Messianist Crypto-Jews in the Ottoman Empire

Nov. 16 2015

Shabbetai Tsvi was one of Jewish history’s most notorious false messiahs. After the Ottoman sultan ordered him forcibly converted to Islam in 1666, a number of his followers, who came to be known as the Dönmeh, converted along with him, but clung to their heterodox Jewish faith in secret. Most of them lived either in Salonica or in what is now western Turkey; some have maintained their identity until today. William Armstrong reviews a recent book about their history:

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Read more at Hurriyet

More about: History & Ideas, Messianism, Ottoman Empire, Shabbetai Tzvi

The Knesset Has Resumed Its Business, but Both Sides Have Broken Unwritten Rules

March 27 2020

Yesterday, eleven months of political stalemate in Israel appeared to have come to an end as the sitting prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his main rival, Benny Gantz, agreed to form a unity government together with some of the smaller parties. This development has fractured Gantz’s Blue and White party into its constituent factions. Meanwhile, the resignation of Yuli Edelstein as interim Knesset speaker—a position meant to be occupied for just a few hours, but which he has held for nearly a year—has allowed the Knesset to resume business as usual.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Knesset