When a person encounters a colleague who is on a journey and his animal has fallen under its load, he is commanded to unload the burden from it. This applies whether the animal was carrying a burden appropriate for it, or a burden greater than it could bear.

This is a positive commandment, as Exodus 23:5 states: "You shall certainly help him."


מִי שֶׁפָּגַע בַּחֲבֵרוֹ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וּבְהֶמְתּוֹ רוֹבֶצֶת תַּחַת מַשָּׂאָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה עָלֶיהָ מַשָּׂא הָרָאוּי לָהּ בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה עָלֶיהָ יוֹתֵר מִמַּשָּׂאָהּ הֲרֵי זֶה מִצְוָה לִפְרֹק מֵעָלֶיהָ וְזוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג ה) "עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב עִמּוֹ":


One should not unload the animal and depart, leaving the wayfarer in panic. Instead, one should lift up the animal together with its owner, and reload the animal's burden upon it, as Deuteronomy 22:4 states: "You shall certainly lift it up." This is another positive commandment.

If one leaves the wayfarer in panic without either unloading or reloading, one has negated the observance of a positive commandment and violated a negative commandment, as Deuteronomy, ibid. states: "You shall not see the donkey of your brother... and conceal yourself...."


וְלֹא יִפְרֹק וְיַנִּיחֶנּוּ נִבְהָל וְיֵלֵךְ אֶלָּא יָקִים עִמּוֹ וְיַחְזֹר וְיִטְעֹן מַשָּׂאוֹ עָלֶיהָ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ד) "הָקֵם תָּקִים עִמּוֹ" זוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה אַחֶרֶת. וְאִם הִנִּיחוֹ נִבְהָל וְלֹא פָּרַק וְלֹא טָעַן בִּטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה וְעָבַר עַל מִצְוַת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כב ד) "לֹא תִרְאֶה אֶת חֲמוֹר אָחִיךָ":


When a priest sees an animal fallen in a cemetery, he should not contract ritual impurity to unload and reload it, just as he does not contract ritual impurity to return a lost article.

Similarly, if he is an elder, whose practice is not to unload and load animals, since this is beneath his dignity he is not liable.


הָיָה כֹּהֵן וְהַבְּהֵמָה רוֹבֶצֶת בְּבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת אֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא לָהּ כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא לְהֶשֵּׁב אֲבֵדָה. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה זָקֵן שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לִטְעֹן וְלִפְרֹק הוֹאִיל וְאֵינָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ פָּטוּר:


This is the general principle: If the animal were his own and he would unload and reload it, he is obligated to unload and reload it for a colleague.

If he is pious and goes beyond the measure of the law, even if he is a great nasi, and sees an animal belonging to a colleague fallen under a load of straw, reeds or the like, he should unload and load it with its owner.


זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיְתָה שֶׁלּוֹ הָיָה טוֹעֵן וּפוֹרֵק הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לִטְעֹן וְלִפְרֹק בְּשֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה חָסִיד וְעוֹשֶׂה לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַנָּשִׂיא הַגָּדוֹל וְרָאָה בֶּהֱמַת חֲבֵרוֹ רוֹבֶצֶת תַּחַת מַשָּׂאָה שֶׁל תֶּבֶן אוֹ קָנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן פּוֹרֵק וְטוֹעֵן עִמּוֹ:


If one unloaded and reloaded the animal, and it fell again, one is obligated to unload and reload it another time, indeed even 100 times, This is indicated by the verbs עזוב תעזוב and הקם תקים in the proof-texts cited above.

For this reason, one must accompany the animal for a parsah, unless the owner of the burden says that it is not necessary.


פָּרַק וְטָעַן וְחָזְרָה וְנָפְלָה חַיָּב לִטְעֹן וְלִפְרֹק פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה פְּעָמִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג ה) "עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב" (דברים כב ד) "הָקֵם תָּקִים עִמּוֹ". לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְהִדַּדּוֹת עִמּוֹ עַד פַּרְסָה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן אוֹמֵר לוֹ בַּעַל הַמַּשָּׂא אֵינִי צָרִיךְ לְךָ:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


When does one become obligated to unload and reload together with its owner? When he sees the fallen animal in a way that can be described as an encounter. For Exodus 23:5 states "When you see your colleague's donkey..." and the previous verse states: "When you encounter...."

How far a distance is implied? Our Sages determined it as being a distance of 266 2/3 cubits - i.e., 1/7.5 of a mil. If a person was further away from a fallen animal, he is not obligated.


מֵאֵימָתַי יִתְחַיֵּב לִפְרֹק וְלִטְעֹן עִמּוֹ. מִשֶּׁיִּרְאֵהוּ רְאִיָּה שֶׁהִיא כִּפְגִיעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר (שמות כג ה) "כִּי תִרְאֶה" וְנֶאֱמַר (שמות כג ד) "כִּי תִפְגַּע". וְכַמָּה. שִׁעֲרוּ חֲכָמִים מִשֶּׁיִּהְיֶה בֵּינֵיהֶם מָאתַיִם וְשִׁשִּׁים וְשֵׁשׁ אַמָּה וּשְׁנֵי שְׁלִישֵׁי אַמָּה שֶׁהוּא אֶחָד מִשִּׁבְעָה וּמֶחֱצָה בְּמִיל. הָיָה רָחוֹק מִמֶּנּוּ יֶתֶר מִזֶּה אֵינוֹ זָקוּק לוֹ:


It is a mitzvah from the Torah to unload an animal without charge. Loading it, however, is a mitzvah for which one may charge. Similarly, for the time when one accompanies the animal for a parsah, one may receive payment.


מִצְוָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה לִפְרֹק עִמּוֹ בְּחִנָּם. אֲבָל לִטְעֹן עָלָיו הֲרֵי זוֹ מִצְוָה וְנוֹטֵל שְׂכָרוֹ. וְכֵן בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּדַדֶּה עִמּוֹ עַד פַּרְסָה יֵשׁ לוֹ שָׂכָר:


If one finds an animal belonging to a colleague fallen under its load, it is a mitzvah to unload and reload it even if its owner is not present, for "You shall certainly help" and "You shall certainly lift up..." implies that one must fulfill these mitzvot in all situations.

If so, why does the Torah say "together with him" i.e., the animal's owner? To teach that if the owner of the animal was there and goes off to the side, telling the passerby, "Since you have a mitzvah, if you would like to unload it yourself, unload it," the passerby is not obligated. This is implied by "together with him."

If the owner of the animal was old or ailing, the passerby is obligated to load and unload the animal by himself.


מָצָא בֶּהֱמַת חֲבֵרוֹ רְבוּצָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הַבְּעָלִים עִמָּהּ מִצְוָה לִפְרֹק מֵעָלֶיהָ וְלִטְעֹן עָלֶיהָ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג ה) "עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב" (דברים כב ד) "הָקֵם תָּקִים" מִכָּל מָקוֹם. אִם כֵּן לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר עִמּוֹ שֶׁאִם הָיָה בַּעַל הַבְּהֵמָה שָׁם וְהָלַךְ וְיָשַׁב לוֹ וְאָמַר לָזֶה שֶׁפָּגַע בּוֹ הוֹאִיל וְעָלֶיךָ מִצְוָה אִם רָצִיתָ לִפְרֹק לְבַדְּךָ פְּרֹק הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג ה) "עִמּוֹ". וְאִם הָיָה בַּעַל הַבְּהֵמָה זָקֵן אוֹ חוֹלֶה חַיָּב לִטְעֹן וְלִפְרֹק לְבַדּוֹ:


The following rules apply when the animal [that has fallen] is owned by a gentile, but the burden it is carrying is owned by a Jew. If the gentile is the one driving his donkey, one is not obligated toward him. If not, one is obligated to unload and reload it because of the distress suffered by the Jew.

Similarly, if the animal that has fallen is owned by a Jew, but the burden it is carrying is owned by a gentile, one is obligated to unload and reload it because of the distress suffered by the Jew.

When, however, both the animal and the burden are owned by a gentile, a passerby is not obligated to concern himself with the animal, unless there is the possibility that animosity will be aroused.


בֶּהֱמַת הָעַכּוּ''ם וְהַמַּשָּׂא שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם הָיָה הָעַכּוּ''ם מְחַמֵּר אַחֵר בְּהֶמְתּוֹ אֵינוֹ זָקוּק לָהּ. וְאִם לָאו חַיָּב לִפְרֹק וְלִטְעֹן מִשּׁוּם צַעַר יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה הַבְּהֵמָה שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַמַּשּׂוֹי שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם חַיָּב לִפְרֹק וְלִטְעֹן מִשּׁוּם צַעַר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבָל בֶּהֱמַת הָעַכּוּ''ם וּמַשָּׂאוֹ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהִטַּפֵּל בָּהֶן אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם אֵיבָה:


When the legs of a donkey owned by one of the donkey drivers in a caravan are shaky, his colleagues may not proceed and pass before him. If it falls, the other donkey drivers may pass him.


חַמָּרִים שֶׁרַגְלָיו שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶן רְעוּעוֹת אֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין חֲבֵרָיו לְהַקְדִּים וְלַעֲבֹר מֵעָלָיו. נָפַל רַשָּׁאִין לַעֲבֹר מֵעָלָיו:


If one donkey was laden with a burden, and another was carrying a rider, and the way became too narrow for both of them, the rider must move to the side to allow the laden donkey to proceed.

If one donkey was laden with a burden, and another was burden-less, the burden-less one must move to the side to allow the laden donkey to proceed. If one was carrying a rider, and another was burden-less, the burden-less one must move to the side to allow the donkey carrying a rider to proceed.

if both are laden with burdens, carrying riders or burden-less, the owners should negotiate a compromise.


הָיָה אֶחָד טָעוּן וְאֶחָד רוֹכֵב וּדְחָקָן הַדֶּרֶךְ. מַעֲבִירִין אֶת הָרוֹכֵב מִפְּנֵי הַטָּעוּן. אֶחָד טָעוּן וְאֶחָד רֵיקָן מַעֲבִירִין אֶת הָרֵיקָן מִפְּנֵי הַטָּעוּן. אֶחָד רָכוּב וְאֶחָד רֵיקָן מַעֲבִירִין אֶת הָרֵיקָן מִפְּנֵי הָרָכוּב. שְׁנֵיהֶן טְעוּנִין שְׁנֵיהֶן רוֹכְבִין שְׁנֵיהֶן רֵיקָנִין עוֹשִׂין פְּשָׁרָה בֵּינֵיהֶן:


Similarly, there are criteria laid down when two ships that are passing through the same straits confront each other, and if they both try to pass at the same time they would sink, but they could pass one by one, or when two camels that are climbing a high pass confront each other, and if they both try to pass at the same time they would fall, but they could pass one by one.

What should they do? If one was carrying cargo, and another was burden-less, the burden-less one should move to the side in favor of the one that was carrying cargo. If one was close to the port or city from which it set out and one was further removed, the one that was closer should move to the side in favor of the one that was further removed.

If they are both far removed, both close or both laden with cargo, and they both share the same difficulty, they should come to a compromise and reach a financial settlement between themselves. With regard to such situations, it is said Leviticus 19:15: "Judge your colleague with righteousness."


וְכֵן שְׁתֵּי סְפִינוֹת הָעוֹבְרוֹת וּפוֹגְעוֹת זוֹ בָּזוֹ אִם עוֹבְרוֹת שְׁתֵּיהֶן בְּבַת אַחַת טוֹבְעוֹת וְאִם בָּזוֹ אַחַר זוֹ עוֹבְרוֹת. וְכֵן שְׁנֵי גְּמַלִּים הָעוֹלִים בְּמַעֲלֶה גָּבוֹהַּ וּפָגְעוּ זֶה בָּזֶה אִם עוֹבְרִין שְׁנֵיהֶם בְּבַת אַחַת נוֹפְלִין וְאִם בָּזֶה אַחַר זֶה עוֹלִין. כֵּיצַד הֵן עוֹשִׂין. טְעוּנָה וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ טְעוּנָה תִּדָּחֶה שֶׁאֵינָהּ טְעוּנָה מִפְּנֵי הַטְּעוּנָה. קְרוֹבָה וּרְחוֹקָה תִּדָּחֶה קְרוֹבָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָהּ קְרוֹבָה. שְׁתֵּיהֶן רְחוֹקוֹת אוֹ קְרוֹבוֹת אוֹ טְעוּנוֹת הוֹאִיל וְכֻלָּן בְּדֹחַק אֶחָד הַטֵּל פְּשָׁרָה בֵּינֵיהֶן וְהֵן מַעֲלוֹת שָׂכָר זֶה לָזֶה. וּבָזֶה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ נֶאֱמַר (ויקרא יט טו) "בְּצֶדֶק תִּשְׁפֹּט עֲמִיתֶךָ":


When a person encounters two individuals: one whose donkey is fallen under its load and one with a donkey whose burden has been unloaded, but who cannot find anyone to help him reload it, it is a mitzvah to unload the fallen donkey first, because of the discomfort suffered by the animal. Afterwards, he should reload the other animal.

When does the above apply? When the two people he encounters are both friends or both enemies. If, however, the one whose donkey must be reloaded is an enemy and the other is a friend, it is a mitzvah for the passerby to reload his enemy's donkey first, in order to subjugate his evil inclination.


הַפּוֹגֵעַ בִּשְׁנַיִם אֶחָד רוֹבֵץ תַּחַת מַשָּׂאוֹ וְאֶחָד פָּרַק מֵעָלָיו וְלֹא מָצָא מִי שֶׁיִּטְעֹן עִמּוֹ. מִצְוָה לִפְרֹק בַּתְּחִלָּה מִשּׁוּם צַעַר בַּעֲלֵי חַיִּים וְאַחַר כָּךְ טוֹעֵן. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם שׂוֹנְאִים אוֹ אוֹהֲבִים. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה אֶחָד שׂוֹנֵא וְאֶחָד אוֹהֵב מִצְוָה לִטְעֹן עִם הַשּׂוֹנֵא תְּחִלָּה כְּדֵי לָכֹף אֶת יִצְרוֹ הָרַע:


The enemy mentioned in the Torah is not a gentile, but rather a Jew.

One might ask: How is it possible for one Jew to hate another? Is it not written Leviticus 19:17: "Do not hate your brother in your heart"?

Our Sages explained that this is referring to a person who while alone sees a colleague violate a transgression and rebukes him, but the colleague did not cease transgressing. In such an instance, it is a mitzvah to hate the person until he repents and abandons his wickedness.

Even if he did not repent yet, if one sees him in panic because of his cargo, it is a mitzvah to unload and reload with him, instead of leaving him inclined toward death, lest he tarry because of his money and be brought to danger. For the Torah showed concern for the lives of the Jewish people, both the wicked and the righteous, for they are attached to God and believe in the fundamentals of our faith. And Ezekiel 33:11 states: "Say to them, 'As I live,' says God, the Lord, 'Do I desire the death of a wicked man? I desire that the wicked return from his path and live.'


הַשּׂוֹנֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בַּתּוֹרָה לֹא מֵאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם הוּא אֶלָּא מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. וְהֵיאַךְ יִהְיֶה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שׂוֹנֵא מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְהַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר (ויקרא יט יז) "לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ". אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים כְּגוֹן שֶׁרָאָהוּ לְבַדּוֹ שֶׁעָבַר עֲבֵרָה וְהִתְרָה בּוֹ וְלֹא חָזַר הֲרֵי זֶה מִצְוָה לְשָׂנְאוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה תְּשׁוּבָה וְיָשׁוּב מֵרִשְׁעוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא עָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה אִם מְצָאוֹ נִבְהָל בְּמַשָּׂאוֹ מִצְוָה לִטְעֹן וְלִפְרֹק עִמּוֹ וְלֹא יַנִּיחֶנּוּ נוֹטֶה לָמוּת שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁהֶה בִּשְׁבִיל מָמוֹנוֹ וְיָבוֹא לִידֵי סַכָּנָה. וְהַתּוֹרָה הִקְפִּידָה עַל נַפְשׁוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל. בֵּין רְשָׁעִים בֵּין צַדִּיקִים. מֵאַחַר שֶׁהֵם נִלְוִים אֶל ה' וּמַאֲמִינִים בְּעִקַּר הַדָּת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יחזקאל לג יא) "אֱמֹר אֲלֵיהֶם חַי אָנִי נְאֻם ה' אֱלֹהִים אִם אֶחְפֹּץ בְּמוֹת הָרָשָׁע כִּי אִם בְּשׁוּב רָשָׁע מִדַּרְכּוֹ וְחָיָה".

Blessed be God who grants assistance.

This concludes the eleventh book with the help of the Almighty.

The amount of chapters in this book are 62:
Hilchot Nizkei Mammon - 14 chapters.
Hilchot Geneivah - 9 chapters.
Hilchot Gezelah Va'Avedah - 18 chapters.
Hilchot Chovel UMazik - 8 chapters.
Hilchot Rotzeach USh'mirat HaNefesh - 13 chapters.

בְּרִיךְ רַחֲמָנָא דְּסַיְּעָן

נגמר ספר אחד עשר בעזרת שד-י

ומניין פרקים שלספר זה שנים וששים:
הלכות נזקי ממון - ארבעה עשר פרקים
הלכות גנבה - תשעה פרקים
הלכות גזלה ואבדה - שמונה עשר פרקים
הלכות חובל ומזיק - שמונה פרקים
הלכות רוצח ושמירת נפש - שלשה עשר פרקים