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The Lamed Wufniks
Source: The Book Of Imaginary Beings Editor: Jorge Luis Borges
Info: There are on earth, and always were, thirty-six righteous men whose mission is to justify the world before God. They are the Lamed Wufniks. They do not know each other and are very poor. If a man comes to the knowledge that he is a Lamed Wufnik, he immediately dies and somebody else, perhaps in another part of the world, takes his place. Lamed Wufniks are, without knowing it, the secret pillars of the universe. Were it not for them, God would annihilate the whole of mankind. Unawares, they are our saviors.

This mystical belief of the Jews can be found in the works of Max Brod. Its remote origin may be the eighteenth chapter of Genesis, where we read this verse: "And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes."

The Moslems have an analogous personage in the Kuth.
Further Reading: none

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