Nathan Ashkenazi Gnosophia-org

Rabbi Nathan Elisha Ashkenazi as Buẓina Kaddisha of Jewish Messianism

Why did Rabbi Nathan Ashkenazi train Shabbatei Zvi to become the Jewish messiah, while he planned to capture the papacy and become the leader of Christians? Do you know that Pope John Paul II was a descendant of the Wojtyła family and that this family were followers of Jacob Frank who declared himself to be the reincarnation of Shabbatei Zvi?

In Mannheim, a bookseller is arrested on orders from Rabbis who have banned one of the anonymous manuscripts he is selling. The bookseller is Moses Meir Kamenker and the manuscript that he is accused of distributing is oddly titled, And I Will Come to the Eye Today (a translation form the Hebrew transliteration: Va-avo ha-yom el ha-Ayin. An alternative translation is I Came This Day to the Spring). This manuscript stirs hysteria among the rabbis of Germany and Poland who believe that its publication is proof that a secret society seeking their overthrow and abolishing of Talmudic Judaism has established itself within their Jewish communities. One of the most paranoid Rabbis is Moshe Hagiz who blames this secret society for the decline of Rabbinic authority in Europe.

This secret society was expected to have gone extinct after the death of Aisha Zvi and her brother, Yakup Querido. Aisha and Yakup had inherited this society from Aisha’s husband – a man who had laid claim to Jewish messiahship and had gotten over half of the world’s Jewish population to initially recognize him as the Messiah. His claims to being the messiah were primarily based on exegesis of the Kabbalah, and as expected this society venerated the Kabbalah. Another book venerated by this society was Drush HaTananim – or Treatise of The Dragons – which was based on Lurianic Kabbalah, and was written by a man who was regarded as the prophet who introduced this messiah to the Jewish people. It is now clear that this secret society regarded itself as followers of a Jewish messiah, and can thus be described as a messianic secret society.

Another critic of this messianic secret society is Rabbi Zvi Ashkenazi who was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Jacob Emden in trying to stamp out this society from their communities. Rabbi Emden’s task was more difficult than his father’s as he rightly believed – and was later proved correct – that members of this secret society had infiltrated the Rabbinic establishment. Unfortunately for Emden, the chief Rabbi of his hometown of Hamburg was a member of this secret society. His name was Jonoson (or Jonathan) Eybeschutz. What is interesting is that some contemporaneous rabbis suspected that Jonoson Eybeschutz was the real author of the manuscript, And I Will Come to the Eye Today. As expected, Eybeschutz’s ascension to the chief rabbinate post only served to heighten the hysteria that the rabbinate was being destroyed from within by members of a secret society. This ignited a campaign by Talmudic scholars and rabbinical authorities to root out members of this secret messianic society. The quest for this campaign was ideological purity.

An unfortunate victim of this zealous quest for ideological purity was a young Italian philosopher and Kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Haim Luzatto – the author of Mesillat Yesharim and Derekh Hashem, two texts that are now recognized as mainstream works of Orthodox Judaism. Moshe Hagiz – in letters to Italian rabbis – described Luzatto as a renegade apostate and called for Luzatto’s works to be burned. To Hagiz, Luzatto was out to upend Judaism.

Jonathan Eybeschutz Gnosophia org
Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschutz. CREDIT: Wikimedia.

Years earlier, another peculiar Jewish mystic landed in Italy with a mission to upend Christianity. This mystic was described by this messianic secret society as their buẓina kaddisha – the Holy Lamp – because he was the prophet who enlightened the messiah and taught him the secrets of God. The name of this mystic is Nathan ben Elisha Haim haLevi Ashkenazi, and the man he enlightened is none other than Shabbatai Zevi – a man who is now regarded in Orthodox Judaism as the Messianic Imposter. What is interesting is that the Baal Shem Tov – the founder of Hasidic Judaism (which forms the bulk of present-day Orthodox Judaism) – was accused of being a follower of Shabbatai Zevi. The secret messianic society is now described as the Sabbateans.

The Jewish Rabbi Who Planned to Become the Pontiff of Christianity

In March 1668, Rabbi Nathan Ashkenazi landed in Venice and his arrival caused much excitement among the Jews of the city, but the Rabbis were apprehensive. This apprehension had good reasons. Months earlier, Rabbi Ashkenazi held secret conclaves of Sabbaateans and had told them that he was planning to perform a secret ritual that would make the Pope hand over the sovereign pontiff and papacy to him. To make this journey to Rome, Rabbi Ashkenazi was joined by one of his wealthy followers, Moses Cafsuto.

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