Every day a Divine voice states that the world is sustained in the merit of Chanina b. Dosa, who suffices with a Kav of carobs weekly.
His wife would heat the oven and put smoke-emitting substances in it so the neighbors wouldn't realize that they could not afford bread.
An inquisitive neighbor went to investigate, and she went to hide out of shame.
The neighbor saw the oven full of bread, and called for her to bring a shovel to remove it.
She replied that she had gone to get one, and she indeed had, as she was accustomed to miracles.
She complained that there was no food, so Chanina told her to pray.
Hash-m gave her the leg of a golden stool, but she complained after seeing in a dream that all the Tzadikim had a three-legged stool and theirs had only two legs.
After praying, it was removed.
The latter miracle was greater, as things are given but not taken away.
One Erev Shabbos, Chanina saw his daughter distraught because she had lit with vinegar instead of oil.
He told her that the One Who makes oil burn can just as easily make vinegar burn.
It burned through the day and provided light for Havdalah.
His goats were accused of causing trouble.
He said that if that were true, then they should be eaten by bears, otherwise they should bring bears impaled on their horns, which is what happened.
His neighbor's house had beams that were too short. He blessed them and they were miraculously extended.
Others say that they miraculously had pieces added on.
Question #1: How did he come to have goats if he was so poor?
Question #2: Surely it is forbidden to raise small domestic animals in Eretz Yisrael?
Answer: His wife once found some chickens that someone had left on their doorstep.
R. Chanina hatched their eggs, and sold the chickens for goats.
When the owner returned, he gave him the goats.
THE SLEEP OF R. ELAZAR OF PEDAS
R. Elazar b. Pedas was very poor. After blood-letting, he had nothing to eat except garlic, whereupon he fainted.
The rabbis found him in his sleep, laughing and crying, with light emitting from his forehead.
Upon awaking, he told them that Hash-m had offered to destroy the world on the chance that he would be reborn wealthy.
But he did not want to take the risk, since he was also told that he had already lived more than half his life.
As a reward, he would be given 13 rivers of Afarsamon oil in the next world, but nothing else, so as to leave for others.
When he said that Hash-m was not limited, He tapped him on the head.
TECHNIQUES FOR BRINGING RAIN
R. Chama bar Chanina decreed a fast but no rain fell.
When challenged that R. Yehoshua b. Levi was able to bring rain, he replied that R. Yehoshua was clearly superior.
They suggested that everyone concentrate and perhaps they would become contrite, but their prayers were still unanswered.
He called to the skies to become cloudy, but nothing happened.
He accused them of being brazen, and rain came.
Levi decreed a fast but no rain came.
He said that Hash-m had ascended to Heaven and was not showing mercy upon His children.
Rain fell, and Levi became lame.
(R. Elazar): Never reproach Hash-m.
Question: Was not it due to Levi having done a certain type of press-up that made him lame?
Answer: Both were factors.
R. Chiya bar Lulayni overheard clouds saying that they would rain on Ammon and Moav.
He protested to Hash-m that nations which refused the Torah should not receive rain, and rain fell on the Jews instead.
He explained that the Pasuk compares a Tzadik to both a date-palm and a cedar because the trunk of the latter grows back (Techiyas ha'Meisim) and the former produces fruit (like reward in the next world).
Question: We see that the trunk of a cedar does not grow back:
(Beraisa): One who buys a tree to cut it down, must do so a certain distance from the ground for certain trees;
For other trees, such as cedars, he can remove the roots, as they will not grow back anyway.
Answer: This refers to a different type of cedar; there are ten types.
(Beraisa): R. Eliezer once decreed thirteen fasts but no rain fell.
When the people were finally leaving, he asked them if they had dug graves; their weeping brought rain.
On a different occasion, he said the twenty-four Berachos but was not answered, and R. Akiva said two Avinu Malkeinu's and was answered.
The rabbis were suspicious of him, but a Bas-Kol said that it was not that R. Akiva was greater, rather that he was willing to overlook wrongs against him.
WHEN TO STOP FASTING
(Beraisa): People should stop fasting for rain when enough has fallen...
(R. Meir): To penetrate the cavity made by a plough.
(Chachamim): To penetrate a Tefach in dry land, two in regular land, and three in tilled land.
(R. Shimon b. Elazar): For every Tefach of rain that penetrates the earth, three Tefachim rise from the depths.
Question: A Beraisa states that two rise?
Answer: That refers to tilled earth.
(R. Elazar): When the water libation is done on Sukos, the depths call to each other to pour forth.
Rabah saw Ridayah, the Malach of rain, who looked like a cow with a split lip, standing between the upper and lower Tehomos.
He told the upper to pour down and the lower to spring forth.
COMPLETING THE FAST AFTER RAINFALL
(Beraisa): If the people were fasting and rain fell...
(R. Meir): They complete their fast only if it fell after sunrise.
(R. Yehudah): They complete it only if it fell after midday.
(R. Yosi): They complete it only if it fell after nine hours, as we find that Achav only ate at the ninth hour.
R. Yehudah the Nasi decreed a fast, and even though rain fell after sunrise, he thought to complete the fast, but was told that midday is the demarcation point.
Shmuel ha'Katan decreed a fast and rain fell before sunrise.
The people wanted to take credit for it, but he compared it to a master who gives in to his slave's request rather than hear his voice.
On another occasion, Shmuel ha'Katan decreed a fast and rain fell after sunset.
The people wanted to take credit for it, but he compared it to a master who delays giving in to his slave's request so as to make him suffer and be contrite.
Question: When would Shmuel ha'Katan consider rain to reflect well on the people?
Answer: If it fell as soon as they said that Hash-m brings rain.
The Mishnah said that once, when the people were fasting in Lod, rain fell before midday; R. Tarfon told them to eat and celebrate, and they recited Hallel in the afternoon.
Question: Why did not they say Hallel before feasting?
Answer: Hallel is only said on a full stomach.
Question: When R. Papa's fast was answered before midday, they said Hallel and feasted afterwards!?
Answer: In that town, drunkenness was common, and if they feasted first, they might have been unable to say Hallel.