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Rabbi, Mystic, or Impostor?The Eighteenth-Century Ba'al Shem of London$
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Michal Oron

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113034

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113034.001.0001

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The Diaries and Their Research

The Diaries and Their Research

(p.62) VI The Diaries and Their Research
Rabbi, Mystic, or Impostor?

Michal Oron

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the description of Samuel Falk's diary that is in an article by the scholar Adolf Neubauer published in the Jewish Chronicle. It mentions Solomon Schechter, a tutor in rabbinics at the University of Cambridge who published an article, 'The Baalshem — Dr Falk'. It also cites Schechter's details of Falk's will and how he translated what Jacob Emden wrote concerning the ba'al shem, including how Schechter questioned Emden's charges regarding Falk's presumed crypto-Sabbatianism. The chapter talks about Rabbi Dr Herman Adler, chief rabbi of the British Empire, who delivered a lecture on 'The Baal Shem of London', which was published in Berlin and in London, in which he collected details and testimonies about Falk from various sources. It elaborates how Adler disregarded the kabbalistic material in the diary, which opened a window onto Falk's world.

Keywords:   Samuel Falk, Solomon Schechter, rabbinics, ba'al shem, crypto-Sabbatianism, kabbalistic material

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