POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Kama 91
BAVA KAMA 91 (9 Cheshvan 5762) - dedicated in honor of the Bar-Mitzvah of
Shmuel Tavin, by his parents. May he continue to grow in Torah and the fear
of Hashem, and bring them true Nachas. Mazel Tov, also, on the birth and
upcoming Bris of Shmuel's brother, may his parents merit to raise him
"l'Torah l'Chupah ul'Ma'asim Tovim!"
1) PAYMENT FROM AN OX THAT WILL BE KILLED
(a) (Beraisa): A Tam ox killed and damaged - we judge it to
stone it, not to pay the damage;
2) EVALUATION OF DAMAGERS
(b) A Mu'ad ox killed and damaged - first we judge it to pay
the damage, then we judge it to stone it;
1. If first they judged it to stone it, they do not
then judge it to pay the damage.
(c) Question: Even if they first judged it to stone it, why
not then judge it to pay the damage?
(d) Answer #1 (Rava citing Rabanan): The Beraisa is according
to Shimon ha'Temani, who expounds 'just as the judges and
witnesses can see his fist' - implying, Beis Din must
evaluate the item used to damage;
1. Once Beis Din sentences the ox to be stoned, we do
not delay to evaluate whether it was fitting to
cause the damage.
(e) Answer #2 (Rava): The Beraisa is even according to R.
Akiva - the case is, the owner fled (and we cannot
obligate a man who is not here).
(f) Question: If he fled, even if they didn't judge the ox to
stone it, we cannot judge the damage!
(g) Answer: The case is, the owner fled after testimony was
(h) Question: If the owner is not here, who will pay?
(i) Answer: The damagee will rent out the ox for plowing.
(j) Question: If so, even by a Tam, we should first judge it
to pay the damage through plowing, then judge it to stone
(k) Answer (Rav Mari brei d'Rav Kahana): It must be that
money which can be earned through plowing is not
considered as part of the ox (rather as other property of
the owner, which is not used to pay for damage of a Tam).
(a) Question: Must we evaluate (whether a damaging object was
fitting to cause the damage)?
3) PAYMENT FOR EMBARRASSMENT
1. Perhaps we only evaluate by killing, for not
everything can kill, but anything can (do some)
(b) Answer #1 (Mishnah): The Torah spoke of a (standard) pit
to teach that just as a pit is 10 Tefachim deep, which
can kill, in all cases (pits of other shapes) one is
liable for 10 Tefachim.
2. Or - also for damage, we must evaluate the object.
1. If an animal falls in a pit less than 10 Tefachim -
if it dies he is exempt, if it is hurt, he is
(c) Rejection: No, the Mishnah considers from above (from
deep to shallow), a pit of 10 Tefachim can kill; slightly
less than 10 Tefachim can damage, but cannot kill;
2. Suggestion: The Mishnah considers from below (from
shallow to deep), a pit between 1 Tefach and (but
not including) 10 Tefachim is liable for damage, not
i. This shows, any size can damage, no evaluation
1. By damage, we must evaluate if the object was
fitting to damage the injured party.
(d) Answer #2 (Beraisa): A man hit his slave on the eye,
blinding him, or on the ear, deafening him - the slave
1. If he hit him near the eye and now the slave cannot
see, or near the ear and now the slave cannot hear -
the slave does not go free.
(e) Rejection: No - we say that the slave blinded or deafened
himself from fright.
2. Question: Why not?
i. Suggestion: We say that the blow was not enough
to blind or deafen him, because damages need
1. (Beraisa): One who frightens someone - Beis Din does
not make him pay, but he is liable at the hands of
(f) Answer #3 (Beraisa): For 5 payments we evaluate and make
the damager pay immediately; for medical expenses and
unemployment, we estimate how much they will be until the
i. If he was Toke'ah (hit; some explain, sounded a
shofar) in his ear and deafened him, he is
ii. If he was holding him when he was Toke'ah, he
1. If he did not recover as quickly as expected, he
only gets the amount of the evaluation;
(g) Rejection: This we knew, that we estimate how long he
will be bedridden - the question was, must we evaluate if
the object used to damage is fitting to damage.
2. If recovered sooner than expected, he gets the
i. This teaches that we evaluate for damages!
(h) Answer #4 (Beraisa - Shimon ha'Temani): "When a man will
hit his fellow man with a rock or his fist" - just as the
judges and witnesses can see his fist (whether it is
fitting to cause the damage that resulted), also anything
used to hit, the judges and witnesses must see it.
1. This teaches that we evaluate for damages.
(i) (Beraisa): If recovered sooner than expected, he gets the
(j) This supports Rava.
1. (Rava): We estimated that a man will be bedridden
the entire day, and he recovered in the middle of
the day and was able to work - this was a kindness
Hash-m bestowed on him, he receives unemployment for
the entire day.
(a) (Mishnah): If he spit at him, and the spit reached him...
4) HARMING ONESELF
(b) (Rav Papa): This is only if the spit landed on him - if
it landed on his clothing, he is exempt.
(c) Question: Even if it lands on his clothing, this is no
less than verbal embarrassment!
(d) Answer (R. Yosi bar Avin): Our Mishnah teaches that one
is exempt for verbal embarrassment.
(e) (Mishnah): Everything is according to his importance...
(f) Question: Does (this) first Tana come to be lenient or
1. If to be lenient - less distinguished people receive
less than 400;
(g) Answer: (Mishnah - R. Akiva): Even the poorest Benei
Yisrael are viewed as rich people that lost their money,
for they descend from Avraham, Yitzchak and Yakov -
implying that the first Tana came to be lenient.
2. If to be stringent - more distinguished people
receive more than 400.
(h) (Mishnah): There was a case in which a man uncovered a
woman's head...(R. Akiva agreed to give him time to pay).
(i) Question: Do we really give time to pay?!
1. (R. Chanina): One who damages someone - we do not
give him to time to pay.
(j) Answer: That refers to damage which causes monetary loss,
not to embarrassment, which causes no loss.
(a) (Mishnah): The man waited for her, and saw her by the
entrance to her courtyard... (R. Akiva...a person may not
(b) Contradiction (Beraisa - R. Akiva): You toiled for naught
- a person may injure himself.
(c) Answer (Rava): A person may not bodily injure himself,
but he may embarrass himself.
(d) Question: But the Mishnah speaks of embarrassment, and R.
Akiva said that a person may not injure himself!
(e) Answer: He told him thusly: not only regarding
embarrassment, by which Reuven may embarrass himself, if
Shimon embarrasses him he is liable;
5) CUTTING TREES
1. Even regarding bodily damage, by which Reuven may
not damage himself, if Shimon damages him, he is
liable (even though Reuven damages himself, showing
his indifference to damage).
(f) Question: Is it really true that one may not damage
1. (Beraisa) Suggestion: One who swears to harm himself
and does not harm himself should be exempt.
(g) Answer (Shmuel): The Beraisa speaks of an oath to fast.
2. Rejection: "(One who swears) to harm or to do good"
- just as doing good is optional, also harming;
i. This teaches about one who swears to harm
himself (that the oath is binding).
(h) Question: The corresponding case of an oath regarding
others would be to make them fast - is that possible?!
(i) Answer: Yes - he locks them in a room without food!
(j) Question (Beraisa): What is the case of (swearing to)
harm others? 'I will hit Ploni, I will bruise his brain'.
(k) Answer: Tana'im argue whether a person may damage
(l) Question: Who is the Tana that says that a person may not
1. Suggestion: The following Tana.
(m) Answer #1: Rather, the following Tana.
i. (Beraisa - R. Elazar): "The blood of your souls
I will demand" - I will demand of your souls,
your blood (that you yourselves spilled).
2. Rejection: Perhaps only suicide is forbidden, but
not wounding oneself.
1. (Beraisa): We may tear clothing on account of one
that died; this is not forbidden as 'ways of the
Emori (a Kana'ani nation)';
(n) Rejection: Perhaps damaging one's body is less severe,
for the damage can heal, unlike tearing clothing.
2. R. Elazar says, one who tears too much transgresses
"Do not (wastefully) destroy".
i. All the more so, one who damages his body
1. R. Yochanan would call his garments 'what honors
(o) Answer #2: Rather, the following Tana. says that a person
may not damage himself.
2. When Rav Chisda would walk among thorns, he would
lift his garment, because damage to his body heals,
damage to his clothes does not heal.
1. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ha'Kapar b'Rebbi) Question:
"(The Kohen) will atone for (the Nazir who had
become Tamei) for having sinned on the soul" -
against which soul did he sin?
2. Answer (R. Eliezer): (Against his own soul), for
having denied himself wine.
i. One who denies himself wine is called a sinner
- all the more so, one who (fasts, thereby)
denying himself of all food!
(a) (Mishnah): One who cuts his young trees...
(b) (Rabah bar bar Chanah - Beraisa): Reuven claims against
Shimon: 'You killed my ox, (or) you cut my young trees';
Shimon answers, 'You told me to do so'! - he is exempt.
(c) Objection (Rav): We cannot say that a damager can exempt
himself by saying thusly!
(d) Rabah bar bar Chanah: There is a mistake in the text, I
will no longer recite the Beraisa.
(e) Rav: The text is correct - the Beraisa speaks of an ox
that must be killed or a tree that must be cut.
(f) Question: If so, what was Reuven's claim?
(g) Answer: He wanted to do the Mitzvah himself.
1. (Beraisa): "He will spill (the blood of a Chayah or
bird) and cover" - the one who slaughters covers;
(h) (Rav): It is forbidden to cut a date tree that bears a
Kav of dates.
2. R. Gamliel once obligated a man to pay 10 gold coins
for covering the blood of what another man had
(i) Question (Beraisa): An olive tree that bears a quarter
Kav of olives may not be cut.
(j) Answer: The amount for olive trees is smaller, for olives
are more significant than dates.
(k) R. Chanina: My son died because he cut a fig tree
(l) (Ravina): If the wood is worth more than the fruit, it
may be cut.
1. Support (Beraisa): "Only a tree that you know" -
this is a fruit-bearing tree (you may cut it when
besieging a city); "that it is not a fruit tree" -
this is a barren tree.
(m) Shmuel's sharecropper brought him dates; he tasted wine
in them, and asked why.
2. Question: If we may cut even fruit-bearing trees,
why does the verse mention a barren tree?
3. Answer: We may only cut a fruit trees if there are
no barren trees there.
4. Suggestion: Perhaps even a tree whose wood is worth
more than its fruit may not be cut (if barren trees
5. Rejection: "Only" excludes this.
1. The sharecropper: The trees are between vines.
(n) Rav Chisda saw date trees among his vines - he told his
sharecropper to uproot them, because vines are more
profitable than date trees.
2. Shmuel: They are weakening the vines - uproot them!