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At its conclusion, Rabi Yochanan jumped up and kissed Eliezer on his forehead and exclaimed, “Ashrecha, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov that this son has come from you.”

“Who is this man?” asked Hurkones.


“Don’t you recognize him?” they all exclaimed. “He is your son.”

Hurkones was dumbfounded. His son was a genius. Getting up on a stool, Hurkones called for silence. “Today it is I who should utter a blessing. Lucky am I that Eliezer comes from me,” he cried out.

“I want to confess that I came to Jerusalem to disinherit my son, but now I have changed my mind. Instead, all of my fortunes I want to leave to him.”

“Thank you,” replied Eliezer. “Were I to have requested property from God, he would have given it to me, for it says, ‘To God does the earth belong and all that is in it’. Were it gold and silver that I had requested, he would have also given it to me for it says, ‘I own the silver, I own the gold, so says God.’ Instead I requested and prayed for his holy Torah, which He has seen fit to grant to me.”

We are told that Eliezer ben Hurkones became such a great Torah scholar that one day Rabi Yehoshua entered his beit medrash and approached his seat, kissed it, and exclaimed, “This stone (seat) is compared to Har Sinai and the person who sits on it is compared to the Aron HaKodesh.”


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