Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/341

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319
KISSING AND DYING.

be thou, Eternal, Hearer of prayers. Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. Thou wilt save me, Eternal God of truth."

Baruch sat down at the bedside of his father whose breath came with ever-increasing difficulty; he clasped his son's hand whose fever heat the cold hand of death could not cool.

"Father!" cried Baruch; he could say no more.

"Pray for me, my son," said his father gently. The rattle became ever louder, every instant they thought his breath must stop; all those assembled cried incessantly:

"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God!"

The sick man prayed with them. He raised his eyes to Heaven, and with the word "one" he gave up his breath; his lips still pressed together, opened as if for a kiss—he was dead.

Rabbi Saul Morteira opened a window as a sign that the soul journeyed to Heaven, and all present repeated:

"Praised be the Righteous Judge!"

Baruch sank from his father's bed to the floor, and pressed the dead hand to his hot brow; from above in another chamber echoed the half suppressed lamentations of Miriam and Rebecca. Those present conversed in low whispers, and were just on the point of going away, when some one was heard to mount the stairs with loud, stumbling haste. The door was thrown open.