Babylonian Talmud, Taanit 21b
תלמוד בבלי מסכת תענית דף כא עמוד ב
אבא אומנא הוה אתי ליה שלמא ממתיבתא דרקיעא כל יומא, ולאביי כל מעלי יומא דשבתא, לרבא כל מעלי יומא דכיפורי. הוה קא חלשא דעתיה דאביי משום דאבא אומנא. אמרו ליה: לא מצית למיעבד כעובדיה. ומאי הוו עובדיה דאבא אומנא? דכי הוה עביד מילתא הוה מחית גברי לחוד ונשי לחוד, ואית ליה לבושא דאית ביה קרנא דהוות בזיעא כי כוסילתא. כי הוות אתיא ליה איתתא הוה מלביש לה, כי היכי דלא ניסתכל בה. ואית ליה דוכתא דצניעא דשדי ביה פשיטי דשקיל. דאית ליה - שדי ביה, דלית ליה - לא מיכסיף. כי הוה אתרמי ליה צורבא מרבנן אגרא מיניה לא שקיל, ובתר דקאי - יהיב ליה פשיטי, ואמר ליה: זיל בריא נפשך.
Abba the (expert) bleeder received greetings every day from the heavenly college; Abayi received such a greeting only once every eve of Sabbath; and Rabha would receive such a greeting only once every eve of the Day, of Atonement. Abayi was grieved because of the greater distinction conferred upon Abba, and he was told: "The thing that Abba does, you cannot do." What did Abba do that was so inimitable? First of all, he had a separate place for bleeding men and a separate place for women. Then he had a certain garment for women with which he would clothe them, and which was split so that he could insert the lancet at any place without looking at the woman. Then he had a certain place where his fee for bleeding was deposited, and which was so arranged that as soon as it was touched a ring was heard; but he never looked at the amount deposited, and, those that had not the necessary amount would merely touch the place and depart. If a young scholar came to him to be bled, he would not alone refuse to accept money, but would give him money, saying: "Take this and become well, for after bleeding a good meal should be eaten." [Soncino translation. Edited for clarity and gender neutrality]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Based on what deeds did Abba merit daily visits?

2. How did Abba cater his business to the needs of his individual patients? How can we learn from his actions?

3. How did Abba accept payment? Is this a realistic expectation?

Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)