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בעקבות מסכת שקלים - האם תרצה ללמוד עוד מסכת מהתלמוד הירושלמי?





 

Steinsaltz

But if the loss to the purchaser cannot be reimbursed from the purchasing money by returning it, e.g., if the seller spent it already, let the purchaser take the ox itself in lieu of the money, as people say: Allow yourself to be repaid by your debtors even in bran, since anything may be used as payment for a debt. In the event that the seller has no money with which to reimburse the purchaser, even if it is a mistaken transaction the result may be that the purchaser keeps the ox in lieu of having his money returned. Accordingly, there would be no practical difference between the opinions of Rav and Shmuel.

The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary for them to engage in a dispute in a case where the seller does have sufficient funds from which to repay the purchaser, and the purchaser demands that his money be returned as opposed to keeping the ox as payment.

The Gemara now explains the logic of Rav and Shmuel: Rav says that this is a case of a mistaken transaction, due to the principle: Follow the majority, and the majority of people buy oxen for plowing. And Shmuel says that the seller can say to him: I sold it to you for slaughtering, and we do not follow the majority in this case. When do we follow the majority according to Shmuel? Only in determining the prohibited or permitted status of an item. But in monetary matters such as this, we do not follow the majority. Rather, the operative principle is that the burden of proof rests upon the claimant.

That which Rav Yehuda stated above, that the mishna follows the opinion of Sumakhos, is also taught in a baraita: In the case of an ox that gores a cow, and its fetus is found dead at its side, and he does not know whether it gave birth before the ox gored it or it gave birth after the ox gored it, the owner of the ox pays half the cost of the damage for the cow and one-quarter of the cost of the damage for the offspring; this is the statement of Sumakhos. The Rabbis say: The burden of proof rests upon the claimant.

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: From where is it derived that the burden of proof rests upon the claimant? As it is stated in the Torah when Moses appointed Aaron and Hur to judge the people: “Whoever has a cause, let him come near [yiggash] to them” (Exodus 24:14). This is interpreted to mean that whoever has a claim against another should submit [yaggish] proof to them. According to this interpretation, this verse demonstrates clearly that the claimant is responsible for supplying the proof.

Rav Ashi objects to this: Why do I need a verse to derive this? It is based on logical reasoning that one who suffers from pain goes to the doctor. Just as here the individual with the problem has the responsibility to resolve it, so too, someone with a claim against another must bring a proof to corroborate his claim.

Rather, the verse is needed for that which Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh says, as Rav Naḥman says that Rabba bar Avuh says: From where is it derived that a court first attends only to the arguments of the claimant and only afterward attends to the counterclaims of the defendant and discusses them? As it is stated: “Whoever has a cause, let him come near [yiggash] to them,” which is interpreted to mean that whoever has a claim against another should submit [yaggish] his claim to them first before the defendant.

The Sages of Neharde’a say that despite this principle, sometimes a court attends to the defendant first and listens to his defense before discussing the arguments of the claimant. What are the circumstances where this occurs? This occurs in a case where his assets are depreciating because of the claim against him. In that situation, the court allows him to present his arguments first so that he can sell his assets at their true price.

§ The mishna teaches: And likewise, in the case of a cow that gored an ox, and the cow’s newborn offspring was subsequently found at its side, half the cost of the damage is paid from the cow and one-quarter of the cost of the damage is paid from the offspring. The Gemara asks: The mishna’s wording indicates that the owner of the cow pays half the cost of the damage and an additional one-quarter of the cost of the damage, thereby amounting to three-quarters of the cost of the damage. This is difficult to understand, as he is required to pay only half the cost of the damage, since the ox is innocuous. If the mishna states that he pays three-quarters of the cost of the damage, what is its purpose?

Abaye said: The phrase: Half the cost of the damage, actually means one-fourth of the cost of the damage. Since there are two animals that may have accomplices in the incident, the owner of the cow pays only half of the normal amount from the value of the cow, i.e., one-quarter of the cost of the damage. The other half of the payment, which is one-quarter of the cost of the damage, should be paid from the value of the newborn, who is the accomplice of the cow. Yet, due to the uncertainty of whether it was born before the goring or afterward, only half of that amount is paid from it, which is one-eighth of the cost of the damage. Therefore, the owner of the ox receives a total of three-eighths of the cost of the damage.

The Gemara asks: But if the cow and the offspring are owned by one person, the injured party can indeed say to the owner of the cow: Whichever way you look at it, give me half the cost of the damage, either from the value of the cow or the newborn, which both belong to you. Why is it necessary to give half of the payment specifically from the cow and half from the newborn? Rather, this ruling of the mishna is not necessary except for the case where the cow belongs to one person and the offspring to another, and so each can claim that he is only partially responsible for the damage.

The Gemara asks: But even in this case, if the injured party came forward and claimed payment from the owner of the cow first, he can indeed say to the owner of the cow: Your cow certainly caused damage to my property, so bring me a proof that you have a partner. The owner of the cow would then have to prove that the newborn calf was still a fetus at the time and therefore a partner in the incident, in order to exempt himself from paying the entire payment of half the cost of the damage.

Rather, the case of the mishna is one where he claimed payment from the owner of the offspring first, as in this case the owner of the cow can say to him: Since you claimed payment from the owner of the newborn, you thereby disclosed your opinion on the matter, that I have a partner who is responsible for part of the damage. Therefore, I am not prepared to pay the full amount required, i.e., half the cost of the damage, but only half of that amount, i.e., one-quarter.

There are those who say: Even though the injured party came forward and claimed payment from the owner of the cow first, the latter can dismiss his claim, as he can say to him: I know that I have a partner in this matter, i.e., the owner of the newborn calf.

Rava said, in challenging Abaye’s explanation: Is that to say that the mishna teaches: One-quarter of the cost of the damage and one-eighth of the cost of the damage? The mishna teaches half the cost of the damage and one-quarter of the cost of the damage. Rather, Rava said: Actually, the mishna is referring to a case where the cow and its offspring belong to one person, and this is what we are saying: The halakha is that with regard to damage caused by an innocuous animal, restitution is paid only from the money realized by selling the belligerent animal. Therefore, if the cow is here, half the cost of the damage is paid from the value of the cow itself;

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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