The Controversial False Messiah

THE STORMY LIFE OF SHABBETAI TZVI: The Controversial False Messiah – with Rabbi Michael Skobac

In this video, Rabbi Michael Skobac explores one of the most intriguing and controversial episodes in Jewish history.

In the middle of the 17th century, Shabbetai Tzvi came to see himself as the Messiah. The initial reaction by most people in his native Turkey didn't take him seriously. But after meeting up with a brilliant sidekick and promoter, his fortune changed and word quickly spread about him throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Incredibly, a movement of Jews accepting his Messianic claims quickly grew. He ultimately returned to Turkey and after being imprisoned, was given the choice to either convert to Islam or face death. Shabbatai Tzvi donned the turban and embraced Islam.

This video lecture looks at the profound crisis that faced his followers and how many of them somehow continued to believe he was the Messiah even after his apostasy.