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Yule Heibel

Yule Heibel's Public Library

  • They were, however, morally superior individuals with vivid imaginations, and so there is a truth to be gleaned from all of Scripture, one that comes through loud and clear and in a non-mutilated form. The ultimate teaching of Scripture, whether the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Gospels, is in fact a rather simple one: practice justice and loving-kindness to your fellow human beings.
  • That basic moral message is the upshot of all the commandments and the lesson of all the stories of Scripture, surviving whole and unadulterated through all the differences of language and all the copies, alterations, corruptions and scribal errors that have crept into the text over the centuries. It is, Spinoza insists, there in the Hebrew prophets (‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself’ [Leviticus 19:18]) and it is in Paul’s letters (‘He who loves his neighbour has satisfied every claim of the law’ [Romans 13:8]). Spinoza writes: ‘I can say with certainty, that in the matter of moral doctrine I have never observed a fault or variant reading that could give rise to obscurity or doubt in such teaching.’ The moral doctrine is the clear and universal message of the Bible, at least for those who are not prevented from reading it properly by prejudice, superstition or a thirst for power.
  • Scripture will not be the only work of literature that is ‘divine’. If reading William Shakespeare’s The Tempest or Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn moves one toward justice and mercy, or if reading Charles Dickens’s Hard Times inspires one toward love and charity, then these works too are divine and sacred. The word of God, Spinoza says, is ‘not confined within the compass of a set number of books’.

  • In the preface of Death and Life, she wrote: “The scenes that illustrate this book are all about us. For illustrations, please look closely at real cities.”
  • In the preface of Death and Life, she wrote: “The scenes that illustrate this book are all about us. For illustrations, please look closely at real cities.”
  • One thing is certain: If you do it for the local, the visitor will come; if you do it for the visitor, you will lose the local and, eventually, the visitor because it is the local who gives a place character. Read Jacobs to fully understand.
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