Mishneh Torah, Hiring
Chapter 1א׳
1 א

אַרְבָּעָה שׁוֹמְרִים נֶאֶמְרוּ בַּתּוֹרָה וּשְׁלֹשָׁה דִּינִין יֵשׁ לָהֶם. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הָאַרְבָּעָה שׁוֹמְרִין. שׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם. וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל. וְנוֹשֵׂא שָׂכָר. וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר:

Four guardians have been mentioned in the Torah, but only three rules govern their liability. The four guardians are: 1) the gratuitous guardian 2) the borrower, 3) the paid guardian, and 4) the hirer.

2 ב

וְאֵלּוּ הֵן שְׁלֹשָׁה דִּינִין שֶׁלָּהֶן. שׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם שֶׁנִּגְנַב הַפִּקָּדוֹן מִמֶּנּוּ אוֹ אָבַד וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם נֶאֱנַס הַפִּקָּדוֹן אֹנֶס גָּדוֹל כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה בְּהֵמָה וּמֵתָה אוֹ נִשְׁבֵּית הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע שֶׁשָּׁמַר כְּדֶרֶךְ הַשּׁוֹמְרִין וּפָטוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ו) "וְגֻנַּב מִבֵּית הָאִישׁ" וְגוֹ' (שמות כב ז) "וְנִקְרַב בַּעַל הַבַּיִת אֶל הָאֱלֹהִים". הַשּׁוֹאֵל מְשַׁלֵּם הַכּל בֵּין שֶׁאָבַד דָּבָר הַשָּׁאוּל אוֹ נִגְנַב בֵּין שֶׁאֵרְעוֹ אֹנֶס גָּדוֹל מִזֶּה כְּגוֹן שֶׁמֵּתָה הַבְּהֵמָה הַשְּׁאוּלָה אוֹ נִשְׁבְּרָה אוֹ נִשְׁבֵּית שֶׁכָּךְ כָּתוּב בְּשׁוֹאֵל (שמות כב יג) "וְנִשְׁבַּר אוֹ מֵת בְּעָלָיו אֵין עִמּוֹ שַׁלֵּם יְשַׁלֵּם". נוֹשֵׂא שָׂכָר אוֹ הַשּׂוֹכֵר שְׁנֵיהֶם דִּין אֶחָד יֵשׁ לָהֶן אִם נִגְנַב אוֹ אָבַד הַדָּבָר הַשָּׂכוּר אוֹ שֶׁנָּטַל שָׂכָר עַל שְׁמִירָתוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְשַׁלְּמִים. וְאִם אֵרְעוֹ אֹנֶס גָּדוֹל מִזֶּה כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה בְּהֵמָה וּמֵתָה אוֹ נִשְׁבְּרָה אוֹ נִשְׁבֵּית אוֹ נִטְרְפָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ נִשְׁבָּעִין שֶׁנֶּאֶנְסָה וּפְטוּרִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ט) "וּמֵת אוֹ נִשְׁבַּר אוֹ נִשְׁבָּה אֵין רֹאֶה" (שמות כב י) "שְׁבֻעַת ה'" וְגוֹ' וּכְתִיב (שמות כב יא) "אִם גָּנֹב יִגָּנֵב מֵעִמּוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם לִבְעָלָיו" וְגוֹ'. נִמְצֵאתָ אוֹמֵר שׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם נִשְׁבָּע עַל הַכּל. וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל מְשַׁלֵּם אֶת הַכּל חוּץ מִן הַמֵּתָה בִּשְׁעַת מְלָאכָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. נוֹשֵׂא שָׂכָר וְהַשּׂוֹכֵר מְשַׁלְּמִין אֶת הָאֲבֵדָה וְאֶת הַגְּנֵבָה וְנִשְׁבָּעִין עַל הָאֳנָסִין הַגְּדוֹלִים כְּגוֹן שְׁבוּרָה וּשְׁבוּיָה וּמֵתָה וּטְרֵפָה. אוֹ שֶׁאָבַד הַדָּבָר בִּסְפִינָה שֶׁטָּבְעָה בַּיָּם אוֹ נִלְקַח בְּלִסְטִים מְזֻיָּן וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ מִשְּׁאָר אֳנָסִין הַגְּדוֹלִים:

The three rules that govern their liability are:
a) A gratuitous guardian from whom the deposited object was stolen or lost, and needless to say if it was overcome by a major accident, as in the case of an animal that dropped dead or was carried off, may take an oath that he had guarded it properly and be free from liability, as it is written: "When a man gives money or goods to another for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the man's house … the owner of the house shall depose before the judges (Exodus 22:6-7).
b) A borrower must make restitution in every case, whether the object borrowed was lost or stolen or overcome by a major accident, as when a borrowed animal dropped dead or was injured or carried off. Concerning the borrower it is written: "When a man borrows [an animal] from another, and it was injured or died, its owner not being with it, he must make restitution" (13).
c) A paid guardian and a hirer are both subject to one rule. They are obligated to make restitution if either the hired object or the deposit for a fee was stolen or lost. But if something worse happened [through a superior force], as in the case of an animal that dropped dead or was injured, carried off, or torn by beasts, the paid guardian or the hirer may take an oath that the animal met with an accident and be released from liability, as it is written: "When a man gives to another a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to guard, and it dies or is injured, or is carried off, with no witness about, an oath before the Lord shall decide between the two of them" (9-10). It is written moreover: "But if it was stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner" (11).
Hence it follows that the gratuitous guardian clears himself by his oath in all cases; the borrower pays in all cases, except in the case of an animal that died from work, as will be explained ; the receiver of a fee and the hirer pay for what is lost or stolen, but they take an oath about the major accidents, namely about the injured or captured or dead or torn animal; or in a case where the object was lost in shipwreck or was taken by armed robbers; and so too, all similar major accidents.
3. When a man gives something to another for safekeeping, whether gratuitously or for a fee, or if he lent or rented it to him, the guardian is free from all responsibility if he borrowed or hired the services of the owner. Even if he was negligent with regard to the safekeeping of the object and it was lost through his fault, he is not answerable, as it is written: "If its owner was with it, no restitution need be paid; but if it was hired, he loses the hiring fee" (14).— — This [biblical verse] has been traditionally interpreted to mean that if the lender was with the borrower at the moment of the borrowing, though he was not with him at the time of the theft or the death of the animal, the borrower is exempt. But if the lender was not with the borrower at the moment of the borrowing, even though he was with him at the time the animal died or was carried off, the borrower is liable. The same rule applies to all other bailees: they are exempt if the owners were present, even in a case of negligence.

3 ג

הַמַּפְקִיד אֵצֶל חֲבֵרוֹ בֵּין בְּחִנָּם בֵּין בְּשָׂכָר אוֹ הִשְׁאִילוֹ אוֹ הִשְׂכִּירוֹ אִם שָׁאַל הַשּׁוֹמֵר אֶת הַבְּעָלִים עִם הַדָּבָר שֶׁלָּהֶן אוֹ שְׂכָרָן הֲרֵי הַשּׁוֹמֵר פָּטוּר מִכְּלוּם. אֲפִלּוּ פָּשַׁע בַּדָּבָר שֶׁשָּׁמַר וְאָבַד מֵחֲמַת הַפְּשִׁיעָה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב יד) "אִם בְּעָלָיו עִמּוֹ לֹא יְשַׁלֵּם אִם שָׂכִיר הוּא בָּא בִּשְׂכָרוֹ". בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁשָּׁאַל הַבְּעָלִים אוֹ שְׂכָרָן בְּעֵת שֶׁנָּטַל הַחֵפֶץ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הַבְּעָלִים שָׁם עִמּוֹ בְּעֵת הַגְּנֵבָה וְהָאֲבֵדָה אוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱנַס. אֲבָל נָטַל הַחֵפֶץ וְנַעֲשָׂה עָלָיו שׁוֹמֵר תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ שָׂכַר הַבְּעָלִים אוֹ שְׁאָלָן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיוּ הַבְּעָלִים עוֹמְדִין שָׁם בְּעֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱנַס הַדָּבָר הַשָּׁמוּר הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב יג) "בְּעָלָיו אֵין עִמּוֹ שַׁלֵּם יְשַׁלֵּם" מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ הָיָה עִמּוֹ בִּשְׁעַת הַשְׁאָלָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בְּעֵת הַגְּנֵבָה וְהַמִּיתָה פָּטוּר לֹא הָיָה עִמּוֹ בִּשְׁעַת הַשְׁאָלָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיָה עִמּוֹ בְּעֵת הַמִּיתָה אוֹ הַשְּׁבִיָּה חַיָּב. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הַשּׁוֹמְרִים שֶׁכֻּלָּן בִּבְעָלִים פְּטוּרִין אֲפִלּוּ פְּשִׁיעָה בִּבְעָלִים פָּטוּר:

One who deposits [property] with his fellow - whether for free, or the owner paid the bailee, or the owner lent it to him, or he rented it out to him - if the bailee also took the owner for free along with his property - or hired [the owner for money] - the bailee is completely exempt from all [loss to the property]. As it is said: "If [the property's] owner is with it, he need not pay; if [the property's owner] is a hired worker, [the risk of damage to his property] is included in his wage" (Exodus 22:14). In what circumstances does this apply? When the owners volunteered or were hired at the same time as [the bailee] took the object, even if the owner was not with the object at the time of the theft or the loss or when the [object was lost through] force majeure. But if [the bailee] took the object - and first became a bailee - and only afterwards hired the owners or had them volunteer - even if the owner is standing there at the time when the deposited object is harmed - the [bailee] must pay. As it is written "If its owner is not with it - [the bailee] must pay." (Exodus 22:13). They learned from tradition: If [the owner] was with it at the time of borrowing, even though he was not there at the time of the theft or the death - [the bailee] is exempt. If [the owner] was not with it at the time of borrowing, even though he was with it at the time of death or capture - [the bailee] is liable. And this is the case for the other [types of] bailees. If any of [the objects] come with their owners - [the bailees] are exempt. Even if [the bailee] is negligent - if the object came with its owner, [the bailee] is exempt.

4 ד

כָּל שׁוֹמֵר שֶׁפָּשַׁע בִּתְחִלָּתוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנֶּאֱנַס בְּסוֹפוֹ חַיָּב כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. וְאֵין הַשּׁוֹאֵל רַשַּׁאי לְהַשְׁאִיל אֲפִלּוּ שָׁאַל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה שֶׁכָּל שֶׁקּוֹרֵא בּוֹ עוֹשֶׂה מִצְוָה לֹא יַשְׁאִילֶנּוּ לְאַחֵר. וְכֵן אֵין הַשּׂוֹכֵר רַשַּׁאי לְהַשְׂכִּיר אֲפִלּוּ הִשְׂכִּירוֹ סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה לֹא יַשְׂכִּירֶנּוּ לְאַחֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה פִּקְדוֹנִי בְּיַד אַחֵר. עָבַר הַשּׁוֹמֵר וּמָסַר לַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי אִם יֵשׁ עֵדִים שֶׁשְּׁמָרָהּ הַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי כְּדֶרֶךְ הַשּׁוֹמְרִין וְנֶאֱנַס פָּטוּר הַשּׁוֹמֵר הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי יֵשׁ עֵדִים שֶׁנֶּאֱנַס. וְאִם אֵין שָׁם עֵדִים חַיָּב הַשּׁוֹמֵר הָרִאשׁוֹן לְשַׁלֵּם לַבְּעָלִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמָּסַר לְשׁוֹמֵר אַחֵר וְיַעֲשֶׂה הוּא דִּין עִם הַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הָרִאשׁוֹן שׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם וּמָסַר לְשׁוֹמֵר שָׂכָר חַיָּב שֶׁהֲרֵי יֵשׁ לְבַעַל הַחֵפֶץ לוֹמַר לוֹ אַתָּה נֶאֱמָן אֶצְלִי לְהִשָּׁבַע וְזֶה אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה דֶּרֶךְ הַבְּעָלִים לְהַפְקִיד תָּמִיד דָּבָר זֶה אֵצֶל הַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי הֲרֵי זֶה הַשּׁוֹמֵר הָרִאשׁוֹן פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּם שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר לַבְּעָלִים זֶה הַדָּבָר שֶׁהִפְקַדְתֶּם אֶצְלִי אוֹ הִשְׁאַלְתֶּם אֶמֶשׁ הֱיִיתֶם מַפְקִידִין אוֹתוֹ אֵצֶל זֶה שֶׁהִפְקַדְתִּי אֲנִי אֶצְלוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יְמַעֵט שְׁמִירָתוֹ. כֵּיצַד יְמַעֵט שְׁמִירָתוֹ. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה מֻפְקָד אֶצְלוֹ בְּשָׂכָר וְהִפְקִידוֹ אֵצֶל אוֹתוֹ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּחִנָּם אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה שָׁאוּל אֶצְלוֹ וְהִפְקִידוֹ אֵצֶל אוֹתוֹ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשָׂכָר הוֹאִיל וּמִעֵט שְׁמִירָתוֹ פּוֹשֵׁעַ הוּא וּמְשַׁלֵּם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשָּׁאַל אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר בַּבְּעָלִים הֲרֵי הוּא הוֹצִיא הַדָּבָר הַשָּׁמוּר מִיָּדוֹ לְיַד שׁוֹמֵר אַחֵר:

If a bailee was at fault at the beginning, even though the object was - in the end - lost through force majeure, [the bailee] may be liable, as will be explained. And the borrower is not permitted to lend [what he borrowed] to a third party. Even if he borrowed a Torah scroll - where everyone who reads from it performs a mitzvah - he may not lend it to a third party. Likewise, the renter is not permitted to rent out [the object] [to a third party]. Even if [the owner] rented a Torah scroll to him, he may not rent it to a third party, for [the owner] can say to [the bailee]: I don't want my deposit to be in the hands of a third party. If the bailee transgresses and passes the [object] to a second bailee - if there are witnesses that the second bailee exercised the ordinary care of bailees and [the object was lost through] force majeure, the first bailee is not liable - because there are witnesses that [the loss occurred through force majeure. But if there are no witnesses there, the first bailee has to pay the owner, because he passed [the object] to another bailee. And [the first bailee] may recover from the second bailee. Even if the first bailee was an unpaid bailee and he passed [the object] to a paid bailee - [the first bailee is] liable, because the object's owner can say to him: I trust you to take an oath, but I don't trust [the paid bailee's oath]. Therefore, if the owner habitually deposits this object with the second bailee, the first bailee is not liable to pay, because he can say to the owner: this object that you deposited with me or lent to me last night - you used to deposit it with this person with whom I deposited it. But this is only in a case where [the bailee] does not reduce the duty of care. What is a case of reducing the duty of care? If it was deposited with him for money, and he deposited it with the second [bailee] without payment, or if he had borrowed the object, and he deposited it with the second [bailee] for money. Since [the first bailee] lowered the duty of care, he is at fault and he pays [the owner]. Even if [the first bailee] acquired the services of the object's owner for free or by paying [the owner], he has removed the deposited object from his possession to the possession of a different bailee [and must repay the owner].

5 ה

וְאִם הֵבִיא הַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי הָרְאָיָה שֶׁיִּפָּטֵר בָּהּ שׁוֹמֵר רִאשׁוֹן כְּדִין שְׁמִירָתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. כֵּיצַד. שׁוֹמֵר שָׂכָר שֶׁנָּתַן הַבְּהֵמָה הַשְּׁמוּרָה אֶצְלוֹ לְשׁוֹמֵר חִנָּם אִם הֵבִיא הַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי עֵדִים שֶׁמֵּתָה הַבְּהֵמָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ הֲרֵי הַשּׁוֹמֵר הָרִאשׁוֹן פָּטוּר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

6 ו

שׁוֹמֵר שֶׁמָּסַר לְשׁוֹמֵר אַחֵר וְהוֹסִיף בִּשְׁמִירָתוֹ וּמֵתָה הַהֲנָאָה לַבְּעָלִים. כֵּיצַד. הַשּׂוֹכֵר פָּרָה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְהִשְׁאִילָהּ לְאַחֵר וּמֵתָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ בְּיַד הַשּׁוֹאֵל הוֹאִיל וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל חַיָּב בַּכּל יַחְזִירוּ דְּמֵי הַפָּרָה לַבְּעָלִים שֶׁאֵין זֶה הַשּׂוֹכֵר עוֹשֶׂה סְחוֹרָה בְּפָרָתוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. הָיָה בְּיָדוֹ פִּקָּדוֹן וּשְׁלָחוֹ בְּיַד אַחֵר לִבְעָלָיו הוֹאִיל וְהַשּׁוֹמֵר הָרִאשׁוֹן חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְיַד הַבְּעָלִים אִם בָּא לַחְזֹר וּלְהַחְזִיר הַפִּקָּדוֹן מִיַּד הַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי מַחְזִיר. וְאִם הֻחְזַק הַשּׁוֹמֵר הָרִאשׁוֹן כַּפְרָן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַחְזִיר הַפִּקָּדוֹן מִיַּד הַשּׁוֹמֵר הַשֵּׁנִי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן הַפִּקָּדוֹן בְּאַחֲרָיוּתוֹ שֶׁל רִאשׁוֹן: