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In echo of excommunication, top Spinoza scholar banned from Amsterdam synagogue

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JTA — More than 350 years after Baruch Spinoza was excommunicated from the Spanish-Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam, a leader of the community has banned a scholar of Spinoza’s work from visiting the community’s synagogue and library.

Yitzhak Melamed, a professor of philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, was denied his request to visit the synagogue with a film crew that planned to film him conducting research in the library’s archives.

Responding to the professor in a letter, Rabbi Joseph Serfaty, a leader of Amsterdam’s Sephardic community, told Melamed he would not be welcomed into the building — a building in which Spinoza himself may have studied, as he........

© The Times of Israel

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