364. "And Hashem said to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you'" (Shemot 26:4). Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion, saying: "Blessed is he who considers the poor, Hashem will deliver him in the day of evil" (Tehilim 41:2). We have explained this passage. It refers to when a person is lying ill, captured by the officers of the King. His head is chained, his feet in manacles, many soldiers guard him from all sides so that he shall not escape, his limbs are bound and fighting among themselves, and food is taken from him.
365. At that time, they appoint for him an Interlocutor and a Defender in order to speak favorably about him to the King, as it is written, "If there be an angel over him, an interpreter, one among a thousand" (Iyov 33:23). At that moment, blessed is the portion of a man who comes to him and teaches him a way to save him from Judgment. This is what is written, "Blessed is he who considers the poor."
366. HE ASKS, And how can he save the sick person? HE ANSWERS, He should teach him the way of returning and repenting before his Master. Then an Intercessor is formed for him above, AND HE IS SAVED. What is his reward? It is that "Hashem will deliver him in the day of evil." Another explanation for, "Blessed is he who considers the poor." How strong is the reward of THE ONE WHO ASSISTS the needy before the Holy One, blessed be He.
367. Rabbi Chiya said, I wondered about this passage, "For Hashem hears the poor" (Tehilim 69:34). Does He hearken only unto the poor and no others? Rabbi Shimon said, It is because they are closer to the King, as it is written, "A broken and a contrite heart, O Elohim, You will not despise" (Tehilim 51:19). And there is no one in the world one who has a broken heart like a needy person. Rabbi Shimon also said, Come and behold. All the people of the world appear before the Holy One, blessed be He, in body and soul. But the poor appear before the Holy One, blessed be He, only in soul, BECAUSE HIS BODY IS BROKEN, and the Holy One, blessed be He, is closer to the soul than to the body.
368. There was a poor man who lived in the neighborhood of Rabbi Yisa. No one paid any attention to him. He himself was bashful and did not press upon other people. One day he became ill. Rabbi Yisa came in to visit him and heard a voice saying: Justice, justice - MEANING THAT HE GAVE A STATEMENT OF JUSTICE TO HEAVEN. The soul is departing from me but my time has not yet arrived. Woe to the inhabitants of the city, for there is no one among them to return his soul to him. Rabbi Yisa arose and put some fig juice and a measure of spicy wine into his mouth. A sweat broke out in his face and his spirit returned to him.
369. Afterwards, he came to visit and he inquired about him. He said, I swear, Rabbi, the soul left me and reached the King's throne, and wanted to remain there. But the Holy One, blessed be He, wanted to award you, and they announced of you: Rabbi Yisa's spirit will depart and he shall be bound in a particularly holy assembly, NAMELY IN THE GREAT ASSEMBLY (IDRA RABA), AND NOT IN THE SMALLER ASSEMBLY that the friends shall raise in the land. And they have prepared three chairs that are standing ready for you and your friends, RABBI YOSI, THE SON OF RABBI YA'AKOV, AND RABBI CHIZKIYAH, WHOSE SOULS DEPARTED DURING THIS ASSEMBLY. From that day onward, the inhabitants of the city watched and paid attention to him.
370. Another incident occurred when a poor person passed before Rabbi Yitzchak with half a coin of silver in his hand. He said to Rabbi Yitzchak: Save my and my daughters' souls. He said, How can I make whole your souls, when I have only a half coin. He said, I will complete it hereby with the half coin I have in my possession. He took it out and gave it to him.
371. They showed him in his dream how he was traveling along the edge of the Great Sea and they wanted to throw in him into it. He described how Rabbi Shimon stretched out his hand towards him. And that poor person came, took him out and gave him into the hands of Rabbi Shimon, and he was saved. When he awoke, his mouth uttered this passage, "Blessed is he who considers the poor, Hashem will deliver him in the day of evil."
372. Come and behold, every day the dew of Atika Kadisha drips to Zeir Anpin, and the whole Field of Holy Apples is blessed, WHICH IS MALCHUT, and from that, dew is drawn to these below. The holy angels are nourished from it, each one according to his ability to eat. This is what is written, "Man ate the bread of angels" (Tehilim 78:25); NAMELY, THAT DEW MENTIONED EARLIER, WHICH IS THE BREAD OF ANGELS. Yisrael ate of that food in the wilderness, THE MANNA.
373. Rabbi Shimon said, Many people are nourished from it today. And who are they? They are the friends, who are occupied with Torah days and nights. And if it you think that it was actually the same food THAT THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL ATE IN THE WILDERNESS, it is not, but it is very similar to that food, for it is worth double THE MANNA THAT THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL ATE IN THE WILDERNESS.