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The Snake in the Wall

The Snake in the Wall


Rabbi Akiva had a daughter. But astrologers said to him, “On the day she enters the bridal chamber, a snake will bite her and she will die.”

On the night of her marriage, she removed a brooch and stuck it into the wall. When she pulled it out the following morning, a poisonous snake came trailing after it; the pin had penetrated into the eye of the serpent.

“Was there anything special that you did yesterday?” her father asked her.

“A poor man came to our door in the evening,” she replied. “Everybody was busy at the banquet, and there was none to attend to him. So I took the portion of food which was given to me, and gave it to him.”

Thereupon Rabbi Akiva went out and declared: “Charity delivers from death.1 And not just from an unnatural death, but from death itself.”

Talmud, Shabbat 156b
Image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher’s art, click here.
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Anonymous June 24, 2015

Thanks for posting! Love how this shows that mitzvot and acts of kindness can "change" our "destiny!" Reply

Anonymous June 22, 2015

I don't get the story. Someone please explain.
Thank you. Reply

Arye jerusalem, israel November 5, 2011

one of the most amazing stories So spiritual..... Reply

Anonymous Tampa, Florida July 2, 2011

Judaism's view I believe their is no Judaism's view or or any other religious view. Organizations can't see or judge anything since they are structures consisting of individuals. There are only individuals' views or projections emerging in collective affiliations--which can be supportive or destructive of life. If G-d is in it, it is supportive of life. And anything living demands its own conditions for connection and to reach its potential--or it dies.... the woman knew exactly why she could tell the truth to her father.... Reply

Tim Bell Belton June 30, 2011

Avodah Zarah
You shall not practice divination or soothsaying. (Leviticus 19:26 Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for June 29, 2011

Re: Astrologers? With regards to Judaism's view on astrology see Is Astrology Kosher? and Astrology and Kabbalah Reply

Tim Bell Belton, MO June 29, 2011

According to the Torah the astrologers should be executed. Reply

Susan Fayetteville, NC June 29, 2011

On the supreme importance of tzedakah--the life you save may be your own! Reply

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