ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Kama 52
(a) Resh Lakish Amar Rebbi Yanai states that if Reuven sells Shimon a flock
of sheep, Shimon acquires it as soon as Reuven hands him the Mashchuchis
(something with which one draws the entire flock, and which will be
explained shortly). Whether he was acquiring the flock with Meshichah or
with Mesirah, we ask why would he need to hand him the Mashchuchis.
Meshichah constitutes pulling the animal or calling it until it moves in the
domain of the purchaser, whereas Mesirah constitutes handing over the reigns
or part of the animal, for the purchaser to seize, but in the Reshus
ha'Rabim or in a domain that belongs to neither of them (where Meshichah
would not be effective).
(b) We answer the Kashya that we asked concerning the Mashchuchis - by
establishing the Kinyan as Meshichah. It is however, necessary for the
seller to first invite the purchaser to make the Kinyan, which is generally
done by saying to him 'Lech Meshoch u'K'ni'. The Chidush here is that
handing him the Mashchuchis is equivalent to 'Lech Meshoch u'K'ni'.
(a) Some say that 'Mashchuchis' is a Karkashta - a bell calling all the
sheep to move.
(b) Rebbi Ya'akov interprets 'Mashchuchis' - as a goat that leads the flock.
(c) We substantiate Rebbi Ya'akov's interpretaion of Mashchuchis with a
saying of a certain Galilean 'above' Rav Chisda, who said that when a
shepherd is angry with his flock - he blinds the goat that leads them.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah obligates Shimon and not Reuven, for using the
water-pit - if Reuven covered it after use.
(b) If the owner covered his pit properly and an ox or a donkey fell in, he
is Patur. Even though he covered it properly, it is possible for the animal
to fall in the pit - if the cover became wormy and broke.
(c) The owner is not liable to pay if a normal ox falls into his pit,
because a healthy animal is expected to look where it is going.
Nevertheless, he is liable if the ox fell forwards into his pit due to the
noise of someone working with tools inside the pit to widen it (this will be
explained later) - because the animal clearly fell into the pit from the
shock of the hammering.
(d) The owner of the pit is liable and not the worker - because the former
is only G'rama, in which case the latter is automatially liable to pay, like
Rebbi Nasan, who says that wherever the one that caused the damage cannot
pay, the owner of the pit must pay, because that is where the Nizak was
found (as we already learned).
(a) The Tana say in a case where an ox or a donkey falls into a pit together
with its accessories, and those of the ox break or those of the donkey
tear - the owner of the pit is liable to pay for the animal, but Patur from
paying for the accessories.
(b) The Tana changes from 'break' by the ox to 'tear' by the donkey -
because the accessories of an ox (such as the yoke and the plow-share), are
generally made of wood, whereas those of a donkey (such as the saddle and
the saddle-cloth) are made of leather or cloth.
(c) The Tana says - that if ...
1. ... a 'Shor Chashu' fell into a pit, the owner of the pit is liable.
(d) The Tana chose to mention a child rather than just a person - because we
might have thought that he is Chayav, because he cannot claim that they
should have looked where they going (which he could have claimed by a
2. ... a child or an Eved or Shifchah fell into a pit, the owner is Patur.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if Reuven covered the water-pit after
use, Shimon and not Reuven, is subsequently liable once he uses it.
According to Rav, Reuven is only Patur until such time as he sees for
himself that the pit is uncovered. Shmuel says - that, if others inform him
that the pit is uncovered, he becomes liable, even though he did not see it
(b) Some interpret Shmuel as being more lenient than Rav. According to
them - he is Patur, even if he saw the pit uncovered, until such time as
someone comes to inform him and to warn him to cover it.
(c) We already explained that it is possible for an animal to fall in the
pit even though the owner covered it properly, when the cover became wormy,
as Rebbi Yitzchak bar bar Chanah explains. We ask what the Din will be if
the owner covered the pit properly against oxen falling in, but not against
camels - meaning that a camel then came and weakened the cover (but did not
fall in, since that would obviously obligate him), and was followed by an ox
which fell in.
(d) If passing camels are common, then he was careless (and is liable), we
ask, and if they are not, then he is an O'nes (and is Patur). The case must
therefore be - when camels came past on occasions, and the She'eilah is
whether, seeing as camels come past on occasions, he is considered negligent
(because he should have taken into account the possibility of their passing
later), or whether we say that, since at the time that he covered the pit,
there were no camels, he is an O'nes.
(a) We try and resolve the She'eilah (that ka'Ra'uy for oxen but not for
camels and a camel weakened the cover ... ) from our Mishnah 'Kisahu
ve'Nafal Shamah Shor O Chamor, u'Meis, Patur', which must be speaking when
the cover was fit for oxen but not for camels (because otherwise, how could
the animals have fallen in). By using the same arguments as we just used, we
prove that the Tana must be speaking when camels came past on occasions, and
a camel actually did, weakening the cover, followed by an ox, which fell
in, and the Tana says that he is Patur.
(b) We counter the proof by establishing our Mishnah like Rebbi Yitzchak bar
bar Chanah - who explains that the Tana speaks when the owner covered the
pit against both oxen and camels, but the cover became wormy and broke when
the ox stepped on it.
(a) We then try and prove that the owner is Chayav in the case currently
under discussion, from the Seifa of our Mishnah 'Lo Kisahu ka'Ra'uy',
ve'Nafal le'Tochao Shor O Chamor, u'Meis Chayav'. Using the same arguments
as we just used to explain the Reisha of the Mishnah, we establish 'Lo
Kisahu ka'Ra'uy' to mean - ka'Ra'uy li'Shevarim ve'Lo ka'Ra'uy li'Gemalim,
and he is Chayav in a case when a camel first came and weakened the cover
before an ox fell in.
(b) We counter this too, by establishing 'Lo Kisahu ka'Ra'uy' to mean that
it was not properly guarded, either against camels falling in or against
oxen. And even though it is obvious that he was negligent and that he is
Chayav, the Tana mentions this case to balance the Reisha, which needed to
teach us the Din of 'Kisahu ka'Ra'uy'.
(c) According to the second Lashon, the case where the pit was guarded
against oxen but not against camels that passed from time to time is not
even a She'eilah - that he is liable because he was negligent (since he
should have taken into account the possibility that camels might pass and
weaken the cover).
(d) The new format of the She'eilah is that, although the pit was guarded
against oxen falling in but not against camels, in fact, neither transpired.
What happened was - that the cover became wormy, and the She'eilah is
whether, seeing as he was an O'nes regarding the cover becoming wormy, he is
Patur, or whether he is Chayav because of 'Migu' (since he was negligent
regarding camels falling in the pit, he is also considered negligent
regarding the cover becoming wormy).
(a) We try to resolve the She'eilah from Rebbi Yitzchak bar bar Chanah (who
establishes the Reisha of our Mishnah ['Kisahu ka'Ra'uy ... Patur'] when the
cover became wormy). We try and prove our point from there - because if
'ka'Ra'uy' meant even against camels falling in, then there would be no
Chidush; so the Tana must mean 'ka'Ra'uy' against oxen falling in but not
camels, and although a camel did not fall in (otherwise he would be liable,
as we explained earlier according to this Lashon), he is Patur because we
don't hold of 'Migu'.
(b) We counter this proof by establishing our Mishnah when in fact, the
cover was strong enough to guard the pit against both oxen and camels from
falling in, and the Chidush is - that he is not considered negligent for
failing to examine the cover of the pit to test its strength.
(c) We then try to resolve the She'eilah from the Seifa 'Lo Kisahu ka'Ra'uy
... Chayav', which must speak when the cover was Ra'uy for oxen but not for
camels, but in the end, the cover became wormy, to teach us that we say
'Migu' (otherwise there would be no Chidush). We counter this proof - by
establishing the Seifa when a camel passed over the cover and weakened it,
and then an ox fell in. In effect, this is obvious. However, the Tana
inserts it to balance the Reisha, which teaches that 'ka'Ra'uy' is Patur.
(a) We finally resolve the She'eilah from a Beraisa. The Tana there says
that if ...
1. ... a Chashu ox, one that is blind or a healthy ox fell into a pit during
the night - the owner of the pit is Chayav.
(b) This proves - that we do not say 'Migu', because if we did, he would be
liable in the latter case too (seeing as he was negligent regarding the
first set of oxen).
2. ... a healthy ox fell into a pit during the day - the owner is Patur.