EXTREMELY RARE! “THE BREAKING OF THE TABLETS OF INIQUITY” – THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN RABBI YAAKOV EMDEN (KNOWN AS THE YAAVETZ) AND RABBI YONASAN EIBESCHITZ, COMPILED AND PRINTED IN THE HOUSE OF THE YAAVETZ, ALTONA, 1756-1759.
As a result of the battle of Rabbi Yaakov Emden (the Yaavetz) against the followers of Shabbatai Zvi, a fierce controversy broke out between him and Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschitz, who studied Kabbalah and was known for performing miracles and writing amulets. When he (the Yaavetz) gained access to some of Rabbi Eibeschitz’s amulets, he deciphered what was written in them and claimed that they contained hints to the belief in Shabbatai Zvi. The Yaavetz issued open accusations against Rabbi Eibeschitz, which caused a sharp and prolonged controversy between his followers and Rabbi Eibeschitz’s followers. In the course of the struggle, the Yaavetz was forced to leave Altona for Amsterdam, and he only returned to Altona after the intervention of King Frederick V.
At the end of this controversy, which caused severe disputes between the Rabbis of Germany, Poland, France, Holland and other European countries, and its echo is still heard today, it because accepted by Orthodox Judaism that Rabbi Eibeschitz was not a follower of Shabbatai Zvi.
During the period of the controversy, many books were published about the subject by both sides. Our book, “The Breaking of the Tablets of Iniquity”, was written by the Yaavetz as a response to Rabbi Eibeschitz’s book “The Tablets of Testimony”. The book was printed with his personal printing press in his home in Altona, not as written in the title page that the book was printed in “Zalkava”.
60 pages, two German and Latin pages missing at the end of the book. 18.5 x 15 cm, good condition, tape repair to title page but no text missing, new leather binding.