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

on the palm; then he pushed his hat back from his brow, and studied the lines of his face for awhile. Then he thoughtfully paced the room; firmly and mildly he did his utmost to dissuade Baruch from his purpose. Baruch was almost moved to tears, but, with a trembling voice, he still reiterated his firm determination without irresolution. "Well, so be it," said the Rabbi at last. "I am afraid you will only endanger yourself and perish, but I will be your leader. God will lead me in the way of truth. Come to me to-night after evening service."

The synagogue keeper Elasar Merimon could not repress his astonishment when he saw the youth coming with the Rabbi to the Mikwe.

"Peace be with you. Rabbi Baruch," he said, and grinned curiously.

The Rabbi commanded him to say nothing to any one of Baruch's presence there, and to go away himself as he did not need him that day. He took the key and lantern, and opened the tower-like edifice. The dull light of the lantern illuminated but dimly the bare, dusky walls and wooden benches around; in the middle was a well-like hole that was the bath. The Rabbi muttered a prayer and undressed carefully, observing all the while the precepts from the "Book of Chastity" written above. He had not quite undressed when he seized the lantern, and with rapid strides descended the thirty