Rabbi Yehuda says:
Ten elements were created, each more powerful than the next.
Rock is hard, but iron cuts it.
Iron is hard, but fire melts it.
Fire is powerful, but water douses it.
Water is powerful, but clouds carry it.
Clouds are powerful, but wind dissipates them.
Wind is powerful, but living bodies contain it.
The body is strong, but fear breaks it.
Fear is powerful, but wine banishes it.
Wine is powerful, but sleep supersedes it.
And death is more powerful than them all.
Yet tsedaka (charity, good deeds) protects from death, as is said (Proverbs 10 verse 2)
"righteousness delivers from death" [The original Hebrew says Tsedaka, which is not synonymous with righteousness].
Bava Batra, 10a.
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