Hebrew | Francais


> > Archive

Shabbat Parashat Nitzavim Vayeilech | 5769

Hemdat HaDaf HaYomi: Preventing Damage

Rav Ofer Livnat

Elul 17 – Elul 23, Baba Batra 16-22

This week in the Daf Hayomi, we begin to learn the second chapter of Baba Batra, which deals with the obligation to take preventative measures in order to avoid causing damage to neighbors. Even when a person is doing something in his private property, he must take certain precautions so as not to cause damage to his neighbors. For example, when a person lights a fire in an oven, the Mishna (20b) states a certain safety distance that must be kept in order to prevent the fire from breaking out.

What happens if a person kept the safety distance and nevertheless a fire broke out? According to the Chachamim (Mishna ibid), he must pay for the damages, while according to Rabbi Shimon he is exempt. The Halacha is like the Chachamim (Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 155, 1). Therefore, even when one keeps the safety distance, he must still guard his fire from spreading.

The Rif (Baba Kama 25b) asks about a seeming contradiction from a Mishna in Baba Kama (61b). The Mishna there gives a safety distance that one must keep when lighting a fire in his property, and states that, if one kept the distance and nevertheless a fire broke out, then he is exempt. The Rif answers that the Mishna in Baba Kama deals with the unusual situation where he lit a fire somewhere beside his oven, and the safety distance is very large, and therefore, if a fire nevertheless broke out it is considered something beyond one's control. However, in Baba Batra, the Mishna deals with lighting a fire in an oven on a regular basis, and thus one must continually guard his fire from breaking out.

The Netivot (155, 1) explains that the Rif is differentiating between two types of safety measures. Regarding lighting a fire on an irregular basis, the Sages gave the maximum safety distance, so as to prevent a fire from breaking out in any way. If a fire nevertheless broke out, it is deemed as something that was beyond one's control. However, regarding the use of an oven, the Sages did not want to require the maximum safety distance, since that would make it difficult for people to use their oven, which is a basic necessity. Therefore, the Sages gave a minimal safety distance, which, when combined with continuous safeguarding, would prevent a fire from spreading. If one did not safeguard the fire in the oven, and a fire broke out, he is liable.


Top of page
Print this page
Send to friend


The Eretz Hemdah family expresses its condolences to
Rabbi Yosef Carmel,
the head of the Kollel,
on the passing
of his mother,
Malkah Toibeh,

With great sorrow we inform the passing of
Prof. Emeric Deutsch,

member of
Eretz Hemdah’s Amuta.
The funeral was held on Sunday, 17 of Elul


 This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
R' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld

Hemdat Yamim is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of the

beloved friend of Eretz Hemdah

Doris (Doba) Moinester

whose Yahrtzeit is 23rd of Elul


site by entry.
Eretz Hemdah - Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. | Terms of Use.