Love of the Land

For the week ending 27 July 2019 / 24 Tammuz 5779

Rabbi Meir and Miracles

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

When the great Sage Rabbi Meir went to redeem his sister-in-law from her forced confinement to a Roman house of ill repute, the bribed guard on duty expressed reluctance to cooperate for fear that he would be executed by the authorities who had placed her there.

“Whenever you are in danger,” Rabbi Meir assured him, “just utter the prayer ‘G-d of Meir, answer me’ and you will immediately be saved.”

To prove the potency of the prayer, Rabbi Meir incited some nearby man-eating dogs to attack the guard. As they approached, the man cried out: “G-d of Meir, answer me.” And the dangerous dogs retreated.

The guard then released the young lady but he was eventually discovered and sentenced to death by hanging. As he mounted the gallows he recalled Rabbi Meir’s promise and uttered the prayer “G-d of Meir, answer me”. In miraculous fashion he was released by his executioners. (Mesechta Avodah Zara 18a)

Rabbi Meir’s tomb is assumed to be located in Tiveria and is one of the more popular places for prayer. His name lives on not only in his countless statements in the Talmud but also in the many charities which bear the name “Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess,” meaning “Rabbi Meir the Miracle Worker.

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