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A Talmud Story for Tu Bishvat: Honi the Circle Maker

Hosted By: My Jewish Learning

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My Jewish Learning


A beloved wonder-worker of the Talmud, Honi, is often invoked as a hero of both people and plants: He’s associated with Tu Bishvat because, as the Talmud tells us, he planted carob trees all over the land for future generations. And when there was a drought, he drew a magic circle on the ground and demanded rain.

But close reading of the original account shows that the rabbis were actually ambivalent about him.  In this class with My Jewish Learning Editor, Rachel Scheinerman, we’ll explore why and discuss his complicated legacy.