Posts Tagged: philosophy Results 5
Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam in 1632, the son of Portuguese Marranos (or conversos, or crypto-Jews) who had fled the Inquisition. A prodigy at Amsterdam’s Etz Chaim Yeshiva, he was widely expected to become a rabbi. As rumors of his heretical ideas spread, he was denounced by his yeshiva teachers, and in 1656 he was excommunicated by the Mahamad (Jewish Community Council) of Amsterdam. He lived in several small Amsterdam towns, most notably Rijnsberg, before settling in The Hague, where he died in 1677.
Two days before the world was to end, as calculated by engineer and prophet Harold Camping, seemed as good a time as any to find answers to eternal questions about human life and meaning. Thus I joined “What’s on your Mind? ” an “International Philosophy Festival” in Jerusalem that ran from May 18 to May 20 as part of this year’s Jerusalem Season of Culture. The city where more philosophers, prophets and messiahs roam than on any other place on earth, and in which the momentous events of the Apocalypse will unfold, was the obvious locale. The festival was held in a large tent erected at the beautiful cultural center Mishkenot Sha’ananim, a stone’s throw from the walls of the ancient city and facing Mount Zion.
In celebration of Jewish Book Month, The Arty Semite is partnering with the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) and the Jewish Book Council to present “30 Days, 30 Texts,” a series of reflections by community leaders on the books that influenced their Jewish journeys. Today, Ari Weiss writes about “Nine Talmudic Readings” by Emmanuel Levinas.
Although her centenary is not until July 13, the Swiss Jewish philosopher Jeanne Hersch (1910-2000) is already being remembered as a gimlet-eyed defender of freedom.
Philosophy is what matters most to George Soros, I learned the other day after an elegant party at Soros’s duplex Manhattan apartment (I was invited by a mutual friend) celebrating the latest recording of Bartók by Angela & Jennifer Chun, a Korean-born sister team of violinists.