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George Washington’s Vine and Fig Tree: Micah 4:4 and the Religious Character of the American Republic

Hosted By: Valley Beit Midrash

As anyone who has seen Hamilton knows, George Washington loved to quote the prophet Micah’s vision of humankind each sitting under their own vine and fig tree. This seminar will explore this prophetic phrase within a colonial and American revolutionary context and consider how Washington’s adept use of Micah’s image served a larger purpose of forging the religious character of the early American Republic. Special consideration will be given to Washington’s celebrated letter to the Jewish community in Newport, Rhode Island, and to that letter’s place within a broader correspondence with diverse religious communities at the moment of Washington’s first inauguration.

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