Fiction | April 23, 2019

For so gentle and cautious a man, he provoked strong responses from the beginning. At twenty-three he was kicked out of Amsterdam’s Jewish community with impressive ceremony. An incensed Most High, he was assured by official proclamation in 1656, would “blot out his name from under heaven.” His neighbors, including his younger brother and business partner, Gabriel, were ordered to avoid all contact. He did little better with Catholic and Protestant authorities.

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