Bava Kamma 39aבבא קמא ל״ט א
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39aל״ט א

שלא יהא חוטא נשכר

that the sinner, i.e., the rapist, should not be rewarded.

ונתביה לעניים אמר רב מרי משום דהוי ממון שאין לו תובעים:

The Gemara suggests: But if that is the reason, let him give the fine to the poor instead of to the Samaritan who he raped, to prevent assimilation. Rav Mari said: This is not done, because it is money that has no claimants. Since one would not be liable to give it to a specific poor person, the rapist could evade payment by responding to any claimant that he wants to give it to a different poor person. The Sages upheld the Torah law as it stands, and the fine is given to the Samaritan so that the sinner will not benefit.

מתני׳ שור של פקח שנגח שור של חרש שוטה וקטן חייב ושל חרש שוטה וקטן שנגח שור של פקח פטור

MISHNA: If an ox of a halakhically competent person gored an ox of a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor, all of whom are not considered halakhically competent, the owner is liable for damages. But if an ox of a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor gored an ox of a halakhically competent person, the owner of the ox is exempt from liability.

שור של חרש שוטה וקטן שנגח בית דין מעמידין להן אפוטרופוס ומעידין להן בפני אפוטרופוס

If an ox belonging to a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor gored another ox and caused damage, the court appoints a steward for them and warns them with regard to the ox that gored in the presence of the steward. The ox is thereby rendered a forewarned ox, since the steward is considered its owner with regard to the requirement of the verse: “And warning has been given to its owner” (Exodus 21:29).

נתפקח החרש נשתפה השוטה והגדיל הקטן חזר לתמותו דברי ר"מ רבי יוסי אומר הרי הוא בחזקתו

If, after the ox was rendered forewarned in this manner, the deaf-mute regained his hearing, the imbecile became halakhically competent, or the minor reached the age of majority, the ox has thereby reverted to its status of innocuousness. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir, who maintains that the ox had the status of a forewarned ox only while it was under the custody of the steward. Rabbi Yosei says: It retains its previous status of being forewarned.

שור האצטדין אינו חייב מיתה שנאמר (שמות כא, כח) כי יגח ולא שיגיחוהו:

If a stadium [ha’itztadin] ox, i.e., one that is trained to fight in a stadium, gores and kills a person, it is not liable to be put to death, as it is stated: “And if an ox gores a man or a woman” (Exodus 21:28). This is referring only to an ox that gores on its own initiative, but not to the case of an ox where others induced it to gore. Therefore, the owner of a stadium ox, which is trained to gore, is exempt from liability if it does.

גמ׳ הא גופא קשיא אמרת שור של חרש שוטה וקטן שנגח שור של פקח פטור אלמא אין מעמידין אפוטרופוס לתם לגבות מגופו אימא סיפא שור של חרש שוטה וקטן שנגח ב"ד מעמידין להם אפוטרופוס ומעידין להם בפני אפוטרופוס אלמא מעמידין להם אפוטרופוס לתם לגבות מגופו

GEMARA: The Gemara comments: This matter itself is difficult. First the mishna said: If an ox of a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor gored an ox of a halakhically competent person, the owner of the ox is exempt from liability. Apparently, the court does not appoint a steward for the owner of an innocuous ox for the purpose of collecting damages from the proceeds of the sale of its body. But say the latter clause of the mishna: If an ox belonging to a deaf-mute, an imbecile, or a minor gored another ox and caused damage, the court appoints a steward for them and warns them with regard to the ox that gored in the presence of the steward. Apparently, the court appoints a steward for the owner of an innocuous ox for the purpose of collecting damages from its body.

אמר רבא הכי קתני ואם הוחזקו נגחנין מעמידין להם אפוטרופוס ומעידין להן בפני אפוטרופוס ומשוינן להו מועד דכי הדר ונגח לשלם מעלייה

Rava said that this is what the mishna is teaching: A steward is not appointed to enable collection of compensation from the bodies of innocuous oxen, but if they have acquired the reputation of being habitually goring oxen, as this was not an isolated incident, the court appoints a steward for the owners, and warns them in the presence of the steward, and thereby renders the oxen forewarned. This is so that when one of the oxen gores again, the owner will be liable to pay compensation from his superior-quality property, and not only from the proceeds of the sale of the goring ox.

מעליית מאן רבי יוחנן אמר מעליית יתומין רבי יוסי בר חנינא אמר מעליית אפוטרופוס

The Gemara asks: From whose superior-quality property is compensation collected for damage caused by a forewarned ox belonging to minor orphans? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: From the superior-quality property of the orphans. Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina says: From the superior-quality property of the steward.

ומי א"ר יוחנן הכי והאמר רב יהודה אמר רב אסי אין נזקקין לנכסי יתומין אלא א"כ רבית אוכלת בהן

The Gemara asks: But did Rabbi Yoḥanan actually say this? But doesn’t Rav Yehuda say that Rav Asi says: The court does not attend to the property of orphans to have them pay a debt unless interest is eroding their estate. In other words, in a case where the orphans’ father borrowed money from a gentile with interest, the court ensures that the debt is paid from the orphans’ property, since if they wait to pay the debt, it will grow dramatically. Apparently, in other cases the court does not collect from their property.

ורבי יוחנן אמר או לשטר שיש בו רבית או לכתובת אשה משום מזוני

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The court collects from them either to pay a debt recorded in a document that has the payment of interest stipulated in it, in order to ensure that the interest does not diminish the value their estate, or for the payment of a woman’s marriage contract, due to their interest in not paying for her sustenance. A widow can claim her marriage contract from her deceased husband’s property, and as long as she does not receive it, her husband’s heirs are responsible for providing her sustenance. In a case where the heirs are minor orphans, the court collects payment of the marriage contract from the orphans’ property, so that they will not have to pay for her sustenance in the interim. Evidently, Rabbi Yoḥanan holds that with the exception of these two cases, the court does not collect debts from the property of orphans.

איפוך רבי יוחנן אמר מעליית אפוטרופסין רבי יוסי בר חנינא אמר מעליית יתומין

The Gemara answers: Reverse the opinions. Rabbi Yoḥanan is the one who says that payment for damage caused by forewarned oxen is collected from the superior-quality property of the steward, and Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina is the one who says that it is collected from the superior-quality property of the orphans.

אמר רבא משום דקשיא דרבי יוחנן אדרבי יוחנן משוית ליה לרבי יוסי בר חנינא טועה והא רבי יוסי בר חנינא דיינא הוא ונחית לעומקיה דדינא

Rava said in response: Due to the difficulty created by the contradiction between the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan here and the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan there, you render Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina mistaken, by attributing an opinion to him that is not the halakha? Wasn’t Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina a judge who delved into the complexities of the halakha?

אלא לעולם לא תיפוך ומזיק שאני רבי יוחנן אמר מעליית יתומים דאי אמרת מעליית אפוטרופוס

Rather, one can resolve the contradiction in another manner: Actually, do not reverse the opinions. And the resolution to the contradiction is that although Rabbi Yoḥanan holds that debts are not collected from the property of minor orphans, the halakha with regard to one who causes damage to another by not safeguarding his animal is different. Rabbi Yoḥanan says that compensation is collected from the superior-quality property of the orphans, because if you say that it should be collected from the superior-quality property of the steward,