Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/372

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350
SPINOZA.

"Something else occurs to me," said Meyer. "Would it be, to express it from a legal point of view, permissible for Jews and Christians to intermarry?"

"No Rabbi on earth could bring forward an absolute prohibition. Christians are, from a Jewish point of view, merely regarded as a Jewish sect. That their numerical power in the course of events has become greater makes no difference to the fact. We have sects among the Jews, even individual Talmudists, who consider faith in a Messiah as immaterial and not among the necessary laws of their religion. A union between Jews and Christians cannot be forbidden."

"As long as such intermarriages are unusual," resumed Meyer, "the detestation connected with the name of Jew will not be generally uprooted. I could almost be in favor of this union. It would seem so glorious to me to be the Jewish redeemer in this case. But no, you must not only be a Jew, you must remain a bachelor. It is only thus that you fulfil your mission. Whoever takes upon himself family ties and social obligations, his straightforward, strictly logical orderings of life and thought are split up and interrupted. Distraction and interruption enter of necessity, and I can already see in my own profession what it is to let my thoughts be turned hither and thither by the thousand changing chances of life. The steady, uninterrupted stream