ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Hilchot Nizkei Mamon - Chapter Three

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Hilchot Nizkei Mamon - Chapter Three

1

It is taken for granted that an animal is prone to eat fruit, vegetables or the like. Therefore, if [an animal] enters a domain belonging to another person and eats produce that it would normally eat, [the owner of the animal] is liable for the entire amount of the damages, as stated [in Exodus 22:4]: "And if he shall send forth his animals, and they shall pasture in another's field, payment should be exacted from his choice field." If [the animal] ate produce belonging to another person in the public domain, [the owner] is not liable.1 If [the animal] benefits [from eating the produce], the owner must pay for the benefit [his animal received], but not for the damages caused.

א

הַבְּהֵמָה מוּעֶדֶת לֶאֱכל פֵּרוֹת אוֹ יְרָקוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִכְנְסָה לִרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְאָכְלָה דְּבָרִים שֶׁדַּרְכָּהּ לְאָכְלָם מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ד) "וּבִעֵר בִּשְׂדֵה אַחֵר מֵיטַב שָׂדֵהוּ" וְגוֹ'. וְאִם אֲכָלָתָם בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים פָּטוּר. וְאִם נֶהֱנֵית מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית לֹא מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה:

2

What is implied? If [an animal] entered another person's domain and ate sesame seeds, chestnuts or the like that were worth a dinar, [the owner] must pay a dinar. If [the animal ate these foods] in the public domain and derived benefit, we consider [these foods] as if they were barley or fodder, and [the owner is required to] pay the wholesale2 price of fodder3 or barley.4

ב

כֵּיצַד. נִכְנְסָה לִרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְאָכְלָה שֻׁמְשְׁמִין אוֹ לוֹט וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם בִּשְׁוֵה דִּינָר מְשַׁלֵּם דִּינָר. וְאִם אֲכָלָתָן בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְנֶהֱנֵית רוֹאִין אוֹתָן כְּאִלּוּ הֵן שְׂעוֹרִים אוֹ עָמִיר וּמְשַׁלֵּם דְּמֵי עָמִיר אוֹ דְּמֵי שְׂעוֹרִים בְּזוֹל:

3

If the animal ate foods that are harmful to it - e.g., it ate wheat - since it did not derive any benefit, [the owner] is not liable. If it ate substances that it would not usually eat - e.g., it ate a garment or a utensil - [the owner] should pay half the damages.5 [This applies] both in a private domain and in a public domain. [The rationale is that] this is a deviation. [Hence, the owner is liable for only half the damages. He is liable for damage caused in the public domain, however] because it is the ordinary practice of people to leave their utensils or garments in the public domain while they rest.

ג

אָכְלָה אֳכָלִין הָרָעִים לָהּ כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָכְלָה חִטִּין הוֹאִיל וְלֹא נֶהֱנֵית פָּטוּר. אָכְלָה אֳכָלִין שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּהּ לְאָכְלָן כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָכְלָה כְּסוּת אוֹ כֵּלִים בֵּין בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק בֵּין בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק שֶׁזֶּה שִׁנּוּי הוּא וְדֶרֶךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם לְהַנִּיחַ כְּלֵיהֶם וּכְסוּתָן בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים עַד שֶׁיָּנוּחוּ מְעַט:

4

There is a doubt [regarding the liability of the owner when his] animal is standing in a private domain, but takes produce [belonging to the owner of the private domain] from the public domain and eats it in that private domain.6 Therefore, [the owner] is liable only for the benefit [his animal] derived.7 If, however, the person whose property was damaged seizes possession of the full worth of the damage [caused by the animal], it should not be expropriated from him,8 for [the produce] was eaten in his domain.

ד

בְּהֵמָה שֶׁהָיְתָה עוֹמֶדֶת בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְתָלְשָׁה פֵּרוֹת מֵרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וַאֲכָלָתָן בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק הֲרֵי הַדָּבָר סָפֵק לְפִיכָךְ אֵינָהּ מְשַׁלֶּמֶת אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית. וְאִם תָּפַשׂ הַנִּזָּק כַּמָּה שֶׁהִזִּיקָה אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ אָכְלָה:

5

When a dog entered a courtyard, took bread or meat, brought it into the public domain or to another courtyard9 and ate it there, [the owner] should pay for the benefit [the dog] received.10 If [the dog] ate [the food] in a field belonging to the owner of the courtyard, the [dog's owner] must pay the full extent of the damages as if it had been eaten in the courtyard, because it was eaten in a domain belonging to the person whose property was damaged.11 The same [laws] apply in all analogous situations.

ה

כֶּלֶב שֶׁנִּכְנַס לֶחָצֵר וְנָטַל פַּת אוֹ בָּשָׂר וְהוֹצִיאָן לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אוֹ לֶחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת וַאֲכָלָם מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנָה מְשַׁלֵּם. אֲכָלָם בַּשָּׂדֶה שֶׁל בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם כְּאִלּוּ אֲכָלָן בְּתוֹךְ הֶחָצֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק אָכַל. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

6

[The following rules apply when] an animal eats foods that it would not ordinarily eat, but would eat under constraint: e.g., a cow that ate barley, a donkey that ate vetch12 or fish, a pig that ate a piece of meat, a dog that licked oil, a cat that ate dates and the like. If the foods were eaten in a domain belonging to the person whose property was damaged, [the owner] must pay the entire amount of the damage.13 [If the foods were eaten] in the public domain, he is not liable. If [the animal] benefited, the owner must pay for that benefit.

ו

בְּהֵמָה שֶׁאָכְלָה אֳכָלִין שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּהּ לְאָכְלָן אֲבָל אוֹכַלְתָּן עַל יְדֵי הַדְּחָק. כְּגוֹן פָּרָה שֶׁאָכְלָה שְׂעוֹרִים וַחֲמוֹר שֶׁאָכַל כַּרְשִׁינִים אוֹ דָּגִים וַחֲזִיר שֶׁאָכַל חֲתִיכָה בָּשָׂר וְכֶלֶב שֶׁלִּקֵּק אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶן וְחָתוּל שֶׁאָכַל תְּמָרִים. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ. אִם אֲכָלָהּ בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. וּבִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים פָּטוּר וְאִם נֶהֱנֵית מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית:

7

When a beast enters a private domain and seizes an animal or meat14 and eats it, [its owner] must pay the full extent of the damages, for this is its ordinary course of behavior. When, however, a dog eats small sheep,15 or a cat eats large cocks,16 this is considered to be a deviation,17 and [the owner] is liable for [only] half the damages.

ז

חַיָּה שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לִרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְטָרְפָה וְאָכְלָה בְּהֵמָה אוֹ בָּשָׂר מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם שֶׁזֶּהוּ דַּרְכָּהּ. אֲבָל כֶּלֶב שֶׁאָכַל כְּבָשִׂים קְטַנִּים אוֹ חָתוּל שֶׁאָכַל תַּרְנְגוֹלִים גְּדוֹלִים הֲרֵי זֶה שִׁנּוּי וּמְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק:

8

When there is a basket of bread [in a private domain], and a donkey enters and breaks the basket and eats the bread, [the owner] is liable for the full extent of the damages, for this is [a donkey's] ordinary behavior. Similarly, if a goat sees a turnip or the like on the opening of a jug, stumbles over the jug and eats the turnip and breaks the jug, [the owner] must pay the full damages for both, for it is the ordinary pattern [for such an animal] to hang on to utensils and climb on them in order to eat. The same applies in all analogous situations. If, however, a donkey came in and ate bread and then broke a basket, [the owner] is liable for full damages for the bread, but only half damages for the basket.18 The same applies in all analogous situations.

ח

סַל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ לֶחֶם וְנִכְנַס חֲמוֹר וְשָׁבַר הַסַּל וְאָכַל הַלֶּחֶם מְשַׁלֵּם עַל הַסַּל וְעַל הַלֶּחֶם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם שֶׁזֶּה הוּא דַּרְכּוֹ. וְכֵן שְׂעִיר עִזִּים שֶׁרָאָה לֶפֶת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ עַל פִּי הֶחָבִית וְנִסְתַּבֵּךְ בֶּחָבִית וְאָכַל אֶת הַלֶּפֶת וְשָׁבַר אֶת הֶחָבִית מְשַׁלֵּם עַל שְׁנֵיהֶם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לֶאֱכל כָּךְ דַּרְכּוֹ לְהִתָּלוֹת בְּכֵלִים וְלַעֲלוֹת כְּדֵי לֶאֱכל. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. אֲבָל אִם נִכְנַס הַחֲמוֹר וְאָכַל אֶת הַלֶּחֶם וְאַחַר כָּךְ שָׁבַר אֶת הַסַּל עַל הַלֶּחֶם מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם וְעַל הַסַּל חֲצִי נֵזֶק. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

9

When an animal eats [produce] in the marketplace, whether when walking or when standing, [its owner] must pay [only] for the benefit it received.19 This applies even if the animal turns [its head] to the corners of the marketplace and eats.20 If, however, the animal left the marketplace and went and stood at the corner of the marketplace and ate [produce], [its owner] must pay for the damages.21 If the animal ate from [produce in] the storefront, [the owner] must pay [only] for the benefit it received. If it ate from [produce] within the store, he must pay the full extent of the damages.

ט

בְּהֵמָה שֶׁאָכְלָה מִתּוֹךְ הָרְחָבָה בֵּין דֶּרֶךְ הֲלִיכָתָהּ בֵּין שֶׁעָמְדָה וְאָכְלָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית וַאֲפִלּוּ חָזְרָה עַל צִדֵּי הָרְחָבָה וְאָכְלָה מֵהֶן. אֲבָל אִם הִנִּיחָה אֶת הָרְחָבָה וְהָלְכָה וְעָמְדָה בְּצִדֵּי הָרְחָבָה וְאָכְלָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה. אָכְלָה מִפֶּתַח הַחֲנוּת מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית. מִתּוֹךְ הַחֲנוּת מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה:

10

If an animal was walking in the public domain and stretched out its neck and ate from [produce] that was [loaded onto] another animal's back, [its owner] must pay [only] for the benefit it received, for it is common for animals to eat from [a load] being carried by another.22 [This law applies] even when [the animal] stands. If it jumped23 to eat from the [produce] that was [loaded onto] another animal's back, [its owner] must pay the full extent of the damages,24 because the back of another animal is considered to be the private domain of the person who suffered the damage.

י

הָיְתָה מְהַלֶּכֶת בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וּפָשְׁטָה צַוָּארָהּ וְאָכְלָה מֵעַל גַּבֵּי חֲבֶרְתָּהּ וַאֲפִלּוּ עָמְדָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית שֶׁכֵּן דֶּרֶךְ הַבְּהֵמוֹת לֶאֱכל זוֹ מֵעַל גַּבֵּי זוֹ. וְאִם קָפְצָה וְאָכְלָה עַל גַּבֵּי חֲבֶרְתָּהּ מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה שֶׁגַּבֵּי חֲבֶרְתָּהּ כַּחֲצַר הַנִּזָּק הוּא חָשׁוּב:

11

If an animal slips on a stone or on its urine and falls into a garden of fruit or vegetables or if it eats from the garden, [the owner] is required to pay [only] for the benefit it receives. Even if it walks from one row to another row, and even if it stays there the entire day, he is required to pay [only] for the benefit it receives.25 What benefit could it receive from falling? That it fell on a soft place and did not crush its limbs. If, by contrast, an animal descended [into private property] in an ordinary manner and ate produce, [the owner] must pay the full extent of the damages. Even if it soiled produce with its afterbirth, [the owner] must pay the full extent of the damages, because the first stage involved negligence.26 Similarly, if it was pushed by another animal and fell, [the owner] must pay the full extent of the damages, because he should have had them pass one by one so that they would not push each other.27

יא

בְּהֵמָה שֶׁהֻחְלְקָה בְּאֶבֶן אוֹ בְּמֵימֵי רַגְלֶיהָ וְנָפְלָה לְגִנָּה וְנֶחְבְּטָה עַל גַּבֵּי פֵּרוֹת וִירָקוֹת אוֹ שֶׁאָכְלָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית. אֲפִלּוּ הָלְכָה מֵעֲרוּגָה לַעֲרוּגָה וַאֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁאֲרָה שָׁם כָּל הַיּוֹם כֻּלּוֹ אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁנֶּהֱנֵית. וּמַה הֲנָאָה יֵשׁ לָהּ בַּחֲבִיטָה שֶׁהֲרֵי מָצְאָה מָקוֹם רַךְ וְלֹא נִתְרַסְּקוּ אֵיבָרֶיהָ. אֲבָל אִם יָרְדָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ וְאָכְלָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ טִנְּפָה פֵּרוֹת בְּמֵי לֵידָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁתְּחִלָּתוֹ בִּפְשִׁיעָה. וְכֵן אִם דְּחָפָתָהּ חֲבֶרְתָּהּ וְנָפְלָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ לְהַעֲבִירָן אַחַת אַחַת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִדְחֲפוּ זוֹ אֶת זוֹ:

12

If it slipped and fell [into another person's garden], departed28 and then returned to that garden, [the owner] must pay the full extent of the damages, even if it returned without his knowledge. He was obligated to watch it, [and prevent it] from returning.29 For it is known that if an animal knows the way to a garden, it will return on its own initiative.

יב

הֻחְלְקָה וְנָפְלָה וְיָצָאת וְחָזְרָה לַגִּנָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָזְרָה שֶׁלֹּא לְדַעַת הַבְּעָלִים מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיקָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ לְשָׁמְרָהּ שֶׁלֹּא תַּחְזֹר שֶׁהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁיָּדְעָה דֶּרֶךְ הַגִּנָּה הֲרֵי הִיא חוֹזֶרֶת מֵאֵלֶיהָ:

13

When a potter brings his wares into a person's courtyard without his permission, and an animal belonging to the owner [of the courtyard] broke the pottery, [the owner] is not liable.30 [Moreover,] if the animal is injured, the potter is liable.31 If he brought his wares in with [the owner's] permission, [the potter is not liable [for the animal's injury].32 If the owner made a commitment to guard the pottery, he is liable [for the damages].

יג

הַקַּדָּר שֶׁהִכְנִיס קְדֵרוֹתָיו לַחֲצַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת וּשְׁבָרָתַן בְּהֶמְתּוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת פָּטוּר. וְאִם הֻזְּקָה בָּהֶן בַּעַל הַקְּדֵרוֹת חַיָּב. וְאִם הִכְנִיס בִּרְשׁוּת פָּטוּר. וְאִם קִבֵּל עָלָיו בַּעַל הַבַּיִת לִשְׁמֹר אֶת הַקְּדֵרוֹת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת חַיָּב:

14

Similarly, if [a person] brought produce into a courtyard belonging to another individual without his permission and the animal belonging to the owner [of the courtyard] ate it, [the owner of the courtyard] is not liable.33 If the animal slipped on it and suffered injuries, the owner of the produce is liable.34 If he brought the produce in with [the owner's] permission, [the owner of the produce] is not liable [for the animal's injury].35 If the owner [of the courtyard] made a commitment to guard the produce, he is liable [for the damages to the produce].36 If the person brought produce [into a courtyard] without permission, and an animal belonging to the owner of the courtyard ate it and suffered injury because it ate it, the owner of the produce is not liable. The animal should not have eaten it.37 When the owner of a courtyard allowed a person to bring his produce into [the courtyard] and left [the owner of the produce] to watch it, if an animal belonging to the owner of the courtyard ate from the produce and suffered damages, the owner of the produce is liable. Since he saw the animal eating produce that could damage it and took no action, he is liable. For the owner of the courtyard is not present to banish his animal from them. An incident occurred when a woman entered to bake in the house of her neighbors.38 They left her alone, so that they would not see her while she was kneading and baking.39 A goat belonging to the owner came and ate from [her raw] dough and died. The Sages obligated her to reimburse [the owners] for the goat. These principles apply in all similar situations.

יד

וְכֵן אִם הִכְנִיס פֵּרוֹתָיו לַחֲצַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת וַאֲכָלָתַם בְּהֶמְתּוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת פָּטוּר. וְאִם הֻחְלְקָה בָּהֶן וְהֻזְּקָה בַּעַל הַפֵּרוֹת חַיָּב. וְאִם הִכְנִיס בִּרְשׁוּת פָּטוּר. וְאִם קִבֵּל עָלָיו בַּעַל הַבַּיִת לִשְׁמֹר אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת חַיָּב. הִכְנִיסָן שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת וַאֲכָלָתַן בְּהֶמְתּוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְהֻזְּקָה בַּאֲכִילָתָן בַּעַל הַפֵּרוֹת פָּטוּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה לָהּ שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאכַל. וְאִם הִכְנִיסָהּ בִּרְשׁוּת וְהִנִּיחוּ בַּעֲלֵי הֶחָצֵר אֶת זֶה שֶׁהִרְשָׁהוּ בֶּחָצֵר לְשָׁמְרוֹ וַאֲכָלָתַן בְּהֶמְתּוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְהֻזְּקָה בַּאֲכִילָתָן בַּעַל הַפֵּרוֹת חַיָּב. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה הַבְּהֵמָה אוֹכֶלֶת דְּבָרִים הַמַּזִּיקִין לָהּ וְהִנִּיחָהּ חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בַּעֲלֵי הֶחָצֵר מְצוּיִין שָׁם לְהַעֲבִיר הַבְּהֵמָה מֵהֶן. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּאִשָּׁה שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לֶאֱפוֹת בַּתַּנּוּר בְּבֵית שְׁכֵנוֹתֶיהָ וְהִנִּיחוּהָ וְנִתְעַלְּמוּ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַבִּיטוּ בָּהּ בְּעֵת לִישָׁתָהּ וַאֲפִיָּתָהּ וּבָא עֵז שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְאָכַל הַבָּצֵק וּמֵת וְחִיְּבוּהָ חֲכָמִים לְשַׁלֵּם דָּמָיו. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

15

When a person made a grain heap in a field belonging to a colleague without the latter's permission, and an animal belonging to the owner of the field ate it, [the owner of the field] is not liable. If the animal slipped on it and suffered injuries, the owner of the produce is liable. If the animal ate it and suffered injury because it ate it, [the owner of the produce] is not liable.40 If he had permission to make the grain heap, the owner of the field is liable, even if he did not accept the responsibility to guard [the grain pile]. Once a watchman in the granaries says: "Make your grain heap here," it is as if he told him: "Make your grain heap and I will guard it for you."41

טו

הַמַּגְדִּישׁ בְּתוֹךְ שְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת וַאֲכָלָתָן בְּהֶמְתּוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה פָּטוּר. וְאִם הֻחְלְקָה בָּהֶן וְהֻזְּקָה בַּעַל הַפֵּרוֹת חַיָּב. אֲכָלָתָן וְהֻזְּקָה בַּאֲכִילָתָן פָּטוּר. וְאִם הִגְּדִישׁ בִּרְשׁוּת בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה חַיָּב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא קִבֵּל עָלָיו לִשְׁמֹר. שֶׁהַשּׁוֹמֵר בָּגֳרָנוֹת כֵּיוָן שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַגְדֵּשׁ בְּכָאן כְּמִי שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַגְדֵּשׁ וַאֲנִי אֶשְׁמֹר לְךָ הוּא חָשׁוּב:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

The proof-text stated above explicitly states that the owner is liable when his animals pasture in another's field. This is understood as excluding the public domain.In Chapter 1, Halachah 8, the Rambam explains the rationale for this exclusion: It is the habit of an animal to go and eat as it proceeds - i.e., if a person leaves produce in the public domain, he should take it for granted that it will be eaten by the animals passing through.

2.

Our translation is loose. The Hebrew b'zol literally means as they are cheap. Rashi (Bava Kama 20a) states that he should pay 2/3 of the market price of the fodder. The reason for this reduction is that the owner is being forced to pay against his will.Based on his interpretation of the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Bava Kama 2:2), the Shiltei Gibborim interpret b'zol as meaning when they are cheap - i.e., if they cost less than the substance eaten by the animal.

3.

Here also we have used a loose translation, because as mentioned in the Maggid Mishneh, the Kessef Mishneh and the Lechem Mishneh, there are several different interpretations of the Hebrew term emir.

4.

I.e., although the chestnuts or the sesame seeds are more valuable than the simple fodder, the owner is required to pay only the market price for the fodder, for that is what he would have fed his animal.

5.

The commentaries explain that this damage is considered a derivative of goring.

6.

There are two dimensions to the damage: the place from which the produce was taken, and the place where it was destroyed. One is not liable for produce taken from the public domain, but one is liable for produce eaten in a private domain. Hence the doubt mentioned by the Rambam. See Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 391:12.

7.

Because of the doubt, money cannot be exacted from its owner.

8.

Since the money is now in possession of the person whose property was damaged, it can also not be exacted from him. See the notes to Chapter 1, Halachah 11.

9.

Belonging to another person.

10.

I.e., he does not pay the full price of the food. The rationale is, as in the previous halachah, that the food was eaten in the public domain.

11.

The fact that it was taken away from the place from which it was originally taken is not significant, provided that it is eaten in a domain belonging to that owner.

12.

A type of bean usually eaten by cows.

13.

Despite the fact that this is not the animal's ordinary food, since it ate it, the owner is liable for the damages. If, however, an animal eats food that it would never eat - e.g., a cow ate meat - the owner must pay only half the damages Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 391:3).

14.

The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 391:6) interpret this as referring to raw meat alone.

15.

I.e., even small sheep; certainly this applies with regard to large sheep.

16.

Eating small cocks, however, is not considered a deviation. See Ketubot 41b.

17.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) clarifies that this refers only to living animals. Once an animal has died, however, it is natural for a dog or cat to eat from its corpse regardless of its size.

18.

This is considered a derivative of goring. Hence the payment must be exacted from the body of the animal that caused the damage Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 391:4).

19.

For the marketplace is considered to be part of the public domain.

20.

For this is also the ordinary practice of an animal in the public domain.

21.

The area on the side of the marketplace is considered to be a private domain, and considered like the private property of the person whose property was damaged (Tosafot, Bava Kama 21a).

22.

Therefore, it is considered to be an ordinary instance of an animal's eating produce in the public domain.

23.

And placed its forelegs on the other animal. By doing so, it is considered to have left the public domain and entered the domain of the person whose produce was damaged.

24.

The Tur and the Ramah (Choshen Mishpat 391:11) differ and maintain that this ruling applies only when it is impossible for the animal to eat the produce without jumping on the other animal.

25.

Since the animal entered the private domain by accident, its owner is not held responsible for the damage it caused.

26.

Even if the owner did not know that the animal was about to give birth, and thus the damage can be considered to have come about by forces beyond his control. Since the animal's entry into the private domain came as a result of negligence, the owner is held liable. See Chapter 2, Halachah 15.

27.

I.e., this is also considered negligence on the owner's part. The Tur and the Ramah (Choshen Mishpat 394:1) consider this to be accidental, and free the owner of responsibility.

28.

The Tur and the Ramah (Choshen Mishpat 394:2) state that this law applies when the owner is aware that the animal entered the garden and departed.

29.

The Maggid Mishneh, the Tur and the Ramah (ibid.) state that if the owner locked the animal in a stall in an ordinary manner, and the animal managed to escape and return to the garden, the owner is not liable, because he did everything necessary to prevent this from happening.

30.

His animal has free rein within his own courtyard; it can be assumed that it will walk freely and trod on anything placed there. The potter brought his wares there at his own risk.

31.

The pottery is considered to be a pit dug in someone's private property, because the potter should have taken the necessary precautions to ensure that the owner's animal would not be damaged.

32.

For the owner knew of the pottery and should have taken care that his animal not be damaged.

33.

For it can be assumed that his animal will eat any produce left in his courtyard.

34.

For he created an obstacle in another person's domain.

35.

Since the owner gave the person permission to place his produce there, he must take responsibility for his animal.

36.

Note the Tur and the Ramah (Choshen Mishpat 393:1, 398:5), who maintain that if the owner of the courtyard gave the person permission to bring his wares in, he becomes liable for them. He does not have to make an explicit statement accepting responsibility.

37.

I.e., the owner of the courtyard should take responsibility for making sure that his animal does not overeat (Sefer Me'irat Einayim 393:4).

38.

Sefer Me'irat Einayim 393:5 explains that this incident teaches that even when the owner of the produce does not know that the owner of the courtyard has left, under certain circumstances, he should take responsibility for the animal belonging to the owner of the courtyard.

39.

It is common for a woman to roll up her sleeves and bare her arms when she is kneading dough. Out of concern for modesty, the owners of the house left the room (Bava Kama 48a).

40.

These laws are basically a restatement of those of the previous halachah. The new insight stated by the Rambam comes in the following paragraph.

41.

Note the Lechem Mishneh and the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Bava Kama 6:3), which indicate that the watchman is liable and not the owner of the field.See, however, Sefer Me'irat Einayim 393:7, which states that this is speaking about an instance in which the owner himself guards his fields.

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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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