1) 31b) Is the implication of the mishna that whenever a
women dies in childbirth, it is because of one of these
sins? If so, as I venture to say that childbirth
has fallen as a cause of death over the past 2000 years,
then are we saying that we are more scrupulous in
observance? This runs counter to 'the generations have
2) 32a) How do you reconcile Rav's practice not to go on a bridge when
their was a non jew on the bridge with the concept of divine providence?
Is the implication that something would happen to Rav
because he was on the bridge that otherwise would not happen?
Is there any lesson we need to take from Rav's example?
To not get on a public bus, train, plane, or boat?
3) 33b) How are the children to be held accountable to
be causing punishment?
4) 34a) As per Rashi on 33b, R' Yehuda b. Gerim was not a
malshin. Why did he deserve to become a pile of bones?
1) You would be correct that this would be counter to "the generations have
become smaller" if less people were subject to untimely deaths altogether.
But unfortunately, that is not so in our time, may Hash-m protect us. In
our day, there are other "inspections" of our sins, i.e. unfortunately
all-too-common maladies, and as the Gemara says, in every place of danger
one's sins are "checked."
2) One who enters a place of danger (such as a bridge, in the time of the
Gemara) causes his merits to be examined. Rav knew himself and was sure
that he was not deserving of death. He was concerned, though, that perhaps
there might be a gentile there who was deserving of death, and to be saved
in such a situation would require even greater merits (just as we are
taught that during times of plague, the righteous as well as the evil
3) See what we wrote in the Parsha Page to Parshas Bo, 5757 (since it is
lengthy, I'm not including it here, but am sending it separately).
4) Because he nevertheless was not careful about what he said, and to whom,
for he should have foreseen that it might get back to the king.