Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa

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Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa (רבי חנינא בן דוסא) was a first generation Tana and a renown miracle worker.


[edit] Life

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa lived in the town of Arev in the lower Gallil during the era of the Second Temple. He was a student/friend of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai who also spent time in Arev. Rabbi Chanina was considered the last 'man of action' to have lived.

[edit] Poverty

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa lived in complete poverty while all his personal merits were used to sustain his generation. Each week he would survive on a small quantity of carobs. So poor was he, that Rebbe Chanina ben Dosa is given in the Talmud as the prime example of a righteous individual who did not benefit at all from 'This World' and was given complete success in the 'Next World'.

[edit] Miracles

[edit] Flammable Vinegar

[edit] Prayers

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was a master of prayer and people including prominent personalities like Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai would often request that he intercede on their behalf. He would often pray for the sick and then announce whether that individual would live or die. When asked how he knew this, Rabbi Chanina replied that when the prayers flowed in his mouth he know that they were accepted and the individual would live. However when they did not he knew the prayers were devoured and the individual would die.

[edit] Son of Rabban Gamliel

Once the son of Rabban Gamliel became ill and he sent two Torah scholars to Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa requesting that he beseech for mercy. Upon seeing them, Rebbe Chanina ascended to his attic and began praying. On his way down he informed the messengers to go home since the boy's fever had gone away. They asked him how he could make such a certain statement as if he was a prophet. Rebbe Chanina ben Dosa replied "I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet but I have a tradition that if my prayers flow in my mouth they are accepted and if not I know they were consumed." Wanted to test this, the messengers marked down the exact time and hour Rabbi Chanina had informed them of the boy's recovery.. Upon returning to Rabban Gamliel he swore to them that at the exact calculated moment, his son's fever had gone away and he had asked them for a drink of water.

[edit] Son of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa went to study Torah by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. When Rabbi Yochanan's son got sick, he requested that Rabbi Chanina pray for him. Rabbi Chanina placed his head between his knees and pleaded for mercy. His prayers were accepted and the boy lived. Seeing this Rabbi Yochanan declared that even if he himslef had placed his head between his knees and prayed the entire day, they still would have ignored him in Heaven. Upon hearing this, his wife wanted to know if Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was truly greater then him. Rabbi Yochanan replied that he was greater then Rabbi Chanina but the later was like a slave serving the King who could be found in his presence at all times, while he was like a minister who could only approach the king via invitation.

[edit] Daughter of Nichunya Chofer Sichin

Nichunya Chofer Sichin would go through great pain and expense to dig water wells and mikvas for the public. Once his daughter fill into a large pit of water. When they told Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa about this, he respond that the girl was fine. Time passed but he continued insisting the girl was fine. After three hours Rabbi Chanina declared that the girl had just climbed out of the pit. She related how an elderly man leading a ram had pulled her out. When asked if he was a prophet, Rabbi Chanina responded that he was not a prophet nor the son of a prophet but he that Nichunya could not possibly be afflicted through the very same object that he actively contributed to the public with.

[edit] Teachings

  • A person whose fear of sin takes precedence to his wisdom, his wisdom will endure; but a person whose wisdom takes precedence to his fear of sin, his wisdom will not endure.
  • A person whose deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But a person whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom does not endure.
  • A person who is pleasing to his fellow men, is pleasing to G-d. But A person who is not pleasing to his fellow men, is not pleasing to G-d.

[edit] Kever Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa is buried in the arab village of Arraba, which is supposedly Christian and Druze and possibly safe to visit.

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