Bava Kamma 38a:16בבא קמא ל״ח א
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38aל״ח א

דאם כן נכתוב קרא להאי רעהו גבי מועד:

Because if so, if one whose ox gores a consecrated ox is exempt from liability, let the verse write this phrase: “Of another,” with regard to the case of a forewarned ox. One could then infer that the owner is exempt from liability in the case of an innocuous ox as well, as the liability with regard to an innocuous ox is less severe than with regard to a forewarned ox. The stating of this exemption specifically in the context of an innocuous ox indicates that the exemption is only concerning the leniency stated in the verse, that if the gored ox belongs to another person, the owner of the belligerent ox is liable to pay only half the cost of the damage.

שור של ישראל שנגח שור של כנעני פטור: אמרי ממה נפשך אי רעהו דוקא דכנעני כי נגח דישראל נמי ליפטר ואי רעהו לאו דוקא אפילו דישראל כי נגח דכנעני נחייב

§ The mishna teaches: With regard to an ox of a Jew that gored the ox of a gentile, the owner of the belligerent ox is exempt from liability; whereas if a gentile’s ox gores a Jew’s ox, the owner is liable to pay the full cost of the damage. The Sages said: This statement is difficult whichever way you look at it. If the phrase “of another” is meant in a precise manner, and therefore the liability applies only if his ox gores the ox of another Jew, when a gentile’s ox gores that of a Jew he should also be exempt from liability. And if the phrase “of another” is not meant in a precise manner, then even when a Jew’s ox gores that of a gentile the owner of the belligerent ox should be liable.

א"ר אבהו אמר קרא (חבקוק ג, ו) עמד וימודד ארץ ראה ויתר גוים ראה שבע מצות שקיבלו עליהם בני נח כיון שלא קיימו עמד והתיר ממונן לישראל

Rabbi Abbahu said that the reason for this ruling is that the verse states: “He stood and shook the earth; He beheld, and made the nations tremble [vayyatter]” (Habakkuk 3:6). This is homiletically interpreted to mean that God saw the seven mitzvot that the descendants of Noah accepted upon themselves to fulfill, and since they did not fulfill them, He arose and permitted [vehittir] their money to the Jewish people, so that in certain cases Jews are not liable for damage caused to gentiles.

רבי יוחנן אמר מהכא (דברים לג, ב) הופיע מהר פארן מפארן הופיע ממונם לישראל

Rabbi Yoḥanan said that the source for this halakha is from here: It is stated in reference to the giving of the Torah: “The Lord came from Sinai and rose from Seir unto them; He appeared from Mount Paran” (Deuteronomy 33:2), which is homiletically interpreted to mean: From the time God came from Mount Paran, when giving the Torah, the money of the gentile nations appeared, i.e., it was revealed and granted to the Jewish people.

תניא נמי הכי שור של ישראל שנגח שור של כנעני פטור שור של כנעני שנגח שור של ישראל בין תם בין מועד משלם נזק שלם שנאמר עמד וימודד ארץ ראה ויתר גוים ואומר הופיע מהר פארן

This is also taught in a baraita: With regard to an ox of a Jew that gored the ox of a gentile, the owner of the belligerent ox is exempt from liability. By contrast, with regard to an ox of a gentile that gored the ox of a Jew, whether it was innocuous or forewarned, the owner of the belligerent ox pays the full cost of the damage, as it is stated: “He stood and shook the earth; He beheld, and made the nations tremble.” And another verse states: “He appeared from Mount Paran.”

מאי ואומר

The Gemara asks: What is the reason the baraita adds: And another verse states, indicating that the first verse is not a sufficient source?

וכי תימא האי עמד וימודד ארץ מבעי' ליה לכדרב מתנה וכדרב יוסף ת"ש הופיע מהר פארן מפארן הופיע ממונן לישראל מאי דרב מתנה דא"ר מתנה עמד וימודד ארץ ראה וכו' מה ראה ראה שבע מצות שנצטוו עליהן בני נח ולא קיימום עמד והגלה אותם מעל אדמתם

The Gemara explains that this is how the baraita is to be understood: And if you would say that this verse: “He stood and shook the earth” is necessary to express that which Rav Mattana and Rav Yosef derived from the verse, come and hear another source: “He appeared from Mount Paran,” meaning: From Paran their money appeared to the Jewish people. What is Rav Mattana’s exposition? It is as Rav Mattana says: “He stood and shook the earth.” What did He see? He saw the seven mitzvot that the descendants of Noah were commanded but did not fulfill, and He arose and exiled them from their land on account of their transgressions.

ומאי משמע דהאי ויתר לישנא דאגלויי הוא כתיב הכא ויתר גוים וכתיב התם (ויקרא יא, כא) לנתר בהן על הארץ ומתרגם לקפצא בהון על ארעא

And from where may it be inferred that this term vayyatter is a term of exile? It is written here: “And made the nations tremble [vayyatter]” (Habakkuk 3:6), and it is written there: “Lenatter upon the earth” (Leviticus 11:21), which is translated into Aramaic as: “To leap upon the earth.” Apparently, the root nun, tav, reish, common to both words, indicates uprooting from one place to another.

מאי דרב יוסף דא"ר יוסף עמד וימודד ארץ ראה וכו' מה ראה ראה שבע מצות שקיבלו עליהם בני נח ולא קיימום עמד והתירן להם

What is Rav Yosef’s exposition? It is as Rav Yosef says: “He stood and shook the earth; He beheld.” What did He see? He saw the seven mitzvot that the descendants of Noah accepted upon themselves and did not fulfill, so He arose and permitted their prohibitions to them.

איתגורי אתגר א"כ מצינו חוטא נשכר אמר מר בריה דרבנא לומר שאפילו מקיימין אותן אין מקבלין עליהן שכר

The Gemara asks: Did they thereby profit, in that their prohibitions became permitted to them? If so, we have found a transgressor who is rewarded. Mar, son of Rabbana, says: This is not to say that for them to transgress their mitzvot is no longer a sin; rather, it is to say that even if they fulfill them, they do not receive reward for fulfilling them.

ולא והתניא ר"מ אומר מנין שאפילו נכרי ועוסק בתורה שהוא ככהן גדול ת"ל (ויקרא יח, ה) אשר יעשה אותם האדם וחי בהם כהנים ולוים וישראלים לא נאמר אלא אדם הא למדת שאפילו נכרי ועוסק בתורה הרי הוא ככהן גדול

The Gemara asks: But do they not receive reward for fulfilling those mitzvot? But isn’t it taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir says: From where is it derived that even a gentile who engages in Torah is considered like a High Priest? The verse states with regard to the mitzvot: “Which if a person does, he shall live by them” (Leviticus 18:5). It is not stated: Which if priests and Levites and Israelites do, they shall live by them, but rather: A person, indicating that all people are included. You have therefore learned that even a gentile who engages in Torah study is considered like a High Priest.

אמרי אין מקבלים עליהן שכר כמצווה ועושה אלא כמי שאינו מצווה ועושה דא"ר חנינא גדול המצווה ועושה יותר ממי שאינו מצווה ועושה:

The Sages said in response: Rav Yosef meant that they do not receive the reward as does one who is commanded to perform a mitzva and performs it, but as does one who is not commanded to perform a mitzva and performs it anyway. As Rabbi Ḥanina says: One who is commanded and performs a mitzva is greater than one who is not commanded and performs it.

ת"ר וכבר שלחה מלכות רומי שני סרדיוטות אצל חכמי ישראל למדונו תורתכם קראו ושנו ושלשו בשעת פטירתן אמרו להם דקדקנו בכל תורתכם ואמת הוא חוץ מדבר זה שאתם אומרים שור של ישראל שנגח שור של כנעני פטור של כנעני שנגח שור של ישראל בין תם בין מועד משלם נזק שלם

The Sages taught the following story in the context of the aforementioned halakha: And the Roman kingdom once sent two military officials [sardeyotot] to the Sages of Israel, and ordered them in the name of the king: Teach us your Torah. The officials read the Torah, and repeated it, and repeated it again, reading it for the third time. At the time of their departure, they said to the Sages: We have examined your entire Torah and it is true, except for this one matter that you state, i.e., that with regard to an ox of a Jew that gored the ox of a gentile, the owner is exempt from liability, whereas with regard to the ox of a gentile that gored the ox of a Jew, whether it was innocuous or forewarned, the owner pays the full cost of the damage.

ממ"נ אי רעהו דוקא אפילו דכנעני כי נגח דישראל ליפטר ואי רעהו לאו דוקא אפילו דישראל כי נגח דכנעני לחייב ודבר זה אין אנו מודיעים אותו למלכות

The officials’ reasoning was that this halakha is difficult whichever way you look at it. If the phrase “of another” is meant in a precise manner, that the owners of both oxen must both be Jewish, then even when the ox of a gentile gores the ox of a Jew the owner of the ox should be exempt from liability. And if the phrase “of another” is not meant in a precise manner, and the oxen of all are included, then even when the ox of a Jew gores the ox of a gentile the owner should be liable. They added: But we will not inform this matter to the kingdom; having acknowledged that the entire Torah is true, we will not reveal this ruling, as it will displease the kingdom.

רב שמואל בר יהודה שכיבא ליה ברתא אמרו ליה רבנן לעולא קום ניזל נינחמיה אמר להו מאי אית לי גבי נחמתא דבבלאי דגידופא הוא דאמרי מאי אפשר למיעבד הא אפשר למיעבד עבדי

§ Incidentally, it is related that the daughter of Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda died. The Sages said to Ulla: Arise; let us go console him. Ulla said to them: What business do I have with the consolation of Babylonians, which is actually heresy? As, they say while consoling mourners: What can be done? This seems to suggest that if it were possible to do something, acting against the Almighty’s decree, they would do so, which is tantamount to heresy. Therefore, Ulla declined to accompany the Babylonian Sages.

אזל הוא לחודאי גביה א"ל (דברים ב, ב) ויאמר ה' (אל משה) אל תצר את מואב ואל תתגר בם מלחמה וכי מה עלה על דעתו של משה לעשות מלחמה שלא ברשות אלא נשא משה ק"ו בעצמו אמר ומה מדינים שלא באו אלא לעזור את מואב אמרה תורה (במדבר כה, יז) צרור את המדינים והכיתם אותם

Ulla therefore went to console Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda by himself, and said to him: The verse states: “And the Lord said to me, do not be at enmity with Moab, neither contend with them in battle” (Deuteronomy 2:9). What entered Moses’s mind, that God had to warn him not to undertake a particular action? Did it enter his mind to wage war with the Moabites without permission? Rather, Moses reasoned an a fortiori inference by himself, saying: And if with regard to the Midianites, who came only to help the Moabites harm the Jewish people (see Numbers, chapter 22), the Torah said: “Harass the Midianites and smite them” (Numbers 25:17),