Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 184:5

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ה: יֵשׁ עוֹד הַרְבֵּה דְבָרִים בְּעִנְיַן נִזְקֵי שְׁכֵנִים אוֹ לִבְנֵי רְשׁוּת-הָרַבִּים. וְהַכְּלָל הוּא, שֶׁאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת שׁוּם דָּבָר אֲפִלּוּ בִרְשׁוּתוֹ, וּמִכָּל-שֶׁכֵּן בִּרְשׁוּת-הָרַבִּים, דָּבָר שֶׁיָכוֹל לְהַגִּיעַ מִמֶּנוּ אֵיזֶה הֶזֵּק לִשְׁכֵנוֹ אוֹ לְעוֹבְרִים בִּרְשׁוּת-הָרַבִּים. אִם לֹא בְדָבָר שֶׁפָּשַט הַמִּנְהָג שֶעוֹשֶׂה כֵּן כָּל מִי שֶׁרוֹצֶה, שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה, כְּאִלּוּ מָחֲלוּ כָּל אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר, כְּדֵי שֶׁיּוּכַל כָּל אֶחָד לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן כְּשֶׁיִצְטָרֵךְ לָזֶה, הוּא אוֹ בָנָיו אַחֲרָיו

There are many more things in the topic of injuring neighbors of people in the public thoroughfare.

The general rule is that it is prohibited to do anything — even within his own property and all the more so on public property — anything that could cause from it some injury to his friend or those who pass in the public domain, if it is not in something that the custom is widespread that anyone who wants to does it. For  in this case [where there is such a widespread custom], it’s as though everyone in the city forgave him so that each of them could do it as well when they need to — them or their children after them.


This explanation reminds me of the social contract theory of law. In Leviathan (written 1651), Thomas Hobbes describes the rise of law as an “occurrence” in which people give up some of their rights in exchange for not being impinged upon by others exercising those same rights. The state exists to enforce that contract.

And your thoughts...?