When a courtyard is jointly owned by partners, each one may compel the other to build a gate-keeper's room, a door, and any other element that is sorely needed for a courtyard or anything that is customary for the local people to build. He cannot compel him with regard to other matters - paintings and designs and the like. If one of the partners in the courtyard made such an addition on his own initiative, and then another demonstrated that he appreciated what his colleague did, he is held responsible for his share in the entire project and must pay his portion of the costs.


חֲצַר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן כּוֹפֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּהּ בֵּית שַׁעַר וְדֶלֶת. וְכֵן כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהֶחָצֵר צְרִיכָה לָהֶם צֹרֶךְ גָּדוֹל. אוֹ דְּבָרִים שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בְּנֵי הַמְּדִינָה לַעֲשׂוֹתָם. אֲבָל שְׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים כְּגוֹן צִיּוּר וְכִיּוּר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אֵינוֹ כּוֹפֵהוּ. עָשָׂה אֶחָד מֵהֶן מֵעַצְמוֹ אִם גִּלָּה הַשֵּׁנִי דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁנּוֹחַ לוֹ בְּמַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה חֲבֵרוֹ מְגַלְגְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַכּל וְנוֹתֵן חֶלְקוֹ בַּהוֹצָאָה:


When a person has a house in another courtyard besides the one in which he lives, the inhabitants of the courtyard in which he does not live, can force him to contribute toward the building of a door, a bolt and a lock. However, he cannot be compelled to contribute to other matters. If he dwells with them in the courtyard, he can be forced to contribute to everything.


מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ בַּיִת בְּחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת בְּנֵי הֶחָצֵר מְשַׁעְבְּדִין אוֹתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמָּהֶם דֶּלֶת וְנֶגֶר וּמַנְעוּל. אֲבָל בִּשְׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים אֵין מְשַׁעְבְּדִין אוֹתוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה שָׁרוּי עִמָּהֶם בְּאוֹתָהּ חָצֵר מְשַׁעְבְּדִין אוֹתוֹ עַל הַכּל:


When one of the owners of a house in the courtyard seeks to put an animal or a mill in the courtyard or to raise chickens there, his colleagues can prevent him from doing so. Similarly, with regard to other things that people are not accustomed to doing in their courtyards, the partners can prevent him from doing this.

There is an exception: doing laundry. For it is not the custom of the daughters of Israel to shame themselves by doing laundry at the riverside.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין בְּחָצֵר שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לְהַעֲמִיד בָּהּ בְּהֵמָה אוֹ רֵחַיִם אוֹ לְגַדֵּל בָּהּ תַּרְנְגוֹלִין חֲבֵרוֹ מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. וְכֵן שְׁאָר הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם לַעֲשׂוֹתָן בְּחַצְרוֹתֵיהֶן בְּכֻלָּן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין מְעַכְּבִין זֶה עַל זֶה. חוּץ מִן הַכְּבִיסָה לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּן שֶׁל בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהִתְבַּזּוֹת עַל גַּב הַנָּהָר:


In a courtyard owned jointly by several owners or a lane that ends in a cul-de-sac, all the inhabitants of the lane or the courtyard can restrain one of their number so that he makes use of the lane only in a manner in which other people living in that country make use of lanes.


אֶחָד חֲצַר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין וְאֶחָד מָבוֹי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְפֻלָּשׁ כָּל בְּנֵי הַמָּבוֹי מְעַכְּבִין זֶה עַל זֶה שֶׁלֹּא לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בַּמָּבוֹי אֶלָּא בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי הַמְּדִינָה לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶן בַּמְּבוֹאוֹת:


If one of the partners in a courtyard put an animal, a mill or the like into a courtyard, and the other partner did not protest against him, he may prevent him from doing so at any time. If he erected a partition ten handbreadths high in front of the animal or the like, he has established his claim to it. For partners will protest if one erects a partition. Since the partner did not protest, but instead allowed the partition to remain, he forgoes his right to protest.

When does the above apply? In a courtyard that is jointly owned by partners. If, however, a person placed an animal in a courtyard belonging to another person, even if he erects a partition, he has not established his claim to it. For it is known that the owner only lent him the space. Similar laws apply if one brought in an oven or a range, or raised chickens or the like. This is certainly the law. For if one would say that the visitor establishes his claim to the space, a person will never lend space to a colleague.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין בְּחָצֵר שֶׁהֶעֱמִיד בְּהֵמָה אוֹ רֵחַיִם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בֶּחָצֵר וְלֹא מִחָה בּוֹ שֻׁתָּפוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. וְאִם הֶעֱמִיד בִּפְנֵי בְּהֵמָה זוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מְחִצָּה גְּבוֹהָה עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים הֶחֱזִיק. שֶׁהַשֻּׁתָּפִין מַקְפִּידִין עַל הַמְּחִצָּה וְהוֹאִיל וְהִנִּיחוֹ מָחַל. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בַּחֲצַר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין. אֲבָל בַּחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ הֶעֱמִיד בְּהֶמְתּוֹ וְעָשָׂה לוֹ מְחִצָּה לֹא הֶחֱזִיק שֶׁהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵין זֶה אֶלָּא דֶּרֶךְ שְׁאֵלָה. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְכָל מַעֲמִיד תַּנּוּר וְכִירַיִם וּמְגַדֵּל תַּרְנְגוֹלִין וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. שֶׁאִם תֹּאמַר הֶחֱזִיק אֵין לְךָ אָדָם שֶׁמַּשְׁאִיל מָקוֹם לַחֲבֵרוֹ:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


If one of the partners in a courtyard desires to open up a new window from his house overlooking the courtyard, his colleague may prevent him from doing so, for this allows him the possibility of looking at him at all times. If he opens such a window, he must close it.

Similarly, partners in a courtyard should not open the entrance of a house opposite the entrance of a colleague's house, or a window opposite a colleague's window. In the public domain, by contrast, a person may open an entrance opposite a colleague's entrance and a window opposite a colleague's window. For if the colleague would protest, he could tell him: "I am just like one of the people in the public domain who see you."


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לִפְתֹּחַ לוֹ חַלּוֹן בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ לַחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמִּסְתַּכֵּל בּוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ. וְאִם פָּתַח יִסְתֹּם. וְכֵן לֹא יִפְתְּחוּ הַשֻּׁתָּפִים בְּחָצֵר פֶּתַח בַּיִת כְּנֶגֶד פֶּתַח בַּיִת אוֹ חַלּוֹן כְּנֶגֶד חַלּוֹן. אֲבָל פּוֹתֵחַ אָדָם לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים פֶּתַח כְּנֶגֶד פֶּתַח וְחַלּוֹן כְּנֶגֶד חַלּוֹן. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאוֹמֵר לוֹ הֲרֵינִי כְּאֶחָד מִבְּנֵי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים שֶׁרוֹאִין אוֹתְךָ:


Nevertheless, even in the public domain, a person should not open up a store opposite the entrance to a colleague's courtyard, for this represents an ongoing damage. The passersby in the public domain go to and fro, while this person will sit in his store the entire day and look at his colleague's entrance.


וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא יִפְתַּח אָדָם חֲנוּת כְּנֶגֶד פֶּתַח חֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁזֶּה הֶזֵּק קָבוּעַ תָּמִיד. שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּנֵי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים עוֹבְרִים וְשָׁבִים וְזֶה יוֹשֵׁב בַּחֲנוּתוֹ כָּל הַיּוֹם וּמַבִּיט בְּפֶתַח חֲבֵרוֹ:


When one of the partners in a courtyard purchases a home in another courtyard, he may not open an entrance from his new home into the courtyard that he shares.

Even if he built a loft over his home, he is not entitled to open a new entrance for it to his courtyard, for he is making passage through the courtyard slower. It is as if the other partners in the courtyard had only one neighbor, and suddenly they were given many neighbors. One may, however, build an entrance to the loft within one's own home. And if a person desires to divide his apartment into two, he may.


אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין בְּחָצֵר שֶׁלָּקַח בַּיִת בְּחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִפְתֹּחַ פִּתְחוֹ לַחֲצַר הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁלּוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ בָּנָה עֲלִיָּה עַל גַּבֵּי בֵּיתוֹ לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה לָהּ פֶּתַח לְתוֹךְ הֶחָצֵר לְפִי שֶׁמַּרְבֶּה עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ נַעֲשָׂה כְּמִי שֶׁהָיָה לָזֶה שָׁכֵן אֶחָד וְנַעֲשׂוּ לוֹ שְׁכֵנִים הַרְבֵּה. אֲבָל פּוֹתֵחַ הוּא פֶּתַח עֲלִיָּה לְתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ. וְאִם רָצָה לַחְלֹק חַדְרוֹ לִשְׁנַיִם חוֹלֵק:


From this, one may deduce that if one of the partners in a courtyard brings people from another house to his house, the partners in the courtyard may prevent him from doing so, because he makes passage through the courtyard slower.

Similarly, if a person rents his house to the master of another household, who later brings his relatives and friends to dwell with him together in this one house, the owner who rents out the house can prevent him from doing so.


מִכָּאן אַתָּה לָמֵד שֶׁאֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין שֶׁהֵבִיא אֶצְלוֹ לְבֵיתוֹ אַנְשֵׁי בַּיִת אַחֶרֶת יֵשׁ לַחֲבֵרוֹ לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּרְבֶּה עָלָיו אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ. וְכֵן הַמַּשְׂכִּיר בֵּיתוֹ לְבַעַל בַּיִת אֶחָד וְאַחַר כָּךְ הֵבִיא עִמּוֹ קְרוֹבָיו אוֹ מְיֻדָּעָיו לִשְׁכֹּן עִמּוֹ כְּאֶחָד בְּבַיִת זֶה הֲרֵי הַמַּשְׂכִּיר מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו:


If the entrance to a courtyard from the home of one of the partners was small, he may not enlarge it, for another partner may protest: "When your entrance is small, I could hide from you when making use of the courtyard. I cannot hide from you when your entrance is large."

Similarly, if a person has a large entrance, he may not divide it in two, for another person may protest: "I am able to hide myself when there is only one entrance. If there are two entrances, I will not be able to hide myself."


הָיָה פֶּתַח שֶׁל אֶחָד מִן הַשֻּׁתָּפִין קָטָן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַרְחִיבוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי שֻׁתָּפוֹ אוֹמֵר לוֹ בְּפֶתַח קָטָן אֲנִי יָכוֹל לְהִסָּתֵר מִמְּךָ בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ וְאֵינִי יָכוֹל לְהִסָּתֵר מִמְּךָ בְּפֶתַח גָּדוֹל. וְאִם הָיָה הַפֶּתַח גָּדוֹל לֹא יַעֲשֶׂנּוּ שְׁנַיִם שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ בְּפֶתַח אֶחָד אֲנִי יָכוֹל לְהִסָּתֵר בִּשְׁנַיִם אֵינִי יָכוֹל:


When, by contrast, a person has a small entrance from his house to the public domain and he desires to enlarge it, or he has a wide entrance and he would like to divide it into two, a person who lives opposite him - and needless to say, the people within the public domain - cannot prevent him from doing so.


אֲבָל מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ פֶּתַח קָטָן לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְרָצָה לְהַרְחִיבוֹ. אוֹ הָיָה רָחָב וְרָצָה לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ שְׁנַיִם. אֵין חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁכְּנֶגְדוֹ מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר בְּנֵי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים שֶׁאֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו:


The inhabitants of a lane may compel each other to share in the construction of a pole or a beam for the lane.


כּוֹפִין בְּנֵי מָבוֹי זֶה אֶת זֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶן לְחִי אוֹ קוֹרָה לַמָּבוֹי:


When a person has an entrance from his private domain to a lane, the inhabitants of the lane do not have the right to compel him to erect a gate for that entrance to the lane, for he can tell them: "I want to enter carrying my burden up to my entrance."

When a lane has entrances to the public domain at either of its ends, and the inhabitants of the lane desire to erect gates at the entrance to the lane, the people in the public domain may prevent them from doing so, for at times people in the public domain are pressed for space and enter the lane.


מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ פֶּתַח לַמָּבוֹי אֵין בְּנֵי מָבוֹי כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת דֶּלֶת לַמָּבוֹי שֶׁיָּכוֹל לוֹמַר רְצוֹנִי שֶׁאֶכָּנֵס בַּחֲבִילָתִי עַד פִּתְחִי. וּמָבוֹי הַמְפֻלָּשׁ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וּבִקְּשׁוּ בְּנֵי הַמָּבוֹי לְהַעֲמִיד לָהֶם דְּלָתוֹת בְּנֵי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים מְעַכְּבִין עֲלֵיהֶם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁפְּעָמִים דּוֹחֲקִין הָרַבִּים וְנִכְנָסִין בּוֹ:


When a person seeks to open an entrance from his home to a lane that ends in a cul-de-sac, the inhabitants of the lane may prevent him from doing so, because he makes passage through the courtyard slower. If the lane has openings to the public domain on either side, he may at the outset open any opening he desires.


מִי שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לִפְתֹּחַ פֶּתַח בְּמָבוֹי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְפֻלָּשׁ בְּנֵי מָבוֹי מְעַכְּבִין עָלָיו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּרְבֶּה עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ. וְאִם הָיָה מָבוֹי מְפֻלָּשׁ פּוֹתֵחַ כָּל פֶּתַח שֶׁיִּרְצֶה לְכַתְּחִלָּה:


If a person has an entrance to his home that has been closed in a lane that ends in a cul-de-sac, he may open it at any time. If, however, he had destroyed the door frames, the inhabitants of the lane can prevent him from doing so.

Similarly, when one of the inhabitants of a lane desires to close the entrance to his home and transfer it to another lane, the inhabitants of the first lane may prevent him from doing so. For perhaps a tax will be levied against the lane, and the presence of another person reduces the share of the tax each of the inhabitants of the lane must pay.

Accordingly, when there is no fixed tax levied on the inhabitants of the lane, the person may close his entrance whenever he desires.


הָיָה לוֹ פֶּתַח סָתוּם בְּמָבוֹי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְפֻלָּשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה פּוֹתְחוֹ בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. וְאִם פָּרַץ אֶת פְּצִימָיו בְּנֵי מָבוֹי מְעַכְּבִין עָלָיו. וְכֵן אֶחָד מִבְּנֵי מָבוֹי שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לִסְתֹּם פִּתְחוֹ וּלְהַחְזִירוֹ לְמָבוֹי אַחֵר בְּנֵי מָבוֹי מְעַכְּבִין עָלָיו שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא עֲלֵיהֶם מַס וּמִתְמַעֵט מֵחֶלְקָן מִן הַמַּס הַקָּצוּב עַל בְּנֵי הַמָּבוֹי. לְפִיכָךְ מָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין הַמַּס קָצוּב עַל בְּנֵי הַמָּבוֹי הֲרֵי זֶה סוֹתֵם פִּתְחוֹ בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה:


The following laws apply when there are five courtyards that open up to a lane ending in a cul-de-sac. All of the inhabitants of the courtyards use the portion of the lane near the outer courtyard, while the inhabitants of the outer courtyard use only the portion of the lane near their own property. Similarly, the inhabitants of the second courtyard use the portion of the lane near their own property and the outer courtyard, but they do not use the portion of the lane near the others. Thus, the inhabitants of the innermost courtyard use the portion of the lane near all the others as well as that near their own property.

Therefore, if the owner of the second courtyard built a bench in front of his entrance, blocking it, the owner of the outer courtyard may not prevent him from doing so. The inhabitants of the inner courtyards may prevent him from doing so for he is lengthening their path, by making them walk around the bench.

Similarly, if the owner of the second courtyard opens a second entrance between his courtyard and the outer courtyard, the owner of the outer courtyard may not prevent him from doing so, for he is allowed to use only the land that is outside that entrance. If, however, the owner of the second courtyard opens a second entrance between his courtyard and the third courtyard, the owners of the inner courtyard may prevent him from doing so, for the owner of the second courtyard is allowed to use only the land in the lane that is outside his first entrance and to its exterior. The same laws apply with regard to all the other owners.


חָמֵשׁ חֲצֵרוֹת הַפְּתוּחוֹת לְמָבוֹי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְפֻלָּשׁ כֻּלָּן מִשְׁתַּמְּשׁוֹת עִם הַחִיצוֹנָה וְהַחִיצוֹנָה מִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת לְעַצְמָהּ. וְכֵן הַשְּׁנִיָּה מִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת לְעַצְמָהּ וּמִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת עִם הַחִיצוֹנָה וְאֵינָהּ מִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת עִם הַשְּׁאָר. נִמְצֵאת הַפְּנִימִית מִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת עִם כֻּלָּן וּמִשְׁתַּמֶּשֶׁת לְעַצְמָהּ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם בַּעַל הַשְּׁנִיָּה בָּנָה אִצְטַבָּא כְּנֶגֶד פִּתְחוֹ וּסְתָמוֹ אֵין הַחִיצוֹנָה יְכוֹלָה לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. אֲבָל כָּל הַפְּנִימִיּוֹת מְעַכְּבִין עָלָיו מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּרְבֶּה עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ בָּאֹרֶךְ שֶׁהֲרֵי מַקִּיפִין הָאִצְטַבָּא. וְכֵן בַּעַל הַשְּׁנִיָּה שֶׁפָּתַח לַחֲצֵרוֹ פֶּתַח שֵׁנִי בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין הַחִיצוֹנָה אֵין הַחִיצוֹנָה מְעַכֶּבֶת עָלָיו שֶׁאֵין לוֹ לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ אֶלָּא מִפִּתְחוֹ וְלַחוּץ. אֲבָל אִם פָּתַח הַפֶּתַח הַשֵּׁנִי בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין הַשְּׁלִישִׁי הַפְּנִימִית מְעַכֶּבֶת עָלָיו שֶׁאֵין לוֹ לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בַּמָּבוֹי אֶלָּא מִפֶּתַח חֲצֵרוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹן וְלַחוּץ. וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּכֻלָּן: