Fürth, Bavaria or Pidhaitsi, Ukraine
|Died||17 April 1782 (aged 74)|
London, England, Great Britain
|Occupation||rabbi, mystic, alchemist|
|Interests||Practical Kabbalism, alchemy|
Rabbi Dr Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk (1708—17 April 1782) also known as the Baal Shem of London, Doctor Falckon or simply Samuel Falk, was a Jewish rabbi, Practical Kabbalist and alchemist, who played a significant role in the para-political and masonic alligned occultic underground of Europe during the 18th century. His birthplace is obscure, but he fled Westphalia in 1742 on account of him being accused of sorcery—a capital punishment offense—and moved to London, where he spent the rest of his life.
From his new base in London, he had an alchemical laboratory and established a secret judeo-masonic organisation, with gentile affiliates. According to Nesta Webster, "Falk indeed was far more than a Mason, he was a high initiate – the supreme oracle to which the secret socieites applied for guidance." He allegedly introducted the Kabbalah to the self-styled Count Cagliostro and Emanuel Swedenborg. Some other Jews, ie — rabbi Jacob Emden, claimed that Falk was a crypto-Sabbatian, a follower of the doctrines of Sabbatai Zevi.
Tales of Falk's magical activities drew decadent aristocrats and adventurers from far and wide. He was particularly close to Theodor von Neuhoff, who had usurped Genoa in Corsica and set himself up as king, inviting Jews to settle there. It is claimed that he made a Kabbalistic talisman in the form of a ring, for the Duke of Orléans, with the promise that his line would ascend to the throne of France; this was passed on to his son, the first Orléans monarch Louis Philippe I. Falk was backed financially by fellow Jewish freemasons, such as the wealthy Boas family of Amsterdam and the Goldsmid family of London.
- Jonathan Eybeschutz — another Jewish alleged crypto-Sabbatian of the same generation as Falk, also involved in freemasonry, he founded the Asiatische Bruder lodge, one of the four which became an Illuminati lodge in Vienna, Austria
- Goldish, Matt (2001). Millenarianism and messianism in early modern European culture: Jewish messianism in the early modern world, Book 1. Springer. ISBN 0792368509.
- Lachmann, Gary (2005). A dark muse: a history of the occult. Basic Books. ISBN 1560256567.
- Ruderman, David B (2000). Jewish enlightenment in an English key: Anglo-Jewry's construction of modern Jewish thought. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691048835.
- Webster, Nesta Helen (1924). Secret Societies and Subversive Movements. Boswell Printing & Publishing Co..