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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
that he had not been fully informed.1
It has been taught: The following incident is related of Benjamin the Righteous who was a supervisor of the charity fund. One day a woman came to him in a year of scarcity, and said to him: 'Sir, assist me.' He replied, 'I swear, there is not a penny in the charity fund.' She said, 'Sir, if you do not assist me, a woman and her seven children will perish.' He accordingly assisted her out of his own pocket. Some time afterwards he became dangerously ill. The angels addressed the Holy One, blessed be He, saying: Sovereign of the Universe, Thou hast said that he who preserves one soul of Israel is considered as if he had preserved the whole world; shall then Benjamin the Righteous who has preserved a woman and her seven children die at so early an age? Straightway his sentence2 was torn up. It has been taught that twenty-two years were added to his life.
Our Rabbis taught: It is related of King Monobaz3 that he dissipated all his own hoards and the hoards of his fathers in years of scarcity. His brothers and his father's household came in a deputation to him and said to him, 'Your father saved money and added to the treasures of his fathers, and you are squandering them.' He replied: 'My fathers stored up below and I am storing above, as it says, Truth springeth out of the earth and righteousness looketh down from heaven.4 My fathers stored in a place which can be tampered with, but I have stored in a place which cannot be tampered with, as it says, Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of his throne.5 My fathers stored something which produces no fruits, but I have stored something which does produce fruits, as it is written, Say ye of the righteous [zaddik] that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat of the fruit of their doings.6 My fathers gathered treasures of money, but I have gathered treasures of souls, as it is written, The fruit of the righteous [zaddik] is a tree of life, and he that is wise winneth souls.7 My fathers gathered for others and I have gathered for myself, as it says, And for thee it shall be righteousness [zedakah].8 My fathers gathered for this world, but I have gathered for the future world, as it says, Thy righteousness [zedakah] shall go before thee, and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.'9
IF HE ACQUIRES A RESIDENCE IN IT, HE IS COUNTED AS ONE OF THE TOWNSMEN. The Mishnah is not in agreement with Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel, since it has been taught: Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says: If he acquires a piece of property, however small,10 in it, he is reckoned as a townsman. But has it not been taught: If he acquires in it a piece of ground on which a residence can be put up [but not smaller], he is reckoned as one of the townsmen? — Two Tannaim have reported the dictum of Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel differently.
MISHNAH. A COURTYARD SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED UNLESS THERE WILL BE [AFTER THE DIVISION] AT LEAST FOUR CUBITS FOR EACH OF THE PARTIES. A FIELD SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED UNLESS THERE WILL BE NINE KABS' [SPACE]11 FOR EACH. R. JUDAH SAYS, UNLESS THERE WILL BE NINE HALF-KABS [SPACE] FOR EACH. A VEGETABLE GARDEN SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED UNLESS THERE WILL BE HALF A KAB FOR EACH. R. AKIBA, HOWEVER, SAYS, A QUARTER KAB'S SPACE. A HALL, A DRAWING ROOM,12 A DOVECOT, A GARMENT, A BATHHOUSE, AN OLIVE PRESS AND AN IRRIGATED PLOT OF LAND SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED UNLESS SUFFICIENT WILL BE LEFT FOR EACH PARTY.13 THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE IS THAT IF AFTER THE DIVISION EACH PART WILL RETAIN THE DESIGNATION APPLIED TO THE WHOLE, THE DIVISION MAY BE MADE, BUT IF NOT, IT SHOULD NOT BE MADE. WHEN IS THIS THE RULE? WHEN ONE OR OTHER OF THE OWNERS IS NOT WILLING TO DIVIDE. BUT IF BOTH AGREE, THEY CAN DIVIDE EVEN IF LESS THAN THESE QUANTITIES [WILL BE LEFT]. SACRED WRITINGS, HOWEVER, MAY NOT BE DIVIDED EVEN IF BOTH AGREE.14
GEMARA. R. Assi said in the name of R. Johanan: The four cubits [of the courtyard] mentioned [in the Mishnah] are exclusive of the space in front of the doors.15 It has been also taught to the same effect: A courtyard should not be divided unless eight cubits will be left to each party. But have we not learnt, FOUR CUBITS TO EACH? — The fact [that the Baraitha says eight] shows [that we must interpret the Mishnah] as R. Assi indicates. Some put this argument in the form of a contradiction: We learn, A COURTYARD SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED UNLESS THERE WILL BE FOUR CUBITS FOR EACH OF THE PARTIES. [But how can this be], seeing that it has been taught: 'Unless there are eight cubits for each'? — R. Assi answered in the name of R. Johanan: The four cubits mentioned [in the Mishnah] are exclusive of the space in front of the doors.
R. Huna said: Each party takes a share in the courtyard proportionate to the number of his doors;16 R. Hisda, however, says that four cubits are allowed for each door and the remainder is divided equally. It has been taught in agreement with R. Hisda: Doors opening on to the courtyard carry with them a space of four cubits. If one of the joint owners has one door and the other two doors, [if they divide] the one who has one door takes four cubits and the one who has two doors takes eight cubits, and the remainder is divided equally. If one has a doorway eight cubits broad, he takes eight cubits facing his door and four cubits in the courtyard. What are these four cubits in the courtyard doing here? — Abaye answered: What it means is this: He takes eight cubits in the length of the courtyard and four in the width of the courtyard.
Amemar said: [A pit for holding] date stones17 carries with it four cubits on every side. This is the case, however, only if he has no special door from which he goes to it,18 but if he has a special door for reaching it,
Baba Bathra 11b
it carries with it only four cubits in front of his door.
R. Huna said: An exedra1 does not carry with it four cubits. For why are the four cubits ordinarily allowed? To provide space for the owner to unload his animals. If there is an exedra he can go into it and unload there. R. Shesheth raised an objection [to this from the following]: 'Gates of exedras equally with gates of houses carry with them four cubits? — That was taught in reference to the exedra of a school-house. That the gate of the exedra of a schoolhouse carries with it four cubits is obvious, is it not, since it is a proper room?2 — We should say, therefore, [that it was taught in reference to a] Roman exedra.3
R. Johanan inquired of R. Jannai whether a hen-coop7 carried with it four cubits or not. He replied: Why are the four cubits ordinarily allowed? — To provide room for a man to unload his animal. Here the fowls can clamber up the wall to get out and clamber down the wall to get in.
Raba inquired of R. Nahman: If a room is half roofed over and half unroofed, has it four cubits or not? He replied: It has not four cubits. If the roofing is over the inner part,8 this goes without saying, since it is possible for him to go into the room and unload.9 But even if the roofing is over the outer part, it is still possible for him to go right through and unload [under the open part].
R. Huna inquired of R. Ammi: If a man residing in one alleyway desires to open10 a door on to another alley-way,11 can the residents of this alley-way prevent him or not? He replied: They can prevent him. He then inquired: Are troops billeted per capita12 or [on each one] according to the number of his doors? He replied: Per capita. It has been taught to the same effect: The dung in the courtyard is divided according to doors [belonging to each resident], billeted troops per capita.
R. Huna said: If one of the residents of an alley-way desires to fence in the space facing his door,13 the others can prevent him, on the ground that he forces more people into their space.14 An objection was brought [against this from the following]: 'If five [adjoining] courtyards open on an alley-way, all [the inner ones] share with the outside one15 the use [of the part facing it], but the outside one can use that part only. The remainder [the inner three] share with the second, but the second has the use only of the part facing itself and the outside one. Thus the innermost one has sole use of the part facing itself and shares with all the others [the use of the part facing them]'?16 — There is a difference on this point between Tannaim, as it has been taught: If one of the residents of an alley-way desires to open a door on to another alley-way, the residents of that alley-way can prevent him. If, however, he only desires to reopen there one which had been closed, they cannot prevent him. This is the opinion of Rabbi. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel says: If there are five adjoining courtyards opening on to an alleyway, they all share the use of it alike.17 How does 'courtyards' come in here? — There is a lacuna in the text, and it should run as follows: [They cannot prevent him;] and similarly, if there are five courtyards opening on to an alley-way, all share with the outside one, but the outside one can use that part only etc. This is the opinion of Rabbi.18 R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, however, says that if five courtyards open on to an alley-way, they all share the use of it.
The Master has stated: If he desires to reopen a door which has been closed, the residents of the other courtyard cannot prevent him. Raba said: This rule was meant to apply only if he had not taken down the posts of the closed door,19 but if he had done so, then the residents of the courtyard can prevent him reopening it. Abaye said to Raba: It has been taught in support of your opinion:
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