SECTION 398 The Laws Governing How the 2000 Cubits [of the Shabbos Limits] are Measured (1-14)

סימן שצח דִּין הֵיאַךְ מוֹדְדִין אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה וּבוֹ י"ד סְעִיפִים:

1 [These are the guidelines to be followed when] one comes to measure the 2000 cubits of a town’s Shabbos limits: If the town is [rectangular], with four corners, even if it is not exactly square, i.e., its width is not the same as its length, but rather [one parameter is] longer and [the other parameter is] shorter, or if [the town] is square, but [its square is] not positioned [directly on a north-south/east-west] quadrant, and is four-cornered, [the town] is left as is, and 2000 cubits are measured in all directions from each of its sides.1 [See fig. 112.]

If, however, [the town] is round and thus does not have corners, one should not measure [the 2000 cubits] from its surrounding wall. Instead, a virtual square is superimposed around [the town], with the length and width [of the square] being the same as the length and width of [the perimeters of the town]. [The Shabbos limits of the town] are measured from the sides of that square. Thus, [the town’s residents] gain the area of the corners, as depicted [in fig. 113 below]. Our Sages derived [this concept]2 from the areas surrounding the cities [of the Levites], which were square, as explained in sec. 349[:2].

Similarly, if a town is triangular – or it is many sided, with many corners – a [virtual] rectangle is superimposed around it, with the length [of the rectangle] equal to [the town’s] length, and its width equal to [the town’s] widest point.3 A [measuring-]cord4 is then extended from the rectangle for 2000 cubits in all directions.5

When a [virtual] square is superimposed [around a town], it should be superimposed directly on a [north-south/east-west] quadrant,6 so that each of its sides will extend toward one of the compass directions and parallel with it. [The virtual square that is superimposed on the town] should not be positioned diagonally.

א הַבָּא לִמְדּוֹד אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה שֶׁל תְּחוּם הָעִיר, אִם יֵשׁ לָעִיר ד' זָוִיּוֹת, אֲפִלּוּ אֵינָהּ מְרֻבַּעַת מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁאֵין רָחְבָּהּ כְּאָרְכָּהּ אֶלָּא אֲרֻכָּה וּקְצָרָה, אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה מְרֻבַּעַת וְלֹא לְרִבּוּעַ הָעוֹלָם וְיֵשׁ לָהּ ד' זָוִיּוֹת – מַנִּיחִים אוֹתָהּ כְּמוֹת שֶׁהִיא, וּמוֹדְדִין לָהּ אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה מִכָּל רוּחַ מִד' רוּחוֹתֶיהָ.א,1

אֲבָל אִם הִיא עֲגֻלָּה, שֶׁאֵין לָהּ זָוִיּוֹת – לֹא יִמְדּוֹד לָהּ מֵחוֹמָתָהּ סָבִיב, אֶלָּא רוֹאִים אוֹתָהּ כְּאִלּוּ הִיא בְּתוֹךְ מְרֻבָּע ב שֶׁאָרְכּוֹ כְּאָרְכָּהּ וְרָחְבּוֹ כְּרָחְבָּהּ,ג,1 וּמוֹדְדִים חוּץ מִצַּלְעוֹת אוֹתוֹ מְרֻבָּע, שֶׁנִּמְצָא מִשְׂתַּכֵּר הַזָּוִיּוֹת, כְּזֶה. ד שֶׁלָּמְדוּ חֲכָמִיםה,2 מִמִּגְרְשֵׁי הֶעָרִים שֶׁהָיוּ מְרֻבָּעִים, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן שמ"ט. ו

וְכֵן אִם הָעִיר הִיא מְשֻׁלֶּשֶׁת, אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ צְלָעוֹת רַבּוֹת וְזָוִיּוֹת רַבּוֹת – מְרַבְּעִים אוֹתָהּ ז רִבּוּעַ שֶׁאָרְכּוֹ כְּאָרְכָּהּ וְרָחְבּוֹ כְּרָחְבָּהּ הַיּוֹתֵר גָּדוֹל,3 וְאַחַר כָּךְ מוֹצִיאִים הַחוּט4 חוּץ לַמְּרֻבָּע אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה לְכָל רוּחַ.ח,5

וּכְשֶׁהוּא מְרַבֵּעַ – מְרַבְּעָהּ לְרִבּוּעַ הָעוֹלָם,ט,6 כְּדֵי שֶׁתְּהֵא כָּל רוּחַ מִמֶּנָּה מְשׁוּכָה כְּנֶגֶד רוּחַ מֵרוּחוֹת הָעוֹלָם וּמְכֻוֶּנֶת כְּנֶגְדָּהּ, י וְלֹא תְהֵא בַּאֲלַכְסוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם:יא

Fig. 112: The Shabbos limits of a diamond-shaped city

Fig. 113: The Shabbos limits of a round city

2 Similar laws apply when a city is not surrounded by a straight wall.7 Instead, [part of the wall] includes houses that are adjacent to each other and joined together.8 Some of these houses jut into the city more than others or project outward more than others. Similar [laws apply] when a city is surrounded by a wall, but the wall is not straight, but rather juts out in certain places. [In all these instances,] a [virtual] cord is extended along [the city’s] entire length through the point that projects furthest outward. Two thousand [cubits] are then measured from this [virtual] cord outward so that the Shabbos limits will constitute an even straight line for the entire city. Even if [the city] has portions projecting [both] on the east and on the west, it is considered as if a [virtual] line is extended through those points on all sides, as herein depicted. [See fig. 114.]

ב וְכֵן עִיריב שֶׁאֵינָהּ מֻקֶּפֶת חוֹמָה חֲלָקָה7 אֶלָּא בָּתִּים סְמוּכִים וּמְחֻבָּרִים,יג,8 וְיֵשׁ בַּיִת נִכְנָס לְתוֹךְ הָעִיר יוֹתֵר מֵחֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ יוֹצֵא וּבוֹלֵט מִן הָעִיר יוֹתֵר מֵחֲבֵרוֹ, וְכֵן עִיר הַמֻּקֶּפֶת לָהּ חוֹמָה וְאֵין כָּל הַחוֹמָה יְשָׁרָה אֶלָּא יֵשׁ בָּהּ מְקוֹמוֹת בּוֹלְטִין מִמֶּנָּהיד – רוֹאִים כְּאִלּוּ חוּט מָתוּחַ עַל פְּנֵי כֻלָּהּ כְּנֶגֶד מָקוֹם הַחִיצוֹן הַבּוֹלֵט מִמֶּנָּה, וּמוֹדֵד מִן הַחוּט וּלְחוּץ אַלְפַּיִם, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא הַתְּחוּם שָׁוֶה בְּיֹשֶׁר כְּנֶגֶד כָּל הָעִיר.טו,5 וַאֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ לָהּ בְּלִיטָה לְצַד מִזְרָח וּלְצַד מַעֲרָב – רוֹאִין כְּאִלּוּ חוּט מָתוּחַ עֲלֵיהֶם בְּכָל צַד,טז,5 כְּזֶה:יז

Fig. 114: The Shabbos limits of a city that has portions projecting on either side

3 [The following laws apply when] a city is built in the form of [the Greek letter] gamma9or in the form of [the curve of] an arc:10 [With regard to a city built in the form of an arc,] if there are less than 4000 cubits between [the] two ends [of the city] – thus [causing] the Shabbos limits of one end [to] intersect the Shabbos limits of the other end – it is considered as one city. [The Shabbos limits] are measured from [the virtual line running from one end of the city to the other], and the entire area between this [virtual line] and the [curvature of the] arc11 is considered as if it was filled with houses. [See fig. 116.] (If the additional portion defined by the virtual line running between the two ends of a city built in the form of [the Greek letter] gamma is extended diagonally on a [north-south/east-west] quadrant, its size is increased as if it were a rectangle.12 Similar [concepts apply] with regard to a city built in the shape of an arc.)

ג עִיר הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּמִין גַּ"ם9 אוֹ כְּקֶשֶׁת,יח,10 אִם יֵשׁ בֵּין שְׁנֵי רָאשֶׁיהָ פָּחוֹת מִד' אֲלָפִים אַמָּה,יט שֶׁתְּחוּם רֹאשָׁהּ זֶה נִבְלָע בְּתוֹךְ תְּחוּם רֹאשָׁהּ הַשֵּׁנִי – נַעֲשֵׂית עִיר אַחַת10 וּמוֹדְדִין לָהּ מִן הַיֶּתֶר, וְרוֹאִין אֶת כָּל הָרֹחַב שֶׁבֵּין הַיֶּתֶר וְהַקֶּשֶׁת כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מָלֵא בָּתִּיםכ,11 (וְאִם הַיֶּתֶר שֶׁמֵּרֹאשׁ זֶה לְרֹאשׁ זֶה בְּעִיר הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּמִין גַּ"ם יִהְיֶה מָתוּחַ לַאֲלַכְסוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם – מוֹסִיפִין עָלָיו רִבּוּעַ,כא,12 וְכֵן בְּעִיר הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּקֶשֶׁת):

Fig. 115: The Greek letter gamma

Fig. 116: The Shabbos limits of a city built in the form of an arc

Fig. 117: The Shabbos limits of a gamma-shaped city according to Maharshal

Fig. 118: The Shabbos limits of a gamma-shaped city according to the Tur

4 Even if there are more than 2000 cubits between the midpoint of additional portion [defined by the virtual line running from one end of the city to the other] and the [vertex of the city that is shaped like an] arc – thus a person who leaves his home that is [located] in [a city that is shaped like] an arc must walk the full length of the Shabbos limits until he reaches [the virtual line running from one end of the city to the other] – even so, [this person’s Shabbos limits] are measured from [that line, the bow-string of the city’s arc, as it were.13 See fig. 119.] The rationale is that] if [the person] desired, he could walk through the area where there were houses, [i.e., walking] through [the city’s] arc-shape until he reached one of the ends. From there, he could proceed along the entire length of [the virtual line, reaching] even the second end, because the Shabbos limits of the two ends intersect. Since [the person] would be proceeding to this additional portion in a permitted manner, the empty space does not create a prohibition for him. It is considered as if it was filled with houses and courtyards.

[Another leniency is also granted:] If there are 2000 [cubits or less] between the midpoint of [the virtual line running from one end of a city that is shaped like an arc to the other] and the arc, [i.e., the vertex of that city, its Shabbos limits] are measured from [the line running from one end of the city to the other], even though there are more than 4000 cubits between the two ends [of the virtual city.14 See fig. 120. The rationale is that in any case] a person is permitted to walk from one end [of the arc] to the other via the additional space, since the additional space is included within the Shabbos limits of the arc. Thus, it is as if [the person] was walking via the populated area of the arc[-shaped city].

* There is a difference between [the laws that apply in the situation described here and those that apply in the situation described] in subsection 8 [of the Shulchan Aruch of Rav Yosef Caro,15 which speaks about three villages positioned in a triangle. See fig. 121. The source of that ruling is a Talmudic passage16 that states that if there are 2000 or less cubits between each of the outer villages and the middle one, the middle village, which is located at the apex of the triangle, is considered to be located between the two outer villages, as if it is on one straight line. Developing this concept further, if, when the middle village is considered as located on the line between the two outer villages, there would be 141 1/3 cubits or less between the middle village and each of the outer villages, the three villages are considered as one village. In the course of that discussion,] Rava justifiably raises a question based on the teaching cited here, [asking: The law cited here] allows there to be more than 2000 [cubits between the vertex of the city and the midpoint of the virtual line running from one end of the city to the other], while with regard to [the villages in a triangle, they are not considered as a single entity] unless there are 2000 or less cubits [between the middle village and the two outer ones].

Abbaye answered Rava’s question: With regard to the arc-shaped city, the person would be walking in a populated area,17 but with regard to the three villages, he would not be walking in a populated area.18

Rava then asked Abbaye: What is the maximum distance between the two outer villages?

Abbaye answered: What difference does it make? As long as there are 141 1/3 cubits or less between the outer villages and the place where the middle village would be situated were it located on the line between them, it does not matter how much space there is between them.

Rava then asked: Is that true even if the outer villages are 4000 or more cubits distant from each other?

Rava responded: With regard to an arc-shaped city, did Rav Huna not teach that the line running from one end of the arc to the other may not be 4000 or more cubits?

Abbaye answered: In that instance (i.e., with regard to an arc-shaped city), it could not be said: “Fill up the empty space between the ends [with the populated portion of the city].” In this instance (i.e., with regard to the three villages), it could be said, “Fill up the empty space.”

Tosafos 19 offers three explanations of the response: “It could not be said: ‘Fill up the empty space:’”

a) As depicted in fig. 122, below with regard to the arc-shaped city, if the empty space between its ends were considered as full [of houses], and the Shabbos limits to the south of the city were measured from the [virtual] line running from one end [of the city] to the other, the residents of the northern side of the city would forfeit the possibility of going 2000 cubits on the north of the city. Hence, the empty space is not considered as full [of houses]. With regard to the three villages, for the outer two, there is no loss in saying that the space in between [them] is considered as full [of houses]. And for the middle village, in fact, this principle is not applied and the Shabbos limits of its residents are not adjusted.

b) [Abbaye’s use of] the phrase, “In that instance,” refers to an arc-shaped city when there are 4000 or more cubits between the ends and there will be more than 2000 cubits between the vertex of the city and the midpoint of the empty space. Therefore, [the empty space] cannot be said to be filled [with houses], because the Shabbos limits of the two ends of the city do not intersect. [Conversely,] “In this instance,” refers to the three villages when there are 2000 or less cubits between the middle village and the outer two. If in fact there is a greater distance between them, this principle is not applied. See fig. 123

c) With regard to the arc-shaped city, it is impossible to say that the empty space should be filled with the populated portion, because the populated portion is larger. Generally, with regard to the three villages, there is ample space between the outer villages. If, however, the middle village would be wider than the space between the outer two [as depicted in fig. 124 below], this principle is not applied.

Abbaye’s response did not have to follow the first resolution offered by Tosafos, but rather could follow the second.20 Even so, the Tur21gives consideration to the first resolution,22 just as it gives consideration to the third opinion,23 even though it is not necessary to do so.24 Nevertheless, just as [the second opinion] is a logical resolution, so too, it is [equally] logical to put the emphasis on saying that it is impossible to say that the [empty] space will be filled [with the populated area].

(According to this logic, even when there are less than 4000 cubits between the outer villages, it is forbidden for the residents of the middle village to proceed 2000 cubits beyond the outer villages, since it cannot be said that the space is filled [with houses], nor can they walk through a populated area,25 as Rashi emphasizes. In such an instance, the intersection of Shabbos limits does not apply. [Support for this can be drawn from the fact that] Rabah bar Rav Huna maintains26 that the empty space between the ends of an arc-shaped city may be considered as filled, and nevertheless, forbids proceeding in that space if there are 4000 cubits between the [two] ends [of the city], as must be said according to [Tosafos’] second proposed resolution.)

It is necessary to accept this understanding in any case, for if not, even if the middle village were more than 2000 cubits distant from the outer ones, proceeding between them would be permitted because the space would be considered as filled with houses, although in such an instance, it is impossible to say that [the person] will proceed through a populated area. Moreover, even according to the first and third resolutions [proposed by Tosafos, based on this logic, the residents of] the outer villages should be able to walk from one of those villages to another.

ד וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם יֵשׁ מֵאֶמְצָעִית הַיֶּתֶר וְלַקֶּשֶׁת יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה,כב שֶׁהַיּוֹצֵא מִבֵּיתוֹ שֶׁבְּקֶשֶׁת צָרִיךְ לֵילֵךְ תְּחוּם שָׁלֵם עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לַיֶּתֶרכג – אַף עַל פִּי כֵן מוֹדְדִין לוֹ מִן הַיֶּתֶר,13 לְפִי שֶׁאִם הָיָה רוֹצֶה הָיָה יָכוֹל לְהַלֵּךְ דֶּרֶךְ הַבָּתִּיםכד סְבִיב הַקֶּשֶׁת עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְאֶחָד מִן הָרָאשִׁים, וּמִשָּׁם יָכוֹל לְהַלֵּךְ בְּכָל אֹרֶךְ הַיֶּתֶר אֲפִלּוּ לְרֹאשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, שֶׁהֲרֵי תְּחוּמֵיהֶם נִבְלָעִים זֶה בְּזֶה. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁבְּהֶתֵּר יָכוֹל לְהַלֵּךְ לִמְקוֹם הַיֶּתֶר – שׁוּב אֵין מָקוֹם הֶחָלָק אוֹסֵר עָלָיו, וְרוֹאִים אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מָלֵא בָּתִּים וַחֲצֵרוֹת.כה וְאִם אֵין מֵאֶמְצָעִית הַיֶּתֶר וְלַקֶּשֶׁת יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם, אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ בֵּין ב' הָרָאשִׁים יוֹתֵר מִד' אֲלָפִים אַמָּה – מוֹדְדִין לָהּ מִן הַיֶּתֶר,14 שֶׁהֲרֵי יָכוֹל לְהַלֵּךְ בְּהֶתֵּר דֶּרֶךְ הַיֶּתֶר מֵרֹאשׁ זֶה לְרֹאשׁ זֶה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַיֶּתֶר הוּא מֻבְלָע בִּתְחוּם הַקֶּשֶׁת,כו וַהֲרֵי זֶה כִּמְהַלֵּךְ דֶּרֶךְ בָּתֵּי הַקֶּשֶׁת:*

*מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בִּסְעִיף ח'.כז וְשַׁפִּיר מַקְשֶׁה הָתָםכח רָבָא מִיּוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם דְּהָכָאכט לְתוֹךְ אַלְפַּיִם דְּהָתָם.ל וְאַבַּיֵּי אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְתָרֵץ כְּתֵרוּץ רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁל הַתּוֹסְפוֹת שָׁם אֶלָּא כְּתֵרוּץ ב'לא וַאֲפִלּוּ הָכִי חָשַׁשׁ הַטּוּר לִסְבָרַת תֵּרוּץ הָא'לב כְּמוֹ שֶׁחָשַׁשׁ לִסְבָרַת תֵּרוּץ הַג'לג אַף עַל גַּב דְּאֵין צָרִיךְ כְּלָללד אֶלָּא דִּסְבָרָא הוּאלה הָכָא נַמִי סְבָרָא הוּא דְּלֵיכָּא לְמֵימַר מָלִי (וּלְפִי זֶה אֲפִלּוּ בְּפָחוֹת מִד' אֲלָפִים אָסוּר לָאֶמְצָעִיתלו כֵּיוָן דְּלֵיכָּא לְמֵימַר מָלִי וְלֹא דֶּרֶךְ בָּתִּים לְיֶתֶרלז עַיֵּן רַשִׁ"ילח וּכְאִלּוּ אֵינָהּ כְּלָל דְּהַבְלָעַת תְּחוּמִין כְּהַאי גַּוְנָא לָאו מִלְּתָא הִיא. וְרַבָּה בַּר רַב הוּנָאלט סְבִירָא לֵהּ מָלִי בְּקֶשֶׁתמ וַאֲפִלּוּ הָכִי אָסוּר בְּד' אֲלָפִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לוֹמַר לְתֵרוּץ הַב') וְדוֹ"ק דְּמֻכְרָח הוּא בְּלָאו הָכִי דְּאִם לֹא כֵן אַף שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְהָאֶמְצָעִי יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם לִשְׁתְּרֵי מִשּׁוּם מָלִי אַף דְּלֵיכָּא לְמֵימַר אָתֵי דֶּרֶךְ בָּתִּים וְאַף לְפִי תֵּרוּץ הָא' וְהַג' עַל כָּל פָּנִים לַחִיצוֹנִים לִשְׁתְּרֵי.

Fig. 119: The Shabbos limits of an arc-shaped city when there are more than 2000 cubits from the vertex of the arc to the line running from one end to the other. a) The populated area of the city; b) The open area between its sides; The entire shaded area is considered as filled with houses. Hence, the Shabbos limits are measured from the line running from one end to the other, because the person could walk from one end to the other via the populated area.

Fig. 120: The Shabbos limits of an arc-shaped city when there are more than 4000 cubits from one end of the city’s arc to the other. a) The populated area of the city; b) The open area between its sides; The entire shaded area is considered as filled with houses. Hence, the Shabbos limits are measured from the line running from one end to the other, because the person could walk to that line from any point in the the populated area of the city.

Fig. 121: Three villages positioned in a triangle. The top village is considered as if it descended and was positioned between the outside two.

Fig. 122: The first explanation offered by Tosafos. a) The houses to the north of the city

Fig. 123: The second explanation offered by Tosafos

Fig. 124: An instance when the top village is wider than the space between the two side villages

5 If, however, there are more than 2000 cubits from the midpoint of [the virtual line running from one end of the city to the other] to [the houses in] the arc [of the city] and there are 4000 cubits between the two ends [of the city, the city’s Shabbos limits] should be measured from the place where the arc [shape] reaches a point where its two ends are less than 4000 cubits apart, or [from a point] where there are no more than 2000 cubits between the midpoint of the open space and [the remainder of the city’s] arc [shape. See fig. 125.]

Nevertheless, even the people living in the arc[-shaped part of the city] may proceed through the entire [virtual] square circumscribed around the arc-shaped city and [through the extensions of] its arc until the other end [of the city,] and then [proceed] 2000 cubits from there. [The residents of such a city] are [merely] forbidden to pass through the open space [intervening] between them that is 4000 [or more cubits] long, and is not included in the Shabbos limits of the arc-shaped [city].

ה אֲבָל אִם יֵשׁ מֵאֶמְצָעִית הַיֶּתֶר לַקֶּשֶׁת יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה, וּבֵין ב' הָרָאשִׁים יֵשׁ ד' אֲלָפִים אַמָּה – מוֹדְדִין לָהּ מִן הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁנִּתְקַצֵּר שָׁם הַקֶּשֶׁת, שֶׁאֵין בֵּין ב' רָאשִׁים ד' אֲלָפִיםמא אוֹ שֶׁאֵין מֵאֶמְצָעִית הַיֶּתֶר לַקֶּשֶׁת יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה.מב וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אֲפִלּוּ בְּנֵי אוֹתָהּ הַקֶּשֶׁת מַמָּשׁ הוֹלְכִים כָּל רִבּוּעַ שֶׁל קֶשֶׁת וְעִגּוּלוֹ עַד רֹאשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, וּמִשָּׁם וְאֵילַךְ אַלְפַּיִם, אֶלָּא שֶׁאֲסוּרִים לָבֹא דֶּרֶךְ הַיֶּתֶר שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶם הָאָרֹךְ ד' אֲלָפִים וְאֵינוֹ מֻבְלָע בִּתְחוּם הַקֶּשֶׁת:מג

Fig. 125: The Shabbos limits of a city when there is a distance of 2000 cubits between the midpoint of the virtual line running from one end of the city to the other and the houses in the arc of the city and there are also 4000 or more cubits between the two ends of the city. a) The rectangle from which the Shabbos limits are measured

6[The following laws apply to] any dwelling that is [situated] outside a town27 [and they apply] even if no one is living [in the dwelling] at present,28 as long as [the structure] is fit to live in, i.e., it [measures] four cubits by four cubits:29 If there are 70 cubits and a fraction30 – i.e., slightly more than two-thirds of a cubit – [or less] between [the structure] and the city, it is included in the city and considered as part of it. [This measure is] the length of one side of a square that is beis sasayim [in area].31 When [the city’s Shabbos limits of] 2000 cubits are measured, [first] a virtual line extending the width of the entire city [should be] drawn [around the side of] this house [farthest from the city], and [it is] from there [that] the 2000 cubits are measured.32 [See fig. 126.]

There are authorities who maintain that a further distance of 70-and-a-fraction cubits should be left beyond that place, and it is from there [that the 2000 cubits] are measured.33 [See fig. 126. According to their understanding,] it goes without saying that when there is no dwelling near the city and [the 2000 cubits is] measured from the [wall of the] city itself,34 [that measurement is begun after] distancing 70-and-a-fraction cubits [from the city. The rationale is that] the 70-and-a-fraction cubits adjacent to a city are called iburo shel ir, (i.e., “the extension35 of the city,) and are considered as [part of] the city [itself].36 Leniency may be taken and their words relied upon, [since the matter] concerns a point of Rabbinic Law.37

However, 70-and-a-fraction cubits are never added to [the perimeters of only] one house – [i.e.,] no matter how large it is, [a single house] is not considered like a city – unless it is within 70-and-a-fraction cubits of a city.38

ו כָּל בֵּית דִּירָה שֶׁהוּא יוֹצֵא מֵהָעִיר,מד,27 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין דָּרִים בּוֹ עַתָּהמה,28 אֶלָּא שֶׁהוּא רָאוּי לְדִירָה, שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ ד' אַמּוֹת עַל ד' אַמּוֹת,מו,29 אִם אֵין בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין הָעִיר אֶלָּא ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם,מז,30 שֶׁהֵם ב' שְׁלִישֵׁי אַמָּה וְעוֹד מַשֶּׁהוּ – שֶׁזֶּהוּ שִׁעוּר צֶלַע אֶחָד מִצַּלְעוֹת בֵּית סָאתַיִם31 הַמְּרֻבָּעוֹת מַמָּשׁמח – הֲרֵי זֶה מִצְטָרֵף לָעִיר וְנֶחְשָׁב מִמֶּנָּה. וּכְשֶׁמּוֹדְדִין לָהּ אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה – מוֹתְחִים חוּט עַל פְּנֵי כָּל רָחְבָּהּ חוּץ לְבֵית דִּירָה זֶה,מט וּמִשָּׁם מוֹדְדִים לָהּ אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה.נ,32

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםנא שֶׁמַּרְחִיקִים מִשָּׁם עוֹד ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם, וּמַתְחִילִים לִמְדּוֹד.33 וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁאִם אֵין בֵּית דִּירָה סָמוּךְ לָעִיר, וּמוֹדְדִין מֵהָעִיר עַצְמָהּ,34 שֶׁמַּרְחִיקִים מֵחוֹמָתָהּ ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם,נב שֶׁכָּל ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם הַסְּמוּכִים לָעִיר נִקְרָאִים עִבּוּרָהּ35 שֶׁל עִיר וְנֶחְשָׁבִים כָּעִיר.נג,36 וְיֵשׁ לִסְמוֹךְ עַל דִּבְרֵיהֶם לְהָקֵל בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים.נד,37

אֲבָל בַּיִת אֶחָד, אֲפִלּוּ גָּדוֹל הַרְבֵּה – אֵין לוֹ דִּין עִיר לָתֵת לוֹ ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם כְּעִיר, אִם אֵינוֹ עוֹמֵד בְּתוֹךְ ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם לָעִיר:נה,38

Fig. 126: The two opinions regarding the point from which the Shabbos limits of a city are measured when there is a house within 70 2/3 cubits of the city

7 When a house is within 70-[and-a-fraction] cubits of a city, and a second house is within 70-[and-a-fraction] cubits of the first [house], and a third house is within 70-[and-a-fraction] cubits of the second, the entire [area] is considered as one city. [This concept applies] even [if, in this manner, a city’s virtual perimeter will be extended over a distance requiring] several days to walk. When [the Shabbos limits of the city are] measured, the measurement begins 70-[and-a-fraction] cubits from the last house.39 [See fig. 127.]

[The following law applies] if there were only [two lines of] houses,40 [each positioned] opposite [one of the] two ends of the city, and [the space] opposite the middle [of the city] was empty: When there are 4000 cubits between the furthest house opposite one end [of the city] and the furthest house opposite the other end, and there are more than 2000 cubits between [these houses] and the city, [the two lines of houses] are not joined together. [See fig. 128. They are not] considered as one city [so that] a [virtual] line could be extended from one [line of houses] to the other along the width of the entire city, and the 2000 cubits [of the Shabbos limits] would be measured from that line for the entire city, as stated above41 with regard to an arc-shaped city.

[The following law applies] if such [a line of] houses extends from only one end [of the city] and the last house [in the line] is more than 2000 [cubits] from the city. If [the city] is more than 2000 [cubits] long, a [virtual] line is not extended opposite [this house] along the length of the entire city [so that the entire city’s Shabbos limits could be measured from that line]. In such an instance, the area more than the 2000 [cubits from these houses] along the length of the city is counted as part of the 2000 cubits of [the city’s] Shabbos limits. Since the empty space opposite [the city] is not included in the Shabbos limits of the houses extending from the end of the city, it is not considered as part of the city itself. By contrast, the empty space that is within 2000 [cubits] of the [line of] houses extending from the end of the city is considered as part of the city, and the people living opposite [this empty space] measure the 2000 cubits [of their Shabbos limits] from this [line], i.e., the [virtual] line extending from the last of the houses stretching out from the end of the city. [See fig. 129.]

ז הָיָה בַּיִת קָרוֹב לָעִיר כְּע' אַמָּה, וּבַיִת שֵׁנִי קָרוֹב לָרִאשׁוֹן כְּע' אַמָּה, וּבַיִת ג' קָרוֹב לְב' כְּע' אַמָּה, וְכֵן עַד מַהֲלַךְ כַּמָּה יָמִים, הֲרֵי הַכֹּל כְּעִיר אַחַת,נו,30 וּכְשֶׁמּוֹדְדִים – מוֹדְדִים מִחוּץ לְע' אַמָּה מִבַּיִת הָאַחֲרוֹן.נז,39

וְאִם הָיוּ בָּתִּים כָּאֵלּוּ כְּנֶגֶד ב' רָאשֵׁי הָעִיר בִּלְבָד,40 וּמִכְּנֶגֶד אֶמְצָעָהּ הוּא חָלָק, וְיֵשׁ מִבַּיִת הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁכְּנֶגֶד רֹאשׁ זֶה עַד בַּיִת הָאַחֲרוֹן שֶׁכְּנֶגֶד רֹאשׁ זֶה ד' אֲלָפִים אַמָּה, וּמֵהֶם לָעִיר יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה – אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין זֶה עִם זֶה לִהְיוֹת עִיר אַחַת וְלִמְתּוֹחַ חוּט מִזֶּה לְזֶה עַל פְּנֵי כָּל הָעִיר וְלִמְדּוֹד מִשָּׁם אַלְפַּיִם מִכָּל הָעִיר,נח כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר41 בְּעִיר הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּקֶשֶׁת.נט

וְאִם אֵין בָּתִּים כָּאֵלּוּ יוֹצְאִים אֶלָּא כְּנֶגֶד רֹאשׁ אֶחָד בִּלְבָד, וּבַיִת הָאַחֲרוֹן רָחוֹק מִן הָעִיר יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם – אֵין מוֹתְחִים חוּט כְּנֶגְדּוֹ עַל פְּנֵי אֹרֶךְ כָּל הָעִיר אִם יֵשׁ בְּאָרְכָּהּ יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם, שֶׁאָז מַה שֶּׁהוּא חוּץ לְאַלְפַּיִם בְּאֹרֶךְ הָעִיר, כֵּיוָן שֶׁמָּקוֹם הֶחָלָק שֶׁכְּנֶגְדּוֹ אֵינוֹ מֻבְלָע בְּתוֹךְ תְּחוּם בָּתִּים הַיּוֹצְאִים כְּנֶגֶד רֹאשׁ הָעִיר, הֲרֵי הִיא עוֹלָה לוֹ מִכְּלַל אַלְפַּיִם שֶׁל תְּחוּם שַׁבָּת, לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ נֶחְשָׁב מִכְּלַל הָעִיר. אֲבָל מָקוֹם הֶחָלָק שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ אַלְפַּיִם לְבָתִּים שֶׁכְּנֶגֶד רֹאשׁ הָעִיר – הוּא נֶחְשָׁב מִכְּלָל הָעִיר, וְהַדָּרִים כְּנֶגְדּוֹ מוֹדְדִים אַלְפַּיִם חוּץ מִמֶּנּוּ, דְּהַיְנוּ כְּנֶגֶד בַּיִת הָאַחֲרוֹן מִבָּתִּים הַיּוֹצְאִים כְּנֶגֶד רֹאשׁ הָעִיר: ס

Fig. 127: A row of houses, each slightly more than 70 cubits from the other, which enable a city’s limits to be extended

Fig. 128: Parallel lines of houses extending from a city. a) The city; b) A line of houses more than 2000 cubits long

Fig. 129: The Shabbos limits of a city when a row of houses extends from one corner. a) The city; b) The row of houses extending from one of the ends of the city; c) A rectangle whose borders are defined by the length of a row of houses extending from the city and a 2000 cubit line extending from that row of houses along the length of the city; The Shabbos limits of the portion of the city opposite that rectangle are measured from the end of the rectangle. The Shabbos limits of the portion of the city that is not opposite the rectangle are measured from the end of the city.

8 Whenever people dwell in a building42 that is not made to serve as a dwelling,43 [the building] is considered part of the city if it is within 70-and-a-fraction cubits of the city, for example, a synagogue that has a dwelling for the synagogue attendant, the house of a false deity that has a dwelling for its priests, and stables for horses and silos of grain that have housing accommodations for their watchmen.44

[Similar laws] apply to a cemetery whose watchman dwells within its walls, even though it does not have a [specific] building designated for the watchman. Were [the cemetery] to have such a building, [it would not be necessary to mention that it is also included, for such a building] is a dwelling in a complete sense. [Hence,] even if no one is dwelling in [the building] at present, it is considered part of the city as long as it [measures] four cubits by four cubits, as explained [above].45

The same [law] applies to a bridge that has a dwelling for the customs inspector,46 i.e., there are walls under [the bridge] – only its dome is hollow – and there is an open space in its walls for the water to pass through, and the customs inspector dwells within these walls.

(Similarly, if people dwell) in [an enclosure] that has three walls but no roof 47 (or [they dwell] in [an enclosure comprising three walls] that have remained from [a structure that was once] a complete house), [such enclosures] are considered as complete houses [in this context], as long as [their walls are] ten handbreadths high and [their area] is four cubits by four cubits. Similarly, [if people dwell in an enclosure that comprises] two walls that have a roof and a ceiling, [the enclosure is considered a dwelling]. ([When a structure has] three walls and a roof and ceiling, it is considered a dwelling in a complete sense even if there is no one dwelling in [the structure].) However, [an enclosure comprising] two walls without a roof and ceiling [is not considered a dwelling] even if there are people residing there. Similarly, even when people dwell in a dovecote, a cistern, a storage trench, or a cave, their residing [in these structures] is of no consequence, and [the structures] are not considered as part of a city.

If there is a building [constructed] across the front of a cave,48 the entire cave is considered a dwelling because of the building at its entrance. [One only] begins to measure [the city’s Shabbos limits] from the end of the cave,49 [provided] the building is within 70-[and-a-fraction] cubits of the city, and it [measures] four cubits by four cubits. [Moreover, even] if [the building] is not four cubits [long, the length of] the cave completes the measure of four cubits, as long as [the building’s length] consists of the majority of those four cubits.

ח כָּל בַּיִת שֶׁאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְדִירָה,סא,43 אִם דָּרִים בּוֹ 42 – מִצְטָרֵף לָעִיר סב אִם הוּא בְּתוֹךְ שִׁבְעִים אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם לָעִיר,סג כְּגוֹן בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ דִּירָה לְחַזַּן הַכְּנֶסֶת, וּבֵית עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ דִּירָה לְכֹהֲנֶיהָ, וְהָאֻרְווֹת שֶׁל סוּסִים וְהָאוֹצָרוֹת שֶׁל תְּבוּאָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן דִּירָהסד לְהַשּׁוֹמֵר.סה,44

וְכֵן בֵּית הַקְּבָרוֹתסו שֶׁהַשּׁוֹמֵר דָּר בִּמְחִצּוֹתָיו,44 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם בִּנְיָן מְיֻחָד לְהַשּׁוֹמֵר, שֶׁבִּנְיָן הַמְּיֻחָד לְכָךְ – בַּיִת גָּמוּר הוּא. וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵין דָּרִים בּוֹ עַתָּה, מִצְטָרֵף לָעִירסז אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ ד' אַמּוֹת עַל ד' אַמּוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר.סח,45

וְכֵן גֶּשֶׁר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ דִּירָהסט לְהַמּוֹכֵס,46 כְּגוֹן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ כְּתָלִים תַּחְתָּיו אֶלָּא שֶׁהַכִּפָּה חֲלוּלָה, וְיֵשׁ בַּכְּתָלִים פִּלּוּשׁ שֶׁיַּעַבְרוּ שָׁם הַמַּיִם, וְהַמּוֹכֵס דָּר בִּכְתָלִים אֵלּוּ.ע,44

(וְכֵן) ג' מְחִצּוֹת, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין עֲלֵיהֶם תִּקְרָהעא,47 (וְדָרִים בֵּינֵיהֶם,עב אוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׁאֲרוּ מִבַּיִת גָּמוּרעג) – חֲשׁוּבוֹת כְּבַיִת גָּמוּר אִם גְּבוֹהוֹת י' טְפָחִים,עד וְהוּא שֶׁיְּהֵא בָּהֶן ד' אַמּוֹת עַל ד' אַמּוֹת.עה וְכֵן ב' מְחִצּוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן תִּקְרָהעו וּמַעֲזִיבָהעז,44 (וְג' מְחִצּוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן תִּקְרָה וּמַעֲזִיבָה, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין דָּרִים שָׁם – בַּיִת גָּמוּר הוּאעח). אֲבָל ב' מְחִצּוֹת שֶׁאֵין עֲלֵיהֶם תִּקְרָה וּמַעֲזִיבָהעט,44 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדָּרִים בֵּינֵיהֶם, פ וְכֵן הַשּׁוֹבָךְ וְהַבּוֹר וְשִׁיחַ וּמְעָרָהפא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדָּרִים בָּהֶן – אֵין דִּירָתָן כְּלוּם וְאֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִים לָעִיר.

וְאִם יֵשׁ בִּנְיָן עַל פְּנֵי הַמְּעָרָה48 – הֲרֵי כָּל הַמְּעָרָה חֲשׁוּבָה דִירָה עַל יְדֵי בִּנְיָן שֶׁעַל פִּיהָ. וְאֵין מַתְחִילִין לִמְדּוֹד אֶלָּא מִסּוֹף הַמְּעָרָהפב,49 אִם הַבִּנְיָן הוּא בְּתוֹךְ שִׁבְעִים אַמָּה לָעִיר. וְהוּא שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ ד' אַמּוֹת עַל ד' אַמּוֹת. וְאִם אֵין בּוֹ ד' אַמּוֹת – הַמְּעָרָה מַשְׁלִימָתוֹ לְד' אַמּוֹת,פג אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ רֹב הַד' אַמּוֹת:פד

9 When a structure is built in the sea50 so that [sailors and dockworkers] can unload articles from the ship onto it, [the structure] is included as part of a [nearby] city51 if it is within 70-and-a-fraction cubits [of the city]. In contrast, a building on a ship that is docked near a city is not included as part of the city, because there are times when it is located within 70-[and-a-fraction] cubits of the city and there are times when it is not.

Similarly, huts built by those who guard produce in gardens and orchards, or [those built by] the city’s guards outside the city, are not included as part of [the city], because they are of a temporary nature. [The rationale is that these structures are readily abandoned] because of thieves or because of rains that will flood them52 if they are located in a place where there are thieves or rains that will flood them. If, however, [these mitigating factors] are not present, [such huts] are included as part of the city. [Indeed,] one may proceed even several parsaos53 because of huts located within the proximity of 70-[and-a-fraction] cubits of each other. [The same rule] applies with regard to all structures that are included as part of a city.54

ט בַּיִת הַבָּנוּי בַּיָּם,פה,50 שֶׁעָשׂוּי לְפַנּוֹת בּוֹ אֶת הַכֵּלִים שֶׁבַּסְּפִינָה,פו מִצְטָרֵף לָעִיר51 אִם הוּא בְּתוֹךְ ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם.פז,44 אֲבָל הַבַּיִת שֶׁבַּסְּפִינָהפח הָעוֹמֶדֶת סָמוּךְ לָעִיר אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף לָעִיר,44 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ קָבוּעַ שָׁם, שֶׁפְּעָמִים הוּא בְּתוֹךְ [ע' אַמָּה] לָעִיר וּפְעָמִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ.פט

וְכֵן הַבֻּרְגָּנִין שֶׁעוֹשִׂין שׁוֹמְרֵי הַפֵּרוֹת בְּגַנּוֹת וּפַרְדֵּסִים אוֹ שׁוֹמְרֵי הָעִיר חוּץ לָעִיר אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין עִמָּהֶם, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם עֲרַאי, מִפְּנֵי הַגַּנָּבִים וּמִפְּנֵי הַגְּשָׁמִים שֶׁשּׁוֹטְפִים אוֹתָםצ,52 אִם הוּא מָקוֹם שֶׁמְּצוּיִים בּוֹ גַּנָּבִים אוֹ גְשָׁמִים שֶׁשּׁוֹטְפִים הַבֻּרְגָּנִים.צא אֲבָל בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינָן מְצוּיִין – הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפִין לָעִיר,צב,44 וְיָכוֹל לְהַלֵּךְ אֲפִלּוּ כַּמָּה פַּרְסָאוֹת53 עַל יְדֵי בֻּרְגָּנִין הַמֻּבְלָעִין זֶה בְּתוֹךְ ע' אַמָּה שֶׁל זֶה,צג וְכֵן בְּכָל אֵלּוּ שֶׁמִּצְטָרְפִין לָעִיר:54

10 A structure that is less than four cubits wide is not considered a dwelling, even if it is very long.55

י בַּיִת שֶׁאֵין בְּרָחְבּוֹ ד' אַמּוֹת, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָרֹךְ מְאֹד – אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא בַּיִת:צד,55

11 When two villages are 141 1/3 (and another small fraction)56 cubits apart so that there are [less than] the 70-and-a-fraction cubits granted to one and the 70-and-a-fraction cubits granted to the other between them, they are considered as one village. Thus, all [the residents of either] village may proceed through the entire other [village] and 2000 cubits beyond it.57

Similarly, [when] the walls of a town were breached on two sides, one opposite the other, and the houses between [the open spaces] were destroyed so that [the two sides of the town now] appear as two towns, if the open space between [the two sides of the town] is only 141 1/3 cubits [or less, the open area] is considered as closed.58

One house, by contrast, even if it is very large and even if there are less than 141 cubits between it and the [closest] city, is not joined together with [the closest city. The house] must be within 70-and-a-fraction cubits [of the closest city. The rationale is that] an extension is not [granted] to a house, only to a ]village, town, or[ city.59

יא הָיוּ ב' עֲיָרוֹת זוֹ סְמוּכָה לְזוֹ קמ"א אַמָּה וּשְׁלִישׁ (וְעוֹד דָּבָר מוּעָטצה),56 כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בֵּינֵיהֶן ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם לְזוֹ וְע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם לְזוֹ – חֲשׁוּבוֹת שְׁתֵּיהֶן כְּעִיר אַחַת, וְנִמְצֵאת כָּל עִיר מֵהֶן מְהַלֶּכֶת אֶת כָּל הָעִיר הַשְּׁנִיָּה וְחוּצָה לָהּ אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה.צו,57 וְכֵן חוֹמַת הָעִיר שֶׁנִּפְרְצָהצז מִב' רוּחוֹתֶיהָצח זוֹ כְּנֶגֶד זוֹ, וְחָרְבוּ הַבָּתִּים שֶׁבֵּינֵיהֶןצט עַד שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ כְּב' עֲיָרוֹת, אִם אֵין בְּרֹחַב מָקוֹם הֶחָלָק אֶלָּא קמ"א אַמָּה וּשְׁלִישׁ – דִּינוֹ כְּסָתוּם.58

אֲבָל בַּיִת אֶחָד, אֲפִלּוּ גָּדוֹל הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בֵּינוֹ לָעִיר קמ"א אַמּוֹת – אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהּ, ק עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לָהּ בְּתוֹךְ שִׁבְעִים אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם,קא לְפִי שֶׁאֵין נוֹתְנִים שׁוּם עִבּוּר35 לְבַיִת56 אֶלָּא לְעִיר59 בִּלְבַדָּהּ:קב

12 [The following rules apply] if there are three villages,60 [situated in a] triangle, like the three legs of a jug:61 If there are no more than 2000 cubits between each of the outer [villages] and the middle one, [the middle village, which is located at the apex of the triangle,] is [lowered in a virtual sense and] considered as if it is located between [the two outer villages, in a straight line. Continuing the development of this concept,] if when [the middle village] is considered as located between [the two outer villages], there would be less than 141 1/3 cubits between it and each of the outer [villages, and thus all three villages] would be considered as one village,62 they are considered as one village in this circumstance as well. [Hence,] the 2000 [cubits of the Shabbos limits] are measured in all directions from [a rectangle virtually circumscribed around] the outer borders of the three villages. [See fig. 130.]Even if there are more than 4000 cubits between the outer [villages], they are joined together if the middle village is so large that were it to be situated between the two outer [villages], there would be 141 1/3 cubits [or less] between [the middle village] and each of [the outer villages].63 [The rationale is that] since we consider the middle [village] to be situated between the outer ones, the distance between the [two] outer [villages] is of no consequence.

This situation does not resemble an arc-shaped city in which instance, if there are 4000 cubits between each of its ends, [the ends] are not joined together.64 [The rationale for the distinction is that in such a situation], it is impossible to see [the portion of the city located in] the [curvature of the] arc as situated in the empty portion between the [two] ends, because [that portion of the city] is larger than the open portion. Accordingly, if the middle village is larger than the distance between the [two] outer [villages], it is not considered as situated between them and [the Shabbos limits of] each of [the outer villages] are measured individually.

Even though there are 2000 [or less] cubits between [the middle village] and each of [the outer ones], it is not joined together with them65 (if there are 4000 [or more] cubits between the outer [villages]). [The situation] does not resemble an arc-shaped city in which instance, if there are 2000 [or less cubits] between [the crest of the arc-shaped city and] the midpoint of the empty portion [of the city], the ends of the city are joined together and the entire [area] is considered as one city (even when there are more than 4000 cubits between [the two ends of the city]).66 [The rationale for the distinction is that] when one walks from one end [of the empty portion between the ends of arc-shaped city] to the other, his walking is permitted; it is as if [the person] is walking [through the populated area] of the arc-shaped [city], since the empty portion is situated within [the city’s] Shabbos limits.

By contrast, in the situation mentioned here, when [the person] walks from one outer village to the other, even if he would be considered to be walking through the middle village – [which is permitted] since it is within his Shabbos limits – [nonetheless,] his walking [beyond the Shabbos limits of the first village] would not be permitted. ([The rationale is that] even when there would be no more than 2000 [cubits] between the two outer [villages], even were [the person] to walk via the middle [village], that would be ineffective in causing the distance he walked not to be counted so that he would be allowed to proceed another 2000 [cubits] outside the [second] outer [village].67 Accordingly, even in this instance, when [the person] does not walk through the middle [city, the distance he walks] is reckoned [as part of the 2000 cubits of] his Shabbos limits. By contrast, in an arc-shaped city, were [the person] to walk through the [populated area] of the [city, the distance he walks] would not be reckoned [as part of the 2000 cubits of] his Shabbos limits. Therefore, even when [the person] walks through the open portion [of the arc-shaped city] it is not reckoned [as part of the 2000 cubits of his Shabbos limits], since [that space] is included in [the 2000 cubits of] the Shabbos limits of the arc-shaped [city].)

For this [same] reason, if there are more than 2000 [cubits] between the middle [village] and the [two] outer [villages – and thus], it is not considered as if [the middle village] is situated between [the outer villages] – the outer [villages] are not joined together even if there are less than 4000 [cubits] between them. [Indeed, this ruling applies] as long as there are more than 141 1/3 cubits between [the two outer villages. This situation] does not resemble an arc-shaped city in which instance, as long as there are less than 4000 [cubits] between the two ends, [the entire area] is considered as joined even though there are there are more than 2000 [cubits] between [the houses of] the arc[-shaped city] and [the midpoint of] the empty portion, because a person could walk through [the populated area] of the arc-shaped [city], as explained above. [In the instance of the villages located in the shape of a triangle,] by contrast, there are no houses joining the villages together.

There are authorities who maintain that even when there are less than 2000 [cubits] between the middle [village] and the outer [villages, the middle village] is not considered as located between the others except with regard to the fact that the outer [villages] are considered as joined with each other and with the middle [village]. However, the 2000 cubits [of the Shabbos limits] of the middle [village] are measured from its wall.68 [The rationale is that] if [the middle village] would be considered as situated [on the line] between the outer ones, [its residents] would forfeit [the license to walk the distance to] the outer villages in the opposite direction.

(With regard to the halachah, [since the matter concerns a point of] Rabbinic Law, one may follow the more lenient view.69 [Hence,] the 2000 [cubits of the Shabbos limits] of the middle [village] are measured from outside the outer [villages]. Nevertheless, [its residents] do not forfeit [the license to proceed] in the opposite direction.)

יב הָיוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה כְּפָרִים מְשֻׁלָּשִׁיםקג,60 כְּשָׁלֹשׁ רַגְלֵי הַקַּנְקַן,קד,61 אִם אֵין בֵּין הָאֶמְצָעִית לְכָל אֶחָד מֵהַחִיצוֹנִים יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִםקה – אָנוּ רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מֻבְלָע בֵּינֵיהֶם.קו,60 וְאִם כְּשֶׁהָיָה מֻבְלָע בֵּינֵיהֶם לֹא הָיָה מִמֶּנּוּ לְכָל אֶחָד מֵהַחִיצוֹנִים יוֹתֵר מִקמ"א אַמָּה וּשְׁלִישׁ, וַהֲרֵי כֻּלָּם כְּעִיר אַחַת62 – הֲרֵי הֵם עַכְשָׁו גַּם כֵּן כְּעִיר אַחַת,קז וּמוֹדְדִים לָהֶם אַלְפַּיִם לְכָל רוּחַ מִחוּץ לִשְׁלָשְׁתָּן.קח,60 וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם יֵשׁ בֵּין הַחִיצוֹנִים יוֹתֵר מִד' אֲלָפִים אַמָּה – מִצְטָרְפִים זֶה עִם זֶה אִם הָאֶמְצָעִי הוּא גָדוֹל כָּל כָּךְ עַד שֶׁאִם הָיָה מֻבְלָע בֵּין הַחִיצוֹנִים לֹא הָיָה מִמֶּנּוּ לְכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶם יוֹתֵר מִקמ"א וּשְׁלִישׁ,63 שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁאָנוּ רוֹאִים כְּאִלּוּ הָאֶמְצָעִי מֻבְלָע בֵּין הַחִיצוֹנִים – מַה לָּנוּ לַמֶּרְחָק שֶׁבֵּין הַחִיצוֹנִים.קט

וְאֵינָן דּוֹמִים לְעִיר הֶעָשׂוּי כְּקֶשֶׁת, שֶׁאִם יֵשׁ בֵּין ב' הָרָאשִׁים ד' אֲלָפִים אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִים זֶה עִם זֶה,קי,64 לְפִי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִרְאוֹת כְּאִלּוּ הַקֶּשֶׁת מֻבְלָע בִּמְקוֹם הַיֶּתֶר בֵּין הָרָאשִׁים,קיא שֶׁהֲרֵי הַקֶּשֶׁת הוּא גָדוֹל מֵהַיֶּתֶר.קיב,64 לְפִיכָךְ אִם כְּפָר הָאֶמְצָעִי הוּא גָדוֹל מֵהַמֶּרְחָק שֶׁבֵּין הַחִיצוֹנִים – אֵין רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מֻבְלָע בֵּינֵיהֶם, וּמוֹדְדִים לְכָל אֶחָד לְעַצְמוֹ.קיג

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מִמֶּנּוּ לְכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶם יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם – אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף עִמָּהֶם65 (אִם יֵשׁ בֵּין הַחִיצוֹנִים ד' אֲלָפִיםקיד), וְאֵינָן דּוֹמִים לְעִיר הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּקֶשֶׁת, שֶׁאִם אֵין מִקֶּשֶׁת לְאֶמְצָעִית הַיֶּתֶר יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם מִצְטָרְפִים הָרָאשִׁים זֶה עִם זֶה וְנַעֲשֶׂה הַכֹּל עִיר אַחַתקטו (אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם יוֹתֵר מִד' אֲלָפִים),66 לְפִי שֶׁהַמְהַלֵּךְ בַּיֶּתֶר מֵרֹאשׁ זֶה לְרֹאשׁ זֶה הוּא מְהַלֵּךְ בְּהֶתֵּר כְּאִלּוּ מְהַלֵּךְ בְּבָתֵּי הַקֶּשֶׁת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַיֶּתֶר הוּא מֻבְלָע בִּתְחוּמָן.קטז מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כַּאן, שֶׁהַמְהַלֵּךְ מֵחִיצוֹן לְחִיצוֹן – אַף אִם תַּחְשְׁבֵהוּ כְּאִלּוּ מְהַלֵּךְ דֶּרֶךְ הָאֶמְצָעִי, הוֹאִיל וְהוּא מֻבְלָע בִּתְחוּמָיו – אֵינוֹ מְהַלֵּךְ בְּהֶתֵּרקיז (שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ אִם אֵין מֵחִיצוֹן לְחִיצוֹן יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם, מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁגַּם אִם הָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ דֶּרֶךְ הָאֶמְצָעִי לֹא הָיָה זֶה מוֹעִיל לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה זֶה עוֹלֶה לוֹ מִן הַמִּדָּה, שֶׁיְּהֵא יָכוֹל לֵילֵךְ עוֹד אַלְפַּיִם חוּץ לְחִיצוֹן 67 – לָכֵן גַּם עַכְשָׁו, שֶׁמְּהַלֵּךְ שֶׁלֹּא בְּדֶרֶךְ הָאֶמְצָעִי, הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹלֶה לוֹ לְמִדַּת תְּחוּמוֹ. מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בְּעִיר הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּקֶשֶׁת, שֶׁאִם הָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ דֶּרֶךְ בָּתֵּי הַקֶּשֶׁת לֹא הָיָה זֶה עוֹלֶה לְמִדַּת תְּחוּמוֹ – לָכֵן גַּם כְּשֶׁמְּהַלֵּךְ בַּיֶּתֶר אֵינוֹ עוֹלֶה לוֹ בְּמִדָּתוֹ, הוֹאִיל וְהוּא מֻבְלָע בִּתְחוּם הַקֶּשֶׁת).64

וּמִטַּעַם זֶה אִם יֵשׁ מֵאֶמְצָעִי לַחִיצוֹנִים יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם, שֶׁאֵין רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מֻבְלָע בֵּינֵיהֶם – אֵין הַחִיצוֹנִים מִצְטָרְפִים זֶה עִם זֶה אֲפִלּוּ אֵין בֵּינֵיהֶם ד' אֲלָפִים, כֹּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶם יוֹתֵר מִקמ"א וּשְׁלִישׁ. וְאֵינָן דּוֹמִים לְעִיר הָעֲשׂוּיָה כְּקֶשֶׁת, שֶׁאִם אֵין בֵּין ב' הָרָאשִׁים ד' אֲלָפִים מִצְטָרְפִים זֶה עִם זֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בֵּין יֶתֶר לַקֶּשֶׁת יוֹתֵר מֵאַלְפַּיִם, לְפִי שֶׁאִם הָיָה רוֹצֶה הָיָה יָכוֹל לֵילֵךְ דֶּרֶךְ בָּתֵּי הַקֶּשֶׁת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה, מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כַּאן שֶׁאֵין בָּתִּים לְחַבְּרָם.קיח,64

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִיםקיט,64 שֶׁאַף שֶׁאֵין מֵהָאֶמְצָעִי לַחִיצוֹנִים אַלְפַּיִם – אֵין רוֹאִים אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מֻבְלָע בֵּינֵיהֶם אֶלָּא לְעִנְיָן שֶׁהַחִיצוֹנִים מִצְטָרְפִים זֶה עִם זֶה וְעִם הָאֶמְצָעִי. אֲבָל הָאֶמְצָעִי מוֹדְדִים לוֹ אַלְפַּיִם מֵחוֹמָתוֹ,68 לְפִי שֶׁאִם נִרְאֶה אוֹתוֹ כְּמֻבְלָע וְעוֹמֵד בֵּין הַחִיצוֹנִים – יַפְסִיד כָּל כָּךְ לְרוּחַ הַשֵּׁנִית שֶׁאֵינָהּ לְצַד הַחִיצוֹנִים (וּלְעִנְיַן הֲלָכָה, בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים הַלֵּךְ אַחַר הַמֵּקֵל,69 וּמוֹדְדִים לְהָאֶמְצָעִי אַלְפַּיִם מִחוּץ לַחִיצוֹנִים, וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא הִפְסִיד לְרוּחַ הַשֵּׁנִית):

Fig. 130: Three villages positioned in a triangle. The top village is considered as if it descended and was positioned between the outside two. The Shabbos limits are measured from the virtual rectangle that surrounds all three villages.

13 [The following laws apply when] a city is located on the banks of a wadi that is dry most of the time and is only full [of water] when it rains:70 If there is a projection four cubits wide71 in front [of the city] on the banks of the wadi on which [people can] stand and make use of the wadi, the wadi is considered as part of the city and the 2000 cubits [of the city’s Shabbos limits] are measured from the other bank of the wadi. The entire wadi is considered as part of the city because of the projection built at its side.

If the projection is less than four cubits wide, it is not comfortable for [the residents of the city] to use the wadi because they fear that they will fall into it. Their [Shabbos limits] are measured solely from the entrance of the outer houses [of the city that are situated] near the wadi. Thus, [the width of] the wadi is included in the 2000 cubits [that comprise the Shabbos limits for the residents of the city].

There is room for doubt whether any place which the residents of the city use comfortably [should be considered as part of the city and] the measurement of [its Shabbos limits] should begin from the further end [of that place].72

יג עִיר שֶׁיּוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל שְׂפַת הַנַּחַלקכ שֶׁרֹב הָעִתִּים הוּא יָבֵשׁ – שֶׁאֵינוֹ מָלֵא אֶלָּא בִּשְׁעַת הַגֶּשֶׁםקכא,70 – אִם יֵשׁ לְפָנֶיהָ מַצֵּבָה רֹחַב ד' אַמּוֹת71 עַל שְׂפַת הַנַּחַל, כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּעַמְדוּ עָלֶיהָ וְיִשְׁתַּמְּשׁוּ בַּנַּחַל, נִמְצָא הַנַּחַל בִּכְלַל הָעִיר וּמוֹדְדִים לָהּ אַלְפַּיִם אַמָּה מִשְּׂפַת הַנַּחַל הַב', וְנַעֲשֶׂה הַנַּחַל כֻּלּוֹ מִכְּלַל הָעִיר מִפְּנֵי הַמַּצֵּבָה הַבְּנוּיָה בְּצִדּוֹ.קכב וְאִם אֵין בַּמַּצֵּבָה רֹחַב ד' אַמּוֹת – אֵין תַּשְׁמִישָׁם עָלֶיהָ בַּנַּחַל נוֹחַ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמִּתְיָרְאִיםקכג שֶׁלֹּא יִפְּלוּ בַּנַּחַל,70 וְאֵין מוֹדְדִים לָהֶם אֶלָּא מִפֶּתַח בָּתִּים הַחִיצוֹנִיםקכד הַסְּמוּכִים לַנַּחַל, וְנִמְצָא הַנַּחַל נִמְדָּד מִן הָאַלְפַּיִם שֶׁלָּהֶם. וְיֵשׁ לְהִסְתַּפֵּקקכה אִם בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁמִּשְׁתַּמְּשִׁים שָׁם בְּנֵי הָעִיר בְּתַשְׁמִישׁ נוֹחַ נַתְחִיל לִמְדּוֹד מִשָּׁם:72

14 [The following laws apply with regard to the Shabbos limits of] people who dwell in huts,73 i.e., [they dwell in structures] made from palm branches and willow branches without permanently dwelling in [any] one place, but rather [lead a nomadic life], dwelling in one place until the pasture is consumed and then moving on to another place. [The 2000 cubits] are measured for each person individually from the entrance to his hut. Even though all the huts are adjacent to each other, [the Shabbos limits] are not measured from the outermost hut. [This is in contrast to how the Shabbos limits of] a town are measured, [i.e.] from the outermost house [in the town,] even when [the town] is not surrounded by a wall.74 [The rationale is that] since the huts are temporary, [their aggregate] is not governed by the laws [applying to] a town.

Nevertheless, if [the huts] are all surrounded by a wall ten handbreadths high or a trench ten handbreadths deep – [both of] which are considered a partition – the entire encompassed area is reckoned as merely four cubits, provided it was encompassed for the sake of habitation, as explained in sec. 396[:1].75

If there are three courtyards [each] containing [at least] two permanent houses76 built from stone or wooden planks, they cause all the huts [in that area] to be [considered as] permanent structures and [the entire area] is considered as a town.77 A [virtual] rectangle is superimposed around [the area],78 and [then its residents] are granted 2000 [cubits] in all directions, as are other towns.

[The following law applies when] a city was [first] surrounded by a wall and [only] then settled:79 If the entire [enclosure] was not settled up to its wall, when measuring [its Shabbos limits, one] should not measure from the wall, but from 70-and-a-fraction cubits from the houses.80 It is as if the wall does not exist. [The rationale is that] the wall does not cause the area enclosed within to be considered as four cubits, since it was not enclosed for the purpose of habitation. Nevertheless, if there is a dwelling in the wall and it is within 70-and-a-fraction cubits from the place where the city is settled, [the Shabbos limits] are measured from 70-and-a-fraction cubits beyond this dwelling, as explained above. If, however, [the city] was [first] settled and then surrounded by a wall, [the entire enclosure] is considered as enclosed for the purpose of habitation and [the Shabbos limits] are measured from 70 [and-a-fraction cubits] beyond its wall in all instances.

יד יוֹשְׁבֵי צְרִיפִים,קכו,73 דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁיּוֹשְׁבִים בְּאֹהָלִים שֶׁעוֹשִׂין מֵהוּצִין וַעֲרָבָה, וְאֵינָן קְבוּעִים בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָדקכז אֶלָּא יוֹשְׁבִים כַּאן זְמַן מָה עַד שֶׁיִּכְלֶה הַמִּרְעֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוֹלְכִים לְמָקוֹם אַחֵרקכח – מוֹדְדִים לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִפֶּתַח אָהֳלוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל אֹהָלִים סְמוּכִים זֶה לְזֶה,קכט אֵין מוֹדְדִים מֵאֹהֶל הַחִיצוֹן כְּמוֹ בְּעִיר, שֶׁמּוֹדְדִים מִבַּיִת הַחִיצוֹן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ מֻקֶּפֶת חוֹמָה,קל,74 שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין הָאֹהָלִים קְבוּעִים – אֵין לָהֶם דִּין עִיר.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם הֵם מֻקָּפִים כֻּלָּם בִּמְחִצָּה גָּבוֹהַּ י' טְפָחִים, אוֹ בְּחָרִיץ עָמֹק י' טְפָחִים שֶׁהוּא נֶחְשָׁב כִּמְחִצָּה – הֲרֵי כָּל הַהֶקֵּף נֶחְשָׁב כְּד' אַמּוֹתקלא אִם הֻקַּף לְדִירָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן שצ"ו.קלב,75

וְאִם יֵשׁ שָׁם ג' חֲצֵרוֹת שֶׁל ב' ב' בָּתִּיםקלג קְבוּעִים76 שֶׁל אֶבֶן אוֹ שֶׁל נְסָרִים – הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ עוֹשִׂין אֶת כָּל הָאֹהָלִים קֶבַע,73 וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם דִּין עִיר,קלד,77 וּמְרַבְּעִים אוֹתָהּ78 וְנוֹתְנִים לָהּ אַלְפַּיִם לְכָל רוּחַ כִּשְׁאָר הָעֲיָרוֹת.קלה

עִיר שֶׁהֻקְּפָה וְלִבְסוֹף יָשְׁבָהקלו,79 – אִם אֵינָהּ מְיֻשֶּׁבֶת כֻּלָּהּ עַד הַחוֹמָה, כְּשֶׁבָּא לִמְדּוֹד תְּחוּמֶיהָ לֹא יִמְדּוֹד מֵהַחוֹמָה אֶלָּא מִחוּץ לְע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם מֵהַבָּתִּים,קלז,80 שֶׁהַחוֹמָה הִיא כְּאִלּוּ אֵינָהּ, לְפִי שֶׁעַל יְדֵי הַחוֹמָה לֹא נַעֲשָׂה הַהֶקֵּף שֶׁבְּתוֹכָהּ כְּד' אַמּוֹת, הוֹאִיל וְלֹא הִקִּיפוּהָ לְדִירָה.קלח וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם יֵשׁ בַּחוֹמָה בֵּית דִּירָה,קלט וְהִיא בְּתוֹךְ ע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם לְיִשּׁוּב בָּתֵּי הָעִיר – מוֹדְדִים מִחוּץ לְע' אַמָּה וְשִׁירַיִם מִבֵּית דִּירָה זֶה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה.קמ,79 אֲבָל אִם יָשְׁבָה וְלִבְסוֹף הֻקְּפָה – הֲרֵי זֶה הֻקַּף לְדִירָה, וּמוֹדְדִים מִחוּץ לְשִׁבְעִים מֵחוֹמָתָהּ בְּכָל עִנְיָן: