Saturday, August 3, 2013
the last book I ever read (The Slave by Isaac Bashevis Singer, excerpt seven)
from The Slave by Isaac Bashevis Singer:
After a while, most of the Jews recognized their error, realized Satan had seduced them, and lost faith in the false Messiah. But some still conspired and kept up their pernicious idolatry. They met at fairs in distant cities and made themselves known to each other through various signs. They wrote the initials S-Z on the books, tools and other merchandise sold in their stores, and they exhibited talismans invented by Sabbatai Zevi. They were united not merely by the illusion that Sabbatai Zevi would return and rebuild Jerusalem, but by commerce. They bought and sold from each other, formed combines, worked for each other’s profit, and intrigued against their enemies. When one was accused of swindling, the others testified to his honesty and threw the blame on someone else. They soon became wealthy and powerful. At their meetings, they ridiculed the righteous—pointing out how easy it was to deceive them.