There was once an individual who passed away in the court of Rava, the Talmudic sage. When the king heard of this incident, he wanted to punish Rava. Ifra Hurmiz, the king’s mother, admired Rava and didn’t want any harm to befall him. She told her son to be careful not to quarrel with the Jews, because whatever they ask from their G‑d is granted.

“Give me an example,” the king requested.

She replied, “Rain comes only because the Jews pray to G‑d for it.”

Remaining skeptical, the king stated, “Rain comes naturally during its season.”

Ifra Hurmiz replied, “If you desire, I can prove it to you, for they can pray for rain now during the hot summer months, and G‑d will answer their prayers.”

Immediately, rain fell with such volume that the gutters of the city emptied into the Tigris River

Ifra Hurmiz then sent Rava a message that he should pray for rain to come. Rava prayed for rain, but no rain fell. Rava beseeched further, quoting Psalms: “G‑d, with our ears we have heard, our fathers have recounted to us, the work which You have done in the days of old.” Rava was referencing the miracle that G‑d performed during the days of Samuel the prophet, when there was a drought, and rains came through their prayers. Rava concluded, “But we have never seen these miracles with our own eyes!”

Immediately, rain fell with such volume that the gutters of the city emptied into the Tigris River.

Elsewhere, the Gemara recounts that Ifra Hurmiz sent a pouch of gold coins to the rabbis to be used for a “great mitzvah.” Obviously, any act of charity is great, but Ifra Hurmiz specified that she wanted to perform the greatest act of charity possible. The rabbis weren’t sure what was considered a “great mitzvah,” until Abaye stated, “Since it’s stated that we don’t collect money from orphans, even to redeem captives, it must be that redeeming captives is a great mitzvah.”

Furthermore, Ifra Hurmiz is described as a righteous gentile, who used to send sacrifices to G‑d. She was also very close to converting to Judaism.

Her name also illustrates her character and identity, as Ifra means beauty, and Hurmiz connotes the divine presence; thus, her name means “grace of G‑d.”