"A [day-]laborer's wages shall not remain with you overnight." Come and see: withholding the wages of the poor is tantamount to taking his life and the life of his household. (Baba Metzia 112a) He [the employer] shortens his [the worker's] nefesh [his life, because he can’t buy food], and G‑d will lessen his [the employer's] days [in this world] and lessen his nefesh from that world [to come]. For all the breaths/neshimot [similar to 'neshama'] that emitted from his [the worker's] mouth that day [as he labored without reward] ascend before G‑d and stand before Him [and are accepted as a replacement for other suffering and as atonement for his sins]. Later [that night], his soul and that of his family will ascend [in hunger], and stand [dressed] in those work breaths that came out of his mouth [and they cry out to G‑d in their hunger and pain]. Then, even if from before there was decreed for this person [the employer] a long life span or other rewards, all will be uprooted from him and taken away from him [and his lifespan is then made shorter].

In addition to this, his soul will not ascend [when he sleeps at night]. This is what Rabbi Aba said: Merciful One! Save us from them [the complaints we might cause poor people to make] and from shaming them. It has been explained [by the Sages] that even if he [the worker] is rich, "...he sets his heart upon you..." [lit. 'soul', i.e. expects his pay] refers to any man [who toils with self-sacrifice for another]. And how more so the poor [where withholding his day wage is likened to killing him]

This is what Rav Hamnuna did when the workman was departing after work: he would give him his wage and say to him, 'Take back your soul that you deposited with me, take your security.' Even if he [the worker] said, 'Let it [my pay] remain in your hand" or "I do not want to receive my wage yet," he [Rav Hamnuna] would not agree to it. He would say, 'The deposit of your body is not proper to leave with me; all the more so, the deposit of your soul. The deposit of the soul is given only to G‑d, as it is written [and we say every night as part of the reading of Shema at bedtime]: "Into Your hand I command my spirit." (Psalms 31:6) Rabbi Hiya asked: And may he [the employer deposit the worker’s pay] with someone else? He replied: he may deposit it even in the [employer’s] hand, but only after he was [fully] paid.

It is written, "A worker's wages shall not remain with you" [all night, meaning he doens't trangress this until morning comes] yet it also says, "neither shall the sun set upon it." This [seeming contradiction] has been explained. [A worker hired for a day must be paid by the end of that night and one hired for a night must be paid by the end of the coming day.]

But come and see: [the inner meaning of the verse is not to be interpreted like this because] there is not a day that a supernal day [sefira] does not govern over it [i.e. Sunday is governed by chesed, Monday by gevura, Tuesday by tiferet, etc]. If he did not give him his soul [sustenance] on that day, it is tantamount to causing a defect to that supernal day [to the sefira that governs on that particular day]. For this reason, "On his day you shall give him his hire, neither shall the sun set upon it" [for when the sun sets, another sefira will then govern]. The words, "shall not remain with you all night" [refers to the employer's soul], since then his own soul will not ascend [to the heavens at night, after he reads the Shema at bedtime, as all Jewish souls do, since he didn’t complete his commandments of that day] but the soul of the poor man and his household will ascend, as we said.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does the above mean to you, and why is it revealed to you now?

All earth-plane actions have supernal consequences. Which is why we should be very careful to pay those whom we owe on the same day, unless there is a prior arrangement to the contrary. The Zohar shows that if we do not, our actions blemish the supernal element governing that day. That is strong stuff, no?! Our soul will remain earth-bound that night, which is a heavy penalty. Best advice is to keep this in mind, for it is a biblical commandment to pay for hired help—give the workman his or her salary—on that actual day.

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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