אַרְבָּעָה אֲבוֹת נְזִיקִין, הַשּׁוֹר וְהַבּוֹר וְהַמַּבְעֶה וְהַהֶבְעֵר. לֹא הֲרֵי הַשּׁוֹר כַּהֲרֵי הַמַּבְעֶה, וְלֹא הֲרֵי הַמַּבְעֶה כַּהֲרֵי הַשּׁוֹר. וְלֹא זֶה וָזֶה, שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן רוּחַ חַיִּים, כַּהֲרֵי הָאֵשׁ, שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים. וְלֹא זֶה וָזֶה, שֶׁדַּרְכָּן לֵילֵךְ וּלְהַזִּיק, כַּהֲרֵי הַבּוֹר, שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לֵילֵךְ וּלְהַזִּיק. הַצַּד הַשָּׁוֶה שֶׁבָּהֶן, שֶׁדַּרְכָּן לְהַזִּיק וּשְׁמִירָתָן עָלֶיךָ. וּכְשֶׁהִזִּיק, חָב הַמַּזִּיק לְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי נֶזֶק בְּמֵיטַב הָאָרֶץ: There are four primary categories of damage: The category of Ox; and the category of Pit; and the category of Maveh, which, based on a discussion in the Gemara refers either to the tooth of an animal that causes damage or to a person who causes damage; and the category of Fire. Each of these categories is unique; therefore, the halakhot of one cannot be derived from another. The defining characteristic of the primary category of Ox is not similar to the defining characteristic of the primary category of Maveh, and the defining characteristic of the primary category of Maveh is not similar to the defining characteristic of the primary category of Ox. And the defining characteristics of this category of Ox and that category of Maveh, in which there is a living spirit that causes damage, are not similar to the defining characteristic of the category of Fire, in which there is no living spirit. The mishna continues: And the defining characteristics of this primary category of Ox and Maveh and that primary category of Fire, in which the typical manner of their components is to proceed from one place to another and cause damage, are not similar to the defining characteristic of the primary category of Pit, in which the typical manner of its components is not to proceed from one place to another and cause damage; rather, it remains in place and the damage is caused by the injured party proceeding and encountering the obstacle. The common denominator of the components in all of these primary categories is that it is their typical manner to cause damage, and the responsibility for their safeguarding to prevent them from causing damage is incumbent upon you, the owner of the animal or generator of the fire or the pit. And when a component of any of these categories causes damage, the owner or generator of the component that caused the damage is obligated to pay restitution for damage with best-quality land.
כָּל שֶׁחַבְתִּי בִשְׁמִירָתוֹ, הִכְשַׁרְתִּי אֶת נִזְקוֹ. הִכְשַׁרְתִּי בְמִקְצָת נִזְקוֹ, חַבְתִּי בְתַשְׁלוּמִין כְּהֶכְשֵׁר כָּל נִזְקוֹ. נְכָסִים שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם מְעִילָה, נְכָסִים שֶׁל בְּנֵי בְרִית, נְכָסִים הַמְיֻחָדִים, וּבְכָל מָקוֹם חוּץ מֵרְשׁוּת הַמְיֻחֶדֶת לַמַּזִּיק וּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק וְהַמַּזִּיק. וּכְשֶׁהִזִּיק, חָב הַמַּזִּיק לְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי נֶזֶק בְּמֵיטַב הָאָרֶץ: With regard to anything for which I became responsible for safeguarding it to prevent it from causing damage, if it in fact causes damage, it is considered as if I actively facilitated that damage, and accordingly I must pay for it. In any case in which I facilitated part of the damage it caused, I am liable for payments of restitution for damage it caused, as if I were the one who facilitated the entire damage it caused. One is liable only with regard to damage caused to property for which, were he to use it for a non-sacred purpose, he would not be liable for the misuse of consecrated property; with regard to damage caused to property that belongs to members of the covenant, i.e., Jews; and with regard to assigned property, the meaning of which the Gemara will explain. And one is liable for damage caused in any place except for a domain designated exclusively for the use of the one responsible for the damage. And one is liable for damage caused in a domain designated for the joint use of the injured party and the one liable for the damage. When an animal or item one is responsible to safeguard causes damage, the one liable for the damage caused by insufficiently safeguarding it is obligated to pay payments of restitution for damage with his best-quality land.
שׁוּם כֶּסֶף, וְשָׁוֶה כֶסֶף, בִּפְנֵי בֵית דִּין, וְעַל פִּי עֵדִים בְּנֵי חוֹרִין בְּנֵי בְרִית. וְהַנָּשִׁים בִּכְלָל הַנֶּזֶק. וְהַנִּזָּק וְהַמַּזִּיק בַּתַּשְׁלוּמִין: The determination of payment of damages is made by monetary appraisal. One pays with items worth money. This halakha applies before a court. And it is based upon the testimony of witnesses who are free men, i.e., men who are not Canaanite slaves, and who are members of the covenant, i.e., Jews. And women are included in the halakhot of damages in the same way as men. And both the injured party and the one liable for the damage are involved in the payment. The Gemara will explicate each of these principles.
חֲמִשָּׁה תַמִּין וַחֲמִשָּׁה מוּעָדִין, הַבְּהֵמָה אֵינָהּ מוּעֶדֶת לֹא לִגַּח וְלֹא לִגֹּף וְלֹא לִשֹּׁךְ וְלֹא לִרְבֹּץ וְלֹא לִבְעֹט. הַשֵּׁן מוּעֶדֶת לֶאֱכֹל אֶת הָרָאוּי לָהּ, הָרֶגֶל מוּעֶדֶת לְשַׁבֵּר בְּדֶרֶךְ הִלּוּכָהּ, וְשׁוֹר הַמּוּעָד, וְשׁוֹר הַמַּזִּיק בִּרְשׁוּת הַנִּזָּק, וְהָאָדָם. הַזְּאֵב וְהָאֲרִי וְהַדֹּב וְהַנָּמֵר וְהַבַּרְדְּלָס וְהַנָּחָשׁ, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מוּעָדִין. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵן בְּנֵי תַרְבּוּת, אֵינָן מוּעָדִין. וְהַנָּחָשׁ מוּעָד לְעוֹלָם. מַה בֵּין תָּם לְמוּעָד. אֶלָּא שֶׁהַתָּם מְשַׁלֵּם חֲצִי נֶזֶק מִגּוּפוֹ, וּמוּעָד מְשַׁלֵּם נֶזֶק שָׁלֵם מִן הָעֲלִיָּה: There are five damage-causing acts that an animal can perform twice and remain innocuous even when its owner was warned each time to prevent it from doing so. After the third time, the animal is rendered forewarned. In such cases, the owner is liable to pay only half of the damages. And there are five damage-causing acts for which an animal is considered forewarned, at times even if it had never caused damage in that manner. In such cases the owner is liable to pay the full cost of the damage. An animal is not considered forewarned with regard to Goring, i.e., not for goring with its horns, nor for pushing with its body, nor for biting, nor for crouching upon items in order to damage them, nor for kicking. In these cases the animal is considered to be innocuous and its owner is liable for only half of the damages. Concerning acts of damage performed with the tooth, the animal is considered forewarned with regard to eating that which is fitting for it to eat. Concerning acts of damage performed with the foot, the animal is considered forewarned with regard to breaking items while walking. And there is a forewarned ox, which gored three times and each time his owner was warned to safeguard his ox from doing so. And there is an ox that causes damage to the property of the injured party while on the property of the injured party. And there is the person, i.e., any damage done by a person. In all of these cases the one who caused the damage is considered to be forewarned, resulting in the obligation to pay the full cost of the damage. The mishna presents the halakha for wild animals: The wolf; the lion; the bear; the leopard; the bardelas, the meaning of which the Gemara will discuss; and the snake. These are considered forewarned even if they had never previously caused damage. Rabbi Elazar says: When these animals are domesticated they are not considered forewarned. But the snake is always considered forewarned. What is the difference between the liability incurred for damage caused by an ox that is considered innocuous and the liability incurred for damage caused by an ox that is forewarned? The only differences are that for damage caused by an innocuous ox, the owner pays half the cost of the damage exclusively from proceeds of the sale of the body of the ox, and for a forewarned ox he pays the full cost of the damage from his higher property.