Talk:Sect of Skhariya the Jew

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Yelena (or Elena)[edit]

Ivan III's daughter-in-law was arrested before he died, not after. She was arrested on his orders in January 1505, and he died in October of that same year.Shield2 00:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

New materials[edit]

I've just found some new material on the Sect and some of the facts in it differ from what I've posted. Can historians agree on anything?? For example, my version says Skhariya was a loner, came from Lithuania and was later executed; the stuff that I've just read says he brought two more Jewish companions with him, they all came from Kiev and after converting a number of Russian clergymen quietly dissappeared from Russia. That's just wonderful!

KNewman 23:07, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)

Conclusions and interpretations[edit]

I have question regarding the following, which is the end of one paragraph followed by another:

The sectarians themselves, Volotsky nicknamed zhidovomudrstvuyuschie (жидовомудрствующие, or “those who think like Jews”), thus, arbitrarily presupposing their adherence to Judaism, even though most of Skhariya’s followers had been ordinary Russians of Orthodox faith and low-ranking Orthodox clergy and had never confessed Judaism.
The Sect of Skhariya renounced the Holy Trinity and the divine status of Jesus Christ, monasticism,ecclesiastic hierarchy, ceremonies, and even immortality of soul. Some sectarians even professed iconoclasm. Priests Denis and Aleksei were considered ideologists? of this heretical movement.

When Volotsky nicknamed them "those who think like Jews", did he really presuppose their adherence to Judaism, or was he trying to make the point that many of their beliefs (as listed in the latter paragraph above) were more in agreement with Judaism then with Russian Orthodoxy? That is the conclusion I would be inclined to draw, based solely on the information in this article.

Aside from this, there are a number of places where this article draws conclusions and makes interpretations regarding history. These are good and useful, but should be probably be qualified along the lines of "many historians conclude that..." or "students of Russian history generally see this as a turning point that marked..." This would make it clear that Wikipedia is not doing original research or historical study, but is documenting what historians have already said.

I should add a thanks for the addition of this and several other articles on Russian history; this is certainly a subject about which I'm interested in learning more. Wesley 17:01, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Widely spread?[edit]

I have no idea what the lead sentence means when it says that the sect was "widely spread in Tsarist historic literature". That historians were members of the sect? That many historical writings allude to it? or what? -- Jmabel | Talk 05:14, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

Zacharias Ghisolfi[edit]

I have suspicions that Skhariya the Jew is identical to Zacharias Ghisolfi. Reasons:

  • the same time (mid-15th century)
  • This article says Skariya came from Lithuania. This may be a guesswork, since some mentioned spellings of Ghisolfi do look like Lithuanian names: Guigursis, Guilgursis.

I will try to look further. `'mikka (t) 18:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


The sect is frequently described as heretical. Surely this is a matter of opinion. Bhumiya (said/done) 22:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

prove it![edit]

Prove that "zhid" wasn't offensive. --VKokielov 17:21, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

"Zhid" was an East Slavic word that simply meant "Jew". It has been retained in many languages, including Polish, Czech, Croatian, etc., where it has no necessarily negative context. Even languages that are not Slavic but retain Slavic loan-words, like Hungarian, retain the word.[1][2][3][4] "In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the Jews occupied in Kiev a separate quarter, called the Jewish town ("Zhidy"), the gates leading to which were known as the Jewish gates ("Zhidovskiye vorota")." Jewish Encyclopedia. Like the word "Jew", "Zhid" could be used as a racial epithet, depending on who was speaking the word and their tone, but it had no necessarily negative connotations and Jews themselves, historically, used the term to refer to themselves. See Immonen, Visa. "The stratigraphy of a life: An archaeological dialogue with Leo Klejn." Archaeological Dialogues (2003), 10: 57-75 Cambridge University Press. For more on the origins of the word see Essays in Early Slavic Civilization/Studien zur Fruhkultur der Slaven by Henrik Birnbaum, pp 26-36. By Catherine the Great's time, the term "Evrei" was preferred, but this means "Hebrew" and is therefore not a perfect synonymn. There is no dispute that today "Zhid" is used in Russian only by anti-Semites as an epithet. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 17:54, 13 July 2007 (UTC)