The daughter of Rabbi Akiva once went to the market. As she passed a group of star-gazers and fortune–tellers, one of them said to the other: "see that lovely girl? What a dreadful calamity is awaiting her! She is going to die on the very day of her wedding."
Rabbi Akiba's daughter overheard the words of the star-gazer, but paid no attention to him. She had often heard from her great father that one who observes the Mitzvoth of the holy Torah need not be afraid of evil.
As the happy day of her wedding approached, she had forgoten all about that star-gazer. On the day before her wedding, there was much to do, and at night she went to bed, tired but happy. Before going to bed, she removed her golden hair-pin and stuck it in the wall, as she had done before.
The following morning, she pulled her pin from the wall, and in doing so dragged a small but very poisonous snake with it. Horrified, she realized that she had killed the snake that was lurking in the wall's crevice when she stuck the pin into the wall the night before. What a wonderful miracle!
She then remembered the words of the star-gazer, and shuddered.
She showed her father the dead snake still dangling from the pin and told him what happened.
"This is indeed a miracle," Rabbi Akiba said. "Tell me, daughter, what did you do yesterday? There must have been some special Mitzvah that you performed yesterday to have been saved from this."
"Well, the only thing that I can remember is that; last night, when everybody was busy with the preparations for my wedding, a poor man came in, but nobody seemed to notice him, for they were so busy. I saw that the poor man was very hungry, so I took my portion of the wedding-feast and gave it to him."
Rabbi Akiba had always known that his daughter was very devoted to the poor, but this was something special, and he was very happy indeed. "Tzedoko (charity) delivereth from death," he exclaimed.