1

If you meet your neighbor on the road and his animal is lying underneath its load, whether its burden was a proper load for it, or it was burdened with a load that was too heavy for it, it is a mitzvah to assist him to unload the burden, as it is said, "You shall surely help him."1 After you have helped unload the burden, you should not leave your neighbor in distress, and go on your way, but you should help him reload it, as it is said, "You shall surely help him lift it up again."2 If you leave your neighbor, and did not help him in unloading and loading, you have neglected to perform an affirmative command, and have transgressed a negative command, as it is said, "You shall not see the donkey of your neighbor [or his ox fallen down by the way and conceal yourself.]"3

א

מִי שֶׁפָּגַע בַּחֲבֵרוֹ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וּבְהֶמְתּוֹ רוֹבֶצֶת תַּחַת מַשָּׂאָהּ, בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה עָלֶיהָ מַשָּׂא הָרָאוּי לָהּ, בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה עָלֶיהָ יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶׁרָאוּי לָהּ, הֲרֵי זֶה מְצֻוֶה לְסַיְעוֹ לִפְרֹק מֵעָלֶיהָ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב עִמּוֹ. וּלְאַחַר שֶׁפָּרַק, לֹא יַנִּיחַ אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בְּצַעַר וְיֵלֵךְ לוֹ, אֶלָּא יַעֲזוֹר לוֹ לַחֲזוֹר וְלִטְעוֹן עָלֶיהָ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, הָקֵם תָּקִים. וְאִם הִנִּיחַ אֶת חַבֵרוֹ וְלֹא פָרַק וְלֹא טָעַן, בִּטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה וְעָבַר עַל מִצְוַת לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, לֹא תִרְאֶה אֶת חֲמוֹר אָחִיךָ וְגוֹ'.

2

If after you helped to unload and reload, the animal fell down again, you must help unload and reload again, even a hundred times, as it is said, "You shall surely help"4 (and) "You shall surely help him lift it up."5 Therefore, you must go with him a distance of a parsah,6 as he might need your help again, unless the owner of the load tells you, "I no longer need your help."

ב

פָּרַק וְטָעַן וְחָזַר וְנָפַל, חַיָב לִפְרֹק וְלִטְעֹן פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת, וַאֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה פְעָמִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב, הָקֵם תָּקִים עִמּוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לֵילֵךְ עִמּוֹ עַד פַּרְסָה, שֶׁמָּא יִצְטָרֵךְ לוֹ, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן אוֹמֵר לוֹ בַּעַל הַמַּשָּׂא, אֵינִי צָרִיךְ לָךְ.

3

The unloading must be done gratis, but you are not obliged to reload unless he is willing to compensate you and he must also compensate you for accompanying him.

ג

מִצְוַת פְּרִיקָה, צָרִיךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּחִנָּם. אֲבָל לִטְעֹן, אֵינוֹ מְחֻיָב אֶלָּא בְּשָׂכָר, וְכֵן בְּעַד מַה שֶּׁהוֹלֵךְ עִמּוֹ, מְחֻיָב לְֹשַלֵּם לוֹ.

4

If the animal belongs to a non-Jew, and the non-Jew was driving the animal, whether the load belongs to a Jew, or it belongs to a non-Jew, you are only obliged to help unload because of the suffering of the animal, and you may receive compensation for it. But you are not at all obliged to help him reload, unless it would cause animosity. If the non-Jew is not present, and a Jew drives the animal, you must also help him reload, because of the distress to the Jew. If the animal belongs to a Jew and the load belongs to a non-Jew, you are obliged to help unload and reload because of the distress of the Jew.

ד

בֶּהֱמַת גוֹי, אִם הָיָה הַגּוֹי מְחַמֵּר אַחַר בְּהֶמְתּוֹ, בֵּין שֶׁהַמַּשָׂא הוּא שֶׁל יִשְֹרָאֵל בֵּין שֶׁהוּא שֶׁל גּוֹי, אֵינוֹ חַיָב, רַק לִפְרֹק, מִשּׁוּם צַעַר בַּעֲלֵי חַיִּים, וְיָכוֹל לְקַבֵּל שָׂכָר עַל זֶה. אֲבָל לִטְעֹן, אֵינוֹ חַיָב כְּלָל, רַק אִי אִיכָּא מִשּׁוּם אֵיבָה. וְאִם אֵין שָׁם גּוֹי, אֶלָּא יִשְֹרָאֵל מְחַמֵּר אַחַר הַבְּהֵמָה, חַיָב גַּם כֵּן לִטְעֹן מִשּׁוּם צַעַר הַיִשְֹרָאֵל. וְכֵן בֶּהֱמַת יִשְֹרָאֵל וְהַמַּשָּׂא שֶׁל גּוֹי, חַיָב לִפְרֹק וְלִטְעֹן מִשּׁוּם צַעַר הַיִשְֹרָאֵל.

5

It is written,7 "If you see the donkey of your enemy lying under its burden," etc. This "enemy" does not refer to a non-Jew. (They are not included in the command regarding loading and unloading, unless the animal suffers), but it refers to a Jew. And how can one Jew hate another Jew since the Torah states, "You shall not hate your brother in your heart"?8 The Sages said: "For instance: if you actually saw him transgress a law, and warned him against it, and he did not desist, it is a mitzvah to hate him until he repents,9 and abandons his wickedness. Even though he has not yet repented, if you find him in distress on the account of his load, it is a mitzvah to help him unload and reload, and not leave him without help, for he may stay there out of concern for his money and may endanger his life." The Torah is concerned regarding Jewish lives, whether they are wicked or righteous, so long as they cleave to Hashem, and believe in the principal tenets of our religion, as it is said, "Say to them: as I live says Hashem Elokim, I do not desire the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live."10

ה

כְּתִיב, כִּי תִרְאֶה חֲמוֹר שׂנַאֲךָ רֹבֵץ תַּחַת מַשָּׂאוֹ וְגוֹ', שׂוֹנֵא זֶה לֹא מֵהַגּוֹיִם הוּא, (שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָם בְּמִצְוַת טְעִינָה וּפְרִיקָה, אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם צַעַר בַּעֲלֵי חַיִּים), אֶלָּא מִיִשְֹרָאֵל. וְהֵיאַךְ יִהְיֶה יִשְֹרָאֵל שׂוֹנֵא לְיִשְֹרָאֵל, וְהַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר, לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים, כְּגוֹן שֶׁהוּא לְבַדּוֹ רָאָהוּ שֶׁעָבַר עֲבֵרָה, וְהִתְרָה בוֹ וְלֹא חָזַר, הֲרֵי מְצֻוֶּה לִשְׂנֹאתוֹ עַד שֶׁיַעֲשֶה תְשׁוּבָה וְיָשׁוּב מֵרִשְׁעָתוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא עָשָׂה תְשׁוּבָה, אִם מְצָאוֹ בְּצַעַר עַל מַשָּׂאוֹ, מִצְוָה לִפְרֹק וְלִטְעֹן עִמּוֹ וְלֹא יַנִּיחֶנּוּ כָּךְ, כִּי שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁהֶה בִּשְׁבִיל מָמוֹנוֹ וְיָבוֹא לִידֵי סַכָּנָה, וְהַתּוֹרָה הִקְפִּידָה עַל נַפְשׁוֹת יִשְֹרָאֵל, בֵּין רְשָׁעִים בֵּין צַדִּיקִים, מֵאַחַר שֶׁהֵם נִלְוִים אֶל ה' וּמַאֲמִינִים בְעִקַּר הַדָּת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, אֱמוֹר אֲלֵיהֶם חַי אָנִי נְאֻם ה' אֱלֹהִים אִם אֶחְפֹּץ בְּמוֹת הָרָשָׁע כִּי אִם בְּשׁוּב רָשָׁע מִדַרְכּוֹ וְחָיָה.

6

If a group was traveling together, and it happened to one of them that the legs of his donkey became lame, the other members of the group are not permitted to depart with their donkeys and leave him alone on the road. However, if his donkey fell down, and is unable to continue the journey, they are permitted to leave him, and need not tarry for his sake longer than is reasonable. Also, a group traveling in vehicles, if one of them broke down, and requires a short time to repair, the rest of the group are not permitted to depart from him, unless they would be detained beyond a reasonable amount of time.

ו

בְּנֵי חֲבוּרָה שֶׁאֵרַע לְאֶחָד מֵהֶם שֶׁרַגְלֵי חֲמוֹרוֹ רָעוּעוֹת, אֵין בְּנֵי חֲבוּרָה רַשָּׁאִים לִפָּרֵד עִם חֲמוֹרֵיהֶם וּלְהַנִּיחוֹ לְבַדּוֹ בַדָּרֶך. אֲבָל אִם נָפַל חֲמוֹרוֹ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל עוֹד לֵילֵךְ כְּלָל, רַשָּׁאִים לִפָּרֵד מִמֶּנּוּ, וְאֵין צְרִיכִין לְהִתְעַכֵּב בִּשְׁבִילוֹ יוֹתֵר מִדָּי. וְכֵן בְּנֵי חֲבוּרָה שֶׁנּוֹסְעִין בַּעֲגָלוֹת, וְאֵרַע לְאֶחָד מֵהֶם אֵיזֶה קִלְקוּל, שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִשְׁהוֹת מְעַט לְתַקֵן, אֵין חֲבֵרָיו רַשָּׁאִים לִפָּרֵד מִמֶּנּוּ, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן צָרִיךְ לְהִתְעַכֵּב הַרְבֵּה יוֹתֵר מִדָּי.