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Spanish was also spoken, being the vehicle of literature.
Prayers were said in Hebrew, the religious language.
A familiarity with Dutch became common amongst Jews, assisting commerce and general communication with other communities.
"Even when he was older, Spinoza, although perfectly fluent in Latin and knowledgeable in Hebrew, was always more comfortable in Portuguese than in any other language" (Nadler 19).
That community "basically created its own version of Jewish practices and beliefs, mingling freely with other religious groups" (ibid).
The indictment asserted, in evocative terms, that "by decree of the angels and by the command of the holy men, we excommunicate, expel, curse and damn Baruch de Espinoza, with the consent of God" (Nadler 190).
Morteira (d.1660) was the chief rabbi in Amsterdam, and composed a lengthy attack on Christian theology shortly before his death.
Spinoza's father died in 1654, and the paternal estate he inherited was suffering heavy debts.
This situation is implicated in one of the theories attempting to explain why he was excommunicated from the Jewish congregation by the Amsterdam synagogue elders in 1656. Excommunication A basic problem about the excommunication is that the reasons for this development are unknown.
Various explanations have been supplied, but nothing is definitive.