The story of Rabbi Shimon Ben Shetach is told in the Talmud Yershalmi Bava Mezia 2:5. Rav Shimon was one of the great commentators but he was very poor, scraping out a living by making linen. His students begged him to stop working and offered to buy him a donkey with which he could make more money and have more time to teach and rest.
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