Torah Portion: Mishpatim
If a man permits livestock to devour a field or vineyard — whether he set loose his livestock or he grazed it in another’s field — from the best of his field and the best of his vineyard shall he pay (Shemos 22:4).
It is a positive commandment upon judges to judge cases involving damages of “Tooth” and “Foot.” That is, if someone’s animal caused his fellow damage that occurred on account of the animal’s eating with its teeth or trampling with its feet —for instance, if he brought his domestic animal into his fellow’s field and it grazed there, or it damaged the other’s saplings by trampling them with its feet — it is for us to require him to pay for those damages out of his choicest land. It is thus written: from the best of his field and the best of his vineyard shall he pay (Shemos 22:4).
The root of the commandments regarding justice is well-known.
This mitzvah applies to men who are fit to be judges. Women are also included under the law of payment for damages, whether they caused or suffered damage.