Daily Rambam – Sefer Mishpatim

Daily Rambam Tweets

Book Eleven  Sefer Nezikin Book of Damages

Book Twelve Sefer Kinyan Book of Acquisitions


 Book Thirteen:
Sefer Mishpatim – Book of Judgments
1:1 Unpaid watchman takes oath blameless. Borrower makes restitution. Watchman/renter make restitution of lost/stolen.
2:1 3 laws of 4 watchmen applies to unconsecrated movable property of Jews. Excludes land, slaves & promissory notes.
3:1 Watchman says item broke/died & not his fault, if place where people present, brings witnesses & cleared of fault.
4:6 Rented ship, loaded 1/30th above cargo limit, sank, must pay owner for value of the ship. Same for cargo animals.
5:1 Rents donkey to ride or carry glass items; if dies, owner gives new donkey; if not, returns fee minus what rode.
6:3 Landlord must provide doors; fix windows, roof, beams; make bolt, lock & other basic needs that require craftsman.
7:1 Can make any stipulation when renting just like when sell. Renting is merely selling for a limited amount of time.
8:14 Planting field in crop-sharing deal: worker changed crop, must still pay what agreed even if poor production.
9:1 Can’t force workers to come early & stay late if not local custom. Must follow local customs, like providing food.
10:3 Craftsman is paid watchman of customer’s article, until says “finished job, take it,” then unpaid watchman.
11:2 Withholding worker’s wages like murder. Violates 5 commands: pay on time; don’t oppress, steal, hold, delay wage.
12:14 Slave can’t say his minor kids won’t eat from produce of master’s field that they’re harvesting. Given by God.
13:7 Employee warned not to steal work of employer by neglecting his work slightly here & there, wasting work time.
1:1 Borrowed utensils or animal, lost or stolen, even if beyond his control, must make restitution; unless normal use.
2:1 Borrowed article or animal, if it’s stolen or lost but the lender is with him, borrower is not liable for damages.
3:1 Borrows cow, owner sends with son, agent or servant, & cow dies before arriving at borrower, borrower not liable.
4:3 Unpaid watchman put object in inappropriate place: stolen, lost or destroyed. Negligent & must make restitution.
5:3 Left article or fruit w/ watcher. Thieves stole in his presence. If he was quiet, didn’t call out for help, liable.
6:1 Watchman’s oath: took correct care, what happened, article not w/ him, didn’t use article for self before event.
7:3 Watchman: don’t deal w/ article (unless told to), even if value deteriorating, as owner may want to deal himself.
8:1 Watching animal or object; lost or stolen; says “I’ll pay;” thief discovered; watcher gets payment from thief.
1:1 Command to lend money to poor among Israel. Greater than charity. Torah warns severely against not lending to poor.
2:7 Can’t lend money even to Torah scholar without witnesses unless received collateral. Better to have promissory note.
3:1 Can’t take collateral from widow, whether rich or poor: if admits to debt, pays; denies debt, she must take an oath.
4:2 Just as forbidden to lend at interest to Jew, can’t borrow, broker, guarantee, write or witness loans with interest.
5:1 Lending w/ interest only prohibited between Jews. Permitted to borrow or lend to or from a Gentile w/ interest.
6:1 If lends (to Jew) & payment has some addition, clause or benefit beyond principal, considered interest & prohibited.
7:9 Renter can ask owner for loan for improvement of field, store, ship, etc. & pays > amount; but not for operations.
8:1 Can’t increase price of merchandise in exchange for delayed payment, i.e. pay now 100 zuz or pay later for 120 zuz.
9:1 Can’t place order for produce before market price is set. Once set, can order, even if seller doesn’t have on hand.
10:1 Can lend produce w/o conditions. Borrowed 10 Seah of wheat, must return 10 Seah of wheat, even if price increased.
11:1 If borrowed $ in front of witnesses, doesn’t need to repay in front of witnesses. If says paid, must swear that did.
12:7 Can’t appropriate land from minors, except if have authenticated deed of sale & after guardian appointed for minors.
13:2 Lender needs 3 proofs for court to get property of borrower: verify debt note; prove debtor away; owned by borrower.
14:2 Lender has promissory note, demands that borrower pay, borrower says paid already, court instructs borrower to pay.
15:6 If lender agreed that would accept borrower’s word when says paid back loan, can’t use promissory note to collect.
16:10 On promissory note written on front or back that paid in part or all, as if paid, even if in lender’s possession.
17:3 Borrower died, lender died, lender’s heirs can’t collect debt from borrower’s heirs. Can’t swear that wasn’t paid.
18:1 Lend w/o any stipulation, all debtor’s land & movable property is on lien. Defaults, lender collects from property.
19:4 Damages expropriated from superior land, lenders collect from intermediate land, woman’s Ketuba from inferior land.
20:1 Debtor has many debts, 1st lender expropriates property 1st, from borrower & creditors. Can take from later lenders.
21:1 Creditor expropriates field & increase in field value. If increase due to investment, creditor gets 1/2 of increase.
22:2 Borrower says promissory note forged: if he seems right, given time to prove; if not, pays. If finds proof, gets $.
23:4 Promissory note dated Shabat or Yom Kipur, assume postdated & valid. Known that legal documents not made on Shabat.
24:2 Scribe’s fee paid by: borrower on loan, buyer on sale, woman on divorce, groom on marriage, sharecroppers & workers.
25:9 If 2 people take loan from same person on same promissory note, they’re guarantors for each other. Same w/ partners.
26:5 Loan made w/ verbal pledge, borrower overseas, lender claims from guarantor, guarantor says: 1st prove didn’t pay.
27:1 Jewish legal document: any language, can’t be forged, can’t add/subtract content, Jewish witnesses who can read it.
1:1 Claim against person about movable property, person admits part of claim, pays that, swears doesn’t owe rest & free.
2:2 Can’t swear in court if: took false or unnecessary oaths, lends at interest, eats non-kosher meat, thief, gambler.
3:1 Prutah value: weight of half a barleycorn of pure silver. Two Me’in value: weight of 32 barleycorns of pure silver.
4:1 Gives biblical oath if accused of owing item with specific measure, weight or quantity & admits owing part of it.
5:12 Deaf-mute, mentally ill can’t make claims & can’t claim against them, can’t take oaths or make restitution. Blind ok.
6:1 Court needs precise statements: litigant claims Maneh that lent, entrusted or stole, defendant must answer in kind.
7:1 Admitted in front of 2 about debt, not casually, but w/o appointing them as witnesses, still serves as testimony.
8:1 Presume that movable property belongs to person with physical possession, even if witnesses testify belonged to other.
9:1 Craftsman possesses item, don’t presume it’s his. Man claims w/ witnesses craftsman has his item, can reclaim w/ oath.
10:1 An animal that normally roams free, if a person grabs hold of it, the owner can reclaim it with witnesses and oath.
11:2 Believed owner of land, if have witnesses & used undisputed for > 3 years. Gives oath that rightfully his and keeps.
12:5 2 partners: 1 uses field years 1, 3, 5; other years 2, 4, 6; ownership not established. Have contract defining, ok.
13:1 Even if benefited from land 3 yrs, can’t claim it: craftsmen, sharecropper, guardian, partner, spouse, son & father.
14:4 Thief’s son claims owner sold to his dad, not admissible. Grandson can, if says he or his dad acquired, not grandpa.
15:3 Took field thinking was heir, discovered closer heir, needs to give field to closer heir & pay for all that consumed.
16:1 If signed as witness for deed of sale, can’t afterwards protest ownership of field saying seller stole it from you.
1:3 Inheritance order: sons, descendants of sons, daughters, her descendants, father, brothers, grandfather & so on.
2:1 Firstborn gets x2 portion of father’s estate. Example: 5 sons, 1st born gets 1/3 of estate, 4 others get 1/6 each.
3:1 1stborn doesn’t get 2x portion of property owed to father. Gets = share to brothers of funds collected after death.
4:2 If a father declares person known as his son isn’t his son: doesn’t get inheritance, but doesn’t make him a Mamzer.
5:2 Big estate: girls get upkeep, tenth of estate for dowry; boys inherit rest. Small estate: girls get upkeep, boys 0.
6:13 Don’t differentiate between children during lifetime, even in small matters, so don’t envy like Joseph’s brothers.
7:1 Heard that man died, even though enough to permit wife to remarry, heirs don’t inherit. They need clear proof.
8:1 Man missing, land to relative as share-cropper; not to kid so won’t ruin. Kid’s land not to relative, so won’t rob.
9:2 Brothers share inherited estate, brother uses own funds to increase value, he gets profit. Otherwise share equally.
10:1 2 bros divide estate & 3rd shows up, or 3 bros divide estate & creditor takes part. Recalculate division equally.
11:1 Court gives orphans’ $ to trustworthy person, invest in very low risk deals. Judges decide orphans’ best interest.
End Book Thirteen, Sefer Mishpatim — Book of Judgments