Sabbatai Zevi

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Sabbatai Zevi

(säbätī` zā`vē), 1626–76, Jewish mystic and pseudo-Messiah, founder of the Sabbatean sect, b. Smyrna. After a period of study of Lurianic kabbalah (see Luria, Isaac ben SolomonLuria or Loria, Isaac ben Solomon
, 1534–72, Jewish kabbalist, surnamed Ashkenazi, called Ari [lion] by his followers, b. Jerusalem. In his 20s he spent seven years in seclusion, intensely studying the kabbalah.
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), he became deeply influenced by its ideas of imminent national redemption. In 1648 he proclaimed himself the Messiah, named the year 1666 as the millennium, and gathered a host of followers. In 1666 he attempted to land in Constantinople, was captured, and to escape death embraced Islam. Nevertheless, the influence of the Sabbatean movement survived for many years; it had secret adherents in the 18th cent. and was revived under Jacob FrankFrank, Jacob,
c.1726–1791, Polish Jewish sectarian and adventurer, b. Podolia as Jacob Ben Judah Leib. He founded the Frankists, a heretical Jewish sect that was an anti-Talmudic outgrowth of the mysticism of the false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi.
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. The name is also spelled Shabbatai Zvi.

Bibliography

See G. G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (3d rev. ed. 1954, repr. 1967), The Messianic Ideas in Judaism (tr. 1971), and Sabbatai Sevi, the Mystical Messiah (tr. 1973).

Sabbatai Zevi

false messiah, head of Kabbalic movement in mid-1600s. [Jew. Hist.: Wigoder, 544]
References in periodicals archive ?
17, 1666, Sabbatai Sevi (1626-1676), the founder of one of the most influential messianic movements in Jewish and world history, converted to Islam.
This problem was solved only in 1982 when David Biale found that Leopold had based his biography of Sabbatai Sevi on a massive two-volume 1822/3 anthology of Jewish stories by Peter Beer (1758-1838).
While he treated some news stories in detail (such as those concerning the Jewish messiah Sabbatai Sevi in the mid 1660s), often his news stories were unadorned factual accounts, reports lacking any surrounding context.
The Sabbatian Movement--The traditional historiography holds that the Sabbatian movement started in 1648 when Sabbatai Sevi had his first messianic vision; however, it did not emerge as a mass movement until 1666.
29) While Sabbatai Sevi played an essential role in the movement, it would not have gained such notoriety, and attention from academics, if it were not for the great amount of people that followed him.
For discussions of early modern Jewish messianism, see Scholem, The Messianic Idea in Judaism and Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality (New York: Schocken, 1971), 1-48, and Sabbatai Sevi, 8-102.
A piece on Ernst Cassirer's humanistic legacy gives the collection its title, but the other subjects treated are far-ranging: Karl Jaspers on the clash of religious cultures, Georg Henrik von Wright's noncognitive ethics, Gershom Scholem's magisterial biography of the kabbalist Sabbatai Sevi, Karl-Otto Apel's hermeneutics, Johann Baptist Metz on the Jewish element in Christianity, Michael Theunissen on the relation of negative theology to social theory, and a review of the work of script writer and film director Alexander Kluge.
Sabbatai Sevi went from the heights of elation, when he would violate Jewish law with a prayer of thanks to God for permitting that which was forbidden, to the literal depths of the Sultan's dungeons, where he was made to abjure any notion that he was the promised one who would lead the Jews back to Palestine.
In the last chapters of my Sabbatai Sevi, I tried to demonstrate, by means of precise examples, that the Shabbeteans always saw the positive in the negative.
The merchant's son was know as Sabbatai Sevi, and his movement became one of the most widespread Jewish messianic movements in history.
The author recalls that Scholem's 1937 germinal essay on the seventeenth-century false messiah, Sabbatai Sevi, "offered a compelling argument that Kabbalah and Sabbatianism were deeply implicated in the dramatic transformations of Judaism in the modern age" (162-163).
The work of Leon Festinger and colleagues, who, like Wilson, include Sabbatai Sevi as one of their examples, could usefully have been brought into play instead of putting such repeated emphasis on sex.