All these laws seem fair and reasonable, but they are obviously very limited in application. The Bible speaks of an ox; but what if you have a cow that hurts somebody? Does the same principle apply? Or what if, instead of digging a pit that someone falls into, you leave something on your roof and it falls off and hits someone? Are you still responsible for the injury? In short, what we have here is a problem that we have seen countless times in the Talmud. The laws of the Written Torah are not sufficiently broad or abstract to serve as the basis for a functioning legal system. Bridging the gap between Torah and real life, with all its endless complications and permutations, is the job of the Oral Law, as codified in the Mishna and interpreted in the Gemara.Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
The Talmud and "Damages"
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Toward a Taxonomy of Damage. The Talmud is what happens when the laws of the Written Torah are not sufficiently broad or abstract to serve as the basis for a functioning legal system.