犹太女子的童话故事

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犹太女子的故事简介

1856年,这篇故事于发表在《丹麦大众历书》上。这个故事来源于匈牙利的一个古老的民间传说,但安徒生给它赋予了新的主题思想。《犹太女子》故事讲述一个穷苦的犹太姑娘为了坚守祖先和母亲的遗愿,在犹太教和基督教彼此排斥、势不两立的社会里仍然坚持自己的愿望。

犹太女子的故事

在一个慈善学校的许多孩子中间,有一个小小的犹太女孩子。她又聪明,又善良,可以说是他们之中最聪明的一个孩子。但是有一种课程她不能听,那就是宗教这一课①。是的,她是在一个基督教的学校里念书。

她可以利用上这一课的时间去温习地理,或者准备算术。但是这些功课一下子就做完了。书摊在她面前,可是她并没有读。她在坐着静听。老师马上就注意到,她比任何其他的孩子都听得专心。

“读你自己的书吧,”老师用温和而热忱的口气说。她的一对黑得发亮的眼睛望着他。当他向她提问题的时候,她能回答得比所有的孩子都好。她把课全听了,领会了,而且记住了。

她的父亲是一个穷苦而正直的人。他曾经向学校请求不要把基督教的课程教给这孩子听。不过假如教这一门功课的时候就叫她走开,那么学校里的别的孩子可能会起反感,甚至引其他们胡思乱想。因此她就留在教室里,但是老这样下去是不对头的。

老师去拜访她的父亲,请求他把女儿接回家去,或者干脆让萨拉做一个基督徒。

“她的那对明亮的眼睛、她的灵魂所表示的对教义的真诚和渴望,实在叫我不忍看不去!"老师说。

父亲不禁哭起来,说:

“我对于我们自己的宗教也懂得太少,不过她的妈妈是一个犹太人的女儿,而且信教很深。当她躺在床上要断气的时候,我答应过她,说我决不会让我们的孩子受基督教的洗礼。我必须保持我的诺言,因为这等于是跟上帝订下的一个默契。”

这样,犹太女孩子就离开了这个基督教的学校。

许多年过去了。在尤兰的一个小市镇里有一个寒微的人家,里面住着一个信仰犹太教的穷苦女佣人。她就是萨拉。她的头发像乌木一样发黑;她的眼睛深暗,但是像所有的东方女子一样,它们射出明朗的光辉。她现在虽然是一个成年的女佣人,但是她脸上仍然留下儿时的表情——单独坐在学校的凳子上、睁着一对大眼睛听课时的那种孩子的表情。

每个礼拜天教堂的风琴奏出音乐,做礼拜的人唱出歌声。这些声音飘到街上,飘到对面的一个屋子里去。这个犹太女子就在这屋子里勤劳地、忠诚地做着工作。

“记住这个安息日,把它当做一个神圣的日子!”这是她的信条。但是对她说来,安息日却是一个为基督徒劳作的日子。她只有在心里把这个日子当做神圣的日子,不过她觉得这还不太够。

不过日子和时刻,在上帝的眼中看来,有什么了不起的分别呢?这个思想是在她的灵魂中产生的。在这个基督徒的礼拜天,她也有她安静的祈祷的时刻。只要风琴声和圣诗班的歌声能飘到厨房污水沟的后边来,那么这块地方也可以说是安静和神圣的地方了。于是她就开始读她族人的唯一宝物和财产——《圣经·旧约全书》。她只能读这部书②,因为她心中深深地记得她的父亲所说的话——父亲把她领回家时,曾对她和老师讲过:当她的母亲正在断气的时候,他曾经答应过她,不让萨拉放弃祖先的信仰而成为一个基督徒。

对于她说来,《圣经·新约全书》是一部禁书,而且也应该是一部禁书。但是她很熟习这部书,因为它从童年时的记忆中射出光来。

有一天晚上,她坐在起居室的一个角落里,听她的主人高声地读书。她听一听当然也没有关系,因为这并不是《福音书》——不是的,他是在读一本旧的故事书。因此她可以旁听。书中描写一个匈牙利的骑士,被一个土耳其的高级军官俘获去了。这个军官把他同牛一起套在轭下犁田,而且用鞭子赶着他工作。他所受到的侮辱和痛苦是无法形容的。

这位骑士的妻子把她所有的金银首饰都卖光了,把堡寨和田产也都典当出去了,他的许多朋友也捐募了大批金钱,因为那个军官所要求的赎金是出乎意外地高。不过这笔数目终于凑集齐了。他算是从奴役和羞辱中获得了解放。他回到家来时已经是病得支持不住了。

不过没有多久,另外一道命令又下来了,征集大家去跟基督教的敌人作战。病人一听到这道命令,就无法休息,也安静不下来。他叫人把他扶到战马上。血集中到他的脸上来,他又觉得有气力了。他向胜利驰去。那位把他套在轭下、侮辱他、使他痛苦的将军,现在成了他的俘虏。这个俘虏现在被带到他的堡寨里来,还不到一个钟头,那位骑士就出现了。他问这俘虏说:

“你想你会得到什么待遇呢?”

“我知道!”土耳其人说。“报复!”

“一点也不错,你会得到一个基督徒的报复!”骑士说。

“基督的教义告诉我们宽恕我们的敌人,爱我们的同胞。上帝本身就是爱!平安地回到你的家里,回到你的亲爱的人中间去吧。不过请你将来对受难的人放温和一些,放仁慈一些吧!”

这个俘虏忽然哭起来:“我怎能梦想得到这样的待遇呢?我想我一定会受到酷刑和痛苦。因此我已经服了毒,过几个钟头毒性就要发作。我非死不可,一点办法也没有!不过在我没有死以前,请把这种充满了爱和慈悲的教义讲给我听一次。它是这么伟大和神圣!让我怀着这个信仰死去吧!让我作为一个基督徒死去吧!”

他的这个要求得到了满足。

刚才所读的是一个传说,一个故事。大家都听到了,也懂得了。不过最受感动和得到印象最深的是坐在墙角里的那个女佣人——犹太女子萨拉。大颗的泪珠在她乌黑的眼睛里发出亮光。她怀着孩子的心情坐在那儿,正如她从前坐在教室的凳子上一样。她感到了福音的伟大。眼泪滚到她的脸上来。

“不要让我的孩子成为一个基督徒!”这是她的母亲在死去时说的最后的话。这句话像法律似的在她的灵魂和心里发出回音:“你必须尊敬你的父母!”

“我不受洗礼!大家把我叫做犹太女子。上个礼拜天邻家的一些孩子就这样讥笑过我。那天我正站在开着的教堂门口,望着里面祭坛上点着的蜡烛和唱着圣诗的会众。自从我在学校的时候起,一直到现在,都觉得基督教有一种力量。这种力量好像太阳光,不管我怎样闭起眼睛,它总能射进我的灵魂中去。但是妈妈,我决不使你在地下感到痛苦!我决不违背爸爸对你所作的诺言!我决不读基督徒的《圣经》。我有我祖先的上帝作为倚靠!”

许多年又过去了。

主人死去了,女主人的境遇非常不好。她不得不解雇女佣人,但是萨拉却不离开。她成了困难中的一个助手,她维持这整个的家庭。她一直工作到深夜,用她双手的劳作来赚取面包。没有任何亲起来照顾这个家庭,女主人的身体变得一天比一天坏——她在病床上已经躺了好几个月了。温柔和诚恳的萨拉照料家事,看护病人,操劳着。她成了这个贫寒的家里的一个福星。

“《圣经》就在那儿!”病人说。“夜很长,请念几段给我听听吧。我非常想听听上帝的话。”

于是萨拉低下头。她打开《圣经》,用双手捧着,开始对病人念。她的眼泪涌出来了,但是眼睛却变得非常明亮,而她的灵魂变得更明亮。

“妈妈,你的孩子不会接受基督教的洗礼,不会参加基督徒的集会。这是你的嘱咐,我决不会违抗你的意志。我们在这个世界上是一条心,但是在这个世界以外——在上帝面前更是一条心。‘他指引我们走出死神的境界’——‘当他使土地变得干燥以后,他就降到地上来,使它变得丰饶!’我现在懂得了,我自己也不知道我是怎样懂得的!这是通过他——通过基督我才认识到了真理!”

她一念出这个神圣的名字的时候,就颤抖一下。一股洗礼的火透过了她的全身,她的身体支持不住,倒了下来,比她所看护的那个病人还要衰弱。

“可怜的萨拉!”大家说,“她日夜看护和劳动已经把身体累坏了。”

人们把她抬到慈善医院去。她在那里死了。于是人们就把她埋葬了,但是没有埋葬在基督徒的墓地里,因为那里面没有犹太人的地位。不,她的坟墓是掘在墓地的墙外。

但是上帝的太阳照在基督徒的墓地上,也照在墙外犹太女子的坟上。基督教徒墓地里的赞美歌声,也在她的坟墓上空盘旋。同样,这样的话语也飘到了她的墓上:“救主基督复活了;他对他的门徒说:‘约翰用水来使你受洗礼,我用圣灵来使你受洗礼!’”

①因为信仰基督教和信仰犹太教是不相容的。

②基督教的《圣经》包括《旧约全书》和《新约全书》。犹太教的《圣经》则限于《旧约全书》的内容。

犹太女子的寓意

童话故事里的犹太女人虽然体认基督的爱,但是她绝不加入基督教,在她去世之后,社会决定她的墓也要建在基督徒的墙外,但是"上帝的太阳照在基督徒的墓地上,也照在墙外犹太女子的坟上"。这个故事带有浓厚的宗教色彩,但读完这个故事,我觉得是正确的信仰就要去争取去把握。

英文版:The Jewish Maiden

IN a charity school, among the children, sat a little Jewish girl. She was a good, intelligent child, and very quick at her lessons; but the Scripture-lesson class she was not allowed to join, for this was a Christian school. During the hour of this lesson, the Jewish girl was allowed to learn her geography, or to work her sum for the next day; and when her geography lesson was perfect, the book remained open before her, but she read not another word, for she sat silently listening to the words of the Christian teacher. He soon became aware that the little one was paying more attention to what he said than most of the other children. “Read your book, Sarah,” he said to her gently.

But again and again he saw her dark, beaming eyes fixed upon him; and once, when he asked her a question, she could answer him even better than the other children. She had not only heard, but understood his words, and pondered them in her heart. Her father, a poor but honest man, had placed his daughter at the school on the conditions that she should not be instructed in the Christian faith. But it might have caused confusion, or raised discontent in the minds of the other children if she had been sent out of the room, so she remained; and now it was evident this could not go on. The teacher went to her father, and advised him to remove his daughter from the school, or to allow her to become a Christian. “I cannot any longer be an idle spectator of those beaming eyes, which express such a deep and earnest longing for the words of the gospel,” said he.

Then the father burst into tears. “I know very little of the law of my fathers,” said he; “but Sarah’s mother was firm in her belief as a daughter of Israel, and I vowed to her on her deathbed that our child should never be baptized. I must keep my vow: it is to me even as a covenant with God Himself.” And so the little Jewish girl left the Christian school.

Years rolled by. In one of the smallest provincial towns, in a humble household, lived a poor maiden of the Jewish faith, as a servant. Her hair was black as ebony, her eye dark as night, yet full of light and brilliancy so peculiar to the daughters of the east. It was Sarah. The expression in the face of the grown-up maiden was still the same as when, a child, she sat on the schoolroom form listening with thoughtful eyes to the words of the Christian teacher. Every Sunday there sounded forth from a church close by the tones of an organ and the singing of the congregation. The Jewish girl heard them in the house where, industrious and faithful in all things, she performed her household duties. “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy,” said the voice of the law in her heart; but her Sabbath was a working day among the Christians, which was a great trouble to her. And then as the thought arose in her mind, “Does God reckon by days and hours?” her conscience felt satisfied on this question, and she found it a comfort to her, that on the Christian Sabbath she could have an hour for her own prayers undisturbed. The music and singing of the congregation sounded in her ears while at work in her kitchen, till the place itself became sacred to her. Then she would read in the Old Testament, that treasure and comfort to her people, and it was indeed the only Scriptures she could read. Faithfully in her inmost thoughts had she kept the words of her father to her teacher when she left the school, and the vow he had made to her dying mother that she should never receive Christian baptism. The New Testament must remain to her a sealed book, and yet she knew a great deal of its teaching, and the sound of the gospel truths still lingered among the recollections of her childhood.

One evening she was sitting in a corner of the dining-room, while her master read aloud. It was not the gospel he read, but an old story-book; therefore she might stay and listen to him. The story related that a Hungarian knight, who had been taken prisoner by a Turkish pasha, was most cruelly treated by him. He caused him to be yoked with his oxen to the plough, and driven with blows from the whip till the blood flowed, and he almost sunk with exhaustion and pain. The faithful wife of the knight at home gave up all her jewels, mortgaged her castle and land, and his friends raised large sums to make up the ransom demanded for his release, which was most enormously high. It was collected at last, and the knight released from slavery and misery. Sick and exhausted, he reached home.

Ere long came another summons to a struggle with the foes of Christianity. The still living knight heard the sound; he could endure no more, he had neither peace nor rest. He caused himself to be lifted on his war-horse; the color came into his cheeks, and his strength returned to him again as he went forth to battle and to victory. The very same pasha who had yoked him to the plough, became his prisoner, and was dragged to a dungeon in the castle. But an hour had scarcely passed, when the knight stood before the captive pasha, and inquired, “What do you suppose awaiteth thee?”

“I know,” replied the pasha; “retribution.”

“Yes, the retribution of a Christian,” replied the knight. “The teaching of Christ, the Teacher, commands us to forgive our enemies, to love our neighbors; for God is love. Depart in peace: return to thy home. I give thee back to thy loved ones. But in future be mild and humane to all who are in trouble.”

Then the prisoner burst into tears, and exclaimed, “Oh how could I imagine such mercy and forgiveness! I expected pain and torment. It seemed to me so sure that I took poison, which I secretly carried about me; and in a few hours its effects will destroy me. I must die! Nothing can save me! But before I die, explain to me the teaching which is so full of love and mercy, so great and God-like. Oh, that I may hear his teaching, and die a Christian!” And his prayer was granted.

This was the legend which the master read out of the old story-book. Every one in the house who was present listened, and shared the pleasure; but Sarah, the Jewish girl, sitting so still in a corner, felt her heart burn with excitement. Great tears came into her shining dark eyes; and with the same gentle piety with which she had once listened to the gospel while sitting on the form at school, she felt its grandeur now, and the tears rolled down her cheeks. Then the last words of her dying mother rose before her, “Let not my child become a Christian;” and with them sounded in her heart the words of the law, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

“I am not admitted among the Christians,” she said; “they mock me as a Jewish girl; the neighbors’ boys did so last Sunday when I stood looking in through the open church door at the candles burning on the altar, and listening to the singing. Ever since I sat on the school-bench I have felt the power of Christianity; a power which, like a sunbeam, streams into my heart, however closely I may close my eyes against it. But I will not grieve thee, my mother, in thy grave. I will not be unfaithful to my father’s vow. I will not read the Bible of the Christian. I have the God of my fathers, and in Him I will trust.”

And again years passed by. Sarah’s master died, and his widow found herself in such reduced circumstances that she wished to dismiss her servant maid; but Sarah refused to leave the house, and she became a true support in time of trouble, and kept the household together by working till late at night, with her busy hands, to earn their daily bread. Not a relative came forward to assist them, and the widow was confined to a sick bed for months and grew weaker from day to day. Sarah worked hard, but contrived to spare time to amuse her and watch by the sick bed. She was gentle and pious, an angel of blessing in that house of poverty.

“My Bible lies on the table yonder,” said the sick woman one day to Sarah. “Read me something from it; the night appears so long, and my spirit thirsts to hear the word of God.”

And Sarah bowed her head. She took the book, and folded her hand over the Bible of the Christians, and at last opened it, and read to the sick woman. Tears stood in her eyes as she read, and they shone with brightness, for in her heart it was light.

“Mother,” she murmured, “thy child may not receive Christian baptism, nor be admitted into the congregation of Christian people. Thou hast so willed it, and I will respect thy command. We are therefore still united here on earth; but in the next world there will be a higher union, even with God Himself, who leads and guides His people till death. He came down from heaven to earth to suffer for us, that we should bring forth the fruits of repentance. I understand it now. I know not how I learnt this truth, unless it is through the name of Christ.” Yet she trembled as she pronounced the holy name. She struggled against these convictions of the truth of Christianity for some days, till one evening while watching her mistress she was suddenly taken very ill; her limbs tottered under her, and she sank fainting by the bedside of the sick woman.

“Poor Sarah,” said the neighbors; “she is overcome with hard work and night watching.” And then they carried her to the hospital for the sick poor. There she died; and they bore her to her resting-place in the earth, but not to the churchyard of the Christians. There was no place for the Jewish girl; but they dug a grave for her outside the wall. And God’s sun, which shines upon the graves of the churchyard of the Christians, also throws its beams on the grave of the Jewish maiden beyond the wall. And when the psalms of the Christians sound across the churchyard, their echo reaches her lonely resting-place; and she who sleeps there will be counted worthy at the resurrection, through the name of Christ the Lord, who said to His disciples, “John baptized you with water, but I will baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”

文章来源:安徒生童话

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