Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/179

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157
THE CABBALIST.

more or less remote emanation from God. The end of creation, however, is the law; only for this revelation was the world created, for, according to the singular division of the words we read in Jen xxxiii. 25, "Thus saith the Lord, If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth."

What is the triumph of victory or the power to rule nations compared to this immediate spiritual intercourse!

Rabbi Aboab used his own Hebrew translation of the Spanish Book of Erira as a guide to the oral law, which, according to the words and sense of the Cabbala, must ever remain unwritten, and only be passed on from mind to mind.

Here at last Baruch attained a higher hold by which he could swing himself onward. He strove to separate the inner kernel from the outward shell of grotesque and extraordinary observances, but he found with pain that these especially were represented as essentials: that general ideas do not suffice where the question is one of penetrating the actual, and solving the enigmas of the fate of men and nations, but must fall back on the strange suppositions of the doctrine of metempsychosis, and the powers of evil spirits, in which nature and her laws lose themselves in confusion and anarchy.

The Rabbi was rejoiced at the zeal of his scholar, but often reminded him that if any one would pen-