Is there any concept of Nezikin for simple annoyances like in secular nuisance law? What if said annoyances cause difficulty sleeping, studying, or working?


A person who damages is obligated for five things: Tzaar (distress), ripui (healing), sheves (idleness), boshes (embarassment), and nezek (damage) (CM 420:3). However, we nowadays only obligate someone to sheves, ripui, and nezek (1:2), and some say only nezek (Rama there).

There is no question that annoying someone doesn't count for nezek or ripui. However, it may count for sheves, since you may be caused to waste time. So according to the Shulchan Aruch, you can take sheves, and according to the Rama you can take nothing.

However, it is nevertheless forbidden to annoy someone — ואהבת לרעך כמוך" "אל תונו איש את אחיו"

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  • What about property issues, such as היזק ראייה? – Dov F Aug 9 '12 at 21:13
  • I don't think that would count as an "annoyance;" it is more of a direct damage. – b a Aug 9 '12 at 21:19
  • @DovF, in most of those cases, both parties are equally liable at the same time. – soandos Aug 9 '12 at 21:25
  • Hezek sheinah as well – sam Aug 9 '12 at 22:29
  • Isn't that siman talking about wounding someone? Perhaps regular damages are different. – Double AA Aug 13 '12 at 1:35

There are a handful of actionable damages discussed in halacha that might be considered nuisance laws. The best place to look would be in Rambam hilchot sh'chenim.

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