1666

Millenarianism

As reported by Richard Popkin, in “The religious background of seventeenth-century philosophy,” recent discoveries have pointed out that Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (1621 – 1686), known as the Great Condé, Oliver Cromwell and Queen Christina were negotiating to create a world government of the Messiah, with Prince Condé as his regent, based in Jerusalem, after assisting the Jews in liberating the Holy Land and rebuilding the Temple.[1] Prince of Condé was one of Louis XIV’s most pre-eminent generals, particularly celebrated for his triumphs in the Thirty Years’ War. His mother was the granddaughter of Anne de Montmorency (1493 – 1567), Honorary Knight of the Garter, and Madeleine of Savoy, granddaughter of Philip II, Duke of Savoy. Anne allied himself during the Wars of Religion with Francis, Duke of Guise, brother of Marie de Guise. Prince of Condé’s father, Henri I, Prince of Condé (1588 – 1646), was the great-grandson of Margaret of Lorraine, daughter of Yolande de Bar, who supposedly succeeded her father René of Anjou and Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. Henri I was also a first cousin of Henry IV of France, husband of Marie de Medici. Prince of Condé’s brother, Armand, Prince of Conti, married Anne Marie Martinozzi, the sister of Queen Christina’s ally, Cardinal Mazarin, successor to Cardinal Richelieu as chief minister to Louis XIII of France, the son of Henry IV and Marie de Medici. Marie de Medici’s court physician, the Marrano Elijah Montalto, was the teacher of Rabbi Joseph Solomon Delmedigo, a student of Galileo.

A portrait etching by Rembrandt probably depicting Menasseh ben Israel (1604 – 1657), Kabbalist rabbi of Amsterdam

A portrait etching by Rembrandt probably depicting Menasseh ben Israel (1604 – 1657), Kabbalist rabbi of Amsterdam

Delmedigo’s 1629 Sefer Elim (Palms) was published by the famous Menasseh ben Israel (1604 – 1657), leader of the Jewish community of Amsterdam. Menasseh’s alliance with a scion of the Abarbanel family, in whose tradition of Davidic descent he was a firm believer, inspired him with the idea that he was destined to promote the coming of the Messiah. Menasseh has been credited with mediating the messianic hopes stirred up by Isaac Abarbanel towards the preparation of “fertile soil for many pseudo-messianic movements, culminating in the appearance of Sabbatai Zevi,” a famous Jewish false prophet, who declared himself the expected messiah in 1666.[2] Menasseh was also closely associated with the members of Samuel Hartlib’s Invisible College. Based on the Rosicrucians’ expectations about the astrological significance of the Great Conjunction, they helped bring about the advent of Sabbatai Zevi, taking the Jewish world by storm, becoming the largest and most widespread messianic movement in Jewish history.[3]

According to Gershom Scholem, “In the generation preceding Sabbatai Zevi’s advent the rapid spread of the teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria and his school had resulted in a grafting of the theories of the Kabbalists, the de facto theologians of the Jewish people in the seventeenth century, onto the traditional Jewish view of the role and personality of the Messiah.”[4] Isaac Luria preached a Kabbalistic system of reincarnation, and believed himself to possess the soul of the Messiah of the house of Joseph and that it was his mission to hasten the coming of the Messiah of the house of David through the mystical improvement of souls. According to family legend, Menasseh’s wife was a descendant of King David, and he was proud of his children’s Davidic ancestry.[5]

In 1649, Menasseh published his book, The Hope of Israel, claiming the natives of South American were descendants of the Lost Tribes in the New World, in support of his expectation that the settlement of Jews throughout the world was supposed to be a sign that the Messiah would come. Menasseh’s claims were a perpetuation of those first cultivated by the Franciscans who, according to John Leddy Phelan, in his seminal The Millennial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World, by connecting the Spanish conquests with the end of the world, helped shed light on one of the most celebrated myths of the New World: that of the Mesoamericans as the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel, and whose discovery was interpreted as convincing evidence that the world was soon to end.[6] According to Phelan, navigators like Columbus and Franciscan missionaries like Gerónimo de Mendieta, viewed the events of Age of Exploration as the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Book of Revelation.[7] Columbus’ mysticism was expressed the Book of Prophecies, where, influenced by Pierre d’Ailly, a French astrologer and Catholic cardinal, Columbus estimated that the world would in in 1656.

In 1655, in furtherance of his Messianic aims, Menasseh petitioned Cromwell (1599 – 1658) to allow the Jews to return to England, after having been banned from the country since 1290. Cromwell was allegedly interested in the return of the Jews to England because of the many millennial theories associated with the year 1666, as the presence in the date of number 666 of the Beast of Revelation, the death of 100,000 Londoners to bubonic plague, and the Great Fire of London, led to fears that the end of the world was near at hand. In addition to anticipation for the year 1648, the year 1666, as the year of Israel’s redemption by the Messiah, based on an interpreted passage in the Zohar, was particularly popular among the Jews.[8]

According to their calculations, the Rosicrucians also associated the Great Conjunction of 1623 with the year 1666, which they also imparted with messianic significance. Kepler speculated that the Star of Bethlehem followed by the Magi was the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC. As noted by Roy A. Rosenberg, “Bearing in mind Kepler’s speculation as to the identity of the “star,” we find that there is indeed a Jewish astrological tradition linking the appearance of the Messiah, and other great events, with the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn.”[9] Isaac Abarbanel in The Wells of Salvation, his commentary to the Book of Daniel, stated that these conjunctions take place in various “signs” of the zodiac in accordance with a rather complex formula assigning the “signs” to the four “elements,” earth, air, fire and water. These portend such events as the births of great people, miracle workers and revealers of secrets, and the Messiah. A “mighty conjunction” of Saturn and Jupiter took place in 1396 BC, three years before the birth of Moses. The most recent occurred in 1465 AD, in Abarbanel’s own time, and which he was sure that it too would herald the advent of the Messiah.[10]

Beginning in 1496, Abarbanel devoted his writing for nearly two years to the topic of messianism, resulting in three studies that together comprised the largest such inquiry that a Jew had ever composed.[11] In the first part of his “messianic trilogy,” Ma’ayenei ha-yeshu’ah, a commentary on Daniel written in 1496-97, Abarbanel wrote of the of the “great conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn, whose significance had been explained by Abraham bar Hiyya:

Since the effect of the great conjunction is to transfer the nation or subject that receives its influence from one extreme to the other…, its activity will not affect a nation of average standing and size to enhance it. Of necessity, however, its influence will affect a nation that is at the extreme of degradation, the extreme of abasement, and enslaved in a foreign land. The result is that the conjunction is then able to carry them to the [opposite] extreme of high stature. The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces of 1464 had, then, ushered in an era that, barring divine intercession, would culminate in the Jewish people’s deliverance fifty years later as millennia earlier this same astral configuration had inaugurated the redemption of their ancestors from Egypt.[12]

Salmasius, Vossius and Grotius, and other men of the so-called “Republic of Letters,” were part of Menasseh’s circle of contacts, showing the great reputation he benefitted among non-Jewish intellectuals.[13] These included the Rosicrucian mystic Abraham von Franckenberg. In 1616, Franckenberg sent to Hartlib in England a manuscript copy of the FaMa e sCanzIa reDUX, by Johannes Bureus, the tutor and advisor of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, the father of Queen Christina, and in 1646 to her collaborator, the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher.[14] In 1646, Franckenberg had also sent a copy of Bureus’ FaMa e sCanzIa reDUX to the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher.[15] In 1646, Franckenberg listed Bureus among the great Christian Kabbalists of history, alongside Joachim of Fiore, Pico, Reuchlin, Agrippa, Giordano Bruno and Rosicrucians like Petrus Bongus, Julius Sperber, and Philip Ziegler. The list was appended to a new edition of Guillaume Postel’s Absconditomm a Constitutione Mundi Clavis, a mystical text on the seven ages presented by Franckenberg to the court of Wladislaus IV in Poland (1595 – 1648).[16] Wladislaus IV’s father was Sigismund III Vasa, the grandson of Sigismund I the Old, a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and Bona Sforza. Sigismund III’s mother Catherine Jagiellon was the sister of Sigismund II Augustus who Barbara Radziwiłł, who was accused of promiscuity and witchcraft, and the sister of Anna Jagiellon, who married Stephen Báthory, sponsor of John Dee and uncle of Elizabeth Báthory, the “Blood Countess.” Sigismund III’s father was John III of Sweden, whose brother Charles IX of Sweden, was the father of Gustavus Adolphus.

Franckenberg was a friend and biographer of Balthasar Walther, who inspired the legend of Christian Rosenkreutz, and was the source of the influence of the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria on their friend Jacob Beohme.[17] Walther served as personal physician to Prince August of Anhalt-Plötzkau, whose court was a center for occult, alchemical and Rosicrucian thought during the opening decades of the seventeenth century. August’s brother was Christian of Anhalt, a close friend of friend of Frederick of the Palatinate, whose marriage to Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of King James of England, was celebrated as an alchemical wedding by the Rosicrucians. There, in 1612 or 1613, more than a year before its first printing, Walther’s collaborator Paul Nagel transcribed a copy of the Fama. In addition to more than a dozen other astrological tracts Nagel’s copy of the Fama also contains Kabbalistic explications of the Book of Revelation and Daniel. In 1621, at the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, Christian of Anhalt fled to the court of the uncle of Elizabeth Stuart, Christian IV of Denmark, a knight of the Order of the Garter, and son of Frederick II of Denmark, who supported the career of Tycho Brahe, who like his pupil Kepler, was very interested in the topic of great conjunctions.

Nagel provided the calculations that connected the year 1666 with the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the trigon of Leo, Aries and Sagittarius in 1623, the year of the Rosicrucian Furore. According to Nagel, “for [the book of] Revelation is our true astronomy, and our astronomy is the true Revelation.”[18] After a brilliant comet had burned in the night skies above Europe in November and December of 1618, Nagel issued the Stellae Prodigiosae, in which he outlined a complex astrological-prophetic system. Based on biblical astronomical evidence, Nagel argued that this confluence of ideas demonstrated that the millennium, a time of future felicity for the church, led in spirit by Christ himself, would dawn in 1624. Following would be the great conjunction of 1623. This “millennium” would endure just 42 years, until the Last Judgment in 1666.[19]

In particular, Menasseh was convinced that the restoration to the Holy Land could not take place until the Jews had spread to and inhabited every part of the world. Menasseh was chiefly responsible for leading the petition to Cromwell to allow the reentry of the Jews to England. Cromwell had led the forces of Parliament against Charles I, son of King James, in the English Civil Wars, which challenged his attempts to negate parliamentary authority, while simultaneously using his position as head of the English Church to pursue religious policies which generated the animosity of reformed groups such as the Puritans. Charles was defeated in the First Civil War (1642 – 45), after which Parliament expected him to accept its demands for a constitutional monarchy. Charles I had remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Wight. Cromwell then ordered Colonel Pryde in 1648 to purge Parliament of those members who had voted in favor of a settlement with the King, known as “Pryde’s purge.” The remaining members were known as the “Rump Parliament.”

The Cromwellian government was commonly regarded as a Rosicrucian circle. Samuel Butler (1612 – 1680), in his satire of the Restoration, Characters, tells of “the Brethren of the Rosy-Cross” as having attempted a misguided reformation of “their government.” A character in Butler’s other work Hudibras explains: “The Fraternity of the Rosy-Crucians is very like the Sect of the antient Gnostici who called themselves so, from the excellent Learning they pretend to, although they were really the most ridiculous Sots of all Mankind.”[20] According to Paul Benbridge, Cromwellians also referred to themselves as Rosicrucians, such as Andrew Marvell (1621 – 1678), a metaphysical poet who sat in the House of Commons. The other prominent Rosicrucian-Cromwelllian was Marvell’s close friend, John Milton, who had a strong interest in Hermeticism.[21]

In pursuit of his reforms, as reported by Hugh Trevor-Roper, Cromwell based his policies on the ambitions of the “three foreigners,” the founders of the Invisible College, Samuel Hartlib, John Dury and John Amos Comenius.[22] In 1628, Hartlib, who had been captivated by Baconian ideas, fled Elbing and came permanently to England, where he saw his opportunity as the Counter-Reformation was triumphing in Europe. Dury, who was also a Baconian, also went to England and joined Hartlib, ‘‘the boss of the wheel,’’ as Dury called him, ‘‘supporting the axle-tree of the chariot of Israel.’’[23] “The three foreigners,” explain John Christian Laursen and Richard H. Popkin, “were central figures in directing the beginnings of the English Revolution, pointing out the many areas of human life that would have to be reformed before the Millennium.”[24] As noted by Ernestine G.E. van der Wall, “Since the 1640s in various Jewish and Christian circles, a deep hope had sprung up that great events would occur in the near future. It was believed that the final redemption was at hand. The hope for tikkun, restoration, was widespread.”[25] Ultimately, explains Popkin:

[The millenarians] took seriously the injunction in Daniel that, as the end approaches, knowledge and understanding will increase, the wise will understand, while the wicked will not. They also took seriously the need to prepare, through reform, for the glorious days ahead. Their efforts to gain and encourage scientific knowledge, to build a new educational system, to transform political society, were all part of their Millenarian reason of events. They needed to understand, to construct a new theory of knowledge, a new metaphysics, for the new situation, the Thousand Year reign of Christ on earth, which was to be followed by a new heaven and a new earth. Efforts to accomplish this great end are part of the making of the modern world and of the making of the modern mind.[26]

The conversion of the Jews and the spreading of Christianity to the rest of the world were deemed necessary conditions for the millennium to occur. Another condition was the destruction of the Ottoman Empire which controlled Palestine and under whose rule most Jews lived. The conversion of the Jews and the “gathering of the Gentiles” also provided justification for British colonialism, as it could supposedly be furthered by conquests in the New World. The same anticipation was found among the Jews, especially in the Near East. The Zohar was said to have predicted a return of the Jews to Palestine for 1648.[27] As Christopher Hill has indicated, in Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought, 1650-1800, calculations of the precise date of the end of the world based on the Book of Daniel and Revelation occupied some of the best mathematicians, from Napier in the late sixteenth century, to Sir Isaac Newton at the end of the seventeenth. Consensus agreed that 1260 years should be added to the date the Antichrist established his power, which Protestants took to be the Pope. Various calculations therefore settled on the years 1650-1656 for his destruction, the gathering of the Gentiles, the conversion of the Jews and their return to Palestine. Other estimates offered the year 1666.[28]

The millenarians were also connected to the Fifth Monarchy Men, who expected the imminent end of the fourth empire, and a new age, based on the traditional interpretation of the prophecies of the four kingdoms described in the Book of Daniel, which holds a special place in Judaism, as it promised an earthly empire to the Jews in the time of the messiah, an idea advanced by Menasseh. Daniel, interpreting a mysterious dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, describes four earthly kingdoms: Nebuchadnezzar’s and the three that would come after it, followed by a fifth kingdom, which will be set up directly by God and “shall never be destroyed.” According to Rashi’s commentary on the passage, the four kingdoms as Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire. Rashi explained that the fifth kingdom that God will establish is the kingdom of the messiah. According to Menasseh, in Spanish his Piedra gloriosa o de la estatua de Nebuchadnesar (“The glorious stone or the statue of Nebuchadnezzar”):

…because the four Monarchies were temporal, from various princes, different nations and diverse lands, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans, it follows that also the fifth shall be of various nations and different lands, and, consequently, of the people of Israel, who possessed Judea, by divine gift; and likewise, the messiah (who is the stone) shall destroy with temporal and earthly dominion all the other Monarchies. And in the very manner that the Persians destroyed the Babylonians, and conquered their lands; the Greeks, those of the Persians; the Romans, those of the Greeks, thus the messiah and the people of Israel, ending with this latter (that into its own [monarchy] have incorporated the others) shall be the lords of the world with temporal, terrestrial and eternal dominion, ac- cording to this infallible interpretation of Daniel.

A similar myth was touted in Portugal as The Fifth Empire, by the Portuguese mystic and Jesuit priest Antonio Vieira (1608 – 1697), another contact of Menasseh ben Israel, who showed a great interest in his ideas.[29] Vieira believed in the prophecies of a poet and suspected Marrano of the sixteenth century, Antonio Goncalves de Bandarra (1500 – 1556), the “Portuguese Nostradamus,” who played an important role in the earliest formulations of Sebastianism, which drew on Marrano messianic influences.[30] Sebastianism is a Portuguese messianic myth, based on the belief that Sebastian of Portugal (1554 – 1578), who disappeared in the battle of Alcácer Quibir, would reappear and return to Portugal at some point in the future. Sebastian’s death and the loss of independence were disastrous for the country, but the Portuguese revolution of 1640 gave a new hope for the entire nation. Based on an elaborate exegesis of the Bible, Vieira believed, like his millenarian counterparts in England, that the Fifth Monarchy would begin in the year 1666, and succeed to the four empires of ancient history, the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. The Fifth Empire, led by “the hidden one,” an allusion to Sebastianism, would unite the entire world.

As the savior who would restore the glory of the Portuguese Empire, Vieira identified with John IV of Portugal (1604 – 1656), whose accession established the House of Braganza on the Portuguese throne.[31] His reign began the Portuguese restoration of independence from Habsburg Spanish rule, bringing a formal end to the Iberian Union. John IV was the grandson of Manuel I of Portugal, a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece and Grand Master of the Order of Christ. Manuel I’s uncle was Afonso V of Portugal, a knight of the Order of the Garter, who employed Isaac Abarbanel as his treasurer. John IV married Luisa de Guzmán, who was from the ducal house of Medina-Sidonia of allegedly crypto-Jewish background.[32] Their daughter Catherine of Braganza married Charles II of England, the son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, the daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici.

In 1643, Vieira, as a member of the Royal Council of the King of Portugal, presented a report to John IV which proposed that to solve the kingdom’s difficulties with its war with Spain would be to appeal to the New Christians and immigrant Portuguese Jews, who, he claimed, possessed the large majority of the wealth of the world, and that it was therefore necessary to reform of the procedure of the Inquisition.[33] Between 1646 and 1648, Vieira maintained close contact with the Portuguese-Jewish community of Amsterdam, in particular with Menasseh ben Israel. Under interrogation by the Inquisition, Vieira described this period as the one in which he began to develop his theory of the Fifth Empire. The archbishop of Goa, Ignacio de Santa Tereza (1682 – 1751), in his Crisis paradoxa, recounted that Vieira had convinced Menasseh that the messiah had already appeared in the person of Jesus Christ, and Menasseh, in turn, convinced the Vieira that the messiah had to return a second time to effect redemption on earth and reunite the dispersed ten Lost Tribes of Israel.[34]

Vieira’s expectations were outlined in a letter sent in 1659 to John IV’s widowed wife Luisa, “Hopes of Portugal, Fifth Empire of the World, the First and Second Life of King John the Fourth,” titled after Menasseh’s own Hope of Israel. Vieira claimed that the Fifth Empire would arrive when the Jews recognized Christ as the messiah, who like the Marranos, would retain part of their Jewish traditions. Commanded by a Portuguese emperor-king, these Christianized Jews would have their own political state, monarch, and cultural ceremonies. Vieira maintained that Jews would convert to Catholicism without the need for the use of force as long as their unique characteristics were accepted, much like the Jesuit principle of accomodatio, where the peoples of Asia and the Indians of the New World, who, despite having been converted to Christianity, maintained some of their customs, beliefs, and institutions.[35]

Similarly, the Fifth Monarchy Men later in England supported Cromwell’s Republic in the expectation that it was a preparation for the “fifth monarchy” that would succeed the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek, and Roman world empires. The last empire, they concluded, would be established by the return of Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to reign with his saints on earth for a thousand years. They also referred to the year 1666 and its relationship to the number 666, Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation, identified with the ultimate human despot to rule the world, indicating the end of earthly rule by carnal human beings, but who would be replaced by the second coming of the Messiah.

Dutch Jerusalem

Sephardic synagogue in Amsterdam

Sephardic synagogue in Amsterdam

Menasseh was born on the Portuguese island of Madeira, the son of a Marrano of Lisbon, who had suffered at the hands of the Inquisition, and fled with his family to Amsterdam as a small boy.[36] Manasseh was brought up under Isaac Uzziel of Fez, the rabbi of the new congregation Neveh Shalom. When Uzziel died in 1620, he was succeeded by Manasseh. Manasseh married Rachel Soeiro, a descendant of the Abarbanel family who were of Davidic origin. Menasseh achieved widespread fame not only as a rabbi and an author, but also as a printer, establishing the first Hebrew press in Holland in 1626. Menasseh was also an acquaintance of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt (1606 – 1669).

Most of the Low Countries had come under the rule of the House of Burgundy and subsequently the House of Habsburg. In 1549, Emperor Charles V issued the Pragmatic Sanction, reorganizing the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands, including present-day Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg, into one indivisible territory. In 1568, the Seventeen Provinces that later signed the Union of Utrecht started a rebellion against Charles V’s son and successor, Philip II of Spain, that led to the Eighty Years’ War. During the Dutch Golden Age that followed, the Dutch Republic, a federal republic which existed from 1588, dominated world trade, conquering a vast colonial empire and operating the largest fleet of merchantmen. The Netherlands has the oldest stock exchange in the world, founded in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company. The transition of the Netherlands into becoming the foremost maritime and economic power in the world has been called the “Dutch Miracle” by historian K. W. Swart.[37]

To the Dutch, the end of the Thirty Years’ War actually marked the end of the Eighty Years’ War, or Dutch War of Independence (1568 – 1648), which began with the Dutch Revolt (c. 1566 – 1648) against Spanish rule, led by William the Silent, who is celebrated as “Father of the Fatherland.” The Principality of Orange was a feudal state in Provence, in Southern France, founded around the year 800 AD, when it was awarded to Guillaume of Gellone, purported son of Rabbi Makhir. Emperor Charles V, who was the overlord of most of William’s vast estates, served as regent until he was old enough to rule them himself. Philip II later made him councilor of state, knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht. In 1561, William married for the second time, to Anna of Saxony, the daughter of Maurice, Elector of Saxony, and Agnes of Hesse, the daughter of Philip I of Hesse. By his second wife, Charlotte of Bourbon, William was the grandfather of Frederick V of the Palatinate, whose marriage to Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of King James, formed the theme of the Rosicrucians’ Alchemical Wedding. William’s son by his first Anna of Egmond, Philip William, Prince of Orange (1554 – 1618), and also a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, married Eleonora of Bourbon-Condé, the aunt of Prince Condé. When Philip died without an heir, Maurice of Nassau, William’s son by Anna of Saxony, could at last inherit the title Prince of Orange.

Philip II of Spain berating William the Silent by Cornelis Kruseman

Philip II of Spain berating William the Silent by Cornelis Kruseman

Gracia Mendes and nephew Joseph Nasi.

Gracia Mendes and nephew Joseph Nasi

Bolstered by his confidence in his alliance with the Protestant princes of Germany, William began to openly criticize the Philip II’s anti-Protestant politics. William of Orange was encouraged to revolt against Spain, a major adversary of the Ottoman Empire, by the Portuguese Marrano, Joseph Nasi (1524 – 1579). Nasi was member of the influential Benveniste, who traced their descent back to Narbonne where they were in contact with the Kalonymous, who traced their descent from Rabbi Makhir and shared the title of Nasi.[38] Nasi escaped to Antwerp and founded a banking house, before finally decided to settle in a Muslim land. After two troubled years in Venice, Nasi left for Constantinople in 1554, where he became an influential figure in the Ottoman Empire during the rules of both Sultan Suleiman I and his son Selim II. In around 1563, Joseph Nasi secured permission from Sultan Selim II to acquire Tiberias in Israel to create a Jewish city-state and encourage industry there. The scheme to restore Tiberias had messianic significance as there was a tradition that the Messiah would appear there. Already while he was still a nominal Christian in Italy, Nasi had proposed the idea of a Jewish commonwealth that would be a refuge for persecuted Jews.[39] In 1566 when Selim ascended the throne, Nasi was made duke of Naxos. He had conquered Cyprus for the sultan. Nasi’s influence was so great that foreign powers often negotiated through him for concessions which they sought from the sultan. Thus, the emperor of Germany, Maximilian II, William of Orange, Sigismund August II, King of Poland, all conferred with him on political matters.[40]

After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They eventually were able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. In 1579, after William the Silent had declared his independence from Spain, he assembled the six other leaders of the northern provinces, who agreed in the Union of Utrecht to support his war effort and affirm “freedom of conscience” as a founding principle of the United Netherlands.

In 1591, to benefit from the William the Silent’s promise of religious freedom, Samuel Pallache (c. 1550 – 1616) became the founder of the Jewish community of Amsterdam. Pallache’s family originated in Islamic Spain, where his father had served as rabbi in Córdoba. Following the Reconquista in the first half of the sixteenth, the family fled to Morocco. Pallache arrived in the Netherlands between 1590 and 1597, and established residence in Middleburg, the prosperous capital of Zeeland, and petitioned the city fathers to allow further Sephardic settlement. In return, Pallache promised they would “develop the city into a flourishing commercial center by means of their wealth.”[41] So it was that the first Conversos, representing the elite of Iberian Jewry, followed Pallache to Holland. “Thus,” explains Edward Kritzler, “the riches of the New World, via Lisbonand Seville, followed them to Amsterdam.”[42]

Maurice of Orange (1567 – 1625), uncle of Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate, husband of Elizabeth Stuart of the Alchemical Wedding.

Maurice of Orange (1567 – 1625), uncle of Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate, husband of Elizabeth Stuart of the Alchemical Wedding.

In the first pages of his 1769 Memorias do Estabelecimento e Progresso dos Judeos Portuguezes e Espanhoes nesta Famosa Cidade de Amsterdam, David Franco Mendes records Pallache and Jacob Tirado (b. ca. 1540 – 1620) among the founders of the Jewish congregation of Amsterdam. With several Marranos, Tirado sailed from Portugal but was driven off course to Emden in East Friesland. Following the advice of Rabbi Moses Uri ha-Levi (1544 – 1622), he continued on to Amsterdam. Triado’s group, known for its leader as Beth Jacob, no longer hid their observance, and in 1612 founded Holland’s first synagogue, called Neveh Shalom (“the Abode of Peace”). Pallache, now addressed as “Rabbi,” was elected its president.[43]

Pallache had also become a friend of William the Silent’s son Maurice of Orange. Maurice was stadtholder of all the provinces of the Dutch Republic except for Friesland from 1585 until his death in 1625. As Captain-General and Admiral of the Union, Maurice organized the Dutch rebellion against Spain into a successful revolt and won fame as a military strategist. Under his leadership, the Dutch States Army achieved many victories and drove the Spaniards out of the north and east of the Dutch Republic. Maurice helped precipitate the Thirty Years’ War by persuading his nephew Frederick V, Elector Palatine, to accept the Bohemian Crown, as well as actively encouraging the Bohemians to confront Habsburg rule. After their flight from Bohemia, Maurice granted Frederick and his wife Elizabeth Stuart and asylum in Holland.[44] Francis Bacon also visited Maurice in his official position as English Lord Chancellor to discuss the legality of a trade treaty with the Netherlands.

“Man in Oriental Costume” by Rembrandt ca. 1633-1634, thought to be Jewish pirate Samuel Pallache

“Man in Oriental Costume” by Rembrandt ca. 1633-1634, thought to be Jewish pirate Samuel Pallache

In 1608, after a delegation from the Dutch Republic visited Morocco to discuss a common alliance against Spain and the Barbary pirates, sultan Zidan Abu Maali (? – 1627) appointed Pallache as interpreter. Pallache then met Maurice and the States-General in The Hague to negotiate an alliance of mutual assistance against Spain. In 1610, the two nations signed the Treaty of Friendship and Free Commerce, an agreement recognizing free commerce between the Netherlands and Morocco. Pallache also got permission from Maurice for privateering activities. Kritzler’s Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean calls Pallache the “Pirate Rabbi” who “was still capturing Spanish ships in his late sixties.”[45] Samuel recruited Dutch Sea Beggars to join his Barbary Corsairs and placed his younger brother Joseph in command. Sailing back and forth between Holland and Morocco, Pallache engaged in a trade of selling arms and munitions to the corsairs in return for sugar, spices, diamonds, and Spanish booty. Sultan Zidan also issued Pallache a privateer’s license with specific instructions to “harm the Spaniards and make war on them.”[46] Carved on the bow of Pallache’s ship was a phoenix. In the fall of 1614, Palache was arrested for piracy when his ship had to land at Plymouth, England. When Prince Maurice immediately wrote King James asking for Pallache’s release. Palache was placed under house arrest in the home of the Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Craven (1548 – 1618), and the two regularly dined together. Craven’s son, William Craven, earl of Craven (1606 – 1697), was known for his long association with Elizabeth Stuart.[47] On February 6, 1616, when Palache died, six mounted horses draped in black pulled the hearse, followed by Prince Maurice, the city magistrates and the Jewish elders, attended by the 1,200 members of the Jewish community.[48]

Western Design

south-america.jpg

Sir William Penn (1621 – 1670) English admiral who led conquest of Jamaica, and father of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

Sir William Penn (1621 – 1670) English admiral who led conquest of Jamaica, and father of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

Pallache’s uncle son was Fez’s grand rabbi, Judah Uziel, whose son was Isaac Uziel (d. 1622) a Spanish physician born at Fez, Morocco. At one time, Uziel held the position of rabbi at Oran, Algeria, but left late in life to settle in Amsterdam, where he opened a Talmudical school. Among his students was Menasseh ben Israel, played an important role in the readmission of the Jews to England, where they had been expelled in 1290. In 1655, Menasseh came to England from Amsterdam to petition the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, to readmit Jews to the country. Cromwell had been moved to sympathy by Menasseh with the Jewish cause chiefly because he foresaw the importance for English commerce of the presence of the Jewish merchant princes, some of whom had already found their way to London. The potential usefulness to the development of a colonial policy was an added reason for English interest in the Jews. As Richard Christopher Hill explained:

As early as 1643 Jews in the Netherlands were said to be financing Parliament. Their command of bullion was enormous; they controlled the Spanish and Portuguese trades; the Levant trade was largely in their hands; they were interested in developing commerce with the East and West Indies. To governments they were useful as contractors and as spies. If the ambitious scheme for Anglo-Dutch union put forward by the Commonwealth in 1661 had come off, then the Jews in the Netherlands would have been taken together with the Dutch colonial empire and its trade. When the Dutch refused to be incorporated into the British Empire, Dutch merchants were to totally excluded from all British possessions by the Navigation Act of 1651. This development made many Jews in the Netherlands—especially those trading with the West Indies—anxious to transfer to London: and it redoubled the interest of the English government in attracting them there. The policy paid off: Jewish intelligence helped the preparations for Cromwell’s Western Design of 1655.[49]

The Western Design was a part of the Anglo-Spanish War, a conflict between the English Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell and Spain, between 1654 and 1660. It involved an attack on the Spanish West Indies that was intended to secure a base of operations in the Caribbean from which to threaten trade and treasure routes in the Spanish Main, thus weakening Catholic influence in the New World. In 1655, Cromwell sent an expedition led by Sir William Penn, and General Robert Venables, who invaded Spanish territory in the West Indies with the objective of capturing Hispaniola. However, the assault failed because the Spanish had improved their defenses in the face of Dutch attacks earlier in the century. Despite various subsequent successes, such as an established presence in Jamaica, Cromwell saw the operation as a general failure, and Venables and Penn were imprisoned therefore in the Tower of London on their arrival on England.

Amsterdam had become one of the greatest Jewish centers in the world in the seventeenth century, becoming known as “the Dutch Jerusalem.” Marranos or Conversos began fleeing the Inquisition in Portugal and Spain, and settled in Antwerp, Hamburg, and Amsterdam, some remaining nominally Christian and some openly returning to Judaism. Unlike the persecution they suffered elsewhere, Jews were allowed to keep their Jewish identity openly in Amsterdam, where they achieved important commercial status. Jewish merchants in Amsterdam were one of the first groups to engage in recognizably modern capitalist-type activities. After the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, Jews migrated to the Americas and to Holland where they formed an important network of trading families. Their foreign interests included trade with the Iberian peninsula, England, Italy, Africa, India, and the East and West Indies. Jews in Amsterdam also engaged in industry, especially in the tobacco, printing, and diamond industries—which eventually passed almost entirely into Jewish hands—as well as the slave trade.

Jews in Amsterdam also engaged in industry, especially in the tobacco, printing, and diamond industries; the last eventually passed almost entirely into Jewish hands. Jewish involvement in banking proper really begins with the activities of those Conversos who, fleeing the Inquisition in Portugal and Spain, settled in Antwerp, Hamburg, and Amsterdam, some remaining nominally Christian and some openly returning to Judaism. In Antwerp, Jewish families of merchant bankers had commercial relations extending as far as the East Indies and Brazil. While they remained Catholics, those who emigrated to Hamburg and Amsterdam formed Sephardi communities. In Hamburg, which was destined to become one of the wealthiest and most productive Marrano centers, the settlement of Jews was not officially authorized until 1612 and Jewish public worship not until 1650. In Hamburg they participated in the founding of the bank in 1619. Local Jews were among its first shareholders, and some of them were financial agents for various North European courts, especially those of Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein.

Most famous in Antwerp were Diego Teixeira de Sampaio (1581 – 1666), consul and paymaster general for the Spanish government, and founded the international banking house that became known as Teixeira de Mattos. Whenever Queen Christina of Sweden visited Hamburg after 1654, she stayed in his home. His son Manuel Teixeira succeeded him as financial agent of Christina of Sweden. Manuel was an outstanding member of the Hamburg exchange and participated actively in the transfer of Western European subsidies to the German or Scandinavian courts.

Zur Yisrael

Slave market in Jews Street in Recife, Brazil

Slave market in Jews Street in Recife, Brazil

In 1638, as he had found it difficult to provide for his wife and family in Amsterdam, Menasseh decided to send his brother-in-law, Ephraim Soeiro to the Dutch colony’s capital of Recife in Brazil, to engage in commerce there, including the purchase of African slaves.[50] By the early 1630s, the Dutch, through the power of the West Indies Company, had conquered substantial portions of northeastern Brazil from the Portuguese. Under the new regime, Conversos living in the now Dutch colony of Pernambuco were allowed to return to Judaism. In 1636, the Jews of Recife established their own congregation, the first in the New World, called Kahal Zur Yisrael (Rock of Israel). Menasseh was considering moving to Brazil, possibly to become the rabbi at the new synagogue and to try to improve his income. Contemporary reports suggest that Jews might even have comprised a majority of the Recife’s population.[51] They also profited from the trafficking of African slaves, both as traders and as plantation owners.[52]

One of the reasons for Menasseh’s financial situation in Amsterdam improving was the arrival of two Portuguese Jewish entrepreneurs, the brothers Isaac and Abraham Pereyra, who was for many years the president of the Portuguese Jewish Community in Amsterdam. Abraham Pereyra had amassed a considerable fortune in business, and that escaping through Venice he arrived in Amsterdam circa 1644, where he reunited with his younger brother Isaac Pereyra. The brothers were described by fellow Jews as merchants who occupied an important place on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, started by the Dutch East India Company in 1602.[53] Abraham Pereyra provided the main financial backing for the famous printing and publishing enterprise as well as for the other varied intellectual activities of Menasseh ben Israel all over Europe.[54]

Isaac Aboab da Fonseca (1605 – 1693)

Isaac Aboab da Fonseca (1605 – 1693)

Menasseh had been planning to go to Brazil himself but he was suddenly appointed head rabbi of the Talmud Torah congregation in 1641, in replacement of Pereyra’s former teacher, Isaac Aboab da Fonseca (1605 – 1693), a kabbalist rabbi, who had studied at the Talmudical school in Amsterdam with Manasseh ben Israel. In 1656, da Fonseca was one of several elders within the Jewish community in the Netherlands who excommunicated Baruch Spinoza. In 1642, da Fonseca was appointed rabbi at Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue in Recife, in the then Dutch colony of Pernambuco, Brazil, a city which was occupied by the Dutch in 1624. Most of the European inhabitants of the town after the Dutch occupation were Sephardic Jews, originally from Portugal, but who had first emigrated to Amsterdam due to persecution by the Portuguese Inquisition. As pointed out by Natalie Zemon Davis, Boad would have provided instruction to Joseph Nuñez de Fonseca (also known as David Nassy), who was authorized by the Dutch West Indies Company to establish a colony there in 1659.[55]

By becoming the rabbi of the Portuguese Jewish community in Recife, Aboab da Fonseca was also probably one of the first appointed rabbis of the Americas, along with his rabbinic companion Moses Raphael de Aguilar (c. 1611 – 1679). Among de Aguilar’s students were Menasseh ben Israel and Abraham Pereyra, who became a friend. In 1641, de Aguilar and about 600 other Dutch Jews, including da Fonseca moved to Brazil. It was in Brazil that he became the rabbi of the Magen Avraham congregation of Recife. In 1654, after the war when Brazil fell in the hands of Portugal and lost its position in the West Indian Company, Aboab together with most of the Portuguese Jews returned to Amsterdam where he took up his original position as Rabbi.

Hope of Israel

Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (1621 – 1686), known as the Great Condé

Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé (1621 – 1686), known as the Great Condé

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626 – 1689)

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626 – 1689)

It was John Dury and others who induced Cromwell’s government to invite Menasseh ben Israel to England to negotiate on behalf of world Jewry for the re-admission of the Jews to England. However, as pointed out by Popkin, Menasseh was at first reluctant to travel to England, and decided to make the trip after a strange meeting in Belgium with Queen Christina and Isaac La Peyrère (1596 – 1676), French for Pereyra, a Kabbalistic messianist born into a Huguenot family in Bordeaux, and possibly of Marrano Jewish descent, who served as secretary to the Prince of Condé. La Peyrère’s outlook betrayed a Marrano influence. La Peyrère, who is sometimes regarded as the father of Zionism, argued that the Jews were about to be recalled, that the Messiah was coming for them, that they should join the Christians, and with the king of France, meaning the Prince of Condé, not Louis XIV, they would liberate the Holy Land, rebuild the Temple and will rule the world from Jerusalem.[49]

La Peyrère wrote Du Rappel des Juifs  (“The Recall of the Jews”), which was published anonymously in 1643, while the more controversial Praeadamitae (“Men Before Adam”) was banned and circulated privately in manuscript in France, Holland, and Denmark. Queen Christina paid for the publication of his Praeadamitae in 1655, which became the basis of what is known as the “pre-Adamite” hypothesis. Based on his interpretation of Paul’s words in his Epistle to the Romans, La Peyrère argued there must have been two creations: first the creation of the Gentiles and then that of Adam, who was father of the Hebrews. The existence of pre-Adamites, La Peyrère argued, explained Cain’s life after Abel’s murder, which according to Genesis involved the taking of a wife and the building of a city. But Prae-adamitae was banned and burned everywhere for its heretical claims that Adam was not the first man, that the Bible is not the history of mankind, but only the history of the Jews, that the Flood was a local event, that Moses did not write the Pentateuch and that no accurate copy of the Bible exists. As a result, the book was banned and burned everywhere.

Du Rappel des Juifs (“On the Recalling of the Jews”), by Isaac de La Peyrère (1643)

Du Rappel des Juifs (“On the Recalling of the Jews”), by Isaac de La Peyrère (1643)

It was John Dury and others who induced Cromwell’s government to invite Menasseh ben Israel to England to negotiate on behalf of world Jewry for the re-admission of the Jews to England. However, as pointed out by Popkin, Menasseh was at first reluctant to travel to England, and decided to make the trip after a strange meeting in Belgium with Queen Christina and Isaac La Peyrère (1596 – 1676), French for Pereyra, a Kabbalistic messianist born into a Huguenot family in Bordeaux, and possibly of Marrano Jewish descent, who served as secretary to the Prince of Condé. La Peyrère’s outlook betrayed a Marrano influence. La Peyrère, who is sometimes regarded as the father of Zionism, argued that the Jews were about to be recalled, that the Messiah was coming for them, that they should join the Christians, and with the king of France, meaning the Prince of Condé, not Louis XIV, they would liberate the Holy Land, rebuild the Temple and will rule the world from Jerusalem.[56]

La Peyrère wrote Du Rappel des Juifs (“The Recall of the Jews”), which was published anonymously in 1643, while the more controversial Praeadamitae (“Men Before Adam”) was banned and circulated privately in manuscript in France, Holland, and Denmark. Queen Christina paid for the publication of his Praeadamitae in 1655, which became the basis of what is known as the “pre-Adamite” hypothesis. Based on his interpretation of Paul’s words in his Epistle to the Romans, La Peyrère argued there must have been two creations: first the creation of the Gentiles and then that of Adam, who was father of the Hebrews. The existence of pre-Adamites, La Peyrère argued, explained Cain’s life after Abel’s murder, which according to Genesis involved the taking of a wife and the building of a city. But Prae-adamitae was banned and burned everywhere for its heretical claims that Adam was not the first man, that the Bible is not the history of mankind, but only the history of the Jews, that the Flood was a local event, that Moses did not write the Pentateuch and that no accurate copy of the Bible exists. As a result, the book was banned and burned everywhere.

After reading La Peyrère’s Du Rappel des Juifs, Menasseh rushed back to Amsterdam where he excitedly told a gathering of millenarians at the home of John Dury’s schoolmate and friend, Peter Serrarius (1620 – 1669), that the coming of the Jewish Messiah was imminent.[57] Serrarius’ extensive list of  close contacts included Samuel Hartlib, Commenius and von Franckenberg. Serrarius had intimate knowledge of the philosophy of Boehme, and possessed a large number of books of Paracelsus. With his friend with another acquaintance of Menasshe, Henry Jessey (1601 – 1663), a founding member of the Puritan religious sect, with whom Serrarius shared an active concern for the Jews. AS Jessey did in England, Serrarius organized a collection in the Netherlands for the poor Jews of Jerusalem.[58]

Dury introduced Menasseh to the views of Antonio de Montezinos, also known as Aaron Levi, a Marrano from Portugal who came to Amsterdam to inform the Jews, testifying under oath before Menasseh ben Israel of his discovery of a remnant of the Lost Ten Tribes in South America.[59] In 1644, Menasseh met de Montezinos, who convinced him of his conclusion that the South America Andes’ Indians were the descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel. Montezinos was conducted by a group of “Indians” led by a chief named Francisco into the mountains of the province of Quito, in New Spain, now Ecuador, where he discovered a people who were able to recite in Hebrew, the Shema, the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy from Deuteronomy 6: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Montezinos asked Francisco to tell him what he knew about these people. The Indian replied, “Your brethren are the sons of Israel, and brought there by the providence of God, who for their sake wrought many miracles.”[60]

This purported discovery gave a new impetus to Menasseh’s Messianic aspirations. Menasseh’s book, The Hope of Israel, was first published in Amsterdam in Latin and in Spanish in 1650. The full title of the Latin edition was titled Mikveh Israel, hoc est Spes Israelis, the Hebrew part being taken from Jeremiah 14:8. The book was written in response to a 1648 letter from Dury enquiring about Montezinos’ claims. In addition to reporting Montezinos’ accounts of Jews in the Americas, the book also expressed the hope that the Jews would return to England as a way of hastening the coming of the messiah. According to Daniel 12:7, claimed Menasseh, this general dispersion was a necessary precondition for the final deliverance of the Jews. Menasseh wrote the book in support of the readmission of the Jews into England, and which proved, in his own words, “that the day of the promised Messiah unto us doth draw near.”[61]

Dury put Cromwell in touch with Menasseh, who wrote a letter Cromwell and the Rump Parliament, saying, “[T]he opinions of many Christians and mine do concur herein, that we both believe that the restoring time of our Nation into their native country is very near at hand.”[62] Lord Alfred Douglas, who edited Plain English, in an article of September 3, 1921, explained how his friend L.D. Van Valckert of Amsterdam had come into possession of a missing volume of records of the Synagogue of Muljeim, which contained records of letters written to, and answered by the Directors of the Synagogue. A letter written to the Directors of the Synagogue of Muljeim, dated June 16th, 1647, had stated: “From O.C. [Olivier Cromwell] to Ebenezer Pratt: In return for financial support will advocate admission of Jews to England. This however impossible while Charles living. Charles cannot be executed without trial, adequate grounds for which do not at present exist. Therefore advise that Charles be assassinated, but will have nothing to do with arrangements for procuring an assassin, though willing to help in his escape.” On July 12th, 1647, Ebenezer Pratt replied, “Will grant financial aid as soon as Charles removed, and Jews admitted. Assassination too dangerous. Charles should be given an opportunity to escape. His recapture will then make trial and execution possible. The support will be liberal, but useless to discuss terms until trial commences.”[63]

The Execution of Charles I of England

The Execution of Charles I of England

Eventually King Charles surrendered and finally, in 1649, he was tried and beheaded. With no king to consider, Parliament established an interim period of Commonwealth. In 1653, Oliver Cromwell terminated both his Parliament and the Commonwealth and, appointing himself Lord Protector, ruled by military force alone. Parliament established an interim period of Commonwealth. In 1653, Cromwell terminated both his Parliament and the Commonwealth, and appointed himself Lord Protector.

In 1654, as soon as Cromwell’s rule was settled, Dury set out again on his travels, as the Protector’s special envoy to the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. From Amsterdam, Dury wrote to Cromwell to warm him of Menasseh’s impending visit. Menasseh came to England in September 1655 with three other local rabbis, where they were lodged as guests of Cromwell. Manasseh immediately printed his “Humble Addresses to the Lord Protector,” the result being a national conference held at Whitehall in December, 1655. Cromwell summoned the most notable statesmen, lawyers, and theologians of the day to the Whitehall Conference in December. Serrarius was also in contact with another acquaintance of Menasseh, Henry Jessey, a founding member of the Puritan religious sect, who worked behind the scenes of the Whitehall Conference. The chief result was the declaration that “there was no law which forbade the Jews’ return to England.” Menasseh ben Israel stayed in England for close to two years after the Whitehall Conference. Though he had not succeeded in obtaining formal permission for the resettlement of the Jews in England, he had helped support the position that there was nothing in English law against the readmission.

Saturn’s Jews

Witches’ Sabbath by Goya (1797-98)

Witches’ Sabbath by Goya (1797-98)

As Jacob Barnai has shown, among the more avid readers of Menasseh ben Israel’s Hope of Israel, were none other than Sabbatai Zevi and his followers.[64] Sabbatai’s name literally meant the planet Saturn, and in Jewish tradition “The reign of Sabbatai” (The highest planet) was often linked to the advent of the Messiah, a connection which was advanced by him and his followers.[65] That the coming of the Messiah will have a special relationship with Saturn, claims Moshe Idel in Saturn’s Jews: On the Witches’ Sabbat and Sabbateanism, is one of the factors explaining both the character and the success of Zevi’s mission. As noted by Idel, during the witch craze some Christians argued that witchcraft had a Jewish origin, and connected the witches’ Sabbat with the Jewish holy day, the Sabbath, both of which started on a Friday. Both Hellenistic and Arab astrologers believed that the planet of the Jews was Saturn, which was associated with the dark arts and witchcraft, and numerous Jewish Kabbalists also associated Saturn with Israel.

In addition to Satan, Lucifer, Abbaton, Asmodeus and Tryphon, Sabbathai was among one of the many ancient names of the devil.[66] Elliot Wolfson agrees with David J. Halperin that many Sabbatean documents clearly refer to Zevi as the manifestation of the Kabbalistic Metatron in the earthly realm.[67] The Zohar mentions that Metatron has the same numerical value as God’s name, Shaddai. Therefore, if Metatron is linked to divinity, and Zevi is identified with Metatron, Zevi has divine authority over the law. Halperin further elab­orates that Zevi embodied not only the divine aspect of the Metatron myth, but also the evil aspect, which revealed itself fully in his wilful acts prior to his apostasy and helped to explain the rea­son for his conversion to Islam.[68]

Composition of scenes from the rise and fall of Sabbatai Zevi: claims to be the Messiah; enthroned by his followers; Ottoman soldiers arrest Sabbatai Zevi in the Dardanelles (J. Chr. Wagner, Delineatio Provinciarum Pannoniae et Imperii Turcici in Or…

Composition of scenes from the rise and fall of Sabbatai Zevi: claims to be the Messiah; enthroned by his followers; Ottoman soldiers arrest Sabbatai Zevi in the Dardanelles (J. Chr. Wagner, Delineatio Provinciarum Pannoniae et Imperii Turcici in Oriente, Augsburg, 1684)

Sabbatai Zevi (1626 – 1676)

Sabbatai Zevi (1626 – 1676)

According to Matt Goldish, the group that contributed more than any other to the development of the subversive nature of Sabbateanism were the Conversos, the descendants of Marranos.[69] According to Gershom Scholem, their experience as Conversos in living under the cover of a different faith predisposed Sabbatai’s followers to easily rationalize their collective apostacy.[70] The complex relationship between the Marranos and Sabbatai has been discussed at length by scholars such as Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Gershom Scholem and Jacob Barnai. The Conversos, who came primarily from Portugal, settled in Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire, and openly returned to Judaism. Generations of practicing their true faith in secret behind a mantle of devout Catholicism gave rise to a psychology of duplicity. After converting back to Judaism, some of the Conversos retained a number of Christian influences, creating a system of beliefs that drew on Catholic interpretations of the Bible, especially regarding the arrival of the messiah. The contradictory combination of profound hatred for the Inquisition attended with a Catholic loathing for Talmud resulted in a hatred of the rabbinical establishment. Together with a determination to justify the weakness of their ancestors who had converted, this hatred of the rabbinical establishment generated the belief among the Conversos that the messiah would be an apostate Jew.[71]

Sabbatai Zevi was born in 1626, supposedly on Tisha B’Av, in Smyrna, in Ottoman Greece, which along with Salonika (Thessaloniki), whose population was majority Jewish, became the major centers for Conversos, Marranos who converted back to Judaism, after Amsterdam and the Italian cities. The Jewish population in Greece is the oldest in mainland Europe, being composed of the ancient Greek-speaking Romaniote community. When Saint Paul came to the Thessalonians, he preached in the area of what today is called Upper City. Later, during the Ottoman period, with the coming of Sephardic Jews from the Spanish Inquisition, the community of Salonika became mostly Sephardic. Salonika became the largest center in Europe of the Sephardic Jews, who nicknamed the city la madre de Israel (“Israel’s mother”) and “Jerusalem of the Balkans.”[72]

Although as a child Zevi was enrolled in a Yeshiva to study the Talmud, he was fascinated by mysticism and the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria. When he was about twenty years of age, Sabbatai would sink alternately into deep depression or become filled with ecstasy during which he would break Judaic laws, like eating non-kosher food, speak the forbidden name of God and commit other “holy sins.” In 1648, at age 22, Sabbatai started declaring to his followers in Smyrna that he was the Messiah, and chose Thessaloniki, at that time a center of Kabbalists, as his center of operations.

Zevi was educat­ed as a youth not only in Talmud but also in Kabbalistic works, and therefore had been acquainted with and influenced by their underlying antinomian tendencies.[73]  Zevi was particularly interested in the practical Kabbalah and its asceticism, whereby its devotees claimed to be able to communicate with God and the angels, to predict the future, and to perform various miracles. Commenting on the opinion of Gershom Scholem, David Biale suggests that Jewish mysticism had appropriated and transformed Gnostic ideas into an acceptable orthodoxy, but that the underlying antinomian and nihilistic tendencies came to full development in the Sabbatean movement.[74] Sabbatai Zevi’s Messianic pretensions finally led the Rabbis to place him and his followers under a ban of cherem, a type of excommunication in Judaism.

Zevi arranged to fulfill an interpretation of the prophecy of the Messiah whereby he was destined to marry an unchaste woman. During the Chmielnicki massacres in Poland, a Jewish orphan girl named Sarah, about six years old, was found by Christians and sent to a convent. After ten years, through some miracle, she escaped, and made her way to Amsterdam. She eventually went to Livorno where, according to some reports, she led a life of prostitution. She also conceived the notion that she was to become the bride of the Messiah, who was soon to appear. When the report of Sarah’s adventures reached Sabbatai, he claimed that such a consort had been promised to him in a dream, in fulfillment of prophecy. He reportedly sent messengers to Livorno to bring Sarah to him, and they were married. Through her, a new romantic and licentious element entered Sabbatai’s teachings.

An imaginary description of Nathan of Gaza leading the Tribes of Israel from Exile to the Holy Land, after he crowned Sabbatai Zevi and the city of Mecca was conquered by the lost tribes. The head of the army was Joshua Elkam (From a broadsheet, Ger…

An imaginary description of Nathan of Gaza leading the Tribes of Israel from Exile to the Holy Land, after he crowned Sabbatai Zevi and the city of Mecca was conquered by the lost tribes. The head of the army was Joshua Elkam (From a broadsheet, Germany, 1666, The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)

Passing through the city of Gaza, where there lived an important Jewish community, Sabbatai met Nathan of Gaza, who professed to be the risen Elijah. In 1665, Nathan announced that the Messianic age was to begin in the following year. In 1665, Nathan, who was chiefly responsible for advancing Zevi’s popularity, announced that the Messianic age was to begin in the following year. Scholem contended that the secret of Zevi’s popularity was due to Nathan’s explanation of Zevi’s turbulent mental state as the expression of the universal drama of shattering and repair, exile and redemption, as taught by Isaac Luria.[75]

At the beginning of the year 1666, Sabbatai left Smyrna for Constantinople to fulfill Nathan’s prophecy that he would place the Sultan’s crown on his own head. After his proclamation in Ottoman Thessaloniki, it was believed that Zevi would march on Constantinople and take away the rule of the Ottoman Sultan and establish his own kingdom. Zevi spread this announcement widely, together with many additional details to the effect that the world would be conquered by him without bloodshed; and that the Messiah would then lead back the Ten Lost Tribes to the Holy Land.

Sabbatai claimed that since he, a messiah, arrived, the laws of the Torah were no longer applicable. His new prayer was, “Praised be He who permits the forbidden.” Sabbatai abolished the laws concerning sexual relationships, and eventually declared that all of the thirty-six major biblical sins were now permitted and, much like the Gnostics before him, instructed some of his followers that it was their duty to perform such sins in order to hasten the Redemption. Nathan helped explain Sabbatai’s sinning by suggesting that, from the beginning of time, the soul of the Messiah was held captive in the realm of darkness. The Messiah must therefore descend into sin to pull his soul from the darkness that holds him captive. Sabbatai spread this announcement widely, together with many additional details to the effect that the world would be conquered by him and Elijah, without bloodshed; that the Messiah would then lead back the Ten Lost Tribes to the Holy Land, “riding on a lion with a seven-headed dragon in its jaws.” These types of messianic claims were then widely circulated and believed.

Nathan of Gaza composed a document entitled “Treatise on Dragons” which stressed the notion of a “New Law” in which the old positive and negative commandments of the Torah were eliminated. Nathan followed Luria’s idea that when the first divine light pierced into the void that God had withdrawn from to make space for his creation, a kind of cosmic accident took place. When the light began to fill the fifth Sephira of Geburah it was too strong and broke the cosmic vessel. The shells of the shattered vessel, which included the soul of the messiah dropped into the dark abyss. Thus, Nathan refers to the messiah’s soul as the Holy Dragon, the true King-Pharaoh, as the Hebrew word for snake (nachash) has the same numeric value in gematria as the term messiah.

The Sabbateans, explained Gershom Scholem, formulated a “mystery of the Godhead” which “was founded entirely on a new formulation of this ancient gnostic paradox.”[76] For example, the Sabbatean prophet Abraham Miguel Cardoso (1627 – 1706) argued that all nations and religious philosophers had been able to acknowledge the existence of a First Cause underlying all existence. However, the Torah does not dwell on the Hidden Principle, whose existence can be easily comprehended by the intellect, but speaks only of the God of Israel, who is the creator of the world and the first emanation to proceed from the First Cause. This God, in turn, has two aspects, or “countenances” (partzufim), one male and one female, known as the Shekhinah” In the course of the confusion brought about by the Exile, this mystery was forgotten and the Jewish People who mistakenly identified the First Cause with the personal God of the Bible, a spiritual error for which Saadia Gaon, Maimonides, and the other philosophers should be held accountable. However, God of Israel will reveal Himself again at the end of Exile.[77]

Accounts of Zevi’s activities were exaggerated and spread among Jews in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Sabbatai contributed to the spread of the belief in his messiahship by his travels through communities in Palestine, Turkey, the Balkans, and Egypt, but he did not travel outside the Ottoman Empire or to Europe. Sabbatai and Nathan nevertheless sent delegates to a number of communities, and letters from Palestine took only ten to twenty days to arrive in Turkey or Italy. The messianic fervor therefore spread far beyond their area of activity, first to many communities in the Islamic world and then, in the last months of 1665, to communities in Europe. In 1666, many Jewish communities were greatly enthusiastic by letters and rumors of miracles and apocalyptic events that were believed to precede an imminent return to the Holy Land and redemption. For example, it was said, “In the north of Scotland a ship had appeared with silken sails and ropes, manned by sailors who spoke Hebrew. The flag bore the inscription ‘The Twelve Tribes of Israel’.”[78]

His popularity grew as people of other religions repeated his story as well. The Messianic movement spread to Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands and the Jews of Hamburg and Amsterdam heard about the events in Smyrna from Christians. Menasseh’s co-conspirator Queen Christina of Sweden became so fascinated with the claims of Sabbatai Zevi that she nearly became a disciple. In late 1665, Christina, who abdicated her throne in Sweden, converted to Catholicism and had moved to Rome, went to see her Jewish banker, Diego Teixeira, in Hamburg, and she arrived just as the news of Sabbatai Zevi’s announcement reached the Jews of Hamburg. She danced in the streets of Hamburg with Jewish friends in anticipation of the apocalyptic event.[79]

Sabbatai’s followers included many prominent rabbis, such as Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, Moses Raphael de Aguilar, as well as Moses Galante (1621 – 1689), Moses Zacuto (c. 1625 – 1697), and Chaim Benveniste (1603 – 1673). Benveniste, a member of the illustrious family who were originally dubbed “de la Cavalleria” by the Templars, was a prominent rabbinic authority in seventeenth century Turkey. Galante, the grandson of Moshe Galante, a seventeenth-century rabbi at Jerusalem, served as the first Rishon LeZion of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

The Portuguese Synagogue, also known as the Esnoga, or Snoge, in Amsterdam, completed in 1675.

The Portuguese Synagogue, also known as the Esnoga, or Snoge, in Amsterdam, completed in 1675.

A prominent member of Sabbatai Zevi’s followers in Amsterdam was the very wealthy Abraham Pereyra, who was for many years the president of the Portuguese Jewish Community in Amsterdam.[80] According to Scholem, circa 1674, Zevi’s followers in Amsterdam “used to meet in the house of their leader, Emanuel Benattar, the hazzan of the Portuguese Synagogue, and seem to have been unmolested by the Jewish authorities, possibly because they had the very pious and very wealthy Abraham Pereyra.”[81] Moses Raphael de Aguilar eventually returned to Amsterdam, where he succeeded Menasseh ben Israel as head of the Ets Haim seminary, founded by the Peyrera brothers, and became an adherents of Sabbetai Zevi.[82] When Menasseh ben Israel went to England in 1656, Aboab da Fonseca was in charge of the Rabbinate, and in 1660 he also became head the Talmud Torah. Aboab who had become an ardent follower of Shabbatai Zevi was one of the signatories on the letter of praise to Zevi. In 1671, Aboab initiated the plans for the building of the Great Synagogue, which was inaugurated in 1675.

Almost the entire Jewish community of Amsterdam had become followers of Sabbatai Zevi, having been kept informed of the progress of Sabbatai’s mission through Peter Serrarius. In 1662, Serrarius published a treatise on the conjunction of the seven planets in the sign of Saggitarius. Serrarius wrote there had been seven great conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter which foretold the most important events on earth. The first preceded Adam’s fall, the second foretold the coming of the anarchy of Enoch’s time, the third announced Noah’s Flood, the fourth preceded Moses leading the Children of Isreal out of Egypt, and the last three foretold the captivity of the Lost Tribes of Israel in Assyria, the birth of Christ and the rise of the empire of Charlemagne. The eighth conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, to occur in 1662, according to Serrarius, prodded the greatest event of all: the establishment of the millennium. Christ would gather the dispersed Jews, abolish the man of Sin, and create his kingdom of Earth.[83]

In 1664, Serrarius rushed into a synagogue after the appearance of a comet and he birth of a two-headed cow, and he and the rabbis performed gematria and concluded that the Messiah would arrive in 1666.[84] As soon as news reached Amsterdam about Sabbatai Zevi, Serrarius was publishing pamphlets in English and Dutch telling everyone about the signs of the messianic era, and that the King of the Jews had arrived.[85] Serrarius became a devoted believer in Zevi, even accepting his conversion to Islam, and died in 1669 on his way to Turkey to meet with him.[86] Serrarius was able to convince both John Dury and Comenius of Zevi’s messiahship.[87] Dury, who had been working for twenty-five years for the conversion of the Jews as a precondition for the Second Coming, spent much time trying to figure out where Zevi fit in the expected Christian scenario about the “end of days.” Dury offered the interpretation that God was rewarding the Jews by having their messianic moment occur, and punishing Christians because they were not “pure” enough.[88]

Dönmeh

Sabbatai Zevi as a prisoner of the Ottoman Sultan

Sabbatai Zevi as a prisoner of the Ottoman Sultan

However, when news of Zevi’s ambitions reached the Sultan, he was arrested and placed in jail. Although legend has it that Zevi was “forced” to convert to Islam in late September, it was instead the sultan’s physician, a former Jew, who advised him to do so.[89] Viewing Zevi’s apostasy as a sacred mystery, some of Zevi’s followers in Ottoman Turkey imitated his conversion to Islam, and came to be known as Dönmeh, from a Turkish word meaning “convert.” They practiced Islam outwardly, though secretly keeping to their Kabbalistic belief, which through the influence of Sufism, included the violation of kosher/halal, sexual license, ecstatic singing, mystical interpretations of sacred scripture, and the practice of ritual meals. There was also an openness to all the monotheistic faiths, viewing all of them as one.[90] According to Pawel Maciejko, “the Dönmeh’s brand of Sabbateanism acquired a very pronounced antinomian tendency, whereby ritual violations of the principles and the rites of Jewish religion became a significant part of religious practice.”[91]

Jacob Querido, son of Joseph Filosof, and brother of Sabbatai’s fourth wife, became the head of the Dönmeh in Thessaloniki, being regarded by them as the incarnation of Sabbatai. He pretended to be Sabbatai’s son and adopted the name Jacob Zebi. With 400 followers, he converted to Islam about 1687 and made the pilgrimage to Mecca (c. 1690). After his death, his son Berechiah or Berokia succeeded him (c. 1695 – 1740), and was likewise regarded as Messiah and successor of Sabbatai. A number of Sabbatai’s followers declared themselves messiahs. Abraham Miguel Cardoso, born in Spain of Marano parents, may have been initiated into the Sabbatean movement by Moses Pinheiro in Livorno. Cardoso became a prophet of the Messiah, and when he embraced Islam he justified his apostasy by saying that it was necessary for the Messiah to be reckoned among the sinners in order to atone for Israel’s idolatry.[92]

The Dönmeh were known to hold an orgiastic celebration, known as “the Festival of the Lamb,” on the twenty-second day of the Hebrew month of Adar, at the supposed occurrence of the spring equinox. According to the Sabbatean tradition, the spring equinox represents the beginning of the New Year and the creation of the world. Only married couples were permitted to attend, where the meat of the lamb was eaten for the first time in the year. The dinner is accompanied by songs, hymns, prayers, and drinking. The celebration included a rite called “the extinguishing of the lights,” when the lights were turned out and the couples would swap wives. Children who were conceived on such evenings were believed to be holy and would-be messiahs.  According to Gershom Scholem, the rite probably derived from Izmir, as both its name and its elements were borrowed from the ancient pagan cult of Magna Mater, which flourished in antiquity and continued to be practiced by a small sect of “Light Extinguishers” in Asia Minor under the guise of Islam.[93]

The Dönmeh maintained associations with a number of Muslim Sufi orders. This is largely based on the contention that Zevi’s exile into the Balkans brought him into close contact with several forms of heterodox Sufism in the region. Salonika was also known for its Sufis, like the followers of the path of Mevlana, Jalal ad-Din Rumi, known as the Mevlevi, made famous for their Whirling Dervishes. The Dönmeh became actively involved with the Mevlevi. Sabbatai Zevi incorporated both Jewish tradition and Sufism into his theosophy and, in particular, was to have been initiated into the Bektashi Sufi order, from which, according to Stephen Schwartz, he adopted a “millennial, Shia influence.”[94] The Order was founded in the thirteenth century by the Persian saint, Haji Bektash Veli. The Bektashis incorporated Kabbalistic doctrines into their beliefs, which also comprise a syncretism of shamanism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Christianity, and Neoplatonism. They maintain a secret doctrine revealed only to initiates, that involves contempt for Muhammed, the founder of Islam.[95]

[1] Daniel Garber & Michael Ayers. Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, Volume 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 407.

[2] M. Gaster. “Abravanel’s Literary Work,” in Isaac Abravanel: Six Lectures, ed. J.B. Trend and H. Loewe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1937), pp. 69-70.

[3] Stephen Sharot. Comparative Perspectives on Judaisms
and Jewish Identities (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2011), p. 110.

[4] Gershom Scholem. The Messianic Idea in Judaism, p. 204.

[5] Albert Montefiore Hyamson. A History of the Jews in England (1908), p. 182.

[6] John Leddy Phelan. The Millennial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World (University of California Press, 1970), p. 24.

[7] John Leddy Phelan. The Millennial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World (University of California Press, 1970), p. 17.

[8] Kaufmann Kohler & Henry Malter. “Shabbethai Zebi B. Mordecai.” Jewish Encyclopedia (1906).

[9] Roy A. Rosenberg. “The ‘Star of the Messiah’ Reconsidered.” Biblica, Vol. 53, No. 1 (1972), pp. 105.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Eric Lawee. “The Messianism oflsaac Abarbanel, ‘Father of the [Jewish] Messianic Movements of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’.” in Richard H. Popkin. Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought 1650-1800: Clark Library Lectures 1981-1982, Volume I (Brill Academic Publishers, 1997), p. 8.

[12] Cited in Lawee. “The Messianism oflsaac Abarbanel,” p. 8.

[13] Ernestine G.E. van der Wall. “Petrus Serrarius and Menasseh ben Israel,” p. 164.

[14] Åkerman. Rose Cross over the Baltic, p. 45.

[15] Ibid., p. 44.

[16] Ibid., p. 63.

[17] Abraham von Franckenberg. “Gründlicher und warhafter Bericht von dem Leben und Abschied des in Gott selig-ruhenden Jacob Böhmens [c.1651]” in Jakob Böhme, Sämtliche Schriften. Faksimile-Neudruck der Ausgabe von 1730 (Stuttgart: Friedrich Frommanns Verlag, 1961) vol. 10, § 18, p. 15.

[18] Paul Nagel. “Tabula Aurea M. Pauli Nagelii Lips.” Mathematici, Darinnen Er den Andern Theil seiner Philosophiae Novae proponiren vnd fürstellenthut (n.p., 1624)., sig. D1v.

[19] Penman. “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder,” pp. 201-226.

[20] Samuel Butler, Hudibras.

[21] Paul Benbridge, “The Rosicrucian Resurgence at the Court of Cromwell.” The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited, (Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1999) p. 225.

[22] Trevor-Roper. The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, p. 261.

[23] Ibid., p. 234.

[24] J.C. Laursen & R.H. Popkin. “Introduction.” In Millenarianism and Messianism in Early Modern European Culture, Volume IV, ed. J.C. Laursen & R.H. Popkin (Springer Science+Business Media, 2001), p. xvii.

[25] Ernestine G.E. van der Wall. “Petrus Serrarius and Menasseh ben Israel: Christian Millenarianism and Jewish Messianism in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam.” in Yosef Kaplan, Henry Mechoulan and Richard H. Popkin, Menasseh ben Israel and His World (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1989), p. 173.

[26] Richard H. Popkin (ed.) Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought, 1650-1800 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1988) p 6.

[27] Ibid., p. 29.

[28] Christopher Hill. “Till the Conversion of the Jews.” Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought, 1650-1800, p. 13.

[29] Ernestine G.E. van der Wall. “Petrus Serrarius and Menasseh ben Israel: Christian Millenarianism and Jewish Messianism in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam.” in Yosef Kaplan, Henry Mechoulan and Richard H. Popkin, Menasseh ben Israel and His World (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1989), p. 173.

[30] Yirmiyahu Yovel. The Other Within: The Marranos: Split Identity and Emerging Modernity (Princeton University Press, 2009), p. 219.

[31] John Reville. “Antonio Vieira.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912). Retrieved from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15415d.htm

[32] Edward Gelles. The Jewish Journey: A Passage through European History (The Radcliffe Press, 2016), p. 154.

[33] A. J. Saraiva. “ANTONIO VIEIRA MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL ET LE CINQUIEME EMPIRE.” Studia Rosenthaliana 6, no. 1 (1972), p. 25.

[34] Cited in Adama Muhana. “António Vieira: A Jesuit Missionary to the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam.” Journal of Jesuit Studies, 8, 2 (2021), pp. 233-240.

[35] Adama Muhana. “António Vieira: A Jesuit Missionary to the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam.” Journal of Jesuit Studies, 8, 2 (2021), pp. 233-249.

[36] Richard Henry Popkin. Isaac La Peyrère (1596-1676): His Life, Work, and Influence, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987), p. 97.

[37] Koenraad Wolter Swart. The miracle of the Dutch Republic as seen in the seventeenth century (London: H.K.Lewis & Co Ltd., 1969).

[38] Isaac Broydé & Richard Gottheil. “Kalonymus ben Todros.” Jewish Encyclopedia.

[39] Norman A. Stillman. Sephardi Religious Responses to Modernity (London, Routledge, 1995), p. 104.

[40] Graetz. History of the Jews (Eng. trans.), vol. iv. chs. xvi.- xvii.; Jewish Encyclopedia, ix. 172. (I. A.)

[41] Edward Kritzler. Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean (Anchor, 2009). p. 81.

[42] Ibid. p. 81.

[43] Ibid., p. 86.

[44] C. Oman. The Winter Queen (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1938), ch. 50; cited in Graham Phillips. Merlin and the Discovery of Avalon in the New World (p. 169) (Inner Traditions/Bear & Company). Kindle Edition.

[45] Kritzler. Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, p. 10.

[46] Ibid., p. 87.

[47] “William Craven, earl of Craven.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Craven-Earl-of-Craven

[48] Kritzler. Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, p. 88-91.

[49] Popkin. Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought, 1650-1800, p. 29.

[50] Natalie Zemon Davis. “Regaining Jerusalem: Eschatology and Slavery in Jewish Colonization in Seventeeth-Century Suriname.” The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, 3,1 (January 2016), p. 15.

[51] Steven Nadler. Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (Yale University Press, 2018), p. 120.

[52] Zemon Davis. “Regaining Jerusalem.”

[53] Herbert I. Bloom. The Economic Activities of Jews of Amsterdam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (The Bayard Press, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 1937), pp 38-39.

[54] Cecil Roth. A Life of Manasseh Ben Israel, Rabbi, Printer, and Diplomat (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1934); Gershom Scholem. Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah: 1626-1676 (London: Routledge Kegan Paul: 1973; American Edition: Princeton: Princeton University Press: 1973), p. 893; see also p. 755.

[55] Zemon Davis. “Regaining Jerusalem.”

[56] Daniel Garber & Michael Ayers. Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, Volume 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 407.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Ernestine G. E. Van Der Wall. “AN AWAKENING WARNING TO THE WOFULL WORLD (1662): Millenarianism and Astrology in Petrus Serrarius.” Nederlands Archief Voor Kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History, 64, no. 2 (1984), p. 200.

[59] “Manasseh ben Israel.” Jewish Encyclopedia; Moses Rosen. “The Recipe” (published as epilogue to The Face of Survival, 1987); Nathan Ausubel. Pictorial History of the Jewish People, (Crown, 1953).

[60] Steven Nadler. Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (Yale University Press, 2018), p. 130.

[61] Menasseh to Dury, 23 December 1649, in Wolf, Menasseh ben Israel’s Mission, p. Ixxviii.

[62] Ibid., p. 262; Kaufmann Kohler & Henry Malter. “Shabbethai Zebi B. Mordecai,” Jewish Encyclopedia (refers to Grätz, “Gesch.” x., note 3, pp. xxix. et seq.

[63] Lord Alfred Douglas. Plain English, North British Publishing Co. (Sept. 3rd 1921).

[64] Cengiz Sisman. The Burden of Silence: Sabbatai Sevi and the Evolution of the Ottoman-Turkish Dönmes (Oxford University Press, 2015) p. 74.

[65] Pawel Maciejko. The mixed multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist movement, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), p. 45.

[66] Robert Luehrs, Gerry R.Cox, Ronald J. Fundis & Russell, Jeffrey Burton. “Devils, Witches, Pagans and Vampires: Studies in theMagical World View (Dr. Caligari’s Carnival of Shadows Halloween Festival Fort Hays State University).” Fort Hays Studies Series, 29 (1985), p. 16.

[67] Elliot R. Wolfson, “The Engenderment of Messianic Politics,” in Towards the Millennium, 218; cited in Deborah Pardo-Kaplan. “Tracing The Antinomian Trajectory Within Sabbatean Messianism.” Kesher A Journal of Messianic Judaism (Issue 18 – Winter 2005).

[68] Pardo-Kaplan. “Tracing The Antinomian Trajectory Within Sabbatean Messianism.”

[69] Mor Altshuler. “Sabbatean Subversion.” Review of “The Sabbatean Prophets” by Matt Goldish, (Harvard University Press 2004).

[70] Gershom Scholem. The Messianic Idea in Judaism, p. 221.

[71] Mor Altshuler. “Sabbatean Subversion.” Review of “The Sabbatean Prophets” by Matt Goldish, (Harvard University Press 2004)..

[72] Dennis Abrams. Nicolas Sarkozy (Modern World Leaders), Chelsea House Publishers, 2009, p. 26, Library Binding edition.

[73] Deborah Pardo-Kaplan. “Tracing The Antinomian Trajectory Within Sabbatean Messianism.”

[74] Marc Saperstein. Essential Papers on Messianic Movements and Personalities in Jewish History (New York: NYU Press, 1992), p. 521; cited in Deborah Pardo-Kaplan. “Tracing The Antinomian Trajectory Within Sabbatean Messianism.”

[75] Mor Altshuler. “Sabbatean Subversion.”

[76] Gershom Scholem. The Messianic Idea in Judaism, p. 240.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Harry Charles Lukach. The City of Dancing Dervishes and Other Sketches and Studies from the Near East (London: Macmillan and Company, 1914). pp. 189–190.

[79] Popkin. Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought 1650-1800, p. 93.

[80] Meyer Kayserling. Biblioteca Española-Portugueza-Judaica (Dictionnaire Bibliographique, Strasbourg, 1890), p. 87.

[81] Gershom Scholem. Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah: 1626-1676 (London: Routledge Kegan Paul: 1973), p. 893.

[82] Meyer Kayserling. “AGUILAR (AGUYLAR), MOSES RAPHAELDE.” Jewish Encyclopedia.

[83] Van Der Wall. “AN AWAKENING WARNING TO THE WOFULL WORLD,” p. 76.

[84] Popkin. Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought 1650-1800, p. 92.

[85] Daniel Frank. History of Jewish Philosophy (London: Routledge, 1997) p. 607.

[86] Richard H. Popkin. “Three English Tellings of the Sabbatai Zevi Story.” Jewish History, Vol. 8, No. 1/2, The Robert Cohen Memorial Volume (1994), p. 43.

[87] Mark Greengrass, Michael Leslie & Timothy Raylor, editors. Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation: Studies in Intellectual Communication (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) p. 134.

[88] Popkin. Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought 1650-1800, p. 92.

[89] Ibid.

[90] M. Avrum Ehrlich. “Sabbatean Messianism as Proto Secularism.” Jewish Encounters (Haarlem, 2001).

[91] Maciejko. The Mixed Multitude, p. 13.

[92] “Pseudo-Messiahs.” Jewish Encyclopedia.

[93] Scholem. The Messianic Idea in Judaism, p. 258.

[94] M. Avrum Ehrlich. “Sabbatean Messianism as Proto Secularism.” Jewish Encounters, (Haarlem, 2001)..

[95] H. Brailsford. Macedonia: Its Races and Their Future (Methuen & Co., London, 1906) p. 244.


Attributions: https://ordoabchao.ca/volume-two/1666

Categories 1666/Holy land/humansacrifice/Israel/Jesuits/Jewish/Jews/Sabatei Zevi

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