Idra Raba: Chapter 51

The passing of the three friends


We learn that before they could leave the chamber, Rabbi Yosi, Rabbi Chizkiyah and Rabbi Yesa died, and the other friends saw holy angels carrying them away. Rabbi Shimon is beside himself with fear that his revelations have caused this event, until a voice tells him that he deserves praise. The voice says that the souls of the friends passed away through perfection and that they joined with great passionate will and valor at the time of their deaths. The uppermost angels took their souls and raised them above. All the faces of the rabbis were shining brightly. Rabbi Aba was sad for some days until he and Rabbi Shimon saw the angels showing their dead friends the treasures and chambers prepared for their honor, and then he was comforted. From that day on the friends did not leave Rabbi Shimon's house, and no one else was ever present when he revealed secrets to them. He called them 'the seven eyes of Hashem,' and Rabbi Yehuda referred to him as Shabbat, from which all six days get their blessing.