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The cherem against Spinoza says the following:

The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him orally or in writing, or show him any favor, or stay with him under the same roof, or within four ells of him, or read anything composed or written by him.

Source: Wikipedia.

Does this mean that Jews today are forbidden from reading his texts? Does the manner in which one might read Spinoza's texts matter, such as whether they were assigned in a class?

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This is a community excommunication. This is not universally binding halacha. –  rosenjcb Dec 8 '13 at 10:11
similar judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17590/759 –  Double AA Dec 8 '13 at 15:24
It could be forbidden just due to Kefira –  Shmuel Brin Dec 8 '13 at 17:49
@ShmuelBrin Except most of it isn't Kefira. The cherem applied/s (apparently) to anything he wrote. –  Double AA Dec 9 '13 at 15:27

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