Samuel Levi Morteira

First name
Samuel Levi
Last name
Date of Birth
Date of Death
Born in
Died in

Morteira was a Dutch rabbi of Portuguese descent He arrived in Amsterdam around 1616. He was rabbi of Beth Jacob, and wrote several works defending Judaism against allegations made by Christian opponents. Fifty of his sermons were published in Amsterdam in 1645 (Giv’at Sha’ul). Twenty-six are still extant in manuscript in Budapest. Conclusive documentary evidence about Spinoza's primary schooling and intellectual awakening is lacking, although one source from 1683 mentions the fact that one of his teachers was rabbi Samuel Levi Morteira (Verwer, 1683). The prevailing rabbinical conviction is that the future world is that of the world of resurrection, not per se of immortality. Among those who defended the immortality of the soul the soul after death was Morteira (Kasher and Biderman, 1990, pp. 106-8). Morteira was president of the Amsterdam Mahamad when Spinoza was banished in July 1656 from the unified Portuguese-Jewish congregation Talmud Torah, though he did not proclaim the ban most likely (Walther and Czelinski, vol. 1, p. 104).


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