A person may not dig a cistern, a trench or a storage vat next to a wall belonging to a colleague unless he distances himself at least three handbreadths from the wall. Nor may he extend an irrigation ditch or make a pool for soaking clothes to be laundered near a wall, unless he makes such a separation. He must seal the wall of this cistern, water reservoir or irrigation ditch with cement on the side near his colleague, so that the water does not seep through and damage his colleague's wall.


לֹא יַחְפֹּר אָדָם בּוֹר וְלֹא שִׁיחַ וְלֹא מְעָרָה וְלֹא יָבִיא אַמַּת הַמַּיִם וְלֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בְּרֵכַת הַמַּיִם לִשְׁרוֹת בָּהּ בְּגָדִים לְכַבֵּס בְּצַד כָּתְלוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִרְחִיק מִכֹּתֶל חֲבֵרוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים. וִיסַיֵּד בְּסִיד לְכֹתֶל בּוֹר זֶה אוֹ מִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם זֶה אוֹ כֹּתֶל הָאַמָּה מִצַּד חֲבֵרוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַבְלִיעוּ הַמַּיִם וְיַזִּיקוּ כֹּתֶל חֲבֵרוֹ:


A separation of three handbreadths must be placed between olive debris, tar, salt, lime, or flint stones and a wall belonging to one's colleague, or these substances must be coated with cement.

Similarly, a separation of three handbreadths must be made between a wall and plants, plowing, and a cesspool where urine is collected.


מַרְחִיקִין אֶת הַגֶּפֶת וְאֶת הַזֶּפֶת וְאֶת הַמֶּלַח וְאֶת הַסִּיד וְאֶת הַסְּלָעִים מִכָּתְלוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים אוֹ סָד בְּסִיד. וּמַרְחִיקִין אֶת הַזְּרָעִים וְאֶת הַחֲרִישָׁה וְאֶת הַגּוּמָא שֶׁמִּתְקַבֵּץ בָּהּ מֵימֵי רַגְלַיִם מִן הַכֹּתֶל שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים:


A mill must be placed at a distance from a colleague's wall. The lower millstone must be separated from the wall by at least three handbreadths, causing the upper millstone to be separated by four handbreadths, so that the millstone will not cause tremors to the wall, and so that its noise will not frighten the neighbor.


מַרְחִיקִין אֶת הָרֵחָיִם [מִן הַכֹּתֶל] שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים מִן הָרֵחָיִם הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה שֶׁהֵן אַרְבָּעָה מִן הָעֶלְיוֹנָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָנִיד אוֹתוֹ אוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְבַהֲלֶנּוּ בְּקוֹל הָרֵחָיִם:


An oven should be separated from a wall; a separation of three handbreadths should be made between the wall and its base, resulting in a distance of four handbreadths between the wall and its upper portion, so that the wall will not become heated.


מַרְחִיקִין אֶת הַתַּנּוּר מִן הַכֹּתֶל שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים מִקַּרְקָעִיתוֹ שֶׁהֵן אַרְבָּעָה מִשְּׂפָתוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵחַם הַכֹּתֶל:


A separation of four cubits must be made between a wall belonging to a colleague and a stone used by a launderer to beat garments until they become white. For otherwise, when the launderer beats the garments with the stone, the water will spray outward and damage the wall.


אֶבֶן שֶׁהַכּוֹבֵס מַכֶּה בְּגָדִים עָלֶיהָ עַד שֶׁיִּתְלַבְּנוּ צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק אוֹתָהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת מִכֹּתֶל שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁבְּעֵת שֶׁהַכּוֹבֵס מַכֶּה עָלֶיהָ הַמַּיִם נִתָּזִין וּמַזִּיקִין לַכֹּתֶל:

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.


A person should not urinate next to a wall belonging to a colleague unless he distances himself three handbreadths from it.

When does the above apply? With regard to a brick wall. With regard to a stone wall, by contrast, it is necessary to distance oneself by only one handbreadth. If the stones are marble, one may urinate on the side of the wall without making any separation.


לֹא יַשְׁתִּין אָדָם מַיִם בְּצַד כָּתְלוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִרְחִיק מִמֶּנּוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּכֹתֶל לְבֵנִים. אֲבָל בְּכֹתֶל אֲבָנִים יַרְחִיק טֶפַח. וְאִם הָיוּ הָאֲבָנִים צְחִיחַ סֶלַע מַשְׁתִּין בְּצִדּוֹ בְּלֹא הַרְחָקָה:


A ladder should be separated from a dovecote by at least four cubits, so that, when the ladder is placed down, a marten will not leap up and ascend to the dovecote and eat the doves.


מַרְחִיקִין אֶת הַסֻּלָּם מֵהַשּׁוֹבָךְ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּקְפֹּץ הַנְּמִיָּה בְּעֵת שֶׁמֵּנִיחַ הַסֻּלָּם וְתַעֲלֶה לַשּׁוֹבָךְ וְתֹאכַל הַגּוֹזָלוֹת:


One should leave a space of four cubits between a wall and a drainpipe belonging to a colleague, so that the owner of the drainpipe can set up a ladder to fix his drainpipe. Since he has established his right to the drainpipe he is given this additional privilege.


וּמַרְחִיקִין אֶת הַכֹּתֶל מִן הַמַּזְחֵילָה שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מָקוֹם לְבַעַל הַמַּזְחֵילָה לִזְקֹף סֻלָּם וּלְתַקֵּן מַזְחֵילָה שֶׁלּוֹ הוֹאִיל וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ:


When a wall belonging to Reuven was joined to a wall belonging to Shimon in a L shape, and Reuven desires to build a second wall opposite Shimon's wall so that the three walls will appear as a Bet, Shimon can prevent him from doing so, and require him to leave a space of four cubits between the walls so that there will be a wide space between the walls where people can tread and strengthen the earth.

When does the above apply? With regard to a wall of a garden, or with regard to the wall of a courtyard in a new city. In an older city, by contrast, this is unnecessary, and one may build opposite the wall without making any separation. Similarly, if the length of Shimon's wall opposite which Reuven was building was less than four cubits, Reuven may build opposite it without making any separation, even though he prevents people from walking there. The rationale is that a wall that is less than four cubits long does not have to have the earth near it strengthened.


רְאוּבֵן שֶׁהָיָה כָּתְלוֹ סָמוּךְ לְכֹתֶל שִׁמְעוֹן כְּמִין גַּם וּבָא רְאוּבֵן לַעֲשׂוֹת כֹּתֶל שֵׁנִי כְּנֶגֶד כֹּתֶל שִׁמְעוֹן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה כְּתָלִין כְּמִין בֵּי''ת הֲרֵי שִׁמְעוֹן מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו עַד שֶׁיַּרְחִיק מִכְּנֶגְדּוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַמָּקוֹם בֵּין שְׁנֵי הַכְּתָלִים רָחָב כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּדוּשׁוּ בּוֹ רַבִּים וְתִתְחַזֵּק הָאָרֶץ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּכֹתֶל גִּנָּה אוֹ בְּכֹתֶל חָצֵר בְּעִיר חֲדָשָׁה. אֲבָל בְּעִיר יְשָׁנָה כְּבָר נִתְחַזְּקָה וּבוֹנֶה כְּנֶגְדּוֹ בְּלֹא הַרְחָקָה. וְכֵן אִם לֹא הָיָה בְּאֹרֶךְ כֹּתֶל שִׁמְעוֹן שֶׁבּוֹנֶה כְּנֶגְדּוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֵינוֹ מַרְחִיק אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמּוֹנֵעַ הָרֶגֶל מִלְּהַלֵּךְ שָׁם. שֶׁהַכֹּתֶל שֶׁהוּא פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ חִזּוּק הָאָרֶץ:


The following rules apply when a person comes to dig a cistern at the end of his field, near the property boundary of a colleague. If the field belonging to the person's colleague is not appropriate to contain cisterns, the person may dig his cistern next to the boundary. The colleague may not protest against him. If the colleague changes his mind and decides to dig a cistern next to the cistern that was dug, he must separate himself three handbreadths from the wall of the cistern, so that there will be six handbreadths between the cavities of the two cisterns.

If the field belonging to the person's colleague is appropriate to contain cisterns, the person may not dig his cistern next to the boundary. Instead, he must distance himself three handbreadths from the boundary before digging. Similarly, when his colleague comes to dig a cistern, he must also make a separation, digging the cistern three handbreadths within his field.


מִי שֶׁבָּא לַחְפֹּר בּוֹר בְּסוֹף שָׂדֵהוּ לִסְמֹךְ לְמֵצַר חֲבֵרוֹ אִם שְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ אֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְבוֹרוֹת סוֹמֵךְ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדוֹ. וְאִם יִמָּלֵךְ חֲבֵרוֹ לַחְפֹּר בּוֹר בְּצִדּוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק מִן כֹּתֶל הַבּוֹר שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בֵּין חֲלַל שְׁתֵּי הַבּוֹרוֹת שִׁשָּׁה טְפָחִים. וְאִם הָיְתָה שְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ עֲשׂוּיָה לְבוֹרוֹת אֵינוֹ סוֹמֵךְ עַד שֶׁיַּרְחִיק מִן הַמֵּצַר שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים וְיַחְפֹּר. וּכְשֶׁיָּבוֹא חֲבֵרוֹ לַחְפֹּר יַרְחִיק גַּם הוּא שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים בְּתוֹךְ שָׂדֵהוּ וְיַחְפֹּר:


The following rules apply when the first storey of a house and its second storey belong to two separate individuals. The owner of the house should not build an oven in the first storey of his house unless he leaves a space of four cubits above it. The owner of the second storey may not build an oven until there is a ceiling three handbreadths thick below it. For a range, one handbreadth is sufficient. If he desires to build a baker's oven, there must be a ceiling four handbreadths thick below it. For a range belonging to a baker, three handbreadths is required.

Even if the person took the necessary precautions and separated the required distance, if a fire emanated from the oven and caused damage, he must pay for the damages, as explained in the source dealing with this subject.


הַבַּיִת וְהָעֲלִיָּה שֶׁל שְׁנַיִם לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בַּעַל הַבַּיִת תַּנּוּר בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יֵשׁ לוֹ עַל גַּבָּיו גֹּבַהּ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת. וְכֵן לֹא יַעֲמִיד בַּעַל הָעֲלִיָּה תַּנּוּר עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ תַּחְתָּיו מַעֲזִיבָה שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים וּבְכִירָה טֶפַח. וְאִם תַּנּוּר שֶׁל נַחְתּוֹמִים הוּא צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּהֵא תַּחְתָּיו אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים וּבְכִירָה שֶׁל נַחְתּוֹמִין שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִרְחִיק הַשִּׁעוּר אִם יָצָאת הָאֵשׁ וְהִזִּיקָה מְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁהִזִּיק כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:


The following rules apply when a person owns a store below a storage warehouse belonging to a colleague. In the store, he should not make a bakery, a paint factory or a barn for cattle, nor should he bring in hay or other substances that generate warm air, for this will damage the produce stored in the warehouse.

For this reason, if the warehouse was used to store wine in Eretz Yisrael that is not ruined by heat, the store owner may perform any task involving fire that he desires. He should not, however, make it a barn for cattle, for this will spoil the aroma of the wine.

If the store had already been established as a barn, a bakery or the like, and afterwards the owner of the second storey desired to make his loft a warehouse for produce, he may not protest against the store owner's continued use of the premises for their original purpose.


מִי שֶׁהָיְתָה לוֹ חֲנוּת תַּחַת אוֹצַר חֲבֵרוֹ לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בָּהּ לֹא נַחְתּוֹם וְלֹא צַבָּע וְלֹא רֶפֶת בָּקָר וְלֹא יַכְנִיס שָׁם אַסְפַּסְתָּא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁעוֹלֶה מֵהֶם הֶבֶל חַם הַרְבֵּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַחֹם מַפְסִיד פֵּרוֹת הָאוֹצָר. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה אוֹצַר יַיִן בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁאֵין הַחֹם מַפְסִידוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹשֶׂה בַּחֲנוּתוֹ כָּל מְלֶאכֶת אֵשׁ שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. אֲבָל לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה רֶפֶת בָּקָר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּפְסִיד רֵיחַ הַיַּיִן. וְאִם הֻחְזְקָה הַחֲנוּת בַּתְּחִלָּה לְרֶפֶת אוֹ לְנַחְתּוֹם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ רָצָה בַּעַל הָעֲלִיָּה לַעֲשׂוֹת עֲלִיָּתוֹ אוֹצַר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדוֹ:


If the owner of the second storey swept out his premises and sprinkled water on the floor, or made many windows so that he could use his premises as a warehouse, and the owner of the lower storey rushed and began building an oven before his colleague brought in produce to the warehouse, the owner of the second story began to store sesame seeds, pomegranates, dates and the like, and the owner of the lower storey rushed and began building an oven before his colleague brought in wheat to the warehouse, or the owner of the store built a loft on top of his store to separate between the store and the warehouse, the owner of the warehouse may prevent him from taking these actions. If, however, the owner of the store transgressed and built an oven or the like, the owner of the warehouse does not have the power to force him to remove the oven in all these situations.


כִּבֵּד בַּעַל הַבַּיִת וְרִבֵּץ עֲלִיָּתוֹ אוֹ שֶׁרִבָּה בָּהּ חַלּוֹנוֹת כְּדֵי לַעֲשׂוֹת בּוֹ אוֹצָר וְקָדַם זֶה וְעָשָׂה תַּנּוּר קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּכְנִיס פֵּרוֹת לָאוֹצָר. אוֹ שֶׁהִתְחִיל לֶאֱצֹר שֻׁמְשְׁמִין אוֹ רִמּוֹנִים אוֹ תְּמָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְקָדַם זֶה וְעָשָׂה הַתַּנּוּר קֹדֶם שֶׁאָצַר הַחִטִּין. אוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה בַּעַל הַחֲנוּת מְחִילָה עַל גַּבָּהּ לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַחֲנוּת וּבֵין הָאוֹצָר. בְּכָל אֵלּוּ בַּעַל הָאוֹצָר מְעַכֵּב עָלָיו. וְאִם עָבַר וְעָשָׂה תַּנּוּר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אֵין בַּעַל הָאוֹצָר יָכוֹל לְהָסִיר הַתַּנּוּר בְּכָל אֵלּוּ: