It once happened that that the young daughter of Nechunya the digger of wells fell into a deep well.

Some bystanders immediately ran to inform Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, who was known as a holy man. After hearing what happened, he replied, “She will be fine.”

Time passed, and it was doubtful if she would be able to stay afloatBystanders immediately ran to inform Rabbi Chanina in the water much longer. But Rabbi Chanina once again declared that she would be fine.

After more time had passed, and it was a foregone conclusion that no one could possibly remain alive in a well for that much time, Rabbi Chanina said, “She has come out of the pit.” And sure enough, the girl had managed to climb out of the well.

When she was asked how she managed to scale the tall, steep walls, she said that she was assisted by a ram led by an old man (a reference to Abraham and the ram he brought as a sacrifice instead of Isaac).

The people then turned to Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, asking if he was perhaps a prophet.

He said to them, “I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I made a simple calculation. Nechunya put so much effort into digging wells for the benefit of the pilgrims who come to Jerusalem every year. Shall the thing to which that pious man has devoted his labor become the downfall of his own progeny?”

It once happened that the daughter of Rabbi Mordechai (Feitelson) of Lieple was gravely ill. Seeing that her days were numbered, Rabbi Mordechai hastened to Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi to ask him to pray for her recovery.

Arriving in the middle of the night, he tried to enter theAll the doors were locked home of Rabbi Schneur Zalman, but all the doors were locked. He tried the windows and finally found one that was open. The desperate father climbed into the house and found Rabbi Schneur Zalman laying on the floor saying, “Nechunya the digger of wells … become the downfall of his own progeny … Mordechai Liepler has done such and such … become the downfall of his own progeny?”

Seeing Rabbi Schneur Zalman tearfully praying for his daughter was all Rabbi Mordechai needed. He left the house and returned home, where he found his daughter well on the road to recovery.

(Talmud, Bava Kama 50a; Reshimot Devarim I, pp. 78-79.)