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Today in Jewish History - November 24 / Kislev 20

1632 November 24, - 1677 BARUCH SPINOZA (Amsterdam, Holland)

Baruch Spinoza
Courtesy of the Jewish Virtual Library
As a child, he showed great promise in his religious studies, but as he grew older he decided that there was no place for him in organized religion. The brilliant heretic Van den Ende, who was later burned by the authorities for his beliefs, influenced him. Spinoza delved into Descartes and Bruno, and his radical theories on G-d and mortality brought about his excommunication from the Jewish community. He denied revelation, but not God's existence, although he was against all traditional religion. His later life was marked by poverty for which he never accepted any assistance. Spinoza's great works include his "Ethics" and "Theologico-Politica Tractate". He was buried in an unmarked grave at the church in Spux, Holland.


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