[The following rules apply when] an ox breaks loose and causes damage after its owner had tied it with a rope and locked it [in a corral] in an acceptable manner.1 If it is a tam, he is required to pay only half the damages. If it is mu'ad, he is not liable at all,2 as [implied by Exodus 21:29]: "[If the owners were warned,] and they did not guard him." [One can infer that] if they did guard, they are not liable. [And in the above instance, the ox] was guarded.3 Similarly, if an ox caused damage through an activity for which he is mu'ad at the outset - e.g., it ate a type of food that it usually eats or it broke objects by treading on them - [the owner] is not liable [in the above instance].


שׁוֹר שֶׁקְּשָׁרוֹ בְּעָלָיו בְּמוֹסֵרָה וְנָעַל בְּפָנָיו כָּרָאוּי וְיָצָא וְהִזִּיק. אִם תָּם הוּא מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק. וְאִם הָיָה מוּעָד פָּטוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לו) "וְלֹא יִשְׁמְרֶנּוּ" הָא אִם שְׁמָרוֹ פָּטוּר וְשָׁמוּר הוּא זֶה. וְכֵן אִם הִזִּיק בְּדָבָר שֶׁהוּא מוּעָד לוֹ מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָכַל דְּבָרִים הָרְאוּיִים לוֹ אוֹ שָׁבַר בְּרַגְלָיו בְּדֶרֶךְ הִלּוּכוֹ פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּם:


If the ox has been classified as mu'ad with regard to its right horn, but it is not mu'ad with regard to its left horn, and it got loose after it had been guarded in an acceptable manner, [the owner is required to] pay half the damages.4 [This applies] regardless of whether it gored with its right horn or its left horn.


הָיָה מוּעָד לְקֶרֶן יָמִין וְאֵינוֹ מוּעָד לְקֶרֶן שְׂמֹאל וְיָצָא אַחַר שֶׁשְּׁמָרוֹ כָּרָאוּי וְנָגַח בֵּין בְּקֶרֶן יָמִין בֵּין בִּשְׂמֹאל מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק:


[The following rules apply when] an animal injures a human being, whether intentionally or unintentionally. If the animal is a tam, half the damages must be paid from the body of the animal. If it is mu'ad, [the owner] must pay the entire amount of the damages.5 He is, however, not liable for compensation for unemployment, embarrassment, pain and medical expenses. For the Torah required redress for these matters only when one person injured a colleague.6 When, by contrast, it is an animal which caused the injury, it is as if [the animal] damaged the person's property, and [the owner] is liable for only half of the damages. For this reason, if a person's ox causes [another individual] embarrassment, he is not liable. If, however, he causes that embarrassment himself, he is liable, as will be explained.7If a person's ox injures his father or mother, or it sets fire to a person's grain heap on the Sabbath, [the owner] is liable, although if the person performed these same actions himself, he would not be liable.8


בְּהֵמָה שֶׁחָבְלָה בְּאָדָם בֵּין בְּכַוָּנָה בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בְּכַוָּנָה. אִם תַּמָּה הִיא מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק מִגּוּפָהּ וְאִם מוּעֶדֶת הִיא מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. וּפָטוּר מִן הַשֶּׁבֶת וּמִן הַבּשֶׁת וּמִן הַצַּעַר וּמִן הָרִפּוּי. שֶׁאַרְבָּעָה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ לֹא חִיְּבָה בָּהֶן תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא בְּאָדָם שֶׁחָבַל בַּחֲבֵרוֹ אֲבָל בְּהֵמָה שֶׁחָבְלָה בָּאָדָם הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁהִזִּיקָה מָמוֹנוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא חֲצִי נֵזֶק בִּלְבַד. לְפִיכָךְ שׁוֹרוֹ שֶׁבִּיֵּשׁ פָּטוּר וְאִם בִּיֵּשׁ הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ חַיָּב כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. וְשׁוֹרוֹ שֶׁחָבַל בְּאָבִיו אוֹ בְּאִמּוֹ אוֹ שֶׁהִדְלִיק גְּדִישׁ חֲבֵרוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת חַיָּב בִּנְזָקִין וְאִלּוּ הָיָה הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ הָעוֹשֶׂה זֶה פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:


[The following rules apply when] a person brings his ox into a courtyard belonging to another person without his permission. If the [uninvited ox] was gored by an ox belonging to the owner or bitten by the owner's dog, the owner is not liable. If the [uninvited ox] gored an ox belonging to the owner [of the courtyard], [the owner of the uninvited ox is liable.] If [his ox] is tam, [its owner] must pay half the damages. If it is mu'ad, he must pay the entire damages, as if it had gored [the other ox] in the public domain.9


הַמַּכְנִיס שׁוֹרוֹ לַחֲצַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת וּנְגָחוֹ שׁוֹרוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹ נְשָׁכוֹ כַּלְבּוֹ פָּטוּר. וְאִם נָגַח הוּא שׁוֹר שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת. אִם הָיָה תָּם מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק וְאִם הָיָה מוּעָד מְשַׁלֵּם נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם כְּדִין הַנּוֹגֵחַ בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים:


[In the above situation, the following rules apply if the uninvited ox] falls into a cistern in this courtyard and spoils its water. If it spoiled the water immediately upon falling within,10 [the owner of the ox] is liable for the loss caused by the ruining of the water. If [the water] was not spoiled until afterwards,11 [the owner] is not liable. [The rationale is that] the ox is considered to be an obstruction in the cistern, and the water is considered to be a utensil. And one is never liable for damage to utensils caused by an obstruction.12 If [the owner of the ox received] permission to bring in his ox, the owner of the ox is not liable for any damage the ox caused.13 If the owner of the courtyard accepted responsibility for the ox,14 he is liable for the damages it suffers from falling into the cistern.


נָפַל לְבוֹר שֶׁבְּחָצֵר זוֹ וְהִבְאִישׁ אֶת מֵימָיו. אִם הִבְאִישׁ אֶת מֵימָיו מִיָּד בִּשְׁעַת נְפִילָה חַיָּב בְּנִזְקֵי הַמַּיִם. וְאִם אַחַר זְמַן פָּטוּר. שֶׁהֲרֵי נַעֲשָׂה הַשּׁוֹר תַּקָּלָה כְּבוֹר וְהַמַּיִם הֲרֵי הֵן כְּכֵלִים וְלֹא מָצִינוּ בּוֹר שֶׁחִיֵּב בּוֹ אֶת הַכֵּלִים. וְאִם הִכְנִיס בִּרְשׁוּת בַּעַל הַשּׁוֹר פָּטוּר. וְאִם קִבֵּל עָלָיו בַּעַל הַבַּיִת לִשְׁמֹר הֲרֵי הוּא חַיָּב בְּנֵזֶק הַשּׁוֹר שֶׁנָּפַל לַבּוֹר:

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.


[The following rules also apply when] a person brings his ox into a courtyard belonging to another person without his permission. If the [uninvited ox] injures the owner of the courtyard, the owner of the courtyard suffers injury [because of the ox], or [the ox] digs pits or trenches, or burrows in the courtyard, the owner of the ox is liable for the damage to the courtyard [or to the owner]. [If another person] is injured because of these pits,15 the owner of the courtyard is liable, for it is his responsibility to fill them up.


הִכְנִיס שׁוֹרוֹ לַחֲצַר בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת וְהִזִּיק אֶת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת. אוֹ שֶׁהֻזַּק בּוֹ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת. אוֹ שֶׁחָפַר בֶּחָצֵר בּוֹרוֹת שִׁיחִין וּמְעָרוֹת. בַּעַל הַשּׁוֹר חַיָּב בְּנִזְקֵי חָצֵר וּבַעַל חָצֵר חַיָּב בְּנִזְקֵי הַבּוֹר שֶׁהֲרֵי עָלָיו לְסָתְמוֹ:


[The following rules apply if] the owner of the courtyard damaged the ox: If he caused the damage unknowingly, he is not liable. For he can tell [the owner of the ox], "Why did you bring [your ox] in without permission. I was not aware of it until I [damaged it] unknowingly."16 If he caused the damage knowingly, he is liable for the full extent of the damage. He has the right to take the [intruding animal] out of his property; he does not have the right to damage it.


הִזִּיק בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֶת הַשּׁוֹר. אִם הִזִּיקוֹ שֶׁלֹּא לְדַעַת פָּטוּר. שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמְרִין לוֹ לָמָּה נִכְנַסְתָּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּרְשׁוּת. שֶׁלֹּא יָדַעְתִּי עַד שֶׁשָּׁגַגְתִּי בְּךָ. וְאִם הִזִּיקוֹ לְדַעַת חַיָּב נֵזֶק שָׁלֵם. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ רְשׁוּת לְהוֹצִיאוֹ מֵרְשׁוּתוֹ אֲבָל לְהַזִּיקוֹ אֵין לוֹ רְשׁוּת:


We evaluate the amount of damages caused. What is implied? If either a person or his ox broke a utensil belonging to a colleague, we do not tell the person who caused the damage, "Take the broken utensil and pay its worth to its owner."17 Instead, we evaluate the loss caused to the utensil. This amount is paid by the person who caused the damage. [If the damage was caused by his ox, and the ox] was mu'ad, he is liable for the full amount of the damages. If it is tam, he is liable for half the damages. [This is implied by Exodus 21:36]: "And the carcass will be his" - i.e., it belongs to the one whose property was damaged. If the carcass loses value, the person whose property was damaged suffers the loss. If its value rises, the increase is divided between the person who caused the damage and the person whose property was damaged.


שָׁמִין לִנְזָקִין. כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁשָּׁבַר כְּלִי שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ בֵּין הוּא בֵּין בְּהֶמְתּוֹ אֵין אוֹמְרִין לַמַּזִּיק קַח אַתָּה הַכְּלִי הַשָּׁבוּר וְשַׁלֵּם לָזֶה דְּמֵי הַכְּלִי אֶלָּא אוֹמְדִין כַּמָּה פָּחַת הַכְּלִי מִדָּמָיו וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ כָּל הַפְּחָת אִם הַמַּזִּיק מוּעָד אוֹ חֲצִי הַפְּחָת אִם הָיָה תָּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לד) "וְהַמֵּת יִהְיֶה לּוֹ" לַנִּזָּק. פְּחַת הַנְּבֵלָה עַל הַנִּזָּק. וְשֶׁבַח הַנְּבֵלָה חוֹלְקִין אוֹתוֹ הַנִּזָּק וְהַמַּזִּיק:


What is implied? When an ox that is worth 200 [zuz] is gored and dies - its carcass was worth 100 [zuz] at the time of its death,18 but at the time of the trial, it decreased in value and was worth only 80. [In such an instance,] the person whose [ox] caused the damage is required to pay only 100 [zuz],19 if [the ox] was mu'ad. If it was a tam, the owner is required to pay only 50 [zuz] from the body of the ox.


כֵּיצַד. שׁוֹר שָׁוֵה מָאתַיִם שֶׁנְּגָחוּהוּ וּמֵת וַהֲרֵי הַנְּבֵלָה שָׁוָה בִּשְׁעַת מִיתָה מֵאָה וּבִשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין פָּחֲתָה וַהֲרֵי שָׁוָה שְׁמוֹנִים. אֵין הַמַּזִּיק מְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא מֵאָה אִם הָיָה מוּעָד. וְאִם הָיָה תָּם מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים מִגּוּפוֹ:


If the value of the carcass increased, and it is worth 120 [zuz] at the time of the trial, the one who caused the damage must pay 9020 if the ox was mu'ad, and 45 from the body of the ox if it was a tam. [This is implied by Exodus 21:35]: "And they shall also divide the dead [ox]" - i.e., they shall divide the profit from the dead ox.21


הִשְׁבִּיחָה הַנְּבֵלָה וַהֲרֵי הִיא שָׁוָה בִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים. הֲרֵי הַמַּזִּיק מְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ תִּשְׁעִים אִם הָיָה מוּעָד. וְאִם הָיָה תָּם מְשַׁלֵּם אַרְבָּעִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה מִגּוּפוֹ וְזֶהוּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לה) "וְגַם אֶת הַמֵּת יֶחֱצוּן" [שֶׁבַח הַמֵּת יֶחֱצוּן]:


[The amount that the person whose ox caused the damage must pay is subject to change in some, but not in all, circumstances. To illustrate:] An ox that was worth 200 [zuz] gored another ox worth 200 [zuz], causing it to depreciate 50 [zuz]. At the time of the trial, its value increased and it was worth 400 zuz. If, however, it had not been gored, it would have been worth 800 [zuz]. Whether its value increased because it was fattened or because of market fluctuations,22 the damages are evaluated according to the loss at the time the damage took place.23 If the ox became weak because of the injury it received and the damages amounted to 100 zuz at the time of the trial, the damages are evaluated according to the loss at the time of the trial.24


שׁוֹר שָׁוֶה מָאתַיִם שֶׁנָּגַח שׁוֹר שָׁוֶה מָאתַיִם וְהִפְחִיתוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים וּבִשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין הִשְׁבִּיחַ הַנִּזָּק וַהֲרֵי הוּא שָׁוֶה אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת זוּז וְאִלּוּלֵא הַנְּגִיחָה שֶׁהִפְחִיתוֹ הָיָה שָׁוֶה שְׁמוֹנֶה מֵאוֹת. בֵּין שֶׁפִּטְּמוֹ בֵּין שֶׁשִּׁבֵּחַ מֵאֵלָיו אֵין נוֹתֵן אֶלָּא כִּשְׁעַת הַנֵּזֶק. כִּחֵשׁ מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה בִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין וַהֲרֵי הַפְּחָת שָׁוֶה מֵאָה נוֹתֵן לוֹ כִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין:


[The following rules apply if] the value of the ox that caused the damage increased at the time of the trial.25 If its value increased because the owner fattened it, only its value at the time it caused the damage is considered to be on lien for payment.26 If its value increased because of market fluctuations, half of the damages may be collected from its value at the time of the trial.27


הִשְׁבִּיחַ הַמַּזִּיק בִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין. אִם מֵחֲמַת שֶׁפִּטְּמוֹ שִׁבֵּחַ אֵינוֹ מִשְׁתַּלֵּם מִמֶּנּוּ אֶלָּא מַה שֶּׁהָיָה שָׁוֶה בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהִזִּיק. וְאִם מֵחֲמַת עַצְמוֹ הִשְׁבִּיחַ מִשְׁתַּלֵּם חֲצִי נֵזֶק מִמֶּנּוּ כֻּלּוֹ כִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין:


It is the responsibility of the person who caused the damage to make the effort to bring the carcass of the ox that was damaged to the person [whose ox] was damaged. What is implied? An ox fell into a cistern and died. [The owner of the cistern] must raise the carcass [of the ox]28 from the cistern and give it to its owner. Then we evaluate the extent of the loss.[This is derived from Exodus 21:34]: "He shall give monetary recompense to the owners, and the carcass will be [the owners']." This teaches that he is obligated to return the carcass and the decrease in the value of the ox [from the time]29 when it was alive, to its owner. If [the ox that caused the damage was a tam], [its owner is required to pay only] half the damages, as explained above.30


עַל הַמַּזִּיק לִטְרֹחַ בַּנְּבֵלָה עַד שֶׁמַּמְצִיא אוֹתָהּ לַנִּזָּק. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּפַל הַשּׁוֹר לַבּוֹר וּמֵת מַעֲלֶה הַנְּבֵלָה מִן הַבּוֹר וְנוֹתְנָהּ לַנִּזָּק וְאַחַר כָּךְ שָׁמִין לוֹ פְּחַת נְבֵלָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כא לד) "כֶּסֶף יָשִׁיב לִבְעָלָיו וְהַמֵּת יִהְיֶה לּוֹ". מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְהָשִׁיב אֶת הַנְּבֵלָה וְאֶת הַפְּחָת שֶׁפָּחֲתָה מִן הַחַי לַנִּזָּק. וְאִם הָיָה תָּם חֲצִי הַפְּחָת. כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ: