אי לר"י דעבד ליה שמירה פחותה ולא עבד ליה שמירה מעולה אי לר"א בן יעקב דלא עביד ליה שמירה כלל There are two scenarios in which the baraita could be interpreted as referring to an innocuous ox. If one wants to interpret it in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, it can be discussing a case where he provided reduced safeguarding for it and did not provide superior safeguarding for it. If one wants to interpret it in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov, it can be discussing a case where he did not provide safeguarding for it at all.
דתניא ר"א בן יעקב אומר אחד תם ואחד מועד ששמרן שמירה פחותה פטורין והא קמ"ל ר' יעקב דמעמידין להן אפוטרופין לתם לגבות מגופו As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: With regard to both an innocuous ox and a forewarned ox whose owner provided reduced safeguarding for them, he is exempt. The owner is liable only if he did not safeguard them at all. And accordingly, Rabbi Ya’akov teaches us this, that the court appoints stewards for the owners of an innocuous ox to enable the injured party to collect damages from the proceeds of the sale of its body.
א"ל הכי קאמר חדא דאית ביה תרתי טעמא Ravina said to him that this is what Rava was saying by interpreting Rabbi Ya’akov’s statement with regard to a forewarned ox: Rabbi Ya’akov stated one matter containing two elements of reasoning [ta’ama] in accordance with Rabbi Yehuda’s opinion, namely, that a forewarned ox retains its element of innocuousness, and that reduced safeguarding is sufficient for a forewarned ox.
רבינא אמר רשות משנה איכא בינייהו כגון דהוה מועד ונתפקח החרש ונשתפה השוטה והגדיל הקטן ר"י סבר הרי הוא בחזקתו ר' יעקב סבר רשות משנה: Ravina himself said a different explanation of the baraita: The practical difference between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Ya’akov is with regard to whether a change of custody changes the status of the ox. For example, in a case where the ox was forewarned while in the custody of the steward and subsequently the deaf-mute regained his hearing, or the imbecile became halakhically competent, or the minor reached majority, and the ox returned to its owner’s custody. Rabbi Yehuda holds that it is still in its previous status, the change of custody notwithstanding, and that therefore the owner is liable for the full cost of the damage. By contrast, Rabbi Ya’akov holds that the change of custody changes the status of the ox, which reverts to innocuousness, and so the owner pays only half the cost of the damage.
ת"ר אפוטרופסים משלמין מן העלייה ואין משלמין כופר § The Sages taught in a baraita: Stewards are liable to pay from their superior-quality property for damage caused by forewarned oxen under their custody, but they do not pay a ransom if the oxen killed a person.
מאן תנא כופרא כפרה ויתמי לאו בני כפרה נינהו The Gemara asks: Who is the tanna who taught that the purpose of ransom is atonement for the owner of the ox, and that therefore a minor orphan’s steward is exempt from liability to pay it, as orphans are not subject to the obligation of atonement since they are not morally responsible?
א"ר חסדא ר' ישמעאל בנו של ר' יוחנן בן ברוקה היא דתניא (שמות כא, ל) ונתן פדיון נפשו דמי ניזק ר' ישמעאל בנו של רבי יוחנן בן ברוקה אומר דמי מזיק Rav Ḥisda said: It is Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka. As it is taught in a baraita: The verse: “If a ransom is imposed upon him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life” (Exodus 21:30), is referring to the monetary value of the injured party. Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka, says: The ransom corresponds to the monetary value of the one liable for the damage.
מאי לאו בהא קמיפלגי דרבנן סברי כופרא ממונא הוא ור' ישמעאל בנו של רבי יוחנן בן ברוקה סבר כופרא כפרה What, do they not disagree with regard to this very issue? In other words, the Rabbis hold that ransom is monetary restitution for the damage caused, and therefore the heirs of the victim must be paid the monetary value of the victim. And Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka, holds that ransom is atonement for causing the death of a person. Accordingly, the amount of the ransom is the monetary value of the one liable, since, from the perspective of his moral responsibility for the incident, he deserves to pay with his life. Although the court does not impose capital punishment, his atonement is through payment of his own value.
א"ר פפא לא דכ"ע כופרא כפרה הוא והכא בהא קמיפלגי רבנן סברי בדניזק שיימינן ורבי ישמעאל בנו של רבי יוחנן בן ברוקה סבר בדמזיק שיימינן Rav Pappa said: No, it is possible that according to everyone ransom is atonement, and here they disagree with regard to this issue: The Rabbis hold that we evaluate the amount that is appropriate for atonement according to the monetary value of the injured party, and Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka, holds that we evaluate it according to the value of the one liable for the damage. All agree that the purpose of the ransom is atonement.
מ"ט דרבנן נאמרה שיתה למטה ונאמרה שיתה למעלה מה להלן בדניזק אף כאן בדניזק The Gemara elaborates: What is the reasoning of the Rabbis? Imposing is stated in the later verse: “If ransom is imposed upon him” (Exodus 21:30), and imposing is stated in the earlier verse, concerning a person who injures a pregnant woman, causing her to miscarry: “He shall be punished as the husband of the woman shall impose upon him” (Exodus 21:22). This verbal analogy indicates comparison of the two halakhot: Just as there, with regard to compensation for causing miscarriage, the evaluation is according to the monetary value of the injured party, i.e., the fetus, so too here, the ransom is according to the value of the injured party.
ור' ישמעאל בנו של רבי יוחנן בן ברוקה סבר ונתן פדיון נפשו כתיב And Rabbi Yishmael, son of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Beroka, holds that the fact that it is written: “And he shall give for the redemption of his life,” indicates that the ransom is redemption of the life of the ox’s owner, and its amount should accordingly be the owner’s monetary value.
ורבנן אין פדיון נפשו כתיב מיהו כי שיימינן בדניזק שיימינן And the Rabbis would respond to this reasoning that indeed, the phrase: “For the redemption of his life,” is written, indicating that the purpose of the ransom is redemption of his life. Nevertheless, when we evaluate the amount he is liable to pay, we evaluate it according to the value of the injured party.
משבח ליה רבא לר"נ בדרב אחא בר יעקב דאדם גדול הוא א"ל לכשיבא לידך הביאהו לידי § Rava was praising Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov before Rav Naḥman, saying that he is a great man. Rav Naḥman said to him: When he happens to come to you, bring him to visit me.
כי אתא לגביה א"ל בעי מינאי מילתא בעא מיניה שור של שני שותפין כיצד משלמין כופר When Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov eventually came to him, Rav Naḥman said to him: Ask me something. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov asked him: If an ox belonging to two partners kills a person, how do they pay the ransom?
משלם האי כופר והאי כופר כופר אחד אמר רחמנא ולא שני כופרין האי חצי כופר והאי חצי כופר כופר שלם אמר רחמנא ולא חצי כופר If this partner pays the ransom in full and that partner also pays the ransom in full, it would seem incorrect, as the Merciful One states that one ransom shall be paid, but not two ransoms. If this partner pays half the ransom and that partner pays half the ransom, it would also seem incorrect, as the Merciful One states that a full ransom shall be paid, but not half a ransom.
אדיתיב וקא מעיין בה א"ל תנן חייבי ערכין ממשכנין אותן חייבי חטאות ואשמות אין ממשכנין אותן חייבי כופרין מאי While Rav Naḥman was sitting and pondering this question, Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov asked him another question. He said to him: We learned in a mishna: The court repossesses property from those liable to pay their valuations who are delaying their payments. But the court does not repossess property from those liable to bring sin-offerings and guilt-offerings; they are relied upon to bring their offerings of their own initiative, as it is assumed they want to atone for their transgressions (Arakhin 21a). In light of this mishna, what is the halakha with regard to those liable to pay ransom?
כיון דכפרה הוא כחטאת ואשם דמי מחמר חמיר עילויה ולא בעי משכוניה או דלמא כיון דלחבריה הוא דבעי מיתבא ליה ממונא הוא ולא לגבוה הוא ולא חמיר עליה ובעי משכוניה Should it be reasoned that since it is atonement, it is similar to the cases of a sin-offering and a guilt-offering, which a person treats seriously, as it is in his interest to achieve atonement, and therefore the court does not need to repossess property from him? Or perhaps it should be reasoned that since he is required to give the ransom to another person, he considers it a financial liability and does not consider it an obligation toward the Most High, and consequently he does not treat it seriously enough; and therefore the court needs to repossess property from him, as he might not pay it.
אי נמי כיון דהוא לא חטא וממוניה הוא דאזיק לא חמיר מילתא עילויה ובעי משכוניה Alternatively, it could be reasoned that since he himself did not sin but rather it is his property, i.e., his ox, that caused the damage, he does not treat the matter seriously enough, and therefore the court needs to repossess property from him to ensure payment.
א"ל שבקן אסתגר בקמייתא: Rav Naḥman said to him: Leave me alone. I am still stuck on the first question and have no solution, so you must not raise further difficult questions.
ת"ר שאלו בחזקת תם ונמצא מועד בעלים משלמין חצי נזק ושואל משלם חצי נזק The Sages taught: Even though one who borrows an ox from another is generally responsible for damage that it causes, if he borrowed it on the presumption that it was innocuous and it gored and caused damage, and it was then found to be forewarned, the owner pays half the cost of the damage and the borrower pays half the cost of the damage.
הועד בבית שואל והחזירו לבעלים בעלים משלמין חצי נזק ושואל פטור מכלום If the ox was rendered forewarned in the house of the borrower, i.e., it gored three times while in his possession, and he was warned in court, and he then returned it to the owner and it subsequently gored, the owner pays half the cost of the damage, as with regard to him it is still considered innocuous, having become forewarned while not in his custody, and the borrower is exempt from paying any compensation, since the ox is no longer in his custody.
אמר מר שאלו בחזקת תם ונמצא מועד בעלים משלמין חצי נזק ושואל חצי נזק ואמאי לימא ליה תורא שאילי אריא לא שאילי The Master said in the baraita: If one borrowed the ox on the presumption that it was innocuous and it was found to be forewarned, the owner pays half the cost of the damage and the borrower pays half the cost of the damage. The Gemara asks: But why should the borrower pay at all? Let him say to the owner: I borrowed an ox; I did not borrow a lion. I did not accept responsibility for safeguarding a forewarned ox, which behaves violently like a lion.
אמר רב הכא במאי עסקינן שהכיר בו שהוא נגחן Rav said: Here we are dealing with a case where the borrower was aware at the time he borrowed it that it was a goring ox and liable to cause damage.
ונימא ליה תם שאילי מועד לא שאילי The Gemara asks: But if that is the case, let him say to the owner: Even though I knew that it was a goring ox, nevertheless, I borrowed an innocuous ox. I did not intend to borrow a forewarned ox and thereby accept responsibility for safeguarding an ox for which one must pay the full cost of its damage.
משום דא"ל סוף סוף אי תם הוה פלגא נזקא בעית שלומי השתא נמי זיל שלים פלגא נזקא The Gemara answers that the borrower is liable because the owner can say to him: Ultimately, even if it was innocuous, you would be required to pay half the damages. Therefore, now too, go pay half the damages.
ונימא ליה אי תם הוה משתלם מגופו The Gemara asks: But if that is the case, let the borrower say to the owner: If it was innocuous, the damages would be paid from the proceeds of the sale of the body of the ox, not from my property.
משום דא"ל סוף סוף את לאו תורא בעית שלומי לדידי The Gemara answers: The borrower cannot say this, because the owner can say to him: Ultimately, would you not have been required to pay me back the full value of my ox? As a borrower you are obligated to return the ox to me in the same condition that you borrowed it. Even if compensation was collected from the proceeds of its sale you would still have been required to return its full value to me. Therefore, in any event you would effectively be paying for the damage, so you are not losing anything from the fact that the ox is forewarned.
ונימא ליה The Gemara asks: But if that is the case, let the borrower say to him: