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Spinoza scholar banned from Amsterdam synagogue is now invited to visit

16 0 23
03.12.2021

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — An organization responsible for Amsterdam’s historic Portuguese Synagogue has apologized to a scholar whom a resident rabbi last week declared persona non grata due to a centuries-old edict against the philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

“We regret that a perfectly normal request to visit the premises of the Portuguese Synagogue […] has led to an international uproar,” Michael Minco and Emile Schrijver wrote on Tuesday to the scholar, Yitzhak Melamed, a professor of philosophy at Johns Hopkins University.

Melamed sought access to the synagogue to make a documentary about Spinoza, whom the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam excommunicated in 1656 for writings that it deemed heretic. Rabbi Joseph Serfaty last week rejected Melamed’s request in a letter that the scholar posted on Facebook.

The ban “remains in force and........

© The Times of Israel


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