(שמות כג, כ) הנה אנכי שולח מלאך לפניך לשמרך בדרך
“Behold, I send an angel before you, to keep you by the way” (Exodus 23:20), indicating that an angel was sent in place of God to guard the Jewish people.
א"ל רבא לרבה בר מרי מנא הא מילתא דאמרי אינשי בתר מרי ניכסי ציבי משך א"ל דכתיב (בראשית יג, ה) וגם ללוט ההולך את אברם היה צאן ובקר ואהלים
Rava said to Rabba bar Mari: From where is this matter derived whereby people say: Drag wood after a property owner. In other words, help out a wealthy man even in a small way, as this may lead to your benefiting from him. Rabba bar Mari said to him that the source is as it is written: “And Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents” (Genesis 13:5).
אמר רב חנן המוסר דין על חבירו הוא נענש תחילה שנאמר (בראשית טז, ה) ותאמר שרי אל אברם חמסי עליך וכתיב (בראשית כג, ב) ויבא אברהם לספוד לשרה ולבכותה והני מילי דאית ליה דינא בארעא
§ In connection with the incident of Abraham and Abimelech mentioned in the mishna, the Gemara quotes a related statement. Rabbi Ḥanan says: One who passes the judgment of another to Heaven is punished first, as it is stated: “And Sarai said to Abram: My wrong be upon you, I gave my handmaid into your bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: The Lord judge between me and you” (Genesis 16:5). Sarai stated that God should judge Abram for his actions. And it is written: “And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her” (Genesis 23:2), as Sarah died first. The Gemara comments: And this matter applies only in a situation where he has someone to do judgment for him on earth and has no need to appeal to the heavenly court.
אמר רבי יצחק אוי לו לצועק יותר מן הנצעק תניא נמי הכי אחד הצועק ואחד הנצעק במשמע אלא שממהרין לצועק יותר מן הנצעק
Concerning this, Rabbi Yitzḥak says: Woe to he who cries out to Heaven more than the one about whom he is crying out. The Gemara comments: This concept is also taught in a baraita: Both the one who cries out and the one about whom he is crying out are included in the verse discussing the cries of an orphan who is mistreated: “If you afflict them, for if they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword” (Exodus 22:22–23). But they are quicker to punish the one who cries out than the one about whom he is crying out, as in the incident with Sarai.
ואמר רבי יצחק לעולם אל תהי קללת הדיוט קלה בעיניך שהרי אבימלך קלל את שרה ונתקיים בזרעה שנאמר (בראשית כ, טז) הנה הוא לך כסות עינים אמר לה הואיל וכסית ממני ולא גילית שהוא אישך וגרמת אלי הצער הזה יהי רצון שיהו לך בני כסויי עינים ונתקיים בזרעה דכתיב (בראשית כז, א) ויהי כי זקן יצחק ותכהין עיניו מראות
The Gemara provides another lesson from the story of Abraham and Abimelech. And Rabbi Yitzḥak says: The curse of an ordinary person should never be regarded as light in your eyes, for Abimelech cursed Sarah and it was fulfilled in her descendant. The curse on Sarah is as it is stated: “Behold, it is to you a covering of the eyes” (Genesis 20:16), meaning that he said to her: Since you concealed your status from me and you did not reveal that Abraham is your husband, and you caused me this suffering, may it be God’s will that you should have children with covered eyes. And this curse was fulfilled in her descendant, as it is written: “And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see” (Genesis 27:1).
אמר רבי אבהו לעולם יהא אדם מן הנרדפין ולא מן הרודפין שאין לך נרדף בעופות יותר מתורים ובני יונה והכשירן הכתוב לגבי מזבח:
Rabbi Abbahu says: A person should always be among those who are pursued and not among the pursuers. One can prove that this is so, as none among birds are pursued more than doves and pigeons, as all predators hunt them, and from all birds the verse deemed them fit to be sacrificed on the altar.
האומר סמא את עיני כו': א"ל רב אסי בר חמא לרבא מאי שנא רישא ומאי שנא סיפא
§ The mishna teaches: With regard to one who says to another: Blind my eye, or: Cut off my hand, or: Break my leg, and he does so, the latter is liable to pay for the damage, even if the injured party explicitly instructed him to do so on the condition that he will be exempt from payment. But if one instructs another to damage his property on the condition that he will be exempt from payment, he is exempt. Rav Asi bar Ḥama said to Rava: What is different in the first clause and what is different in the latter clause?
אמר ליה רישא לפי שאין אדם מוחל על ראשי אברים
Rava said to him: In the case of the first clause he is liable, despite the fact that he was instructed to carry out the injury on the condition that he would be exempt, because a person does not forgo compensation for damage to his extremities such as his eyes, hands, and feet, mentioned in the mishna (92a). Consequently, when he told the assailant that he would be exempt, the presumption is that he was not sincere.
א"ל וכי אדם מוחל על צערו דתניא הכני פצעני על מנת לפטור פטור אישתיק
Rav Asi bar Ḥama said to him: But does a person forgo compensation for his pain when he doesn’t lose a limb? As it is taught in a baraita: With regard to one who said to another: Strike me, or wound me, on the condition that you will be exempt from payment, he is exempt. According to Rava’s reasoning, he should be liable in this case as well, as the presumption should be that he was not sincere. Rava was silent, as he did not have a response.
אמר מידי שמיע לך בהא אמר ליה הכי אמר רב ששת משום פגם משפחה
Rava said to him: Have you heard anything with regard to this matter? Rav Asi bar Ḥama said to him that this is what Rav Sheshet said: It is because loss of a limb may result in a family flaw, i.e., it may cause harm to the family name. One who loses a limb not only suffers pain; his family suffers as well. He is not in a position to forgive the assailant for the harm caused to his family, but he may forgo compensation for his own pain. Consequently, if he instructed another merely to injure him, without causing loss of limb, on condition that the assailant will be exempt from payment, the assailant will be exempt.
איתמר ר' אושעיא אמר משום פגם משפחה רבא אמר משום שאין אדם מוחל על ראשי אברים שלו
It was stated that the amora’im disagreed concerning the explanation for the ruling of the first clause of the mishna. Rabbi Oshaya says: It is because loss of a limb may result in a family flaw. Rava says: It is because a person does not forgo compensation for damage to his extremities.
רבי יוחנן אמר יש הן שהוא כלאו ויש לאו שהוא כהן
Rabbi Yoḥanan says: There is a yes that, based on other factors, is like a no and is not viewed as giving consent. And conversely, there is a no that, based on other factors, is like a yes, and although one said no it is as though he gave consent. In this case as well, where he said: On condition to be exempt, he was not sincere.
תניא נמי הכי הכני פצעני על מנת לפטור ואמר לו הן הרי יש הן שהוא כלאו קרע את כסותי על מנת לפטור ואמר לו לאו הרי לאו שהוא כהן:
The Gemara comments that this is also taught in a baraita. With regard to one who said to another: Strike me, or wound me; and the other asks: Is this on the condition that I will be exempt from payment? And the first one said to him, in the tone of a question: Yes, this is an example of the principle: There is a yes that is like a no. It is as if the victim asked: Even if I give you permission to do it, do you think that I would forgo the compensation? By contrast, if one said: Tear my garment, and the other asks: Is this on the condition that I will be exempt from payment? And he said to him, in the tone of a question: No, this is an example of a no that is like a yes, since he meant to say that if he did not want to exempt him from payment he would not ask him to do it.
שבר את כדי קרע את כסותי חייב: ורמינהי (שמות כב, ו) לשמור ולא לאבד לשמור ולא לקרוע לשמור ולא לחלק לעניים
§ The mishna teaches that if one instructed another: Break my jug, or: Tear my garment, and the other did so, he is liable to pay for the damage. And the Gemara raises a contradiction from a baraita: The verses state with regard to bailees: “If a man delivers to his neighbor money or vessels to safeguard” (Exodus 22:6), and: “If a man delivers to his neighbor an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to safeguard” (Exodus 22:9). The Sages derived from these verses that the bailee is liable if the item was given to him to safeguard, but not where it was given to him to destroy; if it was given to him to safeguard, but not where it was given to him to tear; if it was given to him to safeguard, but not where it was given to him to distribute to the poor. This indicates that a bailee is not liable for damage to an item if he was told to tear it, even if the owner did not state that it is on condition to be exempt.
אמר רב הונא לא קשיא הא דאתי לידיה הא דלא אתי לידיה
Rav Huna said: This is not difficult, as this mishna that obligates him to pay for the damage is dealing with a case where it came into his possession, and he was responsible for it before the owner instructed him to tear it. Therefore, even if he was instructed to tear it, he is liable. And that baraita, which exempts him from paying, is discussing a case where it did not come into his possession, but he simply tore it.
אמר ליה רבה לשמור דאתי לידיה משמע
Rabba said to Rav Huna: But the phrase in the verse “to safeguard,” which obligates a bailee, indicates that it came into his possession already, and this is the case of the baraita that rules he is exempt.
אלא אמר רבה הא והא דאתא לידיה ולא קשיא הא דאתא לידיה בתורת שמירה הא דאתא לידיה בתורת קריעה
Rather, Rabba said: This and that are discussing a case where it came into his possession, and it is not difficult. This mishna is discussing a case where it came into his possession as an item given for safeguarding, and he is exempt if the owner stated explicitly that this will be the case, and that baraita is discussing a case where it came into his possession as an item given for tearing.
ההוא ארנקא דצדקה דאתי לפומבדיתא אפקדה רב יוסף גבי ההוא גברא פשע בה אתו גנבי גנבוה חייביה רב יוסף א"ל אביי והתניא לשמור ולא לחלק לעניים
The Gemara relates: There was a certain purse full of charity money that came to the city of Pumbedita. Rav Yosef deposited it with a certain man. That man was negligent in safeguarding it and thieves came and stole it. Rav Yosef deemed the bailee liable to pay compensation. Abaye said to Rav Yosef: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: To safeguard, but not where it was given to him to distribute to the poor? This seems to teach that with regard to money that is distributed to the poor, there is no halakha of safeguarding.
אמר ליה עניי דפומבדיתא מיקץ קיץ להו ולשמור הוא:
Rav Yosef said to him: The poor of Pumbedita have an amount that is set for them to receive. Each poor person already had a specific sum designated for him, and accordingly is in the category of: To safeguard. Therefore, he is liable.
הדרן עלך החובל