“HAFOKH V’HAPEKH!” (II)
– Turning the Text; Bending the Reality
Spinoza, while looming large in the European world of philosophy, took the pursuit of scrutinizing biblical texts to another level. His controversial ideas regarding authorship of the Bible and character of the Divine, caused him to be excommunicated and shunned by the Jewish community in Amsterdam in 1767 at the age of 23. He declined offers to teach at universities and instead kept grinding optical lenses, whose dust may have caused his early death.