Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/68

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46
SPINOZA.

Grotius on the beauties of the Idyllic poetry of Theocritus, and with Rabbi Isaak Aboab on the mixture of metals in the image of Nebuchadnezzar. It was Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel, whose wife, a grand-daughter of the renowned Don Isaak Abrabanel, derived her lineage in direct line from David, King of Israel.

For some seconds Rabbi Manasseh covered his eyes with his left hand, then began with a powerful voice that reached all corners of the synagogue:

"'O house of Jacob! come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.' The day is again returned on which we consecrated this house that we built unto the Lord, for He allowed us here to find a refuge from the hands of our persecutors; but not by the strength of our hands have we obtained it. If God build not the house, vain is the toil of the laborer. We have built a house here unto the Lord; oh that the walls would expand and rise, as far as the heavens are stretched above the earth; and that my voice would fill the whole world, that I might awake the echoes with thunders, and lay in their mouths these words, that one echo might call them unto another. 'O house of Jacob! come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord' (Is. ii. 5). I myself, you all know, I had an enlightened father; he suffered martyrdom, and saved naught but bare life from the hands of those who call themselves Christians: but let us not look back