Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/430

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408
SPINOZA.

Be thy wife; in thine hour of death
May others defile her.—
This ban, and this curse
On Baruch, son of Benjamin.
But on all Israel
And on me rest the peace of God
And his blessing eternally."

On this the Rabbi took the Thora from the sacred ark, unrolled it and read (Deut. xxix. 19, etc.): "And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: the Lord will not spare him. But then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven." The Thora was returned to the sacred ark, the Schofar was again blown, and all those present said, turning towards Spinoza,

"Cursed be thy coming in, and cursed be thy going out."

All spat towards him, and recoiled four paces, as with unbroken firmness he left the synagogue. Would this exit from the accustomed sanctuary be entrance to another, or would he never more enter a temple of stone, and outwardly prove that a free man is the temple of God?