Rabbi observed: Suffering is precious.Thereupon he undertook [to suffer likewise] for thirteen years, six through stones in the kidneysand seven through scurvy: others reverse it. Rabbi's house-steward was wealthier than King Shapur.When he placed fodder for the beasts, their cries could be heard for three miles, and he aimed at casting it [before them] just then when Rabbi entered his bathroom, yet even so, his voice [lifted in pain] was louder than theirs, and was heard [even] by people at sea. The sufferings of Rabbi came to him through a certain incident, and departed that way. 'They came to him through a certain incident.' What is it? A calf was being taken to slaughter;  it broke away and hid its head under Rabbi's clothing, and bellowed. 'Go', he said, 'for this you were created.' Therefore they said [in Heaven], 'Since he has no pity, let us bring suffering upon him.' One day Rabbi's maid was sweeping the house; [seeing] some young weasels lying there, she began to sweep them away. 'Let them be,' he said to her; 'It is written, and his tender mercies are over all his works.'They said [in Heaven], 'Since he is compassionate, let us be compassionate to him.' (B. Baba Metziah 85.)

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