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Lessons for Life: Heavenly Protection

Rochel Gross

During Musaf on Yom Kippur, we read about the Asarah Harugei Malchus — the ten Tannaim killed by the wicked Romans. The Gemara and the Zohar say the tears we shed over the deaths of these great Sages atone for our sins. It is not difficult to weep when reading the stories of their tragic deaths. Here we bring you the story of one of them — the holy Tanna, Rabi Chanina ben Teradyon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

As the large flames sprang and danced about, the executioner was astounded to see that the fire was distancing itself from Rabi Chanina’s body. It did not touch him at all. Furthermore, the flames were cold! Appalled, he asked Rabi Chanina, “How can it be that the fire is cold and doesn’t harm you?”

“I commanded the fire not to touch me until I inquire Above whether this is a Heavenly decree. Wait here for a while; I will soon inform you,” the Tanna answered.

His reply stunned the Roman executioner.

 

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