Ulla and Rav Chasda were once traveling together, when they came up to
the gate of the house of Rav Chena bar Chenelai. At sight of it Rav
Chasda stooped and sighed. "Why sighest thou?" asked Ulla, "seeing, as
Rav says, sighing breaks the body in halves; for it is said (Ezek. xxi.
6), 'sigh, therefore, O son of man, with the breaking of thy loins;' and
Rabbi Yochanan says a sigh breaks up the whole constitution; for it is
said (Ezek. xxi. 7), 'And it shall be when they say unto thee, Wherefore
sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings because it cometh,
and the whole heart shall melt,'" etc. To this Rav Chasda replied, "How
can I help sighing over this house, where sixty bakers used to be
employed during the day, and sixty during the night, to make bread for
the poor and needy; and Rav Chena had his hand always at his purse, for
he thought the slightest hesitation might cause a poor but respectable
man to blush; and besides he kept four doors open, one to each quarter
of the heavens, so that all might enter and be satisfied? Over and above
this, in time of famine he scattered wheat and barley abroad, so that
they who were ashamed to gather by day might do so by night; but now
this house has fallen into ruin, and ought I not to sigh?"
THE TALMUD, _Berachoth_, fol. 58, col. 2.