The more bits of this we unravel, the more interesting things I’m learning.

Before we continue, I just want to talk a bit about King David.

As we all remember, King David’s yichus was awful. In fact, until the Prophet Shmuel actually annointed him King over Israel, there had been an argument raging for decades over whether David’s ancestor, Boaz, had even been permitted to marry a Moabite convert.

Because the Torah explicitly forbade converts from Moab and Ammon. 

It was only when the Prophet Shmuel showed up and finally clarified the halacha that the Torah’s prohibition was against male converts from Moab and Ammon, but that female converts were permitted, that the controversy finally died down.

And you remember, that Moab and Ammon came about as a result of an incestuous union between Lot and his two daughters…

And also, that Boaz came about as a result of the whole ‘affair’ between Tamar and Yehudah.

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Why am I stressing this?

Because as the whole ‘yichus = automatically holy’ argument unravels more and more, we still need to remember that the very biggest souls like King David were sunk deep, deep in the hardest klipot.

Even if a person was born a mamzer, or descended from mamzers, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they themselves are ‘unholy’. It could even mean the opposite – that Hashem through those souls dafka into the deepest klipot, because they were the biggest souls, and had the hardest job of rectifying the evil in the world.

Let’s remember that, going forward, because it’s a person’s individual actions that really count, and not their ‘yichus’.

And as I’ve mentioned before, some of our biggest spiritual lights, including the Baal Shem Tov and Rabbenu himself are also connected to the family trees being discussed here.

(I’m still trying to figure it out, but it’s seeming more and more likely that the Arizal is also in the mix here, too….)

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These are the ‘souls of King David’, sunk deep in the klipot, so they can finally rectify the evil side and bring all the holy sparks there back to God.

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So now, let’s take a closer look at the Maharal of Prague, and the ‘fake genealogy’ that was manufactured for him 300 years ago, by a known Sabbatean.

While I was tootling around on Geni trying to figure out more about the REMA’s family tree for THIS post, I came across the following remarkable document by two East European academics, Alexandr Putík and Daniel Polakovič, called:

Judah Loew ben Bezalel, Called Maharal– A Study on His Genealogy and Biography

I am finding so much more real, factual information coming out of Eastern Europe – where these ‘histories’ actually took place – than in the West, where we have basically been raised on a bunch of fables and deliberately misleading bubbe meises.

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These researchers begin with the ‘official history’ of the Maharal of Prague, that was written by one ‘Meir Kuskes Perels’, two hundreds years after the Maharal was alive.

Here’s how that begins:

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The researchers ask a couple of very pointed questions:

  1. Why would someone who is not even descended from the Maharal of Prague be the one who is writing his official history and biography?
  2. Why would Meir Perels clearly and obviously lie and distort the truth in many different ways, in his account of the Maharal’s life and family relations?

While they do a very thorough job of bringing together a bunch of contemporary documents and sources in their pursuit of the answer, ultimately, they remain baffled.

I’m not claiming that I can answer the above questions, but my starting point is that ‘Meir Kuskes Perels’ was a known Sabbatean, with close ties to another famous Sabbatean, Judah HaChassid.

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Judah HaChassid collected a few hundred Sabbateans from across Europe in 1700, and brought them to Eretz Yisrael to await the ‘second coming’ of Shabtai Tzvi / SHACH.

He died very shortly after making aliya, his community of Sabbateans fell into disarray, Shabtai Tzvi / SHACH didn’t ‘rise again’ to rescue them all – and so, the whole ‘Sabbatean’ aspect of that wave of aliya was carefully and systematically hushed up.

The descendants of Judah HaChassid’s Sabbateans formed the backbone of what came to be known as the ‘Old Yishuv’ in the Holy Land.

And don’t forget, that many of the Sephardi families in Eretz Yisrael were also ‘original Sabbateans’, including the Najara family of Gaza, to give one example.

Nathan Ashkenazi of Gaza, Shabtai Tzvi / SHACH’s main ‘prophet’ studied in yeshiva in Jerusalem, and his father was the main ‘shaliach’ to raise funds for the Jews in Israel from Morocco; and of course, the SHACH’s extended family had deep ties all over the Sephardi world, too.

But I digress.

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The point is, that this guy who is writing the MAHARAL’s ‘official’ biography and genealogy is a Sabbatean with some sort of vested interest in distorting the facts, 200 years after the events described.

The following snippet comes from his biography on Geni HERE:

Moses Meïr Perles: Rabbinical author; born at Prague 1666; died there March 30, 1739. In the beginning of the eighteenth century he lived at Vienna in the house of Samson Wertheimer, for whom he acted as private secretary and almoner and by whom he was supported even after he had returned to Prague.

We didn’t get to the Wertheimers and the Oppenheimers yet, in this whole saga. But we will, BH.

In the meantime, the researchers Putík and Polakovič turn up a mound of evidence to show that Perles had the education, intellect, access to information and ability to put together a detailed, accurate genealogy of the MAHARAL – but didn’t do that.

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Here’s a pertinent screenshot, that sums up the problem:

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Long story short, there are a few things these researchers identify about the MAHARAL of Prague, that I didn’t know before.

  • The Maharal was married twice – and Meir Perles’ main aim seems to be to ‘remove’ this first wife of the MAHARAL out of the picture, plus remove the MAHARAL’s grandson, Shmuel.
  • The Maharal and his brother Sinai were widely rumoured to have been ‘illegitimate’ in some way – and these rumours about him, and other leading rabbonim of that time was something that the Maharal himself tried to clamp down on.

Screenshot:

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  • The Maharal got into a conflict with the wealthy leaders of the kahal, or Jewish community in Prague, particularly over their self-enrichment from acting as the tax farmers over the Jewish population. Later on, he was also arrested (!) and actually spent some time in prison.

Screenshot:

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  • These ‘Kahal’ leaders initially prevented him from becoming the Chief Rabbi of Prague, as a result of the dispute, so the MAHARAL went to Posen for a while, before returning.

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  • There was some sort of ‘scandal’ involving the kabbalistic approach of Israel Sarug and the MAHARAL’s son, Bezalal.

Israel Sarug is the guy who basically ‘stole’ the Arizal’s teachings, and formed his own distorted school of ‘practical kabbalah’ that flowered into many of the Sabbateans I keep writing about here.

Screenshot:

Let’s see if we can try to unpick a bit more, what’s really going on.

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First, let’s clear up some basic MAHARAL genealogy, set down by these researchers.

The MAHARAL was born in 1512, the youngest of 4 brothers, to his father, Bezalel.

These brothers were called:

  • R’ Hayyim of Friedburg
  • R’ Sinai
  • R’ Samson
  • R’ Lewa – Judah Loew, the Maharal.

This is undisputed, as David Gans wrote their history down in his book Tzemah David.

Screenshot:

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Hayyim of Friedburg also connects us directly to the REMA, and to his Karaite father-in-law, R Shalom Shakhna:

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According to Gans, Bezalel’s brother was ‘Rabbi Jacob of Worms’.

According to the Sabbatean Perels, Bezalel also had another brother called ‘HELMAN’, and Helman and Jacob came to Poland specifically to study with R’ SHLOMO LURIA, the MAHARSHAL.

Screenshot:

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Here’s ‘TZVI LOEB HELMAN‘ on My Heritage:

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See, that he’s married to an ‘unknown’ Treves?

Well, we figured out who that was in THIS post on ‘Forbidden Relationships’:

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As well as the Maharsha, R’ Shmuel EIDELES, this also connects the MAHARAL’s uncle, R’ Tzvi HELMAN, with R’ Shlomo Luria, the MAHARSHAL.

(No wonder the MAHARSHAL was trying to shut everyone up, when they were discussing the apparent ‘illegitimacy’ of the MAHARAL…)

Screenshot:

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And Meir Perles said above, that ‘Helman’ and ‘Jacob of Worms’ came to Poland to study with the MAHARSHAL – he just forgot to mention they were close family.

But the modern researchers say, while ‘Helman’ ‘and ‘Jacob of Worms’ WERE brothers, it’s impossible that Bezalel the father of the MAHARAL was also their brother.

Instead, they say that ‘Jacob of Worms’ (and Helman) were the MAHARAL’s maternal uncles – and that his mum was the daughter of ‘Chaim and Vogele Issenheim’.

Let’s park that side of things for now, and focus in on some other questions.

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Question 1: Who was MAHARAL’s first wife?

A: The MAHARAL’s first wife was one ‘Sarah Chayot’, the daughter of R’ ABRAHAM CHAJES / CHAYOT, and the sister of the guy who beat the MAHARAL to become Chief Rabbi of Prague, R’ Yitzhak Chayot (1538-1615).

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Abraham Chajes / Chayot was born in Portugal, and so we surmise that he was a ‘converso’ who returned to the Jewish faith, when he landed up in Prague.

His parents are: PINCHAS CHAYES, who marries the daughter of R’ MOSHE EPHRAIM SCHORR (1510-1571) and HANNAH TREVES (1490-1571).

So, now we have a big question, how an outwardly Christian ‘converso’ living in Portugal – under the Inquisition – somehow manages to marry the daughter of people who are meant to be ‘big Jewish rabbis’ in France and Moravia.

Whilst still living in Portugal as an outward ‘Christian’….

Hannah Treves is the sister of ‘Eliezer Treves’, married to Jutta, whose family tree we covered extensively in Forbidden Relationshipswhere we see all those aunts marrying their nephews, in total contradiction to the Torah’s laws.

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You see?

There is a lot of very dodgy things going on here, and ‘Jewish-Christians’ are to be found all over the place, with our major rabbinic families.

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Question 2: why did the Sabbateans want ‘Sarah Chayot’ out of the picture?

It’s still not so obvious, so I started looking for a direct link to the SHACH / Shabtai Tzvi, himself.

Here’s another screenshot for the descendants of ‘R Yitzhak Chayot, ABD Prague’ – brother of Sarah Chayot, brother-in-law of the MAHARAL, and Chief Rabbi of Prague:

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You see he married one Mindel Sax – (who could well be a descendent of the SHRENTZEL / Sachs / Sax family of ‘Jewish-Christians’.)

What we can see from this screenshot, is that Yitzhak Chayes g-grandson, R’ Menachem Manesh Chayot married his aunt.

(We covered this in the Forbidden Relationships post…) and then, apparently married the SHACH / Shabtai Tzvi’s daughter, ‘Esther Tzaddika’.

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But is that enough of a reason, for the Sabbatean Meir Perels to go and scrub the MAHARSHAL’s first wife out of the history books?

Given that they were apparently all doing dodgy things like this, in that family tree, it just doesn’t sound we really figured this out yet.

But I’ll leave this here for now.

There are other fish to fry. And when God is ready, I’m sure He’ll send more clues about what was really going on way back when, in Prague.

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UPDATE:

These screenshots are the official response of the MAHARSHAL, referred to above, from his book Shealot u’Teshuvot.

Responsa 12 talks about the MAHARAL, and quotes Kiddushin 71a extensively.

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Here is that specific section about the MAHARAL blown up:

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Kiddushin 71 a and b (quoted in part by the MAHARSHAL above) are very interesting.

Long story short, it says that mamzerut was a huge problem in the Jewish community even 2,000 years ago – and that there were very powerful families with very dodgy genealogy in Eretz Yisrael, that it was literally ‘dangerous’ to investigate properly, because they would kill anyone who revealed their illegitimacy…

There is nothing new under the sun.

And Moshiach is really the only one that can fix this problem – and the Gemara says that he will fix the problem, by declaring all mamzers to be ‘pure’.

May it happen soon.

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8 replies
  1. nechama
    nechama says:

    “Shimon Peres, einekle of Shabsi Tzvi,” just sounds so, well, perfectly fitting.
    Could be all this family mishmash heirarchy is to confuse the Satan. Since all of Jewish history is the blueprint of HaShem, there must be some rhyme and reason connected to our geula.

    Reply
  2. Yaffa m
    Yaffa m says:

    Hi Rivkah, wasn’t ammon and moav from the union of Lot and his daughters? Lavan’s daughters were rochel, leah, bilha and zilpa… the imahos.

    Reply
  3. Daisy
    Daisy says:

    Rivka,

    I have to say that I don’t feel it is OK to blame Portuguese Jews of the times of the Inquisition for living double lives, considering the harshness of the Portuguese inquisition. From what I read a while go, a lot of the religious and faithful Jews from Spain escaped to Portugal in order to keep living as Jews; but later on, Portugal became even more cruel than Spain had been. So if their only chance of survival was to lead a double life – Xtian outwardly while remaining secretly Torah Jews inside their home – can we blame them? How many of us would have had the fortitude to withstand this test? A matter of life or death! So for somebody to be willing to marry one of their descendants is not such a horrible thing, is it?

    Reply
    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      You are totally right that this test was huge.

      At the same time… we know that a Jew is meant to die instead of serve idols.

      There is simply no way someone could be attending mass, breaking shabbat, eating traif, not keeping the laws of family purity – and immersed in idol-worshipping xtianity all the time- and still be a ‘Torah Jew’.

      Lighting candles in your basement on a Friday night doesn’t make someone a ‘Torah Jew’.

      Also, many of these people were mamash ‘bishops’ and high up in the church. So, there’s having to ‘live a double life’ in a humble way, because what else can you do, and then there is ‘choosing to live as a bishop or xtian noble’ when it suits you, and then at the same time claiming to be an ‘orthodox rabbi’ who thinks they can still write Torah seforim and tell other Jews how to serve God…

      Which is what we’re talking about here.

      Reply
      • Daisy
        Daisy says:

        Looking at it from your perspective then yes, you are absolutely right too.

        So I am glad we clarified that difference, because I wasn’t really thinking of those kind of Marranos but rather of the poor, oppressed, terrified Jews stuck in the Iberian peninsula despite their wishes. So I guess we don’t disagree after all!

        Shabbat Shalom

        Reply
  4. Rivka Levy
    Rivka Levy says:

    Here is the original responsa from the MAHARSHAL on the MAHARAL’s family status, look at Responsa 12:
    file:///C:/Users/rivka/Downloads/שאלות_ותשובות_מהרש.pdf

    Reply

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