Yirmiahu Yovel, in Cot*~n~ettfurv
(Nov. 1977), 165 E. 56th St., New ~oik,'N.Y. 10022.
In 1656, Amsterdam's Jewish Council of Elders excommunicated a 24-year-old member of their community. His offense: He had proclaimed his view that the Bible was full of contradictions; that the laws of the Torah were arbitrary; that nature and God were one; and that knowl- edge of nature was therefore knowledge of God. [Jndaunted, the youth, Benedict Spinoza (1637-77)) went on to formulate one of the most im-...