Pesikta d'Rav Kahana 22:2
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פסיקתא דרב כהנה כב:ב
2ב
מעשה בצידן באחד שנשא אשה ושהא עמה עשר שנים ולא ילדה, אתון לגבי ר' שמעו' בן יוחי למשתבקה, א' לה, כל חפץ שיש לי בתוך ביתי טלי אותו ולכי לבית אביך. א' להם ר' שמעון בן יוחי /ר' שמעון בן יוחאי/ כשם שנזדווגתם מתוך מאכל ומשקה כך אין אתם פורשין זה מזה אלא מתוך מאכל ומשקה. מה עשת, עשת סעודה גדולה ושיכרתו יותר מדיי ורמזה לשפחתה ואמרה להון טלו אותו לבית אבא. בחצי הלילה ניעור משנתו, א' /אמר/ להן, איכן אני נתון, אמרה לו, לא כך אמרתה כל חפץ שיש לי בתוך ביתי טלי אותו ולכי לבית אביך, וכדון הוא אין לי חפץ טוב ממך. כיון ששמע ר' שמעון בן יוחי כך, נתפלל עליהם ונתפקדו.
In Sidon it happened that a man took a wife with whom he lived for ten years and she bore him no children. They came to R. Simeon bar Yohai to be divorced, and the man said to his wife: “Take any precious object I have in my house—take it and go back to your father’s house.” Thereupon, R. Simeon bar Yohai said: “Just as you were wed with food and drink [being served], so you must separate with food and drink [being served].” What did the wife do? She prepared a great feast, gave her husband too much to drink [so that he fell asleep], then she hinted to her maidservants saying, “Take him to my father’s house.” At midnight he woke up from his sleep and asked, “Where am I?” She replied, “Did you not say, ‘Whatever precious object I have in my house—take it and go back to your father’s house?’ I have no object more precious than you.” When Simeon bar Yohai heard what the wife had done, he prayed on the couple’s behalf, and they were brought to heaven's attention (and given a child.) [Translation by Rabbi Steve Greenberg]
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. This midrashic text is in resistance to the Mishna in Yevamot 6:6 (on BT 64b). What does this text suggest about the purposes of marriage?

2. If Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai could have prayed for them before, why does he do so only later after this story?

3. Note: Often women were the ones to desire the standard requirement of divorce in order to secure a new husband and perhaps still have children. Beyond the simple desire to have children, women reasonably feared being left alone in old age without income or children to depend upon. How might this consideration be a factor in our story?

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Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)