An Icon for Iconoclasts: Spinoza and the Faith of Jewish Secularism

By Daniel B. Schwartz

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Spring 2011

In late 1953, David Ben-Gurion, then in between stints as Israel's prime minister, published an article in the main labor union daily Davar, entitled "Let Us Amend the Injustice." The specific "injustice" that moved the "Old Man" of Israeli politics to speak out from his Negev retreat involved none of the most obvious controversies of the day besetting the five-year-old Jewish state: the fallout from Israel's bloody raid two months earlier on the West Bank village of Qibya, the continued housing of tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from the Middle East in shantytowns, nor the Palestinian refugee crisis. Rather, Ben-Gurion entered the fray to plead for a philosopher who had been dead for close to three hundred years: Benedict, or (for Ben-Gurion certainly) Baruch Spinoza.

Topic: Philosophy, History, Religion, Secularism

Name of Publication: AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies

Editor: Bunzl, Matti , Havrelock, Rachel

Volume/Issue: Spring 2011

Page Number(s): 13-14

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Israel

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Schwartz, Daniel B. An Icon for Iconoclasts: Spinoza and the Faith of Jewish Secularism. AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Spring 2011: 13-14. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=12008


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