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A Very Jewish Christmas: Jesus and Shabbtai Zvi, from Heretic to Hero

Hosted By: YIVO

In Jewish memory, Jesus and Shabbtai Zvi were heretics, false messiahs who rebelled against the rabbis and against normative Judaism. But a funny thing happened in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: modern Jewish writers and artists reclaimed these heretics and gave them an honored place in Jewish history. In doing so, they transformed the historical figures, Jesus and Shabbtai Zvi, into heroes, projecting on to them these thinkers own modern dilemmas.

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