Bava Kamma 41bבבא קמא מ״א ב
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41bמ״א ב

היכא דבדק צור ושחט בו דעבדיה כעין סקילה אבל היכא דשחטיה בסכין לא

only in a case where he checked a sharp piece of flint, and, seeing that it did not have any defects, slaughtered the ox with it. In that case, one could say that by slaughtering it with a stone, he performed the equivalent to stoning. Therefore, it is prohibited to eat it. But in a case where he slaughtered it with a knife made of metal, one is not prohibited from eating it.

אמרי אטו סכין כתיבא באורייתא והתנן השוחט במגל יד בצור ובקנה שחיטתו כשירה

The Sages said in response: Is that to say that it is written in the Torah that slaughter must performed specifically with a knife, which would justify a distinction between slaughtering with a stone and a knife? But didn’t we learn in the mishna (Ḥullin 15b): With regard to one who slaughters with a hand-sickle, with a piece of flint, or with a reed, if these implements were suitable to be used for slaughter, his slaughter is valid?

והשתא דנפקא ליה איסור אכילה ואיסור הנאה מלא יאכל את בשרו בעל השור נקי למה לי להנאת עורו דסלקא דעתך אמינא בשרו הוא דאסור בהנאה אבל עורו נשתרי בהנאה קמשמע לן בעל השור נקי

The Gemara asks: And according to Rabbi Abbahu, now that he derives the prohibition of eating and the prohibition of deriving benefit from the verse “Its flesh shall not be eaten,” why do I require the statement: “The owner of the ox shall be clear”? The Gemara answers: This is stated to prohibit deriving benefit from its hide after it has been killed; as it could enter your mind to say that it is specifically its flesh from which it is prohibited to derive benefit, as the verse states: “Its flesh shall not be eaten,” but deriving benefit from its hide will be permitted. Therefore, the Torah teaches us that the owner of the ox shall be clear, to indicate it is prohibited to derive benefit from any part of the ox.

ולהנך תנאי דמפקי ליה להאי בעל השור נקי לדרשה אחרינא [כדבעינן למימר קמן] הנאת עורו מנא להו

The Gemara asks: And according to those tanna’im who expound this verse: “The owner of the ox shall be clear,” for another interpretation, as we wish to state below, from where do they derive this prohibition against deriving benefit from the ox’s hide?

נפקא להו מאת בשרו את הטפל לבשרו מאי ניהו עורו

The Gemara answers: They derive it from the wording: “Its flesh may not be eaten [velo ye’akhel et besaro].” The verse could have been formulated: Velo ye’akhel besaro, which already means: And its flesh shall not be eaten. The addition of the word “et” teaches that the prohibition applies also to that which is secondary to the flesh. And what is that? That is its hide.

והאי תנא את לא דריש

The Gemara adds: And this tanna, who derives it from the statement: “The owner of the ox shall be clear,” does not interpret the word et as a means to derive new halakhot. He considers the word “et” to be an ordinary part of the sentence structure and not a source for exegetical exposition.

כדתניא שמעון העמסוני ואמרי לה נחמיה העמסוני היה דורש כל אתין שבתורה כיון שהגיע (דברים ו, יג) לאת ה' אלהיך תירא פירש אמרו לו תלמידיו רבי כל אתין שדרשת מה תהא עליהן אמר להם כשם שקבלתי שכר על הדרישה כך קבלתי שכר על הפרישה

As it is taught in a baraita: Shimon HaAmasoni, and some say that it was Neḥemya HaAmasoni, would interpret all occurrences of the word et” in the Torah, deriving additional halakhot with regard to the particular subject matter. Once he reached the verse: “You shall fear the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 6:13), which is written with the added word “et,” he withdrew from this method of exposition, as whose fear could be an extension of the fear of God? His students said to him: Our teacher, what will be with all the occurrences of the word et” that you interpreted until now? He said to them: Just as I received reward for the exposition, so I received reward for my withdrawal from using this method of exposition.

עד שבא ר' עקיבא ולימד את ה' אלהיך תירא לרבות תלמידי חכמים:

The word “et” in this verse was not explained until Rabbi Akiva came and expounded: “You shall fear the Lord your God”: The word “et” serves to include Torah scholars, i.e., that one is commanded to fear them just as one fears God. In any event, Shimon HaAmasoni no longer derived additional halakhot from the word et.

ת"ר ובעל השור נקי רבי אליעזר אומר נקי מחצי כופר

§ The Sages taught with regard to the verse: “But the owner of the ox shall be clear,” that Rabbi Eliezer says: It means that he shall be clear from paying half a ransom. Although the owner of an innocuous ox that causes damage is liable to pay half the cost of the damage, if an ox kills a person its owner is not liable to pay any ransom.

אמר לו ר' עקיבא והלא הוא עצמו אין משתלם אלא מגופו הביאהו לבית דין וישלם לך

Rabbi Akiva said to him: Why is it necessary for the verse to teach this? But isn’t compensation for damage caused by an innocuous ox itself anyway paid only from the value of its body? Here too, its owner can say to the claimant: Bring it to court and it will pay you, i.e., you will be paid from its value. Since the ox is stoned, there is nothing from which he can receive payment. Therefore, according to your interpretation, the verse does not introduce any halakha that could not have been inferred by logic, and is therefore superfluous.

אמר לו רבי אליעזר כך אני בעיניך שדיני בזה שחייב מיתה אין דיני אלא כשהמית את האדם על פי עד אחד או על פי בעלים

Rabbi Eliezer said to him: Is this how I appear in your eyes, that my derivation from the verse is in reference to this case, that of an ox that is liable to be put to death? Obviously no verse would be required to teach this halakha in such a case. My derivation is only with regard to a case where the assumption that the ox killed a person is based on the testimony of one witness, or is based on the admission of the owner. Such proof is not sufficient for the ox to be put to death by stoning, but one might have thought that it is sufficient to require its owner to pay ransom.

על פי בעלים מודה בקנס הוא

The Gemara asks: If it is based on the admission of the owner, he clearly would not be liable to pay ransom, since he would be admitting to an act that results in a fine, in which case a person is exempt from paying the fine; so why would it be necessary for the verse to state this exemption?

קסבר כופרא כפרה

The Gemara answers: Rabbi Eliezer holds that ransom is for the purpose of atonement, and is not considered a fine. Accordingly, one might have assumed that even in a case where there is not conclusive testimony, the owner must pay ransom to atone for the killing. Therefore, the verse states that in the case of an innocuous ox, the owner is not liable to pay half a ransom.

תניא אידך אמר לו רבי אליעזר עקיבא כך אני בעיניך שדיני בזה שחייב מיתה אין דיני אלא במתכוון להרוג את הבהמה והרג את האדם למצרי והרג ישראל לנפלים והרג בן קיימא

It is taught in another baraita that Rabbi Eliezer said to him: Akiva, is this how I appear in your eyes, that my derivation from the verse is in reference to this case, that of an ox that is liable to be put to death? My derivation is only with regard to a case where the ox intended to kill an animal but killed a person instead; or where it intended to kill a gentile but killed a Jew; or where it intended to kill a non-viable baby but killed a viable person. An ox is not put to death if it intended to gore in a manner which would not render it liable to be put to death, even if it did gore in such a manner. In such a case, the owner of the ox must pay ransom. Therefore, the verse states that if it is an innocuous ox, the owner is exempt from paying half a ransom.

הי אמר ליה ברישא רב כהנא משמיה דרבא אמר מתכוון אמר ליה ברישא רב טביומי משמיה דרבא אמר המית אמר ליה ברישא

These two baraitot cite different responses that Rabbi Eliezer gave Rabbi Akiva. Which one of these explanations did he say to him first? Rav Kahana said in the name of Rava: He first said to him the explanation referring to the ox’s intention to kill someone for which it would not be liable to be put to death, and subsequently gave him the second explanation with regard to the testimony of a single witness, or the owner’s admission. Rav Tavyumei said in the name of Rava: He first said to him the explanation that it is a case where the assumption that the ox killed was based on one witness or its owner’s admission.

רב כהנא משמיה דרבא אמר מתכוון אמר ליה ברישא משל לצייד ששולה דגים מן הים

The Gemara explains the reasoning behind the two opinions: Rav Kahana said in the name of Rava that first he said to him the explanation involving the ox’s intention, since this opinion is preferable to the other one, against which a difficulty was raised earlier. This is analogous to a fisherman pulling fish from the sea.