I learned a great Gemara about a rabbi who visited a famous prostitute. But before he consummated the deal, his tallitot slapped him on the face, reminding him of his faith.

Where's the story? Any English versions available?


2 Answers 2


This story is told in Talmud Menachos (44a) about one of R' Chiya's students. The story ends up with them both doing teshuva and subsequently marrying each other.


  • 4
    ...and (contrary to the indication in the question) it wasn't (AFAICT) a rabbi. +1.
    – msh210
    Jan 6, 2013 at 8:17

Yes. Reference is to Rabbi Eliazar in Menachot 44a. See also Abodah Zarah 17a. Talmud there states that there is not a whore in the world that the Talmudic sage Rabbi Rabbi Elazar ben Dordia has not had sex with.http://www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/eleazar.html and http://menachemmendel.net/blog/farting-prostitutes-and-talmudic-rabbis/

  • 1
    That's a different story about a different person. The OP was asking about the story of the student who was hit in the face. You are talking about the story of Elazar ben Durdaya, who is widely thought to not have been a rabbi at all, just a regular promiscuous person. After he repented so severely that he died from grief, the heavenly voice mentioned in the Talmud honors his repentance by posthumously giving him the title of "rabbi."
    – Fred
    Dec 10, 2015 at 0:19
  • Both aggadah sound great. Thanks for the answer!
    – Larry K
    Dec 10, 2015 at 8:42

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