Aba Chilkiya

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Abba Chilkia
Abba Chilkia
אבא חלקיה
Abba Chilkiyah, Chilkeyah, Chilkeya, Chilkia
Other Names
Asa Chilkiyahu
Father to a portion from G-D.
A Tana who was known for his ability to pray for rain and be answered.

An early Tana, Aba Chilkiya lived during the time of the Second Temple. Aba Chilkiya was respected as a miracle worker by the sages of his generation, just like his grandfather Choni HaM'agel.


[edit] A Pious Worker

Aba Chilkiya was known for his great righteousness and honesty. For a living he worked as a day laborer, doing work in the fields. Aba Chilkiya was very poor and a number of examples are given where his extreme poverty can be seen. He would walk barefoot to save his shoes from getting worn out. Abba Chilkiyah would only put them on for occasions such as walking through water where he could not see if snakes and fish lay in front of him ready to bite. Aba Chilkiya's coat was borrowed, since he could not afford to buy one himself. He preferred to have his legs scratched by thorns rather then take the chance of ripping his garments, since he could not replace them. At the end of the day Aba Chilkiya hardly brought home enough food to feed his family and was often unable to have guests at his table.

Aba Chilkiya was very humble and refused to take credit for miracles brought about through his prayers. In the Talmud he is used as a symbol of righteousness and is referred to as a 'worker of righteousness'. Aba Chilkiya was so honest to the extent that he would not respond to peoples greetings while working, since he felt it was cheating his employer who paid him by the hour. When Aba Chilkiya borrowed a coat he would take it off while carrying his tools, since he had only borrowed it to wear and not to carry a load upon it.

[edit] Bringer of Rain

Abba Chilkiyah was a recognized miracle worker and was approached numerous times by the Sages of Israel to pray for rain during years of famine. This was due to his own great piety and his lineage as a grandson of Choni HaM'agel. In the masechta of Tanis, the Talmud brings down an incident in detail where Aba Chilkiya was approached by the Sages to pray for rain. It was the custom of Abba Chilkiyah to pray along with his wife. Together they would go to the roof, each standing in opposite corners and pray.

[edit] Family

Aba Chilkiya was a grandson of Choni HaM'agel and the first cousin of Chanan Hanechba. All three had the ability to bring down rain through their prayers to Hashem. Aba Chilkiya was a son of Choni's son and Chanan Hanechba was the son of Choni's daughter.

[edit] Wife of Aba Chilkiya

Aba Chilkiya's wife was righteous in her own merit. She would dress up and greet her husband each day to ensure that he would not gaze at any other woman. Together Abba Chilkiyah and his wife had at least two boys.

Despite their great poverty Abba Chilkiyah and his wife would give a lot of charity. Aba Chilkiya's wife would give more charity than her husband since she was home the entire day. Additionally, she would give ready-made food while Aba Chilkiya himself only gave money, a step further away from actual food. It was for this reason that Aba Chilkiya's wife would sometimes have her prayers answered before her husband.

Aba Chilkiya had evil gangster neighbors that tormented him and he wanted to pray that they should die. Instead, his wife prayed that they should repent, which they did. This was an additional merit that Aba Chilkiya's wife had over her husband, allowing her prayers to be answered first.

[edit] Reincarnations

Aba Chilkiya was a reincarnation of Manoach father of Shimshon, who was called ignorant by the Sages for walking behind his wife and taking her advice. In his reincarnation as Abba Chilkiya, he proved that he had valid reasons for acting this way. One example given is when Abba Chilkiya followed his wife into his house to distance her from two students whom he did not know and therefore could not trust.

Abba Chilkiya's wife was a reincarnation of Hatzlelponi, wife of Manoach. In this lifetime too her prayers were answered before her husbands, just like the angel first came to Hatzlelponi and not to Manoach.

[edit] Kever Aba Chilkiya

Aba Chilkiya is buried in the town of Fharam, right near the city of Hatzor HaGlilit in Northern Israel. He is buried in a cave along with his first cousin Chanan Hanechba, near an adjacent cave containing the Kevarim of his grandparents Choni HaM'agel and his wife. It was customary amongst the people of Safed and the Gallil to pray at these three graves during times of drought.

[edit] More Photos

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