Shabbat 32a:4שבת ל״ב א:ד
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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32aל״ב א

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,