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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra

Folio 61a



GEMARA. What is meant by the word yazia'? — Here7  it was translated as apsa.8  R. Joseph said: It means a verandah with a semiopen side.9  For one who holds that a closed-in verandah is not sold [with the room]. there is no question that an open one is not. But the one who says [that the verandah excluded here is] the open one would nevertheless include the closed-in one.

R. Joseph learned: Three names are found for this structure in the Scriptures10  — yazia', zela', ta. Yazia,1  as it is written, The nethermost storey [yazia'] was five cubits broad;11  zela', as it is written, And the side chambers [zela'oth] were in three stories, one over another and thirty in order;12  ta, as it is written, And every lodge [ta] was one reed13  long and one reed broad, and the space between the lodges was five cubits.14  Or if you like I can derive it [the fact that a verandah is called ta] from here: 'The wall of the Sanctuary was six cubits and the ta15  was six and the wall of the ta was six.'16

Mar Zutra said: [A verandah is not sold with a room] only if it has an area of four [square] cubits.17  Said Rabina to Mar Zutra: On your view that it must be four [square] cubits, what about the cistern, of which we have learnt, that the cistern and the well are not included [in the sale of the house] even if he [the seller] inserts in the deed of sale the words 'to the height and to the depth'?18  [Are we to say that] there likewise [the rule] applies only if they have an area of four cubits, but otherwise not? — [He replied]: How can you compare the two? The cistern and the well are used for quite different purposes from the house,19  but here both [the verandah and the house] are used for the same purposes. Hence if it is four cubits [square], it is reckoned as a separate structure, but if less not.

NOR AN INSIDE ROOM WHICH IS ENTERED FROM IT. If a verandah is not sold [along with the living room], do we need to be told that an inside room is not?20

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Heb. bayith, which may mean either an apartment or a whole house.
  2. Explained in the Gemara.
  3. In spite of the fact that it is for practical purposes little more than an appendage of the room.
  4. Attached to the back of the house.
  5. Since this makes it into a separate structure.
  6. Since this also makes it a separate structure.
  7. In Babylon.
  8. A closed-in verandah; a small, low structure at the side or back of a house.
  9. E.g., with lattices, like our verandahs. This has a more independent value than the closed-in one.
  10. Viz., in the Scriptural account of the Temple of Solomon in I Kings, and of the Temple of the future in Ezekiel.
  11. I Kings VI, 6.
  12. Ezek. XLI, 6.
  13. = 6 cubits. The reference here is to the lodges of the middle storey. V. Ezek. XLI, 7.
  14. Ezek. XL, 7.
  15. Of the middle storey.
  16. Mid. IV, 4. This shows that the ta was something attached to the wall.
  17. Because otherwise it is not reckoned a separate structure.
  18. V. infra 64a.
  19. And therefore it is reasonable that they should not be included in the house.
  20. Seeing that it is used for quite distinct purposes from the living room, e.g.. as a box room.

Baba Bathra 61b

— It was necessary to state the rule to show that [this is the case] even if the seller drew the boundaries [in the deed of sale] outside [the inner room]. This is based on the ruling laid down by R. Nahman in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha. For R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha that if a man sells another an apartment1  in a large tenement-house, even if he draws the boundaries outside [the whole tenement-house] we say that he only drew the boundaries wide.2  How are we to understand this rule? If the apartment is called an apartment and the tenement a tenement, then it is self-evident:3  he is selling him an apartment, not a tenement? If again the tenement also is called an apartment, then he sells the whole to him [does he not]? — The rule is required for the case where most people call the apartment an apartment and the tenement a tenement, but some call the tenement also an apartment. I might think that in this case [if he draws the boundaries wide] he sells him the whole. We are therefore told that since he might have inserted [in the deed of sale the words], 'And I have not reserved for myself anything from this transfer,'4  and did not insert them, we assume that he did reserve something.5

R. Nahman also said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: If a man sells to another a field in a big stretch of fields, even though he draw the outer boundaries [right round the whole stretch, he only sells the field, because] we say that he draws the boundaries wide. How are we to understand this? If the field is called a field and the stretch a stretch, the proposition is self-evident; he is selling him a field, not a stretch. If again the stretch is also called field, then the whole is sold to him [is it not]? — The rule is necessary for the case where some call the stretch a stretch and some call it a field. You might think that in this case he sells him the whole. Therefore we are told that since he might have inserted [in the deed of sale the words]. 'I have not reserved for myself anything from this transfer,' and did not insert them, we are to assume that he did reserve something.6  And both these rulings [about the house and the field] required to be stated. For if had only the one about the house, I might say that the reason [why the tenement is not sold with the apartment] is because they are used for different purposes,7  but in the case of the stretch of fields and the field where the whole [stretch] is used for the same purpose I might say that the whole is sold. And if I had only the rule about the stretch of fields, I might think that the reason [why it is not all sold] is because it is difficult to mark off one field [in the middle of a stretch], but in the case of the apartment, where he could easily have marked it off and did not do so, I might think that he has sold him the whole. Hence both are necessary.

What authority does R. Mari the son of the daughter of Samuel b. Shilath8  follow in the statement he made in the name of Abaye: If a man sells property to another, he should insert in the deed of sale the words, 'I have not reserved from this transfer for myself anything.' The authority is the dictum enunciated by R. Nahman in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha.9

A certain man said to another: I will sell you the land of Hiyya's. There were two pieces of land which were called Hiyya's. R. Ashi said: He sold him one piece of land, not two.10  If, however, a man says to another, 'I will sell you some lands,'11  the minimum that can be called 'lands' is two. If he says 'all the lands', [this includes] all his landed property except gardens and orchards. If he says 'fields',12  this includes gardens and orchards also, but not houses and slaves.

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. V. p. 247. n. 1.
  2. And his intention is to sell only the apartment.
  3. And the rule need not have been stated.
  4. This being the regular formula of a deed of sale. V. infra.
  5. Viz., the tenement.
  6. Viz., the rest of the stretch.
  7. The word birah (tenement house) was applied specifically to the large hall in it into which the separate apartments opened, and which was used for sitting and walking about in and not for residence.
  8. [Delete 'b. Shilath', v. D.S. a.l. and cf. infra p. 357, n. 15.]
  9. That boundaries may be drawn wide; and it is to prevent the seller from entering such a place that the insertion of this formula in the deed of sale was prescribed by R. Mari.
  10. And the purchaser must take whichever one the seller chooses.
  11. [So Ms.M; V. D.S. a.l.]
  12. Zihara, a name which probably included all cultivable ground.