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 29
1) LIABILITY FOR DAMAGERS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
(a) (Mishnah): (Reuven's flask broke; Shimon slipped on the
water or was damaged by the shards - Reuven is liable;)
R. Yehudah says, if he intended, he is liable.
(b) Question: What is the case of intention?
(c) Answer #1 (Rabah): Reuven intended to take the load off
(d) Question (Abaye): If so - R. Meir (the 1st Tana, who is
more stringent) will say that Reuven is liable even in a
case of Ones (beyond his control), e.g. the flask
(e) Answer (Rabah): Yes! R. Meir says he is liable even if he
is holding the handle of the vessel and the vessel
(f) Question: But the Torah exempts a person for Ones - "You
will not punish the Na'arah (that was raped)"!
1. Suggestion: Perhaps that only applies to capital
punishment, but a person is liable for damages, even
due to Ones.
(g) (Implied Answer #2 (to question 1:b)- Abaye: 'Intention'
is when he intentionally broke the flask; unintentionally
is when he tripped and it broke.)
2. Rejection (Beraisa - R. Meir): If his jug broke and
he did not clear away the fragments; his camel fell,
and he did not stand it up - he is liable for damage
3. Chachamim say, Beis Din does not make him pay, but
Heaven holds him accountable.
i. Chachamim admit to R. Meir, if Reuven left a
rock, knife or load on his roof and they fell
in a normal wind and damaged, Reuven is liable.
4. (Abaye): R. Meir and Chachamim argue in 2 things:
the time of falling, and after the time of falling:
ii. R. Meir admits to Chachamim, if he puts bottles
on the roof to dry, and they fell in an
abnormally strong wind, he is exempt.
5. For damage at the time of falling, they argue
whether one who trips is negligent.
i. R. Meir says, he is negligent; Chachamim say,
he is not negligent.
6. For damage after the time of falling, they argue
regarding one who makes Hefker things that can
i. R. Meir says, such a person is liable;
Chachamim say, he is exempt.
(h) Question: How did Abaye know that (in the Beraisa) they
argue in both cases?
(i) Answer: The Mishnah gives 2 cases - Shimon slipped on the
water or was damaged by the shards - seemingly, these are
1. Rather, it must be, slipping on the water - at the
time of falling (i.e. before Reuven was able to
clean up the water);
(j) We understand, the case of the jug breaking could be
either at the time of falling, or after.
2. Being damaged by the shards - after Reuven fell and
made the shards Hefker.
3. Since the Mishnah teaches these 2 different cases,
presumably the Beraisa does, also.
(k) The case of the camel falling - we understand this case
arises after falling, he made the carcass Hefker.
(l) Question: How could we say the case is at the time of
falling - he is blameless, why would R. Meir obligate him
(m) Answer #1 (Rav Acha): He led the camel where the river
was overflowing, this caused it to fall.
1. Question: What is the case?
(n) Answer #2: Rather, the case is that the owner tripped,
and the camel tripped on the owner.
i. If there is another path - he is negligent, why
do Chachamim exempt him?
ii. If there is no other path - he is Ones, why
does R. Meir obligate him to pay?
(o) (Reiteration of question 3:b (28B)): If he made the
damaging things Hefker - what distinction does R. Yehudah
make between intending and not intending?
(p) Answer #2 (Rav Yosef): Whether he intended that the
shards should be his. (When he intended, he did not make
them Hefker, and R. Yehudah agrees that he is liable.)
(q) (R. Elazar): They argue at the time of falling.
(r) Question: After the time of falling, all agree?!
1. You cannot say, they agree that he is exempt - R.
Meir says that he is liable!
2. You cannot say, they agree that he is liable -
Chachamim say that he is exempt!
3. Rather, R. Elazar must mean, they argue even at the
time of falling - as Abaye.
2) ANOTHER EXPLANATION OF THE BERAISA
(a) (R. Yochanan): They argue after the time of falling.
3) R. YOCHANAN'S OPINION
(b) Rhetorical question: Can you say, at the time of falling,
all agree that he is exempt?!
1. But R. Yochanan said, 'Do not say that the Mishnah
(31B) is only as R. Meir, who says that one who
trips is negligent' - this implies, R. Meir says
that he is liable!
(c) Rhetorical question: Can you say, at the time of falling,
they agree that he is liable?!
1. R. Yochanan's teaching (just quoted) implies that
Chachamim say that he is exempt!
(d) Rather, Chachamim only exempt one who makes damaging
items Hefker when they fell in the public domain via
Ones; otherwise, he is liable.
(e) (R. Yochanan and R. Elazar): One who makes damaging items
Hefker - one of these 2 Amora'im say that he is liable;
the other says, he is exempt.
1. Suggestion: The one who says he is liable holds as
R. Meir; the other, as Chachamim.
(f) We may conclude that R. Elazar holds that he is liable
from the following.
2. Rejection: No. Granted, only the one who says he is
liable can hold as R. Meir (since R. Meir obligates
even one who makes damaging items Hefker after they
fell through Ones!)
i. But the one who says he is liable could hold as
ii. We only see that Chachamim exempt him when the
damaging items fell through Ones; they could
admit when there was no Ones.
1. (R. Elazar, citing R. Yishmael): Two things a person
does not own, but the Torah obligates him for them
as if he owned them: a pit in the public domain, and
Chametz from noon of Erev Pesach and onwards.
(g) Question: Did R. Elazar really say that he is liable?
1. (Mishnah): Reuven turned over dung in the public
domain; Shimon was damaged by it - Reuven is liable.
(h) Answer #1 (Rav Ada bar Ahavah): He returned the dung to
2. (R. Elazar): This only applies when Reuven intended
to acquire the dung; if not, he is exempt.
i. We see, R. Elazar exempts one who makes
damaging items Hefker!
1. (Ravina): A parable to understand Rav Ada bar
Ahavah's case: this is as one who finds an open pit,
covers it, and again opens it (he is exempt).
(i) Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): He did not lift the dung 3 Tefachim
(so it was always a damager).
i. Objection (Mar Zutra brei d'Rav Mari): The
comparison is faulty! By the pit, he never
removed the damager; by the dung, he removed
the damager (when it was in his shovel; when he
puts it back, he (re-)creates a damager).
2. (Mar Zutra brei d'Rav Mari): A proper parable: this
is as one who finds an open pit, fills it with dirt,
and again digs it. (He is liable, since he created a
(j) Question: What forces R. Elazar to say that the Mishnah
is a case when he did not lift the dung 3 Tefachim, and
he is liable because he had intention to acquire it - let
him say, he lifted it more than 3 Tefachim, and he is
liable even if he had no intention to acquire!
(k) Answer (Rava): He saw a difficulty in the Mishnah - why
did it say 'He turned over', and not 'He lifted'?
1. He concluded, 'He turned over' connotes that he did
not lift it 3 Tefachim.
(a) Since R. Elazar says that he is liable, it must be that
R. Yochanan holds that he is exempt.
(b) Question: But we see otherwise!
1. (Mishnah): Reuven hid a thorn or glass, or made a
fence of thorns, or his wall fell in the public
domain, and people were damaged by it - Reuven is
(c) Answer: No. Really, R. Yochanan holds that one who makes
his damaging items Hefker is exempt.
2. (R. Yochanan): This is only if the fence of thorns
protruded into the public domain; if it was within
his property, he is exempt.
3. Suggestion: The reason he is exempt if it was within
his property, is because it is as a pit within his
4. If so, it must be that the pit that the Torah
obligates one for is in the public domain - even
though the pit is Hefker!
1. The reason he is exempt if the thorn was within his
property, is as Rav Acha brei d'Rav Ika taught.
(d) Question: Did R. Yochanan really say that one who makes
his damaging items Hefker is exempt?!
2. (Rav Acha brei d'Rav Ika): He is exempt because
people do not normally scrape themselves on walls
(the victim brought the damage on himself by acting
1. But R. Yochanan said, the law is as an unspecified
(e) Answer: Really, R. Yochanan holds that one who makes his
damaging items Hefker is liable.
2. (Mishnah): One who digs a pit in the public domain,
and an ox or donkey fell in and died - he is liable.
1. It must be, R. Elazar holds that he is exempt.
(f) Question: But R. Elazar cited R. Yishmael to say that one
(g) Answer: R. Elazar himself holds that he is exempt.