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Later Messiahs (3)

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Hayyim Vital

Hayyim Vital was born in 1542, and started his career as an alchimist, looking for the philosopher's stone that would convert lead into gold. After several failures, he decided to study the Cabbala with Isaac Luria (1534-1573), the greatest teacher of the mystical interpretation of the Scriptures of his age. Together, they were able to conjure op the spirits of deceased rabbis. One of the spirits they spoke to, convinced them that he was the Messiah and that he would come soon.

Luria understood that he was the 'suffering servant', who was, in his own view, the forerunner of the 'Messiah of David'. After Luria's death, Vital started to understand that he himself was the Messiah of David and went to Damascus. He knew that God would redeem Israel when he had found ten righteous people (the number mentioned in Genesis 18.32), but unfortunately never succeeded.

Asher Lämmlin (c.1500)
Isaac Luria (1534-1573)
Hayyim Vital (after 1542)
Sabbathai Zwi (1626-1676)
Jacob Frank (1726-1786)
Moses Guibbory (1899-1985)
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994)
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