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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Kamma
there is a mention of wellbeing?1 — He replied: While you are asking me why wellbeing is mentioned there, ask me whether wellbeing is in fact mentioned or not, as I do not know whether wellbeing is mentioned there or not.2 Go therefore to R. Tanhum b. Hanilai who was intimate with R. Joshua b. Levi, who was an expert in Aggadah. When he came to him he was told by him thus: 'From R. Joshua b. Levi I have not heard anything on the matter. But R. Samuel b. Nahum the brother of the mother of R. Aha son of R. Hanina, or as others say the father of the mother of R. Aha son of R. Hanina, said to me this: Because the [first tablets containing the] Commandments were destined to be broken.'3 But even if they were destined to be broken, how should this affect [the mention of wellbeing]? — R. Ashi thereupon said: God forbid! Wellbeing would then have ceased in Israel.4
R. Joshua5 said: He who sees [the letter] teth6 in a dream [may regard it as] a good omen for himself. Why so? If because it is the initial letter of [the word] 'Tob' ['good'] written in Scripture,7 why not say [on the contrary that it is also the initial letter of the verb 'ta'atea'8 commencing the Scriptural verse] And I will sweep it with the besom of destruction?9 — We are speaking [here of where he saw in a dream only] one teth [whereas ta'atea contains two such letters]. But still why not say [that it might have referred to the word 'tum'ah'10 as in the verse] Her filthiness is in her skirts?11 — We are speaking of [where he saw in a dream the letters] 'teth' and 'beth'.12 But again why not say [that it might have referred to the verb tabe'u13 as in the verse], Her gates were sunk in to the ground?14 — The real reason is that Scripture used this letter on the very first occasion to express something good, for from the beginning of Genesis up to [the verse] And God saw the light15 no teth occurs.16 R. Joshua b. Levi similarly said: He who sees [the word] hesped17 in a dream [may take it as a sign that] mercy has been exercised towards him in Heaven, and that he will be released [from trouble].18 provided, however, [he saw it] in script.
SO ALSO BEASTS AND BIRDS ARE LIKE THEM etc. Resh Lakish said: Rabbi taught here19 that a cock, a peacock and a pheasant are heterogeneous with one another.20 Is this not obvious?21 — R. Habiba said: Since they can breed from one another it might have been thought that they constitute a homogeneous species; we are therefore told [by this that this is not the case]. Samuel said:22 The [domestic] goose and the wild goose are heterogeneous with each other. Raba son of R. Hanan demurred [saying:] What is the reason? Shall we say because one has a long neck and the other has a short neck? If so, why should a Persian camel and an Arabian camel similarly not be considered heterogeneous with each other, since one has a thick neck and the other a slender neck? — Abaye therefore said: [It is because] one23 has its genitals discernible from without while the other one24 has its genitals within. R. Papa said: [It is because] one23 becomes pregnant with only one egg at fecundation, whereas the other one21 becomes pregnant with several eggs at one fecundation. R. Jeremiah reported that Resh Lakish said: He who couples two species of sea creatures becomes liable to be lashed.25 On what ground?26 R. Adda b. Ahabah said in the name of 'Ulla: This rule comes from the expression 'after its kind'27 [in the section dealing with fishes] by comparison with 'after its kind'28 [in reference to creatures] of the dry land. Rehabah inquired: If a man drove [a waggon] by means of a goat and a mullet together, what would be the legal position? Should we say that since a goat could not go down into the sea and a mullet could not go up on to the dry land, no transgression has been committed, or do we say that after all they are now pulling together?29 Rabina demurred to this: If this is so, supposing one took wheat and barley together in his hand and sowed the wheat on the soil of Eretz Yisrael30 and the barley on the soil outside Eretz Yisrael,31 would he be liable [as having transgressed the law]?32 — I might answer: Where is the comparison? There [in your case]33 Eretz Yisrael is the place subject to this obligation whereas any country outside Eretz Yisrael is not subject to this obligation; but here,34 both one place35 and the other36 are subject to the obligation.37
Baba Kamma 55b
MISHNAH. IF A MAN BRINGS SHEEP INTO A SHED AND LOCKS THE DOOR IN FRONT OF THEM PROPERLY, BUT THE SHEEP [NEVERTHELESS] GET OUT AND DO DAMAGE, HE IS NOT LIABLE.1 IF, HOWEVER, HE DOES NOT LOCK THE DOOR IN FRONT OF THEM PROPERLY, HE IS LIABLE.2 IF [THE WALL] BROKE DOWN AT NIGHT, OR IF ROBBERS BROKE IN, AND THEY3 GOT OUT AND DID DAMAGE, HE WOULD NOT BE LIABLE. IF [HOWEVER] ROBBERS TOOK THEM OUT [FROM THE SHED AND LEFT THEM AT LARGE AND THEY DID DAMAGE] THE ROBBERS WOULD BE LIABLE [FOR THE DAMAGE].4 BUT IF THE OWNER HAD LEFT THEM IN A SUNNY PLACE, OR HE HAD HANDED A MINOR, AND THEY GOT AWAY AND DID DAMAGE, HE HANDED THEM OVER TO THE CARE OF A DEAF-MUTE, AN IDIOT, HE WOULD BE LIABLE.4 IF HE HAD HANDED THEM OVER TO THE CARE OF A SHEPHERD, THE SHEPHERD WOULD HAVE ENTERED [INTO ALL RESPONSIBILITIES] INSTEAD OF HIM. IF A SHEEP [ACCIDENTALLY] FELL INTO A GARDEN AND DERIVED BENEFIT [FROM THE FRUIT THERE], PAYMENT WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE TO THE EXTENT OF THE BENEFIT,5 WHEREAS IF IT HAD GONE DOWN THERE IN THE USUAL WAY AND DONE DAMAGE, THE PAYMENT WOULD HAVE TO BE FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE DAMAGE DONE BY IT.6 HOW IS PAYMENT MADE FOR THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE DONE BY IT?6 BY COMPARING THE VALUE OF AN AREA IN THAT FIELD REQUIRING ONE SE'AH7 [OF SEED] AS IT WAS [PREVIOUSLY] WITH WHAT ITS WORTH IS [NOW]. R. SIMEON, HOWEVER, SAYS: IF IT CONSUMED RIPE FRUITS THE PAYMENT SHOULD BE FOR RIPE FRUITS; IF ONE SE'AH8 [IT WOULD BE FOR] ONE SE'AH, IF TWO SE'AHS [FOR] TWO SE'AHS.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: What is denominated 'properly' and what is not 'properly'? — If the door was able to stand against a normal wind,9 it would be 'properly', but if the door could not stand against a normal wind, that would be 'not properly'. R. Manni b. Pattish thereupon said: Who can be the Tanna [who holds] that in the case of Mu'ad,10 even inadequate precaution11 suffices [to confer exemption]? It is R. Judah. For we have learnt: If the owner fastened his ox [to the wall inside the stable] with a cord or shut the door in front of it properly12 and the ox got out and did damage, whether it was Tam or already Mu'ad, he would be liable; so R. Meir. R. Judah, however, says: In the case of Tam he would be liable, but in the case of Mu'ad exempt, for it is written, And his owner hath not kept him in13 [thus excluding this case where] it was kept in. R. Eliezer, however, says: No precaution is adequate [for Mu'ad] save the [slaughter] knife.14 [But does not an anonymous Mishnah usually follow the view of R. Meir?]15 — We may even say that it is in accordance with R. Meir, for Tooth and Foot are different16 [in this respect], since the Torah required a lesser degree of precaution in their case as stated by R. Eleazar, or, according to others, as stated in a Baraitha: There are four cases [of damage] where the Torah requires a lesser degree of precaution. They are these: Pit and Fire, Tooth and Foot. Pit as it is written, And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit and not cover it,17 implying that if he covered it18 he would he exempt. Fire, as it is written, He that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution,19 [that is to say] only where he acted [culpably], as by actually kindling the fire.20 Tooth, as it is written, And he shall send forth,21 [that is to say] only where he acted [wrongly] as by actually sending it forth.20 It was [further] taught:22 'And he shall send forth'23 denotes Foot, as in the similar expression, That send forth the foot of the ox and the ass;24 And it shall consume denotes 'Tooth',23 as in the similar expression, As the tooth consumeth to entirety.25 This is so only for the reason that he acted [culpably] as by actually sending it forth or feeding it there,26 whereas where he did not act [in such a manner] this would not be so. Rabbah said: The text of the Mishnah also corroborates [this view]27 by taking here the case of sheep. For have we not been dealing all along [so far] with an 'ox'?28 Why then not say [here also] 'ox'?29 What special reason was there for taking here SHEEP?30 Is it not because the Torah required a lesser degree of precaution in their case31 on account of the fact that it is not Horn that is dealt with here,32 but Tooth and Foot that are dealt with here? It is thus indicated to us that [this kind of precaution33 is] only in the case of Tooth and Foot which are Mu'ad [ab initio]; and this may be regarded as proved.
It was taught: R. Joshua said: There are four acts for which the offender is exempt from the judgments of Man but liable to the judgments of Heaven. They are these: To break down a fence in front of a neighbour's animal [so that it gets out and does damage];34 to bend over a neighbour's standing corn in front of a fire;34 to hire false witnesses to give evidence; and to know of evidence in favour of another and not to testify on his behalf.35
The Master stated: 'To break down a fence in front of a neighbour's animal.' Under what circumstances? If we assume that the wall was sound, why should the offender not be liable even according to the judgments of Man [at least for the damage done to the wall]? — It must therefore be
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