There are seven types of punishment that are brought upon the world in response to seven types of sins. If some people separate tithes and others do not, a famine because of drought is brought so that some people go hungry while others have food. If nobody separates tithes, the result is a famine because of a catastrophe that causes a drought (so everyone goes hungry). If nobody separates challah, the result is a universal famine (from which many die). Pestilence is brought upon the world because people commit crimes for which the Torah prescribes execution but that cannot be prosecuted by the human courts, and also for misusing Sabbatical-year produce. The sword is brought upon the world for delaying or perverting justice, and because of those who interpret the Torah not in accordance with the law.
Wild animals are brought upon the world because of false oaths and for desecrating God’s Name. Exile is brought upon the world because of idolatry, incest, bloodshed, and for not releasing the land in the Sabbatical year. Pestilence increases at four times: in the fourth year of the Sabbatical cycle because of tithes for the needy that should have been given in the third year, in the seventh year because of tithes for the needy that should have been given in the sixth year, in the year after the seventh year because of Sabbatical produce that should have been abandoned in the seventh year, and at the end of Succos each year for neglecting the harvest portions that should have been given to the needy.