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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Chovel uMazzik - Chapter Two

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Chovel uMazzik - Chapter Two


When a person injures a colleague in a manner that warrants payment of all five assessments, he is required to pay all five. If he injures him in a manner that warrants the payment of only four, he is required to pay only four. If three, three; if two, two; and if one, one.


הַחוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵרוֹ חַבָּלָה שֶׁהוּא רָאוּי לְשַׁלֵּם הַחֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים כֻּלָּם מְשַׁלֵּם חֲמִשָּׁה. הִזִּיקוֹ נֵזֶק שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ אֶלָּא אַרְבָּעָה מְשַׁלֵּם אַרְבָּעָה. שְׁלֹשָׁה מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁלֹשָׁה. שְׁנַיִם מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם. אֶחָד מְשַׁלֵּם אֶחָד:


What is implied? If a person cuts off a colleague's hand or foot, or a finger or a toe, he must pay all five assessments: the damages, his pain, his medical treatment, his loss of employment and the embarrassment he suffered.

If he struck him on his hand and it swelled, but it will ultimately return to size; on his eye and displaced it, but it will heal; he should pay four assessments: his pain, his medical treatment, his loss of employment and the embarrassment he suffered.

If he struck him on his head and it swelled, he should pay three assessments: his pain, his medical treatment and the embarrassment he suffered.

If he struck him on a place where the blow cannot be seen - e.g., he struck him on his knees or on his back - he should pay two assessments: his pain and his medical treatment.

If a person swats a colleague with a handkerchief he was holding, a document or the like, he should pay only one assessment: embarrassment.


כֵּיצַד. קָטַע יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ אוֹ אֶצְבַּע מֵהֶן אוֹ שֶׁסִּמֵּא עֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם חֲמִשָּׁה נֵזֶק וְצַעַר וְרִפּוּי וְשֶׁבֶת וּבשֶׁת. הִכָּהוּ עַל יָדוֹ וְצָבְתָה וְסוֹפָהּ לַחְזֹר. עַל עֵינוֹ וּמָרְדָה וְסוֹפָהּ לִחְיוֹת. מְשַׁלֵּם אַרְבָּעָה צַעַר וְרִפּוּי וְשֶׁבֶת וּבשֶׁת. הִכָּהוּ עַל רֹאשׁוֹ וְצָבָה מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁלֹשָׁה צַעַר וְרִפּוּי וּבשֶׁת. הִכָּהוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִכָּה עַל בִּרְכָּיו אוֹ בְּגַבּוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם צַעַר וְרִפּוּי. הִכָּהוּ בְּמִטְפַּחַת שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ אוֹ בִּשְׁטָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ נוֹתֵן אַחַת וְהִיא הַבּשֶׁת בִּלְבַד:


If a person burned a colleague with a spit or a nail on his fingernails - i.e., in a place where a wound is not made - and that does not prevent the person from working, he should pay only for pain.

If one causes a colleague to drink a drug or anoints him with a drug that changes the color of his skin, he is required to pay merely for the medical expenses necessary until his skin returns to its original color.


כְּוָאָהוּ בְּשִׁפּוּד אוֹ בְּמַסְמֵר עַל צִפָּרְנָיו בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה חַבּוּרָה וְלֹא מְעַכֵּב מְלָאכָה מְשַׁלֵּם הַצַּעַר בִּלְבַד. הִשְׁקָהוּ סַם אוֹ סָכוֹ סַם וְשִׁנָּה מַרְאֵה עוֹרוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ רִפּוּי בִּלְבַד עַד שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר מַרְאֵהוּ כְּשֶׁהָיָה. אֲסָרוֹ בְּחֶדֶר נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּמֵי שֶׁבֶת בִּלְבַד. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ:


When a person shaves the head of a colleague, all that it is necessary for him to pay is for the embarrassment, for his hair will grow back. If he removes his hair with a potion or burns his head so that his hair will never grow back, he is liable for all five assessments: damages, pain and medical attention, because his head was heated by the burn or by the potion, and this will cause headaches. He must also pay him unemployment, because previously he was fit to dance and shake the locks of his hair, and he is thus prevented from performing this type of work. And he must be paid for embarrassment, because there is no greater embarrassment than this.


הַמְגַלֵּחַ שְׂעַר רֹאשׁ חֲבֵרוֹ נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּמֵי בָּשְׁתּוֹ בִּלְבַד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁסּוֹפוֹ לַחְזֹר. גִּלְּחוֹ בְּסַם אוֹ שֶׁכְּוָאָהוּ עַד שֶׁאֵין סוֹף הַשֵּׂעָר לַחְזֹר חַיָּב בַּחֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים. בְּנֵזֶק בְּצַעַר וְרִפּוּי שֶׁהֲרֵי יִתְחַמֵּם רֹאשׁוֹ מִן הַכְּוִיָּה אוֹ מִן הַסַּם וְנִמְצָא חָשׁ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ. וּמְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ שֶׁבֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא רָאוּי לִרְקֹד וּלְנַדְנֵד דֶּלֶת רֹאשׁוֹ בִּשְׁעַת רִקּוּד וְנִמְצָא בָּטֵל מִמְּלָאכָה זוֹ. וּבשֶׁת שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בּשֶׁת גָּדוֹל מִזֶּה:


Thus, this indicates that whenever a person causes a colleague a loss of limb that will not grow back, he is liable for all five payments. Even if he knocked out a tooth, he is liable for all five payments. For it is impossible that he will not suffer pain in his mouth for a certain amount of time because of the loss. And although there is no medical treatment for the tooth itself, the gums require medical treatment.


הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁכָּל הַמְחַסֵּר חֲבֵרוֹ אֵיבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר חַיָּב בְּכָל הַחֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים. אֲפִלּוּ הִפִּיל שִׁנּוֹ חַיָּב בַּכּל שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁלֹּא יֶחֱלֶה פִּיו שָׁעָה אַחַת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַשֵּׁן אֵין לוֹ רְפוּאָה בְּשַׂר הַשִּׁנַּיִם צָרִיךְ רְפוּאָה:


Even if he causes him to lose a piece of flesh merely the size of a barleycorn, he must pay all five assessments. He must pay for the permanent damage, because the skin will never return; instead, scar tissue will form. Thus, if a person injures a colleague, cuts his flesh and causes him to bleed, he is liable for all five assessments.


אֲפִלּוּ חִסְּרוֹ כְּשַׂעֲרָה מֵעוֹר בְּשָׂרוֹ חַיָּב בַּחֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים. שֶׁהָעוֹר אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר אֶלָּא צַלֶּקֶת. לְפִיכָךְ הַחוֹבֵל בַּחֲבֵרוֹ וְקָרַע הָעוֹר וְהוֹצִיא מִמֶּנּוּ דָּם חַיָּב בַּחֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים:


A person who scares a colleague - even if the fright causes him to fall ill - is not liable according to the judgments of an earthly court; he does, however, have a moral and spiritual obligation to compensate him. This applies, however, only when he did not touch him, but merely shouted behind him, appeared before him in the darkness or the like.

Similarly, if a person shouted in a colleague's ear and caused him to become deaf, he is not liable according to the judgments of an earthly court; he does, however, have a moral and spiritual obligation to compensate him.

If, however, a person grasped hold of a colleague and blew a horn in his ear and caused him to become deaf, touched him and/or pushed him when he frightened him, took hold of his clothes or the like, he is obligated to pay compensation even according to an earthly court.


הַמַּבְעִית חֲבֵרוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָלָה מִן הַפַּחַד הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִדִּינֵי אָדָם וְחַיָּב בְּדִינֵי שָׁמַיִם. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע בּוֹ אֶלָּא כְּגוֹן שֶׁצָּעַק מֵאֲחוֹרָיו אוֹ שֶׁנִּתְרָאָה [לוֹ] בָּאֲפֵלָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְכֵן אִם צָעַק בְּאָזְנוֹ וְחֵרְשׁוֹ פָּטוּר מִדִּינֵי אָדָם וְחַיָּב בְּדִינֵי שָׁמַיִם. אֲחָזוֹ וְתָקַע בְּאָזְנוֹ וְחֵרְשׁוֹ אוֹ שֶׁנָּגַע בּוֹ וּדְחָפוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁהִבְעִיתוֹ אוֹ שֶׁאָחַז בִּבְגָדָיו וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ חַיָּב בְּתַשְׁלוּמִין:


It appears to me that if the injured party claims to have been deafened or blinded and thus cannot see or hear, his claim is not accepted on faith, lest he attempt to deceive. For we have no evidence about the matter. Instead, he is not entitled to compensation unless he will be observed for an extended period of time, and it will be established that he lost his sight or his hearing. Only then, must the person who caused the damage pay.


יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהַנֶּחְבָּל שֶׁאָמַר נִתְחָרַשְׁתִּי אוֹ נִסְמֵית עֵינִי וַהֲרֵי אֵינִי רוֹאֶה אוֹ אֵינִי שׁוֹמֵעַ אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן. שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין אָנוּ מַכִּירִין הַדָּבָר שֶׁמָּא יַעֲרִים. וְאֵינוֹ נוֹטֵל הַנֵּזֶק עַד שֶׁיִּבָּדֵק זְמַן מְרֻבֶּה וְיִהְיֶה מֻחְזָק שֶׁאָבַד מְאוֹר עֵינָיו אוֹ נִתְחָרֵשׁ וְאַחַר כָּךְ יְשַׁלֵּם זֶה:


What compensation must be paid for pain? It all depends on the nature of the injured party. There are certain people who are delicate, spoiled and wealthy, and would not bear even a slight amount of pain for a large amount of money. And there are people who are heavy laborers, strong and poor, and will bear much suffering for a single zuz. These are the factors that are taken into consideration when evaluating and determining the compensation for pain.


כַּמָּה הוּא הַצַּעַר. הַכּל הוּא לְפִי הַנִּזָּק. יֵשׁ אָדָם שֶׁהוּא רַךְ וְעָנֹג מְאֹד וּבַעַל מָמוֹן וְאִלּוּ נָתְנוּ לוֹ מָמוֹן הַרְבֵּה לֹא הָיָה מִצְטַעֵר מְעַט. וְיֵשׁ אָדָם שֶׁהוּא עַמְלָן וְחָזָק וְעָנִי וּמִפְּנֵי זוּז אֶחָד מִצְטַעֵר צַעַר הַרְבֵּה. וְעַל פִּי הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אוֹמְדִין וּפוֹסְקִין הַצַּעַר:


How is the pain evaluated when there is a loss of limb?If a person cut off a colleague's hand or finger, we evaluate how much such a person would give to have this limb amputated with a potion instead of having it cut of with a sword, if the king decreed that his hand or foot must be cut off. We evaluate the difference between the two, and the one who caused the injury is required to pay that amount.


כֵּיצַד מְשַׁעֲרִין הַצַּעַר בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁחִסְּרוֹ אֵיבָר. הֲרֵי שֶׁקָּטַע יָדוֹ אוֹ אֶצְבָּעוֹ אוֹמְדִים כַּמָּה אָדָם כָּזֶה רוֹצֶה לִתֵּן בֵּין לִקְטֹעַ לוֹ אֵיבָר זֶה בְּסַיִף אוֹ לִקְטֹעַ אוֹתוֹ בְּסַם אִם גָּזַר עָלָיו הַמֶּלֶךְ לִקְטֹעַ יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ. וְאוֹמְדִין כַּמָּה יֵשׁ בֵּין זֶה לָזֶה וּמְשַׁלֵּם הַמַּזִּיק:


How is the unemployment assessment evaluated? If he did not cause the person to lose a limb, but instead caused him to become sick and invalid, or his arm swelled but it will return to its original size, the person who caused the injury must pay the victim for his unemployment for each day, like an unemployed worker of the trade in which he is employed.

If he caused him to lose a limb or cut off his hand, he must pay him full compensation for his hand; this being "damages." In this instance, we judge him as if he were a guard at a patch of squash. We evaluate how much such a guard would earn each day and calculate the number of days he will be incapacitated. This is the amount the person who caused the injury must pay.

Similarly, if a person cut off a colleague's legs, we calculate a wage as if he were a door guard. If he blinded him, we calculate a wage as if he worked in a mill. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.


כֵּיצַד מְשַׁעֲרִין הַשֶּׁבֶת. אִם לֹא חִסְּרוֹ אֵיבָר אֶלָּא חָלָה וְנָפַל לְמִשְׁכָּב אוֹ שֶׁצָּבְתָה יָדוֹ וְסוֹפָהּ לַחְזֹר נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּמֵי שִׁבְתּוֹ שֶׁל כָּל יוֹם וְיוֹם כְּפוֹעֵל בָּטֵל שֶׁל אוֹתָהּ מְלָאכָה שֶׁבִּטֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ. וְאִם חִסְּרוֹ אֵיבָר אוֹ שֶׁקָּטַע יָדוֹ נוֹתֵן דְּמֵי יָדוֹ שֶׁהוּא הַנֵּזֶק. וְשֶׁבֶת רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא שׁוֹמֵר קִשּׁוּאִים וְרוֹאִין כַּמָּה הוּא שְׂכַר שׁוֹמֵר קִשּׁוּאִין בְּכָל יוֹם וְעוֹשִׂין חֶשְׁבּוֹן כָּל יְמֵי חָלְיוֹ שֶׁל זֶה וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ. וְכֵן אִם קָטַע רַגְלוֹ רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא שׁוֹמֵר עַל הַפֶּתַח. סִמֵּא עֵינוֹ רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא טוֹחֵן בְּרֵחַיִם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


If a person hits a colleague on his ear or blows a horn into his ear and causes him to become deaf, he must pay his entire worth, for the victim is no longer fit to perform any work.


הִכָּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ עַל אָזְנוֹ אוֹ אֲחָזוֹ וְתָקַע בְּאָזְנוֹ וְחֵרְשׁוֹ נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּמֵי כֻּלּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִמְלָאכָה כְּלָל:


The following law applies when a person blinded a colleague, and before the damages were evaluated cut off his hand, and before those damages were evaluated cut off his leg, and before those damages were evaluated caused him to become deaf. Since an evaluation was not made for each of the damages and ultimately, the person who caused the injury was required to pay the victim's entire worth, that is all that he is obligated to pay.

If an evaluation was made for each of the previous damages and then an evaluation was made for his entire worth, the court collects only the injured's entire worth from the person who inflicted the injury. If, however, the injured seizes payment for every injured limb and for his entire worth from the property of the person who inflicted the injury, it is not expropriated from him.


סִמֵּא אֶת עֵינוֹ וְלֹא אֲמָדוּהוּ קָטַע אֶת יָדוֹ וְלֹא אֲמָדוּהוּ וְקָטַע אֶת רַגְלוֹ וְלֹא אֲמָדוּהוּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ חֵרְשׁוֹ הוֹאִיל וְלֹא אֲמָדוּהוּ לְכָל נֵזֶק וְנֵזֶק נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּמֵי כֻּלּוֹ. אֲמָדוּהוּ לְכָל נֵזֶק וְנֵזֶק וְאַחַר כָּךְ אֲמָדוּהוּ לְכֻלּוֹ אֵין גּוֹבִין מִמֶּנּוּ אֶלָּא דְּמֵי כֻּלּוֹ בִּלְבַד. וְאִם תָּפַשׂ הַנִּזָּק נֵזֶק כָּל אֵיבָר וְאֵיבָר וּדְמֵי כֻּלּוֹ אֵין מוֹצִיאִין מִיָּדוֹ:


How is the assessment for medical bills evaluated? We estimate how many days this ailment will last and what will be required to treat it. The person who caused the injury is required to give this sum immediately. We do not require him to make payments day by day. This is an enactment in favor of the person who caused the injury.


כֵּיצַד מְשַׁעֲרִין הָרִפּוּי. אוֹמְדִין כַּמָּה יָמִים יִחְיֶה זֶה מֵחלִי זֶה וְכַמָּה הוּא צָרִיךְ וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ מִיָּד. וְאֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן דְּבַר יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ. וְדָבָר זֶה תַּקָּנָה הִיא לַמַּזִּיק:


Similarly, the unemployment assessment is evaluated and must be paid immediately.

If the injured party's ailment develops complications and becomes extended beyond the amount originally estimated, the person who caused the injury is not required to pay him more. Conversely, if he becomes healed immediately, the assessment is not reduced.


וְכֵן הַשֶּׁבֶת אוֹמְדִין אוֹתָהּ וְנוֹתֵן הַכּל מִיָּד. אִם הָיָה מִתְגַּלְגֵּל בְּחָלְיוֹ וְהוֹלֵךְ וְאָרַךְ בּוֹ הַחלִי יֶתֶר עַל מַה שֶּׁאֲמָדוּהוּ אֵינוֹ מוֹסִיף לוֹ כְּלוּם. וְכֵן אִם הִבְרִיא מִיָּד אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין לוֹ מִמַּה שֶּׁאֲמָדוּהוּ:


When does the above apply? When the person who caused the injury agrees, for this enactment is to his benefit. If, however, the person who caused the injury says: "I do not desire that this enactment be followed; instead, I will pay his medical bills day by day" - he is given that prerogative.


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁרָצָה הַמַּזִּיק שֶׁזּוֹ תַּקָּנָה הִיא לוֹ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר הַמַּזִּיק אֵין רְצוֹנִי בְּתַקָּנָה זוֹ אֶלָּא אֲרַפְּאֶנּוּ דְּבַר יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ:


If the person who suffered the injury says: "Assess my injury and give me the money. I will heal myself," his request is not accepted. For the person who caused the injury can say: "Perhaps you will not be successful in healing yourself, and I will be viewed as responsible for the injury." Instead, he must pay his medical expenses day by day, or pay an assessment for the entire amount and give the money for his medical expenses to the court on his behalf.


אָמַר לוֹ הַנִּזָּק פְּסֹק עִמִּי וְתֵן עַל יָדִי וַאֲנִי אֲרַפֵּא אֶת עַצְמִי אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ שֶׁמָּא לֹא תְּרַפֵּא עַצְמְךָ וְאֶחֱזַק אֲנִי כְּמַזִּיק אֶלָּא נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּבַר יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ. אוֹ פּוֹסֵק עַל הַכּל וְנוֹתֵן דְּמֵי הָרִפּוּי עַל יְדֵי בֵּית דִּין:


If the person who caused the injury says: "I will heal you," or he says: "I have a physician who will heal you without charge," his words are not heeded. Instead, he is required to bring a professional physician who charges for healing him.


אָמַר לוֹ הַמַּזִּיק אֲנִי אֲרַפֵּא אוֹתְךָ אוֹ יֵשׁ לִי רוֹפֵא שֶׁמְּרַפֵּא בְּחִנָּם אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֶלָּא מֵבִיא רוֹפֵא אֻמָּן וּמְרַפְּאֵהוּ בְּשָׂכָר:


If an assessment was not made at the outset, for the person who caused the injury chose to pay the medical bills day by day, if an infection arose because of the wound, or if the wound opened again after it began to heal, he is required to pay for the medical expenses and for unemployment.

If an infection arose that was not caused by the wound, he is obligated to pay for the medical expenses, but is not obligated to pay for unemployment.

If the person who was injured disobeyed the physician's instructions and the severity of the ailment increased, the person who caused the injury is not obligated to heal him.


הֲרֵי שֶׁלֹּא פָּסַק עִמּוֹ אֶלָּא הָיָה מְרַפֵּא יוֹם וְיוֹם וְעָלוּ בּוֹ צְמָחִים מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה אוֹ נִסְתְּרָה הַמַּכָּה אַחַר שֶׁחָיְתָה. חַיָּב לְרַפְּאוֹתוֹ וְלָתֵת לוֹ דְּמֵי שִׁבְתּוֹ. עָלוּ בּוֹ צְמָחִים שֶׁלֹּא מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה חַיָּב לְרַפְּאוֹתוֹ וְאֵינוֹ נוֹתֵן לוֹ דְּמֵי שִׁבְתּוֹ. עָבַר עַל דִּבְרֵי רוֹפֵא וְהִכְבִּיד עָלָיו הַחלִי אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְרַפְּאוֹתוֹ:


When the court arrives at an assessment and obligates the person who caused the injury to pay, the entire amount is expropriated from him immediately. We do not grant him time to sell his property.

If he became obligated for embarrassment alone, we grant him time to sell his property, for he did not cause the victim a financial loss.


כְּשֶׁפּוֹסְקִין בֵּית דִּין עַל הַמַּזִּיק וּמְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לְשַׁלֵּם גּוֹבִין מִמֶּנּוּ הַכּל מִיָּד וְאֵין קוֹבְעִין לוֹ זְמַן כְּלָל. וְאִם נִתְחַיֵּב בְּבשֶׁת בִּלְבַד קוֹבְעִין לוֹ זְמַן לְשַׁלֵּם שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא חִסְּרוֹ מָמוֹן:

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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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