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 ?
When he talks about Iran he sounds the way false messiah Shabtai Zvi must have sounded."
Into that heady mix, Goldstein infuses all the uncertainty (a permanent piece of Jewish history) inherent in the times, plus the impact of the Shabtai Zvi episode, the false messiah of the 17th century, who embodied essentially a world-wide phenomenon from Tunis in Africa to Babylon in Asia and as far as England in Europe.
Their first stop was the Ben Zvi Institute, where the two men stunned the staff by instantly digitizing a signature of false messiah Shabtai Zvi. The institute also owns the 10th century Aleppo Codex, the oldest existing manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, which is housed in the Israel Museum.
In this book Goldish extends our understanding of the 17th-century messiah Shabtai Zvi and his prophet, Nathan Ashkenazi of Gaza, and some of their contemporaries, including other prophets, followers, and opponents.
Dina is followed by a parable of Shabtai Zvi (with a putative consort named Sara no less); then a Samson and finally an Abraham/Sarah sister saga, giving the reader the opportunity to both guess at and test their Jewish knowledge.
It was present, as Gershom Scholem has shown, in the most explosive movement of the seventeenth-century, the messianism of Shabtai Zvi. The latter found the existing, inherited Jewish life to be confining and wanted to lead the Jews toward a more spacious, more glorious new life.