Honi Brings Rain

 It once happened that they asked Honi HaM’agel to pray for rain. He said to them, “Go and bring the Pesach ovens inside so they do not dissolve.” He prayed and no rain fell. What did he do? He drew a circle and stood in the middle and said, “Master of the universe, your children turned to me because I am like a member of your household. I swear in your great name that I will not budge from here until you show compassion upon your children.” It began to drizzle. He said, “This is not what I asked for, rather a rain that fills cisterns, trenches, and caves. It began to storm violently. He said, “This is not what I asked for, rather a pleasant rain of blessing.” The rain fell properly until Israel evacuated Jerusalem for the Temple Mount because of the rain. They came and said to him, “Just as you prayed for it to fall, pray for it to go away.” He said to them, “Go and see if the Rock of Lost and Found has been washed away.” Shimon ben Shetach sent him a message, “If you were not Honi, I would decree that you be ostracized, but what can I do, seeing how you sin and He does your will like a son who misbehaves against his father, who nonetheless gives in to him. Concerning you it is written, “His father and mother are joyful; glad is the one who bore you (Proverbs 23:25).”  (Taanit 3:8)

 

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