Jul 292016

If a person damages a part of one’s field so that same laws of assessing the field based on 60, still apply?  A braita is brought with different opinions regarding laws of evaluating based on what stage of development the fruits were at the time of the damage.  This leads to a discussion and a story regarding looking at something or someone’s potential.  one who puts a pile of grain in someone else’s field – who assumes responsibility for animals eating it or it causing damage?  It depends on whether it was put there with permission or not.  If someone gives a fire to a person without knowledge, and it spreads – the one who gave him the fire is exempt by law but obligated by the hands of God.  Reish Lakish and Rabbi Yochanan disagree regarding the type of fire discussed.

Jul 282016

The mishna said that if an animal falls into someone’s property and benefited, the owner pays what he benefited.   What type of benefit is the mishna discussing – eating or that the produce softened the fall?   Does it make a difference what caused the animal to fall?  What if the animal moved to a different area of the field and ate there – is the owner still exempt from damages and only pays what he benefited?  There are a number of different opinions. How does one assess damages an animal does to someone else’s field?  Different opinions are brought.  The main opinion is that it is evaluated based on a field that is 60 times larger (within that, there are a few varying interpretations).  The rabbis question whether this method of assessing is true also for a person who damages another’s field or only if it is their property that caused the damage.

Jul 272016

If someone finds a lost item that he is obligated to return, what level of obligation does he have for the item – is he considered like a shomer who watches an item for free or like one who gets paid?  Raba and Rav Yosef disagree about this and questions are brought for each side from other sources (mostly tannaitic).

Jul 262016

A braita is brought that lists damages that one causes to someone else and yet is not obligated by the hands of men but is obligated by the hands of God.  The gemara then questions why the list is limited to these four and doesn’t mention others that have the same law.  A distinction is made between the cases listed here as they are cases where one may have thought one wouldn’t even be obligated by God and therefore they are different than the other cases brought.  The next cases in the mishna are analyzed:  if the gate opens at night – what is the case?  What type of wall?  How did it break?  IF the robber takes the animal, he is responsible?  Isn’t this obvious?  The gemara gives 2 explanations what the case is and why it needed to be stated.

Jul 252016

One difference between the wording of the ten commandments in the book of shmot and the book of devarim is discussed – why the word “good” appears in the context of the commandment to respect your parents appears only in devraim (“so that it will be good for you”).  From here, the gemara discusses things one sees in one’s dreams that are a sign of good things to come.   The gemara then goes back to the topic discusses in the mishna about crossbreeding or coworking two animals that are from the same species but not the same type.  The sixth chapter begins with laws regarding one who watched his animal properly but the animal got out and ate of trampled a field.  The gemara connects it back to an argument we saw earlier about what level of watching is needed for an animal who gored three times (shor muad) – would the same apply here for eating an trampling as all animals are considered muad for that behavior as it is expected, or is there a difference?

Jul 242016

Study Guide Bava Kamma 54

Many basic arguments regarding bor are brought.  One is not responsible if a person falls into the pit and dies (but one is responsible for damages).  One is not responsible for vessels that fall in but Rabbi Yehuda disagrees and says one is responsible.  The verse mentions just animals – an ox and a donkey.  Drashot are brought to explain from where do we know that all animals are included (even birds).  The mishna explained that one is obligated for an ox that is deaf, dumb or young.  That seemed to imply not if the animal was older and not blemished.  the rabbis at first think that somehow the mishna also includes that case but eventually concludes that one is not responsible for that case as an ox should also be paying attention (like a person) and therefore the owner is not responsible.  There is an argument between the Rambam and Raavad about whether this is only true for death and not damages (as by a person).  The mishna then brings other cases in the Torah where specific animals are mentioned and yet the intent is all animals.  The gemara explains the derivation in each case.

Jul 222016

Study Guide Bava Kamma 52

At what point does one owner pass over responsibility to the other?  This leads the gemara to also question if handing over keys to a house would be a way of transferring ownership.  One of the rabbis says it is and the gemara questions it as that is not one of the methods by which one can acquire land.  Other cases are brought where one covers it and yet somehow it gets uncovered.  If the second owner of the pit sees it and doesn’t cover it, he is responsible.  The gemara questions – at which point would the first owner revert back to assuming responsibility for it together with the second person?  If one covers it and somehow the animal falls in anyway, the owner is not responsible.  The gemara says that it must be when the cover rotted.   From here, the gemara raises a question abotu covering it with something that is protected for an ox but not for a camel.  What if the camel came and weakened it and then the ox fell in.  The gemara tries to answer the question from our mishna but is unsuccessful.  It then suggests a different version of the question and again tries to answer it from our mishna.

Jul 212016

Is it the airpspace of the pit that kills or the impact?  Does an impact of less than ten handbreadths kill?  If not, why did Rav Nachman claim determine that an animal that has fallen into a pit less than 10 and was then slaughtered, was not kosher for eating as he must have been a treifa (going to die anyway)?  Comparisons are made between other areas of halacha where 10 handbreadths are relevant.  In cases where two people own the pit or a responsible for it, who assumes responsibility?  Does it depend on who dug what?  And whether it was for damages or for death?

Jul 202016

Study Guide Bava Kamma 50

A few cases are brought in which a convert dies and questions are asked regarding his property – a document saying property is liened to him or a collateral in his possession or a collateral of his in the lender’s possession.  Is the person whose possession it is in (or the one who the collateral belonged to) immediately gain ownership over the object or is it up for grabs?  Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael debate what the classic case of bor is – in public property or in private property that was made public but he retains ownership of the bor?  Raba and Rav Yosef each think that they agree in one domain and disagree about the other.  Rav Yosef’s opinion is questions by a few braitot but they are answered up.  A story is brought about a reservoir digger whose daughter fell into a pit and was saved.  A theological statement is made about why she never would have died in that way because of her father’s actions.  However a counter argument is brought by showing that his son died from thirst even though he dug the reservoirs so people would have water to drink on the way to Jerusalem for the holidays.    Another interesting statement is made regarding that even though we think that our own private property is our and public property is not, public property will always belong to us as it is for our use whereas private property may be sold.  Rav and Shmuel argue about whether one is responsible for bor because of the airspace of the bor or because of the impact of the hit on the floor of the bor.

Jul 192016

Study Guide Bava Kamma 49

An animal who attacks a pregnant woman and she miscarries does not pay the value of the fetus but a person who attacks a pregnant woman does pay.  This is because the verse in the Torah describes this situation and says that the attacker must pay the value of the fetus to the husband.  How is the amount evaluated?  If the husband is no longer alive, it goes to his inheritors, but what if he is a convert or a freed Caananite servant and has no inheritors?  This questions are debated and various answers are given.  A distinction is also made (according to one opinion) between the value of the fetus and the value of the woman who is no larger from eating more as a result of the pregnancy.