The Talmud: Selections, by H. Polano, , at sacred-texts.com
The Bride and Bridegroom.
There was once a man who pledged his dearest faith to a maiden, beautiful and true. For a time all passed pleasantly, and the maiden lived in happiness. But then the man was called from her side, he left her; long she waited,
but he did not return. Friends pitied her and rivals mocked her; tauntingly they pointed at her, and said, "He has left thee; he will never come back." The maiden sought her chamber, and read in secret the letters which her lever had written to her, the letters in which he promised to be ever faithful, ever true. Weeping she read them, but they brought comfort to her heart; she dried her eyes and doubted not.
A joyous day dawned for her; the man she loved returned, and when he learned that others had doubted and asked her how she had preserved her faith, she showed his letters to him, declaring her eternal trust.
Israel, in misery and captivity, was mocked by the nations; her hopes of redemption were made a laughing-stock; her sages scoffed at; her holy men derided. Into her synagogues, into her schools went Israel; she read the letters which her God had written, and believed in the holy promises which they contained.
God will in time redeem her; and when He says:
"How could you alone be faithful of all the mocking nations?"
She will point to the law and answer:
"Had not Thy law been my delight, I should long since have perished in my affliction" (Psalm 119).