1

The property of a deceased convert who has no heirs, property that is ownerless, and a field that a gentile sold to a Jew who has not taken hold of it are all governed by the same laws. Whoever manifests ownership over them using a valid chazakah - to be described in Hilchot Mechirah - acquires them, with one exception: eating produce.

א

נִּכְסֵי גֵּר שֶׁאֵין לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁים. וְנִכְסֵי הַהֶפְקֵר וְשָׂדֶה שֶׁמְּכָרָהּ הָעַכּוּ''ם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וַעֲדַיִן לֹא הֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ. כֻּלָּם דִּינָם שָׁוֶה. כָּל הַמַּחֲזִיק בָּהֶם בְּדֶרֶךְ מִדַּרְכֵי הַחֲזָקָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת מְכִירָה קָנָה חוּץ מֵאֲכִילַת הַפֵּרוֹת:

2

What is implied? When a person buys landed property from a colleague and manifests his ownership over it by eating produce, he acquires it, as we have explained. But with regard to the acquisition of ownerless property or property of a deceased convert, even if a person eats produce of a tree for several years, he does not acquire the tree itself or the land itself until he performs a deed involving the land itself or performs a task involving the tree.

An incident occurred when a woman ate the produce of a date palm for thirteen years, and then another person manifested ownership over the tree by performing a task involving the tree itself. The incident was brought before the Sages and they ruled that the latter person acquired it.

ב

כֵּיצַד. הַלּוֹקֵחַ קַרְקַע מֵחֲבֵרוֹ וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ בַּאֲכִילַת פֵּרוֹתֶיהָ קָנָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. אֲבָל בְּנִכְסֵי הֶפְקֵר אוֹ נִכְסֵי הַגֵּר אֲפִלּוּ אָכַל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן כַּמָּה שָׁנִים לֹא קָנָה גּוּף הָאִילָן וְלֹא גּוּף הַקַּרְקַע עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּגוּף הָאָרֶץ אוֹ יַעֲבֹד עֲבוֹדָה בָּאִילָן. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּאִשָּׁה אַחַת שֶׁאָכְלָה פֵּרוֹת דֶּקֶל שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וּבָא אֶחָד וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּאִילָן בַּעֲבוֹדָה שֶׁעָבַד בְּגוּף הָאִילָן וּבָא מַעֲשֶׂה לִפְנֵי חֲכָמִים וְאָמְרוּ זֶה הָאַחֲרוֹן קָנָה:

3

There are many acts that if performed by a purchaser to prove ownership of property are not effective , but when performed to manifest ownership over ownerless property, property belonging to a deceased convert or the like, are effective in acquiring it.

What is implied? When a person finds large palaces constructed on property belonging to a deceased convert or on ownerless property, if he paints them slightly or plasters them slightly - e.g., for a cubit or more opposite the entrance - he acquires them.

ג

יֵשׁ דְּבָרִים רַבִּים שֶׁאִם הֶחֱזִיק בָּהֶן הַלּוֹקֵחַ לֹא קָנָה עֲדַיִן. וְאִם הֶחֱזִיק בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר אוֹ בְּנִכְסֵי הֶפְקֵר קָנָה. כֵּיצַד. הַמּוֹצֵא פַּלְטְרִים גְּדוֹלִים בְּנוּיִין בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר אוֹ בְּנִכְסֵי הֶפְקֵר וְסִיֵּד בָּהֶן סִיּוּד אֶחָד אוֹ כִּיֵּר בָּהֶן כִּיּוּר אֶחָד כְּגוֹן אַמָּה אוֹ יוֹתֵר כְּנֶגֶד הַפֶּתַח קָנָה:

4

When a person makes a design in the property of a deceased convert, he acquires it. If he sets out mattresses in the property of a deceased convert, he acquires it. If he plows a field with the intent of leaving it fallow in the property of a deceased convert, he acquires it.

When a person cuts branches of a vine or of a tree, or fronds from a date palm in the property of a deceased convert, if his intent is to improve the tree, he acquires the property. If his intent is to feed the branches to his animal, he does not acquire the property.

ד

הַצָּר צוּרָה בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר קָנָה. וְהַמַּצִּיעַ מַצָּעוֹת בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר קָנָה. הַנָּר אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר קָנָה. הַמְפַצֵּל זְמוֹרוֹת הַגֶּפֶן אוֹ שָׂרִיגֵי אִילָנוֹת וְכַפּוֹת תְּמָרִים בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר. אִם דַּעְתּוֹ לַעֲבֹד הָאִילָן קָנָה. וְאִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְהַאֲכִיל הָעֵצִים לִבְהֵמָה לֹא קָנָה:

5

What is implied? If the person prunes the branches of the tree from both sides, we can assume that he intends to improve the tree. If he cuts from only one side, it appears that his intent is only for the branches.

Similarly, when a person collects wood, grass and stones from a field, if his intent is to improve the land, he acquires the field. If his intent is to collect the wood, he does not acquire the field.

ה

כֵּיצַד. הָיָה כּוֹרֵת מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן הֲרֵי חֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לַעֲבוֹדַת הָאִילָן. הָיָה כּוֹרֵת מֵרוּחַ אַחַת אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לָעֵצִים. וְכֵן הַמְלַקֵּט עֵצִים וַעֲשָׂבִים וַאֲבָנִים מִן הַשָּׂדֶה. אִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ קָנָה. וְאִם לָעֵצִים לֹא קָנָה:

6

What is implied? If the person collected both large and small branches, we can assume that his intent was to improve the land. If, by contrast, he collected only large branches and not small ones, we can assume that his intent was to collect wood.

Similarly, when a person levels the surface of the land, if his intent is to improve the land, he acquires the field. If his intent is to level a place to use as a grain heap, he does not acquire the field.

ו

כֵּיצַד. לִקֵּט הַגַּס וְהַדַּק הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לְתַקֵּן אֶת הָאָרֶץ. לִקֵּט הַגַּס וְלֹא הַדַּק הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן לָעֵצִים. וְכֵן הַמַּשְׁוֶה פְּנֵי הָאָרֶץ. אִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ קָנָה. וְאִם דַּעְתּוֹ לְהַשְׁווֹת מָקוֹם שֶׁיַּעֲמִיד בּוֹ גֹּרֶן לֹא קָנָה:

7

What is implied? If the person takes earth from a high place and brings it to a lower place, it appears that his intent is to improve the land. If we see that he is not concerned with this and instead throws earth and stones anywhere without concern, we can assume that his intent is merely to level one limited area to use as a grain heap.

Similarly, when a person opens a flow of water into a field, if his intent is to improve the land, he acquires the field. If his intent is to catch fish, he does not acquire the field.

ז

כֵּיצַד. הָיָה לוֹקֵחַ עָפָר מִמָּקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ וְנוֹתְנוֹ לַמָּקוֹם הַנָּמוּךְ הֲרֵי זֶה מְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ. רְאִינוּהוּ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עַל זֶה אֶלָּא מַשְׁלִיךְ הֶעָפָר וְהַצְּרוֹרוֹת בְּכָל מָקוֹם בְּלֹא הַקְפָּדָה הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְכַּוֵּן אֶלָּא לְהַשְׁווֹת מָקוֹם לְדַיִשׁ. וְכֵן הַפּוֹתֵחַ מַיִם לְתוֹךְ הָאָרֶץ. אִם לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ קָנָה. וְאִם לָצוּד הַדָּגִים לֹא קָנָה:

8

What is implied? If the person made only a place for water to enter, it appears that his intent is to improve the land. If he made two openings -one for the water to enter and one for the water to leave - it appears that his intent is to catch fish.

ח

כֵּיצַד. עָשָׂה מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ בּוֹ הַמַּיִם בִּלְבַד הֲרֵי זֶה מִתְכַּוֵּן לְתַקֵּן הָאָרֶץ. עָשָׂה שְׁנֵי פְּתָחִים אֶחָד לְהַכְנִיס וְאֶחָד לְהוֹצִיא הֲרֵי זֶה מִתְכַּוֵּן לָצוּד דָּגִים:

9

When a person builds large palaces on property belonging to a deceased convert, and another person comes and sets up the doors, the second person acquires the property.

The rationale is that the first person did not do anything with the land itself, is It is as if he piled up stones on the land, an act that does not bring about his acquisition of the property.

Nor is his acquisition effective because by constructing the building he made a fence around the land since this fence is not useful, because the entrance to the building is wide enough and one can pass through it. Setting up the structure of this building is not at all useful until one sets up the doors.

ט

הַבּוֹנֶה פַּלְטֵרִין גְּדוֹלִים בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וּבָא אַחֵר וְהֶעֱמִיד לָהֶם דְּלָתוֹת קָנָה הָאַחֲרוֹן. שֶׁהָרִאשׁוֹן לֹא עָשָׂה בְּגוּף הָאָרֶץ כְּלוּם. וַהֲרֵי הוּא כְּמִי שֶׁעָשָׂה גַּל אֲבָנִים עַל הָאָרֶץ שֶׁאֵינוֹ קוֹנֶה. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הוֹעִיל בְּגָדֵר זֶה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רָחָב בְּיוֹתֵר וּמְפֻלָּשׁ. וְאֵין צוּרַת אוֹתוֹ הַבִּנְיָן מוֹעֶלֶת לוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲמִיד דְּלָתוֹת:

10

When a person spreads seeds in rows in a field, he does not acquire the field. The rationale is that at the time he sowed the seeds, he did not improve the field at all. And at the time the produce grew, the benefit came as a result of a natural course of events. This is not sufficient for an acquisition to be made.

י

הַמֵּפִיץ הַזֶּרַע לְתוֹךְ הַתְּלָמִים לֹא קָנָה. שֶׁבְּעֵת שֶׁהִשְׁלִיךְ הַזֶּרַע לֹא הִשְׁבִּיחַ כְּלוּם וּבְעֵת שֶׁצָּמַח וְהִשְׁבִּיחַ שֶׁבַח הַבָּא מֵאֵלָיו הוּא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹנֶה:

11

If a partition existed within the property of a deceased convert, and another person came and built another partition on top of the existing one, he does not acquire the field. This applies even when the first partition sinks into the ground, and the higher partition is still functional. The rationale is that at the time the partition was built, it was not beneficial. And when it became beneficial, the benefit came as a result of a natural course of events.

יא

הָיְתָה מְחִצָּה בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וּבָא זֶה וְעָשָׂה מְחִצָּה אַחֶרֶת עַל גַּבָּהּ לֹא קָנָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ נִבְלְעָה מְחִצָּה הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה וַהֲרֵי הָעֶלְיוֹנָה קַיֶּמֶת. שֶׁבְּעֵת שֶׁבָּנָה לֹא הוֹעִיל וּבְעֵת שֶׁהוֹעִיל מֵאֵלָיו בָּא הַמַּעֲשֶׂה:

12

When a person manifests ownership over property belonging to a deceased convert or ownerless property, without the intent of acquiring it, he does not acquire it despite the fact that he built or erected a fence.

יב

הַמַּחֲזִיק בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וּבְהֶפְקֵר וְהוּא אֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לִקְנוֹת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּנָה וְגָדַר לֹא קָנָה:

13

When a person plows on property belonging to a deceased convert under the mistaken conception that it is his own property, he does not acquire it.

If he plows on property belonging to one deceased convert, while he thinks that it belongs to another, he does acquire it. For he intended that his deeds acquire ownerless property.

יג

הָעוֹדֵר בְּנִכְסֵי הַגֵּר וְכַסָּבוּר שֶׁהֵן שֶׁלּוֹ לֹא קָנָה. עָדַר בְּנִכְסֵי גֵּר זֶה וּכְסָבוּר שֶׁל גֵּר אַחֵר. הוֹאִיל וְנִתְכַּוֵּן בְּמַעֲשָׂיו אֵלּוּ לִזְכּוֹת מִן הַהֶפְקֵר הֲרֵי זֶה קָנָה:

14

If a convert was holding security belonging to a Jew, and when the convert died another Jew came and took possession of this security, it should be expropriated from him and returned to its owner. The rationale is that when the convert died, his lien on the article was nullified.

יד

הָיָה מַשְׁכּוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיַד הַגֵּר וּכְשֶׁמֵּת הַגֵּר בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֵר וְהֶחֱזִיק בְּמַשְׁכּוֹן זֶה. מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּדוֹ. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁמֵּת הַגֵּר בָּטֵל שִׁעְבּוּדוֹ:

15

When a Jew was holding security belonging to a convert, the convert dies, and another Jew takes hold of the security, the creditor should receive payment for the money owed him from the security. If it is worth more, the second person acquires the remainder.

טו

הָיָה מַשְׁכּוֹן הַגֵּר בְּיַד יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבָא יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֵר וְהֶחֱזִיק בּוֹ. לוֹקֵחַ מִמֶּנּוּ הָרִאשׁוֹן כְּנֶגֶד מְעוֹתָיו וְהָאַחֲרוֹן קָנָה אֶת הַשְּׁאָר:

16

When does the above apply? When the security was not kept in a courtyard belonging to the first person. If it was kept in such a courtyard, his courtyard acquires it on his behalf, even without his knowledge, as we have explained with regard to an article that is discovered, and the person who takes hold of it afterwards does not acquire anything.

טז

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הָיָה הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן בַּחֲצַר הָרִאשׁוֹן. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה בַּחֲצֵרוֹ חֲצֵרוֹ קוֹנָה לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּעִנְיַן מְצִיאָה. וְאֵין לְזֶה הָאַחֲרוֹן כְּלוּם:

17

The following rules apply when a convert dies and Jews take possession of his property. If the estate contains Canaanite servants above the age of majority, they acquire their freedom. Servants below the age of majority, by contrast, are regarded as are livestock. Whoever manifests ownership over them acquires them. We have already explained the manner in which a person manifests ownership over servants and acquires them.

יז

גֵּר שֶׁמֵּת וּבִזְבְּזוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת נְכָסָיו וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן עֲבָדִים גְּדוֹלִים. קָנוּ עַצְמָן בְּנֵי חוֹרִין. אֲבָל הָעֲבָדִים הַקְּטַנִּים הֲרֵי הֵן כִּבְהֵמָה וְכָל הַמַּחֲזִיק בָּהֶן זָכָה בָּהֶם. וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ דַּרְכֵי הַחֲזָקָה שֶׁיִּקְנוּ בָּהֶם אֶת הָעֲבָדִים:

18

The following rules apply when it is rumored that a convert died and Jews take possession of his property, and then it is discovered that he did not die, that he has a child or that his wife is pregnant. They must all return the property.

If they all returned the property and then discovered that the first rumor had in fact been true and the convert had died at that time, that his son died before him, or that his wife miscarried, whoever takes possession at this time acquires the property. Those who originally took possession do not acquire it.

יח

גֵּר שֶׁמֵּת וּבִזְבְּזוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת נְכָסָיו. וְשָׁמְעוּ שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא מֵת אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ בֵּן אוֹ שֶׁאִשְׁתּוֹ מְעֻבֶּרֶת. כֻּלָּן חַיָּבִין לְהַחְזִיר. הֶחְזִירוּ כֻּלָּן וְאַחַר כָּךְ שָׁמְעוּ שֶׁמֵּת שֶׁשְּׁמוּעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה אֱמֶת הָיְתָה וּבָרִאשׁוֹנָה מֵת. אוֹ מֵת בְּנוֹ מִקֹּדֶם אוֹ הִפִּילָה אִשְׁתּוֹ. כָּל הַמַּחֲזִיק בַּשְּׁנִיָּה קָנָה וּבָרִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא קָנָה: