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Dissident RabbiThe Life of Jacob Sasportas$
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Yaacob Dweck

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183572

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183572.001.0001

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(p.321) Seven Zealot
Dissident Rabbi

Yaacob Dweck

Princeton University Press

This chapter highlights Jacob Emden, who crafted Jacob Sasportas in his own image as a heresy hunter in the middle of the eighteenth century. The transmission of anti-Sabbatian ideas from Jacob Sasportas to Jacob Emden constitutes a crucial period in the formation of the early modern Jewish zealot. As his battle with chief rabbi Jonathan Eibeschütz continued to rage, Emden printed a new edition of Sasportas's Kitzur zizath novel zvi (The Fading Flower of the Zevi). This edition appeared at a particularly fraught time in Emden's life. He turned to Sasportas as a precedent in two of his primary battles: against the Eibeschütz party in Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbek and against the Frankist movement in Poland. To these elective affinities with Sasportas—a common name, a common city, and a common enemy—one can add a few others: an acute sensitivity to the printed word, a pronounced sense of entitlement derived from a combination of lineage and learning, and a peripatetic lifestyle as a result of financial and communal difficulties.

Keywords:   Jacob Emden, Jacob Sasportas, Sabbatianism, Jewish zealot, Jonathan Eibeschütz, Frankist movement, lineage

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