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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
This, however, is not so, because R. Yemar b. Shelemiah has said: Abaye has himself explained to me that whether he writes, 'The boundary [of the field] is the field from which half has been cut off,' or 'The boundary [of the field] is the field from which a piece is cut off,' if he adds the words, 'these are its boundaries', [then he sells him] half,1 and if he does not add the words 'these are its boundaries', [then he sells him] nine kabs.2
We take it for granted that if a man says, Let so-and-so share3 my property, [he is to receive] a half. If he says, Give so-and-so a share in my property, what is to be done?4 — Rabina b. Kisi said, Come and hear: it has been taught: If a man says, Give so-and-so a share in a cistern, Symmachus5 says that he is to receive not less than a quarter.6 [If the man says], Give him a share [in the cistern] for his pail,7 he is to receive not less than an eighth. [If he says, Give him a share] for his pot,8 he is to receive not less than a twelfth. [If he says, Give him a share] for his drinking cup,9 he is to receive not less than a sixteenth.
Our Rabbis taught: If a Levite sells a field to any [ordinary] Israelite10 with the stipulation that the first tithe11 therefrom is to be given to him,12 the first tithe from it must be given to him. If he stipulated that it was to be given to him and to his sons and he then died, it is to be given to his sons. If the stipulation is, 'as long as this field is in your possession,' and he [the purchaser] sells it and then buys it again, the Levite has no claim on him. How can [all] this be, seeing that a man cannot transfer to another possession of something that does not yet exist?13 — Since the Levite stipulated that the first tithe should be given to him, he in effect reserved to himself the area of the tithe.14 Resh Lakish said: This shows that if a man sells an apartment to another with the stipulation that the top layer15 is still to belong to him, the top layer belongs to him.
Baba Bathra 63b
For what purpose is the new rule laid down by Resh Lakish?1 — [In order to tell us] that if the vendor desires to let out projecting spars from the roof, he is at liberty to do so.2 R. Papa says: [In order to tell us] that if he desires to build an upper chamber over the apartment, he is at liberty to do so.3 Accepting R. Zebid's view, we understand why Resh Lakish used the expression 'this shows'.4 But on the view of R. Papa, why should he have said, 'this shows'?5 — This is really a difficulty.
R. Dimi of Nehardea said: If a man sells an apartment to another,6 even though he inserts in the deed of sale the words, '[I sell you] the depth and the height',7 he must further insert the words, 'Acquire for thyself possession from the depth of the earth to the height of heaven,' because the space below and above is not transferred automatically.8 Hence the words 'depth and height' avail to transfer the space below and above, while the words 'from the depth of the earth to the height of heaven' avail to transfer a well, a cistern and cavities.
Shall we say [that the following Mishnah] supports R. Dimi: The vendor does not transfer the well and the cistern even though he inserts the words 'depth and height'?9 Now if you should assume that the space below and above is transferred automatically, then the insertion of the words 'depth and height' should avail to transfer well, cistern and cavities [should they not]? — [We suppose the Mishnah to refer to the case] where these words were not inserted.10 But the Mishnah distinctly says, 'although he inserts the words [depth and height']? — We must explain the Mishnah thus: Even if these words are not actually inserted they are regarded as being inserted for the purpose of transferring the space below and above; and as regards a well and a cistern, if the words 'depth and height' are inserted, these are transferred, but otherwise not.11
Come and hear:12 NOR THE ROOF SO LONG AS IT HAS A PARAPET TEN HANDBREADTHS HIGH.
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