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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

She'elah uFikkadon - Chapter 3

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She'elah uFikkadon - Chapter 3

1

When a person borrows a cow from a colleague and the colleague sends it to him with his own son, his agent or his servant, and it dies before it enters the borrower's domain, the borrower is not liable. This law applies even if the owner sends it with the son, the servant or the agent of the borrower.

If the borrower tells the owner: 'Send it to me with my son,' 'with my servant,' or 'with my agent,' or even 'with your Hebrew servant,' or 'with your agent,' the borrower is liable. This law also applies if the owner tells the borrower: 'I am sending it to you with your son,' 'with your servant,' 'with your agent,' 'with my son,' 'with my Hebrew servant,' or 'with my agent,' and the borrower agrees, the borrower is liable if he sends it and it dies on the way.

If the owner sends the cow with his own Canaanite servant, the borrower is not liable if the cow dies on the way after it is sent. This law applies even if the borrower consents. The rationale is that the servant is considered to be an extension of his master's physical person. Thus, the cow has never left its owner's domain.

א

הַשׁוֹאֵל אֶת הַפָּרָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וּשְׁלָחָהּ לוֹ הַמַּשְׁאִיל בְּיַד בְּנוֹ אוֹ בְּיַד שְׁלוּחוֹ אוֹ בְּיַד עַבְדּוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ שְׁלָחָהּ לוֹ בְּיַד בְּנוֹ אוֹ בְּיַד עַבְדּוֹ אוֹ בְּיַד שְׁלוּחוֹ שֶׁל שׁוֹאֵל וּמֵתָה קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּכָּנֵס לִרְשׁוּת הַשּׁוֹאֵל הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. וְאִם אָמַר לוֹ הַשּׁוֹאֵל שַׁלְּחָהּ לִי בְּיַד בְּנִי בְּיַד עַבְדִּי בְּיַד שְׁלוּחִי אוֹ בְּיַד עַבְדְּךָ הָעִבְרִי אוֹ בְּיַד שְׁלוּחֲךָ. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַמַּשְׁאִיל הֲרֵינִי מְשַׁלְּחָהּ בְּיַד בִּנְךָ בְּיַד עַבְדְּךָ בְּיַד שְׁלוּחֲךָ בְּיַד בְּנִי בְּיַד עַבְדִּי הָעִבְרִי בְּיַד שְׁלוּחִי. וְאָמַר לוֹ הַשּׁוֹאֵל שְׁלַח וּשְׁלָחָהּ וּמֵתָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב. שְׁלָחָהּ לוֹ הַמַּשְׁאִיל בְּיַד עַבְדּוֹ הַכְּנַעֲנִי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַשּׁוֹאֵל שְׁלַח וּמֵתָה פָּטוּר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיָּדוֹ כְּיַד רַבּוֹ וַעֲדַיִן לֹא יָצְאָה מֵרְשׁוּת הַמַּשְׁאִיל:

2

The following rules apply when a person borrows a cow from a colleague, the borrower tells the owner: 'Switch it with a stick, and it will come on its own accord,' and the owner follows his instructions. The borrower is not liable until the cow enters his domain. If it dies on the way, he is not liable.

Similar laws apply when the borrower returns the animal to its owner. If he sends it with another person and it dies before it enters the owner's domain, he is liable, because it is still the borrower's responsibility. If he returned it with another person with the consent of the owner and it died, he is not liable. If he returned it with his own Canaanite servant, and it died on the way, he is liable, even if the owner consented. The rationale is that the servant is considered an extension of his master's physical person. Thus, the cow has never left the borrower's domain.

When does the above apply? When the borrower returned the animal during the time for which it was lent out. If, however, he returns it after the end of the time for which it was lent out, he is not liable if it dies on the way. For once the time for which it was lent out has concluded, the laws of borrowing no longer apply, and the person who had borrowed the animal is considered a paid watchman. Therefore, if the animal is taken captive or dies after the period for which it was lent out has concluded, the person who had borrowed the animal is not liable. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ב

אָמַר לוֹ הַשּׁוֹאֵל הַכִּישָׁהּ בְּמַקֵּל וְהִיא תָּבוֹא מֵאֵלֶיהָ וְעָשָׂה הַמַּשְׁאִיל כָּךְ אֵין הַשּׁוֹאֵל חַיָּב בָּהּ עַד שֶׁתִּכָּנֵס לִרְשׁוּתוֹ. אֲבָל מֵתָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ פָּטוּר. וְכֵן בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמַּחְזִירָהּ הַשּׁוֹאֵל לַבְּעָלִים אִם שְׁלָחָהּ בְּיַד אַחֵר וּמֵתָה קֹדֶם שֶׁתַּגִּיעַ לִרְשׁוּת הַמַּשְׁאִיל הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב שֶׁעֲדַיִן הִיא בְּאַחֲרָיוּת הַשּׁוֹאֵל. וְאִם שְׁלָחָהּ מִדַּעַת הַמַּשְׁאִיל עַל יְדֵי אַחֵר וּמֵתָה פָּטוּר. שְׁלָחָהּ בְּיַד עַבְדּוֹ הַכְּנַעֲנִי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ הַמַּשְׁאִיל שְׁלַח אִם מֵתָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ חַיָּב שֶׁיַּד הָעֶבֶד כְּיַד רַבּוֹ וַעֲדַיִן לֹא יָצָאת מִיַּד הַשּׁוֹאֵל. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהֶחְזִירָהּ בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי שְׁאִילָתָהּ. אֲבָל אִם הֶחֱזִירָהּ אַחַר יְמֵי שְׁאִילָתָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר אִם מֵתָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ שֶׁאַחַר יְמֵי שְׁאֵלָתָהּ יָצָאתָ מִדִּין שְׁאֵלָה וַהֲרֵי הוּא כְּשׁוֹמֵר שָׂכָר. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נִשְׁבֵּית אוֹ מֵתָה אַחֲרֵי יְמֵי שְׁאִילָתָהּ פָּטוּר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

3

The following rules apply when a person borrows a cow from a colleague, the animal dies, and a dispute arises between the owner and the borrower concerning the circumstances of its death. For example, he borrowed it for half a day and rented it for half a day, borrowed it for one day and rented it for one day, or he borrowed one animal and rented another and one of the animals dies. The owner says: 'The borrowed animal died,' 'It died on the day it was borrowed,' or 'It died during the time it was borrowed,' and the borrower says: 'I don't know,' we follow the principle: When a person desires to expropriate property from a colleague, the burden of proof is on him. This principle also applies if the borrower says: 'The rented ox died,' 'It died on the day it was rented,' or 'It died during the time it was rented,' and the owner said: 'I don't know,' or they both said: 'I don't know.'

If the owner cannot bring proof that the borrowed ox died, the renter must take an oath that the rented ox died or that he does not know, and he is freed of liability.

If the owner claims that the borrowed ox died, and the the watchman claims that the rented ox died, the watchman must take an oath that the rented ox died in an ordinary manner as he claims. Because of the convention of gilgul sh'vuah, he must also include in his oath that it was the rented ox that died.

ג

הַשּׁוֹאֵל פָּרָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ. שְׁאָלָהּ חֲצִי הַיּוֹם וּשְׂכָרָהּ חֲצִי הַיּוֹם. שְׁאָלָהּ הַיּוֹם וּשְׂכָרָהּ לְמָחָר. שָׁאַל אַחַת וְשָׂכַר אַחַת וּמֵתָה אַחַת מֵהֶן. הַמַּשְׁאִיל אוֹמֵר שְׁאוּלָה מֵתָה בַּיּוֹם שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁאוּלָה מֵתָה בַּשָּׁעָה שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁאוּלָה מֵתָה וְהַשּׁוֹמֵר אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר הַשּׁוֹאֵל שְׂכוּרָה מֵתָה בַּיּוֹם שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׂכוּרָה מֵתָה בַּשָּׁעָה שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׂכוּרָה מֵתָה. וְהַמַּשְׁאִיל אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר זֶה אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ וְזֶה אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ. הַמּוֹצִיא מֵחֲבֵרוֹ עָלָיו הָרְאָיָה. לֹא הָיְתָה שָׁם רְאָיָה יִשָּׁבַע הַשּׂוֹכֵר עַל הַשְּׂכוּרָה שֶׁמֵּתָה אוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ וְיִפָּטֵר. זֶה אוֹמֵר שְׁאוּלָה וְזֶה אוֹמֵר שְׂכוּרָה יִשָּׁבַע הַשּׁוֹמֵר עַל הַשְּׂכוּרָה שֶׁמֵּתָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁטָּעַן וִיגַלְגֵּל עָלָיו שֶׁהַשְּׂכוּרָה הִיא שֶׁמֵּתָה:

4

The following rules apply when a person borrows two cows from a colleague, borrowing them for half the day and renting them for half the day, and the cows die. If the owner claims 'They died during the time that they were borrowed,' and the watchman replies: 'One did die during the time it was borrowed, but I don't know about the other one," since the watchman is not able to take an oath that denies the owner's claim, he must make restitution for the two cows.

Similar rules apply if the owner gave the watchman three cows, two were borrowed and one was rented and two cows died. If the owner claims: 'It was the two borrowed cows that died,' and the watchman replies: 'Certainly, one of the borrowed cows died, but I do not know whether the second cow that died was the borrowed one or the rented one,' since the watchman cannot take an oath that denies the owner's claim - for he says that he does not know which one died - he must make restitution for the two cows.

In Hilchot To'en V'Nit'an, it is explained how and for which reasons a defendant is required to pay in this law and in all similar cases where a defendant is not able to take an oath.

ד

הִשְׁאִילוֹ שְׁתֵּי פָּרוֹת חֲצִי הַיּוֹם בִּשְׁאֵלָה וַחֲצִי הַיּוֹם בִּשְׂכִירוּת. הַמַּשְׁאִיל אוֹמֵר בִּזְמַן הַשְּׁאֵלָה מֵתָה וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר אַחַת מֵתָה בִּזְמַן הַשְּׁאֵלָה וְהָאַחֶרֶת אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ. מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע יְשַׁלֵּם הַשְּׁתַּיִם. וְכֵן אִם מָסַר לוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ פָּרוֹת שְׁתַּיִם שְׁאוּלוֹת וְאַחַת שְׂכוּרָה. הַמַּשְׁאִיל אוֹמֵר שְׁתַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּלוֹת הֵן שֶׁמֵּתוּ וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל אוֹמֵר אַחַת הַשְּׁאוּלָה מֵתָה וַדַּאי אֲבָל הַשְּׁנִיָּה שֶׁמֵּתָה אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם הַשְּׁאוּלָה הָאַחֶרֶת אוֹ הַשְּׂכוּרָה. מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר אֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ יְשַׁלֵּם הַשְּׁתַּיִם. וּבְהִלְכוֹת טוֹעֵן וְנִטְעָן יִתְבָּאֵר דִּין זֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מִכָּל הַטּוֹעֲנִין שֶׁאֵינָן יְכוֹלִים לְהִשָּׁבַע וְכֵיצַד מְשַׁלְּמִין וּמֵאֵי זֶה טַעַם הֵם מְשַׁלְּמִים:

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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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