Rabbi Akiba had a daughter named Helene Yosefah. She was named after the Persian Queen of Adiabene, who had converted to Judaism a generation earlier, and was well known for her acts of Tsadakah; and Rabbi Akiba’s Roman father, Alexander Tiberias, who had converted to Judaism on Log BaOmer and taken the Hebrew name Yosef.

A few days prior to her wedding, Helene over heard some Babylonian astrologers saying that on the day she enters the bridal chamber, a snake will bite her and she will die.

Helene Yosefah told her father Rabbi Akiba what the astrologers had said, but he was not very worried about it because Jewish people should not believe that their future is determined by the movement of the planets in the sky.

A few hours after her marriage while undressing, she took a long hair pin and stuck it into a large crack in the wall of her bridal chamber, and it penetrated into the eye of a snake.

The following morning, when she took the hair pin out out of the crack in the wall, a small but very poisonous snake came trailing after it.

When she told her father what happened,’ her father asked her, ‘What did you do?’ (to merit this miracle)

‘A poor man came to our door last evening.’ she replied, ‘and everybody was so busy at the banquet, there was no one to attend to him. So I took the food that had been given to me and I gave it to him.

‘You have done a very, very, good deed,’ Rabbi Akiba said to her.

Then Rabbi Akiba went out and lectured to people: Do not trust astrology. Trust in the frequent benefits of doing good: ‘For charity delivers from death’ (Proverbs 10:2); and not only from an unnatural death, but from ordinary death itself. (taken from Shabbat 156b)

For other Log BaOmer tales of Rabbi Akiba; see three previous Log BaOmer posts