(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


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 53

BAVA KAMA 53 (Rosh Hashanah) - sponsored by Hillel Yakov and Elisheva Tzipora Kagan. May they be blessed with a year of Berachah and joy, and may Hashem answer all of their prayers!


(a) (Mishnah): If an animal fell in frontwards...
(b) (Rav): 'Frontwards' and 'backwards' are understood in the simple sense.
1. In both cases, it fell in the pit.
2. This is as Rav holds - one is liable for the air at the bottom of a pit (i.e. when it falls headfirst), not for the blow (when it falls backwards, the only damage is from the blow).
(c) (Shmuel): If it falls in the pit, either way it is liable;
1. This is as Shmuel holds - one is liable for the air, all the more so for the blow.
2. The Mishnah exempts for falling backwards from the noise of the digging, when it tripped on the pit and fell outside the pit.
(d) Question (against Rav - Beraisa): If it falls in the pit, whether forwards or backwards it is liable.
(e) Answer #1 (Rav Chisda): Rav agrees by a pit in the owner's premises (since he owns the ground, he is also liable for the blow).
(f) Answer #2 (Rabah): In the Beraisa, the case of 'backwards' is that it fell headfirst, then flipped over onto its back.
1. We attribute the death to the air at the bottom which it inhaled at the beginning of the fall.
(g) Answer #3 (Rav Yosef): The Beraisa speaks of liability of (the owner of) the ox for damage to the pit.
(h) Question: What was the damage?
(i) Answer: It dirtied the water.
1. The Beraisa teaches that he is liable either way the ox fell.
(j) Support (for Rav - Rav Chananya - Beraisa): "And it fell" - he is only liable if it fell normally;
1. If an animal fell in frontwards, from the noise of the digging, he is liable;
2. If it fell in backwards, from the noise of the digging, he is exempt;
3. In both cases, it fell in the pit.
(k) Question Why is the pit's owner liable if fell in frontwards, from the noise of the digging - the one digging caused the damage!
(l) Answer (Rav Simi bar Ashi): This is as R. Noson, who says that since the pit damaged, what cannot be collected from the other damager is collected from the pit.
(a) (Beraisa): Reuven's ox pushed Shimon's ox into Levi's pit - Reuven is liable, Levi is exempt;
(b) R. Noson says, Reuven and Levi each pay half.
(c) Contradiction (Beraisa): R. Noson says, Reuven pays quarter-damage, Levi pays 3 fourths.
(d) Answer: A Mu'ad pays half the damage, a Tam pays quarter-damage.
(e) Question: Why is this?
1. Suggestion: If R. Noson holds that the ox and pit both did all the damage - even a Tam should pay half!
2. Suggestion: If he holds that each did half the damage - a Tam should pay a fourth, the pit a half, and Shimon should lose a fourth!
(f) Answer #1 (Rava): Really, each did all the damage;
1. When a Tam damages alone, it pays half-damage - now that it had a partner, it only pays half of that.
(g) Answer #2: Really, each did half the damage;
1. Shimon can tell Levi - My ox died in your pit - what I cannot collect from Reuven, I can collect from you.
(h) (Rava): Reuven put a rock on the mouth of Levi's pit; Shimon's ox tripped on it and fell in the pit - R. Noson and Chachamim argue in this case.
(i) Question: This is obvious!
(j) (Rashi) Answer: One might have thought, they only argue when Reuven's ox pushed the ox in - if not for the pit, Reuven's ox would have killed it;
1. But here, if not for the pit, the rock would not have damaged, all agree Levi pays half the damage!

(k) [Version #1 (Abaye): Reuven's ox and a blemished sacrifice together gored - Reuven pays half-damage;
(l) (Ravina): He pays quarter-damage.
1. Resolution #1: Both speak of a Tam; Abaye is as R. Noson, Ravina is as Chachamim.
2. Resolution #2: Both are as Chachamim; Abaye speaks of a Mu'ad, Ravina speaks of a Tam.]
(m) [Version #2 (Abaye): Reuven pays half-damage; (n) (Ravina): He pays full damage.
1. Resolution #1: Both speak of a Mu'ad; Abaye is as Chachamim, Ravina is as R. Noson.
2. Resolution #2: Both are as R. Noson; Abaye speaks of a Tam, Ravina speaks of a Mu'ad.]
(a) (Rava): Reuven's ox and Shimon pushed (an animal, person or vessels) into Levi's pit. Regarding damages (Nezek), all are liable;
1. Regarding the other 4 damages (pain,...) and payment for an aborted fetus - only Shimon is liable;
2. Regarding Kofer and the 30 Shekalim for killing a slave - only Reuven is liable;
3. Regarding (damage to) vessels and a blemished sacrifice (that was redeemed) - Reuven and Shimon are liable, Levi is exempt.
4. Question: Why is Levi exempt (for a blemished sacrifice)?
5. Answer: "And the carcass (of an ox that fell in a pit) will be to (the ox's owner)" - by a blemished sacrifice, the carcass is forbidden.
(b) Question: But Rava was unsure of this!
1. Question (Rava): A blemished sacrifice fell into a pit - what is the law?
i. We cannot apply "And the carcass will be to him" (because the carcass is forbidden), so the owner of the pit is exempt;
ii. Or - does the verse teach that the ox's owner deals with the carcass?
(c) Answer: Rava later concluded as the first side of his question.
(d) Question: How does Rava learn that the ox's owner deals with the carcass?
(e) Answer: He learns from "The carcass will be to him" written by an ox that gores.
(f) Question: By a pit, Rava uses this phrase to exclude a blemished sacrifice; by an ox, he learns that the victim's owner deals with the carcass;
1. Why not learn that by a pit, it that the victim's owner deals with the carcass, and by an ox, it excludes a blemished sacrifice!
(g) Answer: It is more reasonable to exempt a pit (by a blemished sacrifice), since a pit is exempt regarding vessels.
(h) Question: Just the opposite - a (Tam) ox is more lenient, it only pays half-damage!
(i) Answer: We do not find Keren totally exempt.
Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,