Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shechenim - Chapter Ten, Shechenim - Chapter Eleven, Shechenim - Chapter Twelve

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Shechenim - Chapter Ten


A tree should be planted at least 25 cubits away from a city. A carob tree and a wild fig tree should be planted at least 50 cubits away. These measures were instituted for the aesthetic appearance of the city. When a tree is found within these distances, it should be cut down. If the tree was planted there before the city expanded to its present size, the inhabitants of the city must pay the owner for his tree. If there is a doubt concerning the matter, and it is not known which came first, the owner of the tree is not reimbursed. Instead, he must take his tree and depart.


מַרְחִיקִין אֶת הָאִילָן מִן הָעִיר עֶשְׂרִים וְחָמֵשׁ אַמָּה. וּבֶחָרוּב וּבַשִּׁקְמָה חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה. מִפְּנֵי נוֹיֵי הָעִיר. וְכָל אִילָן הַנִּמְצָא קָרוֹב לָעִיר פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה קוֹצְצִין אוֹתוֹ. וְאִם הָאִילָן קָדַם נוֹתְנִין לוֹ בְּנֵי הָעִיר דָּמָיו. וְאִם הָיָה הַדָּבָר סָפֵק וְלֹא נוֹדַע אֵי זֶה מֵהֶם קָדַם אֵין לְבַעַל הָאִילָן דָּמִים אֶלָּא נוֹטֵל עֵצָיו וְהוֹלֵךְ:


A significantly large threshing floor should be separated from a city at least 50 cubits, so that the wind will not carry the straw when the produce is winnowed and cause it to harm the inhabitants of the city.

Similarly, a person should not make a significantly large threshing floor within his own property unless he owns 50 cubits around it in all directions, so that the straw does not damage his colleague's plants or a field that he has left fallow.


מַרְחִיקִין גֹּרֶן קָבוּעַ מִן הָעִיר חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יוֹלִיךְ הָרוּחַ הַתֶּבֶן בְּעֵת שֶׁזּוֹרֶה וְיַזִּיק לִבְנֵי הָעִיר. וְכֵן לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם גֹּרֶן קָבוּעַ בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה לוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה לְכָל רוּחַ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַזִּיק הַתֶּבֶן לִנְטִיעַת חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ לְנִירוֹ:


Animal carcasses, graves and leather works must be situated at least 50 cubits away from a city.


מַרְחִיקִין אֶת הַנְּבֵלוֹת וְאֶת הַקְּבָרוֹת וְאֶת הַבּוּרְסְקִי מִן הָעִיר חֲמִשִּׁים אַמָּה:


Leather works should be positioned only to the east of a city, because the east wind is warm and minimizes the harm caused by the odor of the leather making process.


וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין בּוּרְסְקִי אֶלָּא לְמִזְרַח הָעִיר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרוּחַ מִזְרָחִית חַמָּה וּמְמַעֶטֶת הֶזֵּק רֵיחַ עִבּוּד הָעוֹרוֹת:


The following principles apply when a person intends to soak flax near a vegetable garden belonging to a colleague, in which instance the water used for soaking would be absorbed in the earth and damage the vegetables; or he plants leeks near onions belonging to a colleague, in which instance the flavor of the onions will be weakened; or he plants mustard next to a beehive, in which instance the bees will eat the leaves, and thus the honey will be spoiled. The person whose actions will cause the damage is not required to make a separation so that damage does not take place. Instead, it is the person whose property that will be damaged who must distance his crops if he wishes that the damage not occur. For the other person is performing his activity on his own property; the damage occurs on its own as it were.

When do we say that he does not have to keep a distance? When the damage comes about by itself after the person whose deeds caused the damage ceases his activity. When, however, the acts that this person performs in his own domain cause damage to his colleague's property at the time he is performing the action, he is considered to have damaged the property with his hands. To what can the matter be likened? To a person who is standing in his own property and shooting arrows into his neighbor's, and saying: "What's the problem? I am acting in my own property." Certainly, such a person should be prevented from causing damage.

With regard to all the instances above where a separation was required, if the person does not make the required separation, he is considered to have caused the damage with his arrows. Therefore, one must make a separation of three handbreadths or slightly more between soaking flax and vegetables, leeks and onions, and mustard and bees, so that one will not be considered as having caused the damage through one's own actions. It is, however, not necessary to make a separation great enough to prevent the damage from occurring on its own accord.


מִי שֶׁבָּא לַעֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁרָה שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן בְּצַד יָרָק שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי מֵי הַמִּשְׁרָה נִבְלָעִין בָּאָרֶץ וְהוֹלְכִין וּמַפְסִידִין אֶת הַיָּרָק. אוֹ שֶׁנָּטַע כְּרֵישִׁין קָרוֹב מִן הַבְּצָלִים שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁהֵן מְפִיגִין טַעְמָן. אוֹ שֶׁנָּטַע חַרְדָּל בְּצַד כַּוֶּרֶת דְּבוֹרִים שֶׁהֲרֵי הַדְּבוֹרִים אוֹכְלִין הֶעָלִין וּמַפְסִידִין אֶת הַדְּבַשׁ וְכָל אֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק בִּכְדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַזִּיק וְעַל הַנִּזָּק לְהַרְחִיק אֶת עַצְמוֹ אִם יִרְצֶה עַד שֶׁלֹּא יַגִּיעַ לוֹ הַנֵּזֶק. שֶׁזֶּה בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ הוּא עוֹשֶׂה וְהַנֵּזֶק בָּא לַחֲבֵרוֹ מֵאֵלָיו. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַרְחִיק כְּשֶׁהָיָה הַנֶּזֶק בָּא מֵאֵלָיו אַחַר שֶׁיִּפָּסְקוּ מַעֲשָׂיו שֶׁל מַזִּיק. אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ מַעֲשָׂיו שֶׁל זֶה שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ מַזִּיקִין אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ בִּשְׁעַת עֲשִׂיָּתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁמַּזִּיק בְּיָדוֹ. הָא לְמָה זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְמִי שֶׁעוֹמֵד בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְיוֹרֶה חִצִּים לַחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר בִּרְשׁוּתִי אֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה שֶׁמּוֹנְעִין אוֹתוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל הַרְחָקוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת לְמַעְלָה בְּעִנְיָן זֶה אִם לֹא הִרְחִיקוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁהִזִּיק בְּחִצָּיו. לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ שֶׁיַּרְחִיק מִשְׁרָה מִן הַיָּרָק וּכְרֵישִׁין מִן הַבְּצָלִים וְחַרְדָּל מִן הַדְּבוֹרִים שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים אוֹ יֶתֶר מְעַט כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה הֶזֵּק בַּיָּדַיִם. אֲבָל לְהַרְחִיק עַד שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא הַנֶּזֶק מֵאֵלָיו אֵין צָרִיךְ:


The following rules apply when the owner of a second storey pours out water on his floor and it descends into the room below him. If there was plaster between the ceiling and the floor in which the water could collect at the time it was poured, so that after the owner of the upper storey had completed pouring his water, it would be absorbed, and only later would it descend into the lower dwelling, it is the responsibility of the owner of the lower dwelling to correct the situation, and prevent damage from occurring to him.

If there was no plaster there, and immediately when water was poured out it would descend, the owner of the upper storey is considered as if he causes damage with his arrows, and he is required either to fix the flooring or to refrain from pouring water. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


בַּעַל הָעֲלִיָּה שֶׁהָיָה שׁוֹפֵךְ מַיִם וְהֵן יוֹרְדִין עַל חֶדֶר לְמַטָּה. אִם הָיְתָה שָׁם מַעֲזִיבָה שֶׁהַמַּיִם כָּלִים בָּהּ בְּעֵת שְׁפִיכָה וְאַחַר שֶׁיַּפְסִיק עֶלְיוֹן מִלִּשְׁפֹּךְ יִתְבַּלַּע הַמַּיִם וְיֵרְדוּ וְיִנְטְפוּ עַל הַתַּחְתּוֹן צָרִיךְ הַתַּחְתּוֹן לְתַקֵּן וּלְהַרְחִיק מִן עַצְמוֹ הַנֵּזֶק. וְאִם אֵין שָׁם מַעֲזִיבָה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיִּשְׁפֹּךְ יֵרְדוּ הַמַּיִם מִיָּד הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמַזִּיק בְּחִצָּיו וְהָעֶלְיוֹן מְתַקֵּן אוֹ יִמָּנַע מִלִּשְׁפֹּךְ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


The following rules apply when a person has a tree growing in his own field, but near a cistern belonging to a colleague. The owner of the cistern may not lodge a complaint against him, protesting that "the roots of your tree enter into my cistern and destroy it." The rationale is that the damage comes about as a matter of course, at a later time; at the time he planted it, it did not cause any damage. Just as the owner of the cistern may dig within his own property, so too, the owner of the tree may plant within his own property.

Similarly, if Reuven dug a cistern and found the roots of a tree belonging to his neighbor Shimon in his field, he may cut them off and dig deeper. The wood belongs to him. If he dug within sixteen cubits of Shimon's tree, the roots belong to Shimon. He may cut them off, but must give them to him.

The following rule applies if he does not have to dig a cistern, and the roots of Shimon's tree grow into his field. He should dig down three handbreadths, the amount of space necessary to prevent a plow from being impeded. He may cut off any root that is within these three handbreadths. He need not be concerned that perhaps this will cause his colleague's tree to dry out, for he is digging within his own property.


מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ אִילָן בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ קָרוֹב לְבוֹר חֲבֵרוֹ אֵין בַּעַל הַבּוֹר יָכוֹל לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו וְלוֹמַר לוֹ הֲרֵי שָׁרְשֵׁי הָאִילָן נִכְנָסִים לַבּוֹר שֶׁלִּי וּמַפְסִידִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁזֶּה נֵזֶק הַבָּא מֵאֵלָיו הוּא לְאַחַר זְמַן וּבְעֵת שֶׁנָּטַע אֵינוֹ מַזִּיקוֹ וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁזֶּה חוֹפֵר בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ כָּךְ זֶה נוֹטֵעַ בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ. וְכֵן רְאוּבֵן שֶׁחָפַר בּוֹר וְיָרַד וּמָצָא שָׁרְשֵׁי אִילָן שֶׁל שִׁמְעוֹן בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ קוֹצֵץ וְחוֹפֵר וְהָעֵצִים שֶׁלּוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה קָרוֹב לְאִילַן שִׁמְעוֹן בְּתוֹךְ שֵׁשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה הַשָּׁרָשִׁים שֶׁל שִׁמְעוֹן וְקוֹצְצָן וְנוֹתְנָן לוֹ. וְאִם אֵין צָרִיךְ לַחְפֹּר בּוֹר וְיָצְאוּ הַשָּׁרָשִׁים שֶׁל שִׁמְעוֹן בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ הֲרֵי הוּא מַעֲמִיק שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְעַכֵּב הַמַּחֲרֵשָׁה וְכָל שֹׁרֶשׁ שֶׁמָּצָא בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים קוֹצְצוֹ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ שֶׁמָּא יִבַשׁ הָאִילָן שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁזֶּה בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ הוּא חוֹפֵר:


The following rules apply when a field belonging to a person's neighbor was planted with vines or trees, and the person decides to plant vines in his field next to those vines or trees next to those trees. He must distance these four cubits from those.

When does the above apply? In Eretz Yisrael. In the diaspora, by contrast, he is required to separate only two cubits between the vines. Between vines and trees, or between two sets of trees, however, a four-cubit separation is required in every land. If there was a fence between the two properties, in any land, both neighbors may plant to the edge of the fence.

When a tree belonging to a person's neighbor is leaning into that person's field, he may cut to the height of the goad that is on the plow. With regard to a carob tree and a wild fig tree, he may cut down all the branches until the branches are even with the property line. Similarly, if any tree is planted near a parched field or an orchard, the owner may cut down all the branches belonging to a neighbor until the branches are even with the property line.


מִי שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ נְטוּעָה גְּפָנִים אוֹ שְׁאָר אִילָנוֹת וּבָא הוּא לִנְטֹעַ בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ גְּפָנִים בְּצַד גְּפָנִים אוֹ אִילָנוֹת בְּצַד אִילָנוֹת צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. אֲבָל בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ מַרְחִיק בֵּין גְּפָנִים לִגְפָנִים שְׁתֵּי אַמּוֹת. וּבֵין גְּפָנִים לִשְׁאָר אִילָנוֹת אוֹ בֵּין אִילָנוֹת לְאִילָנוֹת אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת בְּכָל מָקוֹם. הָיָה גָּדֵר בֵּינְתַיִם זֶה סוֹמֵךְ לַגָּדֵר וְזֶה סוֹמֵךְ לַגָּדֵר בְּכָל מָקוֹם. מִי שֶׁהָיָה אִילַן חֲבֵרוֹ נוֹטֶה לְתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ קוֹצֵץ כִּמְלֹא מַרְדֵּעַ עַל גַּבֵּי הַמַּחֲרֵשָׁה. וּבְחָרוּב וּבְשִׁקְמָה קוֹצֵץ כָּל הַנּוֹטֶה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שָׁקוּל כְּנֶגֶד הַמֵּצַר. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה נוֹטֶה עַל בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִין שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ עַל בֵּית הָאִילָן קוֹצֵץ אֶת כָּל הַנּוֹטֶה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שָׁקוּל כְּנֶגֶד הַמֵּצַר:

Shechenim - Chapter Eleven


When a person makes a threshing floor within his own property, or establishes a latrine or a place to perform work that creates dust, dirt or the like, he must distance the place of his activity far enough that the dirt, the odor of the latrine, or the dust does not reach his colleague and cause him damage. Even if it is the wind that brings dirt, the loose strands of flax or the chaff or the like, generated when he performs his activity to his colleague's premises, he must separate himself so that it does not reach his colleague's property and cause damage even when this is caused by an ordinary wind. For all of these situations can be likened to causing damage with one's arrows.


מִי שֶׁעָשָׂה גֹּרֶן בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ. אוֹ קָבַע בֵּית הַכִּסֵּא. אוֹ מְלָאכָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ אָבָק וְעָפָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַגִּיעַ הֶעָפָר אוֹ רֵיחַ בֵּית הַכִּסֵּא אוֹ הָאָבָק לַחֲבֵרוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַזִּיקוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה הָרוּחַ הוּא שֶׁמְּסַיֵּעַ אוֹתוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה מְלַאכְתּוֹ וּמוֹלִיכָה אֶת הֶעָפָר אוֹ נְעֹרֶת הַפִּשְׁתָּן וְהַמּוֹץ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וּמַגִּיעָתָן לַחֲבֵרוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהַרְחִיק כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַגִּיעוּ וְלֹא יַזִּיקוּ. וַאֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי הָרוּחַ מְצוּיָה שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ כְּמִי שֶׁהִזִּיקוּ בְּחִצָּיו הֵן:


Even though a person is obligated to make such a separation, if an ordinary wind carried the chaff or the dirt and it caused damage, the person performing the activity is not liable to pay. For it is the wind's influence that caused the damage; it did not come about because of the force of the person whose acts led to the damage.


אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְהַרְחִיק כָּל כָּךְ אִם הוֹלִיכָה הָרוּחַ הַמְצוּיָה הַמּוֹץ וְאֶת הֶעָפָר וְהִזִּיקָה בָּהֶן פָּטוּר מִלְּשַׁלֵּם שֶׁהָרוּחַ הוּא שֶׁסִּיֵּעַ אוֹתוֹ וְאֵין נֵזֶק זֶה בָּא מִכֹּחַ מַזִּיק עַצְמוֹ:


When someone crushes groats or the like in his own property, but when he beats upon them, his colleague's adjoining courtyard shakes to the extent that a cover falls off a jug, he is considered to have caused damage with his arrows. He must either move far enough away so that the courtyard does not shake, or must cease the tasks that cause the damage. Moreover, if he causes damage when the courtyard shakes, he is liable to pay, because the damage came from his force.


הַכּוֹתֵשׁ אֶת הָרִיפוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בְּתוֹךְ שֶׁלּוֹ וּבְעֵת שֶׁמַּכֶּה מְנַדְנֵד לַחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ עַד שֶׁנִּדְנְדָה כִּסּוּי הֶחָבִית עַל פִּי הֶחָבִית הֲרֵי זֶה מַזִּיק בְּחִצָּיו וְחַיָּב לְהַרְחִיק כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִנְדֹּד אוֹ יְבַטֵּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ שֶׁמַּזֶּקֶת. וְאִם הִזִּיק בְּעֵת הַנִּדְנוּד חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם שֶׁהֲרֵי מִכֹּחוֹ בָּא הַנֵּזֶק:


The following principles apply with regard to all of the required separations mentioned in the previous chapters. If the person who was required to separate failed to do so, and the neighbor saw the disturbing factor and yet remained silent, he is considered to have waived his right to protest, and he may not raise a protest later to require him to move.

The above applies provided it is obvious that he waived his right to protest - e.g., he immediately helped his colleague in performing this activity, he told him to do so, or he saw him perform this activity next to him and remained silent and did not take issue with him. The general principle is: Whenever a person establishes a right to perform a damaging activity, that right is entrenched as his own, as has been explained.

When does the above apply? When he established his right to perform any damaging activity with the exception of the four mentioned in this chapter: smoke, the odor of a latrine, dust and the like, and the shaking of the ground. For with regard to these activities, one can never establish his right to perform them. Even if the person suffering from this damage remains silent for several years, he may come and force his neighbor to distance himself.

Similar concepts also apply with regard to the invasion of privacy in places where it is required to build a partition. He may compel him to build a partition whenever he desires, as explained.

Why are these damaging factors different from all other damaging factors? Because a person's disposition will never be willing to bear these damaging activities, and we assume that he has not waived his right to protest. For the damage is of an ongoing nature. If, however, a kinyan was concluded, confirming that he waives his right to protest these activities, he may not retract.


כָּל הַהַרְחָקוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּפְּרָקִים שֶׁל מַעְלָה אִם לֹא הִרְחִיק וְרָאָה חֲבֵרוֹ וְשָׁתַק הֲרֵי זֶה מָחַל וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר וּלְהַצְרִיכוֹ וּלְהַרְחִיקוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּרְאֶה מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁמָּחַל כְּגוֹן שֶׁסִּיֵּעַ עִמּוֹ מִיָּד אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹ שֶׁרָאָהוּ שֶׁעָשָׂה בְּצִדּוֹ בְּלֹא הַרְחָקָה וְשָׁתַק וְלֹא הִקְפִּיד עַל זֶה זָכָה. שֶׁכָּל הַמַּחֲזִיק בְּנֵזֶק זָכָה בּוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהֶחְזִיק בִּשְׁאָר נְזָקִין חוּץ מֵאַרְבָּעָה מִינֵי נְזָקִין אֵלּוּ הָאֲמוּרִים בְּפֶרֶק זֶה שֶׁהֵן הֶעָשָׁן וְרֵיחַ בֵּית הַכִּסֵּא וְהֶאָבָק וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ וְנִדְנוּד הַקַּרְקַע. שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ אֵין לוֹ חֲזָקָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ שָׁתַק הַנִּזָּק כַּמָּה שָׁנִים הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹזֵר וְכוֹפֵהוּ לְהַרְחִיק. וְכֵן הֶזֵּק רְאִיָּה בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁצָּרִיךְ מְחִצָּה כּוֹפֵהוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מְחִצָּה בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְלָמָּה שִׁנּוּ נְזָקִים אֵלּוּ מִשְּׁאָר נְזָקִין לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם סוֹבֶלֶת נֵזֶק מֵאֵלּוּ וְחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוֹחֵל שֶׁהֶזֵּקוֹ הֶזֵּק קָבוּעַ. וְאִם קָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ שֶׁמָּחַל בִּנְזָקִים אֵלּוּ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר בּוֹ:


Similar rules apply with regard to a person who has established himself in a profession involving blood, animal carcasses or the like on his premises, and ravens and other birds of that type will come because of the blood, and eat. While doing so, they cause discomfort to the person's neighbor with their sounds and chirping, or with the blood on their feet. For they sit on the neighbor's trees and soil his produce. If the neighbor is irritable or sick, and the chirping of the birds harms him, or his produce is spoiled because of the blood, the person performing the task must cease or must separate to the extent that his neighbor does not suffer any harm because of him. For this type of harm is comparable to the odor of a latrine and the like, for which one can never establish the right to perform a task.

Similarly, if one of the inhabitants of a lane or a courtyard became a craftsman, and the other inhabitants did not protest, he established his right to practice this profession. Nevertheless, if there are people constantly coming in and out to purchase his wares, despite the fact that the neighbors remained silent, the craftsman does not establish his right to have his customers enter. At any time, the neighbors may protest and say: "We cannot sleep because of all the people coming in and going out." For this damage is of an ongoing nature, like smoke or dust. The Geonim ruled in this fashion.


מִי שֶׁהֶחְזִיק לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלֶאכֶת דָּם אוֹ נְבֵלוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בִּמְקוֹמָן וְיָבוֹאוּ הָעוֹרְבִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בִּגְלַל הַדָּם וְיֹאכְלוּ וַהֲרֵי הֵן מְצֵרִין לַחֲבֵרוֹ בְּקוֹלָם וְצִפְצוּפָם אוֹ בַּדָּם שֶׁבְּרַגְלֵיהֶם שֶׁהֵן יוֹשְׁבִין עַל הָאִילָנוֹת וּמְלַכְלְכִין פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶם. אִם הָיָה חֲבֵרוֹ קַפְּדָן אוֹ חוֹלֶה שֶׁצִּפְצוּף הַזֶּה מַזִּיקוֹ אוֹ שֶׁפֵּרוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ נִפְסָדִין לוֹ בַּדָּם חַיָּב לְבַטֵּל אוֹתָהּ הַמְּלָאכָה אוֹ יַרְחִיק עַד שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לוֹ הֶזֵּק מֵחֲמָתוֹ. שֶׁהֶזֵּק זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְרֵיחַ בֵּית הַכִּסֵּא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ שֶׁאֵין לוֹ חֲזָקָה. וְכֵן בְּנֵי מָבוֹי אוֹ בְּנֵי חָצֵר שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה אֶחָד מֵהֶן אֻמָּן וְלֹא מִחוּ בּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הֻחְזַק וְהָיוּ הָעָם נִכְנָסִין וְיוֹצְאִין לִקְנוֹת וְשָׁתְקוּ לֹא הֶחֱזִיק בְּדָבָר זֶה וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם בְּכָל עֵת לְעַכֵּב וְלוֹמַר אֵין אָנוּ יְכוֹלִין לִישֹׁן מִקּוֹל הַנִּכְנָסִין וְהַיּוֹצְאִין שֶׁזֶּה הֶזֵּק קָבוּעַ הוּא כְּמוֹ הֶעָשָׁן וְהֶאָבָק. וְכָזֶה הוֹרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים:


The following rules apply when a person is known to have exercised a privilege that encroaches upon a colleague in a situation where his establishment of the right to this privilege would be recognized - e.g., he opened a window overlooking his neighbor's property, he diverted the direction of an irrigation ditch, or did not distance himself from his neighbor's property to the extent required. The person who established the right told his neighbor "You told me to do this," "You waived your right to protest against me after you saw what I did," or "The encroachment against your property was recognized, and yet you remained silent and did not protest against me." The person whose rights were encroached, by contrast, claims: "This is the first time I saw it; I did not know of it beforehand," or "When I saw it, I protested against you and you told me: 'I will distance myself,' or 'I will close it,' and you are continuously deferring me so that you can establish your rights to the privilege." In all claims of this or a similar nature, it is the responsibility of the person whose rights were encroached to bring proof of his claim. If he does not bring proof, the person whose actions encroached upon his colleague may take a sh'vuat hesset and depart.


מִי שֶׁהֶחְזִיק בְּנֵזֶק שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חֲזָקָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁפָּתַח חַלּוֹן אוֹ הֶעֱבִיר אַמַּת הַמַּיִם אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הִרְחִיק מַה שֶּׁרָאוּי לְהַרְחִיק וַהֲרֵי הַמַּחֲזִיק טוֹעֵן אַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ לִי לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹ מָחַלְתָּ לִי אַחַר שֶׁרָאִיתָ אוֹ הֻכַּר הַנֵּזֶק וְשָׁתַקְתָּ וְלֹא מָחִיתָ בִּי. וְהַנִּזָּק אוֹמֵר עַכְשָׁו הוּא שֶׁרָאִיתִי וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי מִקֹּדֶם. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר כְּשֶׁרָאִיתִי מָחִיתִי בְּךָ וְאַתָּה אָמַרְתָּ עַתָּה אַרְחִיק אוֹ אֶסְתֹּם וְאַתָּה מַדְחֶה אוֹתִי מִיּוֹם אֶל יוֹם כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּקְבַּע הֶזֵּקְךָ. בְּכָל אֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן עַל הַנִּזָּק לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה. וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּזִּיק הֶסֵּת וְיִפָּטֵר:


Different rules apply when a person is known to have exercised a privilege that encroaches upon a colleague in a situation where his establishment of the right to this privilege would not be recognized - e.g., producing smoke, the foul odor of a latrine and the like. If the person encroaching on his colleague claims that he established a kinyan with his neighbor with regard to this privilege, it is the responsibility of the person encroaching upon his colleague to prove that a kinyan was indeed performed. If he cannot produce proof, the neighbor whose rights were encroached must take a sh'vuat hesset that he never entered into a kinyan with regard to this matter. Afterwards the person who encroached upon his colleague must remove the disturbance.


הֶחֱזִיק בְּנֵזֶק שֶׁאֵין לוֹ חֲזָקָה כְּגוֹן עָשָׁן וּבֵית הַכִּסֵּא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְטָעַן הַמַּזִּיק שֶׁקָּנָה מִיָּדוֹ שֶׁל נִזָּק עַל הַמַּזִּיק לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ. וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא יִשָּׁבַע הַנִּזָּק הֶסֵּת שֶׁלֹּא קָנוּ מִיָּדוֹ עַל כָּךְ וִיסַלֵּק זֶה הֶזֵּקוֹ:

Shechenim - Chapter Twelve


The following rules apply when brothers or partners come to divide a field, with each taking a portion. If the field was all of equal value, without one place being better and another worse, but instead it was all the same, the field is divided by measure. If one of the partners said: "Give me my portion on this side so that it will be close to another field which I own, so that they will be one large field," his request is heeded, and we compel the other partner to grant him this privilege. For holding back in such a situation would be a reflection of the traits of Sodom.

If, however, one portion was of a higher quality than the other, closer to a river or to a path, and the two portions were evaluated, the good being made equivalent to the bad, and one of the partners asked that he be granted a portion on a particular side, we do not heed his request. Instead, they receive their portions by lot.

If one said to them: "Give me only half the measure of the entire property although I am being given from the lower quality portion without the field being evaluated, and you can receive the half of higher quality, so that my portion will be closer to my field," some Geonim ruled that his request is heeded. My conception also leans toward this conclusion. It is appropriate to rule in this manner.


הָאַחִין אוֹ הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁבָּאוּ לַחֲלֹק אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה וְלִטּל כָּל אֶחָד חֶלְקוֹ. אִם הָיְתָה כֻּלָּהּ שָׁוָה וְאֵין שָׁם מָקוֹם טוֹב וּמָקוֹם רַע אֶלָּא הַכּל אֶחָד חוֹלְקִין לְפִי הַמִּדָּה בִּלְבַד. וְאִם אָמַר אֶחָד מֵהֶם תְּנוּ לִי חֶלְקִי מִצַּד זֶה כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא סָמוּךְ לְשָׂדֶה אַחֵר שֶׁלִּי וְיִהְיֶה הַכּל שָׂדֶה אַחַת שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ וְכוֹפֶה אוֹתוֹ עַל זֶה שֶׁעִכּוּב בְּדָבָר זֶה מִדַּת סְדוֹם הִיא. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה חֵלֶק אֶחָד מִמֶּנָּה טוֹב אוֹ קָרוֹב לַנָּהָר יוֹתֵר אוֹ קָרוֹב לַדֶּרֶךְ וְשָׁמוּ אוֹתָהּ הַיָּפֶה כְּנֶגֶד הָרַע וְאָמַר תְּנוּ לִי בְּשׁוּמָא שֶׁלִּי מִצַּד זֶה אֵין שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ אֶלָּא נוֹטֵל בְּגוֹרָל. אָמַר לָהֶם תְּנוּ לִי (בְּשׁוּמָא שֶׁלִּי מִצַּד זֶה) חֲצִי מִדָּתָהּ מִן הַצַּד הָרַע בְּלֹא שׁוּמָא וְטל אַתָּה מִן הַצַּד הַטּוֹב כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה חֶלְקִי סָמוּךְ לַשָּׂדֶה שֶׁלִּי. הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁשּׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. וְלָזֶה דַּעְתִּי נוֹטָה וְכֵן רָאוּי לָדוּן:


When a firstborn participates in the division of a property, he is granted both his shares together. When, however, a yevam divides his father's estate together with his brothers, he is allotted both his portion and his brother's portion by lottery. If he is allotted both of these portions together, this is his allotment. And if he is allotted them in separate places, that is his allotment.


הַבְּכוֹר שֶׁחָלַק נוֹטֵל שְׁנֵי חֲלָקִים שֶׁלּוֹ כְּאֶחָד. אֲבָל הַיָּבָם שֶׁחָלַק עִם אֶחָיו בְּנִכְסֵי הָאָב נוֹטֵל חֶלְקוֹ וְחֵלֶק אֶחָיו בְּגוֹרָל. אִם עָלוּ בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד עָלוּ וְאִם עָלוּ בִּשְׁתֵּי מְקוֹמוֹת עָלוּ:


When a property is surrounded by a river on its east and north sides and by a path on its south and west sides, it is divided on a diagonal. In this way, each person receives access to a river and a path. If one of the partners requested: "Give me my portion on this side, because it is next to my field, his request is heeded. The general principle is: Whenever there is a matter which provides benefit to one party, but does not cause a colleague a loss at all, we compel the colleague to comply.


אֶרֶץ מְרֻבַּעַת שֶׁהָיָה הַנָּהָר מַקִּיף לָהּ מִזְרָח וְצָפוֹן וְהַדֶּרֶךְ דָּרוֹם וּמַעֲרָב חוֹלְקִין אוֹתָהּ בַּאֲלַכְסוֹן כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לָזֶה נָהָר וְדֶרֶךְ וְלָזֶה נָהָר וְדֶרֶךְ. וְאִם אָמַר תְּנוּ לִי הַחֵצִי שֶׁמִּצַּד זֶה שֶׁהוּא בְּצַד שָׂדִי שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא טוֹב לָזֶה וְאֵין עַל חֲבֵרוֹ הֶפְסֵד כְּלָל כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת:


When one of a group of brothers or partners sells his portion to another individual, the other brothers or partners may remove that individual from his purchase. They must pay him the price he paid, but he must depart. This privilege was granted to prevent a foreign party from entering among them.


אֶחָד מִן הָאַחִין אוֹ מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁמָּכַר חֶלְקוֹ לְאַחֵר מְסַלְּקִין אֶת הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְנוֹתְנִין לוֹ שְׁאָר הָאַחִין אוֹ שְׁאָר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין דָּמִים שֶׁנָּתַן וְהוֹלֵךְ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנֵס זָר בֵּינֵיהֶן:


This is not the limit of this principle. Even when a person sells property which he owns to another person, his colleague, the owner of the property neighboring his, has the right to pay the purchase price to the buyer and remove him from his purchase. The purchaser who comes from afar is considered as the agent of the neighbor.

This applies whether the original owner's agent conducted the sale, or whether the property was sold by the court, the privilege of a neighbor is granted. Even if the purchaser was a Torah scholar, a non-immediate neighbor, and a relative of the seller, while the neighbor was an unlearned person with no family connections to the seller, the neighbor receives priority and may remove the purchaser.

This practice stems from the charge Deuteronomy 6:18: "And you shall do what is just and good." Our Sages said: "Since the sale is fundamentally the same, it is 'just and good,' that the property should be acquired by the neighbor, instead of the person living further away."

If there are many neighbors, all have a right to acquire the property which was sold. It is divided among them equally, according to their number, and they all must reimburse the buyer for the purchase price.

This applies provided they all come at the same time. If, however, one comes and purchases the property from the buyer, he alone acquires it, for he is a neighbor. Similarly, if some of the neighbors come and purchase it and others are in a distant country, those who are present are entitled to purchase it and it becomes theirs.

Similarly, if a person sells a property to one neighbor or one of his business partners, even if he is not a partner in the ownership of landed property, that person acquires it. The other partners or neighbors do not have the right to acquire it together with him.


וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא הַמּוֹכֵר קַרְקַע שֶׁלּוֹ לְאַחֵר יֵשׁ לַחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁהוּא בְּצַד הַמֵּצַר שֶׁלּוֹ לִתֵּן דָּמִים לַלּוֹקֵחַ וּלְסַלֵּק אוֹתוֹ וְזֶה הַלּוֹקֵחַ הָרָחוֹק כְּאִלּוּ הוּא שָׁלִיחַ שֶׁל בֶּן הַמֵּצַר. בֵּין שֶׁמָּכַר הוּא בֵּין שֶׁמָּכַר שְׁלוּחוֹ בֵּין שֶׁמָּכְרוּ בֵּית דִּין יֵשׁ בּוֹ דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ תַּלְמִיד חָכָם וְשָׁכֵן וְקָרוֹב לַמּוֹכֵר וּבֶן הַמֵּצַר עַם הָאָרֶץ רָחוֹק בֶּן הַמֵּצַר קוֹדֵם וּמְסַלֵּק אֶת הַלּוֹקֵחַ. וְדָבָר זֶה מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ו יח) "וְעָשִׂיתָ הַיָּשָׁר וְהַטּוֹב" אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים הוֹאִיל וְהַמֶּכֶר אֶחָד הוּא טוֹב וְיָשָׁר הוּא שֶׁיִּקְנֶה מָקוֹם זֶה בֶּן הַמֵּצַר יוֹתֵר מִן הָרָחוֹק. הָיוּ בְּנֵי הַמֵּצַר רַבִּים כֻּלָּם זוֹכִים בְּזוֹ הַשָּׂדֶה הַנִּמְכֶּרֶת וְהִיא בֵּינֵיהֶם לְפִי מִנְיָנָם וְנוֹתְנִין מִן הַדָּמִים לַלּוֹקֵחַ. וְהוּא שֶׁבָּאוּ כֻּלָּם בְּפַעַם אַחַת. אֲבָל אִם קָדַם אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְסִלֵּק אֶת הַלּוֹקֵחַ זָכָה בָּהּ לְבַדּוֹ הוֹאִיל וְהוּא בֶּן הַמֵּצַר. וְכֵן אִם בָּאוּ מִקְצָתָן וּמִקְצָתָן בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת מְסַלְּקִין אוֹתוֹ אֵלּוּ הָעוֹמְדִים כָּאן בִּלְבַד וְהִיא לָהֶן. וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר לְאֶחָד מִבְּנֵי הַמֵּצַר אוֹ לְאֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁלּוֹ בְּמַשָּׂא וּמַתָּן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ שֻׁתָּפוֹ בַּקַּרְקַע זָכָה בָּהּ. וְאֵין שְׁאָר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין אוֹ שְׁאָר בְּנֵי הַמֵּצַר נוֹטְלִין עִמּוֹ:


When a person sells all his properties to one person, a person whose property borders on one of the fields that were sold does not have the right to displace the purchaser from that field, for he purchased it and the other fields at once.

Similarly, when a person sells a field to its original owners, or when one purchases it from a gentile, the neighbor is not given the right to purchase it.


הַמּוֹכֵר כָּל נְכָסָיו לְאֶחָד אֵין בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר שֶׁל שָׂדֶה אַחַת מְסַלֵּק אֶת הַלּוֹקֵחַ מֵאוֹתָהּ הַשָּׂדֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא וְהָאַחֶרֶת קָנָה כְּאֶחָד. וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר לַבְּעָלִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים אוֹ הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם אֵין בּוֹ דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר:


When a person sells property to a gentile, the seller is placed under a ban of ostracism until he accepts responsibility for any loss that the gentile might cause his neighbors and the gentile agrees to conduct himself in relation to his neighbors according to Jewish law in all matters. If the gentile compels a neighbor to accept a loss for which he would not be responsible according to Jewish law, the seller is compelled to make restitution.


הַמּוֹכֵר לָעַכּוּ''ם מְשַׁמְּתִין אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיְּקַבֵּל עָלָיו כָּל אֹנֶס שֶׁיָּבוֹא מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם עַד שֶׁיִּנְהֹג הָעַכּוּ''ם עִם בֶּן הַמֵּצַר שֶׁלּוֹ בְּדִינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּכּל. וְאִם אֲנָסוֹ שֶׁלֹּא כְּדִין יִשְׂרָאֵל מְשַׁלֵּם הַמּוֹכֵר:


The rights of a neighbor do not apply with regard to the rental of property.


הַשְּׂכִירוּת אֵין בָּהּ מִשּׁוּם דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר:


When a person designates a property as security, and afterwards sells it to the person to whom he had designated it as security, the neighbors are not given the right to displace the purchaser.

Similarly, the neighbors are not given the right to displace the purchaser when a person sells a property because it is located far from him in order to purchase another that is located closer, when the seller sold a less valuable property in order to use the proceeds of the sale to purchase a more valuable one, when he sold a property to pay his taxes to the king, or when a property was sold to pay for burial expenses or the support of the owner's widow or daughters. Instead, the purchaser acquires the property.


הַמְמַשְׁכֵּן מָקוֹם וְאַחַר כָּךְ מְכָרוֹ לָזֶה שֶׁהוּא מְמֻשְׁכָּן בְּיָדוֹ אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר. וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר מָקוֹם רָחוֹק כְּדֵי לִגְאל מָקוֹם קָרוֹב. אוֹ שֶׁמָּכַר רַע כְּדֵי לִגְאל יָפֶה בְּדָמָיו. אוֹ שֶׁמָּכַר כְּדֵי לִתֵּן מְנַת הַמֶּלֶךְ. אוֹ שֶׁמָּכַר לִקְבוּרָה אוֹ לִמְזוֹן הָאִשָּׁה אוֹ הַבָּנוֹת אֵין בְּאֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר אֶלָּא זָכָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ.


Why are the neighbors not given the right to displace the purchaser? For in all these situations, the seller is very anxious to sell the property, and he is selling it because of a dire need. If the neighbors were given the right to displace the purchaser, no one would ever be willing to purchase property. For the purchaser will say; "Why should I trouble myself to purchase this property? So that the neighbor will come and displace me? " And the seller will not be able to wait until the neighbor brings money and purchases it.


(י) וְלָמָּה אֵין בָּהֶן דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר. שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ טְרוּדִין הֵן לִמְכֹּר וּמִשּׁוּם צֹרֶךְ גָּדוֹל מוֹכְרִין וְאִם תֹּאמַר יֵשׁ בָּהֶן דִּין בֶּן הַמֵּצַר לֹא יִמְצְאוּ לוֹקֵחַ שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לָמָּה אֶטְרַח וְאֶקַּח כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבוֹא זֶה וִיסַלֵּק אוֹתִי וְאֵין הַבְּעָלִים יְכוֹלִין לְהַמְתִּין עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר מָעוֹת וְיִקְנֶה:


The following rules apply when the purchaser claims that the seller sold the property to him because he was pressed for funds to pay a tax or the like, and the neighbor claims that he is lying and fabricating a story in order to nullify his right. The neighbor is responsible for proving his claim. Only then can he expropriate the property from the purchaser. If the neighbor does not prove his claim, the purchaser must support his claim with a sh'vuat hesset.


הֲרֵי שֶׁטָּעַן הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְאָמַר מִפְּנֵי הַמַּס וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מָכַר לוֹ הַמּוֹכֵר וּבַעַל הַמֵּצַר אוֹמֵר שֶׁקֶר אַתָּה טוֹעֵן לְבַטֵּל זְכוּתִי. עַל בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יוֹצִיא מִיַּד הַלּוֹקֵחַ. וְאִם לֹא הֵבִיא רְאָיָה יִשָּׁבַע הַלּוֹקֵחַ הֶסֵּת:


Even if the purchaser does not have a definite claim concerning the matter, the purchaser cannot be compelled to relinquish his purchase unless the neighbor brings clear-cut proof. Therefore, if the purchaser claims "You have stolen the field that you claim to be your own," "You are merely a sharecropper," "a renter," or "received it as security," the neighbor must prove that he is a neighbor and that he has established his claim to the property he alleges to own. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה שָׁם בַּדָּבָר סָפֵק אֵין הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִסְתַּלֵּק אֶלָּא בִּרְאָיָה בְּרוּרָה שֶׁהֵבִיא בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר. לְפִיכָךְ אִם טָעַן הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְאָמַר גַּזְלָן אַתָּה לְשָׂדֶה זוֹ אָרִיס אַתָּה לְשָׂדֶה זוֹ אוֹ שׂוֹכֵר אוֹ מְמַשְׁכֵּן צָרִיךְ בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה שֶׁהוּא בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר וְשֶׁהַקַּרְקַע זוֹ בְּחֶזְקָתוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a person sells property to orphans below the age of majority, the neighbor is not given the right to displace the purchaser. For "goodness and justice" is to act generously toward such individuals more than a neighbor.


הַמּוֹכֵר לִיתוֹמִים קְטַנִּים אֵין בּוֹ דִּין בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר. הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר שֶׁעוֹשִׂין חֶסֶד עִם אֵלּוּ יָתֵר מִבַּעַל הַמֵּצַר:


Similarly, when a person sells property to a woman, the neighbor is not given the right to displace the purchaser. The rationale is that it is not customary for women to trouble themselves frequently to purchase property. Hence, since a woman did make such an effort, and purchased property, it is an act of kindness to allow her to retain ownership of it.


וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר לְאִשָּׁה אֵין בּוֹ דִּין בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּהּ לִטְרֹחַ תָּמִיד וְלִקְנוֹת הוֹאִיל וְלָקְחָה חֶסֶד הוּא שֶׁתַּעֲמֹד הַקַּרְקַע בְּיָדָהּ:


If property was sold to a tumtum and an androgynous, a neighbor is given the right to displace them, because there is a doubt [regarding their halachic status. Possibly, they may be considered as] a woman.


מָכַר לְטֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס בַּעַל הַמֵּצַר יָכוֹל לְסַלְּקָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן סָפֵק אִשָּׁה:


The following laws apply when the land of a property is owned by one individual and the building or the trees situated upon it is owned by another. If the owner of the building or the trees has privileges with regard to the land, each of them is considered to be the other's neighbor. Therefore, if either of them sold his portion, his colleague has the right to displace the purchaser.

Different rules apply when, by contrast, the owner of the trees or the building does not have any right to the land, and whenever he desires the owner of the land may tell the owner of the trees or the building: "Uproot your trees," or "Destroy your building." If the owner of the field sells his property, the purchaser acquires his purchase. Neither the owner of the trees nor the owner of the building has the right to displace him. If the owner of the trees or the owner of the building sells his possession, the owner of the land has the right to displace him.


הָיְתָה הַקַּרְקַע שֶׁל אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְהַבִּנְיָן אוֹ הָאִילָנוֹת שֶׁל אֶחָד אִם יֵשׁ לְבַעַל הַבִּנְיָן אוֹ לְבַעַל הָאִילָנוֹת זְכוּת בַּקַּרְקַע כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן בֶּן הַמֵּצַר שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם מָכַר אֶחָד מֵהֶן חֶלְקוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ מְסַלֵּק הַלּוֹקֵחַ. אֲבָל אִם אֵין לְבַעַל הָאִילָנוֹת אוֹ לְבַעַל הַבִּנְיָן זְכוּת בַּקַּרְקַע אֶלָּא כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה אוֹמֵר לוֹ עֲקֹר אִילָנְךָ אוֹ הֲרֹס בִּנְיָנְךָ וּמָכַר בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה זָכָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ וְאֵין בַּעַל הָאִילָנוֹת אוֹ בַּעַל הַבִּנְיָן מְסַלֵּק אוֹתוֹ. וְאִם מָכַר בַּעַל הַבִּנְיָן אוֹ בַּעַל הָאִילָן הֲרֵי בַּעַל הַקַּרְקַע מְסַלֵּק אוֹתוֹ:


The following rules serve as guidelines when a row of date palms, a tall and sturdy building, a ditch, or the like separate between a person's property and the property border of a colleague: We see if it is possible to plant even one row of produce within the intervening entity, so that the two fields would be joined. If so, he is considered a neighbor, and he has the right to displace the purchaser. If not, he may not displace the purchaser.


הָיָה מַפְסִיק בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין מֵצַר שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ רְכַב דְּקָלִים אוֹ בִּנְיָן גָּבוֹהַּ וְחָזָק אוֹ גּוּמָא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן רוֹאִין אִם יָכוֹל לְהַכְנִיס אֲפִלּוּ תֶּלֶם אֶחָד בְּתוֹךְ הַדָּבָר הַמַּפְסִיק עַד שֶׁיִּתְעָרְבוּ שְׁתֵּי הַשָּׂדוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה בֶּן מֵצַר שֶׁלּוֹ וּמְסַלֵּק הַלּוֹקֵחַ. וְאִם לָאו אֵינוֹ מְסַלֵּק הַלּוֹקֵחַ:

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.
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Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.