Not to Worry: Jewish Wisdom and Folklore

By Michele Klein | Go to book overview

6 Theurgy and Magic

It once happened that there was a dry winter in the land of Israel. The people were worried that, should rain not come soon, there would be famine and death. The rabbis prayed to God, but the skies stayed blue. So they asked a man named Honi to pray for rain. He prayed and all the people watched the sky hopefully, but it remained blue. Honi then drew a circle in the dust and stood inside it, turned his face upward, and cried out in a loud voice “Master of the World! I swear by Your Great Name that I shall not move from here until You have mercy on Your children!”

The people rejoiced as the sky clouded over and the first drops splattered onto their parched land. But the drops soon stopped and the people turned again to Honi: “Those drops were sent only to release you from your vow. They will not fill our empty cisterns nor give our crops strength to grow.”

So Honi asked God for rain to fill the cisterns and water the fields. The rain soon fell in torrents. It drenched and flooded the land and the people became worried again. They complained to Honi that the rains would destroy the world.

Yet again, Honi turned to God: “Master of the Universe! The people whom You brought out of Egypt do not like misfortune, but they also do not want too much of a good thing. May it be Your will to cease the rains now.” A wind immediately swept away the clouds and the sky turned blue again.

-145-

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Not to Worry: Jewish Wisdom and Folklore
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1- About Worry 3
  • 2- Coping Strategies 25
  • 3- Prayer 53
  • 4- Meditation 85
  • 5- Dreams 113
  • 6- Theurgy and Magic 145
  • 7- A Moving Melody 183
  • 8- Humor 213
  • 9- Worry- For Better or for Worse? 237
  • Glossary 261
  • Notes 267
  • Index 319
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