THE GOD OF VENGEANCE
mother. . . and have pure children, Jewish children, just like every Jewish daughter." That's what I'll say to her.
That is, you will present the Holy Scroll as a wedding-gift to your son-in-law. That's the idea, isn't it? (To the Scribe.) Do you see, Reb Aaron, there are still pious Jews in the world; here's a man with a daughter, and has a Scroll of the Law written for her future husband. . . How beautiful that is, — how virtuous ... I tell you, Reb Aaron, that the spirit of Israel, the Jewish spark. . . the. . . ahem. . . ah ! . . ah! . . . (Smacking his lips.)
Yekel, leads Rifkele back into her room. He closes the door after her.
Rebbi, I can speak plainly to you. We're alone. My wife may hear it, too. We are sinners. I know, God will punish us. Let Him punish. That doesn't bother me. Let Him cripple me, disfigure me; let Him make me a pauper, so that I'll have to go begging from door to door. . . Anything but that. . . (More softly.) Rebbi, when a man has a son who goes to the bad — the devil take him. But a daughter, Rebbi. If a daughter falls, it is as if the mother had sinned in her grave. So I went to the holy synagogue and approached this man (Pointing to Reb Ali.) and I said to him: "Give me some-
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