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01593--Tzvi, Shabbatai

Tzvi, Shabbatai (1626–1676). A charismatic leader who proclaimed himself messiah in 1665. Although there were other false messiahs in Jewish history, Shabbatai Tzvi was the most popular. Some of his followers remained convinced of his messianic status even after he converted to Islam, under the threat of death by the Turkish sultan, in 1666. Shabbatai Tzvi’s teachings combined elements of Jewish mysticism, the call to penance, and violations of halachah. The dashed messianic hopes placed on Shabbatai Tzvi precipitated skepticism toward messianism as well as Kabbalah.

Courtesy: Professor Shai Cherry

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