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The ‘Abraham Peretz’ / Jonathan Eybshutz connection

If you read part 1 of this series, then you’ll know that I kind of hit a dead end, trying to figure out who the Chief Rabbi of Vilna at the time of the Vilna Gaon really was.

His name was (apparently…) ‘Shmuel ben Avigdor’, and even though the whole kehilla in Vilna was at war with each other for 30 years because of him, and because of his father-in-law (R’ Yehudah ben Eliezer Safra veDayana) – who bought him the Chief Rabbinate as a lifetime position with a big bribe – you just can’t track these people down in the real world.

At least, that’s how it looked yesterday.

But then today, God is showing me that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and that when all the doors are locked tight, sometimes, you can still get in via a window.

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I was going back over a document of information I gathered together a few months ago, entitled ‘Loose Ends’.

It contains a whole bunch of stuff in there about Rivlins and Zeitlins and Brodas, amongst other things. As I read through, I came across this, excerpted from the Kotzk blog HERE, talking about the conversion of the Alter Rebbe’s son, Moshe Schneuri – with a weird connection to our very own Abraham Peretz.

(BTW, that blog post contains a ton of footnoted facts and a discussion of Moshe Schneuri’s conversion from both perspectives, within Chabad and external to Chabad. I highly recommend you take a look at it. Here, I’m just bringing a small snippet, to move our part of the story along:)

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Here is another account [of Moshe Shneuri’s conversion] from the maskil Moshe Berlin of Shklov:

The death of the first zaddik (Schneur Zalman)…sparked debate among the Hasidim regarding the choice of his successor…The eldest, Moshe, had a certain reputation as a scholar, but he was wedded to his desires, behaved immodestly, and did not observe Jewish law strictly. The youngest son, Avraham, although a simple, straight individual, was not a scholar…The middle son, Berke, was also no scholar, and he too was wedded to his desires. 

But being…a talented, and hardworking, preacher he knew how to draw attention and to attract the love of the communal elders by various means, such as flattery, distributing honors, and the like. In order to keep his older brother Moshe from blocking his aspiration to take his father’s place, Berke persecuted and humiliated him as much as he could, driving Moshe to the brink of despair. Consequently, and in order…to embarrass his brother Berke, Moshe converted to Christianity…And Moshe himself, whose conscience was not clear, went insane and died in St. Petersburg.[8]

Chabad historian Yosef Kaminetzky counters such accounts by writing:

During the same period, an embarrassing case of conversion occurred among the opponents of Hassidism: that of Avraham Peretz, the son-in-law of Yehoshua Zeitlin, who lived in the same city as Chabad founder Shneur Zalman. The Chabad leader himself prophesied that Peretz would leave the faith. The opponents of Hassidism had spread the story about Moshe’s supposed conversion to deflect attention from their own shame.

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Doesn’t this strike you as strange?

That apparently no less than the Alter Rebbe would ‘prophesy’ that Abraham Peretz was going to leave the faith, and that Abraham Peretz is being held up by Chabad historians as the real story of the conversion of Moshe Schneuri?

There’s been so many twists and turns in this tale, we still can’t really know how all this is connected. Yet. But, we can say this:

If Abraham Peretz = Moshe Schneuri, then that makes the father of Abraham Peretz the Alter Rebbe.

And as we already covered in a few posts already:

Joshua Zeitlin is listed as the father in law of ‘Reb Alexander Sender’ – apparently one of the Alter Rebbe’s favorite talmidim.

And ‘Alexander Sender’ is meant to be the father of Moshe of Shklov – who we already pinned down as being one and the same as Moshe Schneuri, the Alter Rebbe’s catholic Frankist son.

 That would make Joshua Zeitlin the Alter Rebbe’s father in law.

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I still don’t know which version – if either! – is correct, that Yehoshua Zeitlin is the Alter Rebbe’s father-in-law, or the father-in-law of the Alter Rebbe’s son, but let’s see if we can find some more information about ‘Abraham Peretz’, to try and clarify matters a little more.

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Back on the expanded description about Abraham Peretz under his geni profile HERE, we are told that his father is ‘Rabbi of Levertov, Israel Peretz’.

In the first post, we learned that Abraham’s uncle was none other than ‘Zvi Hirsch Berlin’ aka Hart Lyon, former Chief Rabbi of the UK – a grandchild of the Chacham Tzvi via his mother, Miriam.

So, I start looking through all of ‘Hart Lyon’s’ listed siblings, to see if any of them are either named ‘Israel’, or are married to an ‘Israel Peretz’.

Whaddya know? 

I can’t find a dickie bird – except for THIS weird and misleading profile for ‘the wife of Zvi Hirsh Margoliot, the ABD of Lublin‘, uploaded by none other than Keith Lawrence Hanit.

Whenever I hit dear Keith, I know I’m on the right path.

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Also, Abraham Peretz called his first (and apparently only Jewish son…) ‘Tzvi Hirsch’, and we know that these families usually called their children after their grandparents, which makes ‘Zvi Hirsch Margoliot’ a leading contender for Abraham Peretz’s father.

And lastly, Levertov / Lubartow is close to Lublin, so it wouldn’t stretch things too far to replace one with the other – especially at this far remove in history.

But why go to all this trouble, to hide this information?

What’s the big deal, who Abraham Peretz’s father really is?

Let’s see if we can find out.

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Zvi Hirsch Margoliot is listed as having three children:

  1. Joshua Heshel Margulis of Pietrokov
  2. Jacob Margulis
  3. Isaac Meshulam Zalman Margulis of Pietrokov-Lublin

One of these guys is a candidate for the real ‘Abraham Peretz’.

I start clicking through, and here’s what I learn:

The unnamed wife of Joshua Heshel Margulis is the sister of ‘Zlata Rivka Eybshutz’. 

Zlata is married to Aryeh Menachem Eybshutz – who is the son of Natan Nata Eybshutz.

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(I know all this is hard to follow, sorry. I’m setting all this down as a kind of public record, and hopefully at the end of this process, may it come soon, I’ll be able to link everything up and make it much easier and clearer to understand what is really going on. It’s a very painful and drawn-out birur, I appreciate that.)

Natan Nata Eybshutz is probably one and the same as the famous shtadlan and businessmen in the Russian empire who was a contemporary of Joshua Zeitlin and Abraham Peretz, Natan Nota Notkin.

I wrote a lot about Natan Nota Notkin HERE, and this is a relevant snippet:

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There’s another interesting descendant of Yonatan Eybshutz as well (not including this two sons ‘Wolf’ and Mordechai-Marcus, who were both openly Sabbatian / Frankists.)

He is Natan Nata Eybshutz, named for Eybshutz’s ‘illustrious’ ancestor Natan Nata Spira, the Megulat Amukot.

CO-INC-IDEN-TALLY, one of the most famous ‘Shadlanim’ of that time was a guy named Natan Nota Notkin.

I can find so very little about him online, but here’s where you can read a little more about him:

“A merchant from Shklov, Nota Haimovich Notkin was invited to St. Petersburg together with Abram Perets by Catherine II.”

His life story parallels that of Joshua Zeitlin almost exactly.

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CO-INC-IDEN-TAL-LY, there’s a strange story on the Chabad website which tells us this, about Natan Nata Notkin:

In the year 1798, Rabbi Shneur Zalman was falsely informed upon by his detractors and accused of treason. When he was finally exonerated and released from prison toward the evening of the 19th of Kislev, the authorities asked him where they should bring him.

He replied that they should bring him to the home of Reb Mordechai Liepler, one of his followers. In the same building, there also lived one of the leading mitnagdim (opponents of the chassidim), by the name of R’ Nota Notkin, and unfortunately, Rabbi Shneur Zalman was mistakenly taken to his home instead.

For three hours, until the chassidim realized what happened, he berated, complained and argued against the chassidim, to the extent that Rabbi Schneur Zalman later remarked that he suffered more during those three hours than the entire time he was imprisoned.

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This is strange for a lot of reasons, not least that elsewhere, Nota Notkin is credited for being the man who arranged the release of Shneur Zalman from prison in the first place.

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Here’s another link between ‘Natan Nata Notkin’ (Eybshutz) and the Vilna Gaon / Alter Rebbe:

According to the ‘official history’ of the Gaon’s family, screenshotted below, (which is full of fake names and falsified dates) the Gaon’s son or grandson (?), ‘Shlomo Zalman Rivlin’, marries ‘Natan Nota Notkin’ (Eybshutz’s) daughter, Frumka.

This is the same Natan Nota Notkin who is the shtadlan who gets the ‘Shneur Zalman [unknown surname] aka Alter Rebbe out of Russian prison, and even has him delivered to his own home, according to Chabad’s own sources.

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The dates and details on geni have all been deliberately muddled-up and obfuscated, so it’s hard to pin things down 100%.

Typically, the ‘Keith Lawrence Hanits’ on geni do an excellent job of attributing genealogies to the wrong siblings, and adding in fake generations by replicating names and creating ‘half siblings’ where none existed.

So, I take the ‘story’ being told there with a massive pinch of salt, until and unless I find other sources to corroborate what seems to be the ‘real story’.

According to the geni genealogy, Natan Nata (Notkin) Eybshutz is listed as the son of ‘Yehuda Leib Eybshutz’ – brother of Jonathan Eybshutz, the (not so secret) secret Sabbataean.

But I know from previous research that Jonathan Eybshutz himself had a son called ‘Natan Nata Eybshutz’ – who totally disappeared off the radar, like so very many of Jonathan Eybshutz’s children and grandchildren.

And so far, most of the descendants of Jonathan Eybshutz who I could actually track down in the real world,  like August Bondi, have been married into known Frankist families and / or deeply connected to the Freemasons.

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It seems to me, that ‘Yehuda Leib Eybshutz’ and ‘Yonatan Eybshutz’ may well be the same person (at least, on geni…)

I now have at least a day and a half of checking out this theory, to see what else it might turn up, so I think I will leave this post here, in the meantime.

Isn’t it amazing, though, how all roads in this troubling episode seem to lead back to Vilna, and the Vilna Gaon and the Alter Rebbe?

Isn’t it amazing, how the same names, the same people, keep coming up again and again and again, in some very unexpected ways?

They’ve done a fabulous job of covering things up, you have to hand it to them.

But ultimately, you can’t suppress the truth forever.

And it seems to me, we are fast approaching that time when it finally comes out.

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I was debating what to call this post.

It’s going to delve into some more highly controversial issues, and explain some more about how Jewish history has been totally skewed and ‘re-written’ by the people who don’t want you to know what really happened, or who they really are.

Why not?

Because once we understand what a ‘family affair’ pretty much all of our leadership is, both in the religious and the non-religious world, and both in Israel and abroad, and what it is that really connects them all together, idealogically….

Well.

Then we might start to stand up for ourselves more, and to start challenging more of the ‘brainwashing’ we’ve all been raised with, wherever we happen to live, and whatever community we happen to belong to.

We might start to see past all the ‘false divisions’ these false leaders have sown between us all, and to start operating again as ‘one body with one soul’, like we were at Sinai.

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It’s crucially important that this information gets out, especially at this point in time, when so many ‘leaders’ are pushing their ‘flocks’ into some very disturbing directions.

But at the same time, I’m trying to put all this across as ‘tzniusly’ as possible, and – perhaps paradoxically – to avoid attracting too much attention from the people I prefer to stay ‘invisible’ to.

So, in the end, I went with the same tame, lame headline I’ve been using for most of this stuff.

That just seems like the wisest course of action at the moment.

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So, back in THIS post, (at the bottom), I put a bunch of links that one of my very switched-on readers sent me, including where you can download the late Rabbi Marvin Antelman’s books, ‘To Eliminate the Opiate‘.

R’Antelman did a great job of starting to unpick how Sabbatean / Frankists were trying to control the Jewish world (and beyond…), but there are many gaps in his work, which are hopefully going to start getting filled in, as we go along.

One understandable mistake that R’ Antelman fell into was that while he traced the links showing how Sabbateans were behind the Reform, Conservative and Communist movements, he had very little to say about how Sabbateans were also behind the State of Israel (and the ‘aliyah’ movement generally…)

And also, how they were heavily represented amongst the ranks of externally orthodox leaders, too.

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So in this post, let’s start to explain a little how that happened.

I’ll keep this intro short and sweet, and then tomorrow we’ll get into the person I want to really talk about: Moses Dobrushka.

(‘Dobrushka’ is a made up name. You’ll find out more tomorrow.)

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Let’s go back to Yonatan Eybshutz, because there is some very pertinent information, proven by Antelman in his book ‘Bchor Satan’ (now out of print, and impossible to get hold of…) that needs to be widely disseminated in the Jewish community.

Yonatan Eybshutz was formally excommunicated by the Beit Din of the Council of the Four Lands back in 1756, because of his Sabbatean leanings.

That information has been totally and deliberately withheld from the public.

If you go to the YIVO encyclopaedia, for example – written by mostly secular academics – you are told this:

In 1724, the manuscript Va-Avo’ ha-yom el ha-‘ayin, began to be circulated. The book’s anonymous author attempted a synthesis of the methods and concepts of various contemporary kabbalistic schools, and the book included Sabbatian interpretations of kabbalistic literature. Owing to the text’s exceptional intellectual quality, Eybeschütz was suspected of being its author, and he did not take great pains to exonerate himself of this suspicion; he only claimed that he had definitely not written certain sections.

Still, two years later Eybeschütz added his name to the excommunication order signed by the scholars of Prague banning the Sabbatian heresy. He also participated in later bans against the sect in 1751, 1755, and 1761, but was careful to make it known that an excommunicated Sabbatian could always choose to repent. 

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That book, Va-Avo… was responsible for dragging hundreds and thousands of Jews into the depths of the antinomian Sabbatean net.

There’s testimony from the Beit Din in Satanov (recorded by Jacob Emden) where tens of ‘orthodox’ Jews publically confessed that they’d been engaging in wife-swapping (and much worse…) after reading that book.

The ones that confessed in court were the ones that were trying to make teshuva.

There were many more, who didn’t.

In 1756, the members of the Council of Four Lands also apologised that they’d whitewashed the Eybshutz affair three years’ earlier, and explained that they’d been under tremendous pressure from Eybshutz’s supporters.

As it was then, so it is today.

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Why does this matter?

A few reasons.

First of all, so many yeshivas are still reading and learning Eybshutz’s works, including Kreti v’pleti. People are still referring to him as a ‘tzaddik’ – when he was called a ‘Bchor Satan’ by the Council of Four Lands, when they excommunicated him.

All his books should be removed from orthodox institutions – and homes – immediately.

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Here’s another reason it matters:

In the second volume of ‘To Eliminate the Opiate“, on page 85, Antelman brings the shocking (to me…) information that the rabbinical ordination certificate of Moses Mendelssohn was signed by none other Yonatan Eybshutz.

Moses Mendelssohn was a classic hidden Sabbatean: outwardly ‘super pious’ and internally doing his best to overthrow the Jewish tradition and Torah.

His history and family connections are also deliberately skewed and distorted, but we will get to him in due course.

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Antelman traces the ‘true prophet’ of Sabbeateanism thinking (i.e., the guy who was the reincarnated soul of Shabtai Tzvi) in this way:

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Jacob Frank is missing from this list, and probably a few others are too.

As we covered in a previous post, there were a LOT of contenders for ‘false messiah’ at this time.

Meir of Eisenstadt’s brother, Mordechai Mokiah, was one of them.

Meir of Eisenstadt was one of Yonatan Eybshutz’s main teachers, and also a secret Sabbatean who supported the candidacy of the above named ‘Yehuda Leib Prossnitz’, who was another teacher of Eybshutz.

Again, all of the official info you can find online about these people, even from secular, academic sources, goes to enormous trouble to obfuscate dates and real names, making it almost impossible to track down who these people were in real life.

So many of them were the Jewish community’s principle leaders and business people.

Their descendants still are.

But with God’s help, we will get there.

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So here is the last reason, for now, why it’s important to know that Jonathan Eybshutz was formally excommunicated for being a Sabbatean in 1756:

I’m currently in the process of trying to track down his descendants, and it’s a very hard job.

So many of them went ‘underground’, and those that didn’t, their history has been nicely ‘tidied up’ in more recent times, so it’s very hard figuring out who they are connected to.

For example, one of his most famous descendents, David Shlomo Eibenshutz, has his famous father (or grandfather, I’m still trying to figure it out) totally whitewashed out of his biography:

His father’s name was Yerachmiel. He was a Russian-born rabbi and author, a pupil of Rabbi Moses Tzvi Heller, the author of Geon Tzvi. He was the first Rabbi of the shtetl of Chorostkov, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (now Khorostkiv, Ukraine). From 1790 to 1800, he occupied the position of Rabbi in Bodzanov (now Budaniv, Ukraine). Thereafter, he served as the Rabbi for Soroki, Bessarabia (now Soroca, Moldova), and in Jassy (now IaşiRomania). From Iasi, he made aliyah and went to the Land of Israel in 1810 and remained in Safed until his death on 19 November 1813.

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David Eybshutz adopted a pseudonym in Israel, so it’s very hard to know who he really was, in the history of the proto State of Israel, or who his descendants are.

Also, I found sources elsewhere that state he was the talmid muvhak, or principal student of none other than Rabbi Baruch of Medzhibozh, Rabbenu HaKadosh’s maternal uncle.

Maybe he wasn’t a Sabbatean, maybe he was one of those who returned to true Judaism, and who wasn’t trying to subvert it from within. Until we have more information, it’s impossible to know.

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There’s another interesting descendant of Yonatan Eybshutz as well (not including this two sons ‘Wolf’ and Mordechai-Marcus, who were both openly Sabbatian / Frankists.)

He is Natan Nata Eybshutz, named for Eybshutz’s ‘illustrious’ ancestor Natan Nata Spira, the Megulat Amukot.

CO-INC-IDEN-TALLY, one of the most famous ‘Shadlanim’ of that time was a guy named Natan Nota Notkin.

I can find so very little about him online, but here’s where you can read a little more about him:

“A merchant from Shklov, Nota Haimovich Notkin was invited to St. Petersburg together with Abram Perets by Catherine II.”

His life story parallels that of Joshua Zeitlin almost exactly.

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Joshua Zeitlin links us straight in to the murky ancestry of both the Vilna Gaon, and the Alter Rebbe of Chabad (and honestly, a load more ‘big rabbis’ too…)

CO-INC-IDEN-TAL-LY, there’s a strange story on the Chabad website which tells us this, about Natan Nata Notkin:

In the year 1798, Rabbi Shneur Zalman was falsely informed upon by his detractors and accused of treason. When he was finally exonerated and released from prison toward the evening of the 19th of Kislev, the authorities asked him where they should bring him.

He replied that they should bring him to the home of Reb Mordechai Liepler, one of his followers. In the same building, there also lived one of the leading mitnagdim (opponents of the chassidim), by the name of R’ Nota Notkin, and unfortunately, Rabbi Shneur Zalman was mistakenly taken to his home instead.

For three hours, until the chassidim realized what happened, he berated, complained and argued against the chassidim, to the extent that Rabbi Schneur Zalman later remarked that he suffered more during those three hours than the entire time he was imprisoned.

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This is strange for a lot of reasons, not least that elsewhere, Nota Notkin is credited for being the man who arranged the release of Shneur Zalman from prison in the first place.

If Nota Notkin (Eybshutz…) is one and the same as Joshua Zeitlin (who is definitely a close family connection of Shneur Zalman, either his father or father-in-law)….

Well, that’s kinda interesting, isn’t it?

And once we know that Yonatan Eybshutz was definitely excommunicated in 1756 for being a Sabbatean…

Well, that also kind of explains why his descendants would want to whitewash that stuff out of the history books, and also pretend that they weren’t connected to him.

Especially, if they were carrying on his spiritual legacy.

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UPDATE:

I was going back through the (fake….) ‘official history’ of the Rivlins and the Vilna Gaon, connected with and the people connected to them, written by (of course!) a Rivlin.

So many dates have been deliberately falsified, FYI, to throw us all off the trail. I’ve come across that tactic again and again and again.

So, I found another interesting connection between ‘Natan Nota Notkin’ and ‘Shlomo Zalman Rivlin’, which I’ve screenshotted below:

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Long story short, Natan Nota Notkin’s daughter, Frumka, marries ‘Shlomo Zalman Rivlin’, making him his father-in-law.

This is the same Natan Nota Notkin who is the shtadlan who gets the ‘Shneur Zalman [unknown surname] aka Alter Rebbe out of Russian prison, and even has him delivered to his own home, according to Chabad’s own sources.

Interesting, eh?

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We’ll stop there for now.

In the next post, God willing, I want to take a look at ‘Moses Dobrushka’.

I’ve found many sources alluding to the fact that he was a grandson of Yonatan Eybshutz.

I’ve also found sources stating that Dobrushka’s mother, ‘Schondl’, was either the cousin of Jacob Frank, or the sister or sister-in-law of Jacob Frank.

These are all made-up names.

But BH, I’ve found some more clues that may bring us a little closer to understanding who these people really were, then.

And who their descendants are today.

TBC

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