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The Snake in the Wall

The Snake in the Wall

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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.”

Footnotes
Talmud, Shabbat 156b
Image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher’s art, click here.
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Discussion (8)
June 24, 2015
Thanks for posting! Love how this shows that mitzvot and acts of kindness can "change" our "destiny!"
Anonymous
June 22, 2015
I don't get the story. Someone please explain.
Thank you.
Anonymous
November 5, 2011
one of the most amazing stories
So spiritual.....
Arye
jerusalem, israel
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....
Anonymous
Tampa, Florida
June 30, 2011
Avodah Zarah

You shall not practice divination or soothsaying. (Leviticus 19:26
Tim Bell
Belton
June 29, 2011
Re: Astrologers?
With regards to Judaism's view on astrology see Is Astrology Kosher? and Astrology and Kabbalah
Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org
June 29, 2011
Astrologers?

According to the Torah the astrologers should be executed.
Tim Bell
Belton, MO
June 29, 2011
On the supreme importance of tzedakah--the life you save may be your own!
Susan
Fayetteville, NC