Wise Fridays: Sins and Lizards

The rabbis told this story: In a certain place there was a lizard which used to injure people. They came and told Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa. He said to them: Show me its hole. They showed him its hole, and he put his heel over the hole, and the lizard came out and bit him, and it died.

He put it on his shoulder and brought it to the Beth ha-Midrash and said to them: See, my sons, it is not the lizard that kills, it is sin that kills! On that occasion they said: “Woe to the man whom a lizard meets, but woe to the lizard which R. Hanina b. Dosa meets!”

Gemara Berakhot, 33a

Go here for more Wise Fridays wisdom.

Discover More

Must One Honor an Abusive Parent?

While fully aware of the corrosive effect of abuse by parents, rabbinic literature still encourages expressions of respect and honor for such parents.

Confronting Our Dark Sides

Like Jacob's struggle, each of us must recognize, confront and struggle with our darker side.

Becoming A Leader

Before God calls on Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery, Moses develops his leadership skills and his ability to see beyond narrow struggles and his role as liberator.