Elisha ben Abuyah and Rabbi Meir

 

Aher asked Rabbi Meir, “What is the meaning of the verse: Gold and glass cannot equal it; and the exchange for it will not be of fine gold (Job 28:17)?” He answered, “These are the words of the Torah, which are hard to acquire like vessels of fine gold, but are easily destroyed like vessels of glass.” Aher said, “Rabbi Akiva, your rabbi, did not say this, but rather, “Just as vessels of gold and vessels of glass, if they break, are reparable, even so a scholar,even if he has sinned,  he has a remedy. He said to him, “You too, repent!” He replied, “I have already heard from behind the veil: ‘Return ye backsliding children, return, all except for Aher.” Once Aher was riding a horse on Shabbat and Rabbi Meir was walking behind him to learn Torah from his mouth. He said to him, “Meir, turn back, for I have measured by the paces of my horse that at this point ends the Sabbath limit.” He said to him, “You too, repent!” He said to him, “Have I not already told you that I have already heard from behind the veil: ‘Return ye backsliding children, return, all except for Aher.” (B.Hagigah 15.)

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