Bava Kamma 19bבבא קמא י״ט ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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19bי״ט ב

והאמר ר' יוחנן אין חצי נזק חלוק לא לרשות היחיד ולא לרשות הרבים מאי לאו התיזה ברשות הרבים והזיקה ברשות הרבים לא התיזה ברה"ר והזיקה ברשות היחיד

But doesn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan say: Payment of half the cost of the damage is not differentiated between private and public domains, as there is no exemption from payment neither for damage on private property nor for damage in the public domain? What, is this principle not stated even in a case where the animal propelled pebbles in the public domain and caused damage in the public domain? Rabbi Zeira said to him: No, Rabbi Yoḥanan stated this principle in a case where the animal propelled pebbles in the public domain and caused damage on private property.

והאמרת עקירה אין כאן הנחה יש כאן א"ל הדרי בי איבעית אימא כי אמר רבי יוחנן אקרן

Rabbi Yirmeya said to him: But didn’t you say: If there is no act of lifting here, is there an act of placing here? Rabbi Zeira said to him: I retract my previous statement. Or, if you wish, say instead: When Rabbi Yoḥanan said that payment of half the cost of the damage is not differentiated between private and public domains, and there is no exemption from payment neither for damage on private property nor for damage in the public domain, he said it only with regard to damage in the category of Goring, but not with regard to the case of propelled pebbles, for which one is exempt in the public domain.

יתיב רבי יהודה נשיאה ורבי אושעיא אקילעא דרבי יהודה נפק מילתא מבינייהו כשכשה בזנבה מהו א"ל אידך וכי יאחזנה בזנבה וילך אי הכי קרן נמי נימא וכי יאחזנה בקרן וילך

§ The Gemara relates that Rabbi Yehuda Nesia and Rabbi Oshaya sat in the antechamber [akil’a] of Rabbi Yehuda Nesia. A matter emerged from among them and one of them raised a dilemma: If an animal swung its tail and thereby caused damage, what is the halakha? The other Sage said to him: Must the owner grasp its tail and walk to prevent the animal from causing damage? Since this is typical behavior for the animal, the owner should be exempt from liability. The Gemara asks: If so, with regard to damage in the category of Goring, too, let us say: Must the owner grasp its horn and walk to prevent the animal from causing damage? Nevertheless, the halakha is that the owner is liable for damage in the category of Goring.

הכי השתא קרן לאו אורחיה הא אורחיה

The Gemara rejects this: How can these cases be compared? Damage in the category of Goring is not caused in the course of the typical behavior of the animal. Consequently, the owner is required to prevent his animal from causing damage in that manner. This damage caused by the swinging of an animal’s tail is caused in the course of its typical behavior, and one cannot hold the owner responsible for an animal's normal behavior.

וכי מאחר דאורחיה מאי מבעיא ליה כשכוש יתירא מבעיא ליה

The Gemara asks: And since that is its typical behavior, what is the dilemma that he raised? Obviously one has no liability for the damage caused by the typical behavior of his animal in the public domain. The Gemara answers: He raised a dilemma with regard to a case of excessive tail swinging; is excessive tail swinging considered typical behavior?

בעי רב עינא כשכשה באמתה מהו מי אמרינן מידי דהוה אקרן קרן לאו יצרא קתקיף ליה הכא נמי לא שנא או דלמא קרן כוונתו להזיק הא אין כוונתה להזיק תיקו

Rav Eina raises a dilemma: If an animal swung its penis and caused damage, what is the halakha? The Gemara elaborates: Do we say just as it is with regard to Goring: Is it not so in a case of Goring that the animal’s inclination overcame it and caused it to gore? Here too, it is no different: The animal’s inclination overcame it and that is why it caused damage. Or perhaps the cases are different, as in the case of damage in the category of Goring the objective of its action is to cause damage, whereas in this case the objective of its action is not to cause damage. The Gemara concludes: This dilemma shall stand unresolved.

התרנגולין מועדין להלך כדרכן ולשבר וכו' אמר רב הונא לא שנו אלא שנקשר מאליו אבל קשרו אדם חייב

§ The mishna teaches: Chickens are deemed forewarned with regard to walking in their typical manner and breaking objects. If there was a string tied to a chicken’s leg and it broke a vessel, or if the chicken was hopping in an atypical manner and breaking vessels, its owner pays half the cost of the damage. Rav Huna says: They taught that one pays half the cost of the damage only in a case where the string was tied to the leg of the chicken on its own, i.e., a string became entangled on the leg of a chicken without the involvement of the owner and an item was broken by the string; but if a person tied the string to the chicken, he is liable to pay the full cost of the damage, as the string is in the category of Pit.

נקשר מאליו מאן חייב אילימא בעל הדליל היכי דמי אי דאצנעיה אנוס הוא ואי לא אצנעיה פושע הוא

The Gemara asks: If the string was tied on its own, who is liable to pay half the cost of the damage? If we say it is the owner of the string who pays, as the damage was caused by the string, what are the circumstances? If it is a case where the owner of the string concealed the string in a secure place and the chicken became entangled in it, the owner of the string is a victim of circumstances beyond his control and would be exempt from payment. And if he did not conceal it and instead left it exposed where it could become entangled in the feet of a passing chicken, he is negligent and liable as though he actually tied the string to the chicken.

אלא חייב בעל תרנגול מאי שנא כוליה נזק דלא דכתיב (שמות כא, לג) כי יפתח איש בור ולא שור בור חצי נזק נמי איש בור ולא שור בור

Rather, the case in the mishna is one where the owner of the string concealed it and is exempt from liability, and Rav Huna means that the owner of the chicken is liable. Here too, the question arises: What is different in this case where one is not obligated to pay the full cost of the damage, as it is written (Exodus 21:33): “If a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey fall therein,” he pays the damage, and it is not written: If an ox shall open a pit. This indicates that if an ox opens a pit, the owner of the ox is exempt from liability. With regard to the payment of half the cost of the damage as well, the owner should be exempt from liability, as it is written: “If a man shall open a pit,” and it is not written: If an ox shall open a pit.

אלא מתני' בדאדייה ארויי וכי אתמר דרב הונא בעלמא אתמר דליל הפקר אמר רב הונא נקשר מאליו פטור קשרו אדם חייב

Rather, the case in the mishna is one where the chicken moved the string and thereby caused damage. Since the chicken did not cause damage with its body, the owner pays half the cost of the damage, as he does in a case of pebbles. And when Rav Huna’s distinction between whether the string was tied on its own or by a person was stated, it was stated in a general sense, and not with regard to the halakha in the mishna. With regard to an ownerless string tied to the leg of a chicken, Rav Huna says: If the string was tied to the leg of the chicken on its own, the owner of the chicken is exempt; but if a person tied the string to the chicken, he is liable to pay the full cost of the damage.

משום מאי חייב אמר רב הונא בר מנוח משום בורו המתגלגל ברגלי אדם וברגלי בהמה

The Gemara asks: Due to what primary category of damage is he liable? Rav Huna bar Manoaḥ says: He is liable due to the fact that although the string is not stationary, as in the standard obstacle in the primary category of Pit, this is an example of his pit that is rolled at the feet of a person and at the hooves of an animal, and that too is a subcategory of Pit.

מתני׳ כיצד השן מועדת לאכול את הראוי לה הבהמה מועדת לאכול פירות וירקות אכלה כסות או כלים משלם חצי נזק במה דברים אמורים ברשות הניזק אבל ברשות הרבים פטור

MISHNA: Within the context of the primary category of Eating, for what damage caused with the tooth is an animal deemed forewarned? It is deemed forewarned with regard to eating food items fit for its consumption. The domesticated animal is deemed forewarned with regard to eating fruits and vegetables. If the animal ate garments or vessels, the owner pays half the cost of the damage. As these are not items fit for its consumption, the animal is not deemed forewarned in this case. In what case is this statement applied, that one pays the full value of the food eaten by the animal? It is a case where the animal ate the food on the property of the injured party; but if the animal ate food in the public domain, the owner of the animal is exempt from liability.

ואם נהנית משלמת מה שנהנית

And even if the animal ate food in the public domain, if the animal derives benefit from eating another’s produce in the public domain, the owner pays for the benefit that it derives, just not for the full cost of the food.

כיצד משלמת מה שנהנית אכלה מתוך הרחבה משלמת מה שנהנית מצדי הרחבה משלמת מה שהזיקה מפתח החנות משלמת מה שנהנית מתוך החנות משלמת מה שהזיקה

Under what circumstances does the owner of the animal pay for the benefit that it derives? If the animal ate produce in the public square in the area before the storefronts, the owner of the animal pays for the benefit that it derives. If the animal ate from food placed at the side of the public square, which is not a public thoroughfare, the owner of the animal pays for what it damaged, as the legal status of that area is like that of the property of the injured party. If the animal ate produce from the entrance of the store, its owner pays for the benefit that it derives, as the status of a store entrance is like that of the public domain. If the animal ate produce from inside the store, its owner pays for what it damaged.

גמ׳ תנו רבנן השן מועדת לאכול את הראוי לה כיצד בהמה שנכנסה לחצר הניזק ואכלה אוכלין הראויין לה ושתתה משקין הראויין לה משלם נזק שלם וכן חיה שנכנסה לחצר הניזק וטרפה בהמה ואכלה בשר משלם נזק שלם

GEMARA: The Sages taught: Eating is deemed forewarned in that an animal tends to eat that which is fit for it to eat. How is this applied? In the case of a domesticated animal that entered the courtyard of the injured party and it ate food fit for it to eat, or if it drank drinks fit for it to drink, the owner of the animal must pay the full cost of the damage. And similarly, in the case of an undomesticated animal that entered the courtyard of the injured party and tore apart a domesticated animal and ate its meat there, the owner must pay the full cost of the damage.

ופרה שאכלה שעורין וחמור שאכל כרשינן וכלב שליקק את השמן וחזיר שאכל חתיכה של בשר משלמין נזק שלם אמר רב פפא השתא דאמרת כל מידי דלאו אורחיה ואכלה ליה ע"י הדחק שמיה אכילה האי שונרא דאכל תמרי וחמרא דאכיל ביניתא משלם נזק שלם

And in the case of a cow that ate barley, although this is not normally a food that a cow would eat, or in the case of a donkey that ate vetches, i.e., legumes which are usually fed to cows but not to donkeys, or in the case of a dog that licked oil or a pig ate meat, the owner of the animal must pay the full cost of the damage. Although these animals do not ordinarily consume these items, doing so is not a significant deviation from the animal’s typical behavior. Rav Pappa said: Now that you said that eating anything that is not typical for an animal to eat but it eats it under duress is considered an ordinary act of eating, it can be deduced that in the case of a cat that eats dates or a donkey that is eating fish, the owner must pay the full cost of the damage, despite the fact that these animals do not ordinarily eat these items.

ההוא חמרא דאכל נהמא ופלסיה לסלא חייביה רב יהודה לשלם נזק שלם אנהמא ואסלא חצי נזק ואמאי כיון דאורחיה למיכל נהמא אורחיה נמי לפלוסי סלא דאכל והדר פליס

The Gemara relates: There was a certain donkey that ate bread and while eating it also broke the basket in which the bread was stored. Rav Yehuda obligated the owner to pay the full cost of the damage for the loss of the bread and half the cost of the damage to the basket. The Gemara asks: But why? Since it is typical for a donkey to eat bread, it is also typical for it to break the basket in which the bread is stored; therefore, the owner should pay the full cost of the damage for the basket as well. The Gemara answers: This case is one where the donkey ate the bread and then afterward broke the basket, a sequence which demonstrates that its intent was to cause damage. The breaking of the basket is therefore a subcategory of Goring, and the owner is liable to pay only half the cost of the damage.

ופת אורחיה הוא ורמינהו אכלה פת ובשר ותבשיל משלם חצי נזק מאי לאו בבהמה לא בחיה

The Gemara asks: But is it typical for a donkey to eat bread? The Gemara raises a contradiction against this based on a baraita: If it ate bread or meat or a cooked dish, its owner must pay for half the cost of the damage. What, is it not referring to a domesticated animal and thereby implying that it is not typical for a domesticated animal to eat bread? The Gemara rejects this: No, it is discussing an undomesticated animal, which does not typically eat bread, but a domesticated animal does eat bread.

חיה בשר אורחיה הוא דמטוי ואיבעית אימא בטביא ואיבעית אימא לעולם בבהמה ובפתורא

The Gemara questions this explanation: If the baraita is discussing an undomesticated animal, then it is typical for it to eat meat. The Gemara clarifies: The baraita is referring meat that is roasted, and it is not typical for an undomesticated animal to eat roasted meat. Or, if you wish, say instead that the halakha of the baraita is not stated with regard to an undomesticated predator, but with regard to a deer, which does not ordinarily eat meat and bread. Or, if you wish, say that actually it is discussing a domesticated animal, but it is discussing a case where the animal ate at the table, and this is not typical behavior for an animal.