POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Bava Kama 28
1) TAKING THE LAW INTO ONE'S OWN HANDS
(a) (Beraisa): Reuven's ox came upon Shimon's ox to kill it;
Shimon removed his ox from underneath, and Reuven's ox
fell and died - Shimon is exempt.
2) FIGHTING THE PUBLIC
1. Suggestion: The case is, Reuven's ox is an
established gorer; Shimon did not stand to lose
money, for Reuven would have been obligated to pay
full damage (and still, he is allowed to take the
law into his own hands)!
(b) (Beraisa): Reuven filled Shimon's courtyard with jugs of
wine and oil - Shimon may break jugs on his way out and
on his way in.
2. Rejection: No, Reuven's ox is Tam, so Shimon stood
to sustain a loss, he would only receive half the
3. Question: But the end of the Beraisa says, if Shimon
knocked Reuven's ox off Shimon's ox, and Reuven's ox
died, Shimon must pay.
i. If Reuven's ox is Tam, why must Shimon pay?
(All agree that one may take the law into his
own hands to avoid a loss!)
4. Answer: There was no need to knock off Reuven's ox,
Shimon should have removed his own ox.
1. (We see he may take the law into his own hands)!
(c) (Beraisa): Yovel (the Jubilee year) came, and a Hebrew
slave whose ear had been pierced did not want to leave.
His master, in trying to force him to leave, injured him
- the master is exempt.
2. Rejection (Rav Nachman Bar Yitzchak): No, it means
he may break jugs on his way to Beis Din, he may
break them when he goes to obtain proofs he will
need in Beis Din.
1. We learn from "Do not take ransom Lashuv (to
return)" - this may be read, "la'Shav" (for one that
(d) (Mishnah): Reuven left his jug in a public domain; Shimon
came and tripped on it, and it broke - Shimon is exempt
from paying for it.
2. (This shows, one may take the law into his own
3. Rejection: No - the case is, the slave is a thief
(so there may be a loss to the master).
4. Objection: Until Yovel, the master had no problem -
suddenly, the slave became a thief?!
5. Answer #1: Yes - until Yovel, the slave feared his
master; once Yovel came, he became legally free, and
no longer fears his master.
6. Answer #2 (Rav Nachman Bar Yitzchak): The case is,
the master married his Hebrew slave to his Kana'ani
i. Until Yovel, the Hebrew slave was permitted to
her; now, he is free, he is forbidden to her,
so the master may act to stop him from sinning.
1. We infer - if Shimon intentionally breaks it, he
must pay (i.e. one may not take the law into his own
(e) (Beraisa): "You will cut off her hand (for having grabbed
a man by his private parts to save her husband)" - this
means, she must pay.
2. Rejection (Rav Zvid): No - even if he breaks it, he
is exempt; the Mishnah gave the case of tripping, so
the end of the Mishnah can teach, if Shimon (tripped
and) got hurt, Reuven must pay.
i. If Shimon broke it and got hurt, Reuven would
3. Since the end of the Mishnah is a case of tripping,
also the beginning of the Mishnah was taught by
ii. Question: Why?
iii. Answer: He brought the damage on himself.
1. Suggestion: The case is, she had no other way to
save her husband (we see, one may not take the law
into his own hands).
2. Rejection: No, the case is, she could have saved in
3. Question: If you will say, if she had no other way
to save her husband, she is exempt - why does the
end of the Beraisa expound, "She sent her hand", to
exclude the hand of an agent of Beis Din, who is
exempt - we could have given a case when even she is
4. Answer: That is what the Beraisa teaches! It means,
if she has no other way to save, her hand is as the
hand of an agent of Beis Din, and she is exempt.
(a) (Beraisa): A public road passed through Reuven's field.
Reuven set aside the end of his field for people to walk
on, intending to take over the area of the old path - the
new path also becomes a public domain, and Reuven has no
right to take the area he wanted.
3) PROPERTY LEFT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
(b) Question: If you will say that a person may take the law
into his own hands - let him take a stick and hit anyone
that walks on his original property!
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Zvid): Chachamim decreed that he does not
get back his original property, lest he give a crooked
path in its stead.
(d) Answer #2 (Rav Mesharshiya): The case is, he gave them a
crooked path in its stead.
(e) Answer #3 (Rav Ashi): Any replacement path he gives is
considered a crooked path, for it is closer for some
people, but further for others.
1. Question: If so, why does he lose the path he gave -
let him say, 'Take your path, give me back mine'!
(f) (Beraisa): A farmer left Pei'ah on one side of his field;
poor people took from the other side - what they took is
Pei'ah, and also what he initially designated is Pei'ah.
2. Answer: As Rav Yehudah taught - one may not damage
any public thoroughfare.
(g) Question: If you will say that a person may take the law
into his own hands - let him take a stick and hit anyone
that takes what he initially designated (since he planned
that if they take elsewhere, it should not be Pei'ah -
(h) Answer (Rava): Indeed, what he initially designated is
his! The Beraisa says it is Pei'ah to teach that it is
exempt from Ma'aseros.
1. (Beraisa): One who declares his vineyard Hefker, and
promptly harvests it, he must leave Peret (loose
grapes), Olelos (deficient clusters), Shichchah and
Pei'ah for the poor, but he is exempt from
(a) (Mishnah): Reuven's jug broke in the public domain, and
Shimon slipped on the water or was damaged by the shards
- Reuven is liable;
(b) R. Yehudah says, if he intended (explained below), he is
liable; if not, he is exempt.
(c) (Gemara - Rav): This only applies if Shimon's clothes
were dirtied by the water;
1. But if Shimon himself was injured, Reuven is exempt
- Shimon was damaged by the ground of the public
domain, which does not belong to Reuven.
(d) Question (Shmuel): We learn that a person is liable for
damage caused by a stone, knife or load left in the
public domain from the law of a pit!
1. Therefore, we apply the law of a pit: he is liable
if an ox falls in, but not a man; if a donkey falls
in, but not to vessels.
(e) Answer (Rav): We only apply the law of a pit when he
declared his property to be ownerless; if not, it is as
his property that damaged (and he pays even for damage to
2. This only applies to death; but for damage, he is
liable for damage to a person, not to vessels.
(f) Question (R. Oshiya - Beraisa): "And falls there an ox or
a donkey" - an ox, but not a man; a donkey, but not
1. This is the source that if an ox fell in and its
vessels broke, if a donkey fell in and its vessels
tore, the owner of the pit pays for the animal, not
for the vessels.
(g) Answer #1 (Rav): This only applies (that the owner is
liable for an ox, but not a man; a donkey, but not
vessels) when he made his rock Hefker; if not, he is
liable for all;
2. This is as one who leaves his rock, knife or load in
a public domain, and they damaged.
i. Objection: We do not learn the law of a pit
from a rock, knife or load - to the contrary,
we learn a rock, knife or load from a pit!
3. Correction: Rather, what else has this law? One who
leaves his rock, knife or load in a public domain,
and they damaged.
4. Therefore, if a flask broke on the rock, the owner
of the rock is liable.
5. (Summation of question): The beginning of the
Beraisa opposes Rav; the end opposes Shmuel!
6. Counter-question: The Beraisa itself must be
i. The beginning of the Beraisa says that he is
exempt on damage to vessels; the end says, he
7. Answer: Rav can fix the Beraisa in a way that fits
his opinion, and also Shmuel.
1. Therefore, if a flask broke on his rock, he is
(h) Answer #2 (Shmuel): A rock, knife or load has the law of
a pit; therefore, according to R. Yehudah, who obligates
the owner of a pit for damage to vessels, if a flask
broke on the rock, he is liable.
(i) Version #1 (R. Elazar): Reuven is only liable for the
flask if Shimon tripped on the rock and the flask broke
on the rock;
1. But if he tripped on the ground and the flask broke
on the rock, Reuven is exempt.
(j) Version #2 (R. Elazar): Do not say, Reuven is only liable
for the flask if Shimon tripped on the rock and the flask
broke on the rock;
2. R. Elazar's teaching is unlike R. Noson (who says
that when an ox pushes an animal into a pit, if
damages cannot be collected from the owner of the ox
that pushed, they can be collected from the owner of
1. Rather, even if he tripped on the ground and the
flask broke on the rock, Reuven is liable.
2. R. Elazar's teaching is as R. Noson.