Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/127

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105
TALMUD AND LATIN.

out like a palisade of notes of exclamation: he laughed compassionately, and with ironic astonishment shook his learned head over the weak grounds taken against him; but Baruch pressed him more and more hotly, till at last Chisdai, shaking himself free, rushed at his opponent; he seized him by his cloak and would not allow him to say another word. Chisdai struck the table, turned himself from side to side, first to one and then another; it was all no good. Baruch had placed him in a dilemma by his tranquillity, from which he could not free himself. Chisdai sat down and bit his nails. Baruch quite simply explained the problem.

"It seems strange to me," he then said, "that a thing should be permitted because it was done; that could be done in many another case as well."

"The punishment of him who marries a gentile follows immediately," said Chisdai with a delighted face that no one understood but Baruch and himself; "for, as the Talmud says, directly after these verses follow those of the rebellious son, because of such a marriage only the godless could be the fruit."

Baruch did not answer him. "Then is this the conclusion," he inquired of the Rabbi, "that a marriage with a gentile is no sin?"

"You see that it is so," replied the Rabbi, "but only in time of war."

"Can God make one law for war and another for peace?"