Guile

Guile excels strength.

Rabbi Eleazar ha-Kappar used to say: “Jealousy, lust, and ambition remove man from the world… They who have been born are destined to die. They that are dead are destined to be made alive. They who live are destined to be judged, that men may know and make known and understand that He is G-d, He is the maker, He is the creator, He is the discerner, He is the judge, He is the witness, He is the complainant, and it is He who will in the future judge, blessed be He, in whose presence is neither guile nor forgetfulness nor respect of persons nor taking of bribes; for all is His. And know that everything is according to the reckoning. And let not your evil nature assure you that the grave will be your refuge: for despite yourself you were fashioned, and despite yourself you were born, and despite yourself you live, and despite yourself you die, and despite yourself shall you are destined to give account and reckoning before the supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.”

Rabbi Eleazar ha-Kappar used to say: “Jealousy, lust, and ambition remove man from the world… They who have been born are destined to die. They that are dead are destined to be made alive. They who live are destined to be judged, that men may know and make known and understand that He is G-d, He is the maker, He is the creator, He is the discerner, He is the judge, He is the witness, He is the complainant, and it is He who will in the future judge, blessed be He, in whose presence is neither guile nor forgetfulness nor respect of persons nor taking of bribes; for all is His. And know that everything is according to the reckoning. And let not your evil nature assure you that the grave will be your refuge: for despite yourself you were fashioned, and despite yourself you were born, and despite yourself you live, and despite yourself you die, and despite yourself shall you are destined to give account and reckoning before the supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.”

THE DAY OF JUDGMENT -

Propound a mystery, O my tongue, and give praise to God,
For He hath delivered me and exalted my horn.
Awake, my heart, and turn to the Almighty,
And in awe of His anger let my hand be lifted to Him.

Set the Most High before thee, and know that every thought
And every hidden imagining are to Him not hidden.
Dread the day of His wrath, and the dreadful position
Wherein is help or refuge for no creature.

On the day He shall judge the peoples and destroy beings
And wither all His adversaries as with the fiery blast of his nostrils
And decree the fate of all potentates, officers and rulers,
Nor pay regard to mighty princes.
And destroy tyrants and cut off the scornful,
The proud and presumptuous who rely on the
preciousness of their palanquin;

Who have forgotten their Creator and put their trust in their riches
And prided themselves above high God,
Who humbleth and uplifteth,
And have rebelled against their Master,
With their host and their multitude,
And the silver they have acquired, and the fine gold and sapphires,
And have built structures, and carved out windows,
And erected palaces, and battlements and chambers,
Nor remember the Almighty,
But wax fat in the abundance of power,
And speak arrogantly to Him
And roar like young lions.

But He is great and fearful,
And girded about with might;
He calleth the generations
And from Him are the hill-tops.
Doth He not regard the lowly,
And abase every one that is proud?
He will raise up the broken pauper
And lift him from the dunghill.

Woe to them for this,
When their Creator shall sit in judgment,
To take vengeance on them, their grown and their little ones,
And they shall fall into the net, weeping bitterly,
And when quaffing the cup of foaming wine
Shall drain only dregs,
And shall be consumed in their iniquity,
And their riches shall not profit them,
And all they build shall be upset
As though overthrown by strangers.

And the God of the ages will abhor the man of blood
And will break the haughty
Like a potter’s vessel,
And will bring low their pride
And silence their psaltery
And make their voice sound
Like a ghost from the dust,
And demolish their battlements
And their houses of pleasure,
And make over their inheritance
To strangers and aliens,
And the gadfly shall sting them
To determined destruction,
And they shall be trodden of passers-by
Like a ground or a street.

Therefore turn ye from them and their counsels,
Nor vie with them
Lest your fate be as that of these arrogant.

May it please Thee, O Lord my God,
To subdue my fierce desire.
O hide Thy face from my sins and trespasses,
Do not carry me off in the midst of my days,
Until I shall have prepared what is needful for my way
And provender for the day of my journeying,
For if I go out of my world as I came,
And return to my place, naked as I came forth,
Wherefore was I created
And called to see sorrow?
Better were it I had remained where I was
Than to have come hither to increase and multiply sin.
I beseech Thee, O God, judge me by Thine attribute of mercy,
And not by Thine anger lest Thou wither me.
For what is man that Thou shouldst judge him?
And how shalt Thou weigh a drifting vapour?
When Thou placest it in the balance,
It shall be neither heavy nor light,
And what shall it profit Thee to weigh the air?
From the day of his birth man is hard-pressed and harrowed,
"Stricken, smitten of God and afflicted."
His youth is chaff driven in the wind,
And his latter end is flying straw,
And his life withereth like a herb,
And God joineth in hunting him.
From the day he cometh forth from his mother’s womb
His night is sorrow and his day is sighing.
If to-day he is exalted,
To-morrow he shall crawl with worms.
A grain of chaff putteth him to flight,
And a thorn woundeth him.
If he is sated, he waxeth wicked,
And if he is hungry, he sinneth for a loaf of bread.
His steps are swift to pursue riches,
But he forgetteth Death, who is after him.
At the time he is straitened, he multiplieth his promises,
And scattereth his words,
And is profuse in vows,
But when he is enlarged,
He keepeth back his word and forgetteth his vows,
And strengtheneth the bars of his gates,
While Death is in his chambers,
And he increaseth guards in every quarter
While the foe lieth ambushed in his very apartment.
As for the wolf, the fence shall not restrain it
From coming to the flock.
Man entereth the world,
And knoweth not why,
And rejoiceth,
And knoweth not wherefore,
And liveth,
And knoweth not how long.
In his childhood he walketh in his own stubbornness,
And when the spirit of lust beginneth in its season
To stir him up to gather power and wealth,
Then he journeyeth from his place
To ride in ships
And to tread the deserts,
And to carry his life to dens of lions,
Adventuring it among wild beasts;
And when he imagineth that great is his glory
And that mighty is the spoil of his hand,
Quietly stealeth the spoiler upon him,
And his eyes are opened and there is naught.
At every moment he is destined to troubles,
That pass and return,
And at every hour evils,
And at every moment chances,
And on every day terrors.
If for an instant he stand in security,
Suddenly disaster will come upon him,
Either war shall come and the sword will smite him,
Or the bow of brass transpierce him;
Or sorrows will overpower him,
Or the presumptuous billows flow over him,
Or sickness and steadfast evils shall find him,
Till he becometh a burden on his own soul,
And shall find the gall of serpents in his honey.
And when his pain increaseth
His glory decreaseth,
And youths make mock of him,
And infants rule him,
And he becometh a burden to the issue of his loins,
And all who know him become estranged from him.
And when his hour hath come, he passeth from
the courts of his house to the court of Death,
And from the shadow of his chambers to the shadow of Death.
And he shall strip off his broidery and his scarlet
And shall put on corruption and the worm,
And lie down in the dust
And return to the foundation from which he came.
And man, whom these things befall,
When shall he find a time for repentance
To scour away the rust of his perversion?
For the day is short and the work manifold,
And the task-masters irate,
Hurrying and scurrying,
And Time laughs at him
And the Master of the House presses.
Therefore I beseech Thee, O my God,
Remember the distresses that come upon man,
And if I have done evil
Do Thou me good at my latter end,
Nor requite measure for measure
To man whose sins are measureless,
And whose death is a joyless departure.

To say unpleasant things, when we have nice ones,is like eating unripe fruit, ignoring sweet ripe fruits.

How cruelly sweet are the echoes that start, when memory plays an old tune on the heart.

While enjoying a month of fine weather at the sea-coast, I was thrown into the company of a most fascinating creature: a real goddess in my eyes, as long as she took no notice of me. I 'never told my love' vocally; still, if looks have language, the merest idiot might have guessed I was over head and ears: she understood me at last, and looked a return - the sweetest of all imaginable looks. And what did I do? I confess it with shame - shrunk icily into myself, like a snail; at every glance retired colder and farther; till finally the poor innocent was led to doubt her own senses, and, overwhelmed with confusion at her supposed mistake, persuaded her mamma to decamp. By this curious turn of disposition I have gained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness; how undeserved, I alone can appreciate.