On March 20, 2009, the NYC police arrested a  plumber for the Westchester County government, who shot an arrow at a fence on his property in Riverdale NY, that went through it and hit a woman who was opening a car door next door. The plumber was charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. The police concluded that the incident was an accident.

What would halachah say about such a case? Is a personal responsible for the “recreational use” of a potentially lethal weapon with no malicious intent, yet causes harm?  

In January 2006, the BBC reported that a forty-two-year-old regular visitor to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge tripped over an untied shoelace and broke three Chinese vases valued at over $400,000. Should the breaker be liable? Why or why not? What is a person’s level of responsibility regarding other people’s property?

In the NLE Thinking Gemara shiur, Adam Muad Le’Olam, key passages from the Talmud’s Bava Kama, the main source for Jewish Law of damages, will explore accountability for accidental damage and the extent of human responsibility.

Some of the key questions addressed in the shiur include:

  • When are you liable for compensation for damage? What if you break something by accident?
  • When are you exempt from liability for accidental damage?
  • What are the theoretical assumptions underlying the above principles?
  • Is there ever an exemption from liability for intentional damage?

Click here for the NLE Thinking Gemara shiur, Adam Muad Le’Olam.



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