It was on this day in 1785 that Haym Salomon, one of the primary financiers of the American Revolution, died. Salomon was a Polish born Jew who immigrated to the American colonies just as the first shots of the Revolution were fired. In a very short time, Salomon began to play a very important role in the war effort by donating money to the Continental Congress and affiliated groups. His efforts also helped feed the Continental Army. History records that he did these things without hesitation.
He did more than just contribute funds. His heart and soul were in the cause of liberty, and so he committed himself to the cause in other ways. He influenced foreign dignitaries to petition their governments to give assistance to the fledgling nation. On one occasion he was taken prisoner by the British and condemned to die. Had he not escaped the story would have ended there, but he did escape and lived to become an advisor to many notable men. Those men included many of those who would shape the nation, help write the Constitution and later serve as President of the United States.
Unfortunately, Haym Salomon is not well known to most Americans and it might be, unfortunately, that his Jewish ancestry has something to do with it. Even with all of the resources he generated for freedom, there were those who railed anti-Semitic accusations at Haym Salomon and his fellow Jewish patriots. Like so many others, they were seeking to be recognized as Americans, rather than just Jews and share the same rights as every other American. To these accusations, Haym Salomon said:
“I am a Jew…. I do not despair that we shall obtain every other privilege that we aspire to enjoy along with our fellow-citizens.”
It seems that Salomon was a selfless man, willing to make sacrifices on behalf of the greater good and his newfound country. And while we are in no way comparing Haym Solomon to the Messiah, he did demonstrate attributes that are expected of those who follow the Messiah. Yeshua said:
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:12-14)
If our focus isn’t upon the Messiah and the common good of the Body at large, it is easy for our own agenda to get in the way of God’s purpose and plan. Messiah did not allow this to happen. He kept his focus on the goal and followed through with the Father’s plan until the very end. He was obedient to the Father because He cared for God’s people. That is our example to follow. We must avoid being selfish and should abandon our own agenda. We must be selfless people who strive to advance God’s agenda.
As a footnote, Haym Salomon donated somewhere in the neighborhood of $600,000 dollars, in 18th century dollars to the cause of the American Revolution. To date, $400,000 (the equivalent of over 11 million in 21st century dollars) is yet to be repaid to his estate.
Let’s be selfless, not selfish.