Franco Medeyro, Moseh de Casserez.[18][19] Several sources claim this first minyan occurred in Palache's home, as he was the most prominent among them, being envoy from Morocco[2][20] and occurred around 1590[21] or Yom Kippur 1596.[13][22]

Family (Mediterranean rabbis)

Both Les noms des juifs du Maroc and A Man of Three Worlds describe several generations of Pallache family members, which forms the basis of the family descent shown below.[1][9]

Samuel's wife was Reina (Hebrew Malca) (English "Queen"). Les noms cites two sons, Isaac and Jacob, One Man cites only Isaac. Samuel's brother Joseph had five sons: Isaac, Joshua, David, Moses, and Abraham. One Man cites Moses (and David) as most influential person after Samuel's death and de facto leader of the family, even before his own (elderly) father Joseph.

Relationships between the branches of the family continued well into the 20th Century, as demonstrated by the appointment of Rahamim Nissim Pallache (died 1907) of Amsterdam as grand rabbi of Izmir.

Although the authors of A Man of Three Worlds clearly state that neither Samuel's generation nor his children's married into the Portuguese (versus Spanish) Sephardic community of Amsterdam, documents in Amsterdam show otherwise. There exist two 1643 marriage certificates for David Pallache and Judith Lindo of Antwerp, daughter of Ester Lindo[23][24] plus the death details for David.[25] Three years later, in 1646, Samuel Pallache, nephew of David, then marries Abigail (born 1622), sister of Judith Lindo.[26]

Moïse Al Palas (???–1535), born in Marrakesh, lived in Salonica, died in Venice[27]
Isaac Pallache(???–1560[27]), rabbi of Fez (mentioned 1588)
Isaac Uziel (???-1622), nephew of Isaac Palacche, rabbi of Amsterdam's second Separhdic synagogue "Neve Shalom"
Samuel Pallache (ca. 1550-1616), envoy and dragoman of Morocco (1608-1616)[27]
Isaac Palache, co-envoy of Morocco to Poland (1618-1619), consul of the Netherlands to Salé, Morocco
Jacob Pallache (Carlos), envoy of Morocco to Denmark
Joseph Pallache (ca.1552-1638/1639/1649), envoy and dragoman of Morocco (1616-1638)[27][28][29]
Isaac Palache, envoy of Morocco to the Ottoman Sultan, later broker in Amsterdam, later served sultan of Morroc (1647)
Yehoshua Pallache (Joshua), co-envoy of Morocco to Poland (1618-1619), tax collector of Salé, Morocco
Samuel Pallache (1616/1618–???), represented his uncle Moses's request to marry levitically the wife of his other uncle David
Manasseh ben Samuel (or Menasseh Ben Israel?), helped gain return of Jews to England from Oliver Cromwell (1656, following their expulsion in 1290)[27]
David Pallache (1598–1650?), envoy of Morocco to King Louis XIII of France (1631–1632), envoy and dragoman of Morocco (1638-1648/1649), and business partner of Michael de Spinoza (father of Baruch Spinoza)[25][30][31]
Moïse Pallache (Moses)(???–1650[27]), advisor to four sultans of Morocco (1618 to 1650): Muley Zaydan (1603–1627), Muley Abd al-Malik (1623–1627), Muley al-Walid (1631–1636), and Muley Muhammad al-Shakh al-Saghir (1636–1655)
Abraham Pallache, 17th Century merchant (French négocient) to Safi, Morocco
Judah Pallache
Isaac ben Judah Palache (Isaac van Juda Palache) (1858-1927), grand rabbi of Amsterdam (1900-1927), bet din from 1885[27][32]
Judah Léon Palache (Juda Léon Palache) (1887-1944), professor of Oriental languages at the University of Amsterdam[27]
Rahamim Nissim Pallache (???-1907), grand rabbi of Smyrna / Izmir
Isaac Pallache of Leghorn (Livorno, Italy) and later Izmir, where he wrote letter to Dutch consul in Smyrna requesting projection for "Salomón Moses" (1695)[1][27]
Jacob Pallache (???-1828), 18th Century rabbi
Hayyim Pallache (Palagi) (1788-1869), hakham bachi (1858), grand rabbi and kabbalist[27]
Salomon Palache, rabbi
Yehoshua Pallache, rabbi of Safed, Israel
Abraham Pallache (1809-1899), grand rabbi[27]
Joseph Pallache, rabbi and author of "Voyoseph Abraham Dito Libro en Ladino for las Ma'alot de Joseph ha-Zaddig" (1881)
Vita Palacci, left Izmir for Cairo, co-founded Palacci department store (first "Palacci Menasce et Fils",[33]) then "Palacci Fils, Haim et Clie[34]) (1897"[35])
Henri Palacci, brother of Vita, left Izmir for Cairo, traded in chemical products in Egypt and Sudan[27]
Menahem Palacci, (co-)founded Palacci department store in Cairo, classmate of King Fouad I of Egypt, helped Jews in Egypt become Egyptian citizens (1922)[27]
Henri Palacci, (1917–???), son of Menahem[36]
Albert Palacci, "Mrs." listed as "member of Elderly Center Committee in Cairo" (1938)[37]
Jacob Pallache, 17th Century rabbi of Marrakesh and later Egypt, supporter of Sabbatai Tsevi ((1626–1676)[1]
Abraham Pallache, 18th Century rabbi of Safed, Israel (then Ottoman empire)[9]
Abraham Pallache, 19th Century rabbi of Tétouan, Morocco, and author in 1837[9]
Samuel Pallache, 18th Century rabbi in the Netherlands (author of Sheroot Be Ekhol u Bet Mishtek, published 1770)[9]
Moshe Samuel Palache (???-1859), rabbi in Jerusalem (son of Samuel Pallache above?)[9]
Henri Palacci/Palatchi (March 26, 1898–???), deported from Istanbul to France (1942)[38]
Isaac Palacci/Palatchi (April 15, 1898–???), deported from Istanbul to France (1942)[38]
Mordecai Palatchi/Palacci (1903–???), deported from Bursa to France (1942)[38]
Palache of Jamaica[39]

"Rabbi Pirate"

Publication of A Man of Three Worlds: Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jew in Catholic and Protestant Europe in English (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press: 2003) and originally in Spanish as Entre el Islam y Occident: La vida de Samuel Pallache, judío de Fez (Madrid: Siglo XXI 1999) has led to some popular emphasis on Pallache as pirate. A main source of this reputation is Edward Kritzler's book Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean (2008), which calls Samuel Palache the "Pirate Rabbi" who "was still capturing Spanish ships in his late sixties.".[21] The book led to review with titles like "Sephardi Sea Hawks"[40] and "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Schnapps"[41] among other reviews.[42][43][44][45][46][47][48] It has led to continued mentions of Pallache in current-day print, such as "Merchant, Diplomat, Pirate, Spy Dies in Amsterdam"[49] and "The Pirate Rabbi."[50]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 García-Arenal, Mercedes; Wiegers, Gerard (2007). A Man of Three Worlds: Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jew in Catholic and Protestant Europe. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 12 (background, surname), 101–127 (descendants).
  2. 1 2 Kurlansky, Mark (2008). A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry. New York: Random House. p. 82. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  3. García-Arenal, Mercedes (2010), "Pallache Family (Moroccan Branch)", in Stillman, Norman A., Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, 4, Brill
  4. Fiume, Giovanna (2012). Schiavitù mediterranee. Corsari, rinnegati e santi di età moderna. Milan: Bruno Mondadori. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 "Palache, Samuel (archive card number 19260)". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  6. "The Palache Family". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  7. Lewental, D Gershon (2010), "Pallache Family (Turkish Branch)", in Stillman, Norman A., Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, 4, Brill
  8. 1 2 Studia Rosenthaliana. 4–5. Assen: Koninklijke Van Gorcum. 1970. pp. 112 (Palaty), 221 (Palatie). Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Laredo, Abraham Isaac (1978). Les noms des juifs de Maroc: Essai d'onomastique judéo-marocaine. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Instituto Arias Montano. pp. 966–971.
  10. "Sephardic Surnames from a number of Jewish Sephardic sources". SephardicGen. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  11. "Family Names". Historical Society of Jews From Egypt. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  12. Abecassis, José Maria. "Genealogia hebraica: Portugal e Gibraltar sécs. XVII a XX". Lisboa: Liv. Ferin. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  13. 1 2 Henriques Castro, David (1999). Keur van grafstenen op de Portugees-Isräelietische begraafplaats te Ouderkerk aan de Amstel met beschrijving en biografische aantekeningen: met platen. Stichting tot Instandhouding en Onderhoud van Historische Joodse Begraafplaatsen in Nederland. pp. 36 (first minyan), 91–93. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  14. Schulte Nordholtprijs, Jan Willem (January 2014). "Van Antwerpen naar Amsterdam". JoodsAmsterdam. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  15. Poetry, politics and polemics by Ed de Moor, Otto Zwartjes, G. J. H. van Gelder p.127
  16. "(no title: image of gravestone of Samuel Palache)". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  17. "Beth Haim - English". Ouderkerk aan de Amstel: Beth Haim cemetery. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  18. Henriques Castro, David (1875). 1675-1875: De synagoge der Portugeesch-Israelietische gemeente te Amsterdam. Belinfante. p. 5. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  19. Brasz, Chaya; Kaplan, Yosef, eds. (2001). Dutch Jews As Perceived by Themselves and by Others: Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on the History of the Jews in the Netherlands. Brill. p. 67.
  20. Skolnik, Frank; Berenbaum, Michael, eds. (2007). Encyclopaedia Judaica, Volume 15. Macmillan Reference. p. 573.
  21. 1 2 Kritzler, Edward (2009). "Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean". Penguin Random House. pp. 10 (background), 75–92 (chapter). Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  22. Fendel, Zechariah (2001). Lights of the Exile. Hashkafah Publications. pp. 45–46. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  23. "Amsterdam - Traditional Sephardic marriages - David Palache and Judith Lindo". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  24. "Amsterdam - Traditional Sephardic marriages - David Palache and Judith Lindo". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  25. 1 2 "Begraafplaats Ouderkerk a/d Amstel - Palache, David". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  26. "Amsterdam - Traditional Sephardic marriages - David Palache and Judith Lindo". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Rahmani, Moïse (December 1990). "Les Patronymes: une histoire de nom ou histoire tout court" [A Story of a Name or a Short History] (PDF). Los Muestros (in French). Sefard (Institut Sephardi Europeen). Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  28. "Burials of the Portuguese Israelite Congregation - Palache, Joseph". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  29. "Begraafplaats Ouderkerk a/d Amstel - Palache, Joseph". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  30. "Burials of the Portuguese Israelite Congregation - Palache, David". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  31. "(untitled - gravestone of David Palache)". Dutch Jewry. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  32. Gottheil, Richard; Seeligmann, Sigmund. "Amsterdam". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  33. Japan Weekly Mail. Yokohama: (unknown). 1904. pp. 359). Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  34. Special Consular Reports. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1915. pp. 180). Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  35. Reynolds, Nancy (2012). A City Consumed: Urban Commerce, the Cairo Fire, and the Politics of Decolonization in Egypt. Stanford University Press. pp. 54–55 (prominence, Bon Marche), 61–62 (founding, size). Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  36. "Annuaire des Juifs de Juifs d'Egypt" (PDF). Cairo: Sephardic Studies. 1943. p. 321. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  37. Fargeon, M. (1938). "Les Juifs en Egypt depuis l'lorigine jusqu'a ce jour (Egypt Jews from the origin till today)" (PDF). Cairo: Sephardic Studies. p. 321. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  38. 1 2 3 Klarsfeld, S. (1978). "Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France 1942-1945" (PDF). Paris. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  39. "Births of the Sephardic Congregation - Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies". Jamaican Family Search. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  40. Ivry, Benjamin (8 October 2008). "Sephardi Sea Hawks". Forward magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  41. Paller, Danny (6 January 2009). "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Schnapps". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  42. Kirch, Adam (10 December 2008). "Edward Kritzler's history of Jewish pirates is uneven". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  43. Stern Zohar, Gil (9 April 2016). "Jewish pirates of the Caribbean". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  44. Kirch, Jonathan (28 November 2008). "A pirate's life for some Jews". Los Angeles Time. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  45. Weinberg, Steve (2 November 2008). "Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  46. Palmer, Annie (22 July 2015). "'Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean' explores history of Jewish swashbucklers". Philadelphia Chronicle. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  47. Brooks, Andrée Aelion (November 2008). "Jewish Pirates of The Caribbean?". Hadassah Magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  48. Ilany, Ofri (5 April 2009). "Historian Claims That Jewish Pirates Once Roamed Caribbean Waters". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  49. Green, David B. (4 February 2014). "This Day in Jewish History: Merchant, Diplomat, Pirate, Spy Dies in Amsterdam". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  50. "The Pirate Rabbi". Jewish Currents. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2016.

External sources

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