“The woman fell at my feet, kissing my shoes, and crying in appreciation, and she then departed, happier than she had ever been in her life. That is my story, O masters.”
Merits G-d’s Mercy
“How do you support yourself now,” they asked him.
“It is not easy,” he replied. “But I hire myself out as a laborer to work on other people’s fields. I work long hours to make up for the money I would have earned through my mule.”
When the sages heard this they were awed by the story told by this simple man. “You are worthy that G-d should always listen to your prayers and we are worthy to have had the honor to know you. May the merit of your wonderful deed protect all Israel from famine.”
Pleading To The Father
Once, when there was a drought in Israel, the sages wanted Hanan, the son of Choni’s daughter to pray on their behalf. They knew him to be a saint, but he was so modest and meek that he would hide when they approached him for help. He reasoned that by relying upon him to pray, they would neglect to repent or pray themselves. He, therefore, refused to help them.
When Hanan refused to pray, the people became worried. The drought was fast giving way to a famine and still he would not help them. When the rabbis saw this terrible predicament, they went to the schools and addressed the children. “We want to tell you, dear children, that we may soon die of thirst and hunger, unless we receive rain. There is only one person who can help us, and that is Hanan. Therefore, go to him and ask him for rain.”
The little children, hearing these instructions, went to Hanan and began pulling at the tails of his robe, saying, “O father, father, please give us rain.”
Touched by the pleas of the little children, Hanan prayed to the Holy One, blessed be His Name, “Master of the Universe, please cause rain to fall for the sake of these little children who do not know the difference between the Father who is able to give rain and the father who is unable to give rain.”
G-d listened to Hanan’s prayer and rain descended in abundance upon the earth and all the people enjoyed themselves and blessed G-d.