Your Garage botysf16 Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it CaseLangVeirs Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer WienerDog WienerDog WienerDog  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis Segway miniPro
Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb scholarly historical account, September 5, 2009
This review is from: The Lost Messiah (Paperback)
As a Jew, I had heard of the Shabbati Sevi (a.k.a. "Tzvi") story, most of which was told as if the writer was spitting a curse over their shoulders. The "False Messiah" and how much of a total disaster he left in his wake. I had heard but most of these stories were bitterly written and spoken of and I had very little hard facts to sift through. I had not read Gershom Scholem's works, which are cited repeatedly by Freely; Scholem provided quite a bit of information it seems on Shabbati's life. I had actually read a few lines that peaked my interest in Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's monumental book "Meditation and Kabbalah", a book I treasure. Kaplan's take was that Shabbati had dabbled in very high and very dangerous Kabbalistic techniques and that he was obviously transformed by his experiences. So, I wanted more....I noticed that my dad had Freely's book on hand and so I borrowed it, read it and here are my views.

Clearly S.S. (Shabbati Sevi) was gifted but also prone to mental imbalances from an early age. He was also a seeker of experiences far from the normal, mundane sort that was reached by your average observant Jew, whether in Turkey or anywhere else. Having been exposed to teachers and Kabbalistic texts at an early age, having found an experiential facility with spiritual realms, S.S. was the perfect candidate for entering the dangerous realms that traditional Jews around the world have always said lies waiting for those who would dabble in the esoteric for the wrong reasons or even for the right reasons. Kabbalah has been framed as the mystical hence (largely) unknown avenue to the spiritual life. However, S.S. came upon the world shortly after the lifetime of the very great and influential lives of the Kabbalists of S'phat, in Israel. I refer now to the Ari and his students and colleagues. S.S. lived at a time when more of the mystical texts were surfacing for Jews to learn from. And learn he did and grow and ascend and perhaps stumble.

While it is tempting to judge S.S. by the results of what is known, I will only say that his life is ultra strange. That he, in his states of ecstatic illumination (Freely calls it) was capable on many occasions to deeply impress others with his aura, cannot be cast aside just because his critics say he was deranged. I am reminded of the Talmudic saying that stated that when Prophecy was banished from the world, the Lord hid it in the mouths of children and madmen. Think on this before you decide that S.S. was this or that. What is clear from Freely's wonderful story is that S.S. most certainly attained extraordinary high levels of "connection" to realms of spirituality and that in these realms he returned to his normative states a totally transformed person. That these experiences led him to believe that he had been chosen the Redeemer is clear. What we do not know is what he really truly experienced and what we too would have made of such an experience. How we can account for his erratic, some would say mentally sick behaviour, is difficult to pin down. A sad story for the Jewish people who so much longed for the promised redeemer and who still do. Who knows....there are so many things that go unknown......An excellent and sometimes disturbing book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

4.7 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)


3 star
0%

2 star
0%

1 star
0%

$2.32
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 86,223