The article includes a review of developments in research of late Sabbateanism, especially research concerning the 'wondrous charlatan', Jacob Frank. Histories of Frank, and those who joined his movement in various countries until his conversion have long been a subject of great interest for modern historiography and they provide a touchstone for discerning the religious and ethical boundaries of the historians themselves. The first to write critically about Frank came from the Haskalah and had a negative attitude toward him. They saw Frank as the last and necessary chain in the unfolding of Sabbatean heresies. A real change in perspective came about in studies from the beginning of the twentieth century, written with a romantic and nationalistic orientation by authors who found the sparks of nationalism in Sabbatean literature. The studies of Gershom Scholem, Aaron Zeev Eshkoli and others who continued this trend, but who were more nuanced and historically accurate, offered a fuller picture of the phenomenon. Against this background it is possible to better appreciate the publication of the new book by Pawel Maciejko, The Mixed Multitude, which presents the history of late Sabbateanism in very different light and in various ways changes the accepted understanding of its history.
|Translated title of the contribution||Review: Jacob Frank - the 'Wondrous Charlatan'|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||תרביץ: רבעון למדעי היהדות|
|State||Published - 2012|