Shabbtai Zvi, Would-Be Messiah

On this date in 1665, Shabbtai Zvi (born 1626), who was widely embraced as the messiah by Jews across Europe and the Middle East, led followers into a synagogue in his hometown of Izmir, Turkey, where rabbinical authorities had threatened him with excommunication. At the synagogue, he ran a heretical Torah service (calling women to […]

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Why Be Anything? Why Be Jewish?

THE JEWISH-UNIVERSALIST DILEMMA by Adam Chalom from the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ONE HUNDRED and thirty years ago, a new language was born. It had regular rules and simple grammar, and could be learned in one tenth the time it takes to learn English. The inventor of Esperanto was a Polish Jewish doctor […]

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