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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
If he says 'my property',1 this would include houses and slaves also.
If the seller draws one of two parallel boundaries shorter than the other, Rab says that the purchaser obtains only the width of the shorter line.2 R. Kahana and R. Assi said to Rab: Should he not obtain as much as is bounded by the oblique line?3 — Rab made no reply.4 Rab, however, had [previously] admitted that if [the field in question] is bounded by those of Reuben and Simeon on one side, and by those of Levi and Judah on the other, since [if he desired to transfer only half the field] he should have written either '[the boundaries are the field] of Reuben [on one side and] opposite [to it the field of] Levi', or else '[the field] of Simeon [on one side and] opposite [to it the field of] Judah', and he did not do so, he meant to transfer all within the oblique line [from the end of Simeon's field to the end of Levi's].5
If the field is bounded by fields of Reuben on the east and west and by fields of Simeon on the north and south, he must write, 'the field is bounded by fields of Reuben on two sides and by fields of Simeon on two sides.'6
Baba Bathra 62b
If he mentions one and skips one,1 how do we decide? — These questions must stand over.
If the seller defines the first, second and third boundaries, but not the fourth, Rab says that the purchaser acquires the whole of the field with the exception of the fourth boundary,2 and Samuel said that he acquires the fourth boundary also. R. Assi, however, said that he acquires only one furrow alongside of the whole.3 He [so far] agreed with Rab [as to hold] that he reserved something, but [he further held] that since he reserved the boundary he reserved the whole field,4
Raba said: The law is that he acquires the whole field with the exception of the fourth boundary.5 And even this is the case only if the fourth boundary does not lie within the adjoining two,6 but if it does so lie,7 the purchaser acquires it. And even if it does not lie within the adjoining two, [he fails to acquire it] only if there is on it a clump of date trees, or it has an area of nine kabs,8 but if there is no clump of date trees on it and it does not contain an area of nine kabs, he does acquire it.9 From this it can be inferred that if it lies between the adjoining boundaries, then even if there is a clump of date trees on it and it has an area of nine kabs, the purchaser acquires it.10
According to another version, Raba said that the law is that the purchaser acquires the whole, including the fourth boundary. This is the case, however, only if it lies between the two adjoining boundaries, If, however, it does not so lie, he does not acquire it. And even where it does so lie, he acquires it only if there is not on it a clump of date trees, or it has not an area of nine kabs,11 but if there is on It a clump of date trees, or it has an area of nine kabs, he does not acquire it. From this we infer that when it does not lie between the two adjoining boundaries, even though there is no clump of date trees on it and it has not an area of nine kabs, he does not acquire it.12
From either version of Raba's statement we learn that the seller does not reserve any part in the field itself.13 We also learn that where the fourth boundary lies between the two adjoining ones and there is no clump of date trees on it, or it has not an area of nine kabs, the purchaser acquires it [even though it is not specified], and that if it does not so lie and there is on it a clump of date trees or it has an area of nine kabs, he does not acquire it.14 If it lies between the adjoining boundaries and there is a [clump of date trees] on it [etc.],15 or if it does not so lie and there is [no clump] on it [etc.],15 according to one version the rule is one way and according to the other version the rule is the other way, and so we leave the judges to use their own discretion.16
Rabbah said: [If a man who owns half a field17 says to another], I sell you the half which I have in the land, [he sells him] half [of the whole]. [If he says, I sell you] half of the land that I have,18 [he sells him] a quarter [of the whole]. Said Abaye to him: What difference does it make whether he says one thing or the other? Rabbah made no reply. Abaye [subsequently] said: I thought that, because he made no reply, he accepted my view, but this was not so, for I saw [later] some documents that were issued from the master's court; where it was written, 'the half that I have in the land', [the transaction was for] half, and where it was written, 'the half of the land that I have', [the transaction was for] a quarter.
Rabbah further said: [If the seller writes in the deed,] [The boundary of the land is] the land from which half has been cut off,19 [he sells] half. If he writes, [The boundary of the land is] that from which a piece is cut off, [he only sells an area of] nine kabs.20 Said Abaye to him: What difference does it make whether he says one way or the other? Rabbah made no reply. The conclusion was drawn that in either case [the proper rule was that he sold him] half,
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