The Basics of Judaism: Jewish Texts: A Poor Man is Like a Dead Man:
What is the source of the saying "A poor man is like a dead man"?
The Talmud (Nedarim 64b) says that a man who has become poor is regarded as though he had died. In Ex. 4:19 G-d tells Moses that it is safe for him to return to Egypt "because all the men who want to kill you have died"; Rashi comments that this refers to Dasan and Aviram (the two men whom Moses rebuked for fighting; see Ex. 2:13) who had threatened to report that he had killed an Egyptian overseer. Rashi then remarks "They were alive, but they had lost their wealth, and a poor man is like a dead man".
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