Throughout Christian times the Jews have clung to the firm belief in their ultimate return to the Holy Land. Such belief has induced them to lend credence to pseudo-Messiahs, who claimed to be their deliverers appointed to bring about the promised Messianic Kingdom. Some of these were impostors, others self-deluded. Josephus tells of those in the first century; others were Bar Kokba under Hadrian, Moses of Crete in 446, Serenus, a Syrian in the eighth century, David Alroy of Bagdad (the hero of Disraeli's novel of that name) in the twelfth, Abulafia of Messina in 1299, Asher Lemmlein of Istria in 1502, David Reubeni of Cranganore, India, in 1524, and Sabbatai Zevi of Smyrna in 1666. Sabbatai's adventures created a tremendous stir in western Europe; and, although he eventually became an apostate to Islam, he had a line of successors in whom the strange sect of Dunmeh, who live in Salonika, continue to believe. In fact. there have been, throughout the centuries, periodic Zionist agitations which have convulsed Jewry; and repeated failures have but strengthened its faith in the final restoration.
§4. The Reformation
The invention of printing, the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, the translation of the Bible, and the Reformation were great events which acted and reacted on Jew and non-Jew alike. The work of the Reformers was furthered by the Rabbis, who helped and taught the Bible translators and Protestant Reformers. With the spread of the Reformation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, religious enthusiasm, coupled with mysticism of an extravagant type, became increasingly prevalent in England, Holland, Denmark, and Germany.
The leading Protestant theologians were on terms of intimacy with Jewish scholars, and searched the Hebrew scriptures with great care and zeal. Sects such as the Anabaptists and Independents became more and more Jewish in their line of thought. ... Books were written with a view to reconcile the Jewish