New answers tagged torts-damages
It appears from the commentaries, and from context from relevant Biblical quotations that the word שר is a generic term applying to all types of animals that are of potential danger to man. Rashi, commenting on Exodus 21:28 -- "if a bull gores a man or woman ..." says that the term applies "either [to] a bull or any domestic animal, beast, or bird, but the ...
In English, when we say "ox" we mean a male bovus that was bred and trained for use as a work animal; in general society they were usually also castrated, but the Torah clearly forbade this. When we say "bull" we mean a male bovus bred for its meat, or to sire more offspring. (Further proof that the oxen in the Torah weren't castrated: the letter aleph ...
שור means an ox of either gender, whereas פר refers exclusively to a male. See Leviticus 22:28, where שור is used to mean a female (see Rashi).
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