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SIDIC Periodical XVII - 1984/2
The Prophet Elijah (Pages 09, 12)

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Gleanings - The Prophet Elijah
The Editors

 

Elijah In Paradise

In heaven (Elijah) goes on living for all time. There he sits recording the deeds of men and the chronicles of the world. ...His duty is to stand at the crossways in Paradise and guide the pious to their appointed places; who brings the souls of sinners up from Gehennah at the approach of the Sabbath, and leads them back again to their merited punishment when the day of rest is about to depart; and who conducts these same souls, after they have atoned for their sins, to the place of everlasting bliss.1

Elijah's Angelic Role

Elijah's miraculous deeds will he better understood if we remember that he had been an angel from the very first, even before the end of his earthly career. When God was about to create man, Elijah said to him: "Master of the world! If if be pleasing in Thine eyes, I will descend to earth, and make myself serviceable to the sons of men." Then God changed his angel name, and later, under Ahab, He permitted him to abide among men on earth, that he might convert the world to the belief that "the Lord is God". His mission fulfilled, God took him again into heaven, and said to him: "Be thou the guardian spirit of My children forever, and spread the belief in Me abroad in the whole world."

His angel name was Sandalphon, one of the greatest and mightiest of the fiery angel host. As such it is his duty to wreathe garlands for God out of the prayers sent aloft by Israel.2

Elijah on Mount Horeb

The four phenomena that God sent before his appearance wind, earthquake, fire, and a still small voice were to instruct Elijah about the destiny of man. God told Elijah that these four represent the worlds through which man must pass: the first stands for this world, fleeting as the wind; the earthquake is the day of death, which makes the human body to tremble and quake; fire is the tribunal in Gehenna, and the still small voice is the Last Judgment, when there will be none but God alone.3

Elijah at Passover

Once upon a time there lived a pious and learned Jew in Jerusalem, who was in the habit of providing the poor with food and other necessities for Passover. But it happened once that he entirely forgot to provide for the needs of a very poor but worthy scholar, who on the day before Passover had neither mazzot nor wine for the feast. In his miserable state he decided to leave his home rather than see his family dying of hunger. Walking aimlessly in the streets, he was addressed by a venerable looking old man with the following words: "I am a stranger in this place; I beg of you to take me to your house for the days of the festival, and here is the money to furnish us with all our needs." The poor scholar, though depressed by his inability to be the host to the stranger without payment, did as he was requested, and with the ample funds now at his disposal prepared a really sumptuous meal for the first night of Passover. But when the time of the Seder arrived, the stranger did not appear; all the searching was in vain, as no trace could be found of him. The poor scholar then realized that the stranger was none other than Elijah the prophet who came to his assistance."



1. Louis Ginzberg, ed.: The Legends of the Jews, Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia 1968, Vol. IV, p. 201.
2. Ibid., pp. 201 f.
3. Op. cit., p. 200.
4. Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 327.

 

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