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That community "basically created its own version of Jewish practices and beliefs, mingling freely with other religious groups" (ibid).
The domestic language of Spinoza's family was Portuguese.
Aftermath Appendix 1: Spinoza and Averroes Appendix 2: The Kabbalah Issue Bibliography 1.
Calvinist attempts to impose religious uniformity in the Netherlands were offset by mercantile developments.
Merchants moved to Amsterdam from various countries, and the Dutch government was tolerant of religious differences because of the attendant prosperity.
"The Jews were not encased in a ghetto but could live wherever they pleased" (Popkin [Christianised Jews] who had very little training in Judaism" (ibid:9).
The excommunication document refers to "abominable heresies" of the subject, but without describing these.
Many local merchants "were members of dissenting Protestant sects, such as the Mennonites, and thus broader in their reading and much more open in their thinking than orthodox Calvinists" (ibid:101).Indeed, some aspects of Spinoza's intellectual development are also unclear, with tentative chartings similarly in evidence.Three early biographies of the subject (by Bayle, Lucas, and Colerus) all have disadvantages with regard to a comprehensive picture of events.This means the conducted by rabbis like Morteira and Aboab.Spinoza later demonstrated a close familiarity with scripture and major commentaries; he was also intimately acquainted with the Jewish philosophers.