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Rabbi Levi says the realization of a good dream may be hopefully expected for twenty-two years; for it is written (Gen. xxxvii. 2), "These are the generations of Jacob,

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Joseph being seventeen years old when he had the dreams." And it is written also (Gen. xli. 46), "And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh," etc. From seventeen to thirty are thirteen, to which add the seven years of plenty and the two years of famine, which make the sum total of twenty-two.

Berachoth, fol. 55, col. 2.

In the pages which precede and follow the above quotation there is much that is interesting on the subject of dreams and their interpretation, and one is strongly tempted to append selections, but we refrain in order to make room for a prayer which occurs in the morning service for the various festivals, and is given in the preceding context:--"Sovereign of the Universe! I am thine, and my dreams are thine. I have dreamed a dream, but know not what it portendeth. May it be acceptable in Thy presence, O Lord my God, and the God of my fathers, that all my dreams concerning myself and concerning all Israel may be for my good. Whether I have dreamt concerning myself, or whether I have dreamt concerning others, or whether others have dreamt concerning me, if they be good, strengthen and fortify them, that they may be accomplished in me, as were the dreams of the righteous Joseph; and if they require cure, heal them as Thou didst Hezekiah, king of Judah, from his sickness; as Miriam the prophetess from her leprosy, and Naaman from his leprosy; as the bitter waters of Marah by the hands of our legislator Moses, and those of Jericho by the hands of Elisha. And as Thou wast pleased to turn the curse of Balaam, the son of Beor, to a blessing, be pleased to convert all my dreams concerning me and all Israel to a good end. Oh, guard me; let me be acceptable to Thee, and grant me life. Amen."[*]

Rabbi Levi said, 'Come and see how unlike the character of the Holy One--blessed be He!--is to that of those who inherit the flesh and blood of humanity. God blessed Israel with twenty-two benedictions and cursed them with eight curses (Lev. xxvi. 3-13, xv. 43). But Moses, our Rabbi, blessed them with eight benedictions and cursed them with twenty-two imprecations" (see Deut. xxviii. 1-4, xv. 68).

Bava Bathra, fol. 59, col. 1.

Once as they were journeying to Chesib (in Palestine), some of Rabbi Akiva's disciples were overtaken by a band of robbers, who demanded to know where they were going to. "We are going to Acco," was the reply; but on arriving at Chesib, they went no farther. The robbers

[*. The translation of this prayer is borrowed from the Jewish liturgy.]

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then asked them who they were? "Disciples of Rabbi Akiva," they replied. Upon hearing this the robbers exclaimed, "Blessed surely is Rabbi Akiva and his disciples too, for no man can ever do them any harm." Once as Rabbi Menasi was traveling to Thurtha (in Babylonia), some thieves surprised him on the road and asked him where he was bound for. "For Pumbeditha," was the reply; but upon reaching Thurtha, he stayed and went no farther. The highwaymen, thus balked, retorted, "Thou art the disciple of Yehuda the deceiver!" "Oh, you know my master, do you?' said the Rabbi. "Then in the name of God be every one of you anathematized." For twenty-two years thereafter they carried on their nefarious trade, but all their attempts at violence ended only in disappointment. Then all save one of them came to the Rabbi and craved his pardon, which was immediately granted. The one who did not come to confess his guilt and obtain absolution was a weaver, and he was eventually devoured by a lion. Hence the proverbs, "If a weaver does not humble himself, he shortens his life;" and, "Come and see the difference there is between the thieves of Babylon and the banditti of the land of Israel."

Avodah Zarah, fol. 26, col. 1.

Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus was twenty-two years of age when, contrary to the wishes of his father, he went to Rabbon Yochanan ben Zaccai purposing to devote himself to the study of the law. By the time he arrived at Rabbon Yochanan's he had been without food four-and-twenty hours, and yet, though repeatedly asked whether he had had anything to eat, refused to confess he was hungry. His father having come to know where he was, went one day to the place on purpose to disinherit him before the assembled Rabbis. It so happened that Rabbon Yochanan was at that time lecturing before some of the great men of Jerusalem, and when he saw the father enter, he pressed Rabbi Eliezer to deliver an exposition. So racy and cogent were his observations that Rabbon Yochanan rose and styled him his own Rabbi, and thanked, him in the name of the rest for the instruction he had afforded them. Then the father of Rabbi Eliezer said, {p. 144} "Rabbis, I came here for the purpose of disinheriting my son, but now I declare him sole heir of all I have, to the exclusion of his brothers."

Avoth d'Rab. Nathan, chap. 6.

The father of Eliezer acts more magnanimously by his son than does the father of St. Francis. Like the Rabbi, as Mr. Ruskin relates in his "Mornings in Florence," St. Francis, one of whose three great virtues was obedience, "begins his spiritual life by quarreling with his father. He (commercially invests) some of his father's goods in charity. His father objects to that investment, on which St. Francis runs away, taking what he can find about the house along with him. His father follows to claim his property, but finds it is all gone already, and that St. Francis has made friends with the Bishop of Assisi. His father flies into an indecent passion, and declares he will disinherit him; on which St. Francis, then and there, takes all his clothes off, throws them frantically in his father's face, and says he has nothing more to do with clothes or father."

Not the same strict scrutiny is required in money matters as in cases of capital punishment; for it is said (Lev. xxiv. 23), "Ye shall have one manner of law." What distinction is there made between them? With regard to money matters three judges are deemed sufficient, while in cases of capital offense twenty-three are required, etc.

Sanhedrin, fol. 32, col. 1.

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