Asher Lämmlein

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Asher Lämmlein[1] was a German born Jew who appeared in Istria, near Venice, in 1502 and, encouraged by the works of Isaac Abrabanel,[2] proclaimed himself a forerunner of the Jewish Messiah.[3] He declared that if the Jews showed great repentance and charity, the Messiah would not fail to appear in six months.[3] He gained a troop of adherents who spread his prophesies though Italy and Germany, and his message met with such acceptance that the year became known as the "year of penance."[3] Existing institutions were willfully destroyed in the belief of coming redemption and a return to Jerusalem.[3] However, Lämmlein died or suddenly disappeared and the extravagant hopes of his followers came to an end.[3]

Salo W. Baron suggests that disillusionment over the failed prophesies Lämmlein helped lead to the conversion of a few Jewish intellectuals to the Christian faith, including Victor von Carben and Johannes Pfefferkorn.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ also Lämmlin, Lemmlein
  2. ^ Greenstone, Julius Hillel (1906). The Messiah Idea in Jewish History. The Jewish Publication Society of America. p. 189. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Graetz, Heinrich; Philipp Bloch (1894). History of the Jews. Jewish Publication Society of America. p. 482. 
  4. ^ Gow, Andrew Colin (1995). The Red Jews: Antisemitism in an Apocalyptic Age, 1200-1600. Brill Academic Publishers. p. 135. ISBN 90-04-10255-8. 

Further reading[edit]

Saverio Campanini, A Neglected Source concerning Asher Lemmlein and Paride da Ceresara: Agostino Giustiniani, in "European Journal of Jewish Studies" 2.1 (2008), pp. 89–110.