Friday, May 15, 2009

"Schul" - temple a place of Worship (

Having climbed the steps to the entrance , I came into the Temple itself. Beyond the first gate was large court where all could exchange money and goods. How one had to admire the beards of these men of Mammon! They had been curled by a warm iron and were immaculate in their pride. So these money lenders looked like peacocks. And the priest also looked like peacocks as they moved among them. All was vanity. At home their tables would be bountiful, while the poor sat in the stinking alleys of the city. I wrapped silence about me like holy cloth that others would not dare to touch. I sat alone on a stone bench and looked at how these people cast money into the alms box. Many who were rich cast much. But then came a poor woman and her shawl was threadbare she threw in her small coin. My heart leaped. I called to those disciples who were near and said: " This poor woman has put in more than all the rich. They leave a tithe of the abundance. She gave her living. So she has turned money into a tribute to the Lord. The weathy give only to impress each other.

I thought of money and how it was an odious beast. It consumed everything offered to it. What slobbering was in such greed! Ithought of how the rich are choked with the weight of gold, and the gardens grow no fruit to satisfy them. There is oppression in the perfume of the air, and none of the rich man's blooms bring happiness. For his neighbor is wealtheir than himself and his gardens more beautiful. So the rich are always envious of the next man's gold.

Here in the outer court of the Temple, surrounded by these money lenders, I spoke to all and my voice was my own. I said: " No man can pay allegiance to two masters. For he will cling to the one he needs and in secret dispise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon."

Then I heard the Devil speak to me for the first time since I been with him on the mountain. He said" Before it is over, the rich will posess you as well. They will put your image on every wall. The alms raised in your name will swell the treasury of mighty churches; men will worship you most when you belong to me as much as to Him. Which is just. For I am His equal." And he laughed. He knew what he would say next:" Greed is a beast, you say, but note this! Its defecations are weighed in gold. Isn't that the color of the sun which all things grow?" The Lord chose to reply in my other ear: " Everything he says makes sense until it does no longer. He gives this speech to all who catches his eye, and his eye is only for the best and most beautiful, whom I have fashioned with great hope. He scorns those who are modest but remain with Me. And this was more than my Father ever said again about Satan, but at this moment it gave little force to my faith. Did my Father speak well of the meek because thay were the only ones who remained loyal to Him and to me? How full of chaos was such a thought! I fell prey to a wrath greater than any I had known before.

In the eyes ofthe moneylenders, greed was as sharp as the point of a spear; the rage of Isaiah came into me. In his words I cried out: " These tables are a pool of vomit. In such filth, nothing is clean!" And I overturned each of he tables before me. I threw them over with the money that was on them, and I exuilted as the coins gave small criess one striking stones of the courtyard. Each possessor ran after his lost coins like he swine of Gadreene as they rushed into the sea. Then I knocked over the seats of those who sold doves and I opened the cages. On this commotion of wings the multitude who were with me came forward and cheeered at the defiance of usury. I said: " My house shall be called the house of prayer. Whereas you are men of Mammon and have made it a den of thieves.

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