Lead: In the mid-1660s the Jewish world was rocked by the appearance and claims of a messiah, Shabbatai Sevi, who some have deemed the most significant millenarian movement in modern Jewish history. He, however, was a piece of work.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He was born in Smyrna, a wealthy port city on the west coast of present-day Turkey. His family recognized a native intelligence which destined him for the rabbinate. He studied under some of the most prominent rabbis in Smyrna and probably around 15 began a life of isolation, abstinence and asceticism, during which he struggled with powerful sexual temptation. Shabbatai became a rabbi about the age of 18 and became attracted to Kaballism with its emphasis on the devotional life and the coming of the messiah.