Online Encyclopedia

JONATHAN EYBESCHUTZ (1690-1764)

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Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 90 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JONATHAN EYBESCHUTZ (1690-1764), German rabbi, was from 1750 rabbi in Altona. He was a man of erudition, but he owed his fame chiefly to his personality. Few men of the period so profoundly impressed their mark on Jewish life. He became specially notorious because of a curious controversy that arose concerning the amulets which Eybeschutz was suspected of issuing. These amulets recognized the Messianic claims of Sabbatai Sebi (q.v.), and a famous rabbinic con-temporary of Eybeschutz, Jacob Emden, boldly accused him of heresy. The controversy was a momentous incident in the Jewish life of the period, and though there is insufficient evidence against Eybeschutz, Emden may be credited with having crushed the lingering belief in Sabbatai current even in some orthodox circles. (I. A.)
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