Shabtai Tzvi and the SHACH – some strange connections
I have been musing on writing this post for well over a year.
And each time…. I ducked it.
Let someone else open that big can of worms…
But the last few days, I have come to the conclusion I can’t really ‘duck’ these issues anymore, however disturbing we might all find the information.
First, let’s be clear that I am not making any definitive statements in this post. With all the ‘disinformation’, cover-ups and deliberate lies that have gone on to obscure Shabtai Tzvi’s true identity and real connections, the most I can tell you is that this is a working hypothesis, that seems to have an awful lot of circumstantial information that supports it.
If you don’t buy the hypothesis, that’s ok and totally your prerogative.
God gave each of us a brain, and He is thrilled when we think for ourselves.
That said, my soul is becoming very wearied with certain commentators here who just mock me, personally, and seem incapable of discussing information without trying to always prove that everything I’ve written is BS.
As noted above, this is a working hypothesis, not a statement of fact.
There are a number of giant ‘holes’ in the stories of both the SHACH and Shabtai Tzvi, and until and unless more factual information comes to light, all anyone can do is ‘stretch’ the information they do have, over them.
So, feel free to have your own opinion, and even to express that here on the blog – but do it respectfully, and perhaps with at least a modicum of humility that you also don’t know everything.
Ergo – there’s at least a possibility that this hypothesis is more ‘correct’ than the current history we’re all being fed, that contains some ginormous, demonstrable, lies.
And with that, let’s begin.
First, here is my hypothesis, laid out bare bones:
False messiah Shabtai Tzvi and halachic codifier Shabtai HaKohen Katz are actually one and the same person.
How did I come to this conclusion?
FIRST, SOME OF THE ‘HOLES’ IN THE STORY OF SHABTAI TZVI:
The false messiah ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ was not born and raised in Smyrna (now Izmir) in Turkey.
The earliest reports of him being in Smyrna are from 1650 onwards – and even then, he was only there for a short period of time before he was ‘banished’ for his strange behavior in shul.
Also, in Gershom Scholem’s book ‘Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah, 1626-1676‘, he brings evidence that Shabtai Tzvi could not speak either Turkish, or Arabic, and had to have his brother translate for him, when he was dealing with the Turkish rulers.
This makes no sense, if he really was born and bred in Smyrna (present day Izmir, in Turkey).
Excerpt from pages 106-107 of Scholem’s book:
The name Sevi [Tsvi] is unknown among Sephardim, either as a personal or family name, and is likely that both the name and the family are of Ashkenazi origin. Emanuel Frances [a contemporary anti-Sabbatean] tells us that Sabbatai ‘belonged to an Ashkenazi family that came to live there’….
In the account of envoys from Poland who visited Sabbatai in 1666 [this was the TAZ’s son and son-in-law], we are told that he [Shabtai Tzvi] rebuked of them in German (or Yiddish)…..
[W]e know that before 1666 [Shabtai Tzvi] had no command of Turkish…
Long story short, there is no evidence that places ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ in Smyrna, before 1650, when according to the dates accorded to him, he would already be 24 years old.
In terms of his family, his father ‘Mordechai Sevi’ apparently dies – conveniently! – in 1663, at the same time as Shabtai’s uncle, Isaac Sevi.
This information about his immediate family only showed up, again conveniently, in 1935, and also conveniently, by that time the tombstones of his relatives were claimed to have all been destroyed in World War I.
He has two brothers, Elias and Joseph, who are meant to be traders in Smyrna with connections as commercial agents for the British and Dutch, and maybe, he had a sister too.
No-one knows anything about his mother, or her family.
While ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ was apparently married at least three times before he converted to Islam in 1666, nothing is known of his previous two wives, who he apparently divorced shortly after marrying them.
Then he married a third wife, ‘Sarah’, in 1664, who also has a very strange story, based on the fact that she was orphaned in the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648 onwards, in and around Poland and Lithuania. The following is taken from p 194-5 of Scholem’s book:
“The four accounts which we possess all agree that Sarah grew up as a Christian. In spite of the many fantastic details, the accounts show certain similarities and points of contact….
 In Ragstatt’s version, the orphaned girl was adopted by a Polish nobleman.
When she had reached womanhood, her father’s spirit appeared to her, told her that she was Jewish, and commanded her to return to her ancestral religion. Her [Polish] stepfather died, and the family wanted her to marry, but she was miraculously transported through the air to Persia, where her father had fled the Chmielnicki massacres…then to ‘Asia’.”
[The angel that’s transporting her around then tells her she is going to marry ‘the messiah’. Ragstatt was a Jew who converted to xtianity after the debacle of Shabtai Tzvi.]
 Leyb b. Ozer had heard from ‘reliable reporters and rabbis, and also from my late father,’ who had seen and known the girl and heard her own story, that from the age of six she lived in a Polish nunnery.
When she was 16, her dead father (who had been a rabbi in a Polish community)…commanded her to wander from one city to another until she found the messiah, who would marry her. She was finally sent to Amsterdam, whither her brother Samuel had fled from Poland.
 Baruch of Arezzo [a Sabbatean believer] recounts….she had been forcibly baptised and was thereafter brought up by a Polish noblewoman who wanted to marry her to her son.
On the day before the wedding, her father, who had died two years earlier, appeared to her and gave her a ‘garment of skin’ inscribed ‘She will be the messiah’s wife’.
[She ended up in Leghorn for a few years, and then went to Egypt, where she married Shabtai Tzvi in 1664.]
 [In] De La Croix’s account [a French xtian writer]…Sarah was forcibly abducted from the house of her stepfather (who was a famous rabbi) and brought to a Polish nobleman who wanted to convert her….
Scholem also states:
All sources record rumours about her licentious life.
(You’ll see in a minute why I’m bringing these sources in so much detail.)
Shabtai Tzvi himself seems obviously ‘psychotic’.
By turns, he’s ‘illuminated’ and not needing sleep or food, and singing psalms 24/7 while also engaging in his bizarre behaviour that goes against the Torah; alternating with ‘depressed’ periods where he secludes himself and regrets his bizarre actions while ‘illuminated’; and then ‘normal’ periods where he behaves mamash like a pious ascetic, fasting, learning Torah and regularly scourging himself and practising kabbalistic mortifications of the body.
The first concrete reports of this mad behavior are dated to 1650 – and even then, are only given over many, many years later, by a Sabbatian believer and ‘first friend’ of Shabtai Tzvi named Moses Pinheiro.
So for the first 24 years of his life… there are no records of him doing or saying anything crazy.
Shabtai Tzvi is obsessed with another false messiah, aka Jesus.
And also seems to have deep knowledge of ‘xtian’ doctrines pertaining to faith and redemption.
Again, quite a strange thing for a ‘mad Jewish man’ from Turkish Smyrna…
He’s obsessed with avenging the Chmielnicki massacres that happened in and around Poland, from 1648 on.
To the point of even making statements that the only xtian blood that is going to flow ‘once the messiah is openly revealed’ is in Poland and Germany.
He also apparently knows how to speak Polish, German and Yiddish.
But NOT Turkish and Arabic…
There are many, many more ‘holes’ in the official story told about Shabtai Tzvi, but let’s stop there, for now.
And turn our attention, instead, to the official ‘story’ told about Shabtai Hakohen Katz, author of many works including the Siftey Cohen, from whence he gets his nickname, the SHACH.
You can find the SHACH’s Wikipedia page in English HERE.
Here’s the standard story, told about Shabtai HaKohen Katz:
Shabbatai HaKohen was born either in Amstibovo or in Vilna, Lithuania in 1621 and died at Holleschau, Moravia on the 1st of Adar, 1662.
He first studied with his father and in 1633 he entered the yeshivah of Rabbi Joshua Höschel ben Joseph at Tykotzin, moving later to Cracow and Lublin, where he studied under Naphtali Cohen.
Returning to Vilna, he married the daughter of the wealthy Shimon Wolf, a great-grandson of Moses Isserles, and shortly after was appointed to the Beit Din as one of the assistants of Moses ben Isaac Judah Lima, author of Chelkat Mechokek.
In 1655, during fighting between Polish forces and the invading Swedish army in the Northern War, Shabbatai HaKohen fled Vilna with the entire Jewish community.
After a short stay at Lublin he went to Prague and later to Strážnice in Moravia, from where he was called to the rabbinate of Holešov, where he remained until his death in 1662.
While in Holešov, he gained the friendship of Magister Valentino Wiedreich of Leipzig [a christian]. The Shakh′s grave in the Jewish cemetery of Holešov still exists and is visited by people from all over the world.
I went looking for who this ‘Valentino Wiedreich’ was, and I got to an archived copy of the Jewish Encyclopaedia, HERE, that said this:
During the period he was rabbi in Holesov he became friendly with a Christian scholar. In the library of the academy in Leipzig there is a holograph of a Hebrew letter dated Feb. 3, 1660, which Shabbetai wrote “to him whom I love as myself, the philosopher magister Valentino Wiedreich.”
Shabbetai informs him that he has sent him the book of Elijah Bahur and asks him to keep in touch with him (Bikkurei ha-Ittiniy 10 (1829), 43-44)
Doesn’t it strike you as strange, that someone like the SHACH is described as being bosom buddies with a xtian philosopher?
Here’s some more basic details, then we’ll start to dig down, into some of the reasons why I believe Shabtai Tzvi and the SHACH are actually the same person.
- His magnum opus, Siftey HaCohen, is published in Cracow in 1646.
- He witnesses the Chmielnicki massacres beginning 1648 first-hand, and even writes an historical account about them in a work called the ‘Flying Scroll’.
- He is an exact contemporary of ‘Shabtai Tzvi’, but apparently dies sometime between 1662-1664 – the year before ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ takes centre stage as the false messiah.
- He has a reputation for overturning other people’s legal decisions and ‘walking his own path’, this from Wikipedia:
Shabbatai HaKohen was regarded by his contemporaries as more than usually learned.
He frequently contested the decisions of his predecessors, and followed an entirely new path in the interpretation of the Talmudic law. He made light, too, of the decisions of his contemporaries, and thus drew on himself the enmity of some among them, including David ben Shmuel HaLevi, author of Ture Zahav, and Aaron Shmuel Kaidanover, author of Birkhat HaZevach….
So now, let me explain how I even got started on this hypothesis, that Shabtai Tzvi and the SHACH are alter egos.
When I was trying to figure out who Jacob Frank really was, I spent literally days and weeks and months poring over family trees on Geni, and elsewhere, trying to piece together the family relationships of leading Sabbatean-Frankist families, including the Rothschilds, Montefiores, Shors, and Eybshutzs, amongst many others.
Very quickly in that process, I could see that there was a massive cover-up around Jacob Frank’s genealogy, and that while ‘official history’ was trying to make him out as a nobody from Salonika, he was actually a close relative of ‘Jewish royalty’, yichus-wise.
While I’ve made a lot of progress starting to sort his family tree out, I am still going through that process of birur today. But one thing I learnt to spot was the inexplicable inconsistencies in some of the family trees on Geni that always suggest ‘massive cover up happening here’.
And one of those family trees belonged to the SHACH, Shabtai Kohen.
At this stage, over a year ago, I simply couldn’t understand why anyone would be going to such lengths to confuse everything around the SHACH’s family tree – in all directions – so thoroughly, when he lived a full 80 years before Jacob Frank really began his career as the Frankist false messiah.
One day, I was looking at this portrait (below) of the SHACH, when I suddenly heard that inner voice whispering at me:
You are looking at the real Shabtai Tzvi.
This is not something that can be logically explained at all, but it’s happened on many, many occasions that I get these flashes of intuition, that seem totally ‘out there’, and then when I start researching them to see if they are actually credible, they nearly always pan out.
So, when I first heard that little voice whispering at me – I shut my computer, took all my research and ‘family trees’ upstairs, and dumped them in a box for the next three months.
Because at that point, I didn’t even want to start down that path of checking whether ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ and the SHACH could be the same person.
For obvious reasons.
Over the next few months, I had so many arguments, both internally, and also with my husband about what to do about all this; I had so much new information coming out, about Jacob Frank, about the Sabbateans, and about the contours of a wider problem, that suggested the Jewish community had been corrupted from within, for millenia.
Much of it I put up here on the site, but everytime ‘Shabtai Tzvi = SHACH’ stuff started to coalesce again, I’d stop the research.
Because I didn’t want to challenge anyone’s faith in our true Tzaddikim unnecessarily, or stir things up any more than I had to.
Long story short, I came to the conclusion this week that I’m not going to have any ‘inner peace’ until I finally get this hypothesis ‘out there’.
I could write reams more about the struggle I’ve had with all this, behind the scenes, but you hopefully get the idea, and in the meantime, let’s move on with the information.
The more I was looking at the SHACH’s convoluted family tree, HERE, the more I realised how so many of the leading Sabbatians in Poland and Hungary, who then gave rise to the leading Frankists etc, were directly related to the SHACH.
That includes the Meir Panim, Meir Eisenstadt, (teacher of Jonathan Eybshutz) and his ‘Sabbatean-prophet’ brother Mordechai Mokiach, amongst many others.
That didn’t really make a lot of sense, if ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ was a native of Smyrna, and lived and died with his hard-core followers in Turkey.
BUT, it made way more sense, if the SHACH = Shabtai Tzvi.
Next, I kept tripping over descendants and relatives of the SHACH with the strange surname ‘Mi Geza Tzvi’ – which translates as ‘from the root of Tzvi’.
This was often shortened to ‘Mi Geza’, so initially I was translating it as ‘from Gaza’ – which was a weird enough surname in itself, for a guy who apparently lived his whole life in and around what is now Poland – until one day, I tripped across the full version of Mi Geza Tzvi.
From the root of Tzvi.
Why would the SHACH’s descendants be called ‘from the root of Tzvi’?
And then, why would the path between these descendants and the SHACH himself be so convoluted?
Here’s one example, “Admor Zeev Wolf Koch, Of Tcherni Austraha, Of Geza Tzvi.“
Here’s a screenshot, of how he’s just kind of ‘hanging’ there, with no parents, and with some very interesting descendants that include the former ABD of Safed, R’ Avraham Heller – whose descendants are still playing a very big role in the State of Israel, even in our days.
(BTW, that ‘R’ Mordechai Wolf Zeev of Karlin’ is the nephew of R’ Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev’s wife, who is also bang in the middle of all the ‘interesting’ family trees I’ve been researching…. It’s a very small world.)
Here’s another example, ‘Aharon Moshe Mi-Geza Tzvi of Brod’, founder of the first chassidic community in Jerusalem (apparently…), screenshot from Kestenbaum, HERE.
This bio comes from HERE:
“Rabbi Aharon Moshe MiGeza Tzvi [1775-1858] was amongst the great Chassidic personalities, and a disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin and the Saraf of Strelisk.
He studied Torah and kabbalah in Brod and then in 1839 immigrated to Israel. He is considered to be the founder of the Chassidic community in Jerusalem and headed the Kollel Chassidim in Jerusalem. He mourned for the destruction of Jerusalem throughout his life and passed away in 1845. His famous will was published in Chernowitz in 1858.”
If you go back to the GENI (distorted…) family tree HERE, you’ll find many ‘Mi-Geza Tzvis’ descending directly from the SHACH.
I’ve screenshotted some of them, below – and let me point out at this stage that’s it’s a common trick that the disinformers pull, to kind of ‘switch yichus’ between the husband and the wife, to throw people off the scent of what is really going on, so don’t be fooled by the fact that the ‘Mi Geza Tzvi’ tag is being stuck on the SHACH’s son-in-law, instead of his daughter.
There may be another theory that explains this satisfactorily – and if there is, I’m happy to hear it – but at this stage, it started to seem more and more likely that ‘Shabtai Tzvi = SHACH’.
The next clues came from the Hebrew Wikipedia page for the SHACH, HERE.
Here’s a Google translated snippet:
During the war between the Polish-Lithuanian Union and Russia, he was exiled from Vilnius [Vilna] when it was occupied by the Russians in 1655 and wandered from place to place, until he arrived in the Austrian City of Halichoi (in present-day Czech Republic), where he was accepted as a rabbi, but died a short time later.
Legend has it that he lost his daughter Hilda in the forest when he fled his home in 1655, the year the Russians occupied Vilnius, and a local king or minister found her, and raised her as a princess, she maintained her Jewish ancestry, and found her father who identified her as his daughter.
I learnt a number of important things from the Hebrew Wikipedia page:
- The SHACH apparently wandered around a great deal, incommunicado, before apparently getting to Hollichau and apparently dying there either in 1662 or 1663.
2. There is a lot of confusion about the year he is meant to have died, which is strange because his grave in Hollechau – with a brand new tombstone – should be able to clear that fact up instantly (see screenshot to the left – and I’ll put a close up of this at the bottom of the post, if someone out there can help me decipher it).
3. There is a very weird ‘legend’ about the SHACH losing a daughter named Hilda, who is raised by a xtian as a princess, before being ‘reunited’ with the SHACH.
Last things first: does that strange ‘legend’ about the SHACH’s daughter remind you of another strange ‘legend’, brought above, this time about Shabtai Tzvi’s third wife, Sarah?
(In case you are wondering, I haven’t been able to track down any daughter of the SHACH named ‘Hilda’, in all my searching.)
For Hebrew readers out there, there is another long discussion of this SHACH legend on the Toladot blogspot HERE, where the SHACH’s long-lost daughter is replaced with his sister, Esther Ashkenazi.
(Or maybe, it’s the sister of the SHACH’s wife….)
But either way, this ‘holy virgin’ reclaimed from the non-Jew’s house ends up being the mother of grandmother of the secret Sabbatean the ‘Meir Panim’, Meir Eisenstadt, and his brother, the not-so-secret Sabbatean prophet, Mordechai Mokiach as brought above.
This ‘legend’ about the SHACH just smacks of the same Sabbatean-Frankist lies that now jump out at me from a mile off.
But why would anyone make up such a weird story about the SHACH being reunited with his long-lost sister like this?
(If you disagree with my premise that ‘Shabtai Tzvi = SHACH’, so there had to be a whole lot of shuffling genealogies around to protect all the rabbis directly related to him, whose descendants with Sabbatean tendencies have been running the show in the ‘orthodox’ Jewish community for a very long time. And still are.)
If you go to Esther Ashkenazi’s family tree HERE, you’ll see that all connection with the SHACH seems to be carefully scrubbed off her profile, despite all the evidence linking her directly to the SHACH, one way or another.
Why is that?
(Here’s a clue: see all the illustrious rabbis that she’s ‘officially’ connected to, both up and down the line, and then start to understand why such a magnificent cover-up of who Shabtai Tzvi really was had to happen, after it all went so spectacularly sour.)
The next clues came from Gershom Scholem’s book, Sabbetai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah, 1626-1756.
I still have 200 pages to go, and this ‘hypothesis’ is still a work in progress, but here’s a few of the things that I took from that book (so far, with lots more still to come.)
- A physical description of ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ as being physically tall and imposing, having a ‘swarthy appearance‘ and black, rounded bead, – together with the only contemporary, accurate sketch of him (on the left.):
2. Shabtai Tzvi is described as only starting his ‘manic-depressive’ stage in 1650 – i.e. two years into the Chmielnicki massacres in and around Poland and modern-day Lithuania.
This date is very meaningful, as we’ll see below.
3. He is expelled from Smryna by the Jewish community sometime between 1651-1654.
And then spends the next few years wandering around in obscurity, before popping back up in Jerusalem and Egypt, and couple of years before he began his career as a ‘false messiah’ in earnest.
4. Something very profound happens to ‘Shabtai Tzvi’ in 1648 – the date the Chmielnicki massacres begin, in and around Poland.
This excerpt comes from p 136 of Scholem’s book:
“When he [Sabbatai Sevi] passed through Aleppo, he told us… how in the year 1648 the Spirit of God descended upon him one night while he was walking at about two hours distance from the city in solitary meditation, until he heard the voice of God speaking to him, ‘Thou art the savior of Israel, the messiah, the son of David, the anointed of the God of Jacov, and thou art destined to redeem Israel, to gather it from the four corners of the earth to Jerusalem….’
From that moment on, he was clothed with the Holy Spirit and with a great illumination; he pronounced the [ineffable] name of God and performed all sorts of strange actions as seemed fit to him by reason of the mystical tiqqun intended by them. Those who saw him did not understand his actions, and in their eyes he was like a fool.”
Before I bring the last bit of stunning info, for this post at least, I just want to bring you the strange statement that Scholem makes about the gravestone of the SHACH, in his book on Shabtai Tzvi.
Excerpt from page 559:
[N]one of the numerous known inscriptions on tombstones from the years 1666 in the cemeteries of Frankfurt, Vienna, Hamburg and Prague make any reference to the advent of redemption, though earlier tombstones speak eloquently of messianic expectations.
Here, Scholem brings just one example – the tombstone of the SHACH, where he says this:
In 1664, the rabbi of Holleschau in Moravia, the renowned Talmudic scholar R. Sabbatai Kohen… died, and his epitaph gives the date of his demise as ‘the year MESSIAH SON OF DAVID’ (numerical value in Hebrew, 424′.)
Apart from the strange CO-INC-ID-ENCE, also notice that each time there is talk of the SHACH’s death, no-one can keep the year straight.
And so, to the last bit of information that turned up just yesterday, and that I find totally stunning, to be honest.
It comes from the Otzar Forum, in Hebrew, HERE, where I found a discussion of the following story, involving the SHACH, messianic expectations for 1648, and the same sort of ‘deal’ that I first heard about in connection with R’ Eliezer Berland, R’ Dov Kook, and the murdered Baba Elazar, back in 2016.
(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go and read THIS first, entitled: The Deal: How three of our biggest Tzaddikim took it upon themselves to save Am Yisrael from the harshest Divine judgments.)
Here it is in Hebrew, than meet me below for a free translation into English:
And I heard in the name of our teacher, the Gaon and Rabbi Isser Zalmen Meltzer, ztzl, that there is a continuation to the subject under discussion.
And that this is that after his conversations with the Sitra Achra, that was undertaken by the great kabbalist Rabbi Shimshon, ztzl, he asked a ‘dream question’ [i.e. a question to be answered via a dream from Heaven] that would reveal to him from shemayim what he should do, in order to rescue his people from the awful gezirut of 1648-9.
And so, he recieved an answer to his ‘dream question’, and was responded to thus:
“That if two of the Gedolei HaDor would agree to sacrifice themselves, and to return their souls to HaKadosh Baruch Hu before their time [in the aspect of ‘the death of tzaddikim atones’ – Tractate Yoma 42a; and see ‘Gur Aryeh’, Vayikra 17a, ‘After the death of the two sons of Aharon’….] it would cancel the gezirah.”
R’ Shimshon said to himself then, that he was prepared [to sacrifice himself – i.e. that he knew himself to be one of the Gedolei HaDor], and he approached the SHACH, [the second Gadol HaDor, of that time period], and asked him to be prepared to sacrifice his soul, and to pass away from the world before his time, in order to sweeten the gezirah.
And the SHACH responded to Rabbi Shimshon that he needed to think about the matter, and promised him an answer within two days.
When two days had passed, the SHACH said to R’ Shimshon, ztzl, that he was prepared to partner with him in this matter – but on condition that he would be given another three months of time.
And when R’ Shimshon asked the SHACH about the meaning of this – because each day, there was an increased quadruple curse [upon the nation?], of killings and murders and persecutions and waves [of violence] – (i.e. the decrees of 1648-9 were the most violent that the sons of his people ever suffered) – and why should we wait such a long time, in such a situation, when each day there were murdering hundreds more of our brethren, God should have mercy?!
The SHACH answered R’ Shimshon, and these were his words:
“I need another three months in order to finish writing my commentary, the Siftey Cohen – [the SHACH’s commentary on the Shulchan Aruch.]”
When three months had passed, the SHACH completed his commentary on the Shulchan Aruch, and R’Shimshon and the SHACH passed away from the world, and the decrees of 1648-9 were cancelled.
And the gaon and rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, ztl, asked how can we understand the behavior of the SHACH, that he gave evil another three months to murder and persecute…. and everything just in order for him to add to his writings a few more chiddushims and clarifications? This is a ‘SHACH’ that is very hard to understand!
The author of the ‘Even HaEzel’ (i.e. Isser Zalman Meltzer) continued with awesome words…..[that the SHACH reckoned that] the chances of Am Yisrael to come through the decrees of 1648-9 [were small], but without the [merit of the] commentary of the SHACH on the Shulchan Aruch, the decrees of 1648-9 would have been many times worse, than they were with the commentary of the SHACH.
There is a lot of discussion about this story, including a PDF of the source document for the story, on the Otzar forum HERE.
The ‘R’Shimshon’ in the story is Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropoli, who did die a martyr’s death in 1648.
For the purposes of this post, here’s a couple of things to point out:
- The story can’t have happened as described, as the SHACH completed his commentary in 1646, and according to conventional history, he only passed away sometime between 1662-1664.
- Isser Zalman Meltzer (1870-1953) was a big ‘religious zionist’; and his original surname was ‘Eisenstadt’, which suggests he could belong the SHACH’s wider family, descended from the SHACH’s sister via the known sabbateans Meir Eisenstadt and Mordechai ‘Mokiach’ Eisenstadt.
- I.e. – this is a ‘family history’, intended to justify the SHACH’s lack of mesirut nefesh for Am Israel.
Back on the Otzar forum, we discover there are different versions of this story, including this one:
(Hebrew screenshot, followed by a free translation into English):
And by the way, it is accepted that before the riots of 1648-9, three tzaddikim received a message from Heaven that if they would agree to pass away al Kiddush Hashem, then they would atone for the children of Israel.
And each of the tzaddikim would atone for a third of the nation of Israel.
And these were the three elders:
- Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropoli,
- Rabbi Natan of Nemirov, and
- The SHACH – [Shabtai HaKohen]
Rabbi Shimshon and Rabbi Nathan accepted this upon themselves, and they were killed al kiddush Hashem.
And the Shach argued that he still needed to compose his essays, and indeed a third of all Israel were murdered al Kiddush Hashem [in the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648-9].
Hashem should avenge their blood.
For the purposes of this post, and my hypothesis that the SHACH = Shabtai Tzvi, this story provides a strong explanation, for why someone like the SHACH could have lost his mind to the point of ‘devolving’ into false messiah Shabtai Tzvi.
Imagine: you are told by one of the leading tzaddikim of the generation, that if you agree to die al kiddush Hashem, you will avert the looming harsh decrees, and personally save a third of the Jewish nation from horrible death and destruction.
And you refuse, because you’re an ambitious young man who first wants to get his Torah novellae ‘out there’ and known.
And then, you witness the horrible destruction that did indeed occur – the SHACH was a first-hand witness, and even wrote a historical account of the massacres that was published in 1651, in Amsterdam.
And then…. your conscience gives you no rest.
And all that suppressed anger at God for letting it happen, and suppressed guilt from not doing what you could have done to stop it yourself, literally overwhelms your psyche…
And even though you still have lucid, ‘holy’, pious and ascetic stretches of time, increasingly, you escape into ‘messianic madness’, where on some subconscious level you try to ‘force the coming of Moshiach’ – by proclaiming yourself a ‘Moshiach’ – to rectify the situation, bring geula – and finally give your guilty conscience some rest.
Honestly, doesn’t this sound at least possible?
How did a ‘madman from Smyrna’ win over so very many big rabbis to his cause?
But if he was a rabbi with the stature and learning of the SHACH – who then went ‘mad’ after the destruction witnessed in and around Poland from 1648 onwards – doesn’t that explain a lot?
Doesn’t it make to easier to understand, how this ‘talmudic genius’ could create arguments for antinomian behavior and ‘tikkunim’ that could sway even the biggest kabbalists and most holy individuals?
And doesn’t it start to explain so many of the other ‘mysteries’ we have been dealing with here, including warped family trees, Sabbatean-Frankists specifically clustered, dafka, around our ‘biggest rabbis’ – and the overall horrible mess all parts of our Jewish world is currently in?
This is my hypothesis.
I am still working through a lot more information, including the other rabbis who were known Sabbateans within the Jewish community – and whose descendants have been wreaking havoc for the last 350 years.
These people are still in the positions of power, and that’s a big part of why all this ‘real Jewish history’ is still being actively suppressed and covered-up.
By the lies are falling, one by one.
Because you can’t keep the truth hidden forever.
Can anyone out there help me to translate this tombstone, meant to be for the SHACH, in Holleschau cemetery?
In particular, I’m looking for the date of death given on this tombstone, but all information would be appreciated.
Ta in advance.
You might also like this article:
So the good man that was Anakin Skywalker was “killed” by Darth Vader.
“So, what I said is true, from a certain point of view.” (Ben Kenobi)
R’ Aharon Kotler is the son-in-law of R’ Isser Zalman Meltzer.
A very well-known rosh yeshiva of one of the top chareidi yeshivas here in Israel is married to the granddaughter of R’ Meltzer. R’ Kotler is her uncle.
Now I find it hard to believe that these rabbinic families are secret Sabbatians/Frankists, but could it be that they’re unknowingly preaching ideas which have been accepted as Jewish, but in source, are truly not?
Could it be that there’s a G-dly plan element here?
Like G-d wants to test us by keeping the Jewish leadership in the hands of the Eirav Rav?
Meaning it could be that these people are innocent and so are some of the great rabbanim with Sabbatian connections, who have been mentioned on your blog?
I say this from knowing some of the abovementioned families from up close, but I could be wrong again…
Also, there are many great and learned people who do not become well-known rabbanim and it is my personal belief that there is hashgacha pratit that dictates who is meant to lead a public life and who not.
Rabbi Kanievsky zt”l would’ve probably prefered to have lived in private and have a quiet life dedicated to Torah learning, for example.
In previous posts, I started to cover how most of our true tzaddikim are also connected to these ‘interesting’ families – including people like Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, whose grandfather Nachman Horodenka is in the middle of all these Sabbatians – plus the BESHT – who married a grand-daughter of the SHACH / Shabtai Tzvi as his second wife (but there is a dispute as to whether the BESHT actually had his children with her, or his first ‘unknown’ wife), and also people like Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, and of course, all the Rebbes of Chabad.
Practically all the ‘leaders’ in the orthodox Jewish world, chassidic and otherwise, and linked to these Sabbatean families, even up to our days.
And the political ‘leaders’ including people like Netanyahu and even Yair Lapid are also linked to them.
The greatest darkness always conceals the greatest light…. so free choice is still paramount.
It’s very akin to Esav, who was the epitome of evil, but still had the free choice to forge his own path, and to become an even greater force for good in the world than Yaakov Avinu.
In terms of the individuals themselves, whose in a position to judge who they really are / what they really did?
Sometimes it’s obvious – e.g. with all these tremendous ‘fakers’ who have done terrible, obvious damage to the Jewish community, and the people who have followed them.
But until the full contours of ‘the problem’ has really been set out, it’s impossible to even start to guess at people’s true motivations etc.
I think it’s only when the truth of all these Sabbatean-Frankist family connections is unveiled in more detail, that we’ll be able to move into the next stage of doing that sort of birur, if at all.
And in the meantime… I’m just praying for God to keep showing me the truth, particularly about which rabbis and leaders are sincerely pious and holy etc, because no-one can go on outside appearances, either way.
This analysis makes much more sense than the conventional narrative of Shabtai Tzvi.
“…he brings evidence that Shabtai Tzvi could not speak either Turkish, or Arabic, and had to have his brother translate for him, when he was dealing with the Turkish rulers.
This makes no sense, if he really was born and bred in Smyrna ”
Not necessarily. Turks are not indigenous to Turkey. Certainly, not everyone in the vast Ottoman empire spoke Turkish. Even ethnic Turks couldn’t communicate with the Turkish elite- they spoke a different dialect. (Another historical language curiousity: the language of gov’t in medieval England was French- despite the frequent wars between the two countries!) Before jumping to conclusions, you should first establish that it would have been rare for a Jew born to a Greek immigrant family, living in a Jewish community that itself was recent to Izmir, not to be fluent in Turkish in the early 17th century.
The claim that he knew little Turkish before 1666 should not dismissed as suspicious before delving deeper into the history of the Jewish community in the early 17th century & the history of the spread of the Turkish language into Ottoman territories.
The Shach’s rebbi was the מגיני שלמה whose grandson was one of the prestigious opponents of R.Y. Eyebeschutz.
The ש”ך (along with the ט”ז & מ”א) remain one of the most important halachists in the generations succeeding the ש”ע. Accusations against such an esteemed authority are indicative of antinomian tendencies.
As you’ve already noted, the dream story is a confused narrative- the dates don’t add up. It also doesn’t make sense. The idea that one should give up teaching Torah based on a dream is against the Torah. A prophet can temorarily suspend halacha- but he first has to establish himself as a prophet, and the suspension of the מצוה must serve a higer purpose. And dreams are less than prophecy- how can a dream stop Torah study? We have a principle of דברי חלומות לא מעלין ולא מורידין. Also the בעל הטורים wrote in his צוואה not to pay attention to dreams. We know it’s been established by Chazal that most dreams signify nothing, and all dreams contains דברי בטלים. So if someone gets a dream with instructions to stop teaching Torah- you know well that the dream is not likely from a holy source. R’ Chaim Vital even wrote that some מגידים (we’re talking beyond dreams now!) transmit incorrect messages!
The SHACH had a number of Rebbes. And the TAZ – and his son and son-in-law – also believed in Shabtai Tzvi, before his death in 1667.
That’s the crucial bit of information that’s left out of this Wikipedia entry, but is amply attested to in other sources:
“Segal’s last days were saddened by the death of his two sons, Mordechai and Solomon, who were killed in the riots occurring in Lemberg in the spring of 1664. His wife had died long before; now Segal married the widow of her brother, Samuel Hirz, Rav of Pińczów. His third son from his first marriage, Isaiah, and his stepson, Aryeh Löb, were the two Polish scholars who were sent — probably by Segal, or at least with his consent — to Turkey in 1666 to investigate the claims of the pseudo-Messiah, Shabbetai Tzvi. The two returned with a present for Segal from Shabbetai Tzvi — a white silk robe, along with a letter in which the latter promised to avenge the wrongs of the Jews of Poland.”
Again, there are a lot of ‘TAZ’ descendants in our religious world that probably weren’t so keen on that information being widely known.
Re: the ‘antinomian tendencies’ – that’s just more of your projection. I know you believe in the theory of evolution – which goes totally against the Torah’s account of how the world was created. Believing in the theory of evolution is far more indicative of ‘antinomian tendencies’ than questioning whether someone may possibly be one of the ‘Jewish Demon Scholars’ amply described by Rebbe Nachman in Likutey Moharan.
“Again, there are a lot of ‘TAZ’ descendants in our religious world that probably weren’t so keen on that information being widely known.”
Speculation, and it doesn’t matter. The information is not exactly suppressed. Scholem’s volume is very easy to get a hold of. The hardest thing is to get through the 100s of pages before he mentions the Taz!
” I know you believe in the theory of evolution”
You know nothing about me except that I can type in English. As far as evolution goes, I’m not interested in the subject. (I would only become interested in the topic if I had to help others who are struggling with their אמונה.)
” which goes totally against the Torah’s account of how the world was created”
The Torah’s account of creation involves סתרי תורה and should not be discussed in a public forum.
“…is far more indicative of ‘antinomian tendencies’ than questioning whether someone may possibly be one of the ‘Jewish Demon Scholars’”
The Taz is not just “someone”. He was the גדול הדור. So were the Shach, the מגיני שלמה and the פני יהושע. You’ve also suspected the קרית מלך until you heard words of praise about him from R’ Berland. If the Taz & Shach are tainted, so to is much of our halachic מסורה. Denying the validity of halachic tradition is certainly anti-nomian.
So answer this: Do you believe our מסורה is authentic, or do you believe it has been tainted by generations of demonic scholars and is unreliable?
By the way, how is believing in evolution anti-nomian?
Exactly the point, about why ‘anonymous’ commentators are usually such poisonous people.
So, who are you really, JR?
And for the record, I haven’t said that the Peneni Yehoshua was a Sabbatean, nor the Meginei Shlomo.
In terms of my ‘suspicions’ about R’ Kanievsky – you better believe I had suspicions that something very bad was going on there, regarding the pronouncements about Covid 19 shots being ‘totally safe’ for pregnant women.
Even Pfizer’s own documents have now been released, that prove that:
“FOIA docs reveal Pfizer shot caused avalanche of miscarriages, stillborn babies.”
And the TAZ died in 1667, and at that early stage, a person could still just about believe that Shabtai Tzvi was the moshiach, and still be a 100% kosher Jew.
But in the years that followed, that definitely stopped being the case.
In terms of the Masora – the Talmud still contains discussions from heretic-extraordinaire Acher, Elisha ben Abuya.
It’s not up to the likes of me – or you – to decide what parts of our Masora are rescuable, even when they come out of the mouth of a heretic like Acher or Shabtai Tzvi.
R’ Meir taught you keep the seeds and throw away the rind with these people, and that seems to also be the approach of Rav Berland, who continues to tell his students to learn the SHACH and the TAZ – and who for sure knows way more than you or I do, about what is really going on here.
So the answer to your question is yes, our mesora is authentic – because we have true tzaddikim that are keeping it that way. And yes, it’s also been tainted by generations of demonic scholars.
Now a question for you: why on earth are you visiting my site, when you clearly disagree with just about everything I write?
” a heretic like Acher or Shabtai Tzvi.
R’ Meir taught you keep the seeds and throw away the rind with these people, and that seems to also be the approach of Rav Berland, who continues to tell his students to learn the SHACH and the TAZ ”
You’re comparing Acher & SZ to the Shach & Taz!
No, I’m not. Stop putting words in my mouth about the TAZ.
I will do a full post on the TAZ and his descendants in due course.
Right now, I’m talking about the distinct possibility that Shabtai Tzvi IS the Shach.
Shabtai Tzvi started his own religion, much like Yoshki, and was definitely even more of a heretic than Acher.
What to do about his Torah is not down to me – at all – to even have an opinion about.
And as usual, you are focussing on something to avoid looking at the larger implications of this, that there could well be people who are still actively practising a religion that is not Judaism, in their heart of hearts, while dressing externally ‘orthodox’ and corrupting a whole bunch of innocent Jews, especially in the areas of ‘promoting’ Sabbatean-Frankist ideas like incest and pedophilia.
And by ‘promoting’, I mean also covering up this stuff when it happens and enabling the abuse to continue unpunished, not just committing these horrible acts themselves.
Man.. I bet this is the guy that said mixing poultry with dairy is not allowed, thereby making kosher eating a thousand times more difficult for no reason.
Molly, the treatment of fowl as meat is of ancient origin.
That was a quick reply! That remains one ruling which leaves me scratching my head. “The way it could look bad by an onlooker” is the justification, seems like.
I think RAMBAM is the one who made that ruling.
Fascinating to see the debate over which fowl is permissible. Even chicken has been questionable!
” I’m looking for the date of death given on this tombstone,”
The date is given as a גמטריא and in the photo, the complete phrase is obscurred, but can be seen in other photos (as well as printed sources):
שנת היום בא משיח לגאול עם לא אלמן
Many ספרים will have their publication date given in a גמטריא, with only parts of the phrase or פסוק counting towards the year. In printed texts, the letters to be counted are often indicated by a larger size or have dots over them. The photos here and elsewhere are low quality and it’s not clear which letters would count towards the year. Some printed sources have the phrase בא משיח לגאול in bold. One printed source had ב”א – perhaps refering to the month אדר somehow.
Also be aware that the מצבה pictured is not the original- see here: https://www.kikar.co.il/361164.html
I know this will sound really, wildly strange: I realized yesterday, after reading this post and letting it sit a while, that I may have found the Shach’s gilgul, and I’ve been praying for him for the last two years, not knowing that he’s a rabbi, much less having this crazy idea about him.
If Rivka’s hypothesis is correct, do you suppose that if the Shach and Shabtai Zvi are the same person, the correction might look a lot like what this rabbi is going through? His name is Rav Avraham Rachamim Chaim Sofer.
I had been praying for him as Avraham Rachamim Chaim ben Yeshuáh Alexandra. I have now corrected this by putting the Rav on it and moving his name to my rabbi’s section.
You can only imagine my shock and surprise.
He had corona early on (that’s when I first saw him on video on the Chesed Fund site and put him on my prayer list), was in the hospital, died 4 times while ventilated and in induced coma, and came back (this last part, the 4 NDEs, I only found out a couple of days ago, along with his smicha). He suffers injuries sustained from the combination of the corona and the hospitalization, on his left hand and left foot that still remain from that time.
His work focuses on saving Jewish lives, and is online. A DDG search yields many aspects of his current work and also what he went through: https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=avraham+rachamim+chaim+sofer&ia=web
Here’s a video of him speaking about a very sensitive topic we’ve been discussing these days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jghhpUp2pM8
He is very focused on Saving Jewish Lives.
What do you all think?
Look how they tried to murder him but it was not his time!! Could you explain further why he may be (you got this impression) a gilgul?
Did you watch/listen to the video I linked above?
Note his facial features and compare them with those of the Schach, as best you can.
Note his tone of voice, very confident in the opinions he renders.
Note his bringing up the rabbis who “approved” the vaqs and his case for why they were actually disapproving it, in his opinion (or maybe more than that). I never would have thought it could be done, especially for an American audience. We tend not to look for hints such as those he gave.
Note his focus on saving Jewish lives. It would seem that the Shach has a lot to make up for, and this rabbi is doing it with dogged determination.
Mind you, none of these are definite proof. We don’t have any way to prove gilgul. It just seemed to me that this rabbi’s mission in life is to demand of the gentiles to leave us alone and stop trying to kill us along with them, and he does this very calmly. I was very impressed with his answers to their demands of those of us in America to comply with the mandates, and his manner while doing so.
I think his manner, in general, is probably the best argument I have. But it’s more likely than not that he’s unaware of these observations of mine (or anyone else, for that matter, who may have any). So, this should not get around, for the time being.
“Stop putting words in my mouth about the TAZ.”
Here are your words:
“even when they come out of the mouth of a heretic like Acher or Shabtai Tzvi.
R’ Meir taught you keep the seeds and throw away the rind with these people, and that seems to also be the approach of Rav Berland, who continues to tell his students to learn the SHACH and the TAZ”
You mentioned Acher and SZ.
The following sentence is about “these people”. Who are “these people”? Clearly, you mean Acher & SZ. The following sentence, you write ” that seems to also be the approach of Rav Berland,”- that is to “keep the seeds and throw away the rind with these people”. Which people? In the very same sentence you refer to the Shach & Taz. Why would you mention the Shach & Taz in the context of “”keep the seeds and throw away the rind ” if you don’t suspect they were heretics?
Despite the story about R’ Meir & Acher, we don’t learn from heretics. The Rambam paskened:
וכן הרב שאינו הולך בדרך טובה אף על פי שחכם גדול הוא וכל העם צריכין לו אין מתלמדין ממנו עד שובו למוטב שנאמר כי שפתי כהן ישמרו דעת ותורה יבקשו מפיהו כי מלאך ה’ צבאות הוא אמרו חכמים אם הרב דומה למלאך ה’ צבאות תורה יבקשו מפיהו אם לאו אל יבקשו תורה מפיהו.