QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when one who was carrying a beam in the public domain suddenly stopped, causing the beam to break the barrel carried by the person behind him, the one who stopped is responsible. The Gemara explains that in this case the person carrying the beam stopped in a way in which the beam blocked the entire width of the road and the collision was unavoidable.
The Gemara adds, however, that if the beam did not block the road, the barrel carrier should have walked around the beam to the side of the road not blocked by the beam. If he failed to do so, the beam carrier is absolved from responsibility even if he stopped and caused the barrel to break.
TOSFOS (DH v'Im) asks that according to the Gemara's explanation, the second case of the Mishnah is difficult to understand. The Mishnah states that if the person carrying the barrel was first, and he stopped in the middle of the street and caused the person carrying the beam to crash into his barrel, the beam carrier is exempt from payment. Why should he be exempt? A barrel does not extend across the entire width of a road! The beam carrier should be obligated to pay since he should have traveled on the unblocked side of the road.
Tosfos quotes the RI who answers that the second person is not always able to be careful not to crash into the person in front of him when that person stops suddenly. This is why, when the fallen beam is not blocking the entire width of the road, the Mishnah faults the barrel carrier (who was walking behind the fallen beam carrier) for not walking to the other, unblocked side of the road. However, in the case of the beam carrier who was walking behind the barrel carrier, the beam being carried extends across the entire width of the road, and thus the beam carrier could not avoid the fallen barrel carrier by walking to the other side of the road.
TOSFOS (DH d'Ramya) asks that the Mishnah regarding Kadarim, potters who trip over each other (31a), teaches that the one who tripped and stayed on the ground is responsible for the damages suffered by the others who tripped over him. Why does the above logic not apply to potters as well? The potter coming up from behind should have avoided falling by walking on the side of the road that was unblocked! Tosfos adds that one cannot answer that the first potter is obligated for damages only when he blocked the entire road, because the Gemara (31b) says that he must block the entire road only in a case in which he is obligated to pay for the damages of multiple people, but not in a case in which one person tripped over him. The Gemara implies that when one person tripped over him, he is obligated to pay for the damages of the second person even if he did not block the entire road.
Tosfos answers that in the case of the potters, the one who walked behind the first potter who tripped did not have a chance to go to the other side of the road, because when the first one fell the second one did not see him. The first one retains sole responsibility.
The MAHARSHA asks that the words of Tosfos here seem to contradict the words of the previous Tosfos. Tosfos (DH v'Im) writes that the one walking second is expected to avoid any possible collision by walking on the other side of the road if possible. Only when it is not possible to walk to the other side of the road (such as when he is carrying a beam that takes up the entire width of the road, or when he is walking behind a person carrying such a beam) is the second person not responsible to avoid a collision. Why, then, is the second potter not responsible for his own damage, since he could have walked on the unblocked side of the road?
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA answers that potters do not have to suspect that the person in front of them will trip and that they will trip over him, because this is not a common occurrence. In contrast, when two people are carrying heavy objects, accidents are common, and thus the one behind the other needs to be wary to avoid an accident. If one person who is carrying a barrel is walking behind another person who is carrying an unwieldy beam, he should be careful to walk on the other side of the road, because it is not uncommon that a person stops to readjust his load or for other reasons. This is why the person who is carrying the barrel is responsible for his own damage if he failed to be cautious.
Based this logic, the PNEI YEHOSHUA answers a similar question on the Gemara. The Mishnah earlier (27a) teaches that if one falls on a pot in the public domain, the owner of the pot is responsible for any damages. Why is the owner of the pot liable? When one walks in the public domain and sees a pot on the ground, he should go around the pot to the other side of the road! The Pnei Yehoshua answers that a person does not have to suspect that there are pots in the road. Since people do not have permission to place their pots in the road, it is not something which one must be wary of. In contrast, people have permission to carry things through the public domain. Therefore, when one sees a person carrying a load and suspects that there could be a collision if something goes wrong, he should move to the other side of the road.
(The Gemara earlier (27b) says that people are generally not expected to notice objects on the ground that are not supposed to be there. Consequently, it is not their fault that they did not notice the pot. On the other hand, if an ox trips over a fallen animal during the daytime, the owner of the fallen animal is exempt from the damage to the ox. This is because an animal always looks down and thus the ox should not have tripped on something lying on the ground. See Tosfos to 27b, DH Lefi.) (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)


QUESTION: The Beraisa states that if a person enters a carpenter's store without permission and some wood struck by the carpenter hits him and causes him to die, the carpenter is exempt. However, if he enters with permission, the carpenter is liable. Rebbi Yosi bar Chanina explains that this means he is liable for damages, but he is exempt from Galus (exile to one of the cities of refuge reserved for people who kill accidentally). The carpenter is exempt from Galus because the case of accidental killing in which the Torah teaches the obligation of Galus is a case in which a person is accidentally killed in the forest by a woodchopper. In that case, the forest is everyone's domain. In this case, however, the victim and the perpetrator are in the killer's domain.
Rava (or Rabah according to the BACH) argues that if, when they are in a forest, where it is likely that the victim entered with the permission of his friend, the killer is obligated to go to Galus, then certainly in a case in which the victim had explicit permission to enter, the killer must go to Galus.
Rava therefore explains that when Rebbi Yosi bar Chanina says that he is exempt from Galus, he means that Galus is insufficient for him; it will not provide him with the degree of atonement which he needs, because he is considered "Karov l'Mezid" -- "close to an intentional killer." (Such a person is not protected by the city of refuge, and the killer's relatives may hunt him down at any time.)
TOSFOS (DH d'Lo Sagi) asks that Rava's words seem to contradict the Mishnah in Makos (8a). The Mishnah there states that if one throws a stone into his courtyard and it kills someone, the thrower must go to Galus if the victim had permission to be there. If the victim did not have permission to be there, the killer does not go to Galus. According to Rava, however, when a person had permission to be there, Galus is insufficient!
(a) TOSFOS answers that there are two different types of cases in which the victim enters "with permission." The Mishnah in Makos (8a) refers to a person who has actual legal rights (whether because he purchased them or received them as a gift) to be in the courtyard. However, he is not always there, and the stone thrower did not check whether or not he was there before he threw the stone. The Beraisa here refers to a case in which permission was granted for the person to be there only on this occasion. Since the carpenter granted permission at this moment for the other person to enter, he should assume that the person is there. If he is not careful, he is considered "Karov l'Mezid" and Galus is insufficient to atone for him.
(b) A similar answer is given by TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ, who writes that the difference is whether or not the killer saw that the victim was there or not. In the case in Makos, he did not see that anyone was there, while in this case he saw that the person was there and still he was not careful.
(c) The MAHARSHA and PNEI YEHOSHUA answer that once Tosfos establishes that the case in Makos (8a) is where the victim bought the rights to be there, there is another difference between the two cases other than the difference given by Tosfos. In Makos, each person was considered to be in his own domain, just as each person is considered to be in his own domain when he enters the forest, and therefore Galus is mandated. In the case of the Gemara here, giving momentary permission to enter is not the same as being in one's own domain. The victim is considered to be in the killer's domain and not in his own domain. This is another reason why Galus is not the appropriate punishment. (Y. Montrose)