If an ox made from sefer Yetzirah gored a regular ox, or vice versa, or if a golem hit someone is there any Torah obligation to pay for damages that was inflicted?

I used the classic example of damaging(Torah's example) ,but my question extends to all types of damages by things created by sefer Yetzirah(animal,golem).Are these creations considered like regular beings or they are exempt because we can't determine ideas like muad or tam because they are something in their own class .

  • Had to edit question to make it clearer
    – sam
    Jan 26, 2014 at 15:53
  • 1
    Related: Animals Created By Sefer Yetzirah.
    – Tamir Evan
    Jan 27, 2014 at 4:44
  • Why would one be totally exempt if it has a status of tam? Do you think that that one is totally exempt if his shur tam damages? Why do you think so?
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 17, 2017 at 21:35

3 Answers 3


If a golem or an ox is intentionally made from scratch by a man via Sefer Yetzira, then for damages incurred he would be Chayav (liable) on par with one that makes a fire which causes damage. The Gemora in Bovo Kama 22a says:

  • אשו משום חציו
    The damages from his fire is liable under the category of his arrows thrown/launched which are human inflicted damages,

Rashi explains

משום חציו. חייבו הכתוב לאיהו קעביד דהוי כזורק חץ - The passuk makes liable one who started the fire as if he threw arrows.

So we see the liability of making a fire is due because of Directly incurring damage (he should know the fire would go out of control) as if he aimed an arrow and launched it at the article/being.

Here as well a golem or ox is like a fire because he formed it without controlling it just like a fire.

He would therefore be chayav(liable) for all 5 things with regards to nizkei adam(i.e if a person was inflicted by the golem/ox): nezek (loss of a limb) tzaar(pain) ripui(healing) sheves(work loss incapacitation) and boshes(embarrassment).

He would also be Chayav Nezek shaleim (Full damage value)if this golem/ox would inflict damage on an animal or article(tzaar ripui sheves and boshes doesn't apply to animals).

A normal ox however, the Gemoro Kesubos 41a-b concludes is Becheskas shimur -guarding itself (i.e a calm temperament). This is because it was born through the natural sequence of events which Hashem runs the world with, and though it is in the ownership of a man who should have responsibility and therefore Chayav Chatzi Nezek (see kesubos 41a), the ox is NOT "manmade" like a fire or golem/ox which he contrived from scratch. Therefore he is not chayav the 4 damages of Tzaar, Ripui, Sheves and Boshes


The L'Horos Nassan 11:11:6 actually addresses this question . He answers with regards to an animal created from sefer yetzira that from the Rambam Nizekei Mamon 10:2 that animals that kill get stoned. Rav Gestetner explains that maybe thos applies to regular animals that are born normally ,but not to abnormal creations. However, he notes that although one might not find a reason to kill the animal based off shor haniskal, one can still find the animal guilty of stoning based off the idea of "getting rid of the bad amongst your midst" which applies to anything that causes damage.(this seems to fit with what the Ravaad says).

However ,the Rav Hamagid writes that according to the Rambam the word ובערת is not written only with regards to a man not an animal. So it seems that this creation may not be guilty of stoning .

He writes at end of whole teshuva that this needs further investigation ,and only brings these answers to make one aware of the tzadim.

[This teshuva has many ideas about things created from sefer yetzira, so if you ever wondered about it ,he probably discusses it.]


The laws of damage are not restricted to an ox. The gemara in bava Kama extends them to several other animals explicitly and to all animals (and objects) based on certain commonalities, such as intention to harm or normalcy to harm. (Unlike the laws of kashrus which may depend on the biological source or nature of an animal.) So if this sefer yetzira ox has the temperament of all other oxen, it would be the same. And if not, it would change according to those rules.

  • That is exactly my question ,I understand that the laws of damages applies to almost anything,I just used the classic example,the same question would be on a golem as well.
    – sam
    Jan 26, 2014 at 15:45
  • @sam That is what I'm answering. They apply to anything that damages. There is no reason or source that the way in which something was created makes a difference in it's hilchos nezikin. A car has the same rules as they apply to it as anything else, even though it is made by human hands. Jan 27, 2014 at 3:18
  • Is the golem my responsibility or this animal who said that by creating it one has responsibility for it,maybe it is like children who damage who one is patur from?
    – sam
    Jan 27, 2014 at 3:56
  • something he created is not the same as an ox or any other animal which is in the world through Hashems natural cycle so cannot be compared
    – user15464
    Aug 21, 2017 at 17:14

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