Coming from Seville the archbishop had entered the village from the wrong direction. His stretch-limousine could not circle the roundabout to reach the cemetery and much to his chagrin this servant of God and his entourage had to proceed on foot. The Rebbe on the other hand came alone in his tiny Seat and parked in front of the synagogue. A crowd of people stood and stared, Jews to the right, Christians to the left, with up front Elia ben Oso-Pardo and next to him professor Hubnoth, dressed in a black dress, hat and veil. As the tall and thin archbishop, looking like Torquemada, and the thick round Rabbi, looking like Maimonides, entered the gate, professor Hubnoth did a step forward to welcome the dignitaries to the cemetery, but was unceremoniously pushed aside by the interim mayor. The professor fell to his knees.
“Let us proceed to the chapel,” said the archbishop, ignoring the professor.
“Let us proceed to the shul,” said the Rebbe, helping the professor back on his feet. “What a lovely dress, dear,” he added and only slightly raised his eyebrows when the professor said 'thank you' in a deep booming voice.
“You'd better come with me,” the rabbi said. “ I don't think Torquemada there would appreciate your presence in his house of worship. You're more then welcome in mine.”
There was only a handful of Christians that followed the archbishop into the chapel. Apart from his entourage he was followed only by Marcelo, Erik and Juanito, professor Hubnoth's angelic manservant who, for the occasion, had taken off his apron and put on pants and a shirt. I went with the Jews, obviously.
It was a merry and full house in the synagogue. On the first row sat the interim mayor next to the professor. To my left sat Shmuel Eregast and Moshe Cohen the monk was on my right. After a few words the Rebbe asked Shmuel to come up to the bima and sing psalm 138. He did so without hesitation and sang with devoted fervor thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. His voice carried the message through the windows out over the hills and – I expect – into the chapel next door.
The Rabbi told the congregation the sad story of Lorenzo. How on Lorenzo's last visit to his deserted village he, for reasons unknown, collapsed and died in the middle of the street, only to be found a few days later by passing strangers who had the decency to bury him and notify the authorities. How Shmuel Eregast discovered that Lorenzo's grave was one part in Christian soil and the other part in Jewish hallowed ground. The Rebbe explained that Lorenzo was about to be saved. His reburial would give him peace at last.
After the service we walked to Lorenzo's grave and found the archbishop furiously swinging an incense burner over it. He stopped as soon as he saw us coming and handed the thurible to a priest standing beside him. We all stood at a respectable distance as two gravediggers unearthed Lorenzo's casket, pulled it out and slowly, respectfully carried him to his new grave well inside the Jewish part of the cemetery. Kaddish was recited by Shmuel Eregast and then it was over.
A colorful procession crossed the street and sat down in Shmuel's restaurant for lunch. Professor Hubnoth mingled among the guests and in his infectious manner invited them all to the unveiling of the roundabout that was to take place later that afternoon. “ It's going to be fantastic!” he claimed. “Not to be missed.” He had arranged rooms for the rabbi and the archbishop with his entourage so they could rest a bit and freshen up before the spectacle of the unveiling of the roundabout. They all accepted the invitation and professor Hubnoth walked away, pleased, rubbing his hands and smiling. There were still a few things to care of.