Text topic: Media Interpretations
- Sabbatai Zevi
Text author: Nikola Zečević
The main objective of this paper is to analyze historical sources and records, articles and books regarding Sabbatai Zevi’s life – a Sephardic Rabbi born in Smyrna (present-day Turkey) to a family of Romaniote Jews from Patras, and (more precisely) his political and social activities in the Balkans, in Thessaloniki (present-day Greece) and Ulcinj (present-day Montenegro). The analytical focus of this paper is directed at the description of Zevi’s activities in Thessaloniki (1651-1658), and the circumstances of forming a local crypto-Jewish group Dönmeh and their cultural legacy. Particularly interesting are the last three years of his life in Ulcinj, where he was banished in 1673 by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed IV. Sabbatai Zevi died in Ulcinj in 1676, where he was likely buried. The aim of the paper is to additionally explain all religious and dogmatic dichotomies and denominations within the Dönmeh community and the reasons for their emergence.