- born July 23, 1626, Smyrna, Ottoman Tur.died 1676, Dulcingo, Alb.False Jewish messiah.He studied the mystical learning of the Kabbala and at age 22 proclaimed himself the messiah. He traveled around the Levant, gaining both followers and enemies. With the support of powerful religious and political figures, his movement spread to parts of Europe and North Africa. In 1666, the year he was prophesied to bring about the restoration of Israel, he was imprisoned by the Ottoman sultan and, under threat of torture, converted to Islam. His following largely fell away, though some remained faithful to him and strove to reconcile his claims with his seeming betrayal of Judaism.
* * *▪ Jewish hereticalso spelled Sabbatai Zebi, or Zevi,born July 23, 1626, Smyrna, Ottoman Turkey [now İzmir, Tur.]died 1676, Dulcigno, Alb.a false messiah who developed a mass following and threatened rabbinical authority in Europe and the Middle East.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.Driven from Smyrna by the aroused rabbinate, he journeyed to Salonika (now Thessaloníki), an old Kabbalistic centre, and then to Constantinople (now Istanbul). 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 20-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 1666 as the apocalyptic year.Threatened with excommunication by the rabbis of Jerusalem, Shabbetai returned to Smyrna in the autumn of 1665, where he was wildly acclaimed. His movement spread to Venice, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and several other European and North African cities.At the beginning of 1666, 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 Islām. 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. It attempted to reconcile Shabbetai's grandiose claims of spiritual authority with his subsequent seeming betrayal of the Jewish faith. Faithful Shabbetaians interpreted Shabbetai's apostasy as a step toward ultimate fulfillment of his messiahship and attempted to follow their leader's example. They argued that such outward acts were irrelevant as long as one remains inwardly a Jew. Those who embraced the theory of “sacred sin” believed that the Torah could be fulfilled only by amoral acts representing its seeming annulment. Others felt they could remain faithful Shabbetaians without having to apostatize.After Shabbetai's death in 1676, the sect continued to flourish. The nihilistic tendencies of Shabbetaianism reached a peak in the 18th century with Jacob Frank (Frank, Jacob), whose followers reputedly sought redemption through orgies at mystical festivals.
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Shabbetai Tzevi — (23 jul. 1626, Esmirna, Turquía otomana–1676, Dulcingo, Albania). Falso Mesías judío. Estudió las enseñanzas místicas de la Cábala y a la edad de 22 años se autoproclamó mesías. Durante sus viajes por el Levante, se hizo de seguidores y enemigos … Enciclopedia Universal
Shabbetai Tzevi — (1626 76) Turkish scholar and pseudo messiah. He was born in Smyrna. He devoted himself to talmudic and kabbalistic studies. In 1665 he met Nathan of Gaza, who recognized him as the Messiah and became his prophet; in December of that year… … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
Shabbetai Tzevi — Shabbetaj Zvi Shabbetaj Zvi, auch Sabbatai Zewi (* 1626 in Smyrna; † 16. September 1676 in Ulcinj) war ein Religionsgelehrter und selbsterklärter Messias aus Smyrna (heutiges Izmir). Er wurde am Tischa beAv 5386 jüdische Jahreszählung (1626… … Deutsch Wikipedia
SHABBETAI ẒEVI — (1626–1676), the central figure of Shabbateanism, the messianic movement named after him. Background of the Movement Shabbateanism was the largest and most momentous messianic movement in Jewish history subsequent to the destruction of the Temple … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Ashkenazi, Tzevi (Hakham Tzevi) — (1660 1718) Moravian talmudist. He travelled widely and became head of the rabbinic academy in Altona, then in 1710 he settled in Amsterdam, where he was head of the Ashkenazim. After a controversy concerning Nehemiah Hayyon, a follower of… … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
Judaism — /jooh dee iz euhm, day , deuh /, n. 1. the monotheistic religion of the Jews, having its ethical, ceremonial, and legal foundation in the precepts of the Old Testament and in the teachings and commentaries of the rabbis as found chiefly in the… … Universalium
Dönme — or Dönmeh Jewish Islamic sect founded in Salonika (now Thessaloniki, Greece) in the late 17th century. Its members were followers of Shabbetai Tzevi, whom they believed to be the messiah. Arrested by Ottoman authorities in 1666, he chose… … Universalium
Nathan of Gaza (Ghazzati, Nathan Benjamin) — (1643 80) Palestinian religious leader, disciple of Shabbetai Tzevi. He was born in Jerusalem, and lived in Gaza, where he engaged in kabbalistic study and practices. He met Shabbetai Tzevi in Gaza and proclaimed him to be the Messiah. After… … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
Frank, Jacob — orig. Jacob Leibowicz born 1726, Berezanka or Korolowka, Galicia, Pol. died Dec. 10, 1791, Offenbach, Hessen Jewish false messiah. He was an uneducated visionary who claimed to be the reincarnation of Shabbetai Tzevi. He proclaimed himself… … Universalium
Eybeschütz, Jonathan — born с 1690, Kraków, Pol. died 1764, Altona, Den. Polish rabbi and Talmudic scholar. He served as rabbi in a number of European towns, and his scholarship gained him a loyal following. He was reputed to have mystic powers; when the women of his… … Universalium