Rabbi Jonathan / Yehonatan Eibeschütz - Eybeshitz

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Rabbi Jonathan / Yehonatan Eibeschütz - Eybeshitz (Eibeshitz)

Hebrew: רבי יהונתן אייבשיץ
Also Known As: "Yonasan", "Eibeschütz", "Eibeschitz", "Eybeschuetz"
Birthplace: Kraków, Kraków County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Death: September 18, 1764 (73-74)
Altona, now Hamburg, Germany
Place of Burial: Königstrasse 10a, Hamburg, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Rabbi Nathan Nata Eibeshitz of Ivancic, ABD Eibenschutz, Moravia and Sheindel Eibeshitz
Husband of Elkele Eibeschütz
Father of Natan (Nathan) Nata Eibeschuetz; Hitzel Fraenkel; Schewa Bondi; Rivka Aron; Rabbi Yechiel Michael Eibeschuetz and 8 others
Brother of R' Aharon Fuerth Eibeschuetz; R' Jehuda Lejb Ejbuszyc; Wife of R' Chaim of Pinczow and Hendel ?

Occupation: Grand rabbin de Metz en 1741, puis en 1750 des "Trois Communautés" de Hambourg, Altona et Wandsbek, Rabbi
Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
Last Updated:

About Rabbi Jonathan / Yehonatan Eibeschütz - Eybeshitz

Here is a scholarly online edition of his tombstone inscription with commentary and photographs: http://www.steinheim-institut.de/cgi-bin/epidat?function=Ins&sel=hh...

Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschutz (Kraków 1690 - Altona 1764), was a Talmudist, Halachist, Kabbalist, holding positions as Dayan of Prague, and later as Rabbi of the "Three Communities": Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbek. With Jacob Emden, he is well known as a protagonist in the Emden-Eybeschütz Controversy.

Eybeschütz's father was the rabbi in Ivančice (German: Eibenschütz, sometimes Eibeschutz), Moravia. Eybeschütz was a child prodigy in Talmud; on his father's death, he studied in the yeshiva of Meir Eisenstadt in Prostějov (Prossnitz), and then later in Holešov (Holleschau). He also lived in Vienna for a short time. He married Elkele Spira, daughter of Rabbi Isaac Spira, and they lived in Hamburg for two years with Mordecai ha-Kohen, Elkele's maternal grandfather. Among their descendents are the illustrious management thinker Peter Drucker and Margarethe Kelsen, the wife of Hans Kelsen.

Eybeschütz settled in Prague in 1715 and became head of the yeshivah and a famous preacher. The people of Prague held Eybeschütz in high esteem and he was considered second there only to Dayan David Oppenheim.

In Prague, Eybeschütz received permission to print the Talmud - but with the omission of all passages contradicting the principles of Christianity in consultation with Dayan David Oppenheim. Legends and rumors seeking to discredit the event said that he did this without the consultation of the Rabbis of Prague, and they revoked the printing license.

Already in Prague 1724, he was suspected of being a Sabbatean. He even got up on Yom Kippur to denounce the Sabbatean movement, but he remained suspected.[2] Therefore, In 1736, Eybeschutz was only appointed dayan of Prague and not chief rabbi. He became rabbi of Metz in 1741. In 1750, he was elected rabbi of the "Three Communities:" Altona, Hamburg, and Wandsbek.

He was "an acknowledged genius" in at least three separate areas of Jewish religious creativity: Talmud and Jewish law (halakhah); homiletics (derush) and popular preaching; and Kabbalah. "He was a man of erudition, but he owed his fame chiefly to his personality. Few men of the period so profoundly impressed their mark on Jewish life."

Sabbatian Controversy

Eybeschütz again became suspected of harboring secret Sabbatean beliefs because of a dispute that arose concerning the amulets which he was suspected of issuing. It was alleged that these amulets recognized the Messianic claims of Sabbatai Zevi.Once the controversy started when Emden found serious connections between the Kabbalistic and homiletic writings of Eybeschutz with those of the known Sabbatean Judah Leib Prossnitz, whom Eybeschütz knew from his days in Prossnitz.[4] Rabbi Jacob Emden accused him of heresy; see The Emden-Eybeschutz Controversy. The majority of the rabbis in Poland, Moravia, and Bohemia, as well as the leaders of the Three Communities supported Eybeschütz: the accusation was "utterly incredible" - in 1725, Eybeschütz was among the Prague rabbis who excommunicated the Sabbateans. Others suggest that the Rabbis issued this ruling because they feared the repercussions if their leading figure, Eybeschütz, was found to be a Sabbatean. Recent evidence has produced the actual amulets and their alleged connection to Sabbatean amulets.

In 1752, the controversy between Emden and Eybeschütz raged. In December of that year, the Hamburg government banned any more discussion of the amulets, the Senate of Hamburg suspended Eybeschütz, and many members of that congregation demanded that he should submit his case to rabbinical authorities. At this point he was defended by Carl Anton, a convert to Christianity, but a former disciple of Eybeschütz. "Kurze Nachricht von dem Falschen Messias Sabbathai Zebhi," etc. (Wolfenbüttel, 1752).

The controversy was a momentous incident in Jewish history of the period — involving both Yechezkel Landau and the Vilna Gaon — and may be credited with having crushed the lingering belief in Sabbatai current even in some Orthodox circles. Professor Sid Z. Leiman claims that the mentioned great Rabbis exonerated Eybeschutz from Sabbatianism only in order that the controversy should die down.

In 1760, the quarrel broke out once more when some Shabbatean elements were discovered among the students of Eybeschütz' yeshivah. At the same time his younger son, Wolf Jonas Eybeschutz, presented himself as a Shabbatean prophet, and was close to several Frankists, with the result that the yeshivah was closed.

Jonathan Eybeschütz's grandson became Baron Thomas von Schoenfeld, an apostate Jew who inherited his grandfather's collection of Sabbatean kabbalistic works. He eventually left the Sabbatean movement and founded a Masonic lodge called the Asiatische Bruder, one of four Illuminati lodges in Vienna. After his uncle's death on August 10, 1791, he was offered the leadership of the Frankist movement which he refused. According to Gershom Scholem, the ideology of the Asiatic Brethren mixed Kabbalistic and Sabbatean ideas jumbled together with Christian theosophic doctrines.

One of Eybeschutz's descendents is the Yiddish novelist and Holocaust survivor Chava Rosenfarb(1923-2011).


Thirty of his works in the area of Halakha (Jewish law) have been published. In addition, several of his works on homiletics, teaching methodology, and Kabbalah are currently in print. It is interesting to note that only one of his works was published in his lifetime. The posthumous printing of so many of his works is testimony to his influence on his contemporaries through his oral teachings and his personality. It is claimed that he also published numerous Sabbatean works anonymously.

  • Homiletics (derush) and popular preaching:[citation needed]:
  • Ya'arot Devash a frequently quoted collection of the sermons of Rabbi Eybeschutz.
  • Tiferet Yehonatan on the weekly Torah portion
  • Ahavat Yehonatan on the weekly Haftarah
  • Taryag Mitzvot, the 613 commandments in rhymed acrostics.
  • Notes on the Passover Haggadah, as well as Perush al Piska Had Gadya on the poem Had Gadya
  • On Talmud and halakhah:[citation needed]:
  • Novellae to Shulchan Aruch: Urim ve-Tummim on Choshen Mishpat; Kereti u-Peleti on Yoreh De'ah; Sar ha-Alef on Orach Chayim.
  • Notes on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah: Binah la-Ittim and Chiddushim al Hilkot Yom Tov both dealing with the holy days, and both published by his students, based on notes taken from his lectures; Bene Ahuvah on the matrimonial laws.
  • Tiferet Yisrael, notes on the rabbinical laws of niddah (regarding menstruation), with additions by the editor, his grandson Israel.
  • On Kabbalah:[citation needed]:
  • Shem Olam, a collection of letters on the Kabbalah
  • On Sabbatianism
  • Va'avo Hayom el HaAyin, an intensely involved and original text on Sabbatianism.
  • Rabbi Eybeschutz also wrote Luchoth Edut (Tablets of Testimony), in which he describes the whole dispute and attempts to refute the charges against him. It includes also the letters of recommendation which he had received from leading rabbis who came to his defense.


  • ^ http://www.univie.ac.at/kelsen/family/Bondi_Mordechai_Schewa.html
  • ^ Moshe Arie Perlmutter, R.Yehonatan Aibeshits ve-yahaso el ha-Shabtaut : hakirot hadashot 'al yesod ketav ha-yad shel s.va-avo ha-yom el ha-'ayin
  • ^ [1]
  • ^ Moshe Arie Perlmutter, R.Yehonatan Aibeshits ve-yahaso el ha-Shabtaut : hakirot hadashot 'al yesod ketav ha-yad shel s.va-avo ha-yom el ha-'ayin
  • ^ Sid Leiman/Simon Schwarzfuchs, New Evidence on the Emden-Eybeschütz Controversy. The Amulets from Metz, in: Revue des Etudes Juives 165 (2006),
  • ^ Sid Leiman, "When a Rabbi Is Accused of Heresy: R. Ezekiel Landau's Attitude toward R. Jonathan Eybeschütz in the Emden- Eybeschütz Controversy in FROM ANCIENT ISRAEL TO MODERN JUDAISM Edited by Jacob Neusner
  • ^ Carmilly-Weinberger, Moshe. Wolf Jonas Eybeschütz - An "Enlightened" Sabbatean in Transylvania. In: Studia Judaica, 6 (1997) 7-26
  • ^ Jacob Katz, JEWS AND FREEMASONS IN EUROPE, 1723-1939, Harvard University Press
  • ^ perlmutter, R.Yehonatan Aibeshits ve-yahaso el ha-Shabtaut : hakirot hadashot 'al yesod ketav ha-yad shel s.va-avo ha-yom el ha-'ayin
  • Eybeschütz, Jonathan, jewishencyclopedia.com
  • Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschutz, chabad.org
  • Eybeschutz, Jonathan (1690-1764), 1911 Encyclopedia
  • Jonathan Eibeschutz, jewishvirtuallibrary.org
  • detailed Hebrew article by Hayyim Rabinovitz in Sinai 1964


  • Moshe Perlmutter, R.Yehonatan Aibeshits ve-yahaso el ha-Shabtaut : hakirot hadashot 'al yesod ketav ha-yad shel s.va-avo ha-yom el ha-'ayin (Tel Aviv:1947 )
  • Carl Anton, Period documents concerning the Emden/Eibeschuetz controversy. (Reprint 1992)
  • Elisheva Carlebach, The pursuit of heresy : Rabbi Moses Hagiz and the Sabbatian controversies (Columbia 1990)
  • Gershom Scholem, Meḥḳere Shabtaʼut (1991)
  • Sid Leiman/Simon Schwarzfuchs, New Evidence on the Emden-Eibeschiitz Controversy. The Amulets from Metz, Revue des Etudes Juives 165 (2006),
  • Sid Z. Leiman, "When a Rabbi Is Accused of Heresy: R. Ezekiel Landau's Attitude toward R. Jonathan Eibeschuetz in the Emden- Eibeschuetz Controversy in FROM ANCIENT ISRAEL TO MODERN JUDAISM Edited by Jacob Neusner
  • Leiman, Sid (Shnayer) Z. When a rabbi is accused of heresy : the stance of the Gaon of Vilna in the Emden-Eibeschuetz controversy in Me’ah She’arim (2001) 251-263
  • Leiman, Sid (Shnayer) Z. When a rabbi is accused of heresy : the stance of Rabbi Jacob Joshua Falk in the Emden-Eibeschuetz controversy. Rabbinic Culture and Its Critics (2008) 435-456
  • Moshe Carmilly-Weinberger, Wolf Jonas Eybeschütz - an "Enlightened" Sabbatean in Transylvania Studia Judaica, 6 (1997) 7-26
  • Yehuda Liebes “A Messianic Treatise by R. Wolf the son of R. Jonathan Eibeschutz.” Qiryat Sefer 57 (1982/2)148-178.


"Die Grabschriften des alten Judenfriedhof in Wien" - Dr. Bernhard Wachstein, Band I pg. 404

From "Tiferes Aryeh"

Regarding the spelling of R' Yonathan's surname, Jacobi explains as follows: “The name Eibeschuetz (or Eybenschitz, etc.) is a corruption of the Moravian place name Eibenschitz (= Ivancice = אייבשיצ, near Bruenn). It was adopted as family name upon R. Nathan-Nate Eibeshuetz having served as ABD there.” (Jacobi Papers, Volume 1, p. 251). Note that the Hebrew-letter spelling of the name is easily interpreted as Eybshitz, since there is no additional letter between the ‘beys/veys’ and the ‘shin’. In England the surname was further modified into Ibshitz.


About רבי יהונתן אייבשיץ (עברית)

רבי יהונתן אייבשיץ אב״ד דרובנין, מגדולי רבני דורו, תלמיד מובהק של הג״ר יהונתן אייבשיץ אב״ד אה״ו, דודו. לחם רבות נגד מתנגדי דודו ורבו הגאון, זמן מה ישב בלובלין בבי״ד של

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Rabbi Jonathan / Yehonatan Eibeschütz - Eybeshitz's Timeline

Kraków, Kraków County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Hlavní město Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czechia (Czech Republic)
March 4, 1730
Prague, Czech Republic
October 9, 1734
May 8, 1738
Praha, okres Hlavní město Praha, Praha, Czech Republic