[The following laws apply with regard to] the major categories of damages and their derivatives. [If a person's property is considered] mu'ad with regard to the major category, it is considered mu'ad with regard to its derivatives. [If it is considered] tam with regard to the major category, the same law applies with regard to its derivatives. From the outset, [a person's property is considered] to be mu'ad with regard to all the major categories of damage and their derivatives, with the exception of goring and its derivatives. In that instance, [an animal is considered] tam until it has been deemed prone [to goring],1 as explained.2
אחד אבות נזיקין ואחד התולדות אם היה האב מועד תולדותיו מועדות ואם היה תם תולדותיו כמוהו. וכל אבות נזיקין וכל תולדותיהן מועדין הן מתחלתן חוץ מקרן ותולדותיו שהן תמים בתחלה עד שיועדו כמו שביארנו:
All the derivatives of a category of damages are governed by the same laws as the major category, with the exception of stones that are propelled by an animal while walking. This activity is considered a derivative of the category of treading,3 and one is therefore not liable for damage caused in the public domain. Nevertheless, if such stones cause damage in a person's private domain, [the owner of the animal] must pay [for the damages] from his most choice property,4 as he must pay for damages caused by treading, the major category. And yet, he is required to pay only half the amount of the damages.5
כל תולדה כאב שלה חוץ מצרורות המנתזין מתחת רגלי הבהמה בשעת הילוכה. שאע"פ שתולדת הרגל הם ופטור עליהן ברשות הרבים כרגל ואם הזיקו ברשות הניזק משלם מן היפה שבנכסיו כרגל שהוא אב אע"פ כן אינו משלם אלא חצי נזק:
What is implied? When an animal enters a courtyard belonging to another person and proceeds to walk, and in doing so propels stones from under its feet that break utensils, [the owner of the animal] must pay half the amount of the damage from his most choice property. This matter is a law communicated by the Oral Tradition.6
כיצד בהמה שנכנסה לחצר הניזק והלכה והיו צרורות מנתזין מתחת רגליה ושברו את הכלים משלם חצי נזק מן היפה שבנכסיו. ודבר זה הלכה מפי הקבלה היא:
Similarly, if [an animal] was proceeding in the public domain7 and stones were propelled from under its feet into a domain belonging to someone else, and they broke utensils there, [the owner of the animal] must pay half the damages. If [an animal] treads on a utensil in a domain belonging to someone else and breaks it, and shards from the broken utensil fall on another utensil and break it, [the owner of the animal] must pay the entire [damages for the destruction of] the first utensil, and half [the damages for the destruction of] the second utensil.8
וכן אם היתה מהלכת ברשות הרבים ונתזו צרורות מתחת רגליה לרשות הניזק ושברו את הכלים משלם חצי נזק. דרסה על הכלי ברשות הניזק ושברתו ונפל על כלי אחר ושברו. על הראשון משלם נזק שלם ועל האחרון משלם חצי נזק:
If an animal was walking in the public domain and it kicked9 [the ground] and propelled stones that caused damage in the public domain, [the owner] is not liable. If the person whose property was damaged seized a fourth [of the cost] of the damages, it should not be expropriated from him.10 [The rationale is that] there is a doubt regarding the matter: perhaps this is considered a deviation from the ordinary pattern and it is not a derivative of treading, for [the animal] kicked.11
היתה מהלכת ברשות הרבים ובעטה והתיזה צרורות והזיקו ברשות הרבים פטור. ואם תפש הניזק רביע נזק אין מוציאין מידו. שהדבר ספק הוא שמא שינוי הוא ואינו תולדת רגל שהרי בעטה:
If the animal kicked the earth in the domain belonging to another person and stones were propelled because of its kick and caused damages, [the owner] is liable to pay a fourth of the damages, for this is a deviation from the ordinary manner of propelling stones. If the person whose property was damaged seized half [of the cost] of the damages, it should not be expropriated from him.12 Even if an animal was walking in a place where it would be impossible for it not to propel stones, and it kicked [the earth] and propelled stones, [the owner] is liable to pay a fourth of the damages.13 If the person whose property was damaged seized half [of the cost] of the damages, it should not be expropriated from him.
בעטה בארץ ברשות הניזק והתיזה צרורות מחמת הבעיטה והזיקו שם חייב לשלם רביע נזק שזה שינוי הוא בהתזת הצרורות. ואם תפש הניזק חצי נזק אין מוציאין מידו. ואפילו היתה מהלכת במקום שאי אפשר לה שלא תתיז ובעטה והתיזה משלם רביע נזק ואם תפש הניזק חצי נזק אין מוציאין מידו:
Whenever a person must pay full damages, the payment is considered to be a monetary obligation that he is liable to pay, as if he had borrowed [money] from his colleague. When, by contrast, a person must pay half the damages, the monetary obligation is considered a fine, with the exception of the half damages liable from stones,14 which is a halachah [transmitted by the Oral Tradition], as we have explained.15
כל המשלם נזק שלם א הרי התשלומין ממון שהוא חייב לשלמו כמי שלוה מחבירו שהוא חייב לשלם. וכל המשלם חצי נזק הרי התשלומין קנס חוץ מחצי נזק של צרורות שהוא הלכה כמו שביארנו:
This is the operating principle: Whenever a person pays for the damage that he caused, it is considered a monetary obligation. Whenever he pays more or less - e.g., the double payment (for theft) or half the amount of damages - the amount that is greater or less than the principal is considered to be a fine. A fine is required only when one is obligated through the testimony of witnesses. When a person admits that he is liable for a fine, he is absolved of the obligation.16
זה הכלל כל המשלם מה שהזיק הרי זה ממון וכל המשלם יתר או פחות כגון תשלומי כפל או חצי נזק הרי היתר על הקרן או הפחות קנס ואין חייבין קנס אלא ע"פ עדים אבל המודה בכל קנס מן הקנסות פטור:
[The following rules apply when] a rooster sticks its head inside a glass container, crows while doing so and breaks it [as a result of the sound]. If there were spices or the like inside [the container, and the rooster] stuck its head in to eat them, [the owner] must pay full damages for the spices17 and half the damages for the container, as one pays half damages for stones [that are propelled].18 [The rationale is that this is the animal's] ordinary pattern.19 If, however, the container is empty, this is a deviation from the norm, and [the owner] is liable to pay half the damages, as in the case with other fines.20
תרנגול שהושיט ראשו לאויר כלי זכוכית ותקע בו ושברו. אם היו בתוכו תבלין וכיוצא בהן שהושיט ראשו כדי לאכלן. על התבלין משלם נזק שלם ועל הכלי משלם חצי נזק כחצי נזק צרורות שכך הוא דרכו. ואם היה הכלי ריקן הרי זה משונה ומשלם חצי נזק ככל הקנסות:
Similarly, if a horse yelped or a donkey bellowed and utensils were broken as a result, the owner is obligated to pay only half the damages.21 Roosters are considered prone to break utensils as they proceed in their ordinary pattern. If there was a string or a strap tied to [a rooster's] legs22 and a utensil became entangled with the string and rolled and broke, [the owner] is required to pay half the damages.23When does the above apply? When the string was tied to the rooster by a person.24 If, however, the string became ensnarled around the rooster's foot, its owner is not liable.25 If that string was owned by a given person,26 rather than being ownerless, the owner of the string is liable to pay half the damages, because the string is like a moving pit.27
וכן סוס שצנף וחמור שנער ושבר את הכלים משלם חצי נזק. התרנגולין מועדין להלך כדרכן ולשבר. היה חוט או רצועה קשור ברגליהן ונסתבך כלי באותו החוט ונתגלגל ונשבר משלם חצי נזק. במה דברים אמורים כשקשרו אדם אבל אם נקשר על רגליהם מאליו בעל התרנגולין פטור. ואם היו לחוט בעלים ולא היה החוט הפקר בעל החוט חייב חצי נזק שהרי הוא כבור המתגלגל:
If the owner of the string hid the string, and the roosters trod on it and took it out, and then it became ensnarled around their feet, and as a result utensils were broken, the owner of the string is also freed of liability,28 for [the damage] was beyond his control.29
הצניע בעל החוט את החוט והתרנגולים דרסו עליו והוציאוהו ונקשר ברגליהן ושברו בו את הכלים אף בעל החוט פטור שהרי אנוס הוא:
[The following rules apply when] roosters flew from place to place and broke utensils. If they broke the utensils with their wings, [the owner] is liable for the entire damage.30 If the utensils were broken by the wind generated by [the roosters'] wings, [the owner] is liable for half the damages.31
תרנגולין שהיו מפריחין ממקום למקום ושברו את הכלים. אם בכנפיהם שברו משלם נזק שלם ואם ברוח שבכנפיהם משלם חצי נזק:
[If roosters] were digging32 at dough or at produce and soiled it or pecked at it, [the owner] is liable for the entire damage.33 If they caused damages with the dust or stones that they raised with their feet or with their wings, [the owner] is liable for half the damages.34
היו מהדסין על גבי עיסה או על גבי פירות וטנפו או נקרו משלמין נזק שלם. הזיקו בעפר או צרורות שהעלו בכנפיהן או ברגליהן משלמין חצי נזק:
If [roosters] were pecking at a rope [that held a bucket], the rope tore, and the bucket broke, [the owner] is liable for the entire damage. [This applies when] the bucket rolled until it fell and broke because of them.35 If there was food on the rope, and the rope tore while they were eating, they are liable to pay the entire amount of the damage to the rope as well.36
היו מחטטין בחבל ונפסק החבל ונשבר הדלי משלמין נזק שלם. והוא שנתגלגל הדלי מחמתן עד שנפל ונשבר. ואם היה על החבל אוכל ובעת אכילתן פסקוהו משלם גם על החבל נזק שלם:
When a dog or a goat jumps from a roof downward and breaks utensils, [the owner] is liable for the entire damages, because they are prone to this.37 Similarly, if they fell and caused damages, [their owner is liable], because the fact that they climbed to the roof is considered negligence.38 [Therefore,] even if they fell because of forces beyond [the owner's] control, [he is liable], because whenever a person is negligent at the outset, and damage subsequently occurs because of forces beyond his control, he is liable.39
הכלב והגדי שקפצו מראש הגג מלמעלה למטה ושברו את הכלים משלמין נזק שלם מפני שמועדים הן לדבר זה. וכן אם נפלו והזיקו שעלייתן לראש הגג פשיעה. ואע"פ שנפילתן אונס כל שתחילתו בפשיעה וסופו באונס חייב:
If [the animals] jump upward [and cause damage], [the owner] is liable for half.40 This applies when a goat climbs upward or a dog jumps. If, however, a dog climbed upward and a goat leaps, whether upward or downward, [the owner] is liable for the entire damage.41 Similarly, if a rooster jumps either upward or downward, [the owner] is liable to pay for the entire amount of the damage.
קפצו ממטה למעלה משלמין חצי נזק. והוא שנתלש הגדי ונסרך וקפץ הכלב אבל נסרך הכלב ודלג הגדי בין מלמעלה למטה בין ממטה למעלה חייבין נזק שלם. וכן תרנגול שדלג בין מלמעלה למטה בין מלמטה למעלה משלם נזק שלם:
[The following laws apply when] a dog takes a cake [from a fire where it is cooking, a coal is stuck to the cake], and [the dog] takes [the cake] to a grain heap. If it places [the cake] down on the grain heap, eats the cake and kindles the grain heap, [the owner] is liable to pay the full damages for the cake and the place where it placed the cake [in the grain heap].42 For the remainder of the grain heap, he is required to pay only half the damages.43 If [the dog] dragged the cake all over the grain heap, burning it as it proceeded, [the owner] is liable to pay the entire damages for the cake. For the place of the coals,44 [the owner] is liable to pay half the damages,45 and for the remainder of the grain heap he is not liable at all.46
כלב שנטל את החררה והלך לו לגדיש. אם הניחה בגדיש ואכל את החררה והדליק את הגדיש על החררה ועל מקום החררה משלם נזק [א] שלם ועל שאר הגדיש חצי נזק. ואם היה מגרר את החררה על הגדיש והולך ושורף משלם על החררה נזק שלם ועל מקום הגחלים חצי נזק ועל שאר הגדיש פטור:
When does the above apply? When the owner of the coal guarded his fire and closed the door, and yet the dog dug underneath [until it could enter and] take the cake from the fire.47 If, however, he did not guard his fire, the owner of the fire is liable for the burning of the grain heap,48 and the owner of the dog is liable for the cake and the place where it was placed.49
במה דברים אמורים כששמר בעל הגחלת את אשו וסתם הדלת ובא הכלב וחתר ונטל את החררה מעל האש. אבל אם לא שמר אשו בעל האש חייב על שריפת הגדיש ובעל הכלב חייב על אכילת החררה ועל מקומה:
When a person sets a dog belonging to a colleague on a [third] individual, he is not held liable by mortal courts;50 the laws of heaven, however, obligate him to pay.51 The owner of the dog is liable to pay half the damages.52 Since he knows that if his dog is set upon [a person] maliciously he will bite him, he should not have allowed [his dog to be left to do this]. If [a person] set a dog [belonging to a colleague] to bite the person himself, the owner of the dog is not liable. For when there is already a deviation from the norm,53 and a person brings about a further deviation,54 [the owner] is not liable.
המשסה כלבו של חבירו בחבירו פטור מדיני אדם וחייב בדיני שמים ובעל הכלב חייב חצי נזק שכיון שהוא יודע שאם שסה את כלבו להזיק נושך לא היה לו להניחו. ואם שסהו בעצמו בעל הכלב פטור שכל המשנה ובא אחר ושינה בו פטור:
When there are two cows in the public domain, one lying down and one walking, if the one walking kicks the one lying down, [the owner] is liable for half the damages.55 Even though it would be the ordinary practice for [the cow] to tread on the cow that is lying down, it is not its ordinary practice to kick it.56
שתי פרות ברשות הרבים אחת רבוצה ואחת מהלכת ובעטה מהלכת ברבוצה חייב חצי נזק שאע"פ שדרכה להלך עליה אין דרכה לבעט בה:
The Ra'avad emphasizes that when an animal has been deemed prone to cause damage through goring or one of its derivatives, it is deemed mu'ad only with regard to the particular activity that it performed repeatedly, but not with regard to any of the other derivatives of goring.
I.e., it is a law that was communicated orally to Moses on Mount Sinai and then transmitted orally from generation to generation. Although such laws are usually not even alluded to in the Written Law, their authority is the same as that of a law stated in Scripture. See the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Sanhedrin, Chapter 6).
This law is the subject of an unresolved question in Bava Kama 19a. The question is whether kicking the stone is considered like goring - for the kicking was done intentionally - in which case the owner would be liable for damage caused in the public domain, or it is considered to be an ordinary instance of stones that were propelled, and since the damage took place in the public domain, the owner is not held liable.Even according to the logic that maintains that the owner is liable, he is liable for only a fourth of the damage. This figure is arrived at as follows: When damage is caused by propelling stones, the owner is required to pay only half. Since the animal is considered to be a tam - i.e., it is not prone to cause such damages - the owner is required to pay only half of the amount for which he would be liable. Thus, one half of a half is a quarter.Since the question was not resolved by the Sages, the owner should not be held liable. Conversely, if the person whose property was damaged seized the money involved, it should not be expropriated from him.The Ra'avad raises objections to the Rambam's ruling, based on a different understanding of the Talmudic passage. The later authorities, however, follow the Rambam.
This law is an extension of the unresolved question mentioned in the previous halachah. Since the damage took place in a private domain, the owner is definitely held liable. The question is whether he is liable for half the damages or for only a quarter of the damages. According to the opinion that maintains that kicking is considered a deviation, he should be held liable for only a fourth. According to the opinion that maintains that a deviation is not significant with regard to this category of damages, he is liable to pay half the damages.Since the matter was left unresolved, the owner may be required to pay only one fourth. If, however, the person whose property was damaged seized the owner's property, he need not relinquish half the value of the damages.
The principles operating in this instance are the same as those operating in the first clause. The only reason for mentioning this law is that since it is impossible that the animal would not propel stones, one might not think that the deviation is significant, and the owner should be held liable for half the damages, as in an ordinary case of this nature. This premise is, nevertheless, not accepted.
In this instance, although the owner does not pay for the full extent of the damages, none of the leniencies stated below apply.With regard to the payment of half-damages, according to ordinary logic - and indeed, this was the practice of the secular laws at that time - since the animal was not mu'ad, prone to cause damage, one would not think to hold the owner liable. Nevertheless, to insure higher standards of respect for property, Torah law fined the owner of the animal for half the damages.
This applies even if after a person admits that he is liable for a fine, witnesses testify to that effect (Hilchot Geneivah 3:8-9 and the Maggid Mishneh). There are also other distinctions between fines and monetary obligations; for example, cases involving fines were arbitrated only by judges who were given semichah. Thus, they are not arbitrated in the present era.
The parallel between this instance and stones that are propelled can be explained as follows: When an animal propels a stone and the stone causes damage, the damage is not caused directly by the animal's body, but indirectly by the power it generated. Similarly, when the rooster breaks the container by crowing, the damage is caused indirectly, as a result of the animal's energy.
Since this is a deviation from the animal's ordinary pattern, one is liable only for half the damages. The Ra'avad raises the question: Since the first clause of the halachah draws an analogy between the rooster's crowing and an animal's propelling stones, how is this instance different from the law stated in Halachah 6, where the owner is held liable for only a quarter of the damages his animal caused?The Maggid Mishneh states that the Rambam's rationale is difficult to understand, but offers the following explanation. When there are no spices in the container, crowing and breaking the container is considered to be a derivative of goring, not of propelling stones.The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 390:9) does not resolve the issue, explaining that since a deviation from the ordinary pattern is involved, the case is considered a fine and is not arbitrated in the present era.
The Ra'avad raises many questions concerning the Rambam's decision, and similarly, Rabbenu Asher interprets the passage in Bava Kama 17a differently from the Rambam. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 390:10) quotes the Rambam's interpretation, while the Ramah refers to the Rambam's rulings as satum, closed to us, and follows the approach of Rabbenu Asher.
It appears that the Rambam considers the string to be like stones propelled by an animal's feet (tz'rurot). They are not considered as a pit, an inanimate object that causes damage, for as the Ra'avad notes, one is liable for the full damages caused by a pit and not half the damages.
As mentioned, the string is considered to be a pit. With regard to that category of damages, Bava Kama 19b states that the pit must be brought into being by a person. If it is brought into being by an animal, the owner of the animal is not liable. In this case, since the owner did not tie the string to the rooster, he is not liable.
As stated by the Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 411:4), when an object belonging to a person is left in the public domain, moved by an animal and then causes damage, the owner of the animal and the owner of the article must share the cost of the damages equally.
I.e., the roosters pushed the bucket until it fell and broke. They were thus the direct cause of its breaking, and this is considered as treading.If the bucket broke as a result of the rope's tearing, the ruling depends on whether the rope is new or worn. We assume that a rooster will peck at a rope slightly to sip its moisture. Thus, if the rope is worn, it is normal for it to snap. Hence, the owner is liable for the entire damages. If the rope is new, for the rope to tear from such pecking is not ordinary, and the owner is liable for only half the damages (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 390:11).
For this is their ordinary pattern. The Rambam's ruling follows the version of Bava Kama 22a cited by Rabbenu Chanan'el and Rabbenu Yitzchak Alfasi. The standard version of the Talmud we possess today differs.Our translation differs from that of Rashi and the Nimukei Yosef who translate as lowered itself while hanging.
This is the ordinary pattern of a dog, who will grab food from a fire in order to eat it. And since it is likely that a coal will remain attached to the cake, the owner of the dog is liable for the place where the cake is placed down as well.
The standard printed texts of the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Bava Kama 2:3) offer the following rationale: This is a deviation from the ordinary pattern. This does not follow any of the explanations given in the Talmud. Rav Kapach's text of the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah explains that the burning of the rest of the grain heap is compared to stones that are kicked, for in both cases the damage is caused indirectly. This follows Rabbi Yochanan's position, Bava Kama 22a.
The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, maintaining that the owner is forced to pay one fourth of the damages, because he considers this case comparable to propelling stones, except that a deviation from the normal pattern is involved. The Tur also follows this approach. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 392:1) follows the opinion of the Rambam, while the Ramah mentions that of the Tur.The Rambam's opinion can be substantiated based on Hilchot Rotze'ach 6:15, which states that a person is not liable for ko'ach kocho, an activity that comes about as an indirect result of his exertion of energy. It appears that the Rambam considers the damage caused by propelling stones to be kocho, a direct result of the person's energy, and not ko'ach kocho (Kessef Mishneh, Radbaz). The Ra'avad, by contrast, considers propelling stones to be ko'ach kocho.
For the dog caused this damage directly.The Ra'avad and the Tur, who in the previous law maintain that the owner of the dog must pay one fourth of the damages to the grain heap, maintain that he is liable for that amount in this instance as well. Hence, the owner of the fire is liable for only three fourths of the damages. In this instance as well, the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) follows the opinion of the Rambam, while the Ramah mentions that of the Tur.
I.e., he has a moral and ethical obligation to pay for the damages. See Bava Kama 55b, which gives several instances of grama and states that the person who indirectly caused the damage has a moral obligation to compensate for it.
Dogs do not usually bite. Therefore, the fact that the person who set the dog on the third person provoked it to do so is considered a departure from the norm, and the owner is liable for only half the damages.The Ra'avad adds that if the dog is known to be prone to bite, the owner is liable for the entire amount of the damages. The Maggid Mishneh differs, maintaining that since the dog was provoked by the person who set it, this is considered a departure from the norm. (See also Chapter 6, Halachah 5.) Sefer Me'irat Einayim 395:2 quotes the Maggid Mishneh's view.
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