In the days of Queen Salome Alexandra, the city of Ashkelon was plagued by a coven of 80 witches who lived in a cave outside the city. Rabbi Shimon ben Shetah decided to rid the city of these wicked women and their sorceries. He summoned 80 strong men and instructed each of them to acquire a jar and to place within it a change of clothing; he himself did the same.
On a night of pouring rain, he went with his men and stood outside the cave. “Sisters,” he called out to the witches, “I am a sorcerer, like yourselves; let me come in out of this rain.” Quickly he removed his wet clothing and donned the dry set from his jar.
“Enter and be welcome, fellow sorcerer,” cried the eighty.
R. Shimon entered the cave, and the witches marveled at his dry clothing. “How did you accomplish such a feat?” they asked.
“My power is so great that I can walk through rain and yet remain dry,” said he. “By the power of my magic, I can work another wonder for you: I can summon 80 men, each in clothing as dry as my own, to come and dance with you.”