Rabbi Honi HaM'agel | The Circle Drawer

The Circle Drawer

Name and place:

The miracle performer Honi HaM'agel (חוני המעגל, Hebrew for Honi the Circle-drawer) (First century BCE) was a Jewish scholar prior to the age of the Tannaim. He was a scholar from whose teachings the Mishnah (the first part of the Talmud) was derived.The tomb of this holy sage is located on the western outskirts of the town of Hazor Hagelit in the Hula Valley in Nothern Israel.

Insights:

The holy sage Honi Ham’agel who lived in the first century BCE was granted this name after a miracle that he preformed. During the time of the great drought the people asked Honi to pray for rain. The Talmud says that Honi drew a circle around himself and told God that he would not budge until it rained. So much rain was then sent by God that Honi the circle drawer was forced once again to pray to God, only this time begging for it to stop.

Tradition says that Honi brings prayers before God regarding not only rain but any need.

Visitors to Honi’s tomb circumnavigate a round plaza while reciting Psalms and praying.

The circumstances of Honi's death are described in the Talmud. He fell asleep and awoke after 70 years, and when nobody would believe him that he was indeed Honi the Circle-drawer, he prayed to God and God took him from this world.

Tale of a Tzaddik:

The Talmud provides an example of the miracle Honi HaM'agel' ("Honi the Circle-drawer") who was famous for his ability to successfully pray for rain. Once the month of Adar passed without rain The people beseached Honi HaM'agel and begged “Pray that it should rain.” he drew a circle in the dust, stood inside it, and exclaimed “Master of the universe, your children have turned their faces to me , for I am like a member of your household. I swear by your great Name that I will not budge from here until You have pity on your children.” Shortly after it began to drizzle. His students addressed him again and said “Thanks to you we are alive today, but this rain is only to free you from your promise.” Honi HaM'agel once again addressed God and said that with such rain he was not satisfied and expected more rain; it then began to pour. His students once again pleaded to Honi and exclaimed “Just as you prayed for the rain to come, so pray that it may go away!” He said to them “One does not ussualy make requests when things go well. Nevertheless. Bring me a bull and I whill offer a thanksgiving to God, and I will pray while doing so.”

The people did just so and Honi placed his hands upon the bull and began to pray, “Master of the Universe,your people Israel, ehom you brought out of Egypt, cannot tolerate extreme favor, just as they cannot handle extreme calamity. You were andtry with them. And they cannot endure it. You granted them extreme favor and they cannot abide it. May it be Your will that the rain stop and the world be releived.” As soon as he finished praying the clouds dissapeared and the sun began to shine.

He was almost put into excommunucation for doing such an act in which he showed "dishonor" to God. However, Shimon Ben Shetach, the brother of Queen Shlomzion, excused him, saying that he was Honi and had a special relationship with God.

Directions:

Follow the main road of Hatzor ha-Gelilit until the end of the dirt path.

Memorial date:

3 Iyar


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