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March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
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The Prayers Of A Saint


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Another hour passed and the people were growing worried. “Please Rabi,” they said, “what shall we do? We do not know even now if she is alive.”

At the end of the third hour, Rabi Chanina suddenly announced: “You can all go home now, for the girl is saved!”

A few minutes later a crowd of people burst into the room where Rabi Chanina was staying and shouted: “Rabi! Rabi! She is saved!”

Accompanied by her father, the young girl was carried home. When she was quieted, he father asked her: “My daughter, who saved you from the well?”

She replied: “An elderly man appeared. His appearance was that of an angel and he was leading a ram. He looked down at me with great pity and he pulled me up from that deep well.”

The people immediately understood that it must have been an angel, come to save her. Turning to Rabi Chanina ben Dosa they said, “Indeed you must be a navi to foresee all this, otherwise how could you have known that she would be saved?”

With a smile Rabi Chanina replied: “I am neither a navi nor the son of a navi, but this I do know, that the child of a righteous man could not be harmed by the very thing which the righteous man does in the service of God and his fellow man!”

The fame of Rabi Chanina ben Dosa spread to the far corners of the country, and people flocked to him to hear his Torah and to learn about his morals. With all this, Rabi Chanina remained very humble and poor, for he wouldn’t accept even a penny from strangers.

Thus we can understand that every day a heavenly voice rang out saying: “The whole world is supplied with food for the sake and merit of Chanina, my son, but Chanina is satisfied with one small measure of carobs which last him from one erev Shabbos to the other!”

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Shmuel HaKatan shook his head and said: “No, what happened here today is a sign not of great love. On the contrary, it is a bad omen.”

The arguments, however, could never appease his wife and one Thursday she came to him for money to purchase food for Shabbos.

He walked out of the room, making sure to leave the door ajar so that the two litigants could hear his voice.

Don’t you know Avraham, the famous dry goods merchant, who lives near the lake in a big mansion?

“What could I do? Your wife is hard of hearing,” whispered the poor woman barely able to talk.

“I would appreciate if you could give me some pointers on how to improve my wine,” said the wine merchant eagerly.

“And what was your grandfather’s name?” asked the visitor. “The same as my name,” replied the child.

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