Only Yesterday

By S. Y. Agnon; Barbara Harshav | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
Accounts

1

Isaac stayed away from the Bloykof house and didn't even come to bring products from the market. For, from the day the artist pulled the curtain, he regarded his guests as if they were conspiring against him to interrupt his work, until they finally stopped coming.

Once, on Friday afternoon, Isaac was coming home from work at the house of a Christian member of the sect of the Sabbath Keepers who had a bathhouse on Jaffa Road, and at noon on Friday the man locks the bathhouse and stops all work. Isaac was going to the barber to shave his beard, for he hadn't yet bought his own razor, something he did later on. That was the afternoon hour when the teachers are coming out of school and the clerks are coming out of the bank and going to shave their beards and cut their hair. He waited a long time and his turn didn't come, so he decided to give up the shave and spend the Sabbath at home reading a book, and for the walls of his house a person doesn't need to beautify himself. He picked up his tools and left. He walked along with a pot of colors hanging on his arm, and on his shoulder hung a small ladder, and he was looking ahead like an artisan who has finished his work and was about to take his rest and pleasure.


2

The city was still bustling as on all other days, but signs of preparation for the Sabbath were already obvious. The merchants and shopkeepers who aren't busy selling food lock their shops and their hearts are boasting that the Lord gave them a livelihood that doesn't make them wear themselves out until dark, and they can enter the Sabbath

-254-

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