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“Leave me, Zemira,” cried her husband. “I have shamed you and your family. I have destroyed my child whom I love so much. Turn your back on me for I can offer you only unhappiness and tragedy.”

“Never,” cried the loyal Zemira. “I will never forsake you, and I forbid you to talk this way. Never say to yourself that hope is lost. Have we not been taught, ‘Though a sharp sword rests on the neck of a man, he shall not lose hope, but look forward to the mercies of the Almighty.’”

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Listening to his wife speak, the prisoner took heart once again, and his eyes lit up.

“If only I knew that Uziel and his father, whom I sold into slavery, were still alive, I would flee this prison if I could, and run to them to ask their forgiveness and free them from their slavery. I would then serve them forever.”

“If only some miracle would come about and allow you to be free of this prison, I would go with you and be a maidservant with you,” vowed his wife.

Just as she spoke these words, the door of the dungeon was opened and a guard walked in.

Turning to the woman, he said: “You must go now, for the time for your husband’s execution draws near.”

 

The Cry

As Zemira heard these words she let out such a terrible cry that shook the earth. Such a cry had never been heard before. As it came from the depth of her soul, the ground trembled and the walls of the building came crashing down. The city was suffering an earthquake.

The guards fled in panic fearing that the end of the world had come, and Zemira and her husband, whose real name was Raamyah, were alone, free from the walls that had enclosed them.

“Look, Zemira,” cried her husband, “the walls of the prison are down. Now is our opportunity to flee and find the two poor souls whom I sold so unjustly.”

They Flee

Since they knew the area around Lebanon well, they decided to flee there. For three days and nights they traveled, fearful of pursuit. No one followed them, however, because of the great fear that the earthquake had placed in their souls, for the quake had not only leveled the prison but had caused havoc throughout the land of Israel.

Thus, it was that Raamyah and Zemira were able to reach the hills of Lebanon in safety. There they encountered a former slave whom Raamyah had ransomed and given his freedom.

The man was overjoyed to see his benefactor and gave them food and water besides shelter and safety.

“Years ago you aided me when I was a poor slave. Now, ask of me what you will, and I will be only too glad to help you.”

“I thank you for your kind words,” replied Raamyah, “but there is only one thing that I desire now. If only there were some way for me to discover the whereabouts of Uziel and his father from Hebron, whom I sold as slaves.”

News Of The Slaves

When the former slave heard this, he replied: “There are two servants in this household who have recently come from the land of the Philistines. Perhaps they know where these people whom you seek are located.”

“Please ask them,” pleaded Zemira.

When the two servants were bought in and asked if they knew the whereabouts of the two people, one of them shook his head, but the other said: “I believe that the two people you seek are slaves in the city of Gat.”

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