Paying for its Worth at the Beginning – Bava Kamma 65

0

Rav said: A thief must pay the principle according to the value of the stolen object at the time that it was stolen. He pays the double payment and the fourfold and fivefold payments according to the value of the object at the time that he was sued in Beis Din. 

 

Tosfos asks: What is the novelty of Rav’s ruling that a thief must pay the principle according to the value of the stolen object at the time that it was stolen? This is an explicit Mishna below that a thief pays according to the object’s value at the time that it was stolen!?

 

They answer: This, in fact, is not a novelty at all. Rav is teaching us that the double payment and the fourfold and fivefold payments are paid according to the value of the object at the time that he was sued in Beis Din. 

 

The Shitah Mekubetzes writes that the thief pays the double payment and the fourfold and fivefold payments according to the value of the object at the time that he was sued in Beis Din is completely logical, for since the thief is not immediately liable in these payments, for if he wishes, he can admit and be exempt from paying. He therefore pays according to its value at the time that he was sued in Beis Din. 

 

The Rosh seems to be uncertain if this, in fact, is a logical argument, or if this is something which may be derived only based upon a Scriptural verse.

 

The Machaneh Efraim discusses the following case: If one damages an object belonging to another; at the time of the damage, it was worth five, but at the time of the payment it was only worth four – how much is the damager required to pay? Perhaps the halachah that one pays according to the value that the object was worth at the time that it was stolen applies only to a thief, for that is where the Torah teaches us the halachah; however, by a damager, perhaps he is only required to return a similar object to the one which he damaged, even if now it is worth less? 

 

He concludes that this would be dependent upon the Rishonim in our sugya. If the halachah that a thief pays according to what the object is worth at the time it was stolen is purely logical, then it stands to reason that this should apply to a damager as well. However, if it is something that is derived from a Scriptural verse, perhaps it only applies by a thief, and not by a damager.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here