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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shechenim - Chapter One, Shechenim - Chapter Two, Shechenim - Chapter Three

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Shechenim - Chapter One

Introduction to Hilchos Shechenim

The purpose of the these laws is to know the proper way to divide land among partners, how one should remove factors that may cause danger to one's neighbor and those upon whom one's property borders, and the laws concerning the privileges granted to a person upon whose land one's property borders. These laws are explained in the chapters that follow.

הלכות שכנים - הקדמה הלכות שכנים ענין אלו ההלכות לידע דין חלוק הקרקעות בין השותפין והרחקת נזק כל אחד מהם משכנו ומבעל המצר שלו ודין בעל המצר וביאור כל הדינין האלו בפרקים אלו:


The following rules apply when a person purchases half of a field from a colleague, two people together purchase a field from a colleague, they both inherited a field, a field was given them as a gift, or they took possession of ownerless land or property belonging to a convert who died without leaving Jewish heirs - i.e., any situation in which two people own land in partnership.

If one of the partners asks to divide the property and take his portion alone, and the property is large enough to be divided, we compel the other partners to divide the property with him. If the property is not large enough to be divided, neither partner can require the other one to divide the property. Similar laws apply with regard to movable property.

When does the above apply? When neither of the parties recognizes a specific portion of the property they share as his own, but rather both use the entire property equally. If, however, one of the partners recognizes a portion of the property as his own, each one has the right to compel the other partner to make a divider between his portion and his colleague's portion, although the property is not large enough to be divided.


אֶחָד הַקּוֹנֶה מֵחֲבֵרוֹ חֲצִי שָׂדֵהוּ. אוֹ שְׁנַיִם שֶׁקָּנוּ מֵאֶחָד שָׂדֶה. אוֹ שֶׁיָּרְשׁוּ. אוֹ שֶׁנִּתְּנָה לָהֶן בְּמַתָּנָה. אוֹ שֶׁהֶחְזִיקוּ בָּהּ מִן הַהֶפְקֵר. אוֹ נִכְסֵי גֵּר. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם שֻׁתָּפוּת בַּקַּרְקַע וּבִקֵּשׁ אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין לַחֲלֹק וְלִטּל חֶלְקוֹ לְבַדּוֹ. אִם יֵשׁ בְּאוֹתָהּ קַרְקַע דִּין חֲלוּקָה כּוֹפֶה אֶת שְׁאָר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין וְחוֹלְקִין עִמּוֹ. וְאִם אֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה אֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לָכֹף אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לַחֲלֹק. וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּמִטַּלְטְלִין. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן מַכִּיר אֶת חֶלְקוֹ בַּמָּקוֹם שֶׁהֵן שֻׁתָּפִין בּוֹ אֶלָּא יַד כֻּלָּן מִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּכָל הַמָּקוֹם. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן מַכִּיר חֶלְקוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה כּוֹפֶה כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין חֶלְקוֹ לְחֵלֶק חֲבֵרוֹ:


In a situation where the property is not large enough to be divided or with regard to an entity that cannot be divided - e.g., a maidservant or a utensil - if one of the partners tells the other: "Sell me your portion for this and this much, or buy my portion for the same price," his request is supported by the law. We compel the other partner either to sell his share to his colleague or to purchase his colleague's share from him.

If, however, the other partner does not desire to purchase his partner's share or does not have the means to do so, he cannot compel his colleague to purchase his share from him even at the low market price. For his colleague may tell him: "I do not want to buy; I want to sell."

Therefore, the following laws apply if two brothers, one rich and one poor, inherited from their father a bathhouse or an olive press. If the father made these premises for the purpose of hire, the two share the rental equally for as long as they desire to remain partners.

If the father made these structures for his personal use, the poor brother cannot force the rich brother to hire them out. Instead, they should use them as their father used them. The rich brother can tell the poor brother: "Purchase olives and crush them in the olive press; purchase servants and have them come and wash in the bathhouse."

The poor brother cannot compel the rich brother to purchase his portion unless the poor brother tells him: "Purchase my portion from me or sell me your portion. For I will borrow from others and purchase it or sell it to others, and they will purchase it." If he makes such statements, his claim is supported by law.

If each of the brothers says: "I don't want to purchase your portion; I want to sell my portion," the property should be sold to others.

The following rules apply if both of them say: "I will not sell," but instead each of them wishes to purchase his colleague's portion, or neither of them desires to purchase his colleague's portion, nor to sell his own portion, but instead to remain partners in the property.

What should they do? If the place was fit to rent, they should hire it out and divide the rent. If the place was not fit to rent they should alternate. If the property is a courtyard, they should dwell in it, each for a year at a time. The rationale for this ruling is that it is impossible for them to dwell in it together, because of the lack of privacy, and it is not large enough to divide. A more frequent rotation is not employed, because a person would not trouble himself to move from one courtyard to another every 30 days. Hence, the rotation is carried out from year to year.

If the shared property is a bathhouse, both of them are allowed to enter at all times during the day. The same principle applies to any object that is fit to be used at all times and is not usually hired out - e.g., a bathhouse, a mattress or a Torah scroll. One cannot tell the other: "You use it one day, and I will use it the next day." For the other can claim: "I want to use it every day."


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁאָמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ דִּין חֲלוּקָה. אוֹ בְּדָבָר שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיַּחְלְקוּ כְּגוֹן שִׁפְחָה אוֹ כְּלִי. מְכֹר לִי חֶלְקְךָ בְּכָךְ וְכָךְ אוֹ קְנֵה מִמֶּנִּי כַּשַּׁעַר הַזֶּה. הַדִּין עִמּוֹ וְכוֹפִין אֶת הַנִּתְבָּע לִמְכֹּר לַחֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ לִקְנוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ. אֲבָל אִם אֵין הַתּוֹבֵעַ רוֹצֶה לִקְנוֹת אוֹ לֹא יִמְצָא בְּמָה יִקְנֶה. אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לָכֹף אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לִקְנוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ אֲפִלּוּ כַּשַּׁעַר הַזּוֹל. שֶׁהֲרֵי חֲבֵרוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁאֶקְנֶה אֶלָּא שֶׁאֶמְכֹּר. לְפִיכָךְ שְׁנֵי אַחִין אֶחָד עָנִי וְאֶחָד עָשִׁיר שֶׁהִנִּיחַ לָהֶם אֲבִיהֶם מֶרְחָץ אוֹ בֵּית הַבַּד. אִם עֲשָׂאָן הָאָב לְשָׂכָר הַשָּׂכָר לָאֶמְצַע כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצוּ לַעֲמֹד בְּשֻׁתָּפוּת. עֲשָׂאָן הָאָב לְעַצְמוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לָכֹף אָחִיו לְהַשְׂכִּיר אוֹתָם אֶלָּא מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁין בָּהֶם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ אֲבִיהֶם. וַהֲרֵי עָשִׁיר אוֹמֵר לְעָנִי קַח לְךָ זֵיתִים וּבוֹא וַעֲשֵׂה אוֹתָם בְּבֵית הַבַּד. קְנֵה לְךָ עֲבָדִים וְיָבוֹאוּ וְיִרְחֲצוּ בַּמֶּרְחָץ. וְאֵין הֶעָנִי כּוֹפֶה אֶת הֶעָשִׁיר לִקְנוֹת חֶלְקוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן אָמַר לוֹ קְנֵה מִמֶּנִּי אוֹ מְכֹר לִי וַהֲרֵינִי לוֹוֶה וְקוֹנֶה אוֹ מוֹכֵר לַאֲחֵרִים וְקוֹנִין הַדִּין עִמּוֹ. אָמַר כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֵינִי קוֹנֶה אֶלָּא הֲרֵינִי מוֹכֵר חֶלְקִי מוֹכְרִין אוֹתָהּ לַאֲחֵרִים. אָמַר כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶם אֵינִי מוֹכֵר אֶלָּא כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן רוֹצֶה שֶׁיִּקְנֶה חֵלֶק חֲבֵרוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן רוֹצֶה לֹא לִקְנוֹת חֵלֶק חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא לִמְכֹּר חֶלְקוֹ אֶלָּא יִשָּׁאֲרוּ שֻׁתָּפִין בַּגּוּף. הֵיאַךְ הֵן עוֹשִׂין. אִם הָיָה הַמָּקוֹם עָשׂוּי לְשָׂכָר מַשְׂכִּירִין אוֹתוֹ וְחוֹלְקִין שְׂכָרוֹ. וְאִם אֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְשָׂכָר אִם חָצֵר הוּא שׁוֹכְנִין בָּהּ שָׁנָה שָׁנָה שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּשְׁכְּנוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם כְּאַחַת מִפְּנֵי הֶזֵּק רְאִיָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה וְאֵין אָדָם עָשׂוּי לִטְרֹחַ כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם לִפְנוֹת מֵחָצֵר לֶחָצֵר אֶלָּא מִשָּׁנָה לְשָׁנָה. וְאִם מֶרְחָץ הוּא נִכְנָסִין לָהּ שְׁנֵיהֶם תָּמִיד בְּכָל יוֹם. וְכֵן כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁרָאוּי לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ תָּמִיד וְאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְשָׂכָר כְּגוֹן מֶרְחָץ אוֹ מַצָּע אוֹ סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ הִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ אַתָּה יוֹם וַאֲנִי יוֹם שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם אֲנִי רוֹצֶה לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ:


When one person rents from a colleague a portion of a courtyard or a field that is not large enough to divide or two people rent such a property in partnership, each one can compel his colleague and tell him: "Either rent my portion from me or rent me your portion." If the property is large enough to divide, it should be divided.


אֶחָד הַשּׂוֹכֵר מֵחֲבֵרוֹ מִקְצָת חָצֵר. אוֹ שָׂדֶה שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה. אוֹ שְׁנַיִם שֶׁשָּׂכְרוּ מָקוֹם אֶחָד בְּשֻׁתָּפוּת. כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לָכֹף אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלוֹמַר לוֹ אוֹ שְׂכֹר מִמֶּנִּי חֶלְקִי אוֹ הַשְׂכִּיר לִי חֶלְקְךָ. וְאִם יֵשׁ בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה חוֹלְקִין:


What is meant by a property being large enough to divide? That if it were divided among the partners, even the partner with the smallest share would receive a portion of the property large enough to be referred to by the same name that is used to refer to the entire entity. If, however, the name that is used to refer to the entire entity would not be used for this portion, it is not large enough to divide.

What is implied? Whenever a courtyard does not contain four cubits by four cubits, it cannot be called a courtyard. Whenever a field is not large enough to sow nine kabbim of grain, it is not considered to be a field. Whenever a garden is not large enough to sow a half a kav, it is not considered to be a garden. Whenever an orchard is not large enough to sow three kabbim, it is not considered to be an orchard.

Therefore, a courtyard is not divided among partners unless it is large enough for each of the partners to receive at least four cubits by four cubits. A field is not divided unless it is large enough for each of the partners to receive at least enough to sow nine kabbim. A garden is not divided unless it is large enough for each of the partners to receive at least enough to sow half a kav. And an orchard is not divided unless it is large enough for each of the partners to receive at least enough to sow three kabbim.

Where does the above apply? In Eretz Yisrael and lands like it. In Babylonia and lands like it, by contrast each partner must receive a larger measure. A field is not divided unless it is large enough for each of the partners to receive at least enough to require a day of plowing. An orchard is not divided unless it is large enough for each of the partners to receive at least 36 trees - this is the number that requires one person to tend to them for a day. A field that is watered with a utensil is not divided unless it is large enough for each of the partners to receive at least enough that a workman will spend a day watering it.


אֵי זֶהוּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה. כָּל שֶׁאִלּוּ יְחַלֵּק לְפִי הַשֻּׁתָּפִין יַגִּיעַ לַפָּחוּת שֶׁבָּהֶם חֵלֶק שֶׁשֵּׁם הַכּל קָרוּי עָלָיו. אֲבָל אִם אֵין שֵׁם הַכּל נִקְרָא עַל הַחֵלֶק אֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה. כֵּיצַד. כָּל חָצֵר שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֵינָהּ קְרוּיָה חָצֵר. וְכָל שָׂדֶה שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ כְּדֵי זְרִיעַת תִּשְׁעָה קַבִּין אֵינָהּ קְרוּיָה שָׂדֶה. וְכָל גִּנָּה שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ כְּדֵי זְרִיעַת חֲצִי קַב אֵינָהּ קְרוּיָה גִּנָּה. וְכָל פַּרְדֵּס שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כְּדֵי זְרִיעַת שְׁלֹשָׁה קַבִּין אֵינוֹ קָרוּי פַּרְדֵּס. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין חוֹלְקִין אֶת הֶחָצֵר עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין. וְלֹא אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּהּ כְּדֵי זְרִיעַת תִּשְׁעָה קַבִּין [לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד]. וְלֹא אֶת הַגִּנָּה עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בָּהּ חֲצִי קַב לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד. וְלֹא אֶת הַפַּרְדֵּס עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בּוֹ בֵּית שְׁלֹשָׁה קַבִּין לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ. אֲבָל בְּבָבֶל וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ אֵין חוֹלְקִין אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּהּ כְּדֵי חֲרִישַׁת יוֹם לָזֶה וַחֲרִישַׁת יוֹם לָזֶה. וְלֹא אֶת הַפַּרְדֵּס עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בּוֹ שְׁלֹשִׁים וְשִׁשָּׁה אִילָנוֹת לָזֶה [וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְשִׁשָּׁה אִילָנוֹת לָזֶה] כְּדֵי עֲבוֹדַת אָדָם אֶחָד בַּיּוֹם אֶחָד. וְשָׂדֶה שֶׁמַּשְׁקִין אוֹתָהּ בִּכְלִי עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בָּהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּמַלֵּא הַפּוֹעֵל יוֹם אֶחָד לָזֶה וְיוֹם אֶחָד לָזֶה:


One should not divide a hall, a large building, a dovecote, an olive press, a bathhouse or a garment unless each of the recipients will receive a portion sufficient for himself. If one is dividing a bathhouse, each portion must be useful as a bathhouse. If one is dividing a dovecote, each portion must be useful as a dovecote. The same principles apply with regard to a garment or other objects.

If the entity is not large enough to divide, its value is assessed. One can tell one's fellow partner: "Either sell it to me or buy it from me."

If the entity is not large enough to divide, but one partner says to the other: "Let us divide this even though the portions are not equal. I will take the smaller portion and you take the larger portion," we are not required to accept his proposition. For the other partner will tell him: "I do not desire to receive a gift." Instead, since the entity is not large enough for an equal division, we assess its financial value.


אֵין חוֹלְקִין אֶת הַטְּרַקְלִין וְלֹא אֶת הַמּוֹרָן וְלֹא אֶת הַשּׁוֹבָךְ וְלֹא אֶת בֵּית הַבַּד וְלֹא אֶת הַמֶּרְחָץ וְלֹא אֶת הַטַּלִּית עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בְּכָל חֵלֶק מֵהֶן כְּדֵי לָזֶה וּכְדֵי לָזֶה. אִם מֶרְחָץ חָלְקוּ עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בְּכָל חֵלֶק מֵהֶן כְּדֵי מֶרְחָץ. וְאִם שׁוֹבָךְ עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא כָּל חֵלֶק שׁוֹבָךְ בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. וְכֵן בְּטַלִּית וּבִשְׁאָר כָּל הַדְּבָרִים. אֵין בָּהֶן כְּדֵי לָזֶה וּכְדֵי לָזֶה מַעֲלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּדָמִים וְיֵשׁ [לוֹ] לוֹמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ מְכֹר לִי אוֹ קְנֵה מִמֶּנִּי. אָמַר אֶחָד מֵהֶן חֲלֹק זֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הַחֲלָקִין שָׁוִים אֲנִי אֶטּל אֶת הַפָּחוּת וְטל אַתָּה אֶת הַיֶּתֶר אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵין רְצוֹנִי לִקַּח מַתָּנָה. אֶלָּא הוֹאִיל וְאֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה בְּשָׁוֶה הֲרֵי אָנוּ מַעֲלִין בְּדָמִים:

Shechenim - Chapter Two


The following laws apply with regard to courtyards in villages where every person builds a house for himself, and thus the courtyard in between the two houses is used jointly by all the members of the two households. Every opening is granted four cubits in front of it for the entire length of the opening. With regard to the remainder of the courtyard, if there is enough to provide every partner with four cubits by four cubits, it is divided. If not, it is not divided. For any courtyard that is not four cubits by four cubits cannot be called a courtyard, as we have explained.

What is implied? If there were two partners, one owned two houses in the courtyard and the other owned one. For the one who owns two houses, we grant him four cubits from the courtyard in front of the entire width of the entrances to each of his homes, even if the entrances of each are ten cubits wide. And we give the partner who owns one house four cubits in front of the entire width of the entrance to his home.

With regard to the remainder of the courtyard, if it is at least eight cubits by four cubits, so that each one will receive a portion at least four cubits by four cubits in addition to the area in front of the entrances, it is considered large enough to divide, and it should be divided. If it is smaller than this, it is not large enough to divide.


חַצְרוֹת הַכְּפָרִים שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד בּוֹנֶה לוֹ בַּיִת וְנִמְצֵאת הֶחָצֵר שֶׁבֵּין שְׁנֵי הַבָּתִּים מְשֻׁתֶּפֶת לְכָל בְּנֵי הַבָּתִּים. הֲרֵי יֵשׁ לְכָל פֶּתַח וּפֶתַח אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת לְפָנָיו בְּרֹחַב כָּל הַפֶּתַח. וְהַנִּשְׁאָר מִן הֶחָצֵר אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת לְכָל שֻׁתָּף וְשֻׁתָּף חוֹלְקִין אוֹתָהּ וְאִם לָאו אֵין חוֹלְקִין אוֹתָהּ שֶׁכָּל חָצֵר שֶׁאֵין לָהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֵינָהּ קְרוּיָה חָצֵר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ שְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִין לָזֶה שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים וְלָזֶה בַּיִת אֶחָד. זֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים מוֹדְדִין לוֹ מִן הֶחָצֵר אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת לְכָל בַּיִת וּבַיִת עַל כָּל רֹחַב הַפֶּתַח אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה עֶשֶׂר אַמּוֹת. וְזֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ בַּיִת אֶחָד נוֹתְנִין לוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת בְּרֹחַב פִּתְחוֹ לִפְנֵי פִּתְחוֹ. וְהַנִּשְׁאָר מִן הֶחָצֵר אִם יֵשׁ בָּהּ שְׁמוֹנֶה אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא לָזֶה אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וְלָזֶה אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת חוּץ מִן הַפְּתָחִים יֵשׁ בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה וְחוֹלְקִין. פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה אֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה:


When a house in a courtyard has many entrances on all sides, it is granted four cubits on every side. If the owner designates one entrance as the entrance to the house, he is granted four cubits only opposite this entrance.


בַּיִת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ פְּתָחִים רַבִּים מִכָּל רוּחוֹתָיו יֵשׁ לוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת לְכָל רוּחַ. וְאִם יִחֵד לוֹ פֶּתַח אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּנֶגֶד פִּתְחוֹ:


When a person can enter an excedra carrying his load, he is not granted these four cubits. If not, he is granted these four cubits. For the sole reason our Sages said that a person is granted four cubits for every entrance is so that he can unload his burden there.


אַכְסַדְרָה אִם אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְהִכָּנֵס לְתוֹכָהּ בְּמַשָּׂאוֹ אֵין לָהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וְאִם לָאו יֵשׁ לָהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְכָל פֶּתַח וּפֶתַח אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֶלָּא לִפְרֹק שָׁם מַשָּׂאוֹ:


A person is granted four cubits in front of a guard's room or a porch.

If there are five structures that open up to a porch, and the porch opens up to a courtyard, only four cubits are granted.


בֵּית שַׁעַר אוֹ מִרְפֶּסֶת יֵשׁ לָהֶם אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. הָיוּ חֲמִשָּׁה בָּתִּים פְּתוּחִים לְמִרְפֶּסֶת וְהַמִּרְפֶּסֶת פְּתוּחָה לֶחָצֵר אֵין לָהּ אֶלָּא אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת:


A chicken coop is not granted four cubits.


לוּל שֶׁל תַּרְנְגוֹלִים אֵין לוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת:


When a house has a roof over half of it, but not over the second half, regardless of whether the roofed portion is on the inside or toward the outside, it is not granted four cubits.


בַּיִת חֶצְיוֹ מְקֹרֶה וְחֶצְיוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְקֹרֶה בֵּין שֶׁקֵּרוּיוֹ כְּלַפֵּי פְּנִים בֵּין שֶׁקֵּרוּיוֹ כְּלַפֵּי חוּץ אֵין לוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת:


Although the entrance to a house is closed off, the owner is granted four cubits. If, however, the owner destroyed the doorway and closed it entirely, it is not granted four cubits.


בַּיִת סָתוּם יֵשׁ לוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. פָּרַץ אֶת פְּצִימָיו אֵין לוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת:


When a house is smaller than four cubits by four cubits, its owner is not granted four cubits in the courtyard.

Thus, the following rule applies if there is a courtyard with two structures, and at least one of them is smaller than this minimal size. If the courtyard contains four cubits for one owner and four cubits for the other, even though this measure reaches the entrance of the structure, the courtyard is divided.

The manure in the courtyard should be divided according to the entrances. The levy of the king for the keep of his legions is divided according to the number of people living in the courtyard.


בַּיִת שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֵין לוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת בֶּחָצֵר אֶלָּא אִם יֵשׁ בֶּחָצֵר אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת לָזֶה וְאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת לָזֶה עַד פֶּתַח הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה חוֹלְקִין. וְהַזֶּבֶל שֶׁל חָצֵר מִתְחַלֵּק לְפִי הַפְּתָחִים. אֲבָל אַכְסַנְיָא שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ לְפִי בְּנֵי אָדָם:


When partners desire to divide an entity that is not fit to be divided, they may divide it, although because of their actions it will no longer be called by the same name.

With regard to holy scrolls, by contrast, even though the partners desire, a scroll should not be divided.

When does the above apply? When all the sacred writings are contained in one scroll, but if the sacred writings are contained in two scrolls, they may be divided.


הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁרָצוּ לַחֲלֹק דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ דִּין חֲלוּקָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מַפְסִידִין אֶת שְׁמוֹ חוֹלְקִין. וּבְכִתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרָצוּ לֹא יַחֲלֹקוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּכֶרֶךְ אֶחָד. אֲבָל בִּשְׁתֵּי כְּרִיכוֹת חוֹלְקִין:


When partners desire to divide a place that is not large enough to be divided, each one has the right to retract until the actual division is made. This applies even when the decision was confirmed with a kinyan, for this is merely a kinyan concerning words, as we have explained.

If, however, the partners made a kinyan, stating that this one desired the portion of the property in one direction, and the other desired the portion of the property in the other direction, they cannot retract. Similarly, if each one went and manifested ownership over his portion, neither can retract, even though they did not confirm their commitment with a kinyan.


מָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ דִּין חֲלוּקָה שֶׁרָצוּ שֻׁתָּפִין לְחַלְּקוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדָם כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ. שֶׁזֶּה קִנְיַן דְּבָרִים הוּא כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. אֲבָל אִם קָנוּ מִיָּדָם שֶׁזֶּה רָצָה בְּרוּחַ פְּלוֹנִי וְזֶה רָצָה בְּרוּחַ פְּלוֹנִי אֵינָן יְכוֹלִים לַחְזֹר בָּהֶם. וְכֵן אִם הָלַךְ זֶה בְּעַצְמוֹ וְהֶחֱזִיק בְּחֶלְקוֹ וְזֶה בְּעַצְמוֹ וְהֶחֱזִיק בְּחֶלְקוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא קָנוּ מִיָּדָם אֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶם יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בַּחֲבֵרוֹ:


When brothers divide an estate by lottery, once one of them receives his lot, they all acquire the remainder of the property. The rationale is that with the satisfaction that they receive from the fact that they carried out the agreement that they arranged between themselves, each one concluded the matter and transferred the appropriate share to his fellow.


הָאַחִין שֶׁחָלְקוּ וְעָשׂוּ בֵּינֵיהֶם גּוֹרָל כֵּיוָן שֶׁעָלָה גּוֹרָל לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן קָנוּ כֻּלָּן. בַּהֲנָיָה שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית לָהֶם שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ זֶה מִזֶּה לְדָבָר שֶׁהִסְכִּימוּ עָלָיו גָּמַר כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן וּמַקְנֶה לַחֲבֵרוֹ:


When brothers divide an estate, they are considered as having purchased their shares from each other. Thus, none of them is entitled to claim from any of the others the right of passage, the right to erect a ladder, the right to maintain a window, or the right to the passage of an irrigation channel. For once they have divided the property, none of them has any right with regard to the property belonging to any of the other brothers.

Therefore, one brother may tell another: "When the field was owned by one person, he would cause this irrigation ditch to pass from one place to another. Now, however, that this field has become my portion, I have the right to close the irrigation ditch." Similarly, he may block off a window that looks over his portion and build next to a ladder, even though it nullifies its usefulness.

The same laws apply when two people buy a field in partnership from one person and then decide to divide the property. Neither has any rights with regard to the portion of his colleague. The owner of either portion may dam the irrigation ditch or block off the windows.


הָאַחִין שֶׁחָלְקוּ הֲרֵי הֵן כְּלָקוֹחוֹת זֶה מִזֶּה. וְאֵין לָהֶם דֶּרֶךְ זֶה עַל זֶה. וְלֹא סֻלָּמוֹת זֶה עַל זֶה. וְלֹא חַלּוֹנוֹת זֶה עַל זֶה. וְלֹא אַמַּת הַמַּיִם זֶה עַל זֶה. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁחָלְקוּ לֹא נִשְׁאַר לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן זְכוּת בְּחֵלֶק חֲבֵרוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ לוֹמַר לָאַחִין כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה הַשָּׂדֶה כֻּלָּהּ לְאֶחָד הָיָה מַעֲבִיר בָּהּ אַמַּת הַמַּיִם הַזֹּאת מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם אֲבָל עַתָּה שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית זֶה חֶלְקִי יֵשׁ לִי לְהָסִיר אַמַּת הַמַּיִם מֵעָלַי. וְכֵן סוֹתֵם הַחַלּוֹן הַמַּשְׁקִיף עַל חֶלְקוֹ וּבוֹנֶה בְּצַד הַסֻּלָּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מְבַטֵּל תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ. וְהוּא הַדִּין בִּשְׁנַיִם שֶׁקָּנוּ שָׂדֶה מֵאֶחָד וְחָלְקוּ לֹא נִשְׁאַר לְאֶחָד מֵהֶם זְכוּת בְּחֵלֶק חֲבֵרוֹ. וּמַפְסִיק אַמַּת הַמַּיִם מֵחֶלְקוֹ וְסוֹתֵם הַחַלּוֹנוֹת:


When, by contrast, two people buy a field from two other people, or from two brothers, neither has the right to dam the irrigation ditch or to change any other of the privileges that one of the sellers had established as his own, even though it is damaging to his colleague.


אֲבָל שְׁנַיִם שֶׁקָּנוּ שָׂדֶה מִשְּׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים אוֹ מִשְּׁנֵי אַחִין. אֵין לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן לְהַפְסִיק אַמַּת הַמַּיִם וְלֹא לְשַׁנּוֹת דָּבָר מִן הַנְּזָקִים שֶׁהֶחְזִיקוּ בָּהֶן הַמּוֹכְרִין:


The following rule applies with regard to a courtyard owned in partnership that is large enough to divide or one that was divided by consent, even though it is not large enough to divide. Each of the partners may compel the other to join in the building of a wall in the middle of the courtyard, so that one will not see the other when using the courtyard.

The rationale is that damage caused by an invasion of privacy is considered to be damage.

Neither partner can claim that it is an established fact that the courtyard has remained without a wall. Instead, even though the courtyard stood many years without a divider, one partner can compel the other to join in the building of a divider whenever he desires.


חֲצַר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה. אוֹ שֶׁחִלְּקוּהָ בִּרְצוֹנָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ דִּין חֲלוּקָה. יֵשׁ לְכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶן לָכֹף אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לִבְנוֹת הַכֹּתֶל בָּאֶמְצַע כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִרְאֵהוּ חֲבֵרוֹ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמִּשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּחֶלְקוֹ. שֶׁהֶזֵּק רְאִיָּה הֶזֵּק הוּא וְאֵין לוֹ חֲזָקָה בֶּחָצֵר. אֶלָּא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעָמְדוּ כָּךְ שָׁנִים רַבּוֹת בְּלֹא מְחִצָּה כּוֹפֵהוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְחִצָּה בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה:


The space where the wall will be built comes from both partners.

How wide must the partition be? Everything depends on local custom. Even if the local custom is to make a partition from reeds or palm leaves, such a partition is made, provided it does not leave open space for one neighbor to look and see his colleague.


רֹחַב מְקוֹם הַכֹּתֶל מִשֶּׁל שְׁנֵיהֶם. וְכַמָּה יִהְיֶה רָחְבּוֹ. הַכּל כְּמִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ נָהֲגוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְחִצָּה בֵּינֵיהֶם בְּקָנִים וּבְהוּצִין. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה אֲוִיר שֶׁיִּסְתַּכֵּל בּוֹ וְיִרְאֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ:


How high must the wall be? No smaller than four cubits. Similarly, in a garden, a person may compel his neighbor to separate their two gardens with a divider ten handbreadths high. But in a stretch of fields, there is no need to separate one person's stretch of fields from another unless this is the local custom.

If a person desires to make a distinction between his stretch of fields and that belonging to his colleague, he must build the barrier within his own property. Therefore, he should make a sign of approximately a cubit by a cubit of mortar on the outside to indicate that the wall belongs to him. Therefore, if the wall falls, both the land and the stones belong to him.

If the wall is built by the two of them in partnership, they should build a projection on both sides. Therefore, if the wall falls, they both share the space and the stones.


כַּמָּה גֹּבַהּ הַכֹּתֶל אֵין פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. וְכֵן בְּגִנָּה כּוֹפֵהוּ לְהַבְדִּיל גִּנָּתוֹ מִגִּנַּת חֲבֵרוֹ בִּמְחִצָּה גְּבוֹהָה עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים. אֲבָל בְּבִקְעָה אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַבְדִּיל בִּקְעָתוֹ מִבִּקְעַת חֲבֵרוֹ אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ. רָצָה לְהַבְדִּיל בִּקְעָתוֹ מִבִּקְעַת חֲבֵרוֹ כּוֹנֵס לְתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ וּבוֹנֶה וְעוֹשֶׂה חָזִית כְּמוֹ אַמָּה בְּסִיד מִבַּחוּץ כְּדֵי לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁהַכֹּתֶל שֶׁלּוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נָפַל הַכֹּתֶל הַמָּקוֹם וְהָאֲבָנִים שֶׁלּוֹ. וְאִם עָשׂוּ מִדַּעַת שְׁנֵיהֶם בּוֹנִים הַכֹּתֶל בָּאֶמְצַע וְעוֹשִׂין חֲזִית מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן. לְפִיכָךְ אִם נָפַל הַכֹּתֶל הַמָּקוֹם וְהָאֲבָנִים שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶן:


The following rule applies when a person sells a garden to a colleague without any specifications. If it is attached with other gardens, we compel the purchaser to construct a fence between them. This applies even when the custom is not to erect fences in gardens. If, however, he sells a field without any specifications, we do not require him to erect a fence unless this is the local custom.


הַמּוֹכֵר גִּנָּה לַחֲבֵרוֹ סְתָם וְהָיְתָה מְעֹרֶבֶת עִם גִּנּוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת. כּוֹפִין אֶת הַלּוֹקֵחַ לִבְנוֹת אֶת הַכֹּתֶל בֵּינֵיהֶם. וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לִגְדֹּר בַּגִּנּוֹת. אֲבָל אִם מָכַר בִּקְעָה סְתָם אֵין מְחַיְּבִים אוֹתוֹ לִגְדֹּר אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ:


In a place where it is customary to use stones that are not hewn to build the walls that divide courtyards or gardens, each of the partners should give three handbreadths. If they use hewn stones, each of the partners should give two and a half handbreadths. If they use broken bricks, each of the partners should give two handbreadths. If they use bricks, each of the partners should give a handbreadth and a half. All these measures include the thickness of the wall and the mortar.

Since the space of the wall belongs equally to both of them, should the wall fall, the space and the stones are shared equally between them. Even if the wall fell into the property of one of them, or one cleared all the stones into his property and claimed that his colleague sold him his portion or gave it to him as a gift, his word is not accepted. Instead, they are considered to belong to both of them unless one of them proves his claim.


מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לִבְנוֹת כְּתָלִים הַמַּבְדִּילִין בַּחֲצֵרוֹת אוֹ בַּגִּנּוֹת בַּאֲבָנִים שֶׁאֵינָן גָּזִית זֶה נוֹתֵן שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים וְזֶה נוֹתֵן שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים. בְּגָזִית זֶה נוֹתֵן טְפָחַיִם וּמֶחֱצָה וְזֶה נוֹתֵן טְפָחַיִם וּמֶחֱצָה. בִּכְפִיסִין זֶה נוֹתֵן טְפָחַיִם וְזֶה נוֹתֵן טְפָחַיִם. בִּלְבֵנִים זֶה נוֹתֵן טֶפַח וּמֶחֱצָה וְזֶה נוֹתֵן טֶפַח וּמֶחֱצָה. וְכָל הַשִּׁעוּרִין הָאֵלּוּ עֳבִי הַכֹּתֶל עִם הַסִּיד. וְהוֹאִיל וּמְקוֹם הַכֹּתֶל מִשֶּׁל שְׁנֵיהֶם אִם נָפַל הַכֹּתֶל הֲרֵי הַמָּקוֹם וְהָאֲבָנִים שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶם. וַאֲפִלּוּ נָפַל לִרְשׁוּת אֶחָד מֵהֶן אוֹ שֶׁפִּנָּה אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֶת כָּל הָאֲבָנִים לִרְשׁוּתוֹ וְטָעַן שֶׁמָּכַר לוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ חֶלְקוֹ אוֹ נְתָנוֹ לוֹ בְּמַתָּנָה אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן. אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הֵן בִּרְשׁוּת שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶם עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא רְאָיָה:

Shechenim - Chapter Three


When a wall that separates between two partners falls, each of the partners may compel the other to share in its construction until it reaches the height of four cubits, so that they will not see each other. We do not, however, compel a partner to build it any higher than four cubits.

The following rule applies if one of the partners takes the initiative and builds the wall higher than four cubits. If the other colleague comes and builds another wall of his as high as the wall between them, we obligate that partner to pay his share in the additional height that is opposite his wall.

What is implied? One person built a wall between himself and another partner and elevated it to a height of ten cubits. Afterwards, the other partner came and built another wall opposite it or at its side for the sake of making a room, and built that wall six cubits high. We obligate him to pay his share in the two cubits that were added to the minimum of four cubits. For it is obvious that he desired them.

Similarly, if he hewed out a place on the top of the wall between them to place beams or affixed permanently there a large beam on which the others rest, we obligate him to pay his share in the entire six cubits that his colleague added to the minimum of four cubits, although he did not build the entire wall. For he revealed his intent, that he desired the entire height of the wall.


כֹּתֶל חָצֵר הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין שְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִין שֶׁנָּפַל. יֵשׁ לְכָל אֶחָד מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם לָכֹף עַל חֲבֵרוֹ לִבְנוֹתוֹ עַד גֹּבַהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִרְאוּ זֶה אֶת זֶה. אֲבָל יֶתֶר עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ. רָצָה הָאֶחָד וְהִגְבִּיהַּ הַכֹּתֶל יוֹתֵר עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. אִם בָּא חֲבֵרוֹ וּבָנָה כֹּתֶל אַחֵר גָּבוֹהַּ כְּנֶגֶד הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶן מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן חֶלְקוֹ בַּגֹּבַהּ שֶׁכְּנֶגֶד כָּתְלוֹ. כֵּיצַד. בָּנָה אֶחָד כֹּתֶל שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶן וְהִגְבִּיהוֹ עֶשֶׂר אַמּוֹת וּבָא חֲבֵרוֹ וּבָנָה כֹּתֶל אַחֵר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ אוֹ בְּצִדּוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ בַּיִת וְהִגְבִּיהַּ הַכֹּתֶל הָאַחֵר שֵׁשׁ אַמּוֹת מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן חֶלְקוֹ בִּשְׁתֵּי אַמּוֹת שֶׁמּוֹסִיף עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי נִרְאֶה מִמַּעֲשָׂיו שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה בָּהֶן. וְכֵן אִם חָקַק בְּרֹאשׁ הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶן מָקוֹם לְהַנִּיחַ בּוֹ הַקּוֹרוֹת אוֹ שֶׁבָּנָה עָלָיו קוֹרָה גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁהַקּוֹרוֹת נִשְׁעָנִין עָלֶיהָ מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן חֶלְקוֹ בְּשֵׁשׁ הָאַמּוֹת כֻּלָּן שֶׁהוֹסִיף חֲבֵרוֹ עַל הָאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא בָּנָה כָּל הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁהֲרֵי גִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה בְּכָל הַגֹּבַהּ הַזֶּה:


The following rule applies when one of the partners builds a wall four cubits high that separates between his property and his colleague's property and demands that his colleague pay his share of the costs. If the other colleague claims to have paid his share, we assume that he paid. He is required to take a sh'vuat hesset that he paid, and he is then under no further obligation unless the plaintiff brings proof that he did not pay.

If, however, one partner demands of the other that he pay his share in the portion of the wall that he added above the minimum four cubits, because he built next to it or opposite it, and that partner claims to have paid, his statements are not believed. Instead, the plaintiff is given the option of taking an oath while holding a sacred article, that the defendant did not pay him. He may then expropriate the money, as is the case with regard to all those who take oaths and collect, unless the defendant brings proof that he paid him.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁבָּנָה הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁמַּבְדִּיל בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין חֲבֵרוֹ עַד אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וְתָבַע חֲבֵרוֹ לִתֵּן חֶלְקוֹ בָּהוֹצָאָה וְאָמַר נָתַתִּי חֶלְקִי. הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁנָּתַן וְנִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת שֶׁנָּתַן וְנִפְטָר עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא רְאָיָה הַתּוֹבֵעַ שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן. אֲבָל אִם בָּא לִתְבֹּעַ אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן חֶלְקוֹ בְּהוֹצָאַת שְׁאָר הַגֹּבַהּ שֶׁהוֹסִיף עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁסָּמַךְ לוֹ אוֹ כְּנֶגְדּוֹ וְאָמַר נָתַתִּי אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן. אֶלָּא חֲבֵרוֹ נִשְׁבָּע בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן לוֹ וְנוֹטֵל מִמֶּנּוּ כְּדִין כָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּעִין וְנוֹטְלִין. עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא רְאָיָה זֶה שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ:


The following rules apply when a person owns one ruin in the midst of several ruins belonging to a colleague. Although the colleague builds a divider on one side of the owner's ruin, and then on a second side, and then on a third side, and thus the ruin is enclosed from three sides, we do not obligate the owner to pay any of the costs. For the construction is of no benefit to him, since his ruin is still open to the public domain as it was before.

Therefore, if the builder also encloses the fourth side for him, and thus the owner's ruin is totally enclosed by a partition, we require him to pay his share in the entire amount. He must pay half the costs that his colleague undertook in building the divider four cubits high around all four sides. This applies provided the place of the wall belongs to both of them.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ חֻרְבָּה בֵּין חֻרְבּוֹת חֲבֵרוֹ וְעָמַד חֲבֵרוֹ וְגָדַר רוּחַ רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה וּשְׁלִישִׁית עַד שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת חֻרְבָּה זוֹ מִשְּׁלֹשׁ רוּחוֹתֶיהָ גְּדוּרָה. אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לִתֵּן לוֹ הַהוֹצָאָה כְּלוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הוֹעִיל לוֹ וַהֲרֵי חֻרְבָּתוֹ פְּתוּחָה לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם גָּדַר לוֹ רוּחַ רְבִיעִית עַד שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת חֻרְבָּתוֹ מֻקֶּפֶת גָּדֵר מְגַלְגְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַכּל וְנוֹתֵן חֲצִי הַהוֹצָאָה שֶׁהוֹצִיא זֶה בְּאַרְבַּע רוּחוֹת עַד אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מְקוֹם הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶם:


If, however, the builder constructs the wall on his own property, it appears to me that the owner is charged only a small amount, as the judges see fit, because he does not have the right to use the walls.

If the person whose property was enclosed himself encloses the fourth side, he has revealed his consent and he must pay half the cost of the other three sides if the wall belongs to both of them. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.


אֲבָל אִם הָיָה הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁל זֶה שֶׁבָּנָה וּבְחֶלְקוֹ בָּנָה יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵין מְגַלְגְּלִין עָלָיו אֶלָּא דָּבָר מוּעָט כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּרְאוּ הַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בַּכְּתָלִים. וְכֵן אִם הַנִּקָּף עַצְמוֹ הוּא שֶׁגָּדַר רוּחַ רְבִיעִית הֲרֵי גִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ וְנוֹתֵן חֲצִי הַהוֹצָאָה שֶׁל שָׁלֹשׁ רוּחוֹת אִם הָיוּ הַכְּתָלִים שֶׁל שְׁנֵיהֶם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


Principles similar to those that govern walls dividing courtyards apply to the construction of guard rails on roofs. If there are two houses situated next to each other, and their roofs are fit for use, one owner should make a guard rail for the half of the roof where he dwells, and the other should make a guard rail for the half of the roof where he dwells. They should extend the partitions beyond the midpoint, so that they will not see each other.

This applies even if the houses are built on two sides of the public domain. Although the people from the public domain can see the person on his roof, each one can tell his colleague: "The people in the public domain see me only during the day, when I stand on my roof. You, by contrast, see me at all times."


וְכֵן שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים זֶה בְּצַד זֶה וְהָיוּ גַּגֵּיהֶן עֲשׂוּיִין לְדִירָה אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ בִּשְׁנֵי צִדֵּי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים זֶה עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲקֶה לַחֲצִי גַּגּוֹ שֶׁהוּא דָּר בּוֹ וְזֶה עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲקֶה לַחֲצִי גַּגּוֹ. וְזֶה שֶׁלֹּא כְּנֶגֶד זֶה וּמַעֲדִיף כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִרְאוּ זֶה אֶת זֶה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבְּנֵי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ יָכוֹל כָּל אֶחָד לוֹמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֵלּוּ אֵין רוֹאִין אוֹתִי אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם בְּעֵת שֶׁאֶעֱמֹד עַל גַּגִּי וְאַתָּה רוֹאֶה אוֹתִי תָּמִיד:


When a person's roof is close to a courtyard belonging to a neighbor, he should build a guard rail four cubits high.

Between one roof and another, however, four cubits are not necessary. For people do not live on the roofs, and there is no concept of invasion of privacy. One must, nevertheless, make a divider ten handbreadths high between one roof and another to make a distinction, so that if one enters the other's property, it will be obvious that he is like a thief.


גַּג הַסָּמוּךְ לַחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ עוֹשֶׂה לוֹ מַעֲקֶה גָּבוֹהַּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. אֲבָל בֵּין גַּג לְגַג מִשְּׁאָר הַגַּגִּין אֵינוֹ זָקוּק לְאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁאֵין בְּנֵי אָדָם דָּרִין בַּגַּגּוֹת לְפִיכָךְ אֵין בַּגַּגּוֹת הֶזֵּק רְאִיָּה. אֲבָל צָרִיךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְחִצָּה בֵּין שְׁנֵי הַגַּגִּין גְּבוֹהָה עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּתְפֹּס אוֹתוֹ כְּגַנָּב אִם נִכְנַס לִרְשׁוּתוֹ:


When there are two courtyards, and one is situated above the other, the owner of the upper courtyard may not say: "I will build from my level and higher." Instead, both of them must share in the building from below upward, and the owner of the upper courtyard must build from his level and higher alone.

If a person's courtyard was higher than the roof belonging to a colleague, the owner of the higher property need not be concerned with the lower property at all.


שְׁתֵּי חֲצֵרוֹת זוֹ לְמַעְלָה מִזּוֹ לֹא יֹאמַר הָעֶלְיוֹן הֲרֵינִי בּוֹנֶה מִכְּנֶגְדִּי וְעוֹלֶה אֶלָּא בּוֹנִים שְׁנֵיהֶם מִלְּמַטָּה וְעוֹלֶה וּבוֹנֶה הָעֶלְיוֹן לְבַדּוֹ מִכְּנֶגְדּוֹ וָמַעְלָה. וְאִם הָיְתָה חֲצֵרוֹ לְמַעְלָה מִגַּגּוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אֵין הָעֶלְיוֹן זָקוּק לַתַּחְתּוֹן כְּלָל:


When a wall belonging to a person that was located next to a garden belonging to a colleague falls, we compel the owner of the wall to remove his stones. If the owner of the wall tells the owner of the garden: "See, it came to you; they are yours," we do not heed him.

If, however, the owner of the garden desired the stones and agreed, saying "yes, " when he removes them, he acquires them. The owner of the wall may not retract. Even if he tells the owner of the garden: "Here is the money for your costs; let me take my stones," we do not heed him. If, however, the owner of the garden did not remove the stones, he does not acquire them. We assume that the owner of the wall made the statement only to procrastinate.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה כָּתְלוֹ סָמוּךְ לְגִנַּת חֲבֵרוֹ וְנָפַל כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְפַנּוֹת אֲבָנָיו. אָמַר לוֹ הִגִּיעוּךָ וַהֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלְּךָ אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. וְאִם רָצָה בָּהֶן בַּעַל הַגִּנָּה וְאָמַר לוֹ הֵן אִם פִּנָּה אוֹתָם קָנָה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמַר הֵילָךְ יְצִיאוֹתֶיךָ וְאֶטּל אֲבָנַי אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. אֲבָל אִם לֹא פִּנָּה לֹא קָנָה שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר לוֹ אֶלָּא לִדְחוֹתוֹ:


The following laws apply when there are five gardens that derive water from one spring, and the spring becomes impaired. All the owners of the gardens must share in the repairs made by the owner of the first garden. Thus the owner of the lowest garden must share in the repairs undertaken by all the others, but must make any repairs necessary in his own domain by himself. The owner of the first garden, by contrast, does not share in the repairs of the second, nor in any of those that are below him.

Similar laws apply when the inhabitants of five courtyards pour water into one drain, and the drain becomes damaged. All the inhabitants of the courtyards share in the repairs of the lower one. Thus, the inhabitants of the highest courtyard must share in the repairs undertaken by all the others, but must make any repairs necessary in his own domain by himself. The inhabitants of the lowest courtyard, by contrast, do not share in the repairs of the second, nor in any of those that are above it.


חָמֵשׁ גִּנּוֹת הַמְסַפְּקוֹת מַיִם מִמַּעְיָן אֶחָד וְנִתְקַלְקֵל הַמַּעְיָן כֻּלָּן מְתַקְּנוֹת עִם הָעֶלְיוֹנָה. נִמְצֵאת הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה מְתַקֶּנֶת עִם כֻּלָּן וּמְתַקֶּנֶת לְעַצְמָהּ. וְהָרִאשׁוֹנָה אֵינָהּ מְתַקֶּנֶת עִם הַשְּׁנִיָּה וְלֹא מֵהַשְּׁנִיָּה וּלְמַטָּה. וְכֵן חָמֵשׁ חֲצֵרוֹת שֶׁשּׁוֹפְכִין מַיִם לְבִיב אֶחָד וְנִתְקַלְקֵל הַבִּיב כֻּלָּן מְתַקְּנוֹת עִם הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה. נִמְצֵאת הָעֶלְיוֹנָה מְתַקֶּנֶת עִם כֻּלָּן וּמְתַקֶּנֶת לְעַצְמָהּ וְהַתַּחְתּוֹנָה אֵינָהּ מְתַקֶּנֶת עִם הַשְּׁנִיָּה וְלֹא מִשְּׁנִיָּה וּלְמַעְלָה:


People with properties adjacent to a river who irrigate their fields with water from the river should do so in the sequence in which their properties are situated.

If one of the owners desired to dam up the river so that the water would flow through his property first, and only afterwards would he open it, and another owner wants the river to remain open so that his property will be irrigated first, whoever overcomes the other prevails.

When a cistern is close to an irrigation ditch, it can be filled first as an expression of "the ways of peace."


בְּנֵי הַנָּהָר מַשְׁקִין עַל הַסֵּדֶר. רָצָה אֶחָד מֵהֶן לִסְכֹּר כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר לוֹ הַמַּיִם וְיַשְׁקֶה תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִפְתַּח. וְאַחֵר רוֹצֶה לְהַשְׁקוֹת תְּחִלָּה. כָּל הַמִּתְגַּבֵּר זָכָה. וּבוֹר הַקָּרוֹב לָאַמָּה מִתְמַלֵּא רִאשׁוֹן מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah