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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Mikvaot - Chapter 11, Hilchot Nizkei Mamon - Chapter One, Hilchot Nizkei Mamon - Chapter Two

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Mikvaot - Chapter 11

1

We already explained that washing one's hands and/or immersing them is a Rabbinic requirement. Hands that must be immersed may be immersed solely in an acceptable mikveh that contains 40 se'ah. For only in a place where a person immerses his body may he immerse keilim and hands. When, however, hands need only to be washed, if they were immersed in the water of a mikveh, they are pure. If they were immersed in drawn water, whether in a container or on the earth, the person's hands are not purified. Instead, drawn water poured from a container must fall upon his hands. For hands may only be washed from containers and using human effort, as we explained in Hilchot Berachot.

א

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁנְּטִילַת יָדַיִם וּטְבִילָתָן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְיָדַיִם שֶׁצְּרִיכוֹת טְבִילָה אֵין מַטְבִּילִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא בְּמִקְוֶה כָּשֵׁר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה. שֶׁבְּמָקוֹם שֶׁהָאָדָם טוֹבֵל בּוֹ כֵּלִים יָדַיִם טוֹבְלִין. אֲבָל יָדַיִם שֶׁאֵין צְרִיכוֹת אֶלָּא נְטִילָה בִּלְבַד אִם הִטְבִּילָן בְּמֵי מִקְוֶה טְהוֹרִין. וְאִם הִטְבִּילָן בְּמַיִם שְׁאוּבִין בֵּין בְּכֵלִים בֵּין בְּקַרְקָעוֹת לֹא טָהֲרוּ יָדָיו עַד שֶׁיִּפְּלוּ הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּבִים מִן הַכְּלִי עַל יָדָיו. שֶׁאֵין נוֹטְלִין לַיָּדַיִם אֶלָּא מִן הַכֵּלִים וּמִכֹּחַ נוֹתֵן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת בְּרָכוֹת:

2

Any substance that intervenes for one's entire body when immersing also intervenes for one's hands, both when immersing then and when washing them. Any substance that is included in the measure of a mikveh, e.g., flowing mud, is also included in the measure of a revi'it required for the washing of hands. Everyone who washes his hands must rub them together.

ב

כָּל הַחוֹצֵץ בִּטְבִילָה חוֹצֵץ בַּיָּדַיִם בֵּין בִּטְבִילָתָן בֵּין בִּנְטִילָתָן. וְכָל הָעוֹלֶה לְמִדַּת הַמִּקְוֶה כְּטִיט הַנֵּרוֹק עוֹלֶה לְשִׁעוּר הָרְבִיעִית שֶׁנּוֹטְלִין בָּהֶן הַיָּדָיִם. וְכָל הַנּוֹטֵל יָדָיו צָרִיךְ לְשַׁפְשֵׁף:

3

When a person washes both of his hands to partake of terumah, he must wash them a second time with other water to remove the water that is on his hands. For the water with which he washed them first - it is called the first water - contracted impurity from his hands. Therefore if a loaf of bread that was terumah fell into the water with which one first washed his hands, it contracts impurity. If it fell into the water of the second washing, it does not contract impurity. If one poured the water of the first washing and the second washing into one place and a loaf that was terumah fell there, it contracts impurity.

If one washed one's hands with the first water, an intervening object was found on his hands, and he removed it and washed again, his hands are impure as they were before, because the second water imparts purity only to what remains of the first water on his hands.

ג

הַנּוֹטֵל שְׁתֵּי יָדָיו לִתְרוּמָה צָרִיךְ לַחְזֹר וְלִטּל פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה בְּמַיִם שְׁנִיִּים כְּדֵי לְהָסִיר הַמַּיִם שֶׁעַל גַּב יָדָיו שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמַּיִם שֶׁנָּטַל בָּהֶן תְּחִלָּה וְהֵן הַנִּקְרָאִין מַיִם רִאשׁוֹנִים נִטְמְאוּ בְּיָדָיו. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נָפַל כִּכָּר שֶׁל תְּרוּמָה לְתוֹךְ הַמַּיִם שֶׁנָּטַל בָּהֶן יָדָיו תְּחִלָּה נִטְמָא וְאִם נָפַל לְתוֹךְ הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים לֹא נִטְמָא. וְאִם נָטַל רִאשׁוֹנִים וּשְׁנִיִּים לְמָקוֹם אֶחָד וְנָפַל שָׁם כִּכָּר שֶׁל תְּרוּמָה נִטְמָא. נָטַל אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְנִמְצָא עַל יָדָיו דָּבָר חוֹצֵץ וֶהֱסִירוֹ וְנָטַל אֶת הַשְּׁנִיִּים הֲרֵי יָדָיו טְמֵאוֹת כְּשֶׁהָיוּ שֶׁאֵין הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים מְטַהֲרִין אֶלָּא הַנִּשְׁאָר מִן הַמַּיִם הָרִאשׁוֹנִים עַל גַּבֵּי יָדָיו:

4

Hands contract impurity and are purified until the joint.

What is implied? One washed his hands the first time until the joint. The second time, he washed them, the water poured beyond the joint, his hands are pure. The rationale is that the second water is pure.

If, when he washed his hands the first time and the second time, the water poured beyond the joint and it returned to his hand, his hand contracts impurity. The rationale is that the first water that poured beyond the wrist contracted impurity because of his hand. The second water does not purify the water outside the joint. Hence, since the water that was beyond the joint returned to his hand, it imparts impurity to it.

ד

הַיָּדָיִם מִתְטַמְּאוֹת וּמִתְטַהֲרוֹת עַד הַפֶּרֶק. כֵּיצַד. נָטַל אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים עַד הַפֶּרֶק וְנָטַל הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים חוּץ לַפֶּרֶק וְחָזְרוּ מִחוּץ לַפֶּרֶק לְיָדָיו הֲרֵי יָדָיו טְהוֹרוֹת שֶׁהַמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים טְהוֹרִין הֵן. נָטַל אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְהַשְּׁנִיִּים חוּץ לַפֶּרֶק וְחָזְרוּ לְיָדוֹ נִטְמֵאת יָדוֹ שֶׁהַמַּיִם הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁחוּץ לַפֶּרֶק נִטְמְאוּ מֵחֲמַת יָדָיו וְאֵין הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים מְטַהֲרִים בַּמַּיִם שֶׁחוּץ לַפֶּרֶק. וּלְפִי שֶׁחָזְרוּ הַמַּיִם שֶׁחוּץ לַפֶּרֶק לְיָדוֹ טִמְּאוּהָ:

5

If the first time, he washed one hand and changed his mind and washed both his hands together the second time, they are impure. The rationale is that the second water contracts impurity because of the hand that was not washed the first time and then they impart impurity to the other hand.

If he washed both his hands the first time and washed only one hand the second time, that one is pure. If he washed one hand and then rubbed it against his other hand which was not washed at all, the water upon the washed hand contracts impurity because of the unwashed hand and then imparts impurity to the hand which was washed. If he rubs it on his head or against the wall, it is pure.

ה

נָטַל אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים לְיָדוֹ אַחַת וְנִמְלַךְ וְנָטַל אֶת הַשְּׁנִיִּים לִשְׁתֵּי יָדָיו טְמֵאוֹת שֶׁהַשְּׁנִיִּים מִתְטַמְּאִין מֵחֲמַת הַיָּד שֶׁלֹּא נִטְּלָה בְּמַיִם רִאשׁוֹנִים וְחוֹזְרִין וּמְטַמְּאִין אֶת הַיָּד הַשְּׁנִיָּה. נָטַל אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים לִשְׁתֵּי יָדָיו וְנָטַל אֶת הַשְּׁנִיִּים לְיָדוֹ אַחַת הָאַחַת טְהוֹרָה. נָטַל יָדוֹ אַחַת וְשִׁפְשְׁפָהּ בַּחֲבֶרְתָּהּ נִטְמְאוּ הַמַּיִם שֶׁעָלֶיהָ מֵחֲמַת חֲבֶרְתָּהּ שֶׁלֹּא נִטְּלָה וְחוֹזְרִין וּמְטַמְּאִין אֶת הַיָּד שֶׁנִּטְּלָה. שִׁפְשְׁפָהּ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ בַּכֹּתֶל הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה:

6

If one washes both hands with one washing, they are pure. We do not say that it is like washing one hand with the water that descended from the other hand. Moreover, even four or five people, one next to each other or one on top of the other, may wash in this manner, as long as they hold their hands open so that the water can flow over the entire hand.

ו

נָטַל שְׁתֵּי יָדָיו מִשְּׁטִיפָה אַחַת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ טְהוֹרִין וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין הֲרֵי זֶה כְּנוֹטֵל יָדוֹ אַחַת בַּמַּיִם שֶׁיָּרְדוּ מֵעַל יָדוֹ הַשְּׁנִיָּה. אֲפִלּוּ אַרְבָּעָה אוֹ חֲמִשָּׁה זֶה בְּצַד זֶה אוֹ זֶה עַל גַּב זֶה. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיַּרְפּוּ שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם:

7

If one washed a portion of his hand and then washed the rest of his hand, his hand is impure as it was originally. If there is enough water to impart moisture to another substance on the portion of the hand washed first while the other part was being washed the hand] is pure.

When does the above apply? To the water of the first washing. With regard to the second washing, one may wash a portion of his hand and then wash again, adding to the portion washed.

ז

נָטַל מִקְצָת יָדוֹ וְחָזַר וְהוֹסִיף וְנָטַל הַנִּשְׁאָר מִן יָדוֹ הֲרֵי יָדוֹ טְמֵאָה כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה. וְאִם עֲדַיִן יֵשׁ עַל מִקְצָת שֶׁנָּטַל בַּתְּחִלָּה טוֹפֵחַ עַל מְנָת לְהַטְפִּיחַ הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמַיִם רִאשׁוֹנִים. אֲבָל בִּשְׁנִיִּים נוֹטֵל מִקְצָת יָדָיו וְחוֹזֵר וּמוֹסִיף עַל מִקְצָתָן:

8

The minimum measure of water with which one may wash one's hands initially is a revi'it for each and every person for both their hands. No less than this measure is acceptable, as explained with regarding to washing before partaking of bread.

With regard to the second washing, by contrast, two people may wash their hands with a revi'it, and half a log may be used for three or four. And from a log, even 100 may wash. The rationale is that the second water does not come to purify, but merely to wash off the first water.

ח

שִׁעוּר הַמַּיִם שֶׁנּוֹטְלִין בָּהֶן תְּחִלָּה רְבִיעִית לְכָל אָדָם וְאָדָם לִשְׁתֵּי הַיָדַיִם אֵין פָּחוֹת מִשִּׁעוּר זֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּנְטִילַת יָדַיִם לְפַת. אֲבָל מַיִם שְׁנִיִּים יֵשׁ לִשְׁנַיִם לִטּל יְדֵיהֶן מֵרְבִיעִית. וּמֵחֲצִי לוֹג נוֹתְנִין לִשְׁלֹשָׁה וּלְאַרְבָּעָה. וּמִלּוֹג נוֹתְנִין אֲפִלּוּ לְמֵאָה שֶׁאֵין הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים לְטַהֵר אֶלָּא לְהַעֲבִיר הַמַּיִם הָרִאשׁוֹנִים:

9

When there was a container that held a revi'it of water that was acceptable for the washing of hands and one added to it a small amount of water that is not acceptable for that purpose, the mixture is acceptable. If one removed the amount of water he added from the container and there remained only a revi'it as there was originally, it is unacceptable. The rationale is that water that is unacceptable made up the measure of the revi'it.

ט

כְּלִי שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹ רְבִיעִית מַיִם כְּשֵׁרִים לִנְטִילַת יָדַיִם וְנָתַן לְתוֹכוֹ מְעַט מַיִם פְּסוּלִין לִנְטִילַת יָדַיִם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּשֵׁרִין. נָטַל מִן הַכְּלִי כַּשִּׁעוּר שֶׁנָּתַן וְנִשְׁאֲרָה רְבִיעִית בִּלְבַד כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה הֲרֵי זוֹ פְּסוּלָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמַּיִם הַפְּסוּלִין הִשְׁלִימוּ שִׁעוּר הָרְבִיעִית:

10

Any water that is deemed unacceptable for the first washing is unacceptable for the second washing. Any container that may not be used for the first washing is also unacceptable for the second washing. Just as the water of the first washing must be poured by human effort, so too, must the water of the second washing.

י

כָּל הַמַּיִם הַפְּסוּלִין לִנְטִילָה בְּמַיִם רִאשׁוֹנִים כָּךְ הֵן פְּסוּלִין בְּמַיִם שְׁנִיִּים. וְכָל כְּלִי שֶׁאֵין נוֹטְלִין מִמֶּנּוּ בְּמַיִם רִאשׁוֹנִים כָּךְ אֵין נוֹטְלִין מִמֶּנּוּ מַיִם שְׁנִיִּים. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת הַמַּיִם הָרִאשׁוֹנִים מִכֹּחַ אָדָם כָּךְ הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁנִיִּים:

11

We already explained in Hilchot Berachot all of the factors that could disqualify water for the washing of hands and what makes them acceptable, all of the containers that may be used for the washing of the hands and those that may not be used, Just as any doubt regarding the washing of hands is considered as pure with regard to partaking of ordinary food, as explained there, so too, with regard to terumah, any doubt regarding the washing of hands is considered as pure.

יא

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּפֶרֶק שִׁשִּׁי מֵהִלְכוֹת בְּרָכוֹת כָּל מִינֵי הַמַּיִם הַפְּסוּלִין לִנְטִילַת יָדַיִם וְהֶכְשֵׁרָן. וְכָל הַכֵּלִים שֶׁנּוֹטְלִין בָּהֶן לַיָּדַיִם וְשֶׁאֵין נוֹטְלִין. וְאֵי זוֹ נְתִינָה הִיא מִכֹּחַ נוֹתֵן וּכְשֵׁרָה וְאֵי זוֹ נְתִינָה אֵינָהּ מִכֹּחַ נוֹתֵן וּפְסוּלָה. וְכָל אוֹתָן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ שָׁם בִּנְטִילַת יָדַיִם לְפַת חֻלִּין כָּךְ הֵן לִתְרוּמָה. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁכָּל סְפֵק יָדַיִם טְהוֹרוֹת לְחֻלִּין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ שָׁם. כָּךְ הֵן לִתְרוּמָה כָּל סְפֵק יָדַיִם טָהוֹר:

12

It is a clear and apparent matter that the concepts of purity and impurity are Scriptural decrees and they are not matters determined by a person's understanding and they are included in the category of chukim. Similarly, immersion in a mikveh to ascend from impurity is included in the category of chukim, because impurity is not mud or filth that can be washed away with water. Instead, the immersion is a Scriptural decree and requires the focusing the intent of one's heart. Therefore our Sages said: "When one immersed, but did not intend to purify himself," it is as if he did not immerse.

Although it is a Scriptural decree, there is an allusion involved: One who focuses his heart on purifying himself becomes purified once he immerses, even though there was no change in his body. Similarly, one who focuses his heart on purifying his soul from the impurities of the soul, which are wicked thoughts and bad character traits, becomes purified when he resolves within his heart to distance himself from such counsel and immerse his soul in the waters of knowledge. And Ezekiel 36:25 states: "I will pour over you pure water and you will be purified from all your impurities and from all your false deities, I will purify you."

יב

דָּבָר בָּרוּר וְגָלוּי שֶׁהַטֻּמְאוֹת וְהַטָּהֳרוֹת גְּזֵרוֹת הַכָּתוּב הֵן. וְאֵינָן מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם מַכְרָעָתוֹ. וַהֲרֵי הֵן מִכְּלַל הַחֻקִּים. וְכֵן הַטְּבִילָה מִן הַטֻּמְאוֹת מִכְּלַל הַחֻקִּים הוּא שֶׁאֵין הַטֻּמְאָה טִיט אוֹ צוֹאָה שֶׁתַּעֲבֹר בְּמַיִם אֶלָּא גְּזֵרַת הַכָּתוּב הִיא וְהַדָּבָר תָּלוּי בְּכַוָּנַת הַלֵּב. וּלְפִיכָךְ אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים טָבַל וְלֹא הֻחְזַק כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טָבַל. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן רֶמֶז יֵשׁ בַּדָּבָר כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַמְכַוֵּן לִבּוֹ לְטַהֵר כֵּיוָן שֶׁטָּבַל טָהוֹר וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִתְחַדֵּשׁ בְּגוּפוֹ דָּבָר כָּךְ הַמְכַוֵּן לִבּוֹ לְטַהֵר נַפְשׁוֹ מִטֻּמְאוֹת הַנְּפָשׁוֹת שֶׁהֵן מַחְשְׁבוֹת הָאָוֶן וְדֵעוֹת הָרָעוֹת. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִסְכִּים בְּלִבּוֹ לִפְרשׁ מֵאוֹתָן הָעֵצוֹת וְהֵבִיא נַפְשׁוֹ בְּמֵי הַדַּעַת טָהוֹר. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (יחזקאל לו כה) "וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וּטְהַרְתֶּם מִכּל טֻמְאוֹתֵיכֶם וּמִכָּל גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם אֲטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם". הַשֵּׁם בְּרַחֲמָיו הָרַבִּים מִכָּל חֵטְא עָוֹן וְאַשְׁמָה יְטַהֲרֵנוּ אָמֵן:

Blessed be the Merciful One Who grants assistance.

סליקו להו הלכות מקואות בס"ד:

Hilchot Nizkei Mamon - Chapter One

In the name of the Lord, the God of the world.
Extend my heart to Your testimonies and not to monetary gain.

The eleventh book which is The Book of of Injuries

It contains five sets of Halachot and this is their order:

The Laws of Nizkei Mamon
The Laws of Genevah
The Laws of Gezelah va'Avedah
The Laws of Chovel uMazzik
The Laws of Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh

Introduction to Hilchos Nizkei Mamon

[This text] contains four positive commandments; they are:
1) The laws regarding damage caused by [the goring of] an ox,
2) The laws regarding damage caused by the grazing [of an animal],
3) The laws regarding damage caused by a pit,
4) The laws regarding damage caused by fire.

These mitzvot are explained in the chapters [that follow].

בְּשֵׁם יי אֵל עוֹלָם (בראשית כא לג)
הַט לִבִּי אֶל עֵדְו‍ֹתֶיךָ, וְאַל אֶל בָּצַע (תהלים קיט לו)

ספר אחד עשר והוא ספר נזקים

הלכותיו חמש, וזה הוא סידורן:

נזקי ממון
הלכות גניבה
הלכות גזילה ואבידה
הלכות חובל ומזיק
הלכות רוצח ושמירת נפש הלכות נזקי ממון - הקדמה יש בכללן ארבע מצות עשה. וזה הוא פרטן
א) דין השור
ב) דין ההבער
ג) דין הבור
ד) דין הבערה וביאור מצות אלו בפרקים אלו:

1

Whenever a living animal owned by a person causes damages, the owner is required to pay, for the damage was caused by his property. [This is implied by Exodus 21:35:] "When a person's ox will gore an ox belonging to a colleague...."1 These laws apply equally to an ox and to any other animal, beast or fowl. The verse mentions an ox only because that is a common instance.

א

כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה שֶׁהִיא בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם שֶׁהִזִּיקָה הַבְּעָלִים חַיָּבִין לְשַׁלֵּם שֶׁהֲרֵי מָמוֹנָם הִזִּיק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לה) "כִי יִגֹּף שׁוֹר אִישׁ אֶת שׁוֹר רֵעֵהוּ". אֶחָד הַשּׁוֹר וְאֶחָד שְׁאָר בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וְעוֹף. לֹא דִּבֵּר הַכָּתוּב בְּשׁוֹר אֶלָּא בּ הוֹוֶה:

2

How much must [the owner] pay? If [the animal] caused damage through the performance of an act that it performs frequently and that is its natural habit - e.g., an animal ate straw or fodder, or it caused damage by [treading on an object] with its feet while walking - [the owner] is obligated to pay the full amount of the damage, [giving up, if necessary,]2 his most choice property, as stated in [Exodus 22:4]: "Payment should be exacted from his choice field and his choice vineyard."3 If [the animal] deviated from its ordinary habit and performed acts that it does not usually perform and caused damage in this manner - e.g., a ox gored or bit [another animal] - the owner is obligated to pay half the damages caused. [The payment must be exacted] from the animal that caused the damage, as [Exodus 21:35] states: "And they shall sell the ox that is alive and divide the money."

ב

וְכַמָּה מְשַׁלֵּם. אִם הִזִּיקָה בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁדַּרְכָּהּ לַעֲשׂוֹתָם תָּמִיד כְּמִנְהַג בְּרִיָּתָהּ. כְּגוֹן בְּהֵמָה שֶׁאָכְלָה תֶּבֶן אוֹ עָמִיר אוֹ שֶׁהִזִּיקָה בְּרַגְלָהּ בְּדֶרֶךְ הִלּוּכָהּ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם מִן הַיָּפֶה שֶׁבִּנְכָסָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ד) "מֵיטַב שָׂדֵהוּ וּמֵיטַב כַּרְמוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם". וְאִם שִׁנְּתָה וְעָשְׂתָה מַעֲשִׂים שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּהּ לַעֲשׂוֹתָם תָּמִיד וְהִזִּיקָה בָּהֶן. כְּגוֹן שׁוֹר שֶׁנָּגַח אוֹ נָשַׁךְ. חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק מִגּוּף הַמַּזִּיק עַצְמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לה) "וּמָכְרוּ אֶת הַשּׁוֹר הַחַי וְחָצוּ אֶת כַּסְפּוֹ" וְגוֹ':

3

What is implied? When an ox that is worth a maneh4gores an ox that is worth 20 zuz and kills it, [leaving] a corpse that is worth four zuz, the owner of the ox [that caused the damage] is liable to pay eight zuz, half of the loss [suffered by the owner of the ox that was killed]. The payment must be exacted from the body of the animal that caused the damage,5 as it is written: "And they shall sell the ox that is alive."6 Therefore, if an ox that was worth 20 zuz killed an ox that was worth 200 zuz and its carcass was worth [only] a maneh, the owner of the dead ox cannot compel the owner of the living ox to give him 50 [zuz]. Instead, he should tell him: "Here is the ox that caused the damage. Take it and depart."7[This applies] even if the [ox that gored] is worth only a dinar. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ג

כֵּיצַד. שׁוֹר שָׁוֶה מָנֶה שֶׁנָּגַח לְשׁוֹר שָׁוֶה עֶשְׂרִים וֶהֱמִיתוֹ וַהֲרֵי הַנְּבֵלָה שָׁוָה אַרְבָּעָה בַּעַל הַשּׁוֹר חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם שְׁמוֹנה שֶׁהוּא חֲצִי הַנֵּזֶק. וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא מִגּוּף הַשּׁוֹר שֶׁהִזִּיק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לה) "וּמָכְרוּ אֶת הַשּׁוֹר הַחַי". לְפִיכָךְ אִם הֵמִית שׁוֹר שָׁוֶה עֶשְׂרִים לְשׁוֹר שָׁוֶה מָאתַיִם וְהַנְּבֵלָה שָׁוָה מָנֶה אֵין בַּעַל הַנְּבֵלָה יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לְבַעַל הַחַי תֵּן לִי חֲמִשִּׁים. אֶלָּא אוֹמֵר לוֹ הֲרֵי שׁוֹר שֶׁהִזִּיק לְפָנֶיךָ קָחֵהוּ וְלֵךְ אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה אֶלָּא דִּינָר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

4

[An animal] that performs a deed it is accustomed to performing by nature is called a mu'ad.8 [When an animal] deviates from its ordinary pattern and performs an act that its species does not usually perform - e.g., an ox gores or bites - it is called a tam.9 If the animal continues to follow the deviant pattern on several occasions, it is considered to be mu'ad with regard to the deviation to which it has become habituated, as [implied by Exodus 21:36]: "Or it is known that it is a goring ox."

ד

הָעוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ תָּמִיד כְּמִנְהַג בְּרִיָּתוֹ הוּא הַנִּקְרָא מוּעָד. וְהַמְשַׁנֶּה וְעָשָׂה מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ כָּל מִינוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן תָּמִיד כְּגוֹן שׁוֹר שֶׁנָּגַח אוֹ נָשַׁךְ הוּא הַנִּקְרָא תָּם. וְזֶה הַמְשַׁנֶּה אִם הִרְגִּיל בְּשִׁנּוּיוֹ פְּעָמִים רַבּוֹת נַעֲשָׂה מוּעָד לְאוֹתוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁהִרְגִּיל בּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לו) "אוֹ נוֹדַע כִּי שׁוֹר נַגָּח הוּא":

5

Five types of activities are considered to be abnormal for an animal. If it repeatedly performs any of them, it is considered to be mu'ad with regard to that activity.10 An animal is not considered to be prone to gore, to butt,11 to bite, to lie down on large utensils or to kick. If it becomes accustomed to such an activity, its owner should be forewarned. At the outset, [an animal] is, however, considered prone to eat foods that are appropriate for it and to break utensils [on which it treads] as it walks. Similarly, an animal is considered prone to lie down on small utensils and crush them.

ה

חֲמִשָּׁה מַעֲשִׂים תָּמִים יֵשׁ בִּבְהֵמָה. וְאִם הוּעֲדָה לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן נַעֲשֵׂית מוּעֶדֶת לְאוֹתוֹ מַעֲשֶׂה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הַבְּהֵמָה אֵינָהּ מוּעֶדֶת מִתְּחִלָּתָהּ לֹא לִגַּח וְלֹא לִגֹּף וְלֹא לִשֹּׁךְ וְלֹא לִרְבֹּץ עַל כֵּלִים גְּדוֹלִים וְלֹא לִבְעֹט. וְאִם הוּעֲדָה לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן הֲרֵי זוֹ מוּעֶדֶת לוֹ. אֲבָל הַשֵּׁן מוּעֶדֶת מִתְּחִלָּתָהּ לֶאֱכל אֶת הָרָאוּי לָהּ. וְהָרֶגֶל מוּעֶדֶת מִתְּחִלָּתָהּ לִשְׁבֹּר בְּדֶרֶךְ הִלּוּכָהּ. וְהַבְּהֵמָה מוּעֶדֶת מִתְּחִלָּתָהּ לִרְבֹּץ עַל פַּכִּין קְטַנִּים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם וְלִמְעֹךְ אוֹתָן:

6

Five species of animals are considered prone to cause damage from the beginning of their existence. [This applies] even if they have become domesticated.12 Therefore, if they cause damage or death by goring, biting, treading, lying down upon, or the like, [the owner] is liable for the entire amount of the damages. They are a wolf, a lion, a bear, a tiger and a leopard. Similarly, a snake that bites is considered to be mu'ad, even if it has been domesticated.

ו

חֲמִשָּׁה מִינֵי בְּהֵמָה מוּעָדִין מִתְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתָן לְהַזִּיק וַאֲפִלּוּ הֵן בְּנֵי תַּרְבּוּת. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הִזִּיקוּ אוֹ הֵמִיתוּ בִּנְגִיחָה אוֹ בִּנְשִׁיכָה וּדְרִיסָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן חַיָּב נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הַזְּאֵב וְהָאֲרִי וְהַדֹּב וְהַנָּמֵר וְהַבַּרְדְּלָס. וְכֵן הַנָּחָשׁ שֶׁנָּשַׁךְ הֲרֵי זֶה מוּעָד וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בֶּן תַּרְבּוּת:

7

Whenever [an animal] is mu'ad, [the owner] must pay the entire amount of the damage, [even if this requires expropriating] his most choice property. Whenever, by contrast, an animal is considered a tam, [the owner] is required to pay [only] half the amount of the damages. [Moreover,] that half is taken only from the animal itself. When does the above apply? When the animal entered into the domain belonging to the person to whom damage was caused, and caused damage. When, however, the person to whom damage was caused entered into the domain of the person [whose animal] caused the damage, [the owner] is not liable for anything. For he can tell [the party who suffered the damages]: "If you had not entered my domain, you would not have suffered any damages." Indeed, this is explicitly stated in the Torah, as [Exodus 22:4] states: "And if he shall send forth his animals, and they pasture in another's field."13

ז

כָּל מוּעָד מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם מִן הַיָּפֶה שֶׁבִּנְכָסָיו. וְכָל תָּם מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק מִגּוּפוֹ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁנִּכְנְסָה הַבְּהֵמָה לִרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְהִזִּיקַתְהוּ. אֲבָל אִם נִכְנַס הַנִּזָּק לִרְשׁוּת הַמַּזִּיק וְהִזִּיקַתְהוּ בְּהֶמְתּוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר עַל הַכּל. שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר לוֹ אִלּוּ לֹא נִכְנַסְתָּ לִרְשׁוּתִי לֹא הִגִּיעַ לְךָ הֶזֵּק וַהֲרֵי מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה (שמות כב ד) "וְשִׁלַּח אֶת בְּעִירֹה וּבִעֵר בִּשְׂדֵה אַחֵר":

8

[The following rules apply when a person's] animal causes damage in the public domain or in a courtyard that belongs neither to the owner of [the animal that] caused the damage nor to the party who suffered the damages,14 or in a courtyard owned jointly by both parties that is set aside to leave produce there and/or to harbor an animal - e.g., a valley. If [the animal] caused damage by eating or treading in its ordinary manner, the owner is not liable. For [the animal] has permission to go from here to there, and it is the habit of an animal to go and eat as it proceeds and to break [anything lying in its way] as it proceeds.15[Different rules apply if] it [caused damage by] goring, butting, kicking or biting.16 If its status is tam, [the owner] must pay for half the damages. If its status is mu'ad, [the owner] must pay the entire amount of the damages.17

ח

הִזִּיקָה בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אוֹ בְּחָצֵר שֶׁאֵינָהּ שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶן לֹא לַמַּזִּיק וְלֹא לַנִּזָּק אוֹ בְּחָצֵר שֶׁהִיא שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶן וַהֲרֵי הִיא מְיֻחֶדֶת לְהַנִּיחַ בָּהּ פֵּרוֹת וּלְהַכְנִיס לָהּ בְּהֵמָה כְּגוֹן הַבִּקְעָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ. אִם בְּשֵׁן וְרֶגֶל הִזִּיקָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ רְשׁוּת לְהַלֵּךְ [כָּאן] וְכָאן וְדֶרֶךְ הַבְּהֵמָה לְהַלֵּךְ וְלֶאֱכל כְּדַרְכָּהּ וְלִשְׁבֹּר בְּדֶרֶךְ הִלּוּכָהּ. וְאִם נָגְחָה אוֹ נָגְפָה אוֹ רָבְצָה אוֹ בָּעֲטָה אוֹ נָשְׁכָה. אִם תַּמָּה הִיא מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק וְאִם מוּעֶדֶת נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם:

9

When a courtyard owned jointly by both parties18 is designated for produce and not for harboring an animal, and one of the parties lets his animal in and it causes damage, [the owner] is liable even for damage caused by eating or treading.19 Similarly, if both of them had the right to harbor an animal there, but only one had the right to keep produce there, if [an animal belonging to the other] damaged [that person's] produce, [its owner] is liable even for damage caused by eating or treading.20

ט

הָיְתָה הֶחָצֵר שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶן מְיֻחֶדֶת לְפֵרוֹת וְלֹא לְהַכְנִיס בָּהּ בְּהֵמָה וְהִכְנִיס שָׁם אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין בְּהֶמְתּוֹ וְהִזִּיקָה חַיָּב אֲפִלּוּ עַל הַשֵּׁן וְעַל הָרֶגֶל. וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה מְיֻחֶדֶת לִבְהֵמָה לִשְׁנֵיהֶם וְהָיָה רְשׁוּת לָאֶחָד מֵהֶן בִּלְבַד לְהַכְנִיס לָהּ פֵּרוֹת וְהִזִּיקָה פֵּרוֹתָיו חַיָּב עַל הַשֵּׁן וְעַל הָרֶגֶל:

10

There are three categories of damages [caused by] an ox: a) goring, b) eating and c) treading. The derivatives of goring are butting, biting,21 lying upon and kicking.22The derivatives of eating are23 causing damage when scratching itself on a wall for its benefit, and soiling produce24 for its benefit. The derivatives of treading are25 causing damage with its body while walking; causing damage with its hair while walking or by swishing its tail, or with its saddle, the bit in its mouth or the bell around its neck. Similarly, a donkey that causes damage with its burden while walking or a calf that is pulling a cart that causes damage while pulling it. All of these are derivatives of treading. In a public domain [the owner] is not liable, and in a domain belonging to the party who suffered the damages, he must pay for the entire amount of the damages.

י

שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲבוֹת נְזִיקִין בְּשׁוֹר. הַקֶּרֶן וְהַשֵּׁן וְהָרֶגֶל. תּוֹלְדוֹת הַקֶּרֶן נְגִיפָה נְשִׁיכָה רְבִיצָה בְּעִיטָה. תּוֹלְדוֹת הַשֵּׁן אִם נִתְחַכְּכָה בְּכֹתֶל לַהֲנָאָתָהּ וְהִזִּיקָה בְּחִכּוּכָהּ. וְכֵן אִם טִנְּפָה פֵּרוֹת לַהֲנָאָתָהּ. תּוֹלְדוֹת הָרֶגֶל הִזִּיקָה בְּגוּפָהּ דֶּרֶךְ הִלּוּכָהּ אוֹ שֶׁהִזִּיקָה בִּשְׂעָרָהּ דֶּרֶךְ הִלּוּכָהּ אוֹ כִּשְׁכְּשָׁה בִּזְנָבָהּ אוֹ בַּאֻכָּף שֶׁעָלֶיהָ בַּפְּרוּמְבְּיָא שֶׁבְּפִיהָ בַּזּוֹג שֶׁבְּצַוָּארָהּ. וְכֵן חֲמוֹר שֶׁהִזִּיק בְּמַשָּׂאוֹ בִּשְׁעַת הִלּוּכוֹ וְעֶגְלָה הַמּוֹשֶׁכֶת בְּקָרוֹן שֶׁהִזִּיקָה בִּשְׁעַת מְשִׁיכָתָהּ. כָּל אֵלּוּ תּוֹלְדוֹת הָרֶגֶל הֵן וּבִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים פְּטוּרִין וּבִרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק מְשַׁלְּמִין נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם:

11

When [an animal] swishes its tail repeatedly in an abnormal manner and causes damage in the public domain, or when it swishes its sexual organ and causes damage in the public domain, [the owner] is not held liable. If the person whose property was damaged seizes possession [of property belonging to the owner], he may take payment for half of the damages.26 [The rationale for that ruling is that] there is an unresolved question whether these acts are derivatives of goring, in which case [the owner] is liable [for damage caused] in the public domain, or whether they are derivatives of treading, in which case [the owner] is not liable [for damage caused] in the public domain, as has been explained.27

יא

כִּשְׁכְּשָׁה בִּזְנָבָהּ כִּשְׁכּוּשׁ רַב שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּהּ לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ תָּמִיד וְהִזִּיקָה בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים. אוֹ שֶׁכִּשְׁכְּשָׁה בַּגִּיד שֶׁלָּהּ בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְהִזִּיקָה. פָּטוּר. וְאִם תָּפַשׂ הַנִּזָּק גּוֹבֶה חֲצִי נֵזֶק מִמַּה שֶּׁתָּפַשׂ. שֶׁזֶּה הַדָּבָר סָפֵק הוּא אִם אֵלּוּ תּוֹלְדוֹת הַקֶּרֶן שֶׁחַיָּב עָלֶיהָ בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אוֹ תּוֹלְדוֹת הָרֶגֶל שֶׁפָּטוּר עָלֶיהָ בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 237) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 51) consider this to be one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot. This mitzvah can be defined as compensating an owner for damages caused by one's animals through an action that they would not ordinarily perform.

2.

I.e., the owner is obligated to reimburse the person whose property was damaged for his loss. If the owner does not have cash readily available, his most valuable landed property should be expropriated and sold to pay the damages his animal caused.

3.

Payment of these damages is also considered one of the Torah's 613 mitzvot Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 240) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 55). This mitzvah can be defined as compensating an owner for damages caused by one's animals through an action that they would ordinarily perform.

4.

100 zuz.

5.

As the Rambam proceeds to illustrate, the damages caused by the ox do not create a lien on all the property belonging to the owner of the ox.

6.

The commentaries have cited the apparent redundancy in the citation of the proof-text.

7.

Thus the owner of the dead ox receives only the worth of the ox which gored, 20 zuz, 30 zuz less than what would be due him.

8.

Mu'ad literally means forewarned - i.e., the animal is prone to perform such acts, and the owner should be forewarned.

9.

Tam literally means simple, implying that the animal is not habituated in the performance of the abnormal behavior.

10.

I.e., for that activity alone, and not for any other abnormal activity (Maggid Mishneh).

11.

I.e., to attack an animal with a part of its body other than its horns (Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah, Bava Kama 1:4).

12.

Even when these animals have been raised in a home and do not outwardly show wild traits, their tendency to violence is considered part of their instinct, never to be eradicated fully.The Ramah (Choshen Mishpat 389:8) states that these animals are considered mu'adim only with regard to the specific negative traits for which they are known. If they cause damage in other ways, they are considered as tamim.

13.

This is the verse that describes the payment of damages caused by grazing. It emphasizes that the owner is liable for damages caused in another's field, and not in his own.The Ramah (Choshen Mishpat 389:10) and others cite Bava Kama 21b, which interprets this verse in a more specific and somewhat different manner. It would appear, however, that the Rambam is not referring to the exegesis of the verse by the Talmud, but is instead presenting the simple meaning of the verse as a support for the premise stated previously.

14.

This applies when the party who suffered the damages placed produce there without receiving permission from the owner. If, however, he received permission from the owner, it is considered as though it were his own courtyard. See Shulchan Aruch and Ramah (Choshen Mishpat 389:16).

15.

In the Guide for the Perplexed, Volume III, Chapter 40, the Rambam explains that this law is based on a logical premise. Since this is an animal's natural habit, it is difficult for the owner to prevent his animal from causing such damage. Moreover, the person whose property was damaged should have foreseen the problem and not left anything of value in such places.

16.

For this represents a departure from the animal's natural pattern, for which its owner is held responsible.

17.

Although both types of animals have the right to proceed in the public domain, neither has the right to damage the other animal. Therefore, the owner of the animal that caused the damages must assume responsibility.

18.

I.e., the owner of the animal that caused the damage and the party who suffered the damages.

19.

Since he brought his animal into a place where an animal should not enter, he must bear responsibility.

20.

Since only the other partner was allowed to bring his produce there, in this regard it is considered his courtyard, and the owner of the animal is liable.

21.

When it has no desire to eat, i.e., biting for a violent and destructive intent (Maggid Mishneh).

22.

All these are acts performed by an animal with a desire to harm the animal (or object) it strikes, without any intention to derive any benefit from it.

23.

The acts that follow are damages caused by an animal when it follows its ordinary pattern and seeks its own benefit.

24.

This refers to soiling produce by rolling upon it, not by defecating (Ibid.). Ruining an object by defecating is considered to be a derivative of kicking stones (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 390:8). See Chapter 2, Halachah 13.

25.

All the acts that follow are damages caused by an animal without any intent, that are likely to be caused when it proceeds in an ordinary manner (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 390:1).

26.

As the Rambam proceeds to explain, these instances are the subject of an unresolved Talmudic debate (Bava Kama 19b). Because of the doubt involved, payment is not exacted from the owner, and for this same reason the person whose property was damaged may not seize the owner's property. If, however, he did seize the owner's property, the same rationale is advanced on his behalf. Since the property may rightfully belong to him, because of the doubt, we do not expropriate the property and return it to its owner.In any case, all that is involved is half of the damages, because the reason why one might hold the owner liable is that these activities are derivatives of goring. And for goring, the owner is required to pay only half the value of the damages.The Rambam's opinion is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 390:2). The Ramah cites the opinion of the Ramban and the Tur, who maintain that when a question of law is unresolved, and one party seizes the other's property, the property that was seized must be returned.

27.

See Halachah 8.

Hilchot Nizkei Mamon - Chapter Two

1

[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

א

אֶחָד אֲבוֹת נְזִיקִין וְאֶחָד הַתּוֹלָדוֹת אִם הָיָה הָאָב מוּעָד תּוֹלְדוֹתָיו מוּעָדוֹת וְאִם הָיָה תָּם תּוֹלְדוֹתָיו כָּמוֹהוּ. וְכָל אֲבוֹת נְזִיקִין וְכָל תּוֹלְדוֹתֵיהֶן מוּעָדִין הֵן מִתְּחִלָּתָן חוּץ מִקֶּרֶן וְתוֹלְדוֹתָיו שֶׁהֵן תָּמִים בַּתְּחִלָּה עַד שֶׁיּוּעֲדוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

2

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

ב

כָּל תּוֹלָדָה כְּאָב שֶׁלָּהּ חוּץ מִצְּרוֹרוֹת הַמְנַתְּזִין מִתַּחַת רַגְלֵי הַבְּהֵמָה בִּשְׁעַת הִלּוּכָהּ. שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁתּוֹלֶדֶת הָרֶגֶל הֵם וּפָטוּר עֲלֵיהֶן בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים כְּרֶגֶל וְאִם הִזִּיקוּ בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק מְשַׁלֵּם מִן הַיָּפֶה שֶׁבִּנְכָסָיו כְּרֶגֶל שֶׁהוּא אָב אַף עַל פִּי כֵן אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא חֲצִי נֵזֶק:

3

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

ג

כֵּיצַד. בְּהֵמָה שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לַחֲצַר הַנִּזָּק וְהָלְכָה וְהָיוּ צְרוֹרוֹת מְנַתְּזִין מִתַּחַת רַגְלֶיהָ וְשָׁבְרוּ אֶת הַכֵּלִים מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק מִן הַיָּפֶה שֶׁבִּנְכָסָיו. וְדָבָר זֶה הֲלָכָה מִפִּי הַקַּבָּלָה הִיא:

4

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

ד

וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה מְהַלֶּכֶת בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְנִתְּזוּ צְרוֹרוֹת מִתַּחַת רַגְלֶיהָ לִרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְשָׁבְרוּ אֶת הַכֵּלִים מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק. דָּרְסָה עַל הַכְּלִי בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וּשְׁבָרַתּוּ וְנָפַל עַל כְּלִי אַחֵר וּשְׁבָרוֹ. עַל הָרִאשׁוֹן מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם וְעַל הָאַחֲרוֹן מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק:

5

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

ה

הָיְתָה מְהַלֶּכֶת בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וּבָעֲטָה וְהִתִּיזָה צְרוֹרוֹת וְהִזִּיקוּ בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים פָּטוּר. וְאִם תָּפַשׂ הַנִּזָּק רְבִיעַ נֵזֶק אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ. שֶׁהַדָּבָר סָפֵק הוּא שֶׁמָּא שִׁנּוּי הוּא וְאֵינוֹ תּוֹלֶדֶת רֶגֶל שֶׁהֲרֵי בָּעֲטָה:

6

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.

ו

בָּעֲטָה בָּאָרֶץ בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְהִתִּיזָה צְרוֹרוֹת מֵחֲמַת הַבְּעִיטָה וְהִזִּיקוּ שָׁם חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם רְבִיעַ נֵזֶק שֶׁזֶּה שִׁנּוּי הוּא בְּהַתָּזַת הַצְּרוֹרוֹת. וְאִם תָּפַשׂ הַנִּזָּק חֲצִי נֵזֶק אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה מְהַלֶּכֶת בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָהּ שֶׁלֹּא תַּתִּיז וּבָעֲטָה וְהִתִּיזָה מְשַׁלֵּם רְבִיעַ נֵזֶק. וְאִם תָּפַשׂ הַנִּזָּק חֲצִי נֵזֶק אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:

7

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

ז

כָּל הַמְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם הֲרֵי הַתַּשְׁלוּמִין מָמוֹן שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְשַׁלְּמוֹ כְּמִי שֶׁלָּוָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. וְכָל הַמְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק הֲרֵי הַתַּשְׁלוּמִין קְנָס חוּץ מֵחֲצִי נֵזֶק שֶׁל צְרוֹרוֹת שֶׁהוּא הֲלָכָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

8

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

ח

זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל הַמְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיק הֲרֵי זֶה מָמוֹן וְכָל הַמְשַׁלֵּם יֶתֶר אוֹ פָּחוֹת כְּגוֹן תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל אוֹ חֲצִי נֵזֶק הֲרֵי הַיָּתֵר עַל הַקֶּרֶן אוֹ הַפָּחוֹת קְנָס. וְאֵין חַיָּבִין קְנָס אֶלָּא עַל פִּי עֵדִים. אֲבָל הַמּוֹדֶה בְּכָל קְנָס מִן הַקְּנָסוֹת פָּטוּר:

9

[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

ט

תַּרְנְגוֹל שֶׁהוֹשִׁיט רֹאשׁוֹ לַאֲוִיר כְּלִי זְכוּכִית וְתָקַע בּוֹ וּשְׁבָרוֹ. אִם הָיוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ תַּבְלִין וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שֶׁהוֹשִׁיט רֹאשׁוֹ כְּדֵי לְאָכְלָן. עַל הַתַּבְלִין מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם וְעַל הַכְּלִי מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק כַּחֲצִי נֵזֶק צְרוֹרוֹת שֶׁכָּךְ הוּא דַּרְכּוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה הַכְּלִי רֵיקָן הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁנֶּה וּמְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק כְּכָל הַקְּנָסוֹת:

10

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

י

וְכֵן סוּס שֶׁצָּנַף וַחֲמוֹר שֶׁנָּעַר וְשָׁבַר אֶת הַכֵּלִים מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק. הַתַּרְנְגוֹלִין מוּעָדִין לְהַלֵּךְ כְּדַרְכָּן וּלְשַׁבֵּר. הָיָה חוּט אוֹ רְצוּעָה קָשׁוּר בְּרַגְלֵיהֶן וְנִסְתַּבֵּךְ כְּלִי בְּאוֹתוֹ הַחוּט וְנִתְגַּלְגֵּל וְנִשְׁבַּר מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁקְּשָׁרוֹ אָדָם. אֲבָל אִם נִקְשַׁר עַל רַגְלֵיהֶם מֵאֵלָיו בַּעַל הַתַּרְנְגוֹלִין פָּטוּר. וְאִם הָיוּ לַחוּט בְּעָלִים וְלֹא הָיָה הַחוּט הֶפְקֵר בַּעַל הַחוּט חַיָּב חֲצִי נֵזֶק שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא כְּבוֹר הַמִּתְגַּלְגֵּל:

11

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

יא

הִצְנִיעַ בַּעַל הַחוּט אֶת הַחוּט וְהַתַּרְנְגוֹלִים דָּרְסוּ עָלָיו וְהוֹצִיאוּהוּ וְנִקְשַׁר בְּרַגְלֵיהֶן וְשָׁבְרוּ בּוֹ אֶת הַכֵּלִים אַף בַּעַל הַחוּט פָּטוּר שֶׁהֲרֵי אָנוּס הוּא:

12

[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

יב

תַּרְנְגוֹלִין שֶׁהָיוּ מַפְרִיחִין מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם וְשָׁבְרוּ אֶת הַכֵּלִים. אִם בְּכַנְפֵיהֶם שָׁבְרוּ מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם וְאִם בָּרוּחַ שֶׁבְּכַנְפֵיהֶם מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק:

13

[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

יג

הָיוּ מְהַדְּסִין עַל גַּבֵּי עִסָּה אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי פֵּרוֹת וְטִנְּפוּ אוֹ נִקְּרוּ מְשַׁלְּמִין נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. הִזִּיקוּ בְּעָפָר אוֹ בִּצְרוֹרוֹת שֶׁהֶעֱלוּ בְּכַנְפֵיהֶן אוֹ בְּרַגְלֵיהֶן מְשַׁלְּמִין חֲצִי נֵזֶק:

14

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

יד

הָיוּ מְחַטְּטִין בְּחֶבֶל וְנִפְסַק הַחֶבֶל וְנִשְׁבַּר הַדְּלִי מְשַׁלְּמִין נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. וְהוּא שֶׁנִּתְגַּלְגֵּל הַדְּלִי מֵחֲמָתָן עַד שֶׁנָּפַל וְנִשְׁבַּר. וְאִם הָיָה עַל הַחֶבֶל אֹכֶל וּבָעֵת אֲכִילָתָן פְּסָקוּהוּ מְשַׁלֵּם גַּם עַל הַחֶבֶל נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם:

15

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

טו

הַכֶּלֶב וְהַגְּדִי שֶׁקָּפְצוּ מֵרֹאשׁ הַגַּג מִלְּמַעְלָה לְמַטָּה וְשָׁבְרוּ אֶת הַכֵּלִים מְשַׁלְּמִין נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמּוּעָדִים הֵן לְדָבָר זֶה. וְכֵן אִם נָפְלוּ וְהִזִּיקוּ. שֶׁעֲלִיָּתָן לְרֹאשׁ הַגַּג פְּשִׁיעָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנְּפִילָתָן אֹנֶס כָּל שֶׁתְּחִלָּתוֹ בִּפְשִׁיעָה וְסוֹפוֹ בְּאֹנֶס חַיָּב:

16

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.

טז

קָפְצוּ מִמַּטָּה לְמַעְלָה מְשַׁלְּמִין חֲצִי נֵזֶק. וְהוּא שֶׁנִּתְלַשׁ הַגְּדִי וְנִסְרַךְ וְקָפַץ הַכֶּלֶב. אֲבָל נִסְרַךְ הַכֶּלֶב וְדִלֵּג הַגְּדִי בֵּין מִלְּמַעְלָה לְמַטָּה בֵּין מִמַּטָּה לְמַעְלָה חַיָּבִין נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. וְכֵן תַּרְנְגוֹל שֶׁדִּלֵּג בֵּין מִלְּמַעְלָה לְמַטָּה בֵּין מִלְּמַטָּה לְמַעְלָה מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם:

17

[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

יז

כֶּלֶב שֶׁנָּטַל אֶת הַחֲרָרָה וְהָלַךְ לוֹ לַגָּדִישׁ. אִם הִנִּיחָהּ בַּגָּדִישׁ וְאָכַל אֶת הַחֲרָרָה וְהִדְלִיק אֶת הַגָּדִישׁ עַל הַחֲרָרָה וְעַל מְקוֹם הַחֲרָרָה מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם וְעַל שְׁאָר הַגָּדִישׁ חֲצִי נֵזֶק. וְאִם הָיָה מְגָרֵר אֶת הַחֲרָרָה עַל הַגָּדִישׁ וְהוֹלֵךְ וְשׂוֹרֵף מְשַׁלֵּם עַל הַחֲרָרָה נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם וְעַל מְקוֹם הַגֶּחָלִים חֲצִי נֵזֶק וְעַל שְׁאָר הַגָּדִישׁ פָּטוּר:

18

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

יח

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁשָּׁמַר בַּעַל הַגַּחֶלֶת אֶת אִשּׁוֹ וְסָתַם הַדֶּלֶת וּבָא הַכֶּלֶב וְחָתַר וְנָטַל אֶת הַחֲרָרָה מֵעַל הָאֵשׁ. אֲבָל אִם לֹא שָׁמַר אִשּׁוֹ בַּעַל הָאֵשׁ חַיָּב עַל שְׂרֵפַת הַגָּדִישׁ וּבַעַל הַכֶּלֶב חַיָּב עַל אֲכִילַת הַחֲרָרָה וְעַל מְקוֹמָהּ:

19

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.

יט

הַמְשַׁסֶּה כַּלְבּוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ בַּחֲבֵרוֹ פָּטוּר מִדִּינֵי אָדָם וְחַיָּב בְּדִינֵי שָׁמַיִם וּבַעַל הַכֶּלֶב חַיָּב חֲצִי נֵזֶק שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁאִם שִׁסָּה אֶת כַּלְבּוֹ לְהַזִּיק נוֹשֵׁךְ לֹא הָיָה לוֹ לְהַנִּיחוֹ. וְאִם שִׁסָּהוּ בְּעַצְמוֹ בַּעַל הַכֶּלֶב פָּטוּר שֶׁכָּל הַמְשַׁנֶּה וּבָא אַחֵר וְשִׁנָּה בּוֹ פָּטוּר:

20

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

כ

שְׁתֵּי פָּרוֹת בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אַחַת רְבוּצָה וְאַחַת מְהַלֶּכֶת וּבָעֲטָה מְהַלֶּכֶת. בִּרְבוּצָה חַיָּב חֲצִי נֵזֶק שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדַּרְכָּהּ לְהַלֵּךְ עָלֶיהָ אֵין דַּרְכָּהּ לִבְעֹט בָּהּ:

Footnotes
1.

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.

2.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 4-5.

3.

For like damages caused by treading, it involves damages caused accidentally by an animal when walking in its ordinary manner.

4.

The Lechem Mishneh raises questions regarding this point, but the Rambam's ruling is justified by the later commentaries.

5.

See Halachah 7, which clarifies the distinction between this and other instances where half payment is required.

6.

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).

7.

Despite the fact that the animal was walking in the public domain, since the damage took place in a private domain, the owner is liable.

8.

The damage to the first utensil is an ordinary instance of treading, while the damage to the second utensil is a case of the law illustrated in the previous two halachot.

9.

Intentionally.

10.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 11 and notes.

11.

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.

12.

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.

13.

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.

14.

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.

15.

See Halachah 3.

16.

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.

17.

As is the case when one's animal eats produce belonging to someone else.

18.

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.

19.

I.e., a rooster is likely to stick its head into a container in order to eat food, and it is likely to crow while eating.

20.

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.

21.

These are not considered departures from the norm. Instead, they are considered derivatives of the category of propelling stones. Therefore, payment is required for only half the damages.

22.

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.

23.

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.

24.

I.e., by the rooster's owner. If it was tied by another person, the owner is not held liable, and the others are required to pay half the damages.

25.

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.

26.

Other than the owner of the rooster.

27.

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.

28.

I.e., the owner of the rooster is freed of liability, because as above, he did not tie the string to the rooster.

29.

I.e., he did everything he could to prevent the damage from occurring.

30.

I.e., this is comparable to an animal's breaking a utensil by treading upon it.

31.

The wind produced by the roosters' wings is comparable to an an animal's propelling stones.

32.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Bava Kama 2:1).

33.

I.e., since the roosters caused the damage in an ordinary fashion with their bodies, the owner is liable for the entire amount.

34.

This is also comparable to an animal's propelling stones.

35.

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).

36.

Since there is food on the rope, we assume that the roosters will peck on it exceedingly, and it will tear even if it is new.

37.

This is considered to be a derivative of treading.

38.

I.e., the animals' owner should have known that his animals are prone to climb to the roof, and he should have taken precautions against that happening.

39.

Bava Metzia 42a explains that the logic is that, if not for the negligence, the damage would never have been caused by forces beyond their control.

40.

For this is a departure from the norm.

41.

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.

42.

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.

43.

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.

44.

According to the Radbaz (Volume V, Responsum 1662), this refers to all the places over which the dog dragged the coals.

45.

For this is considered comparable to stones that are kicked.

46.

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.

47.

In which case, the owner of the dog is responsible for all the damages, for the fire took place because of his negligence.

48.

For it is his negligence that made the fire possible.

49.

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.

50.

This reflects a fundamental principle in the laws of damages. Grama, being an indirect cause, does not generate liability.

51.

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.

52.

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.

53.

Causing the dog to bite.

54.

Causing the dog to bite his own master.

55.

This is considered a derivative of goring. Since the cow is not known to be prone to kick other animals, the owner is liable for only half the damages.

56.

The owner would not have been liable if the cow had caused the damage by treading on the other cow. Since he did cause the damage by kicking, the owner is liable.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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