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.
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):
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.
You might also like this article: