In today’s bit of the ‘onion’, we’ll be taking a look at the strange story of the the Tzemach Tzedek’s paternity.

If you’ve been following this sage along with me here on the blog, (all links to previous posts at the end of this one) – you’ll already know that most of ‘official’ Jewish history from the last 400 years has been built on lies.

There are so many lies being told about so many different things, that it’s been totally overwhelming to try and unpick it all in any easy-to-understand way. But BH, I feel that a (small…) light is starting to shine at the end of that very long tunnel.

My modus operandi is to just keep putting out the bits of ‘truth’ I’m managing to piece together, without really having the bigger picture still, in the hopes that even this is helping to move things forward in some way, and to get us to the ‘world of truth’ required for geula.

So in today’s installment, let’s take a closer look at the story of the Tzemach Tzedek, Chabad’s Rebbe #3.

====

Let’s start with what Chabad themselves tell us, about who the Tzemech Tzedek’s parents are:

Rabbi Menachem Mendel—who was to become known as the as the ‘Tzemach Tzedek’, the title of his most famous work—was born in the city of Liozna on Erev Rosh Hashanah 5549, to his parents Rabbi Shalom and Rebbetzin Devorah Leah Shachna. Rabbi Shalom was the son of Rabbi Noach Altshuler, a respected disciple of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, Devorah Leah was the daughter of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first rebbe of Chabad.

====

The Chabad timeline linked to above gives you the whole ‘story’, including how Menachem Mendel’s mother died young, and so he was raised in the home of the Alter Rebbe.

The Alter Rebbe then makes the shidduch between the Tzemech Tzedek, and the Mitteler Rebbe’s daughter Chaya Mushka. The Mitteler Rebbe is the Alter Rebbe’s son, R’ DovBer Schneurson, who wins the ‘succession war’ for who will lead Chabad against the Alter Rebbe’s youngest son, Moshe.

(In one version of this story, Moshe converts to catholicism as a result of not being crowned Rebbe #2).

====

Many things puzzled me about this ‘story’.

Firstly, what happened to the Tzemach Tzedech’s father, Shalom Shachne Altshuler, that he went to live with his grandfather, the Alter Rebbe?

Second, why did the leadership pass on to Menachem Mendel, when R’ DovBer had plenty of his own sons (all also ‘outstandingly pious individuals’, according to Chabad lore)?

(I started to vaguely answer that second question, in THIS post.)

So, I girded my loins and have spent literally hours, days and weeks trying to piece together the real story.

And here’s where I got to.

====

Let’s begin with the Maggid of Mezritch, R’ Dov Ber ben Avraham, which you can read about broadly HERE.

Dov Ber’s father was Avraham of Lukatch, but as I’m finding SO VERY OFTEN with so many of our illustrious Jewish families, there are very few other details of any family members, certainly no siblings, and it hardly ever goes back further than their parents, also with no details of any other family members.

Doesn’t this strike you as strange?

Especially as so many of our leaders were connected to each other, married into each others’ families, and were leaders of the Jewish community (and therefore extent even in gentile documents, who were strictly keeping track of the Jews in their localities, for tax purposes)?

My best guess (based on this link) is that Rav Dov Ber was related to the Horowitz family, descended from the SHLAH, who later moved to Tiberius, where he’s buried next to the Rambam.

Let’s continue.

====

The Maggid of Mezritch has a sister, Ruhama.

Here’s where things are about to get mighty strange again.

Ruhama’s first husband is apparently ‘R’ Noach Altshuler’.

Noach Altshuler and Ruhama have a son, Shalom Shachne Altshuler, who is meant to marry Devorah Leah Schneuri (who Chabad say is one of the daughters of the Alter Rebbe).

Together, they have a son – the Tzemech Tzedek, Chabad Rebbe #3.

No where does Chabad official literature tell us that the ‘Tzemech Tzedek’ is the great nephew of the Maggid of Mezritch.

Why not?

====

Let’s continue.

Ruhama has a second husband (I don’t know if he comes before or after Noach Altshuler), who is none other than Rabbi Abraham Kalisker.

In case you don’t know who that is, here’s a potted (official…) history.

R Abraham Kalisker and R’ Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk move to Israel in 1777 as part of the ‘chassidic aliya’. Shneur Zalman (the Alter Rebbe) also has plans to move to Israel with this group, but Menachem Mendel tells him to cancel them, and stay back in Belarussia, instead.

R’ Abraham Kalisker was formerly a study partner of the Vilna Gaon, before becoming a ‘chassid’.

When Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk passes away in 1788, R’ Avraham Kalisker takes over as leader of the chassidim in Eretz Yisrael, and also takes over the administration of ‘The Holy Land Fund‘, the major way that the Ashkenazi community in Israel is funded by the Jewish diaspora.

====

Try to search for any information The Holy Land Fund, and you’ll quickly hit a brick wall.

It’s another one of the things on my ‘hot mess-o-meter’ to come back to, but from 1788 on, ‘The Holy Land Fund’ seems to have been taken over by the Alter Rebbe, and morphs into ‘Colel Chabad’.

Colel Chabad is still operating today, with a big budget. According to Wikipedia:

“Colel Chabad was the main charity supported by Sholom Rubashkin, who donated millions of dollars from profits earned by his now-bankrupt company, Agriprocessors.”

Like I said, we’ll come back to this topic another time.

====

For now, it’s enough to know that following the Alter Rebbe’s publication of the Tanya, in 1797, he has a serious falling out with R’ Abraham Kalishker.

The essence of the dispute is that R’ Kalishker feels that the true path of chassidut should be based on emunat tzaddikim, and on simple emuna in Hashem, and NOT on revealing ‘secrets of the Torah’. R’ Avraham feels the Tanya is revealing too much of these kabbalistic secrets to the masses, and taking the focus off simple emuna.

R’ Asher of Karlin (more on him in a moment) sides with the Kalishker Rebbe; R’ Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev sides with the the Alter Rebbe, and R’ Nachman tries to make peace between the two sides, when he visits Eretz Yisrael in 1798-9.

====

The first person Rabbenu goes to see when he returns from Israel is the Alter Rebbe. But it’s also interesting to note that in multiple places in his works, Rabbenu stresses that the teachings of the Alter Rebbe are wrong:

“On his way to the Holy Land the Rebbe travelled through Nikolayev and Kherson to get to Odessa. He spent Shavuot in Kherson and there he gave a number of outstanding lessons, including one on the verse, “He calmed the storm,” (Psalms 107:29).

There were a number of followers of R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi in town. They brought some of his teachings for the Rebbe to see. The Rebbe took issue with R. Zalman’s teachings and showed his followers that what he said was not correct.”

– Taken from Tzaddik, #29, page 47.

====

The argument between R’ Kalishker (who Rabbenu praises very highly) and the Alter Rebbe gets really nasty.

Around 15 of the families affiliated with Shneur Zalman leave Tiberius, and move down to Hevron to start the community there, as a result of this dispute (led by R’Israel Jaffe.)

It’s hard to know what else occurred as a result, (and because the true identity of R’ Avraham Kalishker has been deliberately obscured, tracking that information down is going to be tricky) – but I can still tell you this:

R’ Avraham Kalishker, the Alter Rebbe’s ‘big enemy’, is also at least the stepfather of the Alter Rebbe’s son-in-law, Shalom Shachne Altshuler, father of the Tzemech Tzedek (Chabad Rebbe #3).

====

But that’s not where this mystery about Shalom Shachne Altshuler ends.

When R’ Dov Ber of Mezritch ‘takes over’ as the leader of chassidut, following the Baal Shem Tov’s passing in 1760, there is a rift between his followers.

It wasn’t an entirely smooth transition, and the followers of the BESHT who fall in behind the Maggid of Mezritch come to be known as the Chevra Kaddisha (holy society), and it included the following:

====

There are two R’ Aharons of Karlin.

This first one died just a year before the Maggid of Mezritch dies, in 1772. He’s married to someone called Bracha, and has three children:

  • R’ Asher of Karlin (aka R’ Asher of Stolin)
  • Mosher Ber Perlow
  • Rivkah – who also marries Rabbi Shalom Shachne Altshuler, the father of the Tzemech Tzedek (Chabad Rebbe #3).

So basically, the Tzemech Tzedek’s step grandfather is R’ Avraham Kalisker, and his other step-grandfather is R’ Asher of Karlin-Stolin – who both fell out with the Baal HaTanya in a big way, over his teachings.

Where ‘Devorah Leah’, the Alter Rebbe’s apparent daughter, fits into all this, I can’t tell you.

The ‘official page’ for her on Chabadpedia now shows this:

====

Chabad lore states that she was born in 1766, and married Shalom Shachne Altshuler in 1787.

21 is mighty old to be getting married at a time when most people were married around 13 years old.

For example, her son, the Tzemech Tzedek is apparently betrothed at 8 (!), married at 13, and a father by 14.

Menachem Mendel is born in 1789, then Devorah Leah dies in 1802.

Where her husband, Shalom Shachne Altshuler, is meant to be in all this, I don’t know. And when he is meant to have married to Rivka, daughter of R’ Asher of Karlin-Stolin, I also don’t know.

But here’s why all this matters.

====

Everywhere I turn with researching this stuff, I’m hitting dead ends, deliberate misinformation and even outright lies and cover ups.

At this stage in history, I feel we need to know the truth of our past, however yucky that might be.

The time for telling tall stories about our ancestors – that whitewash their human frailties and issues – is over.

====

As you can probably guess, the information I’m sharing here on the blog is just a fraction of the stuff I’m wading through.

What is coming clear into view, at least at the ‘big picture’ level, is that the vast majority of our gadolim and tzaddikim, on all sides, were closely related to zealous ‘believers’ in Shabtai Tzvi, false prophets of Shabtai Tzvi, and also open and ‘closet’ Frankists.

To put this another way:

There is no such thing as ‘good yichus’.

The biggest tzaddikim and the biggest evildoers sprung from the same source, the same gene pool.

That’s probably one of the reasons why Rebbe Nachman would get so annoyed, when people would claim he only achieved his spiritual levels thanks to his holy ancestors.

He for sure knew the secret that the biggest fruit, spiritually, always comes wrapped up in the biggest ‘peel’, or klipa of evil.

And the only way we break this ‘peel’ is by working to overcome our own bad middot.

====

Going forward, we need to be honest about all this.

Because the people with the bad middot (but ‘good’ yichus….) are still running the show in the Jewish world.

Did you know Netanyahu and Reuben Rivlin are descended from the Vilna Gaon?

Did you know that nearly all the chassidic dynasties come from just 3 families?

(And are also related to the Vilna Gaon.)

Did you know that descendants of Shabtai Tzvi, and Nathan of Gaza, and Jacob Frank – and many, many more nasty people, maskilim, reformers and ‘fake’ moshiach-wannabes – are literally intertwined at every level of the family trees of our current Jewish leaders?

And not just in the secular world, also in the frummest-of-frum communities.

====

To give some concrete examples:

The main people in the chareidi world who have been persecuting Rabbi Eliezer Berland trace back to this same, problematic, group of people.

And some of today’s biggest rabbis in Bnei Brak had ancestors who were secret Sabbateans, and led the charge towards ‘modernising’ their Jewish communities and destroying the Torah way of life.

====

I don’t think God wants me shaking out every single skeleton in the cupboards of all our ‘leaders’.

I certainly don’t want to be spending the rest of my life doing this.

But it’s clear to me, that as a community we have to come clean, and we have to stop telling made-up stories about just how ‘good and holy’ our ancestors were.

They also struggled with depression, anger, hatred, jealousy and lack of faith, just like we sometimes do.

They also mistreated their kids, and spoke abusively to their spouses, and cheated on their taxes, and stole things they shouldn’t have, and pretended to be something they really weren’t, just to keep the respect of their friends and neighbors.

And those are just the good ones.

====

The world of truth is coming, and it can’t be stopped.

Someone just called me and told that people are only prepared to believe the truth now, because so many of us have got so sick of all the lies being told.

We don’t want to hear anymore made up stuff about our ancestors; we don’t want ‘gate keepers’ in our community distorting history and manipulating us with information just so they can keep controlling and misleading us.

And most of all, we don’t want arch hypocrites with bad middot and big beards running our schools, and controlling our communities, and damaging the souls of our holy children with all their fake Torah and emphasis on external piety.

(At least, I don’t.)

====

So, it’s time to come clean, and to make some real teshuva.

Each of us in our own dalet amot can begin that process, and then it will widen up and out to our friends, families, communities and institutions.

When we stop accepting lies in our own lives, we’ll stop tolerating them and enabling them to be told in the wider world.

That change starts with me and you.

Are you ready?

====

You might also like these articles:

==

==

==

Let’s continue trying to pry out some historical ‘truth’ from all the lies being told about Jewish history.

In this post, we’re going to return to Moshe Schneerson, the Alter Rebbe’s youngest son, who converted to xtianity.

Let’s see if we can track down some of his descendants in ‘real time’, and let’s see if we can start to broaden out the links between the Rivlin (aka Vilner, aka Broda / Rovigo) family, and Chabad. Along the way, we’ll also start to see how the nascent State of Israel came into being – and who was holding its reins, right from the start.

Ready?

Let’s dive in.

====

In the official history of Chabad, which you can read in Hebrew HERE:

https://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=30439&st=&pgnum=57

We learn that Moshe, the Alter Rebbe’s youngest son, marries ‘the Rabbanit Shifra, daughter of the famous rabbi, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch of Ula.’ He apparently lives a very long life, and dies in 1877, in Russia.

In the official Jewish history, Tzvi Hirsch of Ula is the son of Rabbi Eliyahu Rivlin ‘Platkes’, who is the brother of Benjamin Rivlin of Shklov, and also of Mindel Schick.

As we learned in THIS post, Mindel Shick’s grand-daughter, Elke, married the infamous Frankist Moshe Dobrushka, and the whole family converted to the catholic faith.

[There is way more to say about Moshe Dobrushka, but we’ll save that for another post.]

====

In my ‘alternative history’, I’ve set out that:

  • RIVLIN is just an anagram for ‘VILNER’
  • Benjamin Rivlin = Benjamin Broida, the grandson of the Shabbatean prophet Avraham Broida / Rovigo, author of the Eshel Avraham.
  • The 6th Rebbe of Chabad, the Rayatz, sets out himself that ‘Leah Golda, grand-daughter of the Eshel Avraham’ becomes the mother of the 4th Rebbe of Chabad, and that her husband is ‘Moshe of Shklov’.
  • That Moshe Shneuri converted to catholicism in 1820.

Now, let’s see if we can find out what happened to Moshe and Shifra Shneuri (nee Rivlin’s) descendants.

====

According to the official genealogies curated by Chabad, Moshe and Shifra (Rivlin) have just two daughters:

[20] Sarah Rivkah SHNEURSON m. Nachum Yosef SHNEURSOHN

and

[21] Rachael SHNEURSON m. Moshe Tzvi FUNDMINSKY

On the related sites on geni (which I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion are also being ‘curated’ by people trying to suppress the truth) – Nachum Yosef Shneursohn apparently has no parents, siblings, or other relatives.

I’ve learnt that this is a clear sign that the name is made up.

Especially when you’re dealing with people who ‘marry in’ to dynasties that are totally and irrationally obsessed with yichus. And especially when you’re dealing with people who like to marry their close family relatives, as much as possible.

When I try to look for who ‘Moshe Tzvi Fundminsky’ is – I hit the same problem.

He appears out of thin air, with no parents, siblings or trace that this person actually existed, outside of the curated genealogies.

Do a search for both of these people on the internet, and it will come back with NOTHING outside of the Chabad genealogies.

So, I already know that ‘Moshe Tzvi Fundminsky’ and ‘Nachum Yosef Shneurson’ are made up names, alter egos created to hide who these people really were.

====

This is where the principle of ‘cousins marrying cousins’ and ‘uncles marrying nieces’ really starts to be helpful.

BH, I’ve managed to unravel so many bits of hidden history by following this principle, so let’s take a look at who Moshe Shneuri’s grand-children married.

Rachel and Moshe ‘Fundaminsky’ have 5 children listed on Geni:

  • Miriam Mara Segal
  • Devorah Shmerling
  • ‘Unknown daughter’ who marries a ‘Yaakov Moshe Schneerson’
  • Shneur Zalman Fundaminsky (the younger (? – your guess is as good as mine)
  • Rivka Hinda Rivlin

There’s a lot of deliberate disinformation flying around, but that last one, Rivka Hinda Rivlin turns up something useful. According to this Rivlin family tree (which also continues deliberate distortions, upstream) Rivka marries Zalman Hayim Hillel Rivlin in Jerusalem.

Zalman Rivlin is the grandson of Hillel Rivlin of Shklov, the main ‘disciple’ of the Vilna Gaon’s band of Perushim, who came to settle Eretz Yisrael.

Hillel is also the son of Benjamin Rivlin of Shklov / aka Benjamin Broda -the Vilna Gaon’s brother, and the ‘secret Frankist tzaddik’ who stays within the Jewish community.

====

====

Zalman Rivlin is apparently married three times (!) – but again, his other two wives ‘appear out of nothing’.

One of Zalman Rivlin’s brothers is Yosef Yehoshua Rivlin, credited with founding 13 new neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Wikipedia has some interesting info about him, here’s a snippet:

In 1857, Rivlin founded the Bonei Yerushalayim (Builders of Jerusalem) company for the purpose of building neighborhoods outside the Old City walls. He enlisted signatories in the company from among his acquaintances, wealthy relatives in Shklov and Mohilev, and pro-Israel committees in Amsterdam and London, and also traveled to Russia and Europe with his colleagues, Rabbis Yoel Moshe Salomon and Michel Cohen, to promote the plan…

Rivlin was also instrumental in securing an annulment of the Ottomon ban on construction outside the Old City walls, issued in 1844. Sent with Rabbi Benzion Lyon to Constantinople by the rabbis of Jerusalem, Rivlin and Lyon procured an annulment of the firman from the sultan’s secretary, effective 1862.

====

You’ll recall from THIS post that Yoel Moshe Salomon was the descendant of Hershel Tzoref of Vilna, another Shabbatean false prophet.

Let’s recap, before we move on:

  • The Alter Rebbe‘s great-granddaughter via his openly catholic son Moshe marries Zalman Rivlin, the great-grandson of Hillel Rivlin of Shklov – continuing the tradition of these families intermarrying with each other.
  • Hillel Rivlin is the son of Benjamin Rivlin / Broda, the brother of the Vilna Gaon, and the ‘secret Frankist tzaddik‘ that stays within the Jewish community, to subvert it from within.
  • Zalman’s brother, Yosef Yehoshua Rivlin, plays a leading part in ‘building’ Jerusalem, together with the descendant of another Shabbatean Prophet, Yoel Moshe Salomon.

====

There is and was a very profound ‘Shabbetean / Frankist Kabbalah’ component to all this effort being exerted to rebuild Jerusalem, that is also connected to ‘rediscovering the 10 lost tribes’ and to the xtian world.

If you go HERE, you can start to read a little about that for yourselves. I hope to do a much longer post on this soon, but suffice to say that Yosef Rivlin was also a big kabbalist, and also very busy with trying to identify the 10 lost tribes.

This obsession with the 10 lost tribes was also a recurring theme, with all these false Shabbatean prophets, and the xtian groups who were supporting them.

====

Let’s keep going a little, with Zalman and Rivka Hinda’s descendants, because it’s actually quite eye-opening.

Again, Rivka is the grand-daughter of Moshe Schneuri, the Alter Rebbe’s openly catholic son (who was almost certainly a Frankist).

Rivka’s daughter Chaya Rasha marries Rabbi Mordechai Zev Hominer.

The Hominer rabbinic dynasty was one of the pillars of the ultra-orthodox community in Jerusalem (and Eretz Yisrael).

====

Another one of Rivka and Zalman’s daughters, Shifra Bracha, marries Eliyahu Mordechai Eisenstein, the leader of the religious community Jerusalem.

The following piece of golden information comes from the auction site for letters from the Eisenstein family, HERE.

(I’ve bolded the really interesting bits, below.)

====

R. Avraham Eisenstein (1800-1886) was born in Drahichyn, Belarus, and moved to Safed in 1823 together with a large group of disciples of the Gra, including his father-in-law, R. Chaim Cohen, rabbi of Pinsk and Safed.

In 1834 R. Avraham was appointed dayan on the rabbinical court of R. Yisrael of Shklov in Safed.

His entire family perished in the earthquake of 1837 except for one young daughter, upon which he moved to Jerusalem, where he eventually remarried the daughter of R. Aryeh Neeman (Marcus).

His sons R. Eliyahu Mordechai and R. Yerachmiel (who moved to the United States in the 1880s) were born from this marriage.

R. Avraham was among the community leaders of Jerusalem, and served as the director of the Vaad HaKlali (General Fund)….

His son, R. Eliyahu Mordechai Menachem Eisenstein (1867-1957), followed his father’s footsteps as a Torah scholar and community activist. He served the community in various capacities, including treasurer of the “Vaad HaKollelim”, secretary of the General Fund Knesset Yisrael, and other positions.

He also served as the personal secretary of R. Shmuel Salant for a number of years. He married the daughter of R. Zalman Chaim Rivlin (ca. 1832-1902), director of the Vaad HaKlali, and upon her passing, married her sister.

====

So. We’ve just discovered another unknown daughter of Rivka and Zalman Rivlin, called ‘Sara Esther’, who remarried Rabbi Eliyahu Mordechai Menachem Eisenstein when her sister, Shifra Bracha, passes away.

More importantly, we’ve started to uncover how the Lubavitch / Rivlin dynasty underpins large chunks of the ultra-orthodox religious world in Israel, via the Alter Rebbe’s catholic son, Moshe Schneuri.

And this is only tracking down two of Moshe’s descendants.

You would be AMAZED how many of our Jewish leaders, in the chassidic world, in the Litvish world, in the State of Israel, are directly connected to the Alter Rebbe and the Vilna Gaon, who as I set out elsewhere are very probably father and son.

So that makes the question of how closely these individuals were both connected to Shabbatean / Frankist theology, and beliefs, all the more sharp and urgent.

====

POSTSCRIPT:

I was going to stop here for this this post, but then I thought I’d just go and see who Moshe Schneuri’s other daughter, Sarah Rivka, is connected to.

Her son, Schneur Zalman Schneurson, married Toyba Feiga Wolfensohn, the daughter of Dayan Abraham Wolfensohn of Shklov.

He’s another really interesting character. The following comes from Wikipedia (which has way more details, so click and read more, if you’re interested). Again, I’ve bolded the really interesting bits.

====

Rabbi Wolfensohn was born in Shklov, about 300 kilometers southeast of Vilnius in Lithuania, where he became a disciple of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman. 

The Gaon believed that the return of the Jews from the Diaspora to the Land of Israel would bring about the Messianic era. Influenced by the Gaon’s vision, Wolfensohn founded an organization called Chazon Tzion (“Prophecy/Vision [of] Zion”), whose main principles included the ingathering of the Jewish exile.

In 1809, Rabbi Wolfensohn traveled to and settled in the Holy Land as a member of the first of three groups of Gaon disciples….

Included in the groups were members of the Wolfensohn, Ze’ev, Rivlin, Zeitlin and Bassan families—many of the descendants of these disciples became leading figures in modern Israeli society. Their arrival encouraged an Ashkenazi revival in the land which until this time was mostly Sephardi.

Facing an Ottoman ban on Ashkenazi Jews settling in Jerusalem, most of the Perushim, including the Wolfensohn family, settled in Safed, forming the basis of the Ashkenazi community there. Rabbi Wolfensohn became the first judge of the Perushim in Safed and was instrumental in ending the friction between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities in the region…

His wife and two of his sons were killed in the great Galilee earthquake of 1837, while Avraham was away in Europe collecting funds for the community.

His son Zeev survived because he was studying at a yeshiva in Jerusalem at the time.

Rabbi Wolfensohn then moved to Jerusalem where he married his second wife, Sheindel, with whom he had four children.

As leaders and members of the Perushim community, Rabbi Wolfensohn and his descendants (Wolfensohn, Woolfson, Wolfson, Ze’ev) had a significant influence both on the history of the Yishuv haYashan and the subsequent State of Israel

====

You’ll remember that I already talked about the Zeitlin connection to the Alter Rebbe, and to the haskalah, HERE.

Joshua Zeitlin is listed as the father in law of ‘Reb Alexander Sender’ – apparently one of the Alter Rebbe’s favorite talmidim.

And ‘Alexander Sender’ is meant to be the father of Moshe of Shklov – who we already pinned down as being one and the same as Moshe Schneuri, the Alter Rebbe’s catholic Frankist son.

 That would make Joshua Zeitlin the Alter Rebbe’s father in law.

(Joshua Zeitlin’s brother, Eliezer, came to Palestine as part of the delegation of the Perushim.)

So, if the thesis is correct that the Alter Rebbe’s father was really the Vilna Gaon, we are getting closer to pinning down who these people really were, ‘in the real world’.

And once we know that, we’ll have a much better idea how everyone is connected, and why they’ve been trying to hide that information for more than 200 years.

TBC

====

UPDATE:

Hey, just as I was re-reading this post to make sure it formatted OK, I realised that the life stories of R Avraham Eisenstein and R Avraham Wolfensohn are almost identical…. right down to them losing all their family, bar one child, in the Sfat earthquake and being the first ‘dayan’ in Sfat.

I think we just surfaced another big piece of disinformation in real time.

But why would anyone bother to make up a double identity for R Abraham Wolfensohn?

TBC

====

UPDATE 2:

You can see how our current President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, is directly descended from Benjamin Rivlin, here:

https://www.myheritage.co.il/site-family-tree-459303111/rivlin2017?newTree=

These people weren’t just pulling the strings 200 years ago. They are still pulling the strings today.

====

You might also like these articles:

Let’s see if we can trace back at least some more of the interesting connections between Vilna, Shabbatean-Frankists, and the State of Israel.

As usual, the story begins with yet another Shabbatean ‘false prophet’, this one called Joshua Heshel Tzoref. This from Wikipedia:

Joshua Heschel Zoref (1633–1700) was a 17th-century ascetic, and an important figure in the LithuanianSabbatean movement. During the messianic fervor of 1666, he claimed to experience visions similar to those of Ezekiel. He, like Judah Leib Prossnitz also, considered himself to be possessed of the role of Messiah ben Joseph, with Shabbatai Tzvi playing the role of Messiah ben David.

====

We have to understand something very important about all of these ‘false prophets’ of Sabbateanism:

They were almost always men of tremendous Torah learning, steeped in the deepest secrets of the kabbalah, but who lacked the kelim to really channel the powerful material they were studying and immersed in, in a positive way.

Again, remember Rabbi Akiva’s pardes – only Rabbi Akiva emerged in peace from delving so deeply into the kabbalah. The other 3 died, went mad or turned into heretics.

Interestingly, as the son of poor converts, who was illiterate until the age of 40, Rabbi Akiva lacked the yichus, learning and material wealth and connections of his colleagues. And it’s very possible, that this is what actually gave him the deep humility required to enter the pardes of kabbalah, and to emerge again unscathed.

====

There was a big disagreement between the sages of Rabbi Akiva’s time about how to deal with ‘Acher’ – the reknowned Torah scholar who became spiritually corrupted by his foray into deep kabbalah.

While the others chose to shun and split off from him totally, Rabbi Meir adopted a different path, that of treating Acher’s teachings as a pomegranate, where the sweet seeds are carefully extracted, while the pith and klipa are removed.

I think probably, the Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Nachman of Breslov were also engaged in this approach, of trying to lift the ‘good Torah’ out of the corrupted, evil, Shabbatean klipah that came to engulf so many of the rabbis of their time.

Ok, let’s get back to the story.

====

The Sabbatean prophet Heshel Zoref ends up – where else?! – but Vilna.

He’s so named after the book he wrote, Sefer Ha-Tzoref, which is described thus:

Sefer ha-Tsoref [is] based on gematriot, esoteric interpretations and speculations on the date of redemption.

Poland, the land of impurity where the Jews must bear the suffering of exile, is compared to the land of Edom and Esau as opposed to Israel, the land of freedom. However, it is from Poland and Lithuania that the messianic redemption will begin, which will then spread southward. 

This idea is then picked up wholesale by Jacob Frank, who then adds his own ‘twist’ by claiming that Edom / Esav can only really be rectified when the children of Israel ‘merge’ back with it and take control from within.

That’s why the Frankists were so happy to (pseudo…) convert to catholicism, and that’s why the Frankist doctrine was so big on promoting Jewish assimilation and conversion, as part of promoting this ‘one world religion’.

(Does any of this sound familiar?)

====

So anyway, there’s a lot of ‘predicting the end times’ based on kabbalah, and based on ‘prophecies’ going on (again, does this sound familiar?)

And as part of all these predictions, many movements take off with the aim of colonising Eretz Yisrael with Jews ahead of the Moshiach’s imminent appearance and / or return.

When Shabtai Tzvi died, there were so many people saying that he hadn’t really died, he was just ‘in hiding’, waiting to return again.

Many of these prophets gave fixed dates for Shabtai Tzvi’s ‘return’, and many people travelled to the Holy Land to try and get here ahead of Shabtai Tzvi’s ‘return’ and geula.

====

One of the best known of these groups was the ill-fated expedition of Judah He-Hasid.

Without going into too many details here, you should know that the followers of Shabtai Tzvi were typically called ‘hassidim’.

This was one of the things the Baal Shem Tov ‘sweetened’, by calling his movement chassidut.

But back in 1700, the only people who were hassids were followers of Shabtai Tzvi.

Once you know that piece of information, it becomes very interesting to note that the official genealogy of the Vilna Gaon lists his ancestor as one “Eliyahu ‘Chassid’ Kramer (1640-1710)”.

And the Vilna Gaon’s group of Perushim were very keen to rebuild Yehuda Ha-Hasid’s Churva synagogue in Jerusalem, back in 1864:

[I]n late 1815, leader of the Safed Perushim, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Shklov, arrived in Jerusalem with a group of followers.

They directed their main efforts to rebuilding he-Hasid’s synagogue, which had symbolised the expulsion of the Ashkenazim from Jerusalem. By this, they intended to demonstrate the re-establishment of Ashkenazic presence in the city. Rebuilding one of Jerusalem’s ruins would also have symbolic kabbalistic significance.

The “repairing” of an earlier destruction would represent the first step of rebuilding the entire city, a prerequisite for the arrival of the Messiah.

And strangely, the State of Israel was also very keen to rebuild it for a third time, back in 2010.

But let’s get back to Heshel Zoref.

====

Heshel Zoref gets to Vilna, then kind of drops out of view.

We have no idea what happened to him, nor his descendants, officially.

But then, whadya know, a Lithuainian called Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Zoref (also known as Ibrahim Salomon) (1786-1851) – shows up as part of the Perushim group, and plays a crucial part in getting the authorities in Constantinople to cancel the debt owed over by the Ashkenazim in Jerusalem, so the Churva can be rebuilt.

Below, you can see a video made about him, in this best tradition of State of Israel hagiography: there’s a song, a re-enactment of his landing in Acre in 1811, and most importantly of all, a description of him being ‘very handsome’. Of course.

====

====

Shlomo Zalman Zoref‘s father is listed on geni as being one ‘Yaakov of Keidan’. Interestingly, the Vilna Gaon’s wife Khana also comes from Keidan. Even more interestingly, the Vilna Gaon is said to have also had a daughter called Khana….

Yeah right.

(I was going to try and show how ‘Shlomo Zalman Zoref’s’ father, Yaacov, is linked to the Vilna Gaon’s wife, Khana, but I just tripped over a whole other hot mess of interesting disinformation. So, let’s shelve that part, and move on.)

====

If you go HERE:

http://www.salomon200.com/content_home.asp?id=100002&langid=2

You will find a whole website devoted to chronicling what the descendants of Shlomo Zalman Zoref got up to, in the Holy Land.

Here’s a snippet:

“Rabbi Mordecai Tzoref, Zalman Tzoref’s oldest son, married Hana, granddaughter of Rabbi Shlomo of Tolochin.

Rabbi Shlomo of Tolochin was one of the greatest disciples of Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna (HaGra).” 

====

So, I’d love to explain who Shlomo of Tulchin really is, but when I started searching now, all I’m coming back with for that period of time is Rav Shlomo Karliner of Tulchin. My ‘hot-mess-o-meter’ is dinging off again, so let’s just leave that for now, and move on.

That same site tells us that:

The Tsadik Rabbi Tuvya was the son of Rabbi Shlomo of Tolochin.  He too was a tsadik and a great scholar.  Through his father Rabbi Shlomo he befriended Zalman Tzoref and became his loyal assistant. Rabbi Tuvya travelled abroad frequently on behalf of the Jerusalem community.  He also accompanied Zalman Tzoref on all his trips abroad. 

During one of those trips, when the Tsadik Rabbi Tuvya  was returning with Zalman Tzoref to Jerusalem, there was a fierce storm and their ship was about to shatter.  Zalman Tzoref and Rabbi Tuvya then promised each other that if, God willing, they will be saved and make it back to Jerusalem, Rabbi Tuvya will give his daughter to Zalman Tzoref’s son in matrimony.  The Storm abated and the two made it back home safe and sound. 

Zalman Tzoref’s son, Mordecai Tzoref, then married the Tsadik Rabbi Tuvya’s daughter.  Rabbi Tuvya was then appointed as head of the community, and when Moses Montefiore came for a visit it was he who received him.

====
You’ll remember from this post:
That Moses Montefiore was one of the Frankists’ main pointmen, in terms of liaising with the orthodox elements of the Jewish community.
It’s amazing how many times Moses Montefiore shows up in very close proximity to some of these descendants of the false prophets of Shabtai Tzvi, that are turning up in Israel.
Let’s continue.
====
Mordechai Zoref enjoys close connections with Moses Montefiore and Baron de Rothschild, and also travels to Turkey where he somehow manages to get the ear of the Sultan, and convinces him – and Lord Napier, the British Consul in Istanbul – to let the Jews rebuild the Churva.
Isn’t it strange, how so many doors seem to open so very easily for these descendants of Shabbatean prophets, straight into the highest echelons of the corridors of power?
More on that another time.
Meanwhile, Mordechai Zoref’s son, Yoel Salomon, was busy printing seforim, starting up the Israeli periodical Ha Levanon, re-founding Petach Tikva – and got a street named for him, just off Ben Yehuda.
Within a generation, Zoref descendants like Haim Salomon were busy opening up the first ‘enlightened’ schools in Jerusalem, fighting pitched battles with the Holy City’s more orthodox elements, and generally preparing themselves to become the first official politicians of the nascent State of Israel.
====
Let’s stop there for now.
I was planning to tell you more about the Rivlin / Vilner family, and how they took over Eretz Yisrael, but we’ll do that in a seperate post.
It’s a lot to take everything in, so this post has been more ‘gentle’.
But it’s all circling around the same idea:
All the main movers and shakers behind the State of Israel have very strong Shabbatian / Frankist links, and are also very connected to each other, behind the scenes.

Including in the orthodox community.

TBC
====
You might also like this article:
https://rivkalevy.com/unpicking-the-past-ii/

So many things have gone ‘wrong’ in the world because we’ve been operating from a false paradigm.

For as long as we remain unaware of what is really going on, and what is really causing our problems, we can’t solve our problems.

As more and more of us are starting to crack up from all the pressure of the last 10 months (plus all the stressful years and events that preceded COVID-1984), the imperative to stop lying to ourselves has gotten stronger and stronger.

If we really want Moshiach and geula, we have to pull our heads out of the sand, and to stop pretending that everything is OK, when it really isn’t. We can’t fix things, we can’t change things, we can’t stop all the suffering going on all around, if we keep on lying to ourselves about what’s really causing the problems.

====

This next post is probably going to be extremely hard for many people to read.

I apologise in advance for that. I know that pulling all this information out into plain view is a tremendously painful process. All I can say is, we have to get to grips with the ‘problem’, and cut that klipa of evil away from the very good, beautiful fruit it still contains.

Just as Rav Kook explained that ‘the State of Israel’ was a shell of evil that contained some tremendously holy, good fruit, so we can say the same about every other organisation, institution and derech in the Jewish world.

There are a lot of ‘shells of evil’ that have covered over so much of the ‘good’ in the Jewish world.

But these shells are fragile and external and superficial.

And the people who have found themselves caught up in them, trapped in them, duped and deceived by them, are for the most part very, very good.

It’s part of the birur process to do this job, and it’s painful.

But at this stage, the operation cannot be postponed any longer, as the patient is in a critical state.

====

So now, let’s continue unpicking the family tree of the Eshel Avraham, Avraham Broda / Rovigo.

Let’s begin with the ‘official genealogy’ of the Alter Rebbe’s family, Schneur Zalman, the first Rebbe of Chabad. This information is taken from the Sefer HaToldos Admur Maharash, written by none other than the Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch, the 6th Rebbe.

You can find a translation of that book in English, here:

http://www.sichos-in-english.org/books/sefer-hatoldos-admur-maharash/14.htm

According to the Rebbe Rayatz, Schneur Zalman (1745-1813) married Sterna Segal, the daughter of Yehuda Leib and Bila Segal, in 1760. The couple then had 6 children:

  • Dvora Leah (no dates are given for her birth or death – mother of the Tzemech Tzedek #3)
  • Frieda Schneuri (1765 – 1813)
  • Rachel Schneuri (1765-1844 – no explanation is given for why she shares the same birth year as her sister, Frieda)
  • Dov Baer Shneuri (The Mitteler Rebbe #2), 1773-1826
  • Chaim Avraham Schneurson (1779-1844)
  • Moshe Schneurson (1783-1877)

There are a lot of strange things going on here, but to avoid getting overwhelmed, let’s first stick with trying to track down the descendants of Avraham Broda / Rovigo, the Eshel Avraham.

====

In the ‘official’ Broda family history book written a hundred years ago, that you can read and download here: https://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=44213&st=&pgnum=28, the author tells us that Binyamin Broda, the Eshel Avraham’s great-grandson (and secret Frankist ‘Tzaddik’ who stayed within the Jewish community) had 4 children:

  • Rav Chaim Broda – author of ‘Zerah Haim’
  • Unnamed daughter #1 who marries R Pinchas ben Yosef of Posner
  • Unnamed daughter #2 who marries R Yehoshua Heshel Ashkenazi
  • Unnamed daughter #3 who becomes ‘the mother of R Shmuel Shneerson of Lubavitch’ (the 4th Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe Maharash)

====

This is what the Rebbe Rayatz says in his Sefer HaToldos Admur Maharash:

Reb Moshe married a woman of high pedigree, Leah Golda the daughter of Reb Binyamin Broida, a grandson of Reb Avraham Broida, author of Eishel Avraham.[1]…. The saintly Reb Moshe and his wife, the kindly Rebbetzin, had four sons. The fourth son was the saintly chassid Reb Aharon, father of my grandmother the Rebbetzin. As previously mentioned, Reb Aharon ben Moshe was born in the year 5569 (1809).

This is all extremely confusing, so let’s try to figure out together what’s going on here.

According to the Rebbe Rayatz, this ‘Reb Moshe’ who marries Leah Golda, the daughter of Binyamin Broida, is the son of a close talmid of the Alter Rebbe, called Reb Alexander Sender of Shklov. Let’s go back to the account of the Rayatz:

Reb Sender ben Hirsh was Reb Moshe’s father. Reb Hirsh had been one of the town dignitaries of Shklov, in the early days of the Alter Rebbe’s leadership. When the Alter Rebbe visited Shklov for the first time on a matter of public affairs, Reb Hirsh was the first of the town dignitaries to become close to him.[7] Being a very wealthy businessman, he gave the Alter Rebbe an enormous sum of money to use for the public benefit.

====

The official history of Lubavitch states that this ‘Reb Sender’ died young, so then his son Moshe of Shklov was raised in the home of his grandfather, Reb Hirsh of Shklov, who was a very wealthy merchant.

So then, ‘Reb Moshe of Shklov’ marries Leah Golda Broida, and they have a son, Aharon, who ends up marrying (Chayah) Sarah #2, the daughter of the Mitteler Rebbe of Chabad. In turn, they have a daughter Rivkah, who marries the 4th Rebbe of Chabad, the Maharash, in 5609 (1849).

Got that?

Great. Let’s start to unpick it.

====

This whole thing turns on whether there is any additional evidence that Chabad was connected to the Frankist undercurrents that were swirling all around that period of time.

And the sad answer is, that such evidence exists.

The Alter Rebbe’s youngest son, Moshe, converted to catholicism. You can read a full account of that (also bringing Chabad’s ‘official response’ to this unpleasant fact) on Wikipedia, here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Schneersohn

Here’s an excerpt:

Documents found by historian Shaul Stampfer apparently document Schneersohn’s conversion to Christianity. The original documents are located in the National Historical Archives in MinskBelarus. These include a letter to the local priest in which he states his intent to convert and his baptismal certificate dated July 4, 1820. The documents also show that after his conversion he worked for the Tsar to assist in the conversion of other Jews.

====

There are some notable overlaps between the story of ‘Reb Moshe of Shklov’, as penned by the Rebbe Rayatz, and Moshe Shneurson, the Alter Rebbe’s Frankist-Catholic son.

‘Moshe Shneurson’ marries Shifra, the daughter of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh of Ule, close to Liadi. After his conversion to xtianity, he takes the name Leon Yulievitch, and ends up in Shklov. Over the years, Chabad have expended a lot of energy denying that Moshe ever converted, and no-one talks about what happened to his descendants.

But once you understand that all the Shabbatean / Frankist families tended to marry each other over many generations, it makes it much easier to trace back who everyone really was, in the real world.

====

As I set out in this post, I have reason to believe that ‘Binyamin Broida’ is the same person as ‘Benjamin Rivlin of Shklov’, close follower of the Vilna Gaon, and one of the secret leaders of the haskalah, who hung out a lot with Baron Joshua Zeitlin (also in Shklov), another ‘secret’ leader of the haskalah.

I should state now, that a key tenet of ‘Frankism’ was promoting the assimilation of Jews, and blurring the distinctions between Judaism, xtianity and Islam. It’s not a coincidence that in the generation after Frank, the haskalah got started in earnest.

The people promoting it were almost certainly influenced by Frank, but (at least initially…) chose to remain within the Jewish community, where they could continue to influence others.

Over the last month, I have spent hours trying to put together correct family trees for all these people. And here’s where things are about to get even more interesting, again.

====

‘Benjamin Rivlin’ (aka Benjamin Broida) is listed as being the son of one ‘Shlomo Zalman Rivlin’ – who I believe is the son of Avraham Broda, with that same name.

‘Benjamin Rivlin’ has 3 siblings:

  • Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman (‘Platkes’ – this is probably the Vilna Gaon)
  • Mindel Schick (who marries Chanoch Henach Schick, the ABD of Shklov)
  • Sheftil

Eliyahu (Platkes) Rivlin has 4 children:

  • Fishel Rivlin
  • Arieh Leib Rivlin
  • Shlomo Zalman Rivlin of Shklov – I think this is the Alter Rebbe
  • Tzvi Hirsh Olier Rivlin of Ula – And this is the ‘Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh of Ula’ whose daughter, Shifra, marries the Alter Rebbe’s Frankist son, Moshe Schneuri.

====

If this genealogy is correct, that makes the Vilna Gaon the Alter Rebbe’s dad.

And if this genealogy is correct, it also suggests that the ‘Frankist connections’ were spread throughout the Vilna Gaon’s circles, and also throughout Chabad chassidut.

I appreciate that’s a very painful statement, but there is more evidence to back it up.

But before we do that, let’s just recap, to try to keep things straight:

====

The official genealogy set out by the Rebbe Rayatz has ‘Reb Moshe Alexanderov Sender‘ as the grandson of ‘Reb Hirsh of Shklov’. This ‘Reb Moshe’ marries a grand-daughter of Benjamin Broida, the Eshel Avraham’s grandson, named ‘Leah Golda‘.

Leah Golda and Moshe have a son Aharon, who marries the Mittler Rebbe’s daughter Chaya Sara. Their daughter Rivka marries Shmuel Shneerson, the 4th Rebbe of Chabad.

In the ‘real world’, Benjamin Rivlin of Shklov is the son of ‘Shlomo Zalman’, grandson of the Eshel Avraham via his son Moshe.

Benjamin Rivlin is the brother of Eliyahu Rivlin (probably the Vilna Gaon).

Eliyahu has a son, ‘Shlomo Zalman Rivlin of Shklov‘, who is probably the Alter Rebbe.

Benjamin Rivlin has another son, Tzvi Hirsh Olier of Ula, whose daughter Shifra definitely marries the Alter Rebbe’s frankist son, Moshe.

Shifra is a grand-daughter of Benjamin Rivlin (the grandson of the Eshel Avraham).

Leah Golda is a grand-daughter of ‘Benjamin Broida’ (the grandson of the Eshel Avraham)

====

In other words:

Shifra Rivlin = Leah Golda Broida

‘Reb Moshe Alexanderov Sender’ = Moshe Shneurson, the Alter Rebbe’s Frankist son.

Which means that the Mittler Rebbe’s daughter Chaya Sarah (#2) married her cousin, Aharon

Not such a big deal – except that cousin was being raised in a Frankist-Catholic home, and then became the father-in-law of the 4th Chabad Rebbe.

You can see why there has been such a convoluted attempt to cover up the genealogy.

But there’s more.

====

Benjamin and Eliyahu Rivlin’s sister Mindel Shick have an unnamed daughter, who marries someone called ‘Isak Juda (Lobl) Zacharias Joss.

They have a daughter, Elke, who marries none other Moshe Dobrushka, the son of Jacob Frank’s first cousin Schondel Dobrushka.

Moses Dobrushka is one of the leading ‘antinomian’ Frankists of his day, and ends up converting to xtianity, where he then takes on the name ‘Franz Thomas von Schonfeld’. This from Wikipedia:

“Some Frankists were active during the French Revolution, such as Moses Dobruška, a son of Frank’s Sabbatian cousin in Offenbach Shendl Dobruska. Many of the Frankists saw Napoleon Bonaparte as a potential Messiah.”

Read that last line carefully.

There is nothing new under the sun. The Frankists of 200 years ago were cheering Napoleon on as the ‘good in Esav’, too.

====

Ok, let’s recap, then leave things here for now.

There is still so much to say, of course, but I don’t want to blow your brainboxes too much, in one post.

We just learned that Benjamin Rivlin’s sister had a grand-daughter who married the infamous Frankist (and close relative of Jacob Frank himself), Moses Dobruska.

Again, remember that all these Sabbatian / Frankists repeatedly married each other, to ‘keep things in the family’ as much as possible.

Benjamin Rivlin’s grand-daughter Shira marries the Alter Rebbe’s son, Moshe Schneuri, and Moshe Schneri definitely converted to Catholicism.

Their son Aharon then marries his cousin, the Mittler Rebbe’s daughter Sarah #2, and becomes father-in-law of the 4th Chabad Rebbe, the Maharash.

====

For once, I’m not going to draw out the obvious conclusions.

Let each person think deeply about what I’ve set out above, and do their own cheshbon hanefesh.

And remember, that all this is just a klipa, just a shell, that still contains tremendous good, but needs to be peeled away for that good to be fully revealed.

In the next post, I want to try and shift the focus to the State of Israel and its links to the Freemasons / secret societies, via all these Frankist connections.

TBC

====

You might also like these articles:

I have prayed long and hard about whether to write this.

For well over a month, I have been consumed with research about what really happened to all the many ‘false messiah’ / Shabbatean prophets that popped up in the Jewish community, post-Shabtai Tzvi.

Conventional Jewish history pretty much airbrushed all of these people out of the picture, and made it seem as though only a few people really believed in Shabtai Tzvi; and that only a few more people really followed after Jacob Frank.

That’s not true.

Most of the Jewish world believed in Shabtai Tzvi, and even after he converted to Islam and then died, the movement continued. How? Because people like Nathan of Gaza were on hand to keep the wheel spinning, by explaining that the soul of Shabtai Tzvi would ‘reincarnate’ in each generation.

====

There was a grand battle between Shabtai Tzvi’s successors.

Every few years, there would be another ‘grand battle’ between all the false Shabbatean prophets / false messiahs, over who had really gotten the ‘soul’ of Shabtai Tzvi, or his latest acknowledged successor, after that guy passed away.

If you look carefully through the Jewish history books, you will understand that these battles have continued throughout the last 300 years – even into our days.

But let’s get back to the main meat of this post, which is going to be plenty long enough without any diversions.

====

Many of the secret followers of Shabtai Tzvi were rabbis, with the highest pedigree, Torah and yichus.

Many of these rabbis were kabbalists, and it seems to me that their foray into the kabbalah is what made them so susceptible to Shabbatean ‘Torah’.

This isn’t a new phenomena.

When Rabbi Akiva and his three colleagues visited the Pardes (an allusion to the deepest wellsprings of kabbalistic learning), only Rabbi Akiva emerged unscathed.

Ben Azzai died. Ben Zoma lost his mind. And Elisha ben Abuya (‘Acher’) became a heretic.

As it was then, so it was 250 years ago. So many of our leading Torah sages delved too deep in the kabbalah, with the result that many of them literally went crazy, or turned into heretics and atheists, or ‘died’ to the Jewish people by converting out of the faith.

====

Here’s what one contemporary wrote about the numbers of rabbis who ‘came out’ as Shabbateans, when Jacob Frank showed up:

[Click the link to see the full passage from the Derashot Beis Peretz, in the original Hebrew.]

“And [the followers of Shabtai Tzvi] had a big debate in the city of Lvov (Lemberg) with all the rabbis of Poland, with more than 200 apikorsim of Shabtai Tzvi….”

Most of these ‘apikorsim of Shabtai Tzvi’ were the leading rabbis of their day.

This is a fact that has been deliberately hidden and obscured from us, for reasons that will become obvious as we continue with this post.

====

As I started to really research what was going on, I came to understand that most of what we’ve been taught about what really happened in the Jewish community from around 1666 on is a deliberate lie.

Most of the Jewish leaders were actually believers in Shabtai Tzvi, and most of the ‘arguments’ between them were NOT based on people who were ‘pro’ Shabtai Tzvi of ‘anti’ Shabtai Tzvi.

Most of the arguments were around which version of Shabtai Tzvi’s path was the correct one to follow, and who was really the ‘true prophet’ carrying forward Shabtai Tzvi’s teachings.

====

There is something else to underline, before we continue, and that is that when Moshiach comes, he is going to rectify all of the issues of yichus that have piled up over the last few centuries. All the problems with forbidden relationships, all the mamzerut – Moshiach is going to fix it all.

Last year, I wrote a post which brought most of the sources from the Gemara which cover this subject, and you can read that here:

====

This is a crucial things to internalise as we go forward, because many people will be truly shocked to understand that the yichus they may have been boasting about for the last 200 years is actually the very opposite of a good pedigree, Jewishly.

BUT IT CAN AND WILL ALL BE FIXED BY MOSHIACH, SO DON’T DESPAIR!!!

====

I am well aware that I am casting a very big stone in the pond with this information.

Two weeks ago, I decided to pull the plug on my research, and to let sleeping dogs lie. But since then, I’ve had  no peace, internally, and Hashem seems to be pushing me all the time in my hitbodedut to actually get this information out there, as gently as I can.

I guess it boils down to the fact that the world of truth can’t materialise until the world of lies really falls. And until we start to grasp just how many lies the modern Jewish community has been built on, that’s just not going to happen.

So with all those explanations out the way, let’s now get down to business.

====

Let’s start the process of uncovering the lies with the story of Abraham Broda, aka Avraham Rovigo, a leading secret Shabbatean of the more ‘moderate’ section of the cult.

(If you want to refresh your memory about what we’ve already covered here on the blog about the false prophets of Shabtai Tzvi, go back and re-read the blog posts I’m placing at the end of this post.)

====

Here is the starting point: all of the Shabbatean rabbis and prophets had at least one, if not more, ‘alter egos’.

So it was that they could be pious ‘Avraham Broda’ in one place, one country, and also be a Shabbatian prophet called ‘Avraham Rovigo’ in another context and country.

I have found this occurring again and again, that well known Jewish rabbis and ‘tzaddikim’ are called by one name in the Jewish history books, but went by many other names in the non-Jewish world, and also in different countries.

Some more points to note, before we really dive in, is that surnames only became mandatory within the Jewish community of Eastern Europe / Russia 200 years ago. So it was really easy to chop and change identities at will.

Also, the place names also changed, depending on which country was conquering the population at any given time. So, you can have ‘Lvov’ and ‘Lemberg’ referring to the same city, for example.

And lastly, be aware that many of these people moved around a LOT – and could often be away for years ‘on business’ in other countries, while apparently continuing as the official ‘rav’ of their communities back home.

OK, enough setting the scene. Let’s turn to some details now, about Avraham Broda / Avraham Rovigo.

====

In the official history of R’ Abraham Broda (that you can read for yourself HERE, in Hebrew), he’s described as the main rabbinic leader of the diaspora.

Here’s some of the details laid out in that ‘official history’:

  • Abraham Broda is related to the Maharal of Prague. He lives between 1650-1717, and is the son of ‘Shaul’ of Bumsla. His father is concerned about his son being pulled towards the teachings of Shabtai Tzvi, so he sends him to learn in Cracow, with Rabbi Yitzhak Harif.
  • He first becomes the Rav of Lichtenstadt; then he moves to Rodnitz (where he gives his haskamah to Meir Eisenstadt’s book ‘Panim Meirot’. Recall that Meir Eisenstadt is a) the brother of another Shabbatian false messiah called ‘Mordechai Mokiah’, and b) the supporter of another false messiah called Yehudah Leib ben Ya‘akov Holleschau of Prossnitz.)
  • From Rodnitz, Avraham Broda becomes a rabbi in Prague. In each place he goes, he opens up big yeshivas that attract thousands of students.

====

  • Avraham Broda’s students include:

    • Jonathan Eybshutz
    • Yosef Steinhardt
    • Yona Lansdorfer
    • Netanel Weil / Wehle

====

Let’s take a look at what happened to some of these students of Abraham Broda, as Rebbe Nachman teaches that like a seal imprinting in wax, you can tell if a leader is really ‘good’ or ‘bad’ by looking at his students.

Jonathan Eybshutz we already know is (rightly…) suspected of being a Shabbatean.

His son, Wolf, comes out publically as another Shabbatean ‘false messiah’ even in his father’s lifetime.

I’m also currently chasing down another line of research that suggests the Moses Dobrushka, Jacob Frank’s first cousin once removed and a notorious ‘antinomian Shabbatean’ was a grandson of Jonatan Eybshutz.

Then there’s the fact that Jonatan Eybshutz brazenly spelled out the name ‘Shabtai Tsvi’ on his wife Elka’s gravestone.

And if you read Heinrich Graetz ‘History of the Jews‘, you’ll learn a lot more details besides, that suggest R Yonatan was indeed a Sabbatian, and also a ‘false prophet’ himself.

====

Next up, we have R’ Yosef Steinhardt.

‘Steinhardt’ is a made-up name, and with a little bit of digging, we discover that ‘Yosef Steinhardt’, author of Koach Shor, appears to be Isaac Shor.

The Shor family was one of the most well-known in Galicia, and intermarried with many of the biggest rabbinical dynasties.

Sadly, they were also hardcore secret Shabbatians, and when Jacob Frank came along, the family ‘came out’ publically.

You can read more about them HERE. Here’s a taster:

“ELISHA SCHOR, the first known of the ramified Wolowski family, was a descendant of Zalman Naphtali Schor, rabbi of *Lublin. For many years Elisha Schor held the position of Maggid in the community of *Rogatin….

The children of Elisha Schor, Solomon, Nathan, Lipman, Hayyah, and their families adhered to the Frankist sect, until their conversion to Christianity in 1759, when they changed their name to Wolowski (Pol. wol = Heb. shor). They held various positions in the court of Jacob Frank in Poland and in Offenbach.”

====

The Shor family got ‘airbrushed’ out of Jewish history now, so it’s hard tracking them all down. Suffice to say, that while some Schors openly became Frankists and then converted to Catholicism, other members of the family continued to stay within the Jewish community – and many of them continued to be ‘secret Shabbateans’.

====

So, Joseph Steinhardt / Isaac Shor marries a woman called Kreindall.

Kreindall is the daughter of Yehuda Leib Berlin, who happens to be the son of Mordechai Mokiah, brother of R’ Meir of Eisenstadt and another false Shabbatean ‘messiah’.

I can’t stress how important it is to understand that these ‘secret’ followers of Shabtai Tzvi tried very hard to just marry each other, across many generations.

Once you get that, it gets way easier to start tracking them all down. Let’s continue.

====

R’ Yona Lansdorfer – author of the ‘Me’il Tzedaka’ – dies young, and is officially described as someone who ‘fought against Sabbatians’.

Again, this is misleading. He fought against a different branch of Sabbatian thinking, but if you take a look at what happened to his descendants, you can see that his own Shabbatean streak came out very clearly later on.

Here is Yona Lansdorfer’s page on geni.com – backed up with supporting documents (very important, because there are so many ‘faked’ geni pages around Sabbatians and their descendants.)

Yona’s son is Mendel Lansdorfer.

Mendel’s daughter, Slava Malka, marries one Hersch Aaron Beer Wehle.

Their son is Jonas (Yonah) Beer Wehle.

Here’s what YIVO has to say about him, and his descendants:

“According to the testimony of Moses Porges, Yonah Beer Wehle was a leader of the Sabbatians in Prague.

On several occasions, he visited the Frankist court in Offenbach and was the main financial supporter of Ewa Frank. His sons Avraham and Akiva spent a period of time at the Offenbach court and reportedly recorded Ewa’s visions, which were later included in the unpublished manuscript “The Prophecies of Isaiah.”

During their stay in Offenbach, Akiva and Avraham were baptized and assumed the names of Joseph and Max Klarenberg. Yonah’s daughter Deborah married Löw Enoch Edler von Hönigsberg, another important Sabbatian leader and author of numerous kabbalistic manuscripts.

In 1849, Gottlieb Wehle (1802–1881), the great-uncle of Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis and a first cousin of Zacharias Frankel, settled in New York. In his last will, Gottlieb Wehle presented the Sabbatianism of his ancestor as an emancipatory movement of social and moral advance, leading revolution against petrified orthodoxy.”

====

How did the Lansdorfers link up with the Wehles?

Here’s one suggestion: The last student of Abraham Broda, named above, is

R’ Netanel Weil / Wehle, author of the ‘Korban Netanel’.

On Wikipedia, you can read an official history of Netanel HERE.

And you can read the will of unrepentantant Frankist Gottlieb Wehle (who is very likely Netanel’s descendant) HERE.

====

LET’S GET BACK TO R’ ABRAHAM BRODA / ROVIGO.

How do we know that ‘Abraham Broda’ is one and the same as ‘Avraham Rovigo’?

Simple. Both of them lived at exactly the same time, and both of them wrote a book called ‘Eshel Avraham’. Here’s a link to an early edition of that book, and here’s a write up about it:

“[Zohar] Mordechai ben Yehudah Leib Ashkenazi and Abraham ben Michael Rovigo. [Hebrew Text:]. Sefer Eshel Avraham … be-ve’ur shiv’ah yeme Be-reshit ve-sod ta’ame Torah. Furth: Model of Ansbach in the House of Tsevi Hirsh ben Yosef Segal, 1701.            

Mordechai ben Yehudah Leib Ashkenazi of Zolkiev, 1695-1702, Kabbalist and Shabbatean. Ashkenazi  wrote the Eshel Avraham “based on a new interpretation of the Zohar he received from heaven.”….

Ashkenazi states that through the principles revealed in this book one can understand more of the Zohar in three months than others have been able to do in many years. This work has the enthusiastic approbations of the great rabbis of the period even though the author was a Shabbatean…..

Rovigo (circa 1650-1713) Italian kabbalist and Shabbatean. “Rovigo studied in Venice, where he became one of the leading pupils of Moses Zacuto in Kabbalah… Since he belonged to a wealthy family, Rovigo was able to devote himself exclusively to his studies; he became widely known as a supporter of pious enterprises and later also of Shabbatean activities…

Becoming one of the main supporters of the moderate wing of Shabbateanism, he gathered around him many secret followers of the movement… In 1700-1 he spent a whole year seeing through the press the Zoharic commentaries of Mordecai Ashkenazi (of Zolkiev, 1695-1702), in Fuerth, a place that seemed more sympathetic to secret Shabbateans than Mantua or Venice.” 

====

In 1702, Avraham Broda / Rovigo set up a Shabbatean kabbalist yeshiva in Jerusalem, in preparation for the ‘second coming’ of Shabtai Tzvi. Who did he ask for advice, on who to include in this Shabbatean beit midrash? Israel Chasid, son in law of Judah Ha-Hasid:

ISAIAH ḤASID FROM ZBARAZH (17th–18th centuries), Shabbatean scholar, the son-in-law of *Judah he-Ḥasid. In 1700 Isaiah Ḥasid immigrated to Jerusalem with his father-in-law and his companions. When the kabbalist Abraham *Rovigo arrived in *Jerusalem in 1702 and founded there a bet midrash for ten select members, he took Isaiah Ḥasid’s advice as to who should be admitted to it.

====

There are many, many links between the settlement of Eretz Yisrael over the last 200 years and all these Shabbatians.

We will, BH, get to that in another post. For now, let’s carry on trying to pin down Abraham Broda’s descendants.

And here is where things are about to get even more controversial.

The official history lists the following children for Abraham Broda:

  • Moshe Broda (1675-1741), Rav of Tiktin / Tykocin, then Bamberg, then Rav of Varmisai.

His daughter Sarah marries R Shmuel Shlesinger. They have a son called Moshe Ginz, and he has a son called Rav Akiva Eiger.

Yes, the famous Rabbi Akiva Eiger is the great-grandson of the Shabbatean prophet Avraham Rovigo.

====

On geni.com, we learn that the Eshel Avraham has six more children that the official history doesn’t really talk about. These include:

  • An unnamed daughter, who is the wife of R Yosef Moshe of Breslau.
  • R’ Shlomo Zalman Braude (dies 1742), the ABD of Mergentheim.
  • Esther, who marries R’ Isaak Nathan Schwabacher.

I think this ‘Shlomo Zalman Braude’ is the father of the Vilna Gaon (and also possibly connected to Shneur Zalman, Chabad’s Alter Rebbe.)

Let’s try to continue unpicking all this.

====

The official history ignores all these other children, then suddenly jumps to recounting the history of Aharon Broda, the ABD of Kalwaria, later dayan in Vilna, without explaining how he is connected to Abraham Broda / Rovigo (the Eshel Avraham)

Aharon Broda is listed as having two brothers:

  1. R’ Itzhak ‘Harif’ Broda, of Meitzad (who is possibly the same ‘Yitzhak Harif’ of Krakow, who learns with the Eshel Avraham, above).
  2. R’ Avraham Broda, the ABD of Serhei – who we are told is a ‘close friend’ of the Vilna Gaon.

====

Now, let’s go to the ‘official genealogy’ for the Vilna Gaon HERE, we learn the following:

Yehudah Leib Vilner son of Eliyahu Gaon of Vilna and Khana of Keidan, born 1764, Vilna, Lithuania, married daughter of Avraham of Serhei and Esther Jaffe, born Alinka, Lithuania, . Yehudah died 1816, Neustadt- Sugind, Lithuania.

====

Yehuda Leib Vilner is listed as a son of the Vilna Gaon, and one of the main people who disseminated his father’s teachings, after his death in 1797.

There are many, many mysteries surrounding the genealogy of the Vilna Gaon, but here we have at least one clear piece of information officially linking his family to that of the Sabbatian prophet, the Eshel Avraham.

(This is a good time to remember that all these Sabbatians liked to keep things in the family, and often just kept marrying each other. That’s also why I think the ‘Shlomo Zalman Broda’ listed above is a likely candidate for the Vilna Gaon’s father.)

====

If we continue with the official genealogy of the Broda family, we are told that Aaron Broda (ABD of Kalawaria and dayan of Vilna, brother of Abraham Broda of Serhei) has six sons – but it only lists five:

  • Binyamin Broda, ABD of Horodna / Grodna
  • Aryeh Leib Broda, ABD of Kalawaria
  • DovBer Broda, ABD of Zablodova
  • Yosef Broda, Rav of Tiktin / Tykocin
  • Tzvi Hirsh Broda of Salant – the first rebbe of Yisrael Salanter, the founder of the mussar movement

I think the sixth son is Gershon Broda aka Gershon Vilna aka Gershon RIVLIN.

(RIVLIN is just an anagram of VILNER. This piece of information is crucial to understand where the infamous Rivlin family of Shklov that basically control Eretz Israel spring from.)

====

Now, we go to the blog of Athol Bloomer, a modern-day Frankist / Zoharist / Hebrew Catholic, who has a habit of mixing up a lot of truth with a lot of lies, about what was going on back in Poland around the time of Frank.

I am still trying to work through all of Bloomer’s claims, to see what is true and what isn’t, and it’s a massive job, not least because of all the lies being told on the Jewish community’s side of the fence.

But according to Bloomer, this Binyamin Broda remained in the Jewish community as the Frankist ‘Tzaddik’, after so many of the other Frankists publically converted out:

“Rebbe Benjamin was the Frankist Tzadik of those who remained in the Jewish community but also was known as Alexander Brody in the Christian community.

His first wife was Chaya Rivkah Margolioth (Margarita). His first father-in-law Zvi Hirsh was the Rabbi of Zbaraz in Galicia [who was the son of Mordechai Margolioth]. He went to live with his father-in-law after his marriage and took the name Alexander Margolioth and succeeded him as Rabbi of Zbaraz in about 1774.

After this he was the Rabbi of Ossatin (or Satanov-Ossatin and Satanov have been confused). After 1802 he moved to Shklov.”

====

I think this ‘Binyamin Broda’ is the same person as ‘Binyamin Rivlin of Shklov’, who is listed as the ‘cousin of the Vilna Gaon, and one of his greatest students’.

In the ‘official history’, Binyamin Rivlin was the father of Hillel Rivlin of Shklov – who lead the Vilna Gaon’s group of Perushim to make aliya to Eretz Yisrael.

This link (in Hebrew) also shows that Binyamin Rivlin was connected to Joshua Zeitlin, and that both men were connected to the Vilna Gaon:

“Together with Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin, [Binyamin Rivlin] founded the “Yeshivat Ha’iluim” in Shklov. The Gaon from Vilnius was present at the founding of the yeshiva.”

====

Both Binyamin Rivlin and Joshua Zeitlin were leaders of the haskalah, as I covered in THIS post.

They were playing a double game – ‘super pious’ Jews in one arena, and men who were pushing for enlightenment and assimilation in another.

This type of stunning, two-faced hypocrisy is a hallmark of Sabbateans, and was honed to a fine art by Frankists.

====

I’m going to stop here for now, as I know this is a lot to take in, and I still have a ton more information to present.

Let’s try to recap the main points, before we move forward with more links, in the next post.

  • The Eshel Avraham, Avraham Broda / Rovigo was a Sabbatean prophet, and leader of the more moderate branch of Sabbatians.
  • He established yeshivas all over the Jewish world, and had literally thousands of students.
  • Many of his students, including Yonatan Eybshutz, Yonah Lansdorfer and Netanel Weil / Wehle appear to have been secret Sabbatians. This showed itself in their descendants, many of whom were at the forefront of the Frankist movement.
  • There were literally hundreds of leading Rabbis who were secret Sabbatians in the Jewish world, in the century following Shabtai Tzvi’s conversion to Islam and death. Many of these people – like the Shor family – have been airbrushed out of conventional Jewish history.
  • The descendants of these Sabbatians continue to play a very big part in the Jewish world today, both in the diaspora and the State of Israel.
  • Binyamin Broda – a close family member of the Eshel Avraham – is identified with Binyamin Rivlin of Shklov, one of the leading disciples of the Vilna Gaon, and father of Hillel of Shklov, who lead the Perushim to Eretz Yisrael.
  • Binyamin Broda is also identified by Athol Bloomer as being the leader of the ‘secret Frankists’ who remain within the Jewish community.
  • The Vilna Gaon is also ‘officially’ related to the Broda family, via Abraham Broda of Serhei, whose daughter marries the Vilna Gaon’s son, Yehuda Leib.
  • Binyamin Broda / Rivlin and Yehoshua Zeitlin were leaders of the haskalah, and both are closely connected to the Vilna Gaon.
  • Yes, I’m suggesting that the Vilna Gaon and his circle were probably closely connected to secret Sabbatians / Frankists. That’s why there is so much deliberate ‘confusion’ being sown about their genealogies.

And I have a lot more still to share with you, about some other leading Jewish figures who were closely connected to these secret Frankists / Sabbatians.

TBC

====

UPDATE:

According to Yivo, Aharon Broda is the son of Moshe Broda.

That makes Benjamin Broda / Rivlin the Eshel Avraham’s great-grandson.

And I tracked down some more members of the infamous Schor family too, here, who changed their name to ‘Brodski’, became fabulously wealthy, and then intermarried with the Gintsburgs of St Petersburg:

The Brodskiis originated in BrodyGalicia, with the family name Schor; the name Brodskii was taken by Me’ir (Mark) Schor when he moved to the small town of Zlatopol’ in Kiev province in the early nineteenth century. The family had a pedigree of some distinction, as Me’ir’s grandfather had been Rabbi Aleksander Schor, author of a work on Jewish law entitled Simlah ḥadashah.

====

UPDATE 2:

Joseph Steinhardt’s father was called Menachem Mendel Steinhardt.

He was also from the notorious Shor family.

There appears to be some confusion in what I’ve found online as to whether he was one and the same person as Menachem Mendel of Nikolsburg, who wrote a book called She’elot and Teshuvot Tzemech Tzedek, or just his grandson, with the same name.

What’s not in dispute is that ‘Menachem Mendel Steinhardt’ wrote a book called Divrei Iggeret, which maybe you won’t be so surprised to know, was criticised (and also hailed) as the ‘harbinger of the reform movement’.

See here, and below:

The following info about Menachem Mendel Steinhardt (Shor) comes from the ANU musueam database:

Born in Fuerth, Germany, he became rabbi in Minden and then in Hildesheim. He was involved with the forerunners of the Reform movement and was the first German rabbi to preach in German and to omit sections of the traditional liturgy. His lenient ruling permitting legumes to be eaten on Passover provoked the anger of the Orthodox rabbis.

====

If we go back to geni.com, we can make the link between Menachem Mendel Schor (Steinhardt) and the infamous Elisha Schor, Rav of Rohatyn, whose whole family came out openly as Frankists, and converted en masse to Polish catholicism:

Menachem Mendel’s great-grandfather, Zalman, was Elisha Schor’s brother.

====

One of the ‘forerunners of the Reform Movement’ was a man named Israel Jacobson. Menachem Mendel Steinhardt and he were in close cahoots together.

I have a hunch that ‘Israel Jacobson’ is probably one of Jacob Frank’s children or grandchildren, who stayed within the Jewish community to disrupt it internally.

As I’ve discovered, many of Frank’s descendants went by some version of ‘the son of Jacob’ as their surname.

As I’m sure you can appreciate, the tracks leading back to Jacob Frank have been obscured, so it’s going to take me a while to unpick it all to find out.

====

OTHER BLOG POSTS COVERING SHABTAI TZVI AND HIS MANY FALSE PROPHETS:

 

I think we’re probably going to get up to part 99 of this saga, the way things are going…

You know, I love a good mystery, and I love the ‘thrill’ of figuring things out. But I have to say, that even I am starting to be overwhelmed by all the twists and turns in the tangled web of ‘Jewish genealogy’ I’m caught up in the moment.

If you haven’t been paying attention, I’m trying to figure out a few things, not least:

  1. How exactly the Vilna Gaon and the Alter Rebbe are connected.

I know they are close family members – brothers, cousins, maybe even father and son, but I haven’t pinned it down exactly yet.

2. Why there are so many deliberate lies and distortions going on around the family trees of Yonatan Eybshutz, the Vilna Gaon, the Alter Rebbe and Jacob Frank (amongst many others…)

As I’ve mentioned, there are a few ‘gatekeepers’ on the geni.com website who keep popping up again and again and again, when I input certain family names.

Whenever I’m pursuing an interesting avenue, all the leads suddenly dry up, and it’s as though these people sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus.

No parents, no siblings, no other children…. always at those intersections where I would start to see how one group, one specific family, might link to another.

But Hashem is sending me more and more leads all the time, and BH, even with all the lies being told, we’re going to figure this out.

====

3. How is it, that so many of the ‘leading lights’ surrounding the Vilna Gaon apparently had double identities as the leaders of the haskalah movement?

Let’s give a concrete example.

If you go HERE, you’ll find the following information about ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’, a leading figure in the community of Shklov and the surrounding areas (I’ve screenshotted all of this, to make sure it doesn’t disappear…)

====

====

According to this rosy write up, Rav Yehoshua Zeitlin was a gaon, and a talmid of the Vilna Gaon and Rav Aryeh Leib Ginsburg, the Sha’agas Aryeh.

He was also wealthy – we’re told by this write up, from hamodia.com – and ‘supported many talmidim from his own pocket’.

Now it lists three of his ‘many talmidim’:

  1. Rabbi Menachem Leffin
  2. Rav Binyamin Rivlin
  3. Rav Boruch of Shklov

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

====

When I went to look up ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’ (1742-1822, born in Kherson) – this is what I discovered.

He was a Baron – Joshua Von Zeitlin – and the main supplier for Potemkin’s Russian armies, during the Turkish-Russian wars that began in 1768. Count Potemkin was a favorite of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. You can read more about Potemkin HERE.

Here’s what the translation from an article in alef magazine (now mysteriously taken off line…) said about Baron Joshua Von Zeitlin:

“Yehoshua Zeitlin (1742–1822) is a personality not yet fully appreciated by historians. Meanwhile, he was the first prominent Jewish figure in Russia to combine deep rabbinical scholarship with a passionate desire to familiarize his fellow tribesmen with Russian public life. A prominent Hebraist and subtle interpreter of the Talmud, he at the same time highly appreciated Russian culture.

Yehoshua was a native of Shklov and came from a well-known and noble Jewish family…”

There’s more. Let’s continue. Another one of Catherine the Great’s boyfriends, Count Semyon Gavrilovich Zorich (1745-1799) is ‘retired’ to Shklov in 1777, where he soon creates a court to rival that of St Petersburg. Semyon has bad middot (to put it mildly…) and creates a very loose, immoral atmosphere in Shklov.

====

Somehow or other, Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin and his brother become Semyon’s main helpers and advisors:

Yehoshua (together with his brother, who was sent by Zorich to Riga to buy antiques and “soft junk” there at a reasonable price) becomes his assistant. It is not known what exactly the Count’s assignments were carried out by Zeitlin, but there is evidence that in the 1770s and 1780s he often visited Berlin on the instructions of this tyrant.

Fortunately, from such voyages, our hero [i.e. Joshua Zeitlin] received not only commercial benefits, but also abundant food for the mind.

He became close to the leaders of the Berlin Haskala and became a frequent visitor to the house of the founder of Jewish enlightenment, “Jewish Socrates” Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1789). Friendship ties tied him with such prominent Maskilim as the Chief Rabbi of Berlin, Hirsch Lebel (1721-1800); the outstanding linguist and exegete Naftali-Hertz Wesseli (1725-1805); the herald of reformism in Judaism, David Friedlander (1750–1834), and others. (Emphasis mine.)

====

Before I continue, let’s just recap what we’ve discovered.

On the one hand, ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’ is being lauded as a gaon and a tzaddik, author of the Amudei Gola sefer in the pages of Hamodia.

And on the other, we discover that he’s a leading proponent of ‘haskalah’ in Eastern Europe, and is hanging out with Moses Mendelssohn and others who were men known for pushing the ‘enlightened’ and ‘reform’ agenda.

What in the world is going on?

====

So now, I wanted to find a screenshot of Baron Joshua Zeitlin’s sefer, the Amudei Gola, and God sent me another mystery.

First, here’s the screenshot of the book, from here:

====

Sit down for this next bit.

The two people who gave Joshua Zeitlin’s book an approbation are R’Chanoch Henich Shick of Shklov – and the Baal HaTanya, Rav Shnuer Zalman Baruchovitch of Liadi.

Apparently, the auction house tells us that: ‘This is one of the few approbations of the Baal HaTanya that has seen print.’

So now, you tell me how it is that ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’s’ book has got an approbation from the Alter Rebbe, when he is described as being a close student of the Vilna Gaon.

And while you’re at it, please also tell me why one of the ‘few approbations’ of the Alter Rebbe should be found in a book written by a man who was a leading maskil.

And also, why Joshua Zeitlin is listed as the father in law of ‘Reb Alexander Sender’ – apparently one of the Alter Rebbe’s favorite talmidim:

Alexander Sender of Shklov was an outstanding chassid of the First Chabad Rebbe, a generous businessman of exemplary piety. When he passed away, the Alter Rebbe paid a condolence call to his father and testified that he had seen his soul “in exceptionally bright, shining garments” (Beis Rebbe). His grandson, Aharon, was the father of the fourth Rebbe’s wife, Rivka.

In fact, he was SO beloved by the Alter Rebbe that the 6th Rebbe, the Rayatz, wrote a whole chapter about him in his work ‘Her Husband’s Crown’, which you can read for yourself HERE.

====

Hey, even more interesting!

That link that I had in the comments section on this post: https://rivkalevy.com/curiouser-and-curiouser/, linking to this: http://www.sichos-in-english.org/books/sefer-hatoldos-admur-maharash/15.htm – has now disappeared.

It seems Chabad have now taken the book offline.

(I downloaded it all anyway, because I had a feeling something like that might happen.)

But hey Chabad, what do you have to hide?

Why remove the sichot of the Rayatz, describing his ancestor’s family tree, and particularly his links to his follower, ‘Reb Alexander Sender‘, and the story of Rebbetzin Lea Golde Broda, mother of the 4th Rebbe?

(Honestly, I’m starting to have a theory about that, but let’s continue.)

====

Let’s go back.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about ‘Baron Joshua Zeitlin’:

Joshua Zeitlin (1742 in ShklovBelarus – August 18, 1822, in KhersonNovorossiya) was a Russian rabbinical scholar and philanthropist. He was a pupil of the Talmudist Rabbi Aryeh Leib ben Asher Gunzberg who was the author of Sha’agat Aryeh; and, being an expert in political economy, he maintained close relations with Prince Potemkin, the favorite of Catherine II. During the Turko-Russian war, Zeitlin furnished the Russian army with various supplies, and managed that business so cleverly that he was afterward appointed imperial court councilor.

On retiring from business in the civil rank of Court Counsellor, Zeitlin resided on his estate Ustzia, where he was occasionally consulted by rabbis with regard to rabbinical questions. He rendered pecuniary assistance to many Talmudists and scholars, and supported a magnificent beit midrash, in which many Jewish scholars were provided with all of life’s necessities, so that they could pursue their vocations without worries of any kind.

Among the scholars who benefited from his generosity were: Rabbi Nahum, author of Tosafot BikkurimMendel Lepin, author of Cheshbon ha-Nefesh; and the physician Baruch Schick

====

Mendel Lepin = ‘Rabbi Menachem Leffin’ (1749-1826)

(He may well also be the same ‘Menachem Mendel Levin’ who authored a sefer called ‘Cheshbon HaNefesh’.)

Here’s what we learn about ‘Mendel Lepin / Lefin / Levin’ from the Jewish encyclopaedia:

LEVIN (LEFIN), MENAHEM MENDEL (1749–1826), early Haskalah author, translator, and educator. Born in Satanov, Podolia, he had a traditional Jewish education but also studied sciences, mathematics, and medieval philosophy in his youth.

From 1780 to 1783/84 Levin lived in Berlin, where he met Moses *Mendelssohn, through whom he established contact with the leaders of the Haskalah. …

Levin taught mathematics and philosophy to Czartoryski’s children, which was rare at that time, and dedicated his unpublished philosophical treatise, “Aus dem Nachlass eines Sonderlings zu Abdera,” to Czartoryski’s wife. When the great Sejm met in Warsaw (1788–92), Levin participated in discussions on contemporary problems.

Toward the end of the 18th century, he resided in Ustye and in St. Petersburg in the home of the wealthy philanthropist J. *Zeitlin, serving as tutor to his grandson. After 1808 he lived in Brody and Tarnopol, where his influence on the maskilim in Galicia, notably N. *Krochmal and J. *Perl, was so considerable that he is regarded as the father of the Galician Haskalah.

====

Isn’t that shocking?

Yet again, we see that the people being lauded as the main disciples of the Vilna Gaon are one and the same as the people mamash leading the haskalah in Europe.

What on earth is going on here?

====

I’m still  looking into ‘Boruch of Shklov’ and ‘Rabbi Binyamin Rivlin’, (amongst other things) so expect this series of ‘curiouser and curioser’ to continue for some time.

But there are some very serious questions bobbing up here about who exactly the Vilna Gaon really was, who his students really were – and what they really stood for – and how the Alter Rebbe and Chabad chassidut connects into this whole hot mess.

TBC

(Unless someone in 770 decides to try and take my blog out of action again 😉

====

UPDATE:

Here’s what I found about Baruch Schick of Shklov:

He was another radical maskil, and another ‘student’ of the Vilna Gaon. And he’s connected to the Rabbi Chanoch Henich Shick of Shklov who gave approbations for that sefer, above, together with the Ba’al HaTanya:

====

SCHICK, BARUCH BEN JACOB (also known as Baruch Shklover , from the name of his birthplace, Shklov; 1740?–after 1812), rabbi, physician, and one of the pioneers of *Haskalah of Eastern Europe.

Schick was ordained as a rabbi in 1764 and subsequently served as dayyan in Minsk. In his youth he was already attracted to the Haskalah and general knowledge. His first scholarly work and his other works were lost in a conflagration. He traveled to London to study medicine and there joined the Freemasons. After qualifying as a doctor he moved to Berlin, where he became acquainted with the maskilim of the town, including Moses *Mendelssohn and Naphtali Herz *Wessely.

In 1778, on his way back to Minsk, he visited Vilna and was in the group associated with Elijah b. Solomon (the Gaon of Vilna), in whose name he published a statement on the need for scientific knowledge for an understanding of the Torah…. He stated that the Gaon of Vilna advised him to translate scientific works into Hebrew in order to make their contents available to Jews….

After some time he settled in Shklov, and there he belonged to the maskilim whose needs were supplied by the wealthy Joshua *Zeitlin of Ustye near Shklov….

Schick devoted his energies to arousing his fellow Jews to the need for studying the arts and sciences. He regarded the neglect of the sciences as caused by the exile. He repeated the accusations of his predecessor, Israel Moses ha-Levi *Zamoscz, against the fanatical rabbis and leaders who persecuted and condemned the maskilim. To restore science to its former place of honor, he pleaded for a revival of Hebrew, in which scientific works intended for his people should be written.”

====

UPDATE #2:

The link to the Chabad writings is working again. Baruch Hashem.

UPDATE #3:

Here’s a screenshot mentioned by Aliza, below, in the comments section, that comes from this book:

The Secret Doctrine of the Gaon of Vilna Volume II: The Josephic Messiah, Leviathan, Metatron and the Sacred Serpent

From what I remember from the comments of Netanel Simcha, who mentioned that ‘Metatron’ is the reason Acher turned into an anti-Torah heretic, it seems that this angel is back in the picture here, too.

The book is written by the descendant of the Vilna Gaon’s brother, R Avraham Ragoler, and sets out the Vilna Gaon’s ‘kabbalah’ connected to geula and moshiach.

You’ll notice that the Gaon apparently refers to HIMSELF as Moshiach ben Yosef….

Which is interesting, hey?

====

====

You might also like this article:

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been consumed over the last few weeks with ‘getting to the bottom’ of what really happened in the Jewish community 200 years ago.

Literally every day for three weeks, I’ve sat at my computer for 10 hours a day, poring over genealogical tables, reading every description of Jewish life in Podolia and Belarus I could get my hands on, and generally praying long prayers that God should show me what He wants me to be doing with all the information that’s been turning up.

Yesterday, on Shabbat, I did another prayer-a-thon, to try to get some clarity on this issue in a whole bunch of different ways.

This morning, I woke up with an answer, a derech, to how to get at least some of the information ‘out there’ in a useful way, that will hopefully start to heal the divisions within the Jewish community, instead of exacerbating them further.

====

The Sitra Achra is so clever.

It’s been pursuing a strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ amongst us for thousands of years, already. We could say all this started with the Tsadukim, (Sadducees) – but we’d be totally wrong about that.

All this traces back to Korach, the first ‘tzaddik’ and ‘talmid chacham’ who put his ego ahead of what was best for the klal, and who fractured the Jewish people into different camps, for and against Moshe.

And it traces back to the spies, who slandered the land of Israel and then fractured the Jewish people into different camps for and against making Aliyah.

And even, it traces back to the 4/5 of the Jewish people who died in Egypt in the plague of darkness, because they lacked the emuna to really want to leave their exile.

====

I could probably keep going, all the way back through history, where each time there was divisions and hatred between different family members, until we arrive at Kayin and Hevel.

Kayin believed the world was too small for both of them, so he did away with the competition.

And now, it’s time to try to start fixing this problem, by welding things back together.

====

In the Jewish world of today, the Sitra Achra has done an excellent job of dividing us up smaller and smaller into warring factions.

Just some of the camps we’ve been shoved into are:

  • Religious vs secular
  • Left vs right
  • Ashkenazi vs Sephardi
  • Dati Leumi vs Haredi
  • Chassidic vs Litvish
  • Zionist vs anti-zionist
  • And of course, today we also have pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine, and pro-mask and anti-mask, and pro-Trump and anti-Trump….

The list goes on and on.

====

Over time, I’ve learnt that the people who are so mercilessly pushing their agendas, their viewpoints, onto other people are at least a touch mentally-ill.

I was in that space myself until a few years ago, trying to ‘force’ all my relatives outside of Israel to make Aliyah, and trying to ‘force’ my children into wearing socks all the way up to their toosik, and also trying to ‘force’ myself into all sorts of boxes that just didn’t fit, because I’d been brainwashed into thinking that’s what God wanted.

But I digress.

Let’s get back to the main point of today’s post.

====

In all my digging around in the genealogical tables, I realized a lot of interesting things.

One of the most interesting things that I realized is that so many of the groups listed above were and are being led by members of the same small set of families. Many of these families trace back – via multiple ancestors – to the Maharal of Prague and the Maharam of Padua, and beyond.

Way, way beyond.

One we realized just how ‘connected’ the Jewish people really are, by blood, by marriage, by history – then it becomes totally ridiculous to start pointing fingers at the other groups, and claiming there is something ‘wrong’ with them that isn’t also ‘wrong’ with us.

How can we accuse other groups of consisting solely of ‘erev Rav’ when we have the same parents and grandparents in common?

How can we claim that our gene pool, our yichus,  is somehow superior, when that same gene pool produced the biggest tzaddikim – and also the biggest gangsters, murderers and idolators?

(If you’re getting a bit stuck with this concept, pick up a copy of my book Unlocking the Secret of the Erev Rav, where I clearly set out how to really deal with the problem.)

====

Bad people, bad Jews, bad ‘Erev Rav’ are not just on the other side of the debate.

The Sitra Achra has been working so hard to make us think that this is the case, because when we can pretend to ourselves that only lefties are bad; or that only people who don’t vaccinate are bad; or that only Bibi is bad….

[Fill in the blank]

We are totally missing the whole point.

The point is to work on ourselves, our own bad middot, our own lack of emuna, our own issues, and to stop spending all our time pointing out the ‘bad’ in others.

To put this another way:

All of us contain bad. And God expects all of us to work on it, and uproot it.

And whenever someone is running around shrieking that only their group, their path, their derech contains ‘good’ – well.

They’re wrong.

====

So now, of all the many millions and billions of bits of information that I could share with you to make the point, I’ve settled on this:

The Vilna Gaon and the Alter Rebbe were very close family members.

This information has been so heavily and deliberately obscured (for reasons that I am choosing to not go into, at least for now) that you will probably have great difficulty in believing me.

But even with all the deliberate disinformation, and the deliberate changing of dates and names, and the conspiracy of silence that has grown up around this topic, last week, I finally figured enough out to tell you that they are definitely very close relatives.

====

Here’s how I think they are related.*

They are all members of the same Rivlin family.

Eliyahu Rivlin (the Vilna Gaon) was the father or possibly grandfather of Shlomo Zalman Rivlin, aka Schneur Zalman (the Alter Rebbe).

Shlomo Zalman Rivlin had a brother called Tzvi Hirsch Rivlin.

Tzvi Hirsch Rivlin’s daughter, Shifra, married Shlomo Zalman’s Rivlin’s son, Moshe.

But that’s not all.

====

Most of the ‘Vilna Gaon’s’ closest disciples appear to also have been his family members, his sons / grandsons.

Those people were also the very close relatives of the Chabad rebbes.

Many of those people – all the same members of the Rivlin family – moved to Eretz Israel.

Some came dressed as chassidim, some came dressed as Perushim, some came dressed as secular chalutznikim – and many of them became the ancestors of the main players in what became the modern State of Israel.

====

Clearly, I’m leaving out some big parts of this story.

Take a look at Joshua Zeitlin (whose alter ego in the ‘frum’ Jewish world was Natan Neta Notkin), the father-in-law of ‘Reb Alexander Sander’, a very popular figure in Chabad mythology, and also, Zeitlin is strangely connected on a very deep level to many of the Vilna Gaon’s students.

And many of those students are credited with being the ‘fathers’ of the haskalah movement.

Whoever has eyes to see, will see.

But let me end with this.

====

====

Did you know that Binyamin Netanyahu, whose family surname was originally ‘Milikovsky’, is a descendant of the Vilna Gaon?

See here for more information:

Nathan Milikowsky Netanyahu was born to Zvi in Krevo (Vilna area)
in 1875, a descendant of the Gaon from Vilna. He studied at the
Volozhin Yeshiva for 8 years and then became an orator preaching about Zionism. He migrated (with his children who were born in Warsaw) to Palestine in 1920 and served as headmaster of various Hebrew high schools in several towns before settling in Jerusalem as an official of the World Zionist Organization.

On his arrival in Palestine, Milikovsky changed the family name to Netanyahu (“Lord has given”). He was from the beginning a supporter of right-wing views in the Zionist movement, a tendency which deepened in the next generations of his closely knit family. He passed away in 1935.

====

It’s all just one, big (unhappy….) family….

TBC

====

* Many of these people have multiple names and multiple identities, depending on what ‘role’ they are playing.

Slowly, slowly, I’m unpicking it all. But clearly, there’s ample room for error here, especially with all the deliberate cover-up, so I am presenting this as a best guess for how they are related, and I will refine it as new information comes to light.

====

You might also like this article:

How can it be, that a person can be so very learned in Torah and still be a force for ‘evil’ in the world?

Rebbe Nachman tackles this question in Likutey Moharan 1:12:

(Hebrew source from Sefaria.org)

מַה שֶּׁאָנוּ רוֹאִים, שֶׁעַל־פִּי הָרֹב הַלּוֹמְדִים חוֹלְקִים עַל הַצַּדִּיקִים, וְדוֹבְרִים עַל הַצַּדִּיק עָתָק בְּגַאֲוָה וָבוּז, זֶהוּ מְכֻוָּן גָּדוֹל מֵאֵת הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ. כִּי יֵשׁ בְּחִינַת יַעֲקֹב וְלָבָן; יַעֲקֹב הוּא הַצַּדִּיק, הַמְחַדֵּשׁ חִדּוּשִׁין דְּאוֹרַיְתָא וְלוֹמֵד תּוֹרָתוֹ לִשְׁמָהּ, וְטוּבוֹ גָּנוּז וְשָׁמוּר וְצָפוּן לֶעָתִיד, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה: לְמָחָר לְקַבֵּל שְׂכָרָם (עירובין כב.); וְעַל שֵׁם שֶׁשְּׂכָרוֹ לְבַסּוֹף, עַל שֵׁם זֶה נִקְרָא יַעֲקֹב, לְשׁוֹן עָקֵב וָסוֹף, שְׂכָרוֹ לְבַסּוֹף. וְלָבָן הוּא תַּלְמִיד־חָכָם שֵׁד יְהוּדִי, שֶׁתּוֹרָתוֹ לְהִתְיַהֵר וּלְקַנְטֵר, וְתַלְמִיד־חָכָם כָּזֶה נְבֵלָה טוֹבָה הֵימֶנּוּ (מ”ר ויקרא א, עיין מתנות כהונה):

====

English translation:

“That which we see among most of the learned who go against the Tzaddikim and speak about the Tzaddik wantonly with arrogance and scorn, is specifically planned from G-d.

For there is the relation of Yaakov and Lavan; Yaakov is a Tzaddik who creates original (Torah) ideas and studies the Torah for its own sake and his reward is stored, guarded and kept for the future, as our sages of blessed memory state: “The next day they will claim their reward” 2 (Eiruvin 22).

Because his reward is in the end he is thus called “Yaakov”, a language of delay and end, his reward is for the end.

As for Lavan, he is a Talmud Chacham Sheid (lit: demonic Talmid Chacham), whose Torah (study) is done to glorify himself and to provoke, and a dead animal is better than a demonic Talmid Chacham like this.”

====

When you’re a rabbi, a Torah scholar, you automatically earn respect and honor from those around you, especially the poor pious Jews who look up to you as a fountain of knowledge, wisdom and piety.

In the Middle Ages, there was an added benefit to being the Rabbi of a community, which boiled down to being given choice jobs as ‘tax farmers’ over the community (Jewish and otherwise), for the ruling non-Jewish nobles.

Jews were literate. Jews were clever. Jews were good with figures, good at business, had international connections with other Jews all over the world that gave them significant advantages in the world of trade and finance.

The only non-Jews who could really compete with the Jewish trading networks were the Templars, and the Catholic Church. More on that another time.

====

In the meantime, as well as garnering you respect (and a free pass from too much personal scrutiny) within the Jewish community, being a ‘rabbi’ also meant that you could access to nobles and bishops who were interested in questions of religion, and also wanted to have a few ‘court Jews’ around that they could use for a bunch of different purposes.

Like for example:

  • Being the ‘go-between’ with the wider Jewish communities
  • Acting as advisors on financial affairs and trade
  • Debating philosophical questions of faith with
  • Picking their brains for any ‘black magic kabbalah’ that could help these royals and bishops in their quest to change base metal into gold (aka ‘alchemy’).

The more openly ‘mystical’ you were, the more of a reputation you had for knowing deep secrets, the more likely you were to move up the chain, and to become a famous rav with a lot of money and connections.

That is, if you were what Rebbe Nachman describes as a ‘Jewish Sheid‘, a Jewish demon scholar.

====

You know why I love Breslov so much?

Because Breslov, for the most part, is so trodden down into the ground.

Where other communities have ‘organisation’, and ‘connections’, and fabulous money, and super-successful go-getting followers and chassidim, Breslov has practically none of those things.

Especially the ‘Shuvu Banim’ branch of Breslov.

====

The last few years, I’ve been so upset to see truly uplifting Torah geniuses like Rav Ofer Erez – to just name one example – lack the money to translate his books into English. Or get ‘banned’ from regular speaking engagements because of his public support of the Rav, Rabbi Berland.

Or having to shut down their website because they ran out of the relatively small amount of money required to keep it operating.

God, it seems so unfair…. Why are all these tremendous rabbis and holy individuals – suffering so much?!

And of course, top of the list of holy rabbis who are suffering so much is Rabbi Eliezer Berland.

Now, things are starting to get a whole bunch clearer.

====

Rabbenu, as always, is telling us what’s going on.

Those ‘real’ rabbis, who are learning their Torah lishma, just to make God happy, build the world and teach and uplift other Jews for no other gain or ego boost, their reward is at the end.

At the end of this painful birur process that is leading to the final redemption, and when we will see how the people ‘on the bottom’ really were on the top, after all.

And of course, vice-versa.

====

All those ‘Jewish demon scholars’, who were only learning Torah because:

  • It gave them a ‘free pass’ to say and do what they want without public scrutiny; or
  • It gave them massive followings and tremendous power to control other people; or
  • They could cash in on all the ‘connections’ and ‘business opportunities’ being a ‘big rabbi’ afforded them; or
  • They wanted the ego boost of being a ‘famous holy person’ who could write lots of books and get their own TV shows; or
  • They were trying to learn the deepest secrets of the Torah to manipulate reality for their own ends…

All those people are about to be ‘unmasked’.

And I don’t envy them at all.

“As for Lavan, he is a demonic Talmid Chacham, whose Torah (study) is done to glorify himself and to provoke, and a dead animal is better than a demonic Talmid Chacham like this.”

====

You might also like this article:

Let’s try and explain what ‘Sabbateanism’ and ‘Frankism’ really are.

Before we move forward (very cautiously…) in exploring what happened to all those many thousands of ‘pious orthodox Jews’ (including big rabbis) who were really secret Sabbateans, let’s first back up, and try to understand what it means to be a ‘Sabbatean’, or a ‘Frankist’, or whatever today’s branding of that very old ‘religion’ actually is.

A few months ago, I put together a crash course on the history of Shabtai Tzvi and Jacob Frank, which you can (and probably should…) go and read here:

====

This post isn’t going to rehash that more historical information.

Instead, it’s going to try to explain what Sabbatean / Frankists actually believe, and how their beliefs have trickled down into every layer of Jewish life, religious and secular – and why that’s such a problem for us today.

Ready?

Let’s kick off.

====

‘The problem’, primarily, is NOT that Shabtai Tzvi’s followers, and then Jacob Frank’s followers believed that these men were potential candidates for Moshiach.

It’s a principle of Jewish faith, enumerated by the Rambam, that we should expect the Moshiach to arrive every single moment, and there is no ‘sin’ involved – whatsoever – in thinking someone might be a potential candidate for Moshiach.

Of course, that candidate has to fit the criteria laid out by the Sages, to help us identify who the Moshiach really is.

If someone is a Moloch-worshipping, baby-slaughtering prince of black magic – for example – then even if they do happen to ‘descend from King David’, that’s still not enough to swing the vote to crown them Moshiach.

Or at least, it shouldn’t be.

====

So, the problem wasn’t so much that so many people in the Jewish community believed Shabtai Tzvi was ‘Moshiach’, at least initially, until he converted to Islam and then died without redeeming anyone.

The problem was, and always has been, with the ‘theology’ that the Sabbateans, and the Frankists and Donmeh after them, teach.

====

I know this stuff can be hard for a person to get their head around, so let’s go slowly.

Judaism is based upon the idea that when we fulfill Hashem’s will, i.e. by performing a positive ‘mitzvah’ or by avoiding a negative / evil action or transgression, that is how we rectify the world.

When the holy Arizal came along, he revealed way more kabbalah that explains this process of ‘raising the sparks of kedusha’ out of the evil shells, or klipot, that they had fallen into, when the original ‘vessels of light’ exploded, at the creation of the world.

Those slivers of sublime kedusha are now embedded in every layer of creation, and are hidden all over the place, in this concrete, materialistic world we currently inhabit.

Every time we do a mitzvah – defined as performing God’s will – we raise up more of these sparks of holiness, and give them back to God. When this process is complete, and all the sparks have been lifted out of the side of evil and put back in their rightful place, the world will be fully rectified, and geula will occur.

This is the basic idea, clearly very simplified.

====

To keep this real, let’s give a few examples.

When you say a blessing on that apple, you are lifting the spark of kedusha out of its materialistic shell, and returning it to God in a rectified state.

Similarly, when you avoid getting angry at really annoying and frustrating people and situations, you are also rectifying some of the sparks of kedusha located in your own body / soul combo, and doing the job of purifying your neshama.

Every single second we are alive on this earth, we have the chance and the choice to ‘rectify sparks of holiness’ in this way – or to do the opposite.

====

There are two ways we can do the opposite of building the world, and rectifying the fallen sparks.

One way is by NOT doing positive commandments, like laying tefillin, or reciting brachot on the food we eat.

While this is not contributing anything to building and rectifying the world – which is basically the whole point of being alive – this ‘absence of good’ is still the lesser evil.

Because the second way of doing the opposite of rectifying the sparks is:

By transgressing the negative commandments and deliberately doing exactly the opposite of how Hashem told us we can fix the world.

====

And this is where we segue back in, to our discussion of what ‘Sabbateanism’ and ‘Frankism’ really stands for.

As we learned in the post about the ‘bad Baal Shem’ of London, Samuel Chaim Falk, yimach shmo, these people were not irreligious, or ‘secular’. Anything but.

They were deeply religious, often very ascetic and spent their whole life in pursuit of ‘spirituality’.

It’s just that their ‘spirituality’ was all coming from the dark side.

As I’ve discussed before, they took the notion that the Moshiach will only come when the world it ‘totally good’ or ‘totally bad’ literally, and decided that the world could never be ‘totally good’.

So, if they really wanted Moshiach (and man, they really wanted Moshiach now!!!, whatever else you can say about them) – they decided that the only way to get him to come was by making the world ‘totally bad’.

====

All the s*xual immorality that you find by both the original Sabbateans, and also within their splinter groups of the (externally Muslim) Donmeh in Turkey, and the (externally Catholic) Frankists in the West and Israel, is not an accident.

The Sabbateans and Frankists were masters of kabbalah, (which don’t forget, is the basis of all black magic in the world, because it’s truly the ‘recipe’ that Hashem used to create the physical world.)

They understood way more than most of us, the tremendous power of evil that could be harnessed through misusing the act of procreation.

That’s why ‘sacred orgies’ were such a big part of Sabbateanism and Frankism.

====

That’s why they went out of their way to engage in forbidden relationships of the very worst sort, including transgressing the prohibition of incest.

That’s why Frankists (and also Freemasons) were known to deliberately engage in acts of ‘auto-eroticism’ before any big festival, or project, or ‘spiritual service’ they were undertaking.

It wasn’t an accident or a mistake.

It was totally deliberate, to ‘capture’ the power of the evil created by their misuse of the procreative act, and use it to juice up all their other evil designs.

====

So, the main problem wasn’t that people were ‘worshipping’ Shabtai Tzvi or Frank as the messiah (although we’ll discuss more about that in a moment.)

The main problem was that essentially, these ‘secret Sabbateans’ and ‘secret Frankists’ were effectively binding themselves to the side of evil, in the most extreme way.

====

Remember, we are dealing with arch-hypocrites here.

They were and are the epitome of ‘two faced’.

They often present a very makpid, orthodox religious face to the outside world, and judge other people oh so very harshly for their minor infractions and failings, while all the time pretending to be ‘perfect and infallible’ themselves – because behind closed doors, they are doing whatever the heck they please.

====

So now we hopefully understand that Sabbateanism / Frankism was about the worship of evil, and not just about some case of ‘mistaken identity’ about who was going to be the Moshiach, let’s return to the historical side of things, to lay out what was actually going on.

And how that’s still affecting us today.

First, here’s some basic tenets of what I’ll call ‘Sabbateanism theology’.

As we already learned, Sabbateans hold that you rectify the world by performing acts of evil, and deliberately going against the explicit will of Hashem.

They also hold that as soon the ‘Messianic Era’ began, the ‘upside-down world’ was turned the other way up, which meant that every ‘Thou shalt not’ became a positive commandment.

In their warped ideology, it was now a mitzvah to kill, rob, steal, covet, and commit adultery and incest.

That’s why they used to have a ‘blessing’ lehavdil of: “Blessed art thou, L–d, who cancels and allows the prohibitions.”

Clearly, it wasn’t Hashem who they were blessing by saying this.

So who was it?

====

Sabbateans also taught that the soul of Shabtai Tzvi, their false messiah, would come back in one of two ways to ‘complete the job of redemption’.

(Yes I know. We’ve heard that before somewhere, haven’t we?)

Either, Shabtai Tzvi would have a ‘second coming’, where he would literally rise from the dead, or come out of the cave he was hiding in, or beam down from the spaceship he’d flown off to gan eden in (maybe together with Elvis Presley, who knows?).

OR

The specific soul of Shabtai Tzvi would ‘reincarnate’ into one of his followers, as part of the secret of ibbur, and complete the job that way.

====

Part of the reason it’s so hard to pin down some of the errors in Sabbatean theology, is because so much of it was wrapped around a kernel of truth, from authentic and holy yiddishkeit.

For example, on the side of kedusha we know that there is a special type of soul referred to as the ‘Tzaddik yesod olam’ – ‘Tzaddik, the foundation of the world.’

There is only one of these souls to be found in every generation, and that soul is the soul of the potential soul of the Moshiach.

Pay close attention, because I’m going to try to explain the subtle, but hugely meaningful difference between genuine Jewish belief and Sabbatean / Frankist heresy here.

The Zohar teaches us that this soul of the redeemer, aka the Moshiach of the generation, contains all the soul sparks of the entire nation of Israel.

Every single one of us from big to small, and from left to right, and even from ‘most evil’ to ‘most holy’ is included in this soul of the Moshiach.

That’s why each of us has a very real role to play in ‘bringing Moshiach’, because the more we work on rectifying ourselves, and particularly the bad middot, the more we are bringing that spirit of Moshiach down into the world.

====

This is not what the Sabbateans and Frankists (and heck, let’s include the xtians here too, as it’s effectively the same problem) believe.

They believe that *one particular person*, one particular soul, is *the* Moshiach.

And that *particular person* just keeps coming back and reincarnating in a different body, or even ‘taking over the body’ of a different person, in something that sounds akin to demonic possession, until they get the job done.

====

It’s a subtle difference, but it literally makes all the difference in the world:

‘Moshiach’ as the ‘mirror’ / composite soul of the whole of the Jewish people – which means we all have our part to play to get to geula – or ‘Moshiach’ as one specific guy who comes and ‘fixes’ everyone else.

It’s also the difference between a false Moshiach that’s ‘branded’ as belonging to a particular group, or sect, and a Moshiach that represents the entirety of the Jewish people.

====

That’s why after Shabtai Tzvi died, there was a massive power struggle between his closest followers to try to claim that they were his true incarnation.

Whoever could convince the massive group of followers that they were ‘Shabtai Tzvi #2’ would inherit the power base, the followers, the influence, the power, the money.

That’s why there were so many different ‘false prophets’ of Sabbateanism after Shabtai Tzvi died, and that’s why there were so very many ‘false messiahs’ in the 18th century, when his followers had finally given up on the idea of the ‘second coming of Shabtai Tzvi’, and moved over to the second model described above.

So, when Jacob Frank, yimach shmo, turned up on the scene, he wasn’t trying to create a ‘new religion’.

All he did, at least initially, was to stake his claim as being that generations ‘incarnation’ of Shabtai Tzvi.

====

As I’ve mentioned, there were huge pockets of secret Sabbateans all over Turkey, Podolia, Italy, Amsterdam and Germany, at this time. Anywhere you had Jewish communities, you also had large groups of Sabbateans.

Some communities, like Rohatyn, Zolkiew, Podholice and Furth (to give just some examples) were known to be almost entirely ‘Sabbatian’ in the 18th century.

Externally, these were still communities of ostensibly ‘orthodox’ Jews.

They still had ‘Av Beis Dins’, and synagogues, and shochets, and yeshivas. But behind closed doors?

There was a poisonous root of ‘anti-Torah’ heresy growing and spreading.

====

Before I learned all this, it always amazed me how someone like Jacob Frank could show up and convince tens of thousands of orthodox Jews – including big rabbis like the distinguished ‘Shor family’– to drop their religion so quickly, and publically convert to Catholicism.

Once I realized that Frank was just the latest in a very long line of ‘false messiahs’ to successfully inherit the ‘crown’ of Shabtai Tzvi, it all made way more sense.

====

So now, let’s end this post with some examples of specific ‘Frankist’ theology, that will hopefully help you to detect some of those ‘Frankist’ influences that are currently all around us, in the Jewish world.

Shabtai Tzvi gave us ‘doing bad’ as a mitzvah, and deliberately perverting the procreative act.

His doctrine is almost certainly behind all the child abuse scandals plaguing both the Catholic church and the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

====

Frank added to this:

  • Literally worshipping ‘the messiah’ as though he is god (deliberate small ‘g’ here, to respect the Almighty).
  • Sanctifying and encouraging incest (which went one step further than Shabtai Tzvi).
  • Raising religious hypocrisy to an artform, where his followers would ‘pretend’ to be devout orthodox Jews, and later, devout Catholics, while secretly working to subvert from within.
  • Actively promoting assimilation within the wider community – (in later years he wrote about his desire to create a ‘one world religion’ to encompass Judaism, xtianity and Islam. Does that sound familiar?)
  • Deliberately going against even external compliance with Torah law (but only to the degree accepted by the doctrinal norms of the Catholic church, which is why he kept his s*xual immorality / nihilism and dark occultic practices more hidden.)
  • Actively promoting settlement in Israel, to await ‘the final redemption’.

====

This last one included the following elements:

  • Actively promoting Jews living on what was called ‘agricultural settlements’, which became the forerunner of the kibbutzim in the State of Israel.
  • Actively encouraging Jews to become soldiers.

Frank himself had an army, and encouraged his followers to engage in military training.

And if you look into who was encouraging ‘agricultural settlements’, both in Russia, the new world and Eretz Israel, you will start to identity many of the ‘secret Frankists’ who have so far escaped detection.

====

I know, this is big, heavy stuff, isn’t it?

I know.

This morning, I was talking to God again about what He really wants from me here, because God forbid I should do anything He doesn’t want me to do.

I’m very happy to leave this can of worms untouched, if that’s what He wants.

But the message I keep getting – loudly – is continue!!!!!

These secret Frankists have been holding the rest of the Jewish world hostage for way too long already, and delaying redemption.

And from what I can tell, God’s finally had enough of it.

TBC

====

UPDATE:

I got this comment, which is making a fair point:

I think it’s important to point out that most of the ‘secret sabbateans’ today probably never heard of Jacob Frank and vaguely know that Shabtai Tzvi was some false messiah. However, they are still continuing in their footsteps by believing and promoting the same ideas.

====

You might also like this article:

The research I’m doing into the Frankists is taking me down some very strange paths in Jewish history.

I started this project off because I was trying to get to the bottom of who is really behind the persecution of Rabbi Eliezer Berland, at least in Israel.

Initially, I thought it was a bunch of leftists, reform-minded Jews from America.

Then, it widened out to include a bunch of Torah-hating non-Jews who probably worship Moloch (and control most of the world….)

And now, strangest of all, I seem to be dealing with a bunch of externally ‘orthodox’ Jews whose belief system, internally, is anything but orthodox.

====

This is a massive project, and I’m very wary of putting conclusions ‘out there’ prematurely, or even at all.

I’m not drawing conclusions yet because I still have no firm idea where all this is leading and also, because I’m discovering that so many of the famous names I’m researching often had different personas, or alter egos, that went by a totally different name.

And trying to pin it all down, and to really make sense of it all, is extremely challenging.

That said, there a few tidbits that I want to float past you, as the more of us who engage with this process on the soul level, the faster the birur of what is really going on will happen.

So first, here’s the thesis that seems to be unfolding:

====

The 18th century was chock-full of ‘false messiahs’ and ‘prophets of Shabtai Tzvi’ who were either predicting that he would rise from the dead, OR who developed a doctrine that the soul of Shabtai Tzvi would reincarnate in the present generation, to lead the faithful forward.

Examples of the first route are Yehudah Leib ben Ya‘akov Holleschau, the false prophet of Prosschitz, who ‘prophesized’ that Shabtai Tzvi would rise from the dead in 1706.

(As a side note, Yehuda HeHassid lead his contingent of 1,500 (sabbatian) Jews to the holy land in 1700, as part of the attempt to be ‘ready’ for when Shabtai Tzvi showed up again.)

Yehuda Leib wasn’t excommunicated for publically teaching his beliefs by the then Rabbi of Prosschitz, Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt.

Why not?

Because Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt (the ‘Meirot Panim’) was one of his followers.

That’s an incredible piece of information, just let that sink in.

And do you know who else was one of Yehuda Leib’s students? Rabbi Yonatan Eybshutz.

====

So, 1706 came and went, and when Shabtai Tzvi didn’t show up as promised – only then did Rabbi Meir turn against Yehuda Leib, banish him from Prossnitz and excommunicate him.

====

An example of the second approach is Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt’s own brother, Mordechai Mokiach, who threw his hat in the ring as ‘the reincarnation’ of Shabtai Tzvi.

Mordechai Mokiach also wasn’t ‘excommunicated’ for Sabbatean beliefs. Quite the opposite – he was lauded, summoned to Italy by the Jewish community there, and also became a ‘famous personality’ in other communities, too.

Here’s a little about how Mordechai Mokiach (Eisenstadt, brother of Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt) was connected to another member of the Eybshutz family, Ber Eybshutz (also known as Ber Perlhefter):

(From HERE🙂

In the late 1670s and early 1680s, Ber became deeply involved in the Sabbatean movement as a maggid in the circle of Abraham ben Michael Rovigo (c. 1650–1713) in Modena.

He was instrumental in shaping the moderate wing of the movement after the death of Sabbetai Zevi. Though he initially pinned hopes on Mordecai of Eisenstadt (1650–1729) as a second redeeming figure, he later became disappointed and renounced his support.

His interest in the movement may have attracted the attention of the noted Christian Hebraist Johann Christoph Wagenseil (1633–1705), Professor of Hebraica at the Lutheran University at Altdorf, who employed Jews and converts as translators and informants in his Hebraist enterprise.

====

Ber Eybshutz was a famous rabbi of his time.

Nobody excommunicated him.

Also, there is something just so strange going on with the geni.com website for all these famous people with Sabbatian links. Their family records are deliberately altered, dates are changed or omitted to disrupt the chain of descent, family members are scrubbed off, false spouses and siblings are assigned – all to make it so much harder to work out who these people really were.

And who their descendants really are today.

So I’m still working on trying to figure out how ‘Ber Eybshutz’ relates to Jonathan Eybshutz, and many of his other family members who were part of the continuing cult of Shabtai Tzvi within the orthodox Jewish community.

As for Mordechai Mokiach, his descendants changed their names to ‘Pick’ and ‘Berlin’, and quickly became leading figures back in the orthodox Jewish community again.

====

Here’s some more strange things, that I’m trying to fit into the whole picture of what was really going on, back in the 18th century.

Did you know that Yonatan Eybshutz and the Vilna Gaon (!) were good friends? They were such ‘good friends’ that Yonatan Eybshutz even wrote to the Vilna Gaon, asking him to publicly support him in his argument with Yaacov Emden, over the infamous ‘Sabbatian amulets’?

This from Wikipedia:

In 1755, when the Gaon was thirty-five, Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschütz, then sixty-five years old, applied to him for an examination of and decision concerning his amulets, which were a subject of discord between himself and Rabbi Jacob Emden.

The Vilna Gaon, in a letter to Eybeschütz, stated his support of Eybeschutz but that he did not believe that words coming from a stranger like himself, who had not even the advantage of old age, would be of any weight with the contending parties.

====

Recently, notarised copies of those infamous amulets turned up and were analysed by scholars.

They showed that they were Sabbatian in nature. Here’s the text:

“In the name of [YKVK] the God of Israel, who dwelleth in the beauty of His strength, the God of His anointed one Shabbethai Ẓebi, who with the breath of His lips shall slay the wicked, I decree and command that no evil spirit plague, or accident harm, the bearer of this amulet.”

So, how can it be that the Vilna Gaon wrote a letter siding with his ‘good friend’ Yonatan Eybshutz?

Increasingly, the idea is taking shape that most of the orthodox Jewish community of the 18th century – and especially the rabbis – was ‘Sabbatian’ to some degree or other.

Which is profoundly shocking, at least to me.

====

I’m currently working on trying to figure out who Jacob Frank really was, in terms of his family connections, who his descendants married, and where the descendants of these other Sabbatean ‘prophets’ ended up.

I’ve already made some connections with Lea Golda Broda, the grand-daughter of Avraham Broda / Rovigo, the author of the Eshel Avraham, that are truly shocking.

But before I can really get to the bottom of this, my research keeps spiralling out further and further, into more unanswered questions about some of the biggest names in the Jewish world.

====

Does it make sense, to you, that the Vilna Gaon would apparently ‘excommunicate’ the chassidim of the Rabbi of Mezritch and Chabad’s Alter Rebbe, while leaving obviously Sabbatean rabbis like Yonatan Eybshutz alone – and even writing them letters of support?

Does it make sense that Yonatan Eybshutz’s reputation would be so ‘whitewashed’ and revered, even in our days, when he was so obviously and clearly a Sabbatean?

Why is it, that the family trees of so many of our ‘big’ rabbis are so deliberately convoluted, mixed up and deceptive?

How can it be, that the Mittler Rebbe of Chabad had two daughters both called ‘Sarah’, and also two daughters with the name ‘Chaya’, and no-one thought that was odd?

How can it be, that apart from the descendants of Shneur Zalman, there is no-one else listed under the family tree of ‘Betzalel Lowe’, who was apparently the son of the Maharal of Prague? Everyone else on his tree apparently died young, had no children, or is unnamed.

Which is so very strange, because the family trees of ‘Betzalel Lowe’s’ brothers and sisters literally spew on for page after millionth page, in all their glorious detail.

====

So as you can see, I am currently grappling with way more questions than I have concrete answers.

But I can tell you one thing for sure:

There is some sort of massive cover up going on here, that spans every part of the Jewish world, orthodox and unorthodox, Zionist and ‘anti’ Zionist, Litvak and Chassidut, ‘Israeli’ and ‘Chutzniki’.

And when (if….) I get to the bottom of what’s really going on here, I will finally have the answer to who has been persecuting Rabbi Berland – and the answer to many other ‘big mysteries’ of the Jewish community, too.

TBC

====

You might also like this article: