A student once led the prayer service
in the presence of R'
He recited a much longer prayer than was usual.
"How long he prays," the other
"Is his prayer longer then than
Moshe's," asked R'
Eliezer. "Of Moshe the verse says, 'I fell before Hashem, forty days
forty nights ...'"
occasion, a student led the service, saying the
prayers in a short way.
"How short he prays," the other
"Is his prayer then, shorter than
R' Eliezer. "Of Moshe the verse says, And Moshe cried before Hashem,
"Hashem please, heal her please"; [saying only five words]."
Rabban Gamliel's son once, became
very sick. He sent two
scholars to R' Chanina ben Dosa to request that he pray for him. When
Chanina saw the scholars coming, he went up to the loft, and began to
On coming down, he greeted them,
saying, "Go now, his
temperature has dropped."
"Are you a prophet?" they asked him.
"I am not a prophet, nor a trainee
answered, "but I have, as a tradition in our family, this guideline: if
prayer flows smoothly, I know that the heavens have accepted it; if
have rejected it."
They noted the time of this
conversation, and then returned
to Rabban Gamliel.
"I assure you," Rabban Gamliel told
hearing this story, "it was this moment, no earlier, no later, that his
fever left him, and he asked for water to drink."
R' Chanina ben Dosa once, went to
learn Torah [in the
yeshiva] of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai. Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai's
"Chanina, my child," Rabban Yochanan
asked of him, "pray for my son that he might live."
R' Chanina rested his head against
his knees, and prayed,
and the boy lived.
"Was ben Zakkai to hit his head
against his knees all
day," Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai commented to his wife, "they would
pay no attention to him."
"What," asked his wife, "is he
"No," he answered, "just that he is
servant of the king, who enters and leaves the king's presence without
permission, whereas I am like an officer, and not in the habit of
walking in at