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:

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.


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: