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Some Things Are Worth The Wait!
Rochel was the daughter of Kalba Savua, one of the wealthiest men in the land of Israel. Even though she could have married anyone, she fell in love with a poor uneducated shepherd named Akiva. "I will marry you, if you go to the study hall and learn Torah," she told him.
Akiva agreed, and they were married secretly. When Rochel's father found out, he drove her
out of the house. They were so poor that they slept on a pile of straw!
Still, Rochel encouraged her husband to study. She even sold the braids of her hair so that he could do so. For 12 years, he studied with Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua.
At last he returned home. Only this time, he returned as one of the leading sages of Israel. More than 12,000 students accompanied him. When he came to his house, he overheard a wicked women taunt his wife for waiting so long. "If Akiva would only listen to me, he would stay in yeshiva 12 more years!" Rochel declared. Hearing this, Rabbi Akiva returned to his studies for 12 more years.
When he came home a second time, he was accompanied by 24,000 disciples. Rochel tried to reach him, but they pushed her away.
"Let her come!" Rabbi Akiva commanded. "My wisdom and yours all belong to her!"
When Kalba Savua learned that the poor shepherd his daughter married was the illustrious Rabbi Akiva, he gave the couple half his wealth. And Rabbi Akiva gave his wife a golden crown in the shape of Jerusalem as a symbol of his love, and in honor of her faith and her patience!
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