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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
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Thrown Into The Fire

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Yorkami, the malach in charge of hail, approached the Almighty and said, “Lord of the Universe! Permit me to descend into the fiery caldron and rescue the three saints. I will cast my icy hail into the fire and extinguish it.”

But the malach Gavriel, standing nearby, interrupted and said, “Lord of the Universe! It is no trick for the malach in charge of the hail to extinguish a fire, for everyone knows that ice and water will extinguish flames.

“Let me, instead, go down, for I am known as the malach in charge of fire. I will make the inside of the fire cool while the outside is hot. Thus people will see a double miracle; not only will they be saved, but they will be able to walk around in the fire.”

The Almighty listened attentively and then He commanded the malach Gavriel, “Go! Do as you say.”

 

They Walk Out Of The Furnace

Nevuchadnezar approached the furnace and shouted, “Ye, loyal servants of the God in heaven, come out from the furnace!

Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah walked out of the fiery furnace. All the king’s counselors, governors and ministers gathered around them in awe. The fire had not singed their hair nor touched any part of their clothes. Nor was there even the smell of fire about them.

The king then spoke aloud for all to hear, “Blessed be He, the God of Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who sent an angel to deliver His servants from harm so that they would not worship any god except their own G-d.

“Therefore, l make a decree that any person, nation or country which shall speak anything amiss against the God of Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah shall be cut to pieces and their homes destroyed. Because there is no other G-d Who can perform such a miracle!”

The king promoted them and made them governors of larger provinces.

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“I wanted you to have a taste of the cold,” answered Rav Chaim. “This way, you too can feel the intense cold and realize the suffering of this man and his wife, who are now residing in a bitterly cold house.”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“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.”

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.

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