Torah Portion: Mishpatim
If a person digs a hole in the ground, or uncovers a hole, and does not cover it over… (Shemos 21:33).
It is a positive commandment to judge—as described in Scripture—cases of those who open a pit in a place where it is a hazard for people, as it says: If a person digs a hole in the ground, or uncovers a hole, and does not cover it over and an ox or donkey falls into it, the one responsible for the hole must make restitution, restoring the full value [of the animal] to its owner (Shemos 21:33-34).
The roots of this mitzvah were presented earlier, among the laws that are self-evident.
The details of this mitzvah include, for instance, that a person who uncovers a pit, even though he did not dig it, is liable for damages.
With regard to payment for damages this commandment applies to both men and women, whether they caused or suffered injury. But with regard to effecting justice, it applies only to men, for they are the ones fit to judge these cases.