Jacob Frank's real name was Yakov ben Judah Leib Frankovich (1726-91). He was born in Podolia (then Poland, now a region of Ukraine), the son of a rabbi. As a young man traveled in the Middle East, where the Turks gave him the surname Frank. On his return to Poland in 1755, he founded the Frankists, a heretical Jewish sect that was an anti-Talmudic outgrowth of the mysticism of Sabbatai Zevi. Subsequently, he claimed to be the recipient of direct revelations from heaven and exhorted his followers to espouse Christianity as an intermediate stage in the transition to a future messianic religion.
In 1759 the Frankists underwent a spectacular mass baptism at Lvov, Poland (now L'viv, Ukraine), under the eyes of the Polish nobility. But the church brought charges of heresy against him, which resulted in his imprisonment in 1760. Upon his release 13 years later, Frank assumed the role of messiah, and selected 12 apostles. He settled at Brünn, Austria (now Brno, Czech Republic) where he gained the patronage Maria Theresa, archduchess of Austria, who employed him as an apologist of Christianity to the Jews. After 1786 he moved to the small German town of Offenbach, where he spent the rest of his life in luxury, thanks to the donations of his followers. After his death leadership of the sect passed to his daughter Eve Frank, but the movement was soon absorbed into the Roman Catholic church.
From "Frank, Jacob," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1994 MicrosoftCorporation. Copyright (c) 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation.
Frank kept Sabbateanism alive and ended its tribalism, opening its adherents to the world outside Judaism. Sabbateanism become Frankism was one of the most important of the 18th century movements which freed man. The great revolution in consideration, [the Turkish revolution], and the French and American revolutions sprang from his loins.
Prof. Harris Lenowitz The Sayings of Yakov Frank.
|An aspect of the Godhead, a true aspect, grew in me like
a pearl that grows of itself; and I have no man to whom I might reveal
the truth of this matter.
Yakov Leib Frank (aka Jacob Frank) was the Third Strand in a Jewish Messianic Trinity beginning with "The First," Sabbatai Zevi; passing through Sabbatai's successor, "The Second," Rebbe Berechiah; and ending with "The Third," Frank himself. It's my interpretation that these "Three Strands" also refer to the realms of the Biblical Jacob (Judaism), Esaus (Christianity) and Ishmael (Islam) - a trimurtri, so to speak, Frank alludes to when he says: "The Holy One Blessed Is He -- His face [i.e., Sefirah Tiferet] wonderous beautiful - set me on His knees and gave me a Strand of Golden Threads and said to me, 'Look my son, when the day comes to unfasten this Strand you shall not let it go."
Yakov Leib Frank
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