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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Kamma
the refuse of boiled dates [that had been placed on public ground] ownerless? We can well understand this in the case of R. Adda b. Ahabah who acted in accordance with his own dictum, but in the case of R. Huna, are we to say that he changed his view? — These owners [in that case] had been warned [several times not to repeat the nuisance].1
MISHNAH. IF TWO POTTERS WERE FOLLOWING ONE ANOTHER AND THE FIRST STUMBLED AND FELL DOWN AND THE SECOND STUMBLED BECAUSE OF THE FIRST, THE FIRST IS LIABLE FOR THE DAMAGE DONE TO THE SECOND.
GEMARA. R. Johanan said: Do not think [that the Tanna of] this Mishnah is R. Meir who considers stumbling as implying carelessness that involves liability.2 For even according to the Rabbis who maintain [that stumbling is] mere accident for which there is exemption,2 there should be liability here where he3 had [meanwhile had every possibility] to rise and nevertheless did not rise. [But] R. Nahman b. Isaac said: You may even say that [the Mishnah speaks also of a case] where he3 did not yet have [any opportunity] to rise, for he3 was [surely able] to caution4 and nevertheless did not caution. R. Johanan, however, considers that where he3 did not yet have [any opportunity] to rise, he3 could hardly be expected to caution as he was [surely] somewhat distracted.
We have learnt: If the carrier of the beam was in front, the carrier of the barrel behind, and the barrel broke by [colliding with] the beam, he5 is exempt. But if the carrier of the beam stopped suddenly, he is liable.6 Now, does this not mean that he stopped for the purpose of shouldering the beam as is usual with carriers, and it yet says that he is liable, [presumably] because [he failed] to caution?7 — No, he suddenly stopped to rest [which is rather unusual in the course of carrying]. But what should be the law8 in the case where he stopped to shoulder the beam? Would there then be exemption? Why then state in the subsequent clause,9 'Where he, however, warned the carrier of the barrel to stop, he is exempt'? Could the distinction not be made in the statement of the same case [in the following manner]: 'Provided that he stopped to rest; but if he halted to shift the burden on his shoulder, he is exempt'? — It was, however, intended to let us know that even where he stopped to rest, if he warned the carrier of the barrel to stop, he is exempt.
Come and hear: If a number of potters or glass-carriers were walking in line and the first stumbled and fell and the second stumbled because of the first and the third because of the second, the first is liable for the damage [occasioned] to the second, and the second is liable for the damage [occasioned] to the third. Where, however, they all fell because of the first, the first is liable for the damage [sustained] by them all. If [on the other hand] they cautioned one another, there is exemption. Now, does this teaching not deal with a case where there has not yet been [any opportunity] to rise?10 — No, [on the contrary] they [have already] had [every opportunity] to rise. But what should be the law8 in the case where they [have not yet] had [any opportunity] to rise? Would there then be exemption? If so, why state in the concluding clause, 'If [on the other hand] they cautioned one another, there is exemption'? Could the distinction not be made in the statement of the same case [in the following manner]: 'Provided that they have already had every opportunity to rise; but if they have not yet had any opportunity to rise, there is exemption'? — This is what it intended to let us know: That even where they [have already] had [every opportunity] to rise, if they cautioned one another, there is exemption.
Raba said: The first is liable for damage [done] to the second whether directly by his person11 or by means of his chattels,12 whereas the second is liable for damage to the third only if done by his person13 but not if caused by his chattels. [Now,] in any case [how could these rulings be made consistent]? [For] if stumbling implies carelessness, why should not also the second be liable [for all kinds of damage]?14 If [on the other hand] stumbling does not amount to carelessness, why should even the first not enjoy immunity?
Baba Kamma 31b
— The first was certainly [considered] careless,1 whilst, as to the second, he is liable for damage done by his person, [that is,] only where he [has already] had [the opportunity] to rise and did [nevertheless] not rise; for damage caused by his chattels he is [however] exempt, as he may say to him:2 It is not I who dug this pit.3
An objection was raised [from the following Baraitha]: All of them are liable for damage [done] by their person,4 but exempt for damage [caused] by their chattels.4 Does [this Baraitha] not refer even to the first?5 — No, with the exception of the first. But is it not stated, 'All of them…'? — R. Adda b. Ahabah said: 'All of them' refers to [all] the plaintiffs.6 [But] how is this? If you maintain that the first [is] also [included], we understand why the Baraitha says 'All of them'. But if you contend that the first is excepted, what [meaning could there be in] 'All of them'? Why [indeed] not say 'The plaintiffs'? — Raba [therefore] said: The first7 is liable for both injuries inflicted upon the person of the second and damage caused to the chattels of the second, whereas the second8 is liable to compensate the third only for injuries inflicted upon his person but not for damage9 to his chattels; the reason being that the [person of the] second is subject to the law applicable to Pit, and no case can be found where Pit would involve liability for inanimate objects.10 This accords well with the view of Samuel, who holds that all nuisances are [subject to the law applicable to] Pit.11 But according to Rab who maintains that it is only where the nuisance has been abandoned that this is so, whereas if not [abandoned] it is not so,12 what reason could be advanced?13 — We must therefore accept the first version,14 and as to the objection raised by you [from the Baraitha], 'All of them are liable',15 it has already been interpreted by R. Adda b. Minyomi in the presence of Rabina to refer to a case where inanimate objects have been damaged by the chattels [of the defendant].16
The Master stated: 'Where, however, they all fell because of the first, the first is liable for the damage [sustained] by them all.' How [indeed can they all] fall [because of the first]? — R. Papa said: Where he blocked the road like a carcass, [closing the whole width of the road]. R. Zebid said: Like a blind man's staff.17
MISHNAH. IF ONE COMES WITH HIS BARREL AND AN OTHER COMES WITH HIS BEAM AND THE PITCHER18 OF THIS ONE BREAKS BY [COLLISION WITH] THE BEAM OF THIS ONE, HE19 IS EXEMPT, FOR THE ONE IS ENTITLED TO WALK [THERE AND CARRY BEAMS] AND THE OTHER IS ENTITLED TO WALK [THERE AND CARRY BARRELS]. WHERE THE CARRIER OF THE BEAM WAS IN FRONT, AND THE CARRIER OF THE BARREL BEHIND, AND THE BARREL BROKE BY [COLLISION WITH] THE BEAM, THE CARRIER OF THE BEAM IS EXEMPT.20
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