19 “There was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 But at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus whose body was covered with sores, 21 who longed to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. In addition, the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “Now the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And in Hades, as he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far off with Lazarus at his side. 24 So he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in anguish in this fire.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus likewise bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish. 26 Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27 So the rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father—send Lazarus to my father’s house 28 (for I have five brothers) to warn them so that they don’t come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must respond to them.’ 30 Then the rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 He replied to him, ‘If they do not respond to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
A rich tax-gatherer called Ma’jan had done many evil deeds. In the same city, lived a young. poor student of the Torah. They both died and had funerals on the same day. Ma’jan’s was splendid. Work stopped throughout the city as the townspeople followed him to his final resting place. However, no-one took any notice of the death of the student, let alone his funeral. Why should this be? The answer is this …. Ma’jan had arranged a banquet to which he invited the city councillors – unsurprisingly, they refused to attend and eat with a tax-gatherer, and so, to show his contempt for them, Ma’jan invited all the poor, sick and beggars of the city to attend instead. As he presided over this magnificent charitable act, death overtook him, and all his evil deeds were forgotten by the people because of the good deed in which he was engaged at the moment of his death. Now, one of the student’s friends had a dream, in which he saw the fate of the two souls after their death. The student was in paradise, the garden of the King, enjoying its beauty and the richness of its vegetation and streams. The man who had been rich in his life, Ma’jan, was also standing on the banks of the stream, trying to reach the water, but unable to do so.