The victories of poverty — Part V

Don’t you see, Eliyahu The Poor, mendicant, hated and persecuted, command heaven and earth, elements and creatures, and ultimately go up to the sky, and still exist alive in heaven?

In my distraction, it seems I missed the obligation to make an effort, as I’ve promised, to show the victories of poverty, when I’ve only shown its equalities matching wealth. That is notably inappropriate and a great negligence. The victor is deemed with advantages, not equality; superiority, not equality. So true.

I disapprove my neglection and reject the omission. Let’s stop with the equality and show the advantages, ignore the comparison and highlight its superiority, easy to recognize in another vision of Ezekiel himself. The vision of the divine chariot came once again to this holy prophet, but he observed the figures were altered and switched places. In the first vision, man occupied the first place, followed by the lion, behind the lion was the ox and finally emerged the eagle.

ודמות פניהם פני אדם ופני אריה אל־הימין לארבעתם ופני־שור מהשמאול לארבעתן ופני־נשר לארבעתן

And the likeness of their faces was the face of a man, and the face of a lion was on their right, to the four of them, and the face of an ox to their left, to the four of them, and the face of an eagle [was] to the four of them.

(Yechezkel – Ezekiel 1:10)

In the second vision, the angel took the first place and man took the second place, the lion the third and the eagle the fourth.

וארבעה פנים לאחד פני האחד פני הכרוב ופני השני פני אדם והשלישי פני אריה והרביעי פני־נשר

Now each one had four faces; the face of one was the face of the cherub, and the face of the second was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

(Yechezkel – Ezekiel 9:14)

There is no mention of the ox. The man who occupied the first place in the first vision dropped one degree and took only the second place. The lion who enjoyed the second place in the vision dropped to the thirst place. And the ox who ranked third disappears. Our divine masters noticed this metamorphosis and conclude that the angel was the ox of the first vision, who took the most sublime figure and the highest rank.

שור חיה ונחפך לכרוב

The ox is alive and becomes an angel.

Listen, oh poor ones, and rejoice! Here you see victories of poverty unfold, here you see the laurels of your trophies stand out in the most sublime throne of glory and good fortune. The man was the man in the first vision and remained unchanged in the second. The lion remained the lion, the eagle remained the eagle, only the ox which is the true symbol of the poor, gained the first place, after the man and the lion ceded their places to take the second and third places.

ופני השני פני אדם והשלישי פני אריה

And the face of the second was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion

(Yechezkel – Ezekiel 9:14)

Therefore, the poor succeed, for in heaven they are preferred over the liberal, the enthusiast or the wise, because of their tolerance and their resignation, so in dignity as in rank.

פני האחד פני הכרוב

the face of one was the face of the cherub

(Yechezkel – Ezekiel 9:14)

But I still see the poor head down in suspense, not sure of the proofs. Because they are said to be concepts to preach, not theological axioms, mere conjectures, not solid tenets. In the end, these are moral applications, not irrefutable truths.
There is no doubt, the poor will say, I have merit for my suffering and my resignation, but in comparison to the merit of the liberal, it has the same proportion like the shadow of a pygmy against a giant. The liberal with his charity feeds the hungry and gives drink to the thirsty, which is the same as sustaining an entire world:

כל המקיים נפש מישראל כאילו קיים עולם מלא

Anyone who sustains a soul from Israel is as sustaining an entire world.

(Sanhedrin 37a)

A privilege beyond comparison to poverty and inconsistent with need.

Why calling this eulogy, the victories of poverty, when wealth is victorious?
Why show us as winners, when we are the losers. Why present us as triumphant, when the wealthy, with more reason and justice, are the ones who triumph, and those who should win?

I greatly lament, brothers, to see you still adamant persevering in your opinion when your superiority was established by solid and evident authorities.

Don’t you see, Eliyahu The Poor, mendicant, hated and persecuted, command heaven and earth, command elements and creatures, and ultimately go up to heaven, and still exist alive in heaven?

Don’t you see that God disguises the name of the sun in its ordinary effect to manifest it as extraordinary? In being extraordinary in your contribution is the reason why your name must be manifest so that you also merit triumph, for contributing, healing and feeding, like the sun? Don’t you see that your tolerance renders you equal to the liberal, the enthusiast and the wise? Don’t you finally see, I find myself obliged to strongly object and conclude that the poor occupy the best place in the divine chariot, both in the order of location and personal dignity?

ופני השני פני אדם והשלישי פני אריה

and the face of the second was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion,

(Yechezkel – Ezekiel 9:14)

What else to say? What else to argue? Are there any better proofs to justify your victory. Certainly not. If this is not enough to elevate your spirit and give you encouragement. I do not know what else to say or to do to make it so, because don’t have much more to say or to argue. I proceed the to another topic.

*First translation from Judaeo-Spanish, © Walter Hilliger, 2018 (5778)

About the Author
Walter Hilliger dropped out of Ancient Oriental Studies at the University of Berlin (FU) to devote himself to writing. Now he lives on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, where he wrote Bread from Eden. His well-researched book traces the legendary bread fallen from heaven that the Hebrews ate as a staple diet during 40 years in the biblical story of Exodus. It argues that the 3,300-year-old miracle food never disappeared from the world. The Hilliger hypothesis is rooted in the truth of a substitute for bread, the ancient manna, and gives a natural interpretation to an element considered imaginary and abstract. The quest includes a large bibliography, which compiles hundreds of citations from various periods and languages, to open up a religious and actual reflection on topics such as the plundering of natural resources, livestock production, food-slavery and the desecration of nature.
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