SABBATAI ZEVI PDF

Shabbatai Zevi , also spelled Shabsai and Sabbatai was a false messiah , who succeeded in deluding thousand of Jews into believing that he was the long-awaited redeemer. Born in Turkey, he thought radical new notions based on the Kabbalah and ultimately converted to Islam, dashing the hopes of the masses, who had trustingly placed their hopes in him. The s were a time of terrible suffering for the Jewish people. In Eastern Europe, entire communities were wiped out by Cossacks and others led by Ukrainian leader Bogdan Chmielnicki.

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As a young man, Shabbetai steeped himself in the influential body of Jewish mystical writings known as the Kabbala. His extended periods of ecstasy and his strong personality combined to attract many disciples , and at the age of 22 he proclaimed himself the messiah.

There he encountered an esteemed and forceful Jewish preacher and Kabbalist, Abraham ha-Yakini, who possessed a false prophetic document affirming that Shabbetai was the messiah.

Shabbetai then traveled to Palestine and after that to Cairo , where he won over to his cause Raphael Halebi, the wealthy and powerful treasurer of the Turkish governor. With a retinue of believers and assured of financial backing, Shabbetai triumphantly returned to Jerusalem. There, a year-old student known as Nathan of Gaza assumed the role of a modern Elijah , in his traditional role of forerunner of the messiah.

Nathan ecstatically prophesied the imminent restoration of Israel and world salvation through the bloodless victory of Shabbetai, riding on a lion with a seven-headed dragon in his jaws. In accordance with millenarian belief, he cited as the apocalyptic year.

Threatened with excommunication by the rabbis of Jerusalem, Shabbetai returned to Smyrna in the autumn of , where he was wildly acclaimed. At the beginning of , Shabbetai went to Constantinople and was imprisoned on his arrival. After a few months, he was transferred to the castle at Abydos , which became known to his followers as Migdal Oz, the Tower of Strength.

In September, however, he was brought before the sultan in Adrianople and, having been previously threatened with torture, became converted to Islam.

The placated sultan renamed him Mehmed Efendi, appointed him his personal doorkeeper, and provided him with a generous allowance. All but his most faithful or self-seeking disciples were disillusioned by his apostasy. Eventually, Shabbetai fell out of favour and was banished, dying in Albania. The movement that developed around Shabbetai Tzevi became known as Shabbetaianism.

They argued that such outward acts were irrelevant as long as one remains inwardly a Jew. Others felt they could remain faithful Shabbetaians without having to apostatize. The nihilistic tendencies of Shabbetaianism reached a peak in the 18th century with Jacob Frank , whose followers reputedly sought redemption through orgies at mystical festivals.

Shabbetai Tzevi. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Shabbetai Tzevi Jewish pseudo-messiah. See Article History. Britannica Quiz. The Middle East: Fact or Fiction?

Yemen takes its name from the Arabic word meaning "northerly. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Most of European and Ottoman Jewry was swept into near hysteria in the belief that the end was now finally at hand. When Shabbetai converted to Islam after being apprehended by the Ottoman government, all but his most faithful followers were despondent,….

These tragedies for the Jewish communities once again resulted in deferring eschatological hopes or at least limiting their application. A sect was thus born and survived, largely thanks…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About.

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Who Was Shabbetai Zevi?

As a young man, Shabbetai steeped himself in the influential body of Jewish mystical writings known as the Kabbala. His extended periods of ecstasy and his strong personality combined to attract many disciples , and at the age of 22 he proclaimed himself the messiah. There he encountered an esteemed and forceful Jewish preacher and Kabbalist, Abraham ha-Yakini, who possessed a false prophetic document affirming that Shabbetai was the messiah. Shabbetai then traveled to Palestine and after that to Cairo , where he won over to his cause Raphael Halebi, the wealthy and powerful treasurer of the Turkish governor. With a retinue of believers and assured of financial backing, Shabbetai triumphantly returned to Jerusalem. There, a year-old student known as Nathan of Gaza assumed the role of a modern Elijah , in his traditional role of forerunner of the messiah. Nathan ecstatically prophesied the imminent restoration of Israel and world salvation through the bloodless victory of Shabbetai, riding on a lion with a seven-headed dragon in his jaws.

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Sabbatai Zevi

At an early age he adopted the mysticism of Isaac ben Solomon Luria and began to lead an ascetic life. Sabbatai's continual prayer, prolonged ecstasies, and Messianic prophecies secured for him by the age of 22 a large and enthusiastic following. Sabbatai's father was the local agent in Smyrna for an English firm. Perhaps through his father, Sabbatai heard excited talk about the English Fifth Monarch Men, a group that with Christian millennialists had fixed upon as the year of the Messiah and of millenarian fulfillment. The Jewish Cabalists had already proclaimed as the year of salvation. In that year Sabbatai announced himself as the coming Messiah, pointing to his birthday the ninth day of the month Av as the traditional birthday of the Messiah. Sabbatai left Smyrna in , lived at the Cabalist school of Salonika, and then proceeded to Constantinople, where he met a man who claimed to have been told by angelic voices of Sabbatai's coming as the Redeemer.

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