Bava Kamma 117b:9בבא קמא קי״ז ב:ט
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117bקי״ז ב

הדרא ליה עכנא א"ל עכנא עכנא פתח פומיך ויכנס הרב אצל תלמיד ולא פתח יכנס חבר אצל חבר ולא פתח יכנס תלמיד אצל הרב פתח ליה בעא רחמי ואוקמיה

encircled by a serpent [akhna], which had placed its tail in its mouth, completely encircling the cave and blocking the entrance. Rabbi Yoḥanan said to it: Serpent, serpent, open your mouth and allow the teacher to enter and be near the disciple, but the serpent did not open its mouth to allow him entry. He then said: Allow a colleague to enter and be near his colleague, but still the serpent did not open its mouth. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Allow the disciple to enter and be near the teacher, referring to Rav Kahana as his own teacher. The snake then opened its mouth for him to allow him entry. Rabbi Yoḥanan requested divine mercy from God and raised Rav Kahana from the dead.

א"ל אי הוה ידענא דדרכיה דמר הכי לא חלשא דעתי השתא ליתי מר בהדן א"ל אי מצית למיבעי רחמי דתו לא שכיבנא אזילנא ואי לא לא אזילנא הואיל וחליף שעתא חליף

Rabbi Yoḥanan said to Rav Kahana: Had I known that this was the Master’s manner of appearance, I would not have been offended. Now let the Master come with me to the study hall. Rav Kahana said to him: If you are able to request divine mercy so that I will not die again, I will go with you, and if not, I will not go with you. The Gemara comments: Since the time decreed for his death had passed, it had passed.

תייריה אוקמיה שייליה כל ספיקא דהוה ליה ופשטינהו ניהליה היינו דאמר ר' יוחנן דילכון אמרי דילהון היא:

Rabbi Yoḥanan then completely awakened him and stood him up. Thereafter, he asked him about every uncertainty that he had, and Rav Kahana resolved each of them for him. And this is the background to that which Rabbi Yoḥanan says to his students on several occasions: What I said was yours is in fact theirs, i.e., I thought that the Torah scholars in Eretz Yisrael were the most advanced, but in fact the scholars of Babylonia are the most advanced, as evidenced by Rav Kahana’s knowledge.

ההוא דאחוי אמטכסא דר' אבא יתיב ר' אבהו ור' חנינא בר פפי ור' יצחק נפחא ויתיב ר' אילעא גבייהו

§ The Gemara relates another incident pertaining to one who informed gentiles of the whereabouts of another Jew’s property. There was a certain individual who showed Rabbi Abba’s silk [ametakesa] to gentiles, who later seized it. Rabbi Abbahu and Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappi and Rabbi Yitzḥak Nappaḥa sat together to determine whether Rabbi Abba was entitled to compensation from the informer, and Rabbi Ile’a sat next to them.

סבור לחיוביה מהא דתנן דן את הדין זיכה את החייב וחייב את הזכאי טימא את הטהור וטיהר את הטמא מה שעשה עשוי וישלם מביתו

The judges thought to deem the informer liable to reimburse Rabbi Abba based upon that which we learned in a mishna (Bekhorot 28b): If a judge issued a judgment and erred, and he acquitted one who was in fact liable, or deemed liable one who should have in fact been acquitted, or if he ruled that a pure item is impure, or ruled that an impure item is pure, and by doing so he caused a litigant a monetary loss, what he did is done, i.e., the judgment stands, and the judge must pay damages from his home, i.e., from his personal funds. This indicates that one is liable to pay for a financial loss that he causes even if his involvement was only through speech.

א"ל ר' אילעא הכי אמר רב והוא שנשא ונתן ביד אמרי ליה זיל לגבי דר"ש בן אליקים ורבי אלעזר בן פדת דדייני דינא דגרמי

Rabbi Ile’a said to them: This is what Rav says: And that mishna is discussing a case where the judge not only issued a ruling, but actively took the money from the one whom he found liable, and gave it to the other party by his own hand. Consequently, it cannot serve as a precedent to render the informer liable in this case. The Sages serving as judges said to Rabbi Abba: Go to Rabbi Shimon ben Elyakim and Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat, who rule that there is liability for damage caused by indirect action.

אזל לגבייהו חייבי' ממתני' אם מחמת הגזלן חייב להעמיד לו שדה אחר ואוקימנא דאחוי אחוויי:

Rabbi Abba went to them, and they deemed the informer liable to reimburse Rabbi Abba, as it is taught in the mishna: If the thugs seized the field due to the robber, he is liable to provide the owner with a different field. And it was established that the mishna is referring to a case where an individual showed the field to thugs who later seized it. The halakha stated in the mishna would apply to this case as well.

ההוא גברא דהוה מפקיד ליה כסא דכספא סליקו גנבי עילויה שקלה יהבה להו אתא לקמיה דרבה פטריה א"ל אביי האי מציל עצמו בממון חבירו הוא אלא אמר רב אשי חזינן אי איניש אמיד הוא אדעתא דידיה אתו ואי לא אדעתא דכספא אתו:

The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain man with whom a silver cup was deposited. Thieves came upon him in his home and he took the cup and gave it to them. The case came before Rabba, and Rabba exempted him from payment. Abaye said to him: This individual is saving himself with another’s property, and he should therefore be liable. Rather, Rav Ashi said, in explanation of Rabba’s ruling: We look at his financial status: If the bailee is a wealthy man, the thieves came with the intent to steal his property, and he is therefore liable to pay, as he saved himself from financial loss by handing over another’s property. And if he is not wealthy, the thieves presumably came with the intent to steal the silver cup, and he is therefore exempt from liability.

ההוא גברא דהוה מפקיד גביה ארנקא דפדיון שבויים סליקו גנבי עילויה שקלה יהבה ניהלייהו אתא לקמיה דרבא פטריה א"ל אביי והא מציל עצמו בממון חבירו הוא א"ל אין לך פדיון שבויים גדול מזה:

The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain man with whom the purse containing funds collected for the redemption of captives was deposited. Thieves came upon him and he took the purse and gave it to them. The case came before Rabba, and Rabba exempted him from payment. Abaye said to him: But this individual is saving himself with another’s property, and he should therefore be liable to pay. Rabba said to him: You have no greater redemption of captives than this. Since the man used the money to avoid being harmed by the thieves, Rabba considered the money to have been used for its intended purpose.

ההוא גברא דאקדים ואסיק חמרא למברא קמי דסליקו אינשי במברא בעי לאטבועי אתא ההוא גברא מלח ליה לחמרא דההוא גברא ושדייה לנהרא וטבע אתא לקמיה דרבה פטריה אמר ליה אביי והא מציל עצמו בממון חבירו הוא א"ל האי מעיקרא רודף הוה

The Gemara relates another incident: There was a certain man who hastened and brought his donkey onboard a ferry [lemavra] before other people boarded the ferry. The donkey began to move around and was about to cause the boat to sink. A certain other man came and pushed the donkey of that first man into the river, and it drowned. The case came before Rabba, and Rabba exempted him from payment. Abaye said to him: But this individual is saving himself with another’s property, and he should therefore be liable to pay. Rabba said to him: This owner of the donkey was considered a pursuer from the outset, as he endangered the other travelers. It is permitted to stop a pursuer by any means necessary, including by destroying his property.

רבה לטעמיה דאמר רבה רודף שהיה רודף אחר חבירו להורגו ושיבר את הכלים בין של נרדף בין של כל אדם פטור שהרי מתחייב בנפשו

The Gemara notes that Rabba conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as Rabba says: In the case of a pursuer who was chasing after another in order to kill him and the pursuer broke vessels during the chase, whether they belonged to the pursued party or to anyone else, he is exempt from reimbursing the owner of the vessels. This is because he is liable to receive the death penalty for attempted murder and is consequently exempt from any monetary liability he incurs simultaneously.

ונרדף ששיבר את הכלים של רודף פטור שלא יהא ממונו חביב עליו מגופו אבל של כל אדם חייב דאסור להציל עצמו בממון חבירו

And a pursued individual who broke the vessels of the pursuer is also exempt from payment, as the pursuer’s property shall not be cherished more than his body, i.e., his life. Since it is permitted to kill the pursuer in order to save his intended victim, it is permitted to destroy his property for that purpose. But if he destroyed property belonging to anyone else, he is liable to reimburse them, as it is prohibited for him to save himself with another’s property.

ורודף שהיה רודף אחר רודף להציל ושבר כלים בין של נרדף בין של כל אדם פטור ולא מן הדין אלא שאם אי אתה אומר כן אין לך אדם שמציל את חבירו מן הרודף:

And with regard to a pursuer who was chasing after another pursuer in order to save the latter’s intended victim, and he broke vessels during the chase, whether they belonged to the pursued individual, i.e., the individual attempting murder, or to anyone else, he is exempt from payment. The Gemara notes: And this is not the halakha by Torah law, but if you do not say so, you will not have any person that saves another from a pursuer. In order to encourage people to attempt to save the lives of others, the Sages instituted that one who damages another’s property in the process of saving a life is exempt from payment.

מתני׳ שטפה נהר אומר לו הרי שלך לפניך:

MISHNA: If a river flooded a misappropriated field, the robber may say to its owner: That which is yours is before you, and no compensation is required. Since the field would have been flooded in any case, the robber has not caused the damage to the field, and is therefore exempt.

גמ׳ ת"ר הגוזל שדה מחבירו ושטפה נהר חייב להעמיד לו שדה אחר דברי ר' אלעזר וחכ"א אומר לו הרי שלך לפניך

GEMARA: The Sages taught: In the case of one who robbed a field from another and a river then flooded it, the robber is liable to provide the field’s owner with a different field. This is the statement of Rabbi Elazar. And the Rabbis say: He is exempt from doing so, as he can say to the owner: That which is yours is before you.

במאי קא מיפלגי ר"א דרש ריבויי ומיעוטי (ויקרא ה, כא) וכחש בעמיתו ריבוי בפקדון מיעט (ויקרא ה, כד) כל אשר ישבע עליו לשקר חזר וריבה

The Gemara analyzes this dispute: With regard to what do they disagree? The Gemara explains: Rabbi Elazar interpreted the verses: “If any one sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and deal falsely with his neighbor in a matter of deposit…or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full” (Leviticus 5:21–24), according to the hermeneutical principle of amplifications and restrictions. The phrase: “If any one sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and deal falsely with his neighbor,” is an amplification. When the verse states: “In a matter of deposit,” it has restricted the halakha to the case of a deposit. When the verse then states: “Or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full,” it has then amplified the halakha again.

ריבה ומיעט וריבה ריבה הכל ומאי רבי רבי כל מילי

Accordingly, as the Torah amplified and then restricted and then amplified again, it has amplified the halakha to include everything, with only a single exception. And what is included due to the fact that the verse has amplified the halakha? The verse has amplified the halakha to include everything that one steals.

ומאי מיעט מיעט שטרות

And what is excluded due to the fact that the verse restricted the halakha? It restricted the halakha in order to exclude financial documents, which are dissimilar to a deposit in that their value is not intrinsic, but rather due to their function. Consequently, according to Rabbi Elazar, land that was stolen is included in the halakhot stated in these verses, and one who steals land must reimburse the field’s owner.

ורבנן דרשי כללי ופרטי וכחש כלל בפקדון פרט או מכל חזר וכלל כלל ופרט וכלל אי אתה דן אלא כעין הפרט

And the Rabbis interpreted these verses according to the hermeneutical principle of generalizations and details. The phrase: “And deal falsely with his neighbor,” is a generalization, while the subsequent phrase: “In a matter of deposit,” is a detail. When the verse then states: “Or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full,” it has then generalized again. In a case of a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization, you may deduce that the verse is referring only to items similar to the detail.

מה הפרט דבר המיטלטל וגופו ממון אף כל דבר המיטלטל וגופו ממון יצאו קרקעות שאין מטלטלין יצאו עבדים שהוקשו לקרקעות יצאו שטרות שאע"פ שמטלטלין אין גופן ממון

Accordingly, just as the detail, i.e., a deposit, is movable property and has intrinsic monetary value, so too, the verse includes anything that is movable property and has intrinsic monetary value. Consequently, land has been excluded, as it is not movable property. Slaves have been excluded, as they are compared to land with regard to many areas of halakha. Financial documents have been excluded because, although they are movable property, they do not have intrinsic monetary value.

והדתניא הגוזל את הפרה ושטפה נהר חייב להעמיד לו פרה דברי ר' אלעזר וחכמים אומרים אומר לו הרי שלך לפניך התם במאי קמיפלגי

The Gemara asks: And there is that which is taught in a baraita: In the case of one who robbed another of a cow and a river washed it away, the robber is liable to provide the owner with another cow; this is the statement of Rabbi Elazar. And the Rabbis say: The robber can say to the owner: That which is yours is before you, and he would consequently be exempt. The Gemara asks: There, in the baraita, with regard to what do they disagree? The rationale offered previously cannot apply, as a cow is movable property and has intrinsic value, and yet Rabbi Elazar and the Rabbis still disagree.

אמר רב פפא התם במאי עסקינן כגון שגזל שדה מחבירו והיתה

Rav Pappa said: There, with what are we dealing? We are dealing with a case where he had robbed another of a field, and there was