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is lenient, as he maintains that donors are not particular in this regard. This shows that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is not bothered by a change of mind if no harm results.

Abaye said: Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel’s reason is as explained by the Master, Abaye’s teacher Rabba, as the Master says: One for whom it is preferable to grow crops and yet have his land remain as fertile as if it lay fallow should plant wheat one year and barley the next year. In addition, he should plant one year lengthwise and the following year crosswise. In this manner, he will prevent the field from being weakened.

The Gemara comments: And we said that his use of the land with-out following these dictates would weaken it only where he does not plow and repeat his plowing, i.e., plow the field twice before reseeding it, but if he plows and repeats his plowing, we have no problem with it. Consequently, the reasoning of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is that a change of crops at the wrong time can weaken the field.

§ The mishna states that one who receives a field to plant it with grain may not plant it with legumes. Rav Yehuda taught Ravin that the halakha is that one who receives a field to plant it with grain may plant it with legumes. Ravin said to him: But didn’t we learn in the mishna that one who receives a field to plant it with grain may not plant it with legumes? Rav Yehuda said to him: This is not difficult, as this halakha is for us, the residents of Babylonia, and that halakha is for them, the residents of Eretz Yisrael. Since what type of seed to plant depends on the quality of the land, in Eretz Yisrael, where the land is weak, there is concern that the land will be weakened. This concern does not apply to Babylonian fields.

Rav Yehuda said to Ravin bar Rav Naḥman: Ravin my brother, those cress plants that grow among flax are not subject to the prohibition of robbery, as the one taking them is effectively weeding the field, and the owner prefers that the cress not grow so as to not affect the growing flax. But if the plants stand on the boundary of where the flax is growing, so that their remaining there would not have a negative impact on the growing flax, they are subject to the prohibition of robbery, as it is assumed that the owner grew the plants there intentionally.

And if the cress plants were sufficiently grown to the point that they were hardened with seed growing inside, i.e., they were fully grown, then even if they were among the flax, they are subject to the prohibition of robbery. What is the reason? Concerning that flax to which they have already caused a loss, they have already caused the loss. Since the flax has already been damaged, by removing the cress now he does nothing to improve the crop and merely takes something from the owner.

Ravin bar Rav Naḥman and Rav Yehuda owned adjacent fields, and their trees leaned over the boundaries. Rav Yehuda said to Ravin bar Rav Naḥman: Ravin my brother, these that are mine are yours, and those that are yours are mine. This is because it is customary with regard to those whose fields border on the field of their neighbors that with regard to a tree that tilts to here, i.e., to the property of one of them, its fruit belongs to the owner of the field here, to where it is tilting, and with regard to one that tilts to there, i.e., to the other side, its fruit belongs to the owner of the field there, as neighbors are not particular which portion of the land actually grew the fruit.

As a dispute was stated about this issue between amora’im: With regard to a tree that stands on the border between fields, Rav says: That which tilts to here, i.e., to this field, its fruit belongs to the owner of the field here, and that which tilts to there belongs to the owner of the field there. And Shmuel says: The owners of the two fields divide all the fruit.

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: With regard to a tree that stands on the border between fields, they divide its fruit. This is apparently a conclusive refutation of Rav. The Gemara responds: Shmuel interpreted the baraita so that it should be in accordance with the opinion of Rav as referring to a case where the tree fills the entire boundary, and consequently it belongs to both of them.

The Gemara asks: If so, this is obvious; what is the purpose of the baraita stating its ruling? The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary in a situation where its boughs hang more to one side. The Gemara asks: But still, what is the purpose of stating it? The novelty of this halakha remains unclear. The Gemara explains: It is necessary, lest you say that the owner of the field above which the boughs hang can say to the owner of the other field: Let us divide the fruit in this manner, where each of us receives the fruit that grows over his land. The tanna therefore teaches us that the owner of the other field may say to him: What did you see to make you prefer to divide the fruit in this manner, based on bisecting the tree in one direction; divide the fruit instead in that manner, i.e., based on bisecting the tree in the other direction, so that we each receive an equal share.

§ Rav Yehuda said to Ravin bar Rav Naḥman: Ravin my brother, do not buy land that is near a town, as Rabbi Abbahu says that Rav Huna says that Rav says: It is prohibited for a person to stand by another’s field when its ripe grain is standing, i.e., when its produce is ready for harvest, as he might harm the produce with the evil eye. Similarly, land near a town may be harmed by the people of the town watching it.

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But when Rabbi Abba encountered Rav’s students he said to them: What does Rav say with regard to the meaning of these verses of blessing: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field” (Deuteronomy 28:3), and: “Blessed shall you be when you enter, and blessed shall you be when you exit” (Deuteronomy 28:6)?

And they said to him: This is what Rav said: “Blessed shall you be in the city” means that your house should be adjacent to a synagogue, and the phrase: “Blessed shall you be in the field” means that your property should be near the city. “Blessed shall you be when you enter” means that you will not find your wife in a state where it is uncertain whether she has the halakhic status of a menstruating woman when you come in from a journey, which would render her forbidden to you. “Blessed shall you be when you go out” means that those who emerge from you, i.e., your descendants, should be like you.

And Rabbi Abba said to them: Rabbi Yoḥanan did not say this, but he interpreted the verse as follows: “Blessed shall you be in the city,” means that there should be a bathroom near your table, but he did not refer to a synagogue. The Gemara adds: And Rabbi Yoḥanan conforms to his line of reasoning in this regard, as he says: There is a reward for the steps one takes to reach the location of a mitzva, and one who lives adjacent to a synagogue will not have the opportunity to earn this reward.

The Gemara returns to Rabbi Yoḥanan’s exposition of the verses: “Blessed shall you be in the field” means that your property should be divided into thirds: One-third should be invested in grain, one-third in olives, and one-third in grapevines. “Blessed shall you be when you enter and blessed shall you be when you exit” means that your exit from the world should be like your entry into the world: Just as your entry into the world was without sin, so too your exit from the world should be without sin.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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