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Chapter 24 - Raphael clothes the poor.
24,1. Here I gave Raphael a sign and instructed him to provide suitable clothes for the Jewish girl, her brother and her parents.
24,2. Thereupon Raphael went quickly to the table of the four and said to them: “What clothes do you have at home in your living unit?”
24,3. Said the Jewish girl: “O you dearest and most heavenly beautiful and mighty servant of this marvellous man over there! You know anyway how badly off we have been for a long time regarding our clothing, and this is truly not our fault. And therefore I think that we can stay indebted to you regarding an answer to your otherwise well intended question, and this the more so since I already have indicated to you the position regarding our clothing. Go there and convince yourself!”
24,4. Said Raphael: “This is not the reason why I have asked you; since I’m very familiar with your wardrobe in your home; but I also know something else, which you would like to hide because of your somewhat untimely ego. Out of love for your parents and your brother you have given your good and even very precious clothes to a Greek pawnbroker for one-hundred pennies for one year and still have the receipt at home, and see, of this you haven’t told me that much at all! If you had those clothes in your possession, - would you be content? For you parents and your brother we could find something around here!”
24,5. Here the young Jewish girl was somewhat embarrassed but said after a little while: “Yes, yes, you have spoken the full truth; but what use they are to me now? Those good clothes were anyway only a present from a wealthy family member, who unfortunately died and afterwards was not in the position to support us any further. The clothes he gave to me when he still was alive are the complete inheritance that fell to us; everything else was inherited by his three sons, but who are very hard people and do no even want to look at the poor.
24,6. I myself never wore these precious clothes on my body, since firstly they are not fitting for a poor girl and secondly they were too large. But our great suffering showed me another way out. Since I did not want to sell them because of the sentimental value, I pawned them with the idea that perhaps after a year things would change so that I could buy them back. But with our growing suffering, despite having the receipt in my hands, it would have never been possible to buy them back, and therefore I have said nothing about it; in addition I was forced not to mention it by the circumstances that with us pawning is not a prize-worthy virtue. And now, my most valued, youthful friend, you know everything; the only question that remains is, what should I do about it!”
24,7. Said the angle with a friendly face: “What else than buy them back! But this would mean for you, my dearest sister in God the Lord, a lot of walking and inconvenience, and therefore I will do this on your behalf. Is this alright by you?”
24,8. Said the Jewish girl: “Yes, it would be very much alright by me; but firstly I do not have the receipt with me, and secondly the Greek lives quite a distance from here and comes only every moon to Jerusalem, does his business and goes back to where he lives, I believe in Tyros or Sidon. It is possible that he is currently here in Jerusalem, what I can’t know, since he only comes to Jerusalem during Easter to complete his main business.”
24,9. Said Raphael: “This doesn’t matter! But since it is alright by you, I will find your Greek, buy back your clothes and bring them here. How quickly do you want them here?”
24,10. Said the Jewish girl: “O loveliest friend, if you want to do this by completely natural means, it will take you several days to do this, until you have completed this deal with the Greek; but since you also can perform miracles, you could accomplish this in a much shorter time period!”
24,11. Said Raphael: “Now, count the moments which I will require to fetch your receipt! Now, did you already started to count the moments?”
24,12. Said the Jewish girl: “Why should I, you are still here?”
24,13. Said Raphael with a smile: “But I was already gone and have your receipt here in my hands. Have a look and tell me if this is the correct one!”
24,14. All were to the highest degree amazed over such a never heard of speed and Agrikola and also some of the other Romans said: “But friend, you were not for one moment absent! How is this possible? You probably took the receipt at the same time when you collected the family from their home, in order to make some proper use of it later on? Since it is unbelievable that you in one unthinkable shortest moment could have gone away and come back again!?”
24,15. Said Raphael: “In this material world and with people many things are impossible, which are actually possible for God and His power. But you know now out of the mouth of this Jewish girl that the Greek who took her clothes as collateral for the one-hundred pennies he lend her, is now in Tyros, although his business servant is here to look after his business. But his business booth is easily a two hours walk outside the city in the direction of Bethlehem, and I shall bring her clothes here just as quickly as it took me to fetch the receipt, and you will not be able to say that I probably have brought the clothes earlier as well. Just count the moments which I will require to complete this task! Have you already started counting?”
24,16. Said Agrikola: “Why should I have started counting, since you never left this place?”
24,17. Said Raphael: “Just look! There on the bench next to the door, packed neatly inside a cloth, are the fully paid for clothes of this poor Jewish girl; let her look at them and confirm to you if these are all of her well-known clothes!”
24,18. The Jewish girl got up, looked with the greatest amazement at the clothes and immediately recognised them as her completely own clothes.
24,19. Since her mother was dressed even worse than herself, she said to Raphael: “Listen, you my incredible wondrous young friend, I will not ask you how it was possible for you to bring these clothes here to me so suddenly, which are more than sufficient to dress a woman, but would not be enough for my mother and myself! Therefore I give them to her, so that she can be dressed completely; but shall take her clothes which she is currently wearing and they will be sufficient to cover the nakedness of my body for so long, until I will get a better dress through the goodness of the mighty Roman. But let me go with my mother into a seclude room where we can change!
24,20. But before that, I would like to ask you truly inconceivable miracle-mighty youth, if these otherwise precious clothes are to be considered pure; since they were before kept in the hands of a heathen, who are impure before us Jews. I would rather leave my mother dressed as she is right now, if she could become impure for even only one day.”
24,21. Said Raphael: “My child, what you intent to do with this dress is a good thing and well-done! Do according to your heart, and it will bear good fruit for you! Regarding the purity of the dress, you do not have to be concerned; since what has been in my hands, is completely pure. But Lazarus will show you and your mother a room, in which you can change.”
24,22. They both thanked him, took the clothes, and Lazarus took them to a small room where they could change.
24,23. After the mother was very nicely dressed, the daughter took the already very shabby dress of the mother and dressed herself and had a great joy about the joy of the now well dressed mother and did not pay any attention to her own very poor clothes.
24,24. When both came back into the dining hall, see, the daughter was just as nicely dressed as her mother, and she started to be very surprised that she was as nicely dressed as her mother. But her never ending surprise increased even more when she found that her father and her brother at the table of the Romans were also festively dressed.
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