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Crescas, Hasdai Ben Abraham

CRESCAS, HASDAI BEN ABRAHAM (1340-1410), Spanish philosopher. His work, The Light of the Lord ('Or 'Adonai), deeply affected Spinoza, and thus his philosophy became of wide importance. Maimonides (q.v.) had brought Jewish thought entirely under the domination of Aristotle. The work of Crescas, though it had no immediate success, ended in effecting its liberation. He refused to base Judaism on speculative philosophy alone; there was a deep emotional side to his thought. Thus he based Judaism on love, not on knowledge; love was the bond between God and man, and man's fundamental duty was love as expressed in obedience to God's will. Spinoza derived from Crescas his distinction between attributes and properties; he shared Crescas's views on creation and free will, and in the whole trend of his thought the influence of Crescas is strongly marked.

See E. G. Hirsch, Jewish Encyclopaedia, iv. 350.

(I. A.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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