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ben Dosa, Chanina

by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis
A Talmudic Sage and wonder-worker. Many miraculous stories of him revolve around his abject poverty. Because of his piety, God replicates the miracle of the manna just for him. When a shrewish neighbor seeks to humiliate Ben Dosa's wife because of their poverty, God filled her oven with savory bread (B. Taanit 25a). So poor he was able only to bring a polished rock to the Temple as an offering, God sent angelic porters to him, who then teleported him there instantaneously. In another legend his wife prayed for some of his heavenly reward to come to them now while they are still alive. A golden table-leg miraculously appears. But when Ben Dosa dreamt of a table in heaven with only three legs, he makes her return it. He once caused the beams of his neighbor's house to grow by means of a magical incantation constructed from the person's name. He had the power to stop and start the rain with a prayer. He also made vinegar burn like oil. Such was the power of his saintliness that he could overcome Igrat, a queen of demons. Other miracles are credited to him (Pes. 112b; T. Taanit; En Yaakov).

Article copyright 2004 Geoffrey Dennis.


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