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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Kamma
MISHNAH. THE PRINCIPAL CATEGORIES OF DAMAGE1 ARE FOUR: THE OX,2 THE PIT,3 THE 'SPOLIATOR' [MAB'EH]4 AND THE FIRE.5 THE ASPECTS OF THE OX ARE [IN SOME RESPECTS] NOT [OF SUCH LOW ORDER OF GRAVITY] AS THOSE OF THE 'SPOLIATOR';6 NOR ARE [IN OTHER RESPECTS] THOSE OF THE 'SPOLIATOR' [OF SUCH LOW ORDER OF GRAVITY] AS THOSE OF THE OX;6 NOR ARE THE ASPECTS OF EITHER OF THEM, IN WHICH THERE IS LIFE, [OF SUCH LOW ORDER OF GRAVITY] AS THOSE OF THE FIRE WHICH IS NOT ENDOWED WITH LIFE;6 NOR ARE THE ASPECTS OF ANY OF THESE, THE HABIT OF WHICH IS TO BE MOBILE AND DO DAMAGE, [OF SUCH LOW ORDERS OF GRAVITY] AS THOSE OF THE PIT OF WHICH IT IS NOT THE HABIT TO MOVE ABOUT AND DO DAMAGE.6 THE FEATURE COMMON TO THEM ALL IS THAT THEY ARE IN THE HABIT OF DOING DAMAGE; AND THAT THEY HAVE TO BE UNDER YOUR CONTROL SO THAT WHENEVER ANY ONE [OF THEM] DOES DAMAGE THE OFFENDER IS LIABLE TO INDEMNIFY WITH THE BEST OF HIS ESTATE.7
GEMARA. Seeing that PRINCIPAL CATEGORIES are specified, it must be assumed that there are derivatives. Are the latter equal in law to the former or not?
Regarding Sabbath we learnt: The principal classes of prohibited acts are forty less one.8 'Principal classes' implies that there must be subordinate classes. Here the latter do in law equal the former; for there is no difference between a principal and a subordinate [prohibited act] with respect either to the law of sin-offering9 or to that of capital punishment by stoning.10 In what respect then do the two classes differ? — The difference is that if one simultaneously committed either two principal [prohibited] acts or two subordinate acts one is liable [to bring a sin-offering] for each act, whereas if one committed a principal act together with its respective Subordinate, one is liable for one [offering] only. But according to R. Eliezer who imposes the liability [of an offering] for a subordinate act committed along with its Principal,11 to begin with why is the one termed 'Principal' and the other 'Subordinate'? — Such acts as were essential in the construction of the Tabernacle are termed 'Principal',12 whereas such as were not essential in the construction of the Tabernacle are termed 'Subordinate.'
Baba Kamma 2b
and the Person who has been in contact with a human corpse.1 [In this connection] their Resultants2 are not equal to them in law; for a primary defilement3 contaminates both human beings and utensils,4 while Resultants defile only foods and drinks,5 leaving human beings and utensils undefiled.
Here [in connection with damages] what is the [relationship in] law [between the principal and the secondary kinds]? — Said R. Papa: Some of the derivatives are on a par with their Principals whereas others are not.
Our Rabbis taught: Three principal categories [of damage] have been identified in Scripture with Ox: The Horn, The Tooth, and The Foot. Where is the authority for 'Horn'? For our Rabbis taught: If it will gore.6 There is no 'goring' but with a horn, as it is said: And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the Lord, With these shalt thou gore the Arameans;7 and it is further said, His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of a unicorn: with them he shall gore the people together etc.8
Why that 'further' citation? — Because you might perhaps say that Pentateuchal teachings cannot be deduced from post-Pentateuchal texts;9 come therefore and hear: His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of a unicorn etc.8 But is that a [matter of] deduction? Is it not rather merely an elucidation of the term 'goring'10 as being effected by a horn?11 — [Were it not for the 'further' citation] you might say that the distinction made by Scripture between [the goring of a] Tam12 and [that of a] Mu'ad13 is confined to goring effected by a severed horn,14 whereas in the case of a horn still naturally attached, all goring is [habitual and consequently treated as of a] Mu'ad; come therefore and hear: His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of a unicorn, etc.8
What are the derivatives of Horn? — Collision, Biting, [malicious] Falling and Kicking.
Why this differentiation? If Goring is termed Principal because it is expressly written, If it will gore,15 why should this not apply to Collision, as it is also written, If it will collide?16 — That collision denotes goring, as it was taught: The text opens with collision16 and concludes with goring17 for the purpose of indicating that 'collision' here denotes 'goring'.
Why the differentiation between injury to man, regarding which it is written If it will gore,18 and injury to animal regarding which it is written if it will collide?19 — Man who possesses foresight is, as a rule, injured [only] by means of [wilful] 'goring',20 but an animal, lacking foresight, is injured by mere 'collision'. A [new] point is incidentally made known to us, that [an animal] Mu'ad to injure man is considered Mu'ad in regard to animal,21 whereas Mu'ad to injure animal is not considered Mu'ad in regard to man.20
'Biting': is not this a derivative of Tooth? — No; Tooth affords the animal gratification from the damage while Biting affords it no gratification from the damage.
'Falling and Kicking'; are not these derivatives of Foot? — No; the damage of foot occurs frequently while the damage of these does not occur frequently.
But what then are the derivatives which, R. Papa says, are not on a par with their Principals? He can hardly be said to refer to these, since what differentiation is possible? For just as Horn does its damage with intent and, being your property, is under your control, so also these [derivatives] do damage with intent and, being your property, are under your control! The derivatives of Horn are therefore equal to Horn, and R. Papa's statement refers to Tooth and Foot.
'Tooth' and 'Foot'- where in Scripture are they set down? — It is taught: And he shall send forth22 denotes Foot, as it is [elsewhere] expressed, That send forth the feet of the ox and the ass.23 And it shall consume22 denotes Tooth as [elsewhere] expressed, As the tooth consumeth
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