The Sophist
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The Sophist

Spinoza: Finding Freedom in Understanding

The philosopher who inspired Einstein

By the age of 23 Baruch Spinoza was subjected to an attempt on his life and had been cursed and ostracised from his community. His philosophical and spiritual beliefs had put him at odds with society but made him a prophet to modern thinkers like Albert Einstein. Rembrandt van Rijn, The Sacrifice of Isaac (detail), 1635 (source: Wikipedia).

“ Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he lies down, and cursed be he when he rises up; cursed be he when he goes out, and cursed be he when he comes in.”

In July of 1656, the congregation of the Talmud Torah in Amsterdam lit candles, prayed, and issued a herem — a curse. The…

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Steven Gambardella

Steven Gambardella

I am a history PhD sharing the lessons of philosophy and history with practical benefits for your life and work. Get in touch: stevengambardella@gmail.com