Isaiah Ḥasid from Zbarazh

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ISAIAH ḤASID FROM ZBARAZH (17th–18th centuries), Shabbatean scholar, the son-in-law of *Judah he-Ḥasid. In 1700 Isaiah Ḥasid immigrated to Jerusalem with his father-in-law and his companions. When the kabbalist Abraham *Rovigo arrived in *Jerusalem in 1702 and founded there a bet midrash for ten select members, he took Isaiah Ḥasid's advice as to who should be admitted to it. Isaiah's name occurs among the signatories of a letter sent from Jerusalem to Breslau seeking help for the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem. As a result of falling under the influence of Shabbatean beliefs and performing "strange deeds," he was compelled, apparently before 1706, to leave Jerusalem. Settling in Mannheim, Germany, he installed himself in the Shabbatean bet midrash of the philanthropist Asher Lemmle Regenheim. From there, together with others of the sect, he spread Shabbatean propaganda in the communities of Germany and Poland. He became a follower of the Shabbatean leader Loebele *Prossnitz, who he believed to be the Messiah. In 1725, when Moses Meir Kamenker, the emissary of the Polish Shabbateans, came to Mannheim, he entered into a conspiracy with Isaiah. The two disseminated writings condemning the Talmud and hinting that adherents of the Talmud did not believe in the God of Israel. They even wanted to proclaim Jonathan *Eybeschuetz as the Messiah. When their activity became publicly known the rabbis of Frankfurt excommunicated them, a ban which was also proclaimed in Altona, Amsterdam, Mannheim, and other communities.


I. Rivkind, in: Reshumot, 4 (1926), 318–20; J. Mann, in: Me'assef Ẓiyyon, 6 (1934), 67–68; G. Scholem, in: Zion, 9 (1944), 32; M.A. Perlmutter, Rabbi Yehonatan Eybeschuetz ve-Yaḥaso el ha-Shabbeta'ut (1947), 29, 41–4; M. Benayahu, in: Sefunot, 3–4 (1960), 141, 153, 158, 163–4, 166–7.

[David Tamar]