Lead: One of the most creative thinkers of the seventeenth century was an Amsterdam lens maker, Baruch Spinoza born on November 24, 1632.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Spinoza's father and grandfather were Portuguese. The regime of the Spanish Inquisition forced them to convert to Christianity even though privately they retained their Jewish faith. The Union of Utrecht in 1579 decreed that in Holland there would be religious freedom and the Spinoza clan migrated to Amsterdam, becoming there prosperous merchants and respected members of the Jewish community.

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