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Menasseh ben Israel: The Most Famous Jew in the World with Steven Nadler

Menasseh ben Israel (1604-1657) was, for a time, the most famous Jew in the world. One of the rabbis of the Portuguese-Jewish community of Amsterdam, he was also the first printer of Hebrew books in Amsterdam, with clients all across Europe. Menasseh’s own writings on theology and philosophy were especially admired by gentile scholars. They sought him out as a Hebrew teacher and as a reliable source on Jewish customs, law and history. He also collaborated on several projects with Rembrandt. In the early modern Republic of Letters, Menasseh was the go-to source for all things Jewish. And yet, Menasseh felt he was never given the respect he deserved by the leaders and other rabbis of his own Sephardic community; he was right. Learn about this individual’s complex history at this event.

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