Friday, May 14, 2010
Columbus OH and Sabbatianism
I came across the following comment about the Rabbi Jekuthiel Greenwald ztl, who was the rabbi of Beth Jacob in Columbus OH, in the early twentieth century:
Rabbi Jekuthiel Judah (Leopold) Greenwald, a prolific and eclectic scholar, best known for his halakhic work on the laws of mourning, Kol Bo 'al Avelut, after emigrating from his native Sighet, Hungary [This is the same city that Elie Wiesel is from. Now it is part of Romania.] to the United States, served as orthodox rabbi of Columbus, Ohio. One of his many interests over the years was Sabbatianism. He published in Weitzen in 1912 a full-fledged work, Le-korot ha-Shabta'im be-Ungaria (Annals of the Sabbatians in Hungary). In his Sefer ha-Zikhronot (Book of Memoirs), published in Budapest in 1922, Greenwald recalls how as a soldier stationed in the Balkans during World War I, he stumbled on to the grave of Shabbetai Zevi in Albania.
Rabbi Greenwald's son, a Denver advocate, informs me his father's literary estate contained no unpublished papers on the subject of Sabbatianism. Yet perhaps now that the Iron Curtain has been lowered in Eastern Europe, it will once again be possible for an enterprising researcher to have a look at the Sighet city archives. (Bezalel Naor, Post-Sabbatian Sabbatianism: Study of an Underground Movement pg. 107-08.)