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Jewish Life of the Month: Menasseh ben Israel

Rebecca Keys

  Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam
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Menasseh ben Israel

Dates
1604-1657

Impact
A pivotal intellectual figure in early modern Jewish history, Menasseh ben Israel was a rabbi and founder of the first Hebrew printing press in Amsterdam. His most famous student was Baruch Spinoza.

Famous Quote
"Now, as if in total neglect of myself, I am engaged in trade; which is not only difficult and full of trouble, but also costs me a good deal of time that I would otherwise devote to my studies. But what else am I to do? I have neither the wealth of Croesus nor the soul of Thersites."