Biblical Faith – with Shmuel “Sam” Peak
“Now, there was found in it a man who was poor but wise” refers to the intellect. It is termed “poor” because its followers and supporters are few, as it says further: “Yet no one remembered this poor man …. The poor man’s wisdom is despised” (Koheles 9:15-16).
The substance of the story is that, despite the intellect’s weakness, when it combats the evil inclination the latter quickly submits to it, and the threat posed to man by the evil inclination is easily dispelled. For a little truth overcomes much falsehood, just as a little light dispels much darkness.
One can draw inspiration from this story to combat one’s passion and to stand up to one’s baser instinct with vigor and perseverance, because it demonstrates the inability of the evil inclination to stand before the intellect, and the speed with which falls before it. As it says in Scripture, “The evil bow low before the good” (Mishlei 14:19).
Dedicated to Levi Lester ben Chasa