A Sabbathaian Will from New York

The late Elkan Adler was especially interested in previously unobserved and undetected by-paths of Jewish life and history. I may, therefore, be permitted to pay my homage to his memory by strolling a little into one of these by-paths, namely, the sect of the Sabbathaians or followers of Sabbathai Zewi which flourished in a number of Jewish communities until the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The document which I present in the following pages is a rather peculiar one and it is doubtful whether any other of its kind has been written or at any rate if written, has been preserved. This is the last will of Gottlieb Wehle, a member of the Sabbathaian sect in Prague, who later (1849) settled in America as a member of a group of Sabbathaian families about whose emigration we have the monograph of Miss Josephine C. Goldmark : ” Pilgrims of ’48 …

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Written by

Gershom Scholem

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