A Tale of Two Museums
Ester Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Collection

Shabtai Tsvi

Shabtai Zvi Yiddish MS105.jpg


Shabtai Tsvi




The historical figure Shabtai Zvi (1826-1876),  a spiritual leader who claimed to be the long-awaited Jewish messiah and then. Active throughout the Ottoman Empire, Shabtai Tsvi was eventually arrested and imprisoned by the grand vizier Ahmed Koprulu who gave him the option of death or converting to Islam. Shabtai Tsvi converted to Islam, as did 300 families among his followers.

Shabtai Zvi is the subject of a number of Yiddish-language plays during this inter-war era; his attraction lay in part in his marginal status. This manuscript of a Shabtai Zvi play pictured here is one of a number of Shabtai-Zvi items contained in the museum collection. It is signed by the name Yankev Nayman, Ish Khosid (lit. Pious Man),  a pseudonym of director Dovid Herman. 




YIVO Institute for Jewish Research




YIVO owns the compilation of content that is posted on this website, which consists of text, images, and/or audio, and video. However, YIVO does not necessarily own each component of the compilation. Some content is in the public domain and some content is protected by third party rights. It is the user's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in YIVO websites.

The materials on this web site may be used for personal, research and educational purposes only. Publication (including posting on the Internet and online exhibitions) or any other use without prior authorization is prohibited. Please visit https://www.yivo.org/Rights-Reproductions for more information about use of materials from this website.

YIVO has employed due diligence in seeking to identify copyright holders of the materials in this compilation. We invite any copyright owners who are not properly identified to contact us at yivomail@yivo.cjh.org.


“Shabtai Tsvi
,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed February 28, 2024, https://ataleoftwomuseums.yivo.org/items/show/2234.
Submit a transcription, translation or additional information on the song or the performer