Bava Kamma Chapter Two Mishnah Six

 

Introduction

This mishnah deals with damages caused by a human being, a topic that was mentioned briefly in chapter one mishnah four.  There we learned that a person was always considered to be muad, or an attested danger.  This mishnah explains deals with that concept, that a human being is a muad.

 

Mishnah

Human beings are always an attested danger, whether the damage is caused inadvertently or deliberately, whether the person who caused the damage is awake or asleep.

If a man blinded his fellow’s eye or broke his utensils he must pay full damages.

 

Explanation

A person who damages is always considered to be a muad, attested danger, and as such he will always pay full damages. The idea is that a person cannot claim that something was accidental and thereby exempt herself from culpability.  For instance if I throw something heavy out my window and it hits someone’s car, I cannot claim that it was an accident and that I didn’t mean to do it.  Even if I go to sleep next to something that belongs to someone else, and in my sleep I roll over and break the item, I will always be obligated.

 

Questions for further thought:

Why should a human being always be a muad?  Why not exempt her when she causes damages inadvertently?

 

 

 

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