Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


K. Damages - Nezikin

"In the eleventh book I will include commandments regarding the relationship between a man and his fellow-man in which damage to person or property is initially involved. And I have called this book the Book of Damages."

64. Damage by Property - Nizkei Mammon

If an animal does damage its owner must pay, as it says "And if a man's ox strikes his friend's ox..."1; but if it does damage through an act that is unusual for it he pays only half, and only up to the value of the animal that did the damage, unless it has become accustomed to such acts. However, there is no responsibility if the damage is done on the owner's property, as it says "And he sends his animal and it eats in another's field"2; and there is responsibility only for unusual acts if the damage is done in a place where the animal has a right to go or if the animal was adequately restrained but escaped. If the animal does not have a private owner at the time the damage is done or at the time of the trial, there is no responsibility.a

If an animal intentionally kills a man it must be stoned, as it says "And if an ox gores a man or woman and they die the ox shall be stoned..."3; and if it has killed repeatedly and has an owner he must pay the heirs compensation (unless it kills on his property), as it says "[And if it is a goring ox...] he shall give redemption for his life according to what he is assessed".3,b

If someone places an obstacle in a public domain and an animal is damaged or killed by it he is responsible, as it says "And if a man opens a pit... and an ox or ass falls there the owner of the pit shall pay..."4; but he is responsible only for a degree of damage that could normally occur from such an obstacle. He is also responsible for damage to a person but not for the death of a person, and he is not responsible for damage to utensils.c

If someone lights a fire and does not take adequate precautions to keep it on his property, and it spreads and does damage to things that could normally be present where it spread, he is responsible, as it says "If a fire goes... and grain [in] the field is consumed the lighter of the fire shall pay".5 If it does damage to a person he is responsible as though he had done the damage by hand. The same laws apply to other sources of damage that are propelled by the wind, provided it is not an unusual wind.d

Sources:

1. Ex. 21:35-36 a. 1:1-2,4,7-8; 7:1; 8:4
2. Ex. 22:4 b. 10:1-2,9,11; 11:1-2
3. Ex. 21:28-32 c. 12:1,10,15; 13:1-2
4. Ex. 21:33-34 d. 14:1-2,8ff,15-16
5. Ex. 22:5



 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

Standing By The Covenant
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Battle Hymn of the Republic
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Connected
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Consistency is Key
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

To Life!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Why Is Rosh Hashanah Hiding?
Shlomo Katz - 5774

ArtScroll

Of Blandisments and Seductions
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Love your Neighbor as Yourself
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Wake Up, and Choose Life
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Repentance or Excuse?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

One Teaspoon, Or Two?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

> A Standing Ovation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Why Bring the Children?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Was Moshe a Bad Neighbor?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

A Final Warning
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information