(Aramaic: בבא קמא Babha Qamma
, "The First Gate"; often transliterated Baḇa Ḳamma
) is the first of a series of three Talmudic
tractates in the order Nezikin
("Damages") that deal with civil matters such as damages and torts
. The other two of these tractates are Bava Metzia
and Bava Batra
: originally all three formed a single tractate called Nezikin
, each "Bava" meaning "part" or "subdivision". Bava Kamma discusses various forms of damage and the compensation owed for them.Biblical
laws dealing with the cases discussed in Bava Kamma are contained in the following passages: , and . The principle that underlies the legislation in this respect is expressed by the sentence, "He that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution".
Bava Kamma consists of ten chapters, which may be grouped as follows: damage caused without criminality (chaps. i-vi); damage caused by a criminal act (chaps. vii-x).
Damage Caused Without Criminality
- For post-Talmudic developments, see Damages
Two types of damages are dealt with: (1) damage caused by agents in their normal condition; (2) damage caused by agents in their abnormal condition. An instance of the first class of agents is an ox treading upon things that are in his way and thus damaging them, or eating things that are in his path. An instance of the second class is the case of a Goring Ox, as under normal circumstances an ox does not gore.