Sirach 14:11Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
11 My child, treat yourself well, according to your means, and present worthy offerings to the Lord. 12 Remember that death does not tarry, and the decree of Hades has not been shown to you. 13 Do good to friends before you die, and reach out and give to them as much as you can. 14 Do not deprive yourself of a day's enjoyment; do not let your share of desired good pass by you. 15 Will you not leave the fruit of your labors to another, and what you acquired by toil to be divided by lot? 16 Give, and take, and indulge yourself, because in Hades one cannot look for luxury. 17 All living beings become old like a garment, for the decree from of old is, "You must die!"
Eruvin 54aBabylonian Talmud
The Gemara cites additional instructions issued by Shmuel: Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda, his beloved student: Keen scholar, grab and eat, grab and drink, as the world from which we are departing is like a wedding feast, whose joy is only temporary, and one who does not take pleasure in it now will not be able to do so in the future. Similarly, Rav said to Rav Hamnuna: My son, if you have money, do well for yourself. There is no point waiting, as there is no pleasure in the netherworld, and death does not tarry. And if you say: I will save up in order to leave for my children, who told you the law of the netherworld, i.e., how do you know which of you will die first (Arukh)? People are similar to grass of the field, in that these blossom, i.e., grow, and their actions are blessed, and these wither and die.
Notes and References
"... I have given these quotations just as they are in the works from which they are taken, without putting them in verses or even providing them with stops. Such an arrangement would have implied some metrical division, which I strongly desired to avoid ... That my collection will contribute much towards solving the great Sirach difficulties, I in no way flatter myself. The quotations are too few in proportion to the bulk of the book to throw much light on the problem. I must also distinctly state that the quotations do not always exactly correspond with references given to Ecclesiasticus. Sometimes only one of many sentences of the quotation is contained in Sirach, sometimes none at all. And thus they can only be used after the closest examination. But still I venture to think that the bringing together of all the passages with their varice lectiones will be of some service to the student, as revealing the fact that the version of Ecclesiasticus known to the Rabbis was mostly written in pure Hebrew. And when the Rabbis who did not quote literally made some alteration, it was for such terms as are to be found in the Mishnah or the Barait hot, e.g., the Aboth de Rabbi Nathan ..."
Schechter, Solomon The Quotations from Ecclesiasticus in Rabbinic Literature (pp. 682-706) University of Pennsylvania Press, 1891
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