Ask the Rabbi

  • Halacha
  • General Questions

Sabbatian Donmeh Sect+ The Soul's Physical Pleasure


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Tammuz 14, 5772
who removed the shabbtai followers from the Jewish communtiy, and doesnt the somewhere in the Torah states that a Jew always remains a Jew regardless if he transgreses the commandments... and where does it say in the Torah that Jews can be taken out of the community? do you also agree that Donmeh`s stayed faithful to their tradition which wasnt muslim anyway, and why Jewish communities/authorities never tried to get to them, where in other places they did, ethiopia, india etc.... one more question: does the soul enjoys phisical things? thank you
The Shabbtai Zvi followers took themselves and their children out of Judaism, for by converting to Islam one crosses a “red line”. Even though G-d is the one who in the end, judges man, the rabbis may, and even must, enforce sanctions to punish those who convert-out, which also serves as a deterrent for others. Throughout Jewish history individuals have been expelled from the community or excommunicated, even for much less offenses. Nevertheless, the gates of return are always open. In additional problem is that their subsequent marrying of Moslem women without halachic conversion, renders their offspring non-Jewish. Although there are different tempos of intermarriage among the different sects of the Donmeh, the rate rose greatly especially after their deportation from Salonika to Turkey in the population exchange of 5683/1923, and their assimilation into Turkish society was expressed, for example, in their active role in the Young Turk movement. Yizchak Ben Zvi, the second president of Israel, in his monumental work on the Donmeh, details how their marriage and divorce, as all of their outward behavior, followed the Moslem practice, which means that even if we could consider them Jewish, there would be a serious problem of “mamzerut” among them (not to mention their custom of wife-swapping). On the other hand, the Jews of Ethiopia (not the problematic falashmura) and India always identified as Jews and only as Jews, and carefully followed basic Jewish law. Nevertheless, even the Ethiopian Jews are requested to undergo “giyur lechumra” (conversion just to-be-safe), among other reasons, to solve the problems of non-halachic questionable marriage and divorce throughout the centuries. There are different levels of the soul. The “nefesh” is the level more closely associated to the physical body and accordingly can get indirect pleasure from the physical, as opposed to the “neshama”, which is a higher more spiritual level and more removed from the physical, yet can still get (even more indirectly) pleasure from say, eating on Shabbat, or enjoying the holy fruit of the Land of Israel, etc. In the future, please send different questions separately. Thanks. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר