Honi the Circle Maker (Honi haMaggel) lived in the time of Shimon b. Shetach (1st century BCE) and was known for his great piety and scholarship. Several spiritual feats are associated with him, such as drawing a circle in the sand and refusing to move until God produced proper rain; as well as for going to sleep for seventy years.
How do you understand Honi’s anguish in this story? Why does he not look around, for instance, and say to himself, “Look at the effect my teaching has had on successive generations!”
Is Honi bereaved that he is not recognized, or is he lonely?
Does Rava interpret the pain of Honi correctly? Is it friendship he seeks or fame or understanding?
Is this story a tragedy? Is it a success unrecognized by Honi?
Do you identify or strongly not-identify with Honi? How so?
1) What is the reason for Moses' initial worry or concern?
2) Is that worry allayed? How? Why?
3) How is Moses' story similar to and different from that of Honi HaMagel?