Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/28

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
6
SPINOZA.

"Baruch," interrupted a long lank youth who now approached them, "Baruch, come; all is finished, and we return home with our master."

"I am coming, Chisdai," answered Baruch; and bowing to the stranger he crossed to where those assembled prayed in the Aramaic language for the resurrection of the dead and the restoration of Jerusalem. On leaving the graveyard each one plucked grass three times from the ground, and throwing it over his head said the following verse in Hebrew: "And they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth" (Ps. lxxii. 11). Three times, in front of the graveyard, each one washed his hands in the water brought for the purpose, to cleanse himself from the touch of the demons who haunt God's acre. While so doing they said the verse (Is. xxv. 8), "He will swallow up death in victory." Only then could they proceed on their homeward way, but even on the road the verses of Ps. xc. 15 and Ps. xci. must be three times repeated. According to custom, they seated themselves while commencing the verses on a stone, or sod; the first verse being spoken they renewed their march. Thus departed Baruch and Chisdai, with their teacher Rabbi Saul Morteira between them.

"So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord!" (Judges V. 31) said Chisdai at last. "On this haughty man the judgment of the Lord has declared itself in all its might. Thou didst not see his pen-