> Day in Jewish History

Elul 21

May 31, 2009 | by

Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschutz (1690-1764), a great rabbinic commentator. A child prodigy, he headed the yeshiva of Prague at age 21. Eibeschutz was also a kabbalist, and he wrote amulets for Jews who valued their mystical powers. Unfortunately, the Jewish people was just recovering from the tragic era of Shabbetai Tzvi, a false Messiah who wreaked havoc in the Jewish world. Thus, Eibeschutz's kabbalistic leanings came under suspicion, and a number of great rabbis including Rabbi Yaakov Emden sharply criticized him. This dispute between two Torah giants was one of the bitter consequences of the Shabbetai Tzvi era, and it even involved the intervention of the King of Denmark. Still, Rabbi Eibeschutz is revered today for his rabbinic writings, including Urim V'tumim, Ya'arot Devash and Kereisi U'pleisi.

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