Hell, Heretics, and Humanists: The World and Ideas of the Most Interesting Jewish Rebels throughout History, Part 6: Spinoza
Rabbi Tzemah Yoreh
A rabbinic prodigy of 17th century Amsterdam, Benedict Spinoza was the reason some sages warned against reading the biblical text too closely. Beyond his seminal philosophical works, he is best known for being the father of biblical criticism, and his claim that Moses could not have written the Torah still stands the test of time. He was excommunicated from the Jewish community, but would not become Christian, despite the urging of other intellectuals. He died destitute and penniless before his time.
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