1

When a person has a window in his wall and a colleague comes and builds a courtyard next to it, the owner of the courtyard cannot tell the owner of the window: "Close this window, so that you will not look at me," for the owner of the window has established his right to maintain the window even though it is a source of damage.

If his colleague desires to build a wall opposite the window to block the invasion of his privacy, he must leave a space of four cubits next to the window, to avoid casting a shadow upon it.

א

מִי שֶׁהָיְתָה לוֹ חַלּוֹן בְּכָתְלוֹ וּבָא חֲבֵרוֹ וְעָשָׂה חָצֵר בְּצִדּוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לְבַעַל הַחַלּוֹן סְתֹם חַלּוֹן זֶה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תַּבִּיט בִּי שֶׁהֲרֵי הֶחֱזִיק בְּהֶזֵּק זֶה. וְאִם בָּא חֲבֵרוֹ לִבְנוֹת כָּתְלוֹ כְּנֶגֶד הַחַלּוֹן כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּסוּר הֶזֵּק רְאִיָּתוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק אֶת כָּתְלוֹ מִכְּנֶגֶד הַחַלּוֹן אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַאֲפִיל עָלָיו:

2

If the window was positioned low in the wall, the owner of the window may force the owner of the courtyard to build the wall four cubits away from the window and build it at least four cubits high, so that the owner of the courtyard cannot look through the window and watch the owner of the window.

ב

הָיְתָה הַחַלּוֹן לְמַטָּה בַּכֹּתֶל כּוֹפֶה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לִבְנוֹת כְּנֶגְדָּהּ בְּרִחוּק אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וּלְהַגְבִּיהַּ הַבִּנְיָן אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַבִּיט בּוֹ מִן הַחַלּוֹן:

3

The following rules apply when the window was positioned high on the wall and the owner of the courtyard built a wall below the window. If there were more than four cubits from the top of the wall to the window, the owner of the window may not prevent the owner of the courtyard from building the wall even though he does not leave any space between his wall and the wall in which the window is located. For the new wall is not casting a shadow over his window, nor does it invade the privacy of the owner of the window.

If, however, there is less than four cubits between the top of the wall and the window, the owner of the window may force the owner of the wall either to lower the wall so that the owner of the courtyard will not be able to stand on the wall and look through the window; or he may force the owner of the courtyard to build his wall four cubits from the window, and build it more than four cubits higher than the wall. In this way, it will not cast a shadow, nor will the owner of the courtyard be able to look in and see him.

ג

הָיְתָה הַחַלּוֹן לְמַעְלָה בַּכֹּתֶל וּבָנָה חֲבֵרוֹ כֹּתֶל כְּנֶגֶד הַחַלּוֹן מִלְּמַטָּה אִם הָיָה מֵרֹאשׁ הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁבָּנָה עַד הַחַלּוֹן גֹּבַהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אוֹ יוֹתֵר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְמָנְעוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִרְחִיק מִכֹּתֶל הַחַלּוֹן כְּלוּם שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הֶאֱפִיל עָלָיו וְאֵינוֹ מַזִּיקוֹ בִּרְאִיָּה. אֲבָל אִם נִשְׁאַר גֹּבַהּ מֵרֹאשׁ הַכֹּתֶל עַד הַחַלּוֹן פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כּוֹפֵהוּ לְמַעֵט הַכֹּתֶל כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲמֹד עַל רֹאשׁ הַכֹּתֶל וְיַשְׁקִיף מִן הַחַלּוֹן. אוֹ יַגְבִּיהַּ הַכֹּתֶל עַל הַחַלּוֹן אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וְיִהְיֶה הַכֹּתֶל רָחוֹק מִן הַחַלּוֹן אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַאֲפִיל וְלֹא יָצִיץ וְיִרְאֶה:

4

When the owner of the courtyard builds one wall next to the window, he must build the wall at least a handbreadth away from the window, and must build the wall at least four cubits higher than the window or make the wall narrow on top, so that he will not sit on it, and look into the window and watch his neighbor.

ד

בָּנָה כֹּתֶל אֶחָד בְּצַד הַחַלּוֹן צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק מִן הַחַלּוֹן טֶפַח וּמַגְבִּיהַּ הַכֹּתֶל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל הַחַלּוֹן אוֹ כּוֹנֵס רֹאשׁ הַכֹּתֶל כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵשֵׁב עָלָיו וְיָצִיץ וְיִרְאֶה:

5

When a person builds two walls, one on either side of the window, there must be at least four cubits between them, and the window must be situated in the center of those four cubits. The owner of the courtyard may not place s'chach over the space between the walls, unless he leaves a space of four cubits between the s'chach and the wall where the window is located, so that it will not cast a shadow over it.

Accordingly, if a person comes to open a window - whether a large window or a small window - overlooking a courtyard belonging to a colleague, that colleague may prevent him from doing so, for he can tell the owner of the window: "You will be invading my privacy by looking at me. " Even if the window is located high on the inner wall, the owner of the courtyard may protest, saying: "You will climb up on a ladder and look at me."

ה

בָּנָה שְׁנֵי כְּתָלִין מִשְּׁנֵי צִדֵּי הַחַלּוֹן. צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת בֵּינֵיהֶן רֹחַב אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת וְהַחַלּוֹן בְּאֶמְצַע הָאַרְבַּע. וְלֹא יְסַכֵּךְ עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִרְחִיק הַסִּכּוּךְ מִן הַכֹּתֶל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ הַחַלּוֹן אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַאֲפִיל עָלָיו. לְפִיכָךְ מִי שֶׁבָּא לִפְתֹּחַ חַלּוֹן לַחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ בֵּין חַלּוֹן גְּדוֹלָה בֵּין חַלּוֹן קְטַנָּה בֵּין לְמַעְלָה בֵּין לְמַטָּה בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. שֶׁהֲרֵי אוֹמֵר לוֹ תַּזִּיק לִי בִּרְאִיָּה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא גְּבוֹהָה תַּעֲלֶה בַּסֻּלָּם וְתִרְאֶה:

6

If a person has opened a window overlooking a courtyard belonging to a colleague, and the owner of the courtyard waived his right to protest or displayed his willingness to consent - e.g., he helped him in the window's construction or he knew about this source of damage and did not protest - the owner of the window has established his right to the window. The owner of the courtyard cannot come at a later date and protest that he must close it.

What are the laws that apply with regard to this window that he was allowed to open? If it is large enough for a person to insert his head, or it is less than four cubits high, even if it is not large enough for a person to insert his head into it, the owner of the courtyard may not build a wall opposite or at its side unless he moves four cubits away, as explained in the previous halachah.

ו

הֲרֵי שֶׁפָּתַח חַלּוֹן לַחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ וּמָחַל לוֹ בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר אוֹ שֶׁגִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁהִנִּיחוֹ כְּגוֹן שֶׁבָּא וְסִיֵּעַ עִמּוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁיָּדַע הַנֵּזֶק וְלֹא עִרְעֵר. הֲרֵי זֶה הֶחֱזִיק בַּחַלּוֹן וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל אַחַר כָּךְ לַחְזֹר וּלְעַרְעֵר עָלָיו לִסְתֹּם. וְכֵיצַד דִּינָהּ שֶׁל חַלּוֹן זֶה שֶׁהִנִּיחָהּ לְפָתְחָהּ. אִם רֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם יָכוֹל לִכָּנֵס מִמֶּנָּה אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה לְמַטָּה מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין רֹאשׁוֹ נִכְנָס מִמֶּנָּה אֵין בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר יָכוֹל לִבְנוֹת כְּנֶגְדָּהּ אוֹ מִצִּדֶּיהָ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הַרְחִיק אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

7

If, however, the window was too small for the head of a person to be inserted, and it is more than four cubits high, the owner of the courtyard may build a wall opposite it or at its sides. For he can claim: "I allowed you to open the window only because it is small and high, but it was not my intent to give you a right that would require me to move away my building."

When does the above apply? When the window was opened to be used or to allow air to enter. If, however, the window was opened so that light could enter, even if it was very small and very high, since the owner of the courtyard did not protest at the time of its construction, the owner of the window is granted a right to it. The owner of the courtyard may not build a structure opposite it or at its side unless he moves four cubits away, so that he does not cast a shadow against it, for he granted him the right to the light.

Similarly, if a person had a window for which he established a right, and the owner of the courtyard built opposite it or at its side without moving away, or he closed the window, and the owner of the window did not protest, the owner of the window cannot come at a later time protesting and demanding that the window be opened or that the structure be moved. Since he remained silent, he waived his right to protest. For a person will not remain silent while another person blocks his light unless he relinquishes his right.

ז

הָיְתָה חַלּוֹן קְטַנָּה שֶׁאֵין רֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם נִכְנָס מִמֶּנָּה וְהָיְתָה לְמַעְלָה מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר יָכוֹל לִבְנוֹת כְּנֶגְדָּהּ וּבִצְדֶדֶיהָ שֶׁהֲרֵי טוֹעֵן וְאוֹמֵר לֹא הִנַּחְתִּיךָ לִפְתֹּחַ אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא קְטַנָּה וּגְבוֹהָה. אֲבָל שֶׁתַּחְזִיק עָלַי עַד שֶׁאַרְחִיק הַבִּנְיָן לֹא הִנַּחְתִּי. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁפְּתָחָהּ לְתַשְׁמִישׁ אוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס בָּהּ הָרוּחַ. אֲבָל אִם פְּתָחָהּ לְאוֹרָה אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה בְּיוֹתֵר וּגְבוֹהָה בְּיוֹתֵר הוֹאִיל וְלֹא עִרְעֵר הֶחֱזִיק וְאֵין בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר יָכוֹל לִבְנוֹת כְּנֶגְדָּהּ אוֹ מִצְּדָדֶיהָ עַד שֶׁיַּרְחִיק אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַאֲפִיל עָלָיו שֶׁהֲרֵי מָחַל לוֹ עַל הָאוֹרָה. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁהָיְתָה לוֹ חַלּוֹן מֻחְזֶקֶת וּבָא חֲבֵרוֹ וּבָנָה כְּנֶגְדָּהּ אוֹ מִצְּדָדֶיהָ בְּלֹא הַרְחָקָה אוֹ סְתָמָהּ וְשָׁתַק בַּעַל הַחַלּוֹן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר וּלְעַרְעֵר לִפְתֹּחַ הַחַלּוֹן אוֹ לְהַרְחִיק הַבִּנְיָן. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁשָּׁתַק מָחַל שֶׁאֵין אָדָם עָשׂוּי שֶׁסּוֹתְמִין אוֹרוֹ בְּפָנָיו וְשׁוֹתֵק אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן מָחַל:

8

When a person has windows on the lower portion of his wall, and a person who owns an adjoining property desires to erect a building that would block them he is not permitted to do so. Even if he proposes: "I will open up new windows for you in this wall above these others, " the owner of the windows may prevent him from doing so, explaining "When you open the windows, you will shake the foundations of the wall and ruin it."

Even if the person who desires to build offers: "I will tear down your wall and rebuild it for you with windows higher up. And I will rent a home for you to live in until I build it, " the owner of the home can still prevent him. For he may say: "I do not want the trouble moving from one place to another."

Therefore, if there is no difficulty involved at all, and it is not necessary for him to leave his home, he cannot prevent him from performing this construction. We compel him to allow his friend to close the window below and build a new window for him higher up. Not to allow this would be following the traits of Sodom. Similarly, whenever there is a situation where one person will benefit and his colleague will not lose nor be lacking anything, we compel that person to cooperate.

ח

מִי שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ חַלּוֹנוֹת לְמַטָּה בְּכָתְלוֹ וּבָא חֲבֵרוֹ לִבְנוֹת בִּפְנֵיהֶן וְאָמַר לוֹ אֲנִי אֶפְתַּח לְךָ חַלּוֹנוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת בְּכֹתֶל זֶה עַצְמוֹ לְמַעְלָה מֵאֵלּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁתִּפְתַּח הַחַלּוֹנוֹת תַּרְעִיד אֶת הַכֹּתֶל וּתְקַלְקֵל אוֹתוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמַר אֲנִי אֶסְתֹּר כָּל הַכֹּתֶל וְאֶבְנֶה אוֹתוֹ לְךָ חָדָשׁ וְאֶעֱשֶׂה בּוֹ חַלּוֹנוֹת לְמַעְלָה וְאֶשְׂכֹּר לְךָ בַּיִת שֶׁתָּדוּר בּוֹ עַד שֶׁאֶבְנֶה יָכוֹל לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ אֵין רְצוֹנִי שֶׁאֶטְרַח מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם. לְפִיכָךְ אִם לֹא הָיָה שָׁם טֹרַח כְּלָל וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לִפְנוֹת אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. וְכוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה חֲבֵרוֹ סוֹתֵם חַלּוֹן זֶה שֶׁלְּמַטָּה מִמֶּנּוּ וְעוֹשֶׂה לוֹ חַלּוֹן מִלְּמַעְלָה שֶׁזּוֹ מִדַּת סְדוֹם. וְכֵן כָּל דָּבָר שֶׁזֶּה נֶהֱנֶה בּוֹ וְאֵין חֲבֵרוֹ מַפְסִיד וְאֵין חָסֵר כְּלוּם כּוֹפִין עָלָיו:

9

When, by contrast, the owner of a window desires to change the location of his window, whether to raise it or lower it, the owner of the adjoining courtyard can prevent him from doing so. This applies even if the window was large, and its owner says: "I will open only a small window in another place, and close this one. " Needless to say, he cannot make the window larger.

ט

אֲבָל בַּעַל הַחַלּוֹנוֹת שֶׁרָצָה לְשַׁנּוֹת מְקוֹם חַלּוֹנוֹ בֵּין לְמַעְלָה בֵּין לְמַטָּה אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה גְּדוֹלָה וְאָמַר אֶפְתַּח אַחֶרֶת קְטַנָּה וְאֶסְתֹּם זוֹ בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. וְכֵן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַרְחִיב בַּחַלּוֹן כָּל שֶׁהוּא:

10

The following rule applies when two brothers divide a courtyard that they received as an inheritance on their own accord, evaluating the building and the trees in each other's portion, but failing to pay attention to the value of the open space. Thus, one received the garden of the courtyard, and one received an excedra. If the brother who received the garden in the courtyard desires to build a wall at the end of his portion, in front of his brother's excedra, he may do so, even though he casts a shadow over it. For when dividing the estate, they did not pay attention to the value of the open space.

י

שְׁנֵי אַחִין שֶׁחָלְקוּ חָצֵר מִדַּעְתָּן וְשָׁמוּ הַבִּנְיָן וְהָעֵצִים זֶה כְּנֶגֶד זֶה וְלֹא הִשְׁגִּיחוּ עַל שׁוּמַת הָאֲוִיר. וְהִגִּיעַ לְאֶחָד מֵהֶן בְּחֶלְקוֹ תַּרְבַּץ הֶחָצֵר וְלַשֵּׁנִי הָאַכְסַדְרָה. אִם רָצָה בַּעַל הֶחָצֵר לִבְנוֹת כֹּתֶל בְּסוֹף חֶלְקוֹ בּוֹנֶה בִּפְנֵי הָאַכְסַדְרָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמַּאֲפִיל עָלָיו שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא שָׁמוּ הָאֲוִיר: