Bava Kamma 8 - What is considered the best land? (Torts)

If one causes damages to his fellow, he must compensate for it. Furthermore, "He shall pay from the best of his land." With that instruction, we still have many questions open. We already discussed whether it should be the damaged party's best land or the damager's best land.

The next question is this. When the court assesses land to determine which one is superior, do they look at the damager's lands and choose the best? Or do they look at the land quality in general? Perhaps the damager's lands are so excellent that even his worst land is still the best by the world's standard. 

Rav Abba gave an answer. Since the Torah said, "His best land," the quality of the world's lands has nothing to do with it! Still, they challenged his answer, contrasting it with the rule of paying to different categories of people: creditors, damaged parties, and widows claiming their Ketubah payment. But Rav Abba deflected their questions.

Art: Landscape with a Stone Bridge by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn

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