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Set 10





In the city of Cordoba, we were in conflict with the Muslims and the
I, Rabbi Abraham, was a man who had never questioned any article of my
My certitude and self worth took a mighty blow one day when a curious looking man entered the square of the
His appearance was excellent—a very handsome specimen of
However, my hopes were dashed! For as I started to walk over to the man, he turned his gaze from me and strode over hurriedly to the crowd of the debating Muslims, Jews and The stranger looked on wards as the three men haggled back and The man met their gaze with silence for a few
ˇ° My good fellow! Surely Allah has ordained for this moment! We are in need of some fresh blood in this tiresome quarrel! Perhaps, if Allah permits, you can lend us your support in the cause of our religion? I sense a mighty spirit in you, and you do not have the manner of a Christian and certainly not a jew! Who art thou and from where do you hail from? ˇ°

The stranger immediately replied, ˇ° I am
A silence ensued for a few
Cristobal said, ˇ° I have no
Akbud: ˇ°Then you are atheist?ˇ±

Cristobal: ˇ°Nay!ˇ±

Akbud: ˇ° What then? I am at a loss for words! How is this possible? Please explain!ˇ±

Cristobal: ˇ° My good fellow, it matters not! I have traveled the world and have seen many and marvelous things—and you inquire me of religion? My world wide pursuits have broadened and seasoned me and I am quite free from the prison of the

After Cristobal had said these things, I felt a tremor welling in my
Now of this man, Cristobal: What was it that he had said which made me fall into this horror? He had not really said much of anything as of yet—-it was his manner, his forceful and powerful persona, that disquieting fire in his
Cristobal continued on his speech: ˇ° I am a loss as to what you religious men are debating over! You all believe in One
Cristobal paused and looked around at the
Fernando: ˇ° My most holy religion forbids me!ˇ±

Cristobol: ˇ° But on what grounds?ˇ±

Fernando: ˇ° It is adultery!ˇ±

Cristobol: ˇ° Adultery! Well and good! Now one must not adulterize to be sure, ha! But hear this—-what would you do if your wife committed violence on your person? What would you do if she was not willing to perform the marriage act with you? A divorce?ˇ±

Fernando: ˇ° My man, I would get the marriage annulled as I do not believe in divorce!ˇ±

Cristobal: ˇ° Oh how I love you brainwashed dupes! Annullment, haha! A spade is a spade man! If your Pope made a papal bull declaring that the sun is purple, you would believe it! But you believe that there are impediments which render the marriage as null and void in the first
ˇ° Do you believe that the All loving God requires a man to suffer needlessly in such an arrangement? Suffering is not of Infinite Benevolence, but your priests love to extract as much suffering as possible out of their
Fernando said, ˇ° What!? You would make whores of women? This is an abomination!ˇ±

Cristobal: ˇ° It is only your cramped and narrow minds which make a beautiful thing such as sexual love into a dirty
ˇ° You do not believe in God! You are blinded by fear and prejudices—you do not want to lose the esteem of your fellow men, so you blindly follow the man made rules which mock Nature!ˇ±


After Cristobal had finished these words, I marshaled my inner forces and determined within myself to
ˇ° I have heard your words and have found some rather startling ideas Cristobal! Now, I do not perceive anything in you that suggests a profane babbler of words for you speak as if you have ruminated over many things in a thoughtful yet unorthodox
Cristobal fixed his gaze on me as I gathered my
ˇ° Now, I have heard you say that the words of Moses which we have in our holy books were not really his—-I must object to this! We have a strong tradition which goes back to ancient days that says that the five books of Moses came from his
I finished my statement with a relieved sigh and a pounding
Immediately he replied:

ˇ° Certainly a kernel of MosesˇŻ thoughts and sentiments exist in your holy books, but nonetheless they have been edited, rehashed and perverted to support the notions of the
ˇ° The prophet Micah said this: ˇ°What does God require of you? To do justice, to love kindness and mercy and to walk in unison with your Godˇ±—that is all! Now do not many of the Gentiles strive to do these very things? Then how can you seek to enslave your own people and the nations of the man made laws which can only serve to degrade? For there are 613 binding commandments laid upon your nation, many of them cannot even be performed because it requires your nation to be in the land of
At this point, I became flustered and was at a loss for
ˇ° Our prophets have given the promise of the Messiah—and this Messiah will exalt our nation and make the Gentiles subservient to
Cristobal said,

ˇ° I am in actual agreement with you on this save your assertion that this Messiah will be some sort of general for a tribal god—Natural reason demands a Universal God, therefore it does not follow that the Creator would employ the services of a ˇ°messiahˇ± who would exalt one people over
ˇ° Now what remains for your Messiah? He is not some saviour for any group of people, but in reality he comes at a time when the peoples of the world have been sufficiently educated in the liberal principles of natural
After Cristobal finished, he took into his hands a curious object from out of his
A sudden flash of a new thought filled my
ˇ° My worthy man, I have looked upon your curious habit of this smoking tobacco and I now recall to mind what you said earlier, namely this: That you have traveled the world and have experienced many wonderful
He answered and said,

ˇ° Without a doubt! I made voyages to the New World a number of years
A tremor of excitement filled me and I said boldly,

ˇ° Are you that one whom they call Christopher Columbus?ˇ±

He said simply, ˇ°Aye!ˇ±

I was
ˇ° I have yet many things to say, but I must forbear as I am a secretive
He then closed with this remark:

ˇ° I have become a new man in an Old and New World—-I came out of the Old World filled with illusions and I came out of the New World as a man
After he said these things, he fixed his eyes upon Rabbi Shimon and

We entered the house of Cristobal that same day as it neared the eve of the His whole bearing and manner was very suggestive of a Hebraic character, for he was a contradiction in his
Cristobal was all manners as he received Shimon, I and certain other fellow rabbis into his
He answered back, ˇ° Our nation stands under threat of extermination on a continual basis and you quibble over a such a trivial matter as this? What if I were to tell you that my service to God would surpass all of the Sabbath day observances of the past 3500 years of jewish history? Haha! Now you are looking upon me as if I were a blasphemer! Haha!ˇ±

At once he stood up and walked over to his
As I looked upon Cristobal, a sudden wellspring of emotion filled
ˇ° Now I have envisioned a plan that will truly mark a new beginning not only for jews, but also for Christians and
Rabbi Shimon and I looked with wonder upon this
ˇ° And if I were to tell you half of my story, your ears would tingle! For there has been a cloud of conspiracy around my life, and I have been in the thick of sinister intrigues amongst certain people who are unknown to the
As we left the house, we all warmly embraced Cristobal, and we left with merriment and joy in our
(To be continued).

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