A certain document [was brought into court] bearing the signatures of two witnesses, one of whom had died. The brother of the one who was still alive came with another witness to testify to the signature of the other [the deceased]. Rabina was disposed to decide that this case was covered by the Mishnah of three brothers each associated with the same witness.1 Said R. Ashi to him: Surely the cases are not on all fours. In that case [if the evidence of the brothers was accepted] three-quarters of the money would not be assigned on the evidence of brothers, but in this case [if we allow this man to testify] three-quarters of the money will be assigned on the evidence of brothers.2
MISHNAH. CERTAIN USAGES CONSTITUTE HAZAKAH, WHILE CERTAIN OTHERS THOUGH SIMILAR DO NOT CONSTITUTE HAZAKAH.3 IF A MAN WAS IN THE HABIT OF STATIONING HIS BEAST IN A COURTYARD OR OF FIXING THERE HIS OVEN, HANDMILL, PORTABLE STOVE OR HEN-COOP, OR OF THROWING HIS MANURE THERE, THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE HAZAKAH. BUT IF HE HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO PUT UP A PARTITION FOR HIS BEAST TEN HANDBREADTHS IN HEIGHT, OR FOR HIS OVEN OR HIS STOVE OR HIS HANDMILL, OR IF HE HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO BRING FOWLS INTO THE HOUSE OR TO MAKE A PIT FOR HIS MANURE THREE HANDBREADTHS DEEP OR A HEAP THREE HANDBREADTHS HIGH, THIS CONSTITUTES HAZAKAH.
GEMARA. Why is the rule in the second case different from that in the first?4 — 'Ulla said: Any act which confers legal ownership of the property of a deceased proselyte5 confers legal ownership of that of a fellow Jew,6 and any act which does not confer legal ownership of the property of a deceased proselyte does not confer legal ownership of property of a fellow Jew.7 R. Shesheth raised strong objections against this. Is this, [he asked] a general principle?8 What of ploughed land which confers ownership of the property of a deceased proselyte but not of that of a fellow Jew?9 And what of the gathering of crops, which confers ownership of property of a fellow Jew but not of the property of a deceased proselyte?10 No, said R. Nahman in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha;
Baba Bathra 57b
we are dealing here with a courtyard belonging to several joint owners, who do not object to [any one of their number] merely stationing things there, but who do object to [his making] a partition there.1 But do they not object to things being merely stationed [there]? Have we not learnt that joint owners of a courtyard who have vowed to have no benefit from one another are forbidden to enter the courtyard?2 — The truth is, said R. Nahman in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha, that we are dealing here with the open space behind the houses, where the owners do not mind things being stationed, but where they do mind a partition being made. R. papa said: In both cases [of the vow and of the beast etc.] we are dealing with a courtyard of joint owners, [and the reason why the rule is different is this:] Some owners are particular and some are not. Where the issue is a pecuniary one,3 we take the more lenient view.4 But where the issue is one of [breaking] a religious precept,5 we take the more stringent view.6 Rabina said: Indeed we assume in all cases that the joint owners are not particular,7 and the rule [regarding vows] is based on the opinion of R. Eliezer, as it has been taught: R. Eliezer says, One who has vowed to receive no benefit from another is forbidden to take even a makeweight from him.8
R. Johanan said in the name of R. Bana'ah: Joint owners of a courtyard can stop one another from using the courtyard for any purpose save that of washing [clothes], since it is not fitting that the daughters of Israel should expose themselves to the public gaze while washing [clothes].9 It is written: [The righteous one is] he that shutteth his eyes from looking upon evil,10 and [commenting on this] R. Hiyya b. Abba said: This refers to a man who does not look at the women when they are washing [clothes]. How are we to understand this? If there is another road, then if [he does not take it] he is wicked.11 If there is no other road, then how can he help himself? — We suppose that there is no other road, and even so it is incumbent on him to hide his eyes from them.12
R. Johanan asked R. Bana'ah13 how [long] the under-garment14 of a talmid hakam15 [should be]. He replied: So long that his flesh should not be visible beneath16 it. How [long should] the upper garment of a talmid hakam [be]? — So long that not more than a handbreadth of his under-garment should be visible underneath. How should the table of a talmid hakam be laid? — Two-thirds should be covered with a cloth and the other third should be uncovered for putting the dishes and vegetables on;17 and the ring18 should be outside.19 But has it not been taught that the ring should be inside?20 — There is no contradiction. In one case [we suppose] there is a child at the table,21 and in the other that there is no child. Or if you like I can say [that in both cases [we suppose] there is no child, and still there is no contradiction: in one case [we suppose] there is a waiter at table22 and in the other there is no waiter.23 Or if you like I can say that in both cases [we suppose] there is a waiter, and still there is no contradiction; in the one case we refer to the day24 and in the other to the night. The table of an 'am ha'arez25 is like
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