Portfolio #2

Lets explain a little more, shall we? 

Grama (Clockwise starting from top left)

  • Breaking a friend's fence and the animal escapes and does damage. He obligated to pay for the fence but is exempt for the damage done by the animal

  • Hiring a false witness for a friend (no personal benefit)

  • Knowing the truth about a friends case that would make the judge dig deeper into the truth but not revealing it

  • Bending friends wheat stalks away from a fire then the fire traveling to the wheat in an unnatural way and burning it

Garmi (Clockwise starting from top left)

  • An expert says a coin is real but when the owner tries to use it, it is found to be fake

  • A judge rules wheat is pure so a farmer adds it to his pure wheat pile then the judge realizes he made a mistake and now the whole pile is impure

  • Selling a loan document to a friend then nullifying the document to not have to pay

  • Burning a loan document


1) רמב״ם: No difference (always obligated).

2) ר׳ יצחק: Someone else does damage.

3) ר׳ יצחק: Damage comes later.

4) ריצב״א: No noticeable difference.

5) מאירי: Does damage with partner and has no intent to damage.


1) רמב״ם: No difference (always obligated).

2) ר׳ יצחק: You do the damage.

3) ר׳ יצחק: Immediate damage.

4) ריצב״א: Charge a fine because it is a common practice. This will deter people from doing damage.

5) מאירי: You have intent to do the damage.



Phone Case


  • According to the Gemara, the truck driver is exempt because he broke a broken object - "מנא תבירא תבר" - the phone was already broken on the way down. Therefore it was worthless when the truck destroyed it.

    • Rashi: In this case, the Gemara states only the truck driver is exempt and does not mention the person who dropped the phone is obligated. Why is this?

      • In the Gemara's case, the thrower of the object on the roof is the owner and he would't have to pay himself for the damage.

    • The Rosh disagrees with Rashi saying the driver is פּטור even if the object was not a broken object

      • The phone is אבידה מדעת if the owner made the phone purposefully ​ownerless and therefore the truck driver would not have to pay 

    • Rashi could refute this claim in two ways:

      • Rambam: ​ אבידה מדעת is not considered הפקר so the truck driver would still have to pay

      • Beit Halevi: It is possible the thrower wanted the object to be broken a certain way so he still owns it

    • Tosfot brings up a novel point that throwing the object where it is 100% going to break is very different than throwing something at an object where it is possible it will break. Therefore, Tosfot's logic results in the second guy being obligated because the phone is not guaranteed to break.

If you scroll to the top of the page, there is a description of Grami vs Grama. In this case there is a difference in whether it is Grama or Garmi because it could make Gavi (the one who removed the pillows) obligated to pay according to some opinions.​​

  • Using the concept of בתר מעיקרא, or going from the original act, we can see that Avi is indeed the only person responsible for his baby brother's unfortunate impalement. This may seem clear cut, but wait, THERE'S MORE!

  • New evidence has just surfaced that calls out Avi as murdering his baby brother, out of pure hatred for stealing his spotlight in the family. Now we must determine if Avi is liable on the death penalty!

  • Avi's little brother had terminal cancer, and was likely to die the following year (גוסס). Avi could not wait a single year, so he took matters into his own hands.

    • Since the illness was caused by none other than Hakodosh Baruch Who (גוסס בידי שמים), everyone agrees the killer is חייב. 

    • If the cancer was caused by second-hand smoke (גוסס בידי אדם), there is a machloket between the Ramban and Rav Yehudah

      •            Rav Yehudah: חייב - Even though he was terminally ill, there remained a slim chance baby Doni would   have survived.

        •            Rambanan: פטור - Avi did not act alone in causing his death. Ultimately, cancer would have killed the baby regardless. In addition, the Rambam hold that if a person is thrown from a roof and impaled by someone carrying a stick (like our case) both the thrower and the stick holder are Patur

    • What if baby Doni was going to die from cancer without a single bit of doubt (טרפה)?

      • Brother Avi would be off the hook because baby Doni was dying with or without his help.

  • Lets Speculate if we compare the boat to an ox:

  • We can use Rashi (26a) to determine the monetary compensation that the boat owner must pay for the baby's death.

         דמי ניזק: The boat owner must pay the value of the baby, right? But wait, baby Doni is worthless as soon as he is in free-fall! Therefore the boat owner is exempt from paying.

         דמי מזיק: The boat owner must pay the value of the thing that caused damage, the ox , or in this case, the boat. Since the boat did not lose value as the baby did, the owner is obligated to redeem the worth of his yacht to Avi's family.

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