כ״א באב ה׳תשע״ו (August 25, 2016)

Bava Kamma 86a-b: Humiliating One Who is Naked

We have learned that one of the five obligations that a person may have towards his friend is boshet – payment made for embarrassment.

According to the Mishna on our daf, the obligation of boshet only takes effect if it was done with the intention of embarrassing, and it remains in force, even if the person who is embarrassed is naked or sleeping.

A baraita brought by the Gemara points out that although there is an obligation to pay boshet even if the person is naked, the amount that he will have to pay is based on the level of embarrassment, and we can assume that the embarrassment will be less for someone who was already naked than someone who was fully clothed. The Gemara asks:

“Is a naked person someone who can be embarrassed?”

“Can someone in the bathhouse be embarrassed?”

Rashi explains these questions according to their simple meaning – if someone is not wearing clothing he shows that he is not concerned with even the most elementary issues of personal modesty, so he cannot be embarrassed. Tosafot disagree, arguing that even someone without clothes will suffer embarrassment if someone slaps him or spits on him. According to Tosafot, we are discussing only one type of embarrassment – if someone unclothes his friend. Thus, according to Tosafot, the Gemara’s question is “if he already is unclothed, what further embarrassment can he suffer in this realm?” Or, with regard to the bathhouse, “in a place where everyone takes off their clothing, what embarrassment is there in having one’s clothing removed?”

Rav Pappa explains that we are talking in a case where the person was not fully undressed, but that his clothing was lifted up by the wind and his friend removed his clothing completely. Furthermore, Rav Pappa argues, the case of the bathhouse must be talking about bathing by the river, where people do remove their clothing, but still are careful about issues of modesty, given that it is a public place.

Previous
Next