Rebbe Yossi Haglili
Photo Credit: Zissil.com

Rabbi Yossi and his Former Wife

Rabbi Yossi Haglili was a third generation Tanah (scholar of the Mishna) who lived at the beginning of the second-century common era. He was a student of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon and contemporary of Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya and Rabbi Meir, and lived during the Bar Kochba revolt.

Rabbi Yossi Haglili’s wife was malicious and quarrelsome. She would frequently insult and abuse him in the presence of his pupils and friends. Rabbi Yossi divorced his wife after his students persuaded him to marry a better wife.

His ex-wife went ahead and remarried the lowly town watchman; this was divine retribution for her sins. Eventually, her new husband became blind. She was forced to lead the watchman around town as he begged for their sustenance. 

Once they went through the entire city collecting but did not receive any money. When asked by her husband if there were any other neighborhoods they did not try yet, she confessed that she had left out Rabbi Yossi’s neighborhood out of embarrassment.

Her husband forced her to take him there, beating her on the way. Rabbi Yossi heard the cries of anguish of his ex-wife and her husband’s loud rough rejoinders and stepped out to see what was going on.

When Rabbi Yossi saw his ex-wife’s treatment he took the couple in and let them live in one of the houses he owned, supporting them for the rest of their lives.

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Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachman said, "At a time that the Jewish nation commits sins and evil deeds, as a punishment it doesn't rain. What do they do? They send an elder sage such as Rabbi Yossi Haglili and he prays on behalf of the nation. In the merit of his prayers, it starts to rain again. (Jerusalem Brachot 85/2)

Rabbi Yossi Inside
Rabbi Yossi Haglili's Tomb

Emulate Rabbi Yossi Hagalili and take pity on poor single mothers in Israel who are suffering from poverty and hunger. Donate in his merit and he will surely pray for you up in heaven. The power of great men to help the Jewish nation is even more so after their passing.

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