Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/309

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Paragraph 1- If one rents a donkey to bring to the mountain and he brings it to the valley and the animal slipped, he would be exempt, even though he did not have the owner’s consent. If the animal overheated, he would be liable.

Paragraph 2- If one rents an animal to bring to the valley and he brings it to the mountain and the animal slipped, the renter is liable because it is more slippery on the mountain than in the valley. If it overheated, he would be exempt because the valley is hotter than the mountain due to the wind that blows at the top of the mountain. If the animal overheated because of the climbing he would be liable. The same applies to anything similar. If the renter deviated from the mountain to the valley or from the valley to the mountain, and the animal tired out and died, he would be liable. Similarly, if he rented the animal to bring it to one location and he brought it to another and the air of the road is different than the other location, he would be liable. The same applies to anything similar.

Paragraph 3- If one rented an animal to bring to such and such place and return it the next day, and the renter went to that place and returned it on the same day, and the owner complained to the city-elders over the fact that the renter went back and forth on the same day and the elders told him to accept the return and work on healing the animal, and he did so but the animal died after eight days, the renter would be liable because he was negligent. If one returns a donkey that becomes lame on the road and the renter was not concerned and placed a load on it and the animal was ruined, that would qualify as negligence because he should not have placed any load on it. If he in a pressing situation on the road and could not rent another donkey, however, it would not be negligence and he would be exempt.

Paragraph 4- If one rents a cow to plow on the mountain and he plowed on the valley and the vessel that he plows with broke, the renter is exempt. The owner of the cow will have to litigate with the craftsmen who plowed. Similarly, if he did not deviate from the owner’s understanding and the vessel broke, the owner of the cow will litigate with the craftsmen. If one rented to plow in the valley and he plowed in the mountain and the plowing-vessel broke, the renter is liable and the renter will litigate with the craftsmen. There are those who say that if the craftsmen were hired by the owner, they would be exempt from paying the renter because he deviated, and the owner would give them their wages. With respect to the craftsmen who broker while plowing, who would pay? Whomever was holding the vessel at the time of the plowing. If the field had different levels, both the one leading the animals and the one holding the vessel would be liable.

Paragraph 5- If one rented to thresh with legumes and he threshed with grain and the animal slipped, he would be exempt. If he rented to thresh with grain and he threshed with legumes, he would be liable because legumes are slippery.