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

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