web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Witches


Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

While Shimon ben Shetach was head of the Sanhedrin a great sage passed away. He came to a disciple in a dream and told him of the great punishments awaiting Rabi Shimon ben Shetach because he permitted 80 witches to continue living in Ashkelon. As these witches were casing the people to sin, he would be punished for allowing them to live.

The next morning the disciple visited Rabi Shimon ben Shetach and related to him every detail of the dream. “And here is the sign that my teacher and master showed me, so you will know that I am telling the truth,” began the disciple.

“G-d forbid that you need to show me signs,” replied Rabi Shimon, “I know that you are speaking the truth. No living being knew of my vow to do away with these witches, but myself. Since you know about the vow, I am convinced that it was revealed to you by Heaven. Now I will not rest until l remove these sinful witches from the face of the earth.”

The Plan

Rabi Shimon waited for a rainy day and then he gathered together 80 of his strongest disciples. He provided them with new robes and had them place them in jugs so they would stay dry.

He outlined his plan: “I know that all the witches are now gathered in a cave, practicing their sorcery. Place these pitchers on your heads and follow me to the cave. When you hear me whistle one time, take the dry robes out of the jugs and put them on. Then left up a witch on your shoulder and follow me out.”

“But we fear that they may do us harm,” the young men argued.

“That is why you will left them on your shoulders,” replied Rabi Shimon. “The main power of witchcraft is derived from the earth. Therefore, no harm can come to you if their feet do not rest on the ground.”

The Contest

Followed by the 80 young men, Rabi Shimon ben Shetach reached the cave where the witches were gathered. Changing into dry clothes, he knocked at the door and said, “Open up the door, for I am one of you and I have come to participate in your rituals.”

Seeing how dry he was, they asked, “How are you able to come on a day like this without getting soaked?”

“It was simple for a great magician like me to do,” replied Rabi Shimon. “I reduced myself to a very small thing and walked between the drops.”

“Why do you come here?” they asked.

“I have come to learn from you and to teach you as well. Let me come in.”

The curious witches opened the door and permitted Rabi Shimon to enter and began to demonstrate their magic. One witch whispered and the ceiling of the cave opened and a table covered with various dishes came down and rested in the middle of the cave. Another witch whispered and bottles of wine came down and stood in the center of the table. Two others whispered and bowls filled with all kinds of food descended.

Rabbi Shimon’s Tricks

“Now show us what you can do,” the witches said to Rabi Shimon.

”Very well,” he replied. ”You see how hard it is raining, but when I will whistle two times and then 80 young men will appear, all dressed in dry clothes.”

“If you are able to do that,” they replied, ”then we will admit that you are the mightiest of all the magicians.”

Rabi Shimon whistled once and all the young men waiting outside removed the jugs from their heads, took out the dry cloaks and donned them. Rabi Shimon whistled a second time and his disciples entered the cave and each man grabbed a witch and placed her on his shoulder. They were then carried to gallows that were prepared for them, and hanged.

All Israel Thankful

When the people of Israel heard how Rabi Shimon had rid them of these evil people, they blessed him, saying, “Blessed is Rabi Shimon hen Shetach unto G-d, who has this day rid us of this terrible evil. For as long as they were present, idolatry could not be stamped out.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Witches”

  1. For thousands of years the mythologies of the Middle East with the divine consensus, and the all knowing King above everyone and everything, has fought against the worship of Nature, of everyone and everything.

    The idea of Democracy and elections comes out of the pagan, not Middle Eastern tradition.

    Jews and Judaism today overwhelmingly believe in a hybrid view, with G-d still above everything and everyone and humans respectful and in awe of everyone and everything.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

He lacked for nothing materialistic and could have lived the rest of his life, had he chosen to, in the luxury and laziness that dominated the Roman upper class life.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

He followed her advice and, before departing, the rabbanim offered him a bracha. “Aba Yudin, may the Lord return your wealth, for all the kind deeds you do.”

In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

“When I asked why she cried so much she said she came from a very religious home and feared she would be sold to a non-Jew and forced to convert.

Know that from. the day I began to recite the holy name of God, I have always loved Shabbos

And so the enemy burst into the Sanctuary and set up a stand on the Temple Mount.

By means of a clever pretext, they succeeded in getting Rabi Yitzhak aboard a ship and sailed it down the river.

When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.

One winter morning a terrible blizzard raged, the weather dropped to below zero, and the woman became desperately ill.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

He lacked for nothing materialistic and could have lived the rest of his life, had he chosen to, in the luxury and laziness that dominated the Roman upper class life.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/midrash-stories/the-witches/2013/01/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: