Rabbi Elaezar fell ill, and Rabbi Johanan went to visit him.
Rabbi Eleazar was lying in a dark room, but Rabbi Johanan bared his
arm, and such was the beauty of Rabbi Johanan that the room became
full of light.
Rabbi Johanan then noticed that Rabbi Eleazar was weeping.
`Why do you weep?' he asked. `Is it because you feel that you
have not aquired enough knowledge of the Torah in your span of life?
Have we not learnt, "Whether a man acheives much or little, it is all
one, as long as he directs his heart to G-d"?'
Said Rabbi Eleazar, `No; I am weeping because of your beauty,
which one day must rot in the earth.'
`Ah,' said Rabbi Johanan, `for that you are quite right to weep.'
So they sat down and wept together.
In all their affliction he was afflicted.
Cursed is the one who trusts in man and makes flesh his support, and whose heart is removed from G-d.
Anyone whose wisdom is greater than his deeds to what is he comparable? To a tree whose branches are many and whose roots are few, and the wind comes and turns it over. [This is] as it is stated, 'And he will be like a lonely tree in a wasteland, and it will not see when good comes. It will dwell on parched soil in the desert, a salty land, uninhabited' (Jeremiah 17:6). But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom to what is he comparable? To a tree whose branches are few and whose roots are many, that even if all the winds in the world blow against it, they do not move it from its place. As it is stated, 'And he shall be like a tree planted on the water, and towards the stream it will spread its roots,and it will not see when heat comes. Its leaves will be fresh, in a year of drought it will not worry, and it shall not cease yielding fruit.
Should one not drink out of a crystal glass for fear of it breaking?
Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said, "Where there is no money, there is no learning." The rabbis explain that unless people's stomachs are full and satisfied, they cannot study, grow spiritually, and do good works.
Where there is no Torah, there is no derekh eretz/decent, cultured behavior;
where there is no derekh eretz, there is no Torah.
Where there is no wisdom, there is no fear/reverence of God;
where there is no fear/reverence of God, there is no wisdom.
Where there is no understanding, there is no knowledge;
where there is no knowledge, there is no understanding.
Jealousy and lust, and ambition drive a man out of the world.