Spinoza, the Great Jewish Heretic, Can Only Be Properly Understood in His Jewish Context

Oct. 22 2020

More than most other scholars of the 17th-century Sephardi philosopher Benedict Spinoza, Steven Nadler has paid attention to his subject’s Jewish upbringing, and the influence of rabbinic thought on his work. Nadler argues, for instance, that Part V of Spinoza’s magnum opus, the Ethics, can only be understood with reference to its “Jewish philosophical context,” as a “kind of dialogue with Maimonides.” In an interview with Nigel Warburton, Nadler explains more about Spinoza’s background:

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Read more at Five Books

More about: Benedict Spinoza, Heresy, Moses Maimonides, Philosophy, Sephardim

Reclaiming Secular Zionism’s Religiosity

Feb. 24 2021

A recent article in an Israeli political journal argued that anyone who wishes to revive Israel’s moribund left must stay true to its secular heritage and “take a stand against both religion and religious people.” But to Gershon Hacohen this claim rests on a profound misunderstanding. While it is true that David Ben-Gurion and other early leaders of the Zionist left were secular insofar as they were agnostic and did not observe halakhah, their ideology was deeply enmeshed with the Hebrew Bible and Jewish traditions:

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: David Ben-Gurion, History of Zionism, Labor Zionism, Religious Zionism