Great People
Shas Stories

Intervening I

Members of the local governor's household would taunt and trouble R' Mani, son of R' Yona. He went to pray at his father's grave.

"Father," he cried, "these people are afflicting me."

Shortly afterwards these same people passed by the cave where R' Yona was buried. The horses' feet stuck to the ground there and they were unable to move. The riders, realizing the reason for this miracle, accepted on themselves never to hurt R' Mani again. Immediately, the horses' feet became free.


Intervening II

R' Mani was a student of R' Yitzchak ben Eliyashiv. Once, he came crying to his rebbi.

"The rich members of my father-in-law's family," he complained, "taunt and trouble me."

"May they become poor," R' Yitzchak told him. A short time later, he again came to complain before R' Yitzchak.

"Now, there are pressuring me to support them," he moaned. "They tell me they have nothing to eat."

"May they again become rich," R' Yitzchak prayed, and so it was.


Intervening III

At another time R' Mani came before R' Yitzchak.

"My wife is unattractive," he complained, "and I find it difficult to look at her."

"What is her name?" R' Yitzchak asked.


"May Chana become beautiful," R' Yitzchak prayed, and so it was.

A short while later, R' Mani again came with the complaint.

"She is beautiful now," he moaned, "but she treats me in an arrogant and offhand way."

"If so," R' Yitzchak said, "may she again be plain." And so it was.


A Tzaddik's Prayer

Two students of R' Yitzchak ben Eliyashiv once asked him, "Rebbi, pray for us that we should be wise."

"Once, I could do this," he answered them, "whatever I would pray for, the heavens would grant me. Now, I have returned this power to the heavens, and my prayers are not accepted so easily." However, this was not the real reason. He told them this so as not to trouble the heavens too greatly.

(Taanis 23b)


A Tzaddik's Donkey

R' Yosi had a donkey which he would hire out on a daily basis. In the evening, they would send it home with the rental money on it. It would then go home. But if they put on it more or less money than they should have, it would not move from that place.

Once, they forgot on it a pair of shoes, and it would not budge. The people were puzzled until at last they found the cause. They removed the shoes from its back, and it went home.

(Taanis 24a)



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