Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/175

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153
THE CABBALIST.

"I call on thee, God Almighty and Incomprehensible, who hast confided the secrets of thy existence to Adam, Enoch, Abraham, and Moses, who have handed them down even unto our day. Let thy Holy Spirit descend on me, and lead me, that I do not stumble in the way in which I would walk, and if ever I did violate or sin against Thy secrets may all the evils of fear overtake me that I tremble at my own shadow; may my tongue dry up, my entrails wither, my eyesight die out, my breath become poison that destroyeth my best beloved when they may approach me; may grass grow on the threshold of my father's house because none enter therein, and as I am damned here, may all the torments of Gehinom overwhelm me to all eternity. Therefore, O Lord, lead me that I rest under the shadow of thy wings, and bask in the light of thy glory. Amen! Amen!"

A shudder thrilled through his whole being, his lips blanched as he spoke these words, and even while he spoke a voice seemed to cry in him, "Woe unto thee! thou hast violated them since thou darest to enter here. Return!" But there was no return possible, the worst was over, and from that day forth the Rabbi became more confidential to his scholar.

They sat down to the table and the lesson began; the mystic reason why the Holy Scriptures begin with the letter Beth was disclosed; each letter and