Although Daniel was the chief minister in Bavel, he could not eradicate the custom practiced in many provinces of worshipping idols. In the capital city there was a statue of Baal and more and more people began to worship it. Even the king was beginning to believe in its power.
Aristeas remained in Jerusalem viewing the sights. He was honored by being permitted to view the kohanim doing the avodah in the Beis HaMikdash.
Reb Aryeh Leib, the author of the Shaagas Aryeh, was one of the great minds of all times. His genius led him to be very impatient with people, especially with communal leaders who were not worthy of their exalted positions. Because of this he was seldom able to remain as rav in one town for very long, and spent much of his life wandering from city to city, in great poverty.
Rav Yosef Hochgelanter, the rav of the city of Zamushet, where Rav Akiva Eiger received his early training while still a young boy, was a great scholar and the author of Mishnas Chachamim. At the time he was chosen to be rav of the city he was the son-in-law of a very wealthy man who was very generous with his support.
When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.
“I would appreciate if you could give me some pointers on how to improve my wine,” said the wine merchant eagerly.
Noticing the bearded Abarbanel in the coach, the Jew felt relieved as he entered the coach.
Why does one escape death and the other does not? Because one prayed and was answered and the other prayed and was not answered. Why was one answered and the other not?
“Come now, I insist. Tell me what errand of mercy you are on so that I too may have a share in the mitzvah.”
Almost 450 years ago, in the year 1569, a new Sultan came to power in Damascus. Upon assuming his throne, one of his first acts was to order the destruction of all the Jewish synagogues in the city. The Jews had begun to fear for their lives when on the eve of Purim, a miracle occurred. From a vicious Jew-hater, the Sultan became their friend and during his reign the Jews lived in peace.
As Zemira threw herself (and her infant), into the path of the king’s carriage, the crowd shrieked. Hastily, the driver reined the horses up sharply, and the hoofs of the lead horse stopped barely inches from where she lay.
It was only worth a few marks, but you had no money for it and you said that if I gave it to you, you would give me all the money you would eventually have over 10,000 marks.
Once when there was a drought in Eretz Yisrael, the rabbanim approached Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakkai. “Rebbe,” they said, “please pray to Hashem that He send rain before the people perish from thirst and hunger.”
“Don’t worry,” said the king, “what could it be worth, two or three talents of gold? I’ll give you ten talents of gold, so you can forget about it.”
“Did you not read the proclamation requesting that the restoration of the jewelry be made within 30 days?”