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Today's Daf Yomi

April 7, 2020 | י״ג בניסן תש״פ

Masechet Shabbat is sponsored in memory of Elliot Freilich, Eliyahu Daniel ben Bar Tzion David Halevi z"l by a group of women from Kehilath Jeshurun, Manhattan.

Shabbat 32

Today’s shiur is dedicated by Mona and David Schwartz and family in memory of Mary Horowitz, Miriam Etel bat Aharon Halevi z”l, on her 26th yahrzeit.

The mishna cites are three reasons why women die in childbirth – for not being careful about nidda, challa and lighting Shabbat candles. Why specifically these three? How can one relate to this troubling source? The gemara focuses on the vulnerability of women at the time of childbirth and stresses that when people are vulnerable that is when they are most likely to be punished. Adages are brought to prove that. When is the parallel time for men – when are they most vulnerable? The rabbis also offer opinions about what sins cause one’s children to die young. Is it vows, not learning Torah, mezuza, tzitzit? The rabbis used these difficult, unfortunately common, phenomenon (women dying in cihldbirth and children dying young) as an oppportunity to encourage people to be careful about keeping mitzvot.

תוכן זה תורגם גם ל: עברית

ראשית קראתי אתכם על עסקי ראשית הזהרתי אתכם נשמה שנתתי בכם קרויה נר על עסקי נר הזהרתי אתכם אם אתם מקיימים אותם מוטב ואם לאו הריני נוטל נשמתכם

I called you first, as it is stated: “Israel is the Lord’s hallowed portion, His first fruits of the increase” (Jeremiah 2:3) and I warned you about matters of the first: “Of the first of your dough you shall set apart ḥalla for a gift” (Numbers 15:20). The soul that I have placed in you is called ner: “The spirit of man is the lamp [ner] of the Lord” (Proverbs 20:27), and I warned you about matters of the Shabbat lamp. If you fulfill these mitzvot, fine, and if not, then I will take your soul.

ומאי שנא בשעת לידתן אמר רבא נפל תורא חדד לסכינא אביי אמר תפיש תירוס אמתא בחד מחטרא ליהוי רב חסדא אמר שבקיה לרויא דמנפשיה נפיל מר עוקבא אמר רעיא חגרא ועיזי ריהטן אבב חוטרא מילי ואבי דרי חושבנא רב פפא אמר אבב חנואתא נפישי אחי ומרחמי אבב בזיוני לא אחי ולא מרחמי

And, if so, what is different during childbirth? Why does the divine attribute of judgment punish them for dereliction in fulfillment of these mitzvot specifically then? The Gemara cites several folk sayings expressing the concept that when a person is in danger, he is punished for his sins. Rava said: If the ox fell, sharpen the knife to slaughter it. Abaye said: If the maidservant’s insolence abounds, she will be struck by a single blow as punishment for all her sins. So too, when a woman is giving birth and her suffering is great due to Eve’s sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, all the punishments for her own sins are added to that suffering. Rav Ḥisda said: Leave the drunk, as he falls on his own. Similarly, the time of birth is a time of danger, and if the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not come to her assistance at that time, that is sufficient to cause her death. Mar Ukva said: The shepherd is crippled, and the goats are running, and he cannot catch them. However, next to the gate, he speaks harsh words, and inside the pen he settles the account. Similarly, as long as a woman is in a healthy state, her sins are in abeyance, and she is not held accountable for them. However, when she is giving birth, which is a time of danger, she is held accountable for her sins and a calculation is made whether or not she is worthy of a miracle. Rav Pappa said: At the entrance to the stores, during a time of prosperity, brothers and loved ones abound. When a person is prospering financially, everyone acts like his brother or friend. However, at the gate of disgrace, during a time of loss and poverty, he has no brothers and no loved ones; everyone abandons him.

וגברי היכא מיבדקי אמר ריש לקיש בשעה שעוברים על הגשר גשר ותו לא אימא כעין גשר רב לא עבר במברא דיתיב ביה גוי אמר דילמא מיפקיד ליה דינא עליה ומתפיסנא בהדיה שמואל לא עבר אלא במברא דאית ביה גוי אמר שטנא בתרי אומי לא שליט

And the Gemara asks: And where are men examined? When are men vulnerable to judgment and held accountable for their actions? Reish Lakish said: When they are crossing a bridge. The Gemara wonders: Only when they are crossing a bridge and at no other time? Rather, say: Anything like a bridge, any place where danger is commonplace. On a similar note, the Gemara relates: Rav would not cross a river in a ferry in which a gentile sat. He said to himself: Perhaps a judgment will be reckoned with him, and I will be caught together with him when he is punished. Whereas, Shmuel would only cross in a ferry if there was a gentile in it. He said: Satan does not have dominion over two nations. He settles his accounts with people from each nationality separately.

רבי ינאי בדיק ועבר רבי ינאי לטעמיה דאמר לעולם אל יעמוד אדם במקום סכנה לומר שעושין לו נס שמא אין עושין לו נס ואם עושין לו נס מנכין לו מזכיותיו אמר רבי חנין מאי קראה קטנתי מכל החסדים ומכל האמת רבי זירא ביומא דשותא לא נפיק לביני דיקלא

Rabbi Yannai would examine the ferry and cross. The Gemara comments that Rabbi Yannai acted in accordance with his reasoning stated elsewhere, as he said: A person should never stand in a place of danger saying that they on High will perform a miracle for him, lest in the end they do not perform a miracle for him. And, moreover, even if they do perform a miracle for him, they will deduct it from his merits. Rabbi Ḥanin said: What is the verse that alludes to this? When Jacob said: “I am not worthy of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which You have shown unto Your servant” (Genesis 32:11), and he explains: Since You have bestowed upon me so much kindness and truth, my merits have been diminished. Similarly, the Gemara relates that Rabbi Zeira would not go out and walk among the palm trees on a day when there was a southern wind blowing due to the fear that the trees might fall on him.

אמר רב יצחק בריה דרב יהודה לעולם יבקש אדם רחמים שלא יחלה שאם יחלה אומרים לו הבא זכות והפטר אמר מר עוקבא מאי קראה כי יפול הנופל ממנו ממנו להביא ראיה תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל כי יפול הנופל ממנו (ממנו) ראוי זה ליפול מששת ימי בראשית שהרי לא נפל והכתוב קראו נופל אלא שמגלגלין זכות על ידי זכאי וחובה על ידי חייב

In a similar vein, Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Yehuda, said: A person should always pray that he will not become ill, as if he becomes ill they say to him: Bring proof of your virtue and exempt yourself. It is preferable for a person not to be forced to prove that he merits staying alive, as he might not be able to prove it. Mar Ukva said: What is the verse that alludes to this? As it says: “When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you bring not blood upon your house, if the fallen falls mimenu (Deuteronomy 22:8). He explains: Mimenu, from him proof must be brought. When one falls from his previous situation, it is his own responsibility to prove his innocence and emerge unharmed. The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: What is the meaning of the phrase: If the fallen falls from it? This person was destined to fall from that roof from the six days of Creation, it was ingrained into nature. As, although he did not yet fall, the verse calls him fallen. Nevertheless, the owner of the house is indicted for this, as merit is engendered by means of the innocent and guilt by means of the guilty.

תנו רבנן מי שחלה ונטה למות אומרים לו התודה שכן כל המומתין מתודין אדם יוצא לשוק יהי דומה בעיניו כמי שנמסר לסרדיוט חש בראשו יהי דומה בעיניו כמי שנתנוהו בקולר עלה למטה ונפל יהי דומה בעיניו כמו שהעלוהו לגרדום לידון שכל העולה לגרדום לידון אם יש לו פרקליטין גדולים ניצול ואם לאו אינו ניצול

The Sages taught: One who became ill and tended toward death, they say to him: Confess, as all those executed by the courts confess. Even if he is dying of natural causes, it is worthwhile for him to consider his death atonement for his sins. The Sages said: When a person goes out to the marketplace where there are fights and disputes, he should consider himself as someone who has been handed over to a soldier [seradiyot]. If his head hurt, he should consider it as if they placed him in a chain [kolar] around his neck. If he climbed into bed and fell ill, he should consider himself as if they took him up to the gallows to be judged, as with regard to anyone who goes up to the gallows to be judged, if he has great advocates [peraklitin], he is spared, and if not, he is not spared.

ואלו הן פרקליטין של אדם תשובה ומעשים טובים ואפילו תשע מאות ותשעים ותשעה מלמדים עליו חובה ואחד מלמד עליו זכות ניצול שנאמר אם יש עליו מלאך מליץ אחד מני אלף להגיד לאדם ישרו ויחננו ויאמר פדעהו מרדת שחת וגו׳: רבי אליעזר בנו של רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר אפילו תשע מאות ותשעים ותשעה באותו מלאך לחובה ואחד לזכות ניצול שנאמר מליץ אחד מני אלף:

And with regard to divine judgment, these are a person’s advocates: Repentance and good deeds. The Gemara comments: And even if there are nine hundred ninety-nine asserting his guilt and only one asserting his innocence, he is spared, as it is stated: “If there be for him an angel, an advocate, one among a thousand, to vouch for a man’s uprightness; then He is gracious unto him, and says: Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom” (Job 33:23–24). Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, says: Even if there are nine hundred ninety-nine portions within that same angel accusing him, and one portion asserting his innocence, he is spared, as it stated: “An advocate, one among a thousand.” Even when the advocate who asserts his innocence finds only one-tenth of one percent of innocence in this man, even then, he is gracious unto him, and says: Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom.

תנו רבנן על שלש עבירות נשים מתות יולדות רבי אלעזר אומר נשים מתות ילדות רבי אחא אומר בעון שמכבסות צואת בניהם בשבת ויש אומרים על שקורין לארון הקודש ארנא

The Sages taught in a baraita: For three transgressions women die in childbirth [yoledot]. Rabbi Elazar has a different version and says that women die when they are young [yeladot]. These transgressions are those enumerated in the mishna: The halakhot of a menstruating woman, ḥalla, and Shabbat lights. Rabbi Aḥa says they are punished for the sin of laundering their children’s feces from clothing on Shabbat. And some say: Because they call the Holy Ark simply ark.

תניא רבי ישמעאל בן אלעזר אומר בעון שני דברים עמי הארצות מתים על שקורין לארון הקודש ארנא ועל שקורין לבית הכנסת בית עם תניא רבי יוסי אומר שלשה בדקי מיתה נבראו באשה ואמרי לה שלשה דבקי מיתה נדה וחלה והדלקת הנר חדא כרבי אלעזר וחדא כרבנן

Similarly, we learned in a baraita that Rabbi Yishmael ben Elazar says: On account of two sins, ignoramuses [amei haaretz] die young (Rav Ya’akov Emden): Because they call the Holy Ark simply ark, and because they call the synagogue the house of the people. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei says: Three crucibles potentially leading to death were created in the woman, and some say: Three accelerants of death. They are: Menstruation, ḥalla, and lighting the Shabbat lights. The Gemara explains that one version, accelerants of death, is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who said that women die young. And the other one, crucibles of death, is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who said that women die in childbirth.

תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר הלכות הקדש תרומות ומעשרות הן הן גופי תורה

Similarly, it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says: The halakhot of consecrated items, terumot, and tithes are themselves the essence of Torah and are extremely severe,

ונמסרו לעמי הארץ

and they were given, among others, to ignoramuses to fulfill. When they are negligent in the performance of these mitzvot, they are punished for it.

תניא רבי נתן אומר בעון נדרים מתה אשה של אדם שנאמר אם אין לך לשלם למה יקח משכבך מתחתיך רבי אומר בעון נדרים בנים מתים כשהן קטנים שנאמר אל תתן את פיך לחטיא את בשרך ואל תאמר לפני המלאך כי שגגה היא למה יקצוף האלהים על קולך וחבל את מעשה ידיך איזה הן מעשה ידיו של אדם הוי אומר בניו ובנותיו של אדם

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Natan says: Due to the sin of vows unfulfilled a person’s wife dies. The allusion is as it is stated: “If you have not the wherewithal to pay, why should He take away your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:27). Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Due to the sin of vows unfulfilled, children die when they are young, as it is stated: “Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. Suffer not your mouth to bring your flesh into guilt, neither say you before the messenger that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:4–5). What is the work of a person’s hands? You must say that it is a person’s sons and daughters.

תנו רבנן בעון נדרים בנים מתים דברי רבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון רבי יהודה הנשיא אומר בעון ביטול תורה בשלמא למאן דאמר בעון נדרים כדאמרן אלא למאן דאמר בעון ביטול תורה מאי קראה דכתיב לשוא הכיתי את בניכם מוסר לא לקחו רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר למאן דאמר בעון נדרים נמי מהכא לשוא הכיתי את בניכם על עסקי שוא מכדי רבי יהודה הנשיא היינו רבי ורבי בעון נדרים קאמר בתר דשמעה מרבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון

In order to clarify which sins cause one’s young children to die, the Gemara cites what the Sages taught in a baraita: For the sin of vows, one’s children die, this is the statement of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: For the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah. The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the opinion of the one who said that one’s children die due to the sin of vows, as we stated above. However, according to the opinion of the one who said that one’s children die due to sin of dereliction in the study of Torah, what is the verse that supports this? The Gemara replies: As it is written: “In vain have I smitten your children; they received no morality” (Jeremiah 2:30). Children die because their fathers did not accept the morality, the Torah. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: According to the one who said that one’s children die because of the sin of vows, it can also be derived from here: In vain have I smitten your children; on matters of vanity, i.e., when one vows in vain and does not fulfill it. The Gemara asks: After all, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is Rabbi, and it was taught in a Tosefta that Rabbi said that one’s children die because of the sin of vows. How then could it be that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said that it is due to the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah? The Gemara answers: After he heard it from Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, he reconsidered and taught in accordance with Rabbi Elazar’s opinion.

פליגי בה רבי חייא בר אבא ורבי יוסי חד אמר בעון מזוזה וחד אמר בעון ביטול תורה למאן דאמר בעון מזוזה מקרא נדרש לפניו ולא לפני פניו ולמאן דאמר בעון ביטול תורה מקרא נדרש לפניו ולפני פניו:

On the same topic, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba and Rabbi Yosei disagree. One said that children die due to the sin of not affixing a mezuza to one’s doorpost. And one said children die due to the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah. According to the one who said that children die because of the sin of not affixing a mezuza, his opinion there is based on an exegetical principle, which states that a verse is interpreted homiletically based on juxtaposition to the verse immediately preceding it and not on juxtaposition to the verse before the one preceding it. In this case, it says: “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children” (Deuteronomy 11:21), and the preceding verse says: “And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates” (Deuteronomy 11:20). And according to the one who said that children die due to the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah, that is because in his opinion the exegetical principle is that a verse is interpreted homiletically based on juxtaposition to the verse immediately preceding it, as well as to the verse before the one preceding it. In his opinion, the blessing of long life also relates to the verse before the one immediately preceding it: “And you shall teach them your children, talking of them” (Deuteronomy 11:19).

פליגי בה רבי מאיר ורבי יהודה חד אמר בעון מזוזה וחד אמר בעון ציצית בשלמא למאן דאמר בעון מזוזה דכתיב וכתבתם על מזוזות ביתך וכתיב בתריה למען ירבו ימיכם וימי בניכם אלא למאן דאמר בעון ציצית מאי טעמא אמר רב כהנא ואיתימא שילא מרי דכתיב גם בכנפיך נמצאו דם נפשות אביונים נקיים רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר למאן דאמר בעון מזוזה נמי מהכא דכתיב לא במחתרת מצאתים שעשו פתחים כמחתרת

The tannaim Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda also disagreed about this. One said: Children die due to the sin of mezuza, and one said children die due to the sin of not affixing ritual fringes. The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the opinion of the one who said that children die due to the sin of mezuza, it is based on the juxtaposition of the verses, as it is written: “And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates,” and it says thereafter: “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children.” However, according to the one who said that children die because of the sin of ritual fringes, what is the reason? What is the connection between these matters? Rav Kahana said, and some say that it was Sheila Mari: It is homiletically interpreted as is written: “Also in your corners is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor” (Jeremiah 2:34). Due to one’s failure to affix ritual fringes to the corners of his garments, the innocent poor, young children, who have not had opportunity to sin, die. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: According to the one who said that children die because of the sin of mezuza, it is also derived from here, as it is written in the continuation of that verse: “You did not find them breaking in; yet for all these things.” We see that this punishment comes because they made entrances like a thief’s breach in the wall. They did not place mezuzot in their entrances.

אמר ריש לקיש כל הזהיר בציצית זוכה ומשמשין לו שני אלפים ושמונה מאות עבדים שנאמר כה אמר ה׳ [צבאות] בימים ההמה אשר יחזיקו עשרה אנשים מכל לשונות הגוים [והחזיקו] בכנף איש יהודי לאמר נלכה עמכם וגו׳:

Since the Gemara discussed the importance of the mitzva of ritual fringes, it cites that which Reish Lakish said: Anyone who is vigilant in performing the mitzva of ritual fringes merits that two thousand eight hundred servants will serve him in the World-to-Come. As it is stated: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the corner of the garment of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23). On each corner of a Jewish person’s garment with ritual fringes, ten people from each of the seventy nations will take hold. That totals seven hundred people on each corner; 2,800 people altogether.

סימן שנא חלה תרומה נגזלת דינא שבועה שיפוכתא גילויא ונבלותא: תניא רבי נחמיה אומר בעון שנאת חנם מריבה רבה בתוך ביתו של אדם ואשתו מפלת נפלים ובניו ובנותיו של אדם מתים כשהן קטנים רבי אלעזר ברבי יהודה אומר בעון חלה אין ברכה במכונס ומארה משתלחת בשערים וזורעין זרעים ואחרים אוכלין שנאמר אף אני אעשה זאת לכם והפקדתי עליכם בהלה את השחפת ואת הקדחת מכלות עינים ומדיבות נפש וזרעתם לריק זרעכם ואכלהו אויביכם אל תקרי בהלה אלא בחלה ואם נותנין מתברכין שנאמר [ו]ראשית עריסותיכם תתנו לכהן להניח ברכה אל ביתך:

Together with these statements, the Gemara cites a mnemonic for additional rabbinic adages with regard to punishments for various sins: Hate, ḥalla, teruma, stolen, judgment, oath, pouring, uncovering, and vulgarity. It was taught in a baraita, Rabbi Neḥemya says: Due to the sin of gratuitous hatred that one has for another, the punishment is great discord within a person’s home, and his wife miscarries, and his sons and daughters die when they are young. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yehuda, said: Due to the sin of failure to separate ḥalla from the dough, no blessing takes effect on the grain gathered in the storehouse and a curse spreads to the prices of crops, which increase, and they plant seeds and others eat their yield, as it is stated: “I also will do this unto you: I will appoint terror [behala] over you, even consumption and fever, that shall make the eyes to fail and the soul to languish; and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it” (Leviticus 26:16). Do not read it behala; rather, read it as beḥalla. Due to negligence in the separation of ḥalla from the dough, these punishments come. And if they give ḥalla, they are blessed, as it is stated: “And the first of your dough you shall give unto the priest to cause a blessing to rest on your house” (Ezekiel 44:30).

בעון ביטול תרומות ומעשרות שמים נעצרין מלהוריד טל ומטר והיוקר הוה והשכר אבד ובני אדם רצין אחר פרנסתן ואין מגיעין שנאמר ציה גם חום יגזלו מימי שלג שאול חטאו מאי משמע תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל בשביל דברים שצויתי אתכם בימות החמה ולא עשיתם יגזלו מכם מימי שלג בימות הגשמים ואם נותנין מתברכין שנאמר הביאו את כל המעשר אל בית האוצר ויהי טרף בביתי ובחנוני נא בזאת אמר ה׳ צבאות אם לא אפתח לכם את ארובות השמים והריקותי לכם ברכה עד בלי די מאי עד בלי די אמר רמי בר (רב) אמר רב עד שיבלו שפתותיכם מלומר די:

They also said: Due to the sin of abrogation of terumot and tithes, the heavens are prevented from pouring down dew and rain, and expense prevails, and profit is lost, and people pursue their livelihood but do not attain it, as it is stated: “Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so does the netherworld those that have sinned” (Job 24:19). The Gemara asks: What is the inference? How is that concept derived from this verse? The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught that it should be explained as follows: Due to the things that I commanded you during the summer, separating terumot and tithes from the summer crops, and you did not do them, the snow waters will be robbed from you during the rainy season. And if people give terumot and tithes, they are blessed, as it is stated: “Bring you the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now with this, says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency [ad bli dai]” (Malachi 3:10). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of: More than sufficiency [ad bli dai]? Rami bar Rav said that Rav said: It means that the abundance will be so great that your lips will be worn out [yivlu], similar to the word beli, from saying enough [dai].

בעון גזל הגובאי עולה והרעב הווה ובני אדם אוכלים בשר בניהן ובנותיהן שנאמר שמעו הדבר הזה פרות הבשן אשר בהר שומרון העושקות דלים הרוצצות אביונים אמר רבא כגון הני נשי דמחוזא

Due to the sin of robbery, locusts emerge, and famine prevails, and people eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, as it is stated: “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, that oppress the poor, that crush the needy, that say unto their lords: Bring, that we may feast” (Amos 4:1). Afterward it says: “And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places” (Amos 4:6), which refers to famine. Rava said: The cows of Bashan; like those women of the city of Meḥoza,

Masechet Shabbat is sponsored in memory of Elliot Freilich, Eliyahu Daniel ben Bar Tzion David Halevi z"l by a group of women from Kehilath Jeshurun, Manhattan.

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Shabbat 32

ראשית קראתי אתכם על עסקי ראשית הזהרתי אתכם נשמה שנתתי בכם קרויה נר על עסקי נר הזהרתי אתכם אם אתם מקיימים אותם מוטב ואם לאו הריני נוטל נשמתכם

I called you first, as it is stated: “Israel is the Lord’s hallowed portion, His first fruits of the increase” (Jeremiah 2:3) and I warned you about matters of the first: “Of the first of your dough you shall set apart ḥalla for a gift” (Numbers 15:20). The soul that I have placed in you is called ner: “The spirit of man is the lamp [ner] of the Lord” (Proverbs 20:27), and I warned you about matters of the Shabbat lamp. If you fulfill these mitzvot, fine, and if not, then I will take your soul.

ומאי שנא בשעת לידתן אמר רבא נפל תורא חדד לסכינא אביי אמר תפיש תירוס אמתא בחד מחטרא ליהוי רב חסדא אמר שבקיה לרויא דמנפשיה נפיל מר עוקבא אמר רעיא חגרא ועיזי ריהטן אבב חוטרא מילי ואבי דרי חושבנא רב פפא אמר אבב חנואתא נפישי אחי ומרחמי אבב בזיוני לא אחי ולא מרחמי

And, if so, what is different during childbirth? Why does the divine attribute of judgment punish them for dereliction in fulfillment of these mitzvot specifically then? The Gemara cites several folk sayings expressing the concept that when a person is in danger, he is punished for his sins. Rava said: If the ox fell, sharpen the knife to slaughter it. Abaye said: If the maidservant’s insolence abounds, she will be struck by a single blow as punishment for all her sins. So too, when a woman is giving birth and her suffering is great due to Eve’s sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, all the punishments for her own sins are added to that suffering. Rav Ḥisda said: Leave the drunk, as he falls on his own. Similarly, the time of birth is a time of danger, and if the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not come to her assistance at that time, that is sufficient to cause her death. Mar Ukva said: The shepherd is crippled, and the goats are running, and he cannot catch them. However, next to the gate, he speaks harsh words, and inside the pen he settles the account. Similarly, as long as a woman is in a healthy state, her sins are in abeyance, and she is not held accountable for them. However, when she is giving birth, which is a time of danger, she is held accountable for her sins and a calculation is made whether or not she is worthy of a miracle. Rav Pappa said: At the entrance to the stores, during a time of prosperity, brothers and loved ones abound. When a person is prospering financially, everyone acts like his brother or friend. However, at the gate of disgrace, during a time of loss and poverty, he has no brothers and no loved ones; everyone abandons him.

וגברי היכא מיבדקי אמר ריש לקיש בשעה שעוברים על הגשר גשר ותו לא אימא כעין גשר רב לא עבר במברא דיתיב ביה גוי אמר דילמא מיפקיד ליה דינא עליה ומתפיסנא בהדיה שמואל לא עבר אלא במברא דאית ביה גוי אמר שטנא בתרי אומי לא שליט

And the Gemara asks: And where are men examined? When are men vulnerable to judgment and held accountable for their actions? Reish Lakish said: When they are crossing a bridge. The Gemara wonders: Only when they are crossing a bridge and at no other time? Rather, say: Anything like a bridge, any place where danger is commonplace. On a similar note, the Gemara relates: Rav would not cross a river in a ferry in which a gentile sat. He said to himself: Perhaps a judgment will be reckoned with him, and I will be caught together with him when he is punished. Whereas, Shmuel would only cross in a ferry if there was a gentile in it. He said: Satan does not have dominion over two nations. He settles his accounts with people from each nationality separately.

רבי ינאי בדיק ועבר רבי ינאי לטעמיה דאמר לעולם אל יעמוד אדם במקום סכנה לומר שעושין לו נס שמא אין עושין לו נס ואם עושין לו נס מנכין לו מזכיותיו אמר רבי חנין מאי קראה קטנתי מכל החסדים ומכל האמת רבי זירא ביומא דשותא לא נפיק לביני דיקלא

Rabbi Yannai would examine the ferry and cross. The Gemara comments that Rabbi Yannai acted in accordance with his reasoning stated elsewhere, as he said: A person should never stand in a place of danger saying that they on High will perform a miracle for him, lest in the end they do not perform a miracle for him. And, moreover, even if they do perform a miracle for him, they will deduct it from his merits. Rabbi Ḥanin said: What is the verse that alludes to this? When Jacob said: “I am not worthy of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which You have shown unto Your servant” (Genesis 32:11), and he explains: Since You have bestowed upon me so much kindness and truth, my merits have been diminished. Similarly, the Gemara relates that Rabbi Zeira would not go out and walk among the palm trees on a day when there was a southern wind blowing due to the fear that the trees might fall on him.

אמר רב יצחק בריה דרב יהודה לעולם יבקש אדם רחמים שלא יחלה שאם יחלה אומרים לו הבא זכות והפטר אמר מר עוקבא מאי קראה כי יפול הנופל ממנו ממנו להביא ראיה תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל כי יפול הנופל ממנו (ממנו) ראוי זה ליפול מששת ימי בראשית שהרי לא נפל והכתוב קראו נופל אלא שמגלגלין זכות על ידי זכאי וחובה על ידי חייב

In a similar vein, Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Yehuda, said: A person should always pray that he will not become ill, as if he becomes ill they say to him: Bring proof of your virtue and exempt yourself. It is preferable for a person not to be forced to prove that he merits staying alive, as he might not be able to prove it. Mar Ukva said: What is the verse that alludes to this? As it says: “When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you bring not blood upon your house, if the fallen falls mimenu (Deuteronomy 22:8). He explains: Mimenu, from him proof must be brought. When one falls from his previous situation, it is his own responsibility to prove his innocence and emerge unharmed. The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: What is the meaning of the phrase: If the fallen falls from it? This person was destined to fall from that roof from the six days of Creation, it was ingrained into nature. As, although he did not yet fall, the verse calls him fallen. Nevertheless, the owner of the house is indicted for this, as merit is engendered by means of the innocent and guilt by means of the guilty.

תנו רבנן מי שחלה ונטה למות אומרים לו התודה שכן כל המומתין מתודין אדם יוצא לשוק יהי דומה בעיניו כמי שנמסר לסרדיוט חש בראשו יהי דומה בעיניו כמי שנתנוהו בקולר עלה למטה ונפל יהי דומה בעיניו כמו שהעלוהו לגרדום לידון שכל העולה לגרדום לידון אם יש לו פרקליטין גדולים ניצול ואם לאו אינו ניצול

The Sages taught: One who became ill and tended toward death, they say to him: Confess, as all those executed by the courts confess. Even if he is dying of natural causes, it is worthwhile for him to consider his death atonement for his sins. The Sages said: When a person goes out to the marketplace where there are fights and disputes, he should consider himself as someone who has been handed over to a soldier [seradiyot]. If his head hurt, he should consider it as if they placed him in a chain [kolar] around his neck. If he climbed into bed and fell ill, he should consider himself as if they took him up to the gallows to be judged, as with regard to anyone who goes up to the gallows to be judged, if he has great advocates [peraklitin], he is spared, and if not, he is not spared.

ואלו הן פרקליטין של אדם תשובה ומעשים טובים ואפילו תשע מאות ותשעים ותשעה מלמדים עליו חובה ואחד מלמד עליו זכות ניצול שנאמר אם יש עליו מלאך מליץ אחד מני אלף להגיד לאדם ישרו ויחננו ויאמר פדעהו מרדת שחת וגו׳: רבי אליעזר בנו של רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר אפילו תשע מאות ותשעים ותשעה באותו מלאך לחובה ואחד לזכות ניצול שנאמר מליץ אחד מני אלף:

And with regard to divine judgment, these are a person’s advocates: Repentance and good deeds. The Gemara comments: And even if there are nine hundred ninety-nine asserting his guilt and only one asserting his innocence, he is spared, as it is stated: “If there be for him an angel, an advocate, one among a thousand, to vouch for a man’s uprightness; then He is gracious unto him, and says: Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom” (Job 33:23–24). Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, says: Even if there are nine hundred ninety-nine portions within that same angel accusing him, and one portion asserting his innocence, he is spared, as it stated: “An advocate, one among a thousand.” Even when the advocate who asserts his innocence finds only one-tenth of one percent of innocence in this man, even then, he is gracious unto him, and says: Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom.

תנו רבנן על שלש עבירות נשים מתות יולדות רבי אלעזר אומר נשים מתות ילדות רבי אחא אומר בעון שמכבסות צואת בניהם בשבת ויש אומרים על שקורין לארון הקודש ארנא

The Sages taught in a baraita: For three transgressions women die in childbirth [yoledot]. Rabbi Elazar has a different version and says that women die when they are young [yeladot]. These transgressions are those enumerated in the mishna: The halakhot of a menstruating woman, ḥalla, and Shabbat lights. Rabbi Aḥa says they are punished for the sin of laundering their children’s feces from clothing on Shabbat. And some say: Because they call the Holy Ark simply ark.

תניא רבי ישמעאל בן אלעזר אומר בעון שני דברים עמי הארצות מתים על שקורין לארון הקודש ארנא ועל שקורין לבית הכנסת בית עם תניא רבי יוסי אומר שלשה בדקי מיתה נבראו באשה ואמרי לה שלשה דבקי מיתה נדה וחלה והדלקת הנר חדא כרבי אלעזר וחדא כרבנן

Similarly, we learned in a baraita that Rabbi Yishmael ben Elazar says: On account of two sins, ignoramuses [amei haaretz] die young (Rav Ya’akov Emden): Because they call the Holy Ark simply ark, and because they call the synagogue the house of the people. It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yosei says: Three crucibles potentially leading to death were created in the woman, and some say: Three accelerants of death. They are: Menstruation, ḥalla, and lighting the Shabbat lights. The Gemara explains that one version, accelerants of death, is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who said that women die young. And the other one, crucibles of death, is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who said that women die in childbirth.

תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר הלכות הקדש תרומות ומעשרות הן הן גופי תורה

Similarly, it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says: The halakhot of consecrated items, terumot, and tithes are themselves the essence of Torah and are extremely severe,

ונמסרו לעמי הארץ

and they were given, among others, to ignoramuses to fulfill. When they are negligent in the performance of these mitzvot, they are punished for it.

תניא רבי נתן אומר בעון נדרים מתה אשה של אדם שנאמר אם אין לך לשלם למה יקח משכבך מתחתיך רבי אומר בעון נדרים בנים מתים כשהן קטנים שנאמר אל תתן את פיך לחטיא את בשרך ואל תאמר לפני המלאך כי שגגה היא למה יקצוף האלהים על קולך וחבל את מעשה ידיך איזה הן מעשה ידיו של אדם הוי אומר בניו ובנותיו של אדם

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Natan says: Due to the sin of vows unfulfilled a person’s wife dies. The allusion is as it is stated: “If you have not the wherewithal to pay, why should He take away your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:27). Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Due to the sin of vows unfulfilled, children die when they are young, as it is stated: “Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. Suffer not your mouth to bring your flesh into guilt, neither say you before the messenger that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:4–5). What is the work of a person’s hands? You must say that it is a person’s sons and daughters.

תנו רבנן בעון נדרים בנים מתים דברי רבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון רבי יהודה הנשיא אומר בעון ביטול תורה בשלמא למאן דאמר בעון נדרים כדאמרן אלא למאן דאמר בעון ביטול תורה מאי קראה דכתיב לשוא הכיתי את בניכם מוסר לא לקחו רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר למאן דאמר בעון נדרים נמי מהכא לשוא הכיתי את בניכם על עסקי שוא מכדי רבי יהודה הנשיא היינו רבי ורבי בעון נדרים קאמר בתר דשמעה מרבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון

In order to clarify which sins cause one’s young children to die, the Gemara cites what the Sages taught in a baraita: For the sin of vows, one’s children die, this is the statement of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: For the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah. The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the opinion of the one who said that one’s children die due to the sin of vows, as we stated above. However, according to the opinion of the one who said that one’s children die due to sin of dereliction in the study of Torah, what is the verse that supports this? The Gemara replies: As it is written: “In vain have I smitten your children; they received no morality” (Jeremiah 2:30). Children die because their fathers did not accept the morality, the Torah. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: According to the one who said that one’s children die because of the sin of vows, it can also be derived from here: In vain have I smitten your children; on matters of vanity, i.e., when one vows in vain and does not fulfill it. The Gemara asks: After all, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is Rabbi, and it was taught in a Tosefta that Rabbi said that one’s children die because of the sin of vows. How then could it be that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said that it is due to the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah? The Gemara answers: After he heard it from Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, he reconsidered and taught in accordance with Rabbi Elazar’s opinion.

פליגי בה רבי חייא בר אבא ורבי יוסי חד אמר בעון מזוזה וחד אמר בעון ביטול תורה למאן דאמר בעון מזוזה מקרא נדרש לפניו ולא לפני פניו ולמאן דאמר בעון ביטול תורה מקרא נדרש לפניו ולפני פניו:

On the same topic, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba and Rabbi Yosei disagree. One said that children die due to the sin of not affixing a mezuza to one’s doorpost. And one said children die due to the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah. According to the one who said that children die because of the sin of not affixing a mezuza, his opinion there is based on an exegetical principle, which states that a verse is interpreted homiletically based on juxtaposition to the verse immediately preceding it and not on juxtaposition to the verse before the one preceding it. In this case, it says: “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children” (Deuteronomy 11:21), and the preceding verse says: “And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates” (Deuteronomy 11:20). And according to the one who said that children die due to the sin of dereliction in the study of Torah, that is because in his opinion the exegetical principle is that a verse is interpreted homiletically based on juxtaposition to the verse immediately preceding it, as well as to the verse before the one preceding it. In his opinion, the blessing of long life also relates to the verse before the one immediately preceding it: “And you shall teach them your children, talking of them” (Deuteronomy 11:19).

פליגי בה רבי מאיר ורבי יהודה חד אמר בעון מזוזה וחד אמר בעון ציצית בשלמא למאן דאמר בעון מזוזה דכתיב וכתבתם על מזוזות ביתך וכתיב בתריה למען ירבו ימיכם וימי בניכם אלא למאן דאמר בעון ציצית מאי טעמא אמר רב כהנא ואיתימא שילא מרי דכתיב גם בכנפיך נמצאו דם נפשות אביונים נקיים רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר למאן דאמר בעון מזוזה נמי מהכא דכתיב לא במחתרת מצאתים שעשו פתחים כמחתרת

The tannaim Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda also disagreed about this. One said: Children die due to the sin of mezuza, and one said children die due to the sin of not affixing ritual fringes. The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the opinion of the one who said that children die due to the sin of mezuza, it is based on the juxtaposition of the verses, as it is written: “And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates,” and it says thereafter: “That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children.” However, according to the one who said that children die because of the sin of ritual fringes, what is the reason? What is the connection between these matters? Rav Kahana said, and some say that it was Sheila Mari: It is homiletically interpreted as is written: “Also in your corners is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor” (Jeremiah 2:34). Due to one’s failure to affix ritual fringes to the corners of his garments, the innocent poor, young children, who have not had opportunity to sin, die. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: According to the one who said that children die because of the sin of mezuza, it is also derived from here, as it is written in the continuation of that verse: “You did not find them breaking in; yet for all these things.” We see that this punishment comes because they made entrances like a thief’s breach in the wall. They did not place mezuzot in their entrances.

אמר ריש לקיש כל הזהיר בציצית זוכה ומשמשין לו שני אלפים ושמונה מאות עבדים שנאמר כה אמר ה׳ [צבאות] בימים ההמה אשר יחזיקו עשרה אנשים מכל לשונות הגוים [והחזיקו] בכנף איש יהודי לאמר נלכה עמכם וגו׳:

Since the Gemara discussed the importance of the mitzva of ritual fringes, it cites that which Reish Lakish said: Anyone who is vigilant in performing the mitzva of ritual fringes merits that two thousand eight hundred servants will serve him in the World-to-Come. As it is stated: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the corner of the garment of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23). On each corner of a Jewish person’s garment with ritual fringes, ten people from each of the seventy nations will take hold. That totals seven hundred people on each corner; 2,800 people altogether.

סימן שנא חלה תרומה נגזלת דינא שבועה שיפוכתא גילויא ונבלותא: תניא רבי נחמיה אומר בעון שנאת חנם מריבה רבה בתוך ביתו של אדם ואשתו מפלת נפלים ובניו ובנותיו של אדם מתים כשהן קטנים רבי אלעזר ברבי יהודה אומר בעון חלה אין ברכה במכונס ומארה משתלחת בשערים וזורעין זרעים ואחרים אוכלין שנאמר אף אני אעשה זאת לכם והפקדתי עליכם בהלה את השחפת ואת הקדחת מכלות עינים ומדיבות נפש וזרעתם לריק זרעכם ואכלהו אויביכם אל תקרי בהלה אלא בחלה ואם נותנין מתברכין שנאמר [ו]ראשית עריסותיכם תתנו לכהן להניח ברכה אל ביתך:

Together with these statements, the Gemara cites a mnemonic for additional rabbinic adages with regard to punishments for various sins: Hate, ḥalla, teruma, stolen, judgment, oath, pouring, uncovering, and vulgarity. It was taught in a baraita, Rabbi Neḥemya says: Due to the sin of gratuitous hatred that one has for another, the punishment is great discord within a person’s home, and his wife miscarries, and his sons and daughters die when they are young. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yehuda, said: Due to the sin of failure to separate ḥalla from the dough, no blessing takes effect on the grain gathered in the storehouse and a curse spreads to the prices of crops, which increase, and they plant seeds and others eat their yield, as it is stated: “I also will do this unto you: I will appoint terror [behala] over you, even consumption and fever, that shall make the eyes to fail and the soul to languish; and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it” (Leviticus 26:16). Do not read it behala; rather, read it as beḥalla. Due to negligence in the separation of ḥalla from the dough, these punishments come. And if they give ḥalla, they are blessed, as it is stated: “And the first of your dough you shall give unto the priest to cause a blessing to rest on your house” (Ezekiel 44:30).

בעון ביטול תרומות ומעשרות שמים נעצרין מלהוריד טל ומטר והיוקר הוה והשכר אבד ובני אדם רצין אחר פרנסתן ואין מגיעין שנאמר ציה גם חום יגזלו מימי שלג שאול חטאו מאי משמע תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל בשביל דברים שצויתי אתכם בימות החמה ולא עשיתם יגזלו מכם מימי שלג בימות הגשמים ואם נותנין מתברכין שנאמר הביאו את כל המעשר אל בית האוצר ויהי טרף בביתי ובחנוני נא בזאת אמר ה׳ צבאות אם לא אפתח לכם את ארובות השמים והריקותי לכם ברכה עד בלי די מאי עד בלי די אמר רמי בר (רב) אמר רב עד שיבלו שפתותיכם מלומר די:

They also said: Due to the sin of abrogation of terumot and tithes, the heavens are prevented from pouring down dew and rain, and expense prevails, and profit is lost, and people pursue their livelihood but do not attain it, as it is stated: “Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so does the netherworld those that have sinned” (Job 24:19). The Gemara asks: What is the inference? How is that concept derived from this verse? The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught that it should be explained as follows: Due to the things that I commanded you during the summer, separating terumot and tithes from the summer crops, and you did not do them, the snow waters will be robbed from you during the rainy season. And if people give terumot and tithes, they are blessed, as it is stated: “Bring you the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now with this, says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency [ad bli dai]” (Malachi 3:10). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of: More than sufficiency [ad bli dai]? Rami bar Rav said that Rav said: It means that the abundance will be so great that your lips will be worn out [yivlu], similar to the word beli, from saying enough [dai].

בעון גזל הגובאי עולה והרעב הווה ובני אדם אוכלים בשר בניהן ובנותיהן שנאמר שמעו הדבר הזה פרות הבשן אשר בהר שומרון העושקות דלים הרוצצות אביונים אמר רבא כגון הני נשי דמחוזא

Due to the sin of robbery, locusts emerge, and famine prevails, and people eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, as it is stated: “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, that oppress the poor, that crush the needy, that say unto their lords: Bring, that we may feast” (Amos 4:1). Afterward it says: “And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places” (Amos 4:6), which refers to famine. Rava said: The cows of Bashan; like those women of the city of Meḥoza,

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