Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I heard that there was a Gemara to the effect of "volunteers cost more than employees because their motivation is not as good" -- or somesuch. Any ideas? Thanks.

share|improve this question

Maybe you're thinking of Bava Kamma 85a: "A doctor who heals for nothing [i.e., without pay] is worth nothing."

share|improve this answer
Alex, I just skimmed the daf, so maybe I missed it, but where does it say that? Also, it's talking about how much someone is obligated to pay for damages, so couldn't that be simply saying "Why does he have to pay Refuah, when he could find a free doctor? No, a doctor who heals for nothing is worth nothing," meaning that a person has a right to see a competent doctor who charges reasonable fees over a quack if he so chooses? – Seth J Jan 11 '12 at 16:38
@SethJ: near the bottom of the amud: אסיא דמגן במגן מגן שוה. You're right that the context is the victim's right to proper medical care, but I don't think the suggestion is that the free doctor would necessarily be a quack; Rashi says that the assailant might have a relative (who'd be willing to do him a favor). – Alex Jan 11 '12 at 16:57
Thanks for point it out. I'm not sure what you're saying, though. – Seth J Jan 11 '12 at 17:32
Thanks @Alex, but it doesn't sound like the right one. The prof was commenting that volunteers are often more trouble than employees due to lack of monetary motivation, lack of training etc. He said there was a Gemara on it. – Larry K Jan 11 '12 at 19:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.