Tagged Enlightenment

3 centuries after excommunication, is it time to lift ban on Spinoza?

Circa 1660, Dutch philosopher Benedicto De Spinoza (1632 - 1677). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) – More than 350 years after this city’s Portuguese Jewish community excommunicated Baruch Spinoza and banned his writings for eternity, the philosopher’s books are for sale at the souvenir shop of the community’s synagogue. Spinoza, a Dutch-born Jewish philosopher who laid the intellectual foundations of the Enlightenment… Read more »

Confessing our sins on Yom Kippur – and remembering to act nobly

NEW YORK (JTA) — Few prayers are as well known to Jews as Ashamnu (“We have sinned …”) and Al Chet (“For the sin …”), the twin confessions of Yom Kippur. Belief in human sinfulness is more central to Judaism than we think. Sin may not be “original,” as… Read more »