An itinerant Sephardic rabbi, Jacob Sasportas (1610-1698), emerged in the middle of the 1660s as the most articulate opponent of the mass messianic movement coalescing around Sabbetai Zevi and his prophet Nathan of Gaza. This talk will focus on a central strand of his criticism, the enthusiasm of the Jewish crowd, and examine the different components of his criticism. A native of Spanish occupied Oran, Sasportas spent the second half of his life in the four major centers of the western Sephardic diaspora: Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, and Livorno.

About the Speaker: YAACOB DWECK is an assistant professor of history and Judaic studies at Princeton University. His first book, The Scandal of Kabbalah, was published by Princeton University Press in 2011.