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Oxen Collision

The Talmud on Money Matters, Lesson 1

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Oxen Collision: The Talmud on Money Matters, Lesson 1

Meet your Talmudic adjuster! This lesson introduces some guiding principles for liability of damages caused by collision of one’s possession and property.
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Talmud, Tractate Bava Kamma, Money

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Rabbi Binyomin Bitton Vancouver, BC August 15, 2014

Payment for Damages To Janice:

This is a great question. It was beyond the focus of this series, but to answer your question:

Firstly, this is a Biblical commandment. But as you indeed asked: Why?

Indeed, the Talmud elsewhere explain the rationale of the half payment principle for the damages caused by a non-goring ox, and offer two approaches in this regard:

Rav Papa is of the opinion that in reality, one should have been responsible to pay the full payment of the damage. The Torah however reduced it, for the ox was assumed to be a non-goring ox, and in a way, this was a bit unexpected.

Rav Huna on the other hand holds that in reality, the owner of the ox should have been completely exempt from payment, for he is not responsible to safeguard a non-goring ox. The Torah however penalized the owner with a partial payment (i.e. half the amount of the damage) to encourage owners to prevent such damages to happen in the future. Reply

Rabbi Binyomin Bitton Vancouver, BC August 15, 2014

Muad To Anonymous from NY:

This is how you spell it in Hebrew: מועד, literally: "warned". This term refers to an ox that gored more than three times, and is then considered to be a "goring ox". Reply

Janice August 7, 2014

Ox gores the cow Why are the damages set at 1/2 the value of the cow? Is this assuming the cow lived; but was injured? So we are going to pay up to 1/2 of value of the cow; if the repair of the cow cost more than 1/2 the value; we have to decide if he cow is worth keeping? Reply

Anonymous Earlysville, virginia August 5, 2014

I so appreciate the discussions but would like to be able to hear more clearly the comments and questions of the class Reply


because everything what you owe and belongs to you, is your respectability Reply

Anonymous ny July 3, 2014

word definition i'm missing this word, muad? after third time. what is this word, how is it spelled (goring ox). what is Hebrew spelling, not familiar with the word. shoresh? Reply

Join the Talmud’s discussion as we explore and debate various selected texts from the vast sea of the Talmud, and gain insight and appreciation of its rich knowledge. This series will help enhance your skills in Talmudic analysis and reasoning, whilst providing a window into the style and language of the Talmud, also known as the Gemara. These courses are taught by Rabbi Binyomin Bitton, an expert Talmudic scholar, who masterfully presents the Talmud’s profound wisdom in a clear, easy to follow, and intellectually stimulating manner.
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