(The Marriage Contract )
by Anne Hart
LISBON, PORTUGAL, OCTOBER 19, 1739
Echoes of Bach pealed through the great marble halls, played by a quartet from Saxony. The bride almost was afraid to wear the Dutch lace that the rebellious rabbi from Amsterdam had smuggled into Lisbon. And as a mighty fugue ravaged the Moorish halls, the bride paused by a window atop the marble turret stairs.
Beneath a damask mantilla, orange blossoms were woven through her burnished chestnut hair, which was twisted into a chignon.
The tall, whippet-wiry bride might have stepped down from an El Greco painting with her porcelain white skin and Phoenician profile defended by the blazing topaz eyes of a Spanish Grandee. Behind the window’s shadowed lattice she gazed outside through narrowed lids at the crowd gathered to watch the final scene in a brilliant drama.
At noon the warm sun silvered the birches that rustled through the street. The birds screamed. Someone was screaming. The sounds ripped through the streets as the organ played louder.
Was that my voice? Dulca Seixas Cardoza thought. Its. sound was a compelling tattoo, muffled and strange, as if it belonged to another person. Panicky, shallow gasps were all she could manage. The storm of emotions that overtook her sent her trembling.
Aday of wrath dawned at her wedding site. For just beyond the dark forbidding walls of the towering fortress that guarded the Cardoza family’s secret Judaizing for more than two hundred years, an auto da fe began, the burning of all heretics in the city of Lisbon.
The great crowd that was to come to her wedding instead gathered to watch the final scene in a drama more brilliant than the wedding of Dulca Seixas Cardoza, one of lberia’s wealthiest women. As the spectators formed a circle, the soft, seductive slapping of unseen hands throbbed a persuasive sound that prepared for the final crescendo.
One of the kingdom’s most prominent citizens came forward clad in the Inquisition’s penitential garb of shame, the sambenito. Haggard and pale as whey from his long confinement in the dungeons of the Holy Office, Antonio Jose da Silva was led onto the Rocio.
There, in the same place in which the blood bath of 1506 had begun, at the same time when the Cardoza family went into sworn secrecy, the thirty-four-year old Dom Antonio ran his fingers through his thick, spice brown hair and roared with condemnations. “Throw more wood on the fire, you jackasses! I’m paying the bill.”
“Let him burn slowly. Don’t put any more wood on,” came a reply from the crowd. “Why should it be over quickly?” The playwright’s strong Greek face contorted like rubber as the columns of smoke rose.
“He’s sprouting horns!” A woman shouted. “The demons are escaping!” She screamed and crossed herself. An iron cross of penitence was thrust against his lips. But Dom Antonio turned his head away and cried out. “Here ol Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
Once more he raked the eyes of the crowd at his feet and saw that the womens’ tears were sincere. They begged, and pleaded, and prayed for him to kiss the cross before he was burned. They even tore their clothes.
“I have been a source of profit to the Holy Inquisition!” Dom Antonio saluted the crowd in the manner of an ancient gladiator. “How much did the sale of my home bring?”
Among the onlookers at his immolation were members of his own family, their presence there compelled by the Inquisition. The executioner asked him again if he would take the cross to kiss it. Finally he did to avoid the pain of being burned alive. Dom Antonio was quickly garroted and his body burned at the quemadeiro.
Antonio Jose da Silva was Dulcals distant cousin. Dom Antonio was one of Portugal’s outstanding dramatists. On the very night of his sacrifice, one of his comedies was performed in Lisbon’s famous Bairro Alto.
The Seixas-Cardoza fortress was to know no rest this day. Dom Diego Jose, the father of the bride, felt bewildered and tightened his lips.
“The wedding has been postponed,” he protested in distress. Two serving girls nudged each other, exchanging meaningful wide-eyed stares, then hurried through the dank, echoing halls.
“I will not have my daughter married in fear!”The auto da fe just outside grew into a raging mob, waving sticks. Dom Diego Jose ran into Dulca’s chamber and drew the drapes.
“I will get word to Joao. Get out of your wedding gown.” He was nobody’s fool. Dom Diego Jose had noted the way people stared over their shoulders at the family during Mass, the looks in the theater, the visits by the inquisition, and had instantly decided that somehow the entire family must leave the country.He rushed out to alert his wife, Anna. A few quests were still in the main dining room eating the honey cakes set out on the long, mahogany table.
The smaller tables were lavishly set with silver service and Chantilly lace tablecloths and laden with an abundance of well-seasoned roast hens served in glazed earthenware casseroles. Servants continually replenished overflowing swan-bowls of magnificent fruits.
Candles burned in lead crystal and gold candelabra, flattering the royal blue drapes that hung against the gold-colored-walls. Arched recesses here were cluttered with faded two hundred-year-old family portraits brought out of Cordoba and Sevilla.
Two serving girls frowned, rolled their eyes at each other and nudged elbows. “I’m sorry, the wedding has been postponed.” In a staccato burst of thunder, a powerful patron protested loudly to the servants. “Take back the presents!”
The rancor of Dom Diego Jose’s jackboots on the marble steps and the tapping of his bronze-headed Malacca sword cane captured his audience. “Joao has fallen ill.” He impaled his guests with a penetrating stare.
In her room, Dulca removed her long mantilla and let her gown slip to the burgundy oriental rug. Outside, the crowd had not slackened, and the smoke from the charred quemadeiro and acrid odor of burning flesh were filtering into her room.
Dulca sat down before her boudoir mirror, let out her chignon, and brushed the ribbons of dark ash brown waves until they shined like myrrh-scented burnished highways. She quickly dressed herself in her usual street clothes and began to toss articles of clothing into a trunk in the corner.
A door hidden behind drapes, leading from the basement to her chambers, opened from the inside. Her heart rolled over. “I had to come this way,” Joao said.
She was relieved to see him. “You know what’s going on down there,” he added meditatively. Dulca nodded.
Which meant Dom Diego Jose’s family and Joao would set sail on the Esperanca for Brazil. Joao was returning there, against all wishes of the government, to collect an important debt regarding his gold mines which he shared with Dom Diego Jose, who was also prominent in the lace industry.
After collecting his debt, Joao fully intended to lead the family to British America.
“We’re traitors–traitors to our homeland,” she said, her eyes clawing him like talons.
“Lisbon has violated me.” The breath burnt in his tortured throat. “Can there be any disbelief in you? Then look outside the window at our cousin, betrayed by a servant.
Dom Diego Jose had been tried as a relapso. He had abjured vehemently and was reconciled to the church, but always was under suspicion.
She bowed her head. “I beg of you not to take us to Brazil. There must be some other country that can be bribed to accept us.”
He gave her a baffled look. “I cannot lose my self.”
“You will take us to British America or else!” Tears trembled on Dulca’s lashes.
“We can’t get there, now.” Joao said grimly. “To see your alabaster face, I’d give my soul, Dulca. For heaven’s sake, what is it in life that you value–a black eyebrow arched mischievously into his forehead–I dreamed last night that half of Lisbon had fought a bloody battle over you.”
“You ignore even my ultimatums.” At the same time she pleaded common sense, inwardly she knew Joao was a man who would risk anything for her.
The light in his silver eyes shone like bits of porcelain. She studied a tendril of jet black hair that fell across his tanned forehead and smoothed his high cheekbones with her long, delicate fingers.
There was an ache in her throat as she thought that this would have been the day she was to wed Joao Pereira Nunes. He moaned, as if in pain. “We’re expected tonight at the comedy of Antonio Da Silva. If we don’t show up at the Bairro Alto, do you know what they’ll think?”
“I’ll go with my father. He’s told everyone you’re ill.”
“Then I’ll see you tonight on the Esperanca. His deep-timbred voice was gentle, as he closed his large hands around her tiny waist.
“I’ll send them away.”
He hugged her close as she wept in his arms. Night had descended, and the darkness was still punctured by the light of the auto da fe, the burning stakes of the quemadeiro.
The clikata, clikata, clikata of the fine carriage wheels over cobblestones nearly shook Dulca senseless. Depthless eyes, black as a new moon, were full of expectation.
“Hide this well.” Annals voice quaked. She placed a diamond of two hundred carats and a purse heavy with cruzados in Dulca’s hands. “My brother made a fortune by trading in diamonds in Brazil before he was sent to India. Do not let the Kaffirs of Europe put a cloud on your good fortune or your marriage.”
Dulca trembled with eagerness. “Put on your wedding gown,” her father said. “I will see to it that you and Joao are married this night.”
“The haham from Amsterdam–he’s here with me, on boa:rd for many days since it left Venice. The great rabbi dared not step off the ship. I had to send him baskets of fish, eggs and olives.”
“A rabbi to conduct a wedding on Portuguese waters to marry two baptized Portuguese Catholics?” Dulca asked increduously.
He had spared no expense. “As long as we are distinguished as New Christians, will we continue to marry our own kind.”
New Christians. The distinction was removed between old and new Christians in Brazil six years before.
The carriage didn’t stop anywhere. It drove on, out of Lisbon, and towards the quay where Captain Joao Pereira Nunes’ ship, the Esperanca, was waiting to stretch its canvas and flee across the silver blackness of the open ocean under a path of moonlight.
On the filthy decks, a few scrawny chickens scattered out of sight. Some music winded through the wooden passageways and faded into nuances of delight.
Dom Diego Jose leaned his immaculate black-velvet-wrapped arms upon the slimy taffrail and openly wept.
“I care not, father,” Dulca interrupted swiftly. She turned to her mother, Anna, and quirked an eyebrow at her. “Fear is everywhere.”
Anna’s lips were taut with anger. She replied with contempt that forbade any further argument. “We are Spaniards without a country.” She caressed a large key which she wore around her neck on a thick gold chain.
“This key still opens the door to my family’s ancestral home in Seville. It has been passed on from mother to daughter for more than two hundred years.”
“And will always be,” Dulca replied. “Lest we forget who we are.” Anna felt as if she were choking on her own words.
There was no way of getting letters from her brother. He had returned openly to Judaism in Newport, British America, taking the the name of Aboab Levi Cardoza.
“Because of Joao’s debts for maintaining his Brazilian diamond mines, you toss me to the snake pit.”
Dulca felt she was being watched, perhaps overheard. Her senses were keen, sharpened by the double life she led.
“We’re partners. There’s no way I can survive without collecting these debts,” he said, stung.
“If you were the Holy Office, would you trust our family?” Her words went through him painfully, even though he smoothed her shoulder gently to reassure her.
“I’ve even selected a name to signalize my release from this fiery furnace–Nissim. It means ‘miracles.’ We will live to see the colonies of America.”
Musical notes froze into a concert of doom. At the Bairro Alto, the comedy’s curtains were about to rise on the greatest playwright Portugal had ever known.
The joyless, masquerade was necessary. “No Lisbon converso would have been ignorant of what happened today on the Rocio,” Dom Diego Jose whispered to Dulca as the curtain rose.
The whole community knew that King Joao V himself had interceded to no avail in the fate of the great playwright’s conviction. Even the king had lost his power to the long arm of the Inquisition.
“I can’t live with this,” Dulca said, shuddering.
“At this time you would have been taking your marriage vows under the chuppah. What better canopy could you choose to be married under than one that sails to a new world?”
She blushed all the way to the top of her teal satin gown. Lourenco, her brother, was a relapso, a fugitive Judaizer who left Portugal when Dulca was a child because he fell into difficulties with the Holy Office. He supposed himself in danger of being imprisoned in that horrid place and went first to England and then to America.
Dulca’s heart refused to believe what her mind told her. “If we could have only gotten word to Lourenco.” Without a stigma, any signs of conversos returning to their old faith weren’t likely to occur.
‘”You’re all mad with power.” Dulca’s cheeks burned in remembrance of the auto da fe. “Or the lack of it.”
Later, in the theater, after their cousin’s comedy play concluded, Dom Diego Jose rushed Dulca out through a side door. The carriage sped through the cobblestone streets in driving rain that cleared the Lisbon air of the smoke and stench of burning flesh.
The downpour tore the clay pots of pink geraniums from the window ledges of the white houses. Through the misty streets the horses galloped in the dark of the night. Clikata, clikata, clikata….
There were no stars to light the black satin night, only the moonlit coach that drove them far from a fortress home that no longer would be theirs by the light of morning.
“There is enough wine and oil,” Anna said, brimming, with optimism.
In Lisbon all New Christians had to wear distinctive garments. The stigma perpetuated the practice of secret religious services in the home.
On the Esperanca the dress requirements were deliberately disregarded. Anna thought how her beautiful daughter would light up the captain’s quarters this night in her billowing wedding gown, it’s white satin ruffles set with brilliants and silver damask threads.
“Teach me what to say, father,” Dulca pleaded. “I know nothing of the ways of our people. How am I to conduct myself at the ceremony?”
“The haham, Lumbroso, the enlightened one from Amsterdam–he will speak with you soon.
“And what of the sailors and the other passengers in this ship?”
“No one will hear a sound. The captain’s cabin will be locked.”
“And the haham?”
“In masquerade as a bishop from Barcelona.”
Dom Diego Jose had left nothing undone. The candles
were left burning for days.
“I know nothing of Mosaic law,” Ducla whispered. So why must I die for it when we are caught?”
“Surely you jest,” Anna said, crossing herself.
Dom Diego Jose caught her hand in mid-air. “Your mother wasn’t crossing herself. It looks like that when she moves her hand rapidly as she does at Mass. Actually, she was touching her fingers to her eyelids, to her heart and to her mouth, whispering the words, ‘Adonai, in my eyes, Adonai in my heart, Adonai in my speech–forever.
Dulca thought of the time when she once asked a visitor whether he remembered the old faith. He shoved her with such rage that she flew clear across the room and hit the wall. She never dared to ask anyone again about that.
“How could we trust a child with our secret?” Dom Diego anchored Dulca in place, squeezing her arms to her sides.
He took a tiny tear vial out of his waistcoat pocket and handed it to Dulca. “According to the Psalms, your tears are supposed to fill this bottle.”
Dulca hid the tear vial in the plaits of her chignon. “The tear vial will be the sign that you are one of us. Wherever you go, it is the signal between conversos that they have relapsed to the original faith.”
“Is the Holy Office aware of this?” Dulca remembered how the relapsos were paraded through the city on burros with their hands tied behind their backs, the worse yet to come.
“I want to stand by you as you take your vows beside your captain,” he said.
And Their Sephardic Wedding Ritual of 1739 Proceeded in the Following Tradition
“Tonight the Erusin–the betrothal ceremony will take place as part of the ceremony under the Chuppah canopy. It will be followed by the Seder Nisuyin–the marriage ceremony with the blessing over the wine and the Sheva Berakhot–the Seven Benedictions .
“Will Joao know of these rites?” Dulea asked.
“No, not yet.”
“Later.” Dom Diego Jose put his arm around his daughter’s shoulders and shunted her away from the taffrail as footsteps grew louder.
When the other people had passed he hurried his wife and daughter to the captain’s quarters.
The door of the moonlit cabin was triple-locked. Heavy, black cloth covered the windows to shut out the light of the candles from prying eyes.
Joao stood in a corner. The candle flames appeared to arch and stretch, dancing the shadows and rippling patterns of the wind-wracked drapes across his face. He bolted the wooden shutters.
Dulca saw the heart rendering tenderness of his gaze and rushed into his arms. Her whole being seemed to be filled with waiting. She could feel his heart thudding against her own.
“My life, my soul,” he whispered, kissing her on her closed eyelids.
There is the trunk with your wedding gown, Anna pointed. “Go in the Captain’s bed chambers and put it on.” Dulca broke loose from his grip and knelt by the trunk. She took her gown and disappeared into the small room. Lumbroso sat at the great mahogany desk that belonged to Joao, Captain of the Esperanca de Portugal, the hope.
In the blackened chamber, Dulca lighted one candle and sat before the mirror. The billowing satin skirts had a delicate feminine grace, and the tightly-laced bodice, afire with brilliants and silver threads displayed embroidered symbols of prayer, secret in their meaning and hidden to all but family members as to their tradition.
Words and Gestures in the Ritual
Lumbroso explained to Joao what all these strange words meant, how he was to say his blessing, the Shema: Hear ol Israel, the Lord, thv God, the Lord is one. That he was to utter the name of the Lord, Adonai, and touch his fingertips to his eyelids, and the other prayers, blessings from the magnificent Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam about which he had heard so much.
“Under the circumstances, it’s impossible to have a group of ten men here. We can’t even have two witnesses other than the parents of the bride,” Anna explained.
“Where are Joao’s parents and the rest of his family?” Lumbroso asked.
“Relaxed at the stake at the great auto da fe in Brazil.” Joao felt his fists bunching at his sides as all heads bowed and swayed.
“Marry us,” Anna shouted. “After you marry my children, can you marry Dom Diego Jose and I?” She spoke in a calm and determined manner. “We had to take our vows to each other in the secrecy of our home, and so we were never joined by a rabbi. In Lisbon we had a large church wedding, married by a priest in order to avoid the eyes of the Inquisitor.”
“I’ll marry you, then. Just follow along with this ritual and we’ll include one more couple,” Lumbroso laughed. “I’ve performed many kitchen weddings.”
“Peace be upon you, rabbi.” Anna smiled.
“I’m writing the Ketuba, the marriage contract,” The rabbi, the haham, had smiling hazel eyes, wide at the corner and almond-shaped at the far ends. “Your Hebrew names must be carefully recorded on the contract,” he said, taking up his scrimshawed pen.
“Will the hatan–the groom–come forward?” Joao stepped up to Lumbroso. “Have the bride and groom fasted all day today?”
“Yes, coincidentally.” Joao answered. “Dom Diego Jose made the fast possible by chasing all the guests from the public wedding. When he saw the auto da fe in the street, he knew the celebration inside could never continue.”
“You can eat at the Chuppah after I marry you.” Lumbroso’s translucent eyes danced with mirth. He pushed his wild, silver hair back under his bishop’s hat and laughed on a wisp of a breath.
“I will now instruct you how to pray the Minha service before the wedding, according to the customs of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam and London,” Lumbroso said. He went through the tense and tedious tones, translating all the Hebrew words into Portuguese, explaining the significance.
Uttering the Words of Tradition, The Amida and the Vidui
“Now the groom must say his special Amida of ‘Ereb Yom Kippur’ with the special confessional prayers called the ‘Vidui while he is praying the ‘Minha service with a Minyan, a quorum. We don’t have ten men present for a quorum.” Lumbroso slapped his palms against his temples.
“The what?” Dulce trembled.
“The Mikveh, the bride’s ritual bath before the marriage ceremony,” said Lumbroso.
If I were in Amsterdam, I would have known,” she said apologetically.
“I’ve already checked the eligibility for the marriage. Of course in England you would have had to post the banns before you two could wed.”
“Please, rabbi, we’re on Portuguese waters.” Dom Diego Jose extended his hand with impatience.
“Both parents are Jewish.” Lumbroso whistled a long breath, then spoke more quickly. “From what cities in Spain did your family flee to Portugal in the far past?”
“Cordoba, Gerona, and Granada,” Dom Diego Jose answered.
“Seville.” said Anna. For more than two hundred years the family had lived in Lisbon.
“I see by the papers that Joao and Dulca have not been married before.”
“You know that,” Dulca’s father insisted.
“An engagement is marked without the writing of the conditions of marriage,” Lumbroso remarked. “The traditions of our Sepharadim are different in England– another way in Amsterdam, and still another in Salonica and Venice.”
“Joao,” she whispered, swaying toward him in her satin skirts, sure of herself and her rightful place in the rituals and links of all the generations she could visualize. Dulca turned her head slightly and took her father’s arm as he led her a few steps to face Isaac Lumbroso.
The Wedding Vows
Joao came out of the darkness and stood next to her before the great rabbi of Amsterdam who was garbed in the clothing of a bishop from Barcelona.
“Joao Pereira Nunes!” Lumbroso spoke in a deep, gravelly voice. “Son of Jose de Sola Nunes and Justa -Mendes Pereira, what is your Hebrew name?”
“Jacob,.” he answered. “I will take the name of Jacob, though I have much to learn of my people in many other lands and times. I have a people of my own, now, don’t I– a people that warmly welcome me?”
“Dulca Seixas Cardoza, daughter of Dom Diego Jose De Sola Cardoza and Anna Lopez Pioxotto Seixas, what is your Hebrew name?
“Miriam” after her grandmother, Maria,” Anna answered.
Dulca spun around and nodded to her mother. Joao took her hand and squeezed it gently sending an unbearable thrill through her heart.
“Have you gone to the Mikveh?” Lumbroso asked.
“The what?” Dulca asked.
“The Mikveh, the bride’s ritual bath. You must go there before the ceremony,” Lumbroso said.
“If I were in Amsterdam, I would have been told,” said Dulca.
“Now following the drinking of the glass of wine, the bridegroom breaks the glass in memory of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which is supposed to conclude the ceremony,” Lumbroso explained.
“You know we can’t break any glass in here. The noise would attract attention,” Joao said, holding up the exquisite crystal wine glass.
“Well, that’s what we do in Amsterdam,” Lumbroso said. “When we meet in Curacao, I will be happy to help you renew your vows with the finest crystal, but by that time, you could be celebrating your twentieth anniversary.”
Anna kissed the bride’s cheek and the groom’s. And Joao kissed his mother-in-law’s hand. They shook Lumbroso’s hand and patted him on the back. Everybody kissed one another’s cheek.
A hearty meal of boiled fish and olives, baskets of fruit, Anna’s honey cake, spinach, eggs, and home-made wine filled the air with scents of home once more. Joao lowered Lumbroso through the trap door in the Captain’s quarters to his secret hiding place.
“These couples are now married,” announced rabbi Isaac Lumbroso, “in the name of the nation of Portugual and of Holland, and according to the laws and usage of the Jewish people.”
“I call upon you to establish a loyal and fruitful house amongst the people of Israel, fruitful in charity, wisdom, and compassion, indeed, as well as family,” Lumbroso said, handing the marriage contract to the bride. “I know you don’t have a written marriage contract. So I’ll write one to keep for you in Holland or Curacao where these records can be public.”
Lumbroso asked the family to have more patience as he recited the Seven Benedictions. “You’ve waited a lifetime for this,” he said, as he gave the blessings. “Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. May the sorrows depart from Israel and rejoicing increase among us.”
The rabbi then poured more wine and cider and handed cups to the bride and bridegroom and then to the parents. He opened his arms and beckoned to the two couples. “Would the bride remove all her jewelry before she steps under the Chuppah?”
The women took off their jewelry and dropped the pieces into a satin brocade sack. “There’s room for four people, move closer,” he added.
Words of the Marriage Vows
Lumbroso began the actual ceremony with the words “Besiman Tob, sabrei maranan” followed by the blessing over the wine and the blessing of “Erusin–the betrothal, “Mekadesh Israel al yedei Chuppah vekidushin.
The words were foreign and unknown to everyone in the room except Lumbroso who then handed the bride and groom some wine to drink. Dulca and Joao sipped first. Then her mother and father drank from the cup.
“Do you accept to marry each other by your own free will?” the rabbi asked.
Each replied in the affirmative.
The ring was then taken from Dulca and carefully examined by Lumbroso. “I will now say the ‘Kiddishin.’ This is a blessing after which the groom will place the ring on the right hand index finger of the bride as he recites these words. Repeat after me.”
“Be thou betrothed unto me by this ring in accordance with the laws of Moses and Israel.”
Lumbroso first had Joao repeat after him each word in Hebrew–‘Harei at medudeshet li betabaat zo kedat Moshe ve Israel,’ and then again in Portuguese so that he was sure Joao understood the meaning.
“We’ve waited a lifetime for this miracle,” Dom Diego Jose said. He drew his wife closer and put his arm around her waist, happy at the sight of her delicate beauty.
“You can present her with the ring,” Lumbroso added. Joao took out of his pocket a blue velvet box and placed the ring in her open palm so she could cherish it.
At the same time Anna took off her wedding ring and handed it to her husband who slipped it back into her palm, renewing her vows silently and smiling with content and serenity.
The Ketubah, a Marriage Contract
“I shall read the Ketubah.” Lumbroso stepped away from under the Chuppah.
He began to read the marriage contract. “Since we do not have two witnesses–the Edim— to sign this contract, will the both parents sign after the names of the bride and groom?” Each couple signed as witnesses for one another.
“Where is the groom’s hat?” Lumbroso asked. Joao eagerly turned and twisted, searching the room for his hat. He saw it on a chair and placed it on his head.
“Now that the marriage contract is signed, would you please step under the Chuppah which I have so cautiously set up in this room? “These couples are now married,” Lumbroso said, looking at Dulca and her mother with their grooms–one renewing her vows after many years, the other starting a new life far away.
“British America is no paradise for an immigrant Jew from Portugal,” said the Rabbi from Amsterdam. “Yet there is no office sitting in watchful judgment over the consciences of those who heed the laws of Sinai.”