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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Kamma
[argued that the word] 'or' was necessary as a disjunctive.1 And R. Judah? — [He maintained that] the disjunction could be derived from [the use of the singular] And it fall.2 And the Rabbis? — [They could reply that even the singular] And it fall could also imply many [things].3
May I say [that the expression] And it fall is intended as a generalisation,4 while an ox or an ass [follows as] a specification, and where a generalisation is followed by a specification, the generalisation does not apply to anything save what is enumerated in the specification,5 so that only in the case of an ox or an ass should there be liability, but not for any other object whatsoever? — No; for it could be said that [the clause] The owner of the pit shall make it good6 generalises again. Now where there is a generalisation preceding a specification which is in its turn followed by another generalisation, you include only such cases as are similar to the specification.5 [Thus here] as the specification refers to objects possessing life, so too all objects to be included [must be such] as possess life.7 But [why not argue] since the specification refers to [animate] objects whose carcass would cause defilement whether by touching or by carrying,8 should we not include [only animate] objects whose carcass would similarly cause defilement whether by touching or by carrying,9 so that poultry would thus not be included?10 — If so, the Divine Law would have mentioned only one object in the specification. But which [of the two]11 should the Divine Law have mentioned? Had it inserted [only] 'ox', I might have said that an animal which was eligible to be sacrificed upon the altar12 should be included, but that which was not eligible to be sacrificed upon the altar13 should not be included.14 If [on the other hand] the Divine Law had [only] 'ass', I might have thought that an animal which was subject to the sanctity of firstborn15 should be included, but that one which was not subject to the sanctity of firstborn16 should not be included.17 [But still why indeed not exclude poultry?] Scripture says: 'And the dead shall be his' [implying] all things that are subject to death. [If so,] whether according to the Rabbis who exclude inanimate objects, or according to R. Judah who includes inanimate objects, [the question maybe raised] are inanimate objects subject to death? It may be said that their breaking is their death. But again according to Rab who stated18 that the liability imposed by the Torah in the case of Pit was for the unhealthy air [of the pit] but not for the blow [it gave], would either the Rabbis or R. Judah maintain that inanimate objects could be damaged by unhealthy air? — It may be said that [this could happen] with new utensils that burst in bad air. But was not this [clause] And the dead shall be his19 required for the ruling of Raba?20 For did Raba not say,21 'Where a sacred ox which had become disqualified [for the altar] fell into a pit, there would be exemption', as it is said: And the dead shall be his [implying that it was only] in the case of an ox whose carcass could be his [that there would be liability] and thus excluding the case of this ox whose carcass could never be his? — But Scripture says: He should give money unto the owner of it19 [implying] that everything is included which has an owner. If so, why not also include even inanimate objects and human beings?22 — Because Scripture says specifically 'an ox', [implying] and not 'a man', 'an ass' [implying] and not inanimate objects. Now according to R. Judah who included inanimate objects we understand the term 'ox' because it was intended to exclude 'man', but what was intended to be excluded by the term an ass? — Raba therefore said:23 The term 'ass' in the case of Pit, on the view of R. Judah, as well as the term 'sheep' [occurring in the section dealing] with lost property24 on the view unanimously accepted, remains difficult to explain.
IF THERE FELL INTO IT AN OX, DEAF, ABNORMAL OR SMALL THERE WOULD BE LIABILITY. What is the meaning of 'AN OX, DEAF, ABNORMAL OR SMALL'? It could hardly be suggested that the meaning is 'an ox of a deaf owner, an ox of an abnormal owner, an ox of a minor', for would not this imply exemption in the case of an ox belonging to a normal owner?25 — R. Johanan said: [It means] 'an ox which was deaf, an ox which was abnormal, an ox which was small.'
Baba Kamma 54b
Still, would not this imply exemption in the case of an ox which was normal?1 — R. Jeremiah thereupon said: A particularly strong case is taken:2 There could be no question that in the case of a normal ox there should be liability, but in the case of an ox which is deaf or abnormal or small it might have been thought that it was its deafness that caused [the damage to it] or that it was its smallness that caused it [to fall] so that the owner of the pit should be exempt.3 We are therefore told [that even here he is liable]. Said R. Aha to Rabina: But it has been taught: If a creature possessing sense fell into it there would be exemption. Does this not mean an ox possession sense? — He replied: No, it means a man. [If that is so,] would not this imply that only in the case of a man who possesses sense that there would be exemption, whereas if he did not possess sense there would be liability, [and how can this be, seeing that] it is written 'ox' [which implies] 'and not man'? — The meaning of 'one possessing sense' must therefore be 'one of the species of rational being'. But he again said to him: Was it not taught: If there fell into it an ox possessing sense there would be exemption? — Raba therefore said: [The Mishnaic text indeed means] precisely an ox which was deaf, an ox which was abnormal, an ox which was small, for in the case of an ox which was normal there would be exemption, the reason being that such an ox should have looked more carefully while walking. So indeed was it taught likewise:4 Where there fell into it an ox which was deaf, or abnormal or small, or blind or while walking at night time, there would be liability whereas if it was normal and walking during the day there would be exemption.
MISHNAH. BOTH AN OX AND ANY OTHER ANIMAL ARE ALIKE [BEFORE THE LAW WITH REFERENCE] TO FALLING INTO A PIT,5 TO EXCLUSION FROM MOUNT SINAI,6 TO PAYING DOUBLE [IN CASES OF THEFT],7 TO RESTORING LOST PROPERTY,8 TO UNLOADING [BURDENS TOO HEAVY FOR AN ANIMAL TO BEAR],9 TO ABSTAINING FROM MUZZLING,10 TO HETEROGENEOUS ANIMALS [BEING COUPLED11 OR WORKING TOGETHER],12 TO SABBATH REST.13 SO ALSO BEASTS AND BIRDS ARE LIKE THEM. IF SO WHY DO WE READ, AN OX OR AN ASS? ONLY BECAUSE SCRIPTURE SPOKE OF THE MORE USUAL [ANIMALS IN DOMESTIC LIFE].
GEMARA. [WITH REFERENCE] TO FALLING INTO A PIT, since it is written, He should give money unto the owner of it,14 [to include] everything that an owner has, as indeed already stated.15 TO EXCLUSION FROM MOUNT SINAI [as it is written] Whether it be animal or man, it shall not live.6 Beast16 is included in 'animal' and [the word] 'whether' includes 'birds'. TO PAYING DOUBLE, as we said elsewhere:17 [The expression] for all manner of trespass18 is comprehensive. TO RESTORING LOST PROPERTY; [this is derived from the words] with all lost things of thy brother.19 TO UNLOADING [BURDENS TOO HEAVY FOR AN ANIMAL TO BEAR]; we derive this [by] comparing [the term] 'ass'9 with [the term] 'ass'13 [occurring in connection] with the Sabbath.20 TO [ABSTAINING FROM] MUZZLING; this we learn [similarly by] comparing [the term] 'ox'10 with [the term] 'ox'13 [used in connection] with Sabbath.20 TO HETEROGENEOUS ANIMALS; the rule as regards ploughing we learn [by comparing the term] 'ox'12 with the term 'ox'13 used [in connection] with Sabbath;20 and the rule as regards coupling we learn [by comparing the term] 'thy cattle'11 with the term 'thy cattle'13 [used in connection] with Sabbath. But whence are [all these rules known] to us in the case of Sabbath [itself]? — As it was taught: R. Jose says in the name of R. Ishmael: In the first Decalogue21 it is said thy manservant and thy maidservant and thy cattle22 whereas in the second Decalogue23 it is said thy ox and thy ass and any of thy cattle.24 Now, are not 'ox' and 'ass' included in 'any of thy cattle'? Why then were they singled out? To tell us that just as in the case of the 'ox and ass' mentioned here,24 beasts and birds are on the same footing with them.25 So also [in any other case where 'ox and ass' are mentioned] all beasts and birds are on the same footing with them. But may we not say that 'thy cattle' in the first Decalogue21 is a generalisation, and 'thy ox and thy ass' in the second Decalogue is a specification, and [we know that] where a generalisation is followed by a specification, the generalisation does not include anything save what is mentioned in the specification,26 [whence it would follow that only] 'ox and ass' are [prohibited]27 but not any other thing? — I may reply that the words 'and any of thy cattle' in the second Decalogue constitute a further generalisation, so that we have a generalisation preceding a specification which in its turn is followed by another generalisation; and in such a case you include also28 that which is similar to the specification,26 so that as the specification [here] mentions objects possessing life, there should thus also be included all objects possessing life. But, I may say, the specification mentions [living] things whose carcass would cause defilement whether by touching or by carrying.29 [Why not say that] there should also be included all [living] things whose carcass would similarly cause defilement whether by touching or by carrying,30 so that birds would thus not be included?31 — I may reply: If that were the case, the Divine Law would have inserted only one [object in the] specification. But which [of the two]32 should the Divine Law have inserted? For were the Divine Law to have inserted [only] 'ox', I might have thought than an animal which was eligible to be sacrificed upon the altar33 should be included, but one which was not eligible to be sacrificed upon the altar34 should not be included, so that the Divine Law was thus compelled to insert also 'ass'.35 If [on the other hand] the Divine Law had inserted [only] 'ass', I might have thought that [an animal which was subject to the] sanctity of first birth36 should be included, but that which was not subject to the sanctity of first birth37 should not be included; the Divine Law therefore inserted also 'ox'.38 It must therefore [be said that] and all thy cattle is [not merely a generalisation but] an amplification.39 [Does this mean to say that] wherever the Divine Law inserts [the word] 'all', it is an amplification? What about tithes where [the word] 'all' occurs and we nevertheless expound it as an instance of generalisation and specification? For it was taught:40 And thou shalt bestow that money for all that thy soul lusteth after41 is a generalisation; for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink41 is a specification; or for all that thy soul desireth is again a generalisation. Now, where a generalisation precedes a specification which is in its turn followed by another generalisation you cannot include anything save what is similar to the specification. As therefore the specification [here]41 mentions products obtained from products42 and which spring from the soil43 there may also be included all kinds of products obtained from products44 and which spring from the soil.45 [Does this not prove that the expression 'all' was taken as a generalisation, and not as an amplification?]46 — I might say that [the expression] 'for all'47 is but a generalisation, whereas 'all' would be an amplification. Or if you wish I may say that [the term] 'all' is also a generalisation, but in this case48 'all' is an amplification. For why was it not written And thy cattle just as in the first Decalogue? Why did Scripture insert here 'and all thy cattle' unless it was meant to be an amplification? — Now that you decide that 'all' is an amplification49 why was it necessary to have 'thy cattle' in the first Decalogue and 'ox and ass' in the second Decalogue? — I may reply that 'ox' was inserted [to provide a basis] for comparison of 'ox' with [the term] 'ox' [used in connection] with muzzling; so also 'ass' [to provide a basis] for comparison of 'ass' with the term 'ass' [used in connection] with unloading; so again 'thy cattle' [to provide a basis] for comparison of 'thy cattle' with [the expression] 'thy cattle' [occurring in connection] with heterogeneity. If that is the case [that heterogeneity is compared with Sabbath breaking] why should even human beings not be forbidden50 [to plough together with an animal]? Why have we learnt; A human being is allowed to plough [the field] and to pull [a waggon] with any of the beasts?51 — R. Papa thereupon said: The reason of this matter was known to the Papunean,52 that is R. Aha b. Jacob [who said that as] Scripture says that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou48 [it is only] in respect of the law of rest that I should compare them [to cattle] but not of any other matter.
R. Hanina b. 'Agil asked R. Hiyya b. Abba: Why in the first Decalogue is there no mention of wellbeing,53 whereas in the second Decalogue
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