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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
R. Ashi said: Any1 path [that runs] along the side [of a field] is crooked, [for] it is near to one and far from another.2 But let him say to them, 'Take yours and give me back mine'?3 — This [law of our Mishnah] is in accordance with [the view of] R. Eliezer; for it has been taught: R. Judah said in the name of R. Eliezer, [if] the public chose a path4 for themselves, that which they have chosen is theirs.5 [May, then], the public, according to R. Eliezer, act as robbers? — R. Giddal replied in the name of Rab: [R. Eliezer speaks of] a case where their path had been lost in that field.6 If so,7 why did Rabbah, son of R. Huna, state in the name of Rab [that] the halachah is not according to R. Eliezer?8 The reporter of the one statement is not the reporter of the other.9 What, then,10 is the reason [for the law of our Mishnah]?11 — [The reason is derived] from that of Rab Judah; for Rab Judah said: A path of which the public has taken possession12 must not be destroyed.13 Whereby does the public acquire possession [of the path, according to] R. Eliezer?14 By walking; for it has been taught: If he walked in it15 through the length of it and through the breadth of it, he has acquired the place where he walked — these are the words of R. Eliezer. And the Sages say: Walking is of no avail unless he has taken possession.16 R. Eleazar said: What is the reason of R. Eliezer? — For it is written, Arise walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it,' for I will give it unto thee.17 And the Rabbis?18 — There, He said to him thus19 only because of [His] love for Abraham, that his children may easily conquer [the land].20
R. Jose, son of R. Hanina, said: The Sages agree with R. Eleazar in [the case of] a path of vineyards. Since it was made [only] for walking it is acquired by walking.
When they came before R. Isaac b. Ammi [with the case of one who sold to another a path in vineyards], he said unto them: Give him [a path so wide] that he may carry [through it] a load of twigs and [be able to] turn round.21 This, [however], has been said only [in the case] where [the path] is marked out by walls, but when it is not marked out by walls [the width of the path need be only] so much as [to allow him] to lift up one foot and put down the other.22
A PRIVATE PATH … FOUR CUBITS. A Tanna taught: Others say [that the path must be of such a width] as an ass with its load may be able to pass. R. Huna said: The halachah is according to the Others. The Judges of the Exile23 say: [The width is to be] two cubits24 and a half; and R. Huna said [that] the halachah is according to the Judges of the Exile. Did not R. Huna say [that] the halachah is according to the Others? — Both measurements are identical.25
Baba Bathra 100b
a public road,1 sixteen cubits; the road to the cities of refuge,2 thirty two cubits. R. Huna said: From what Scriptural text [may this be inferred]? — From the text, Thou shalt prepare thee the way;3 [instead of], 'a way' [it is written], 'the way'.4
THE KING'S HIGHWAY HAS NO LIMIT[s], because a king may break a wall to make a way for himself and no one may prevent him.
THE PATH OF A FUNERAL CORTEGE HAS NO LIMIT[s], in deference to the dead.5
THE HALTING PLACE HAD, SAID THE JUDGES OF SEPPHORIS, AN AREA OF FOUR KAB etc. Our Rabbis taught: If a person has sold his [family] grave, the path to [this] grave, his halting place6 or his house of mourning, the members of [his] family may come and bury him perforce,7 in order [to avert] a slight upon the family.8
Our Rabbis taught: No less than seven halts and sittings9 are to be arranged for the dead, corresponding to10 Vanity of vanities. saith Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.11 R. Aha the son of Raba said to R. Ashi: What was their procedure? He replied unto him: As it has been taught; R. Judah said, At first they provided in Judea no less than seven halts and sittings for the dead in the [following] manner: [The leader called out after the escort had sat down on the ground]. 'Stand, dear [friends], stand up'; [and after they had walked for some distance he again called out]. 'Sit down, dear [friends], sit down'.12 They13 said unto him: If so,14 such [procedure] should be permitted on the Sabbath15 also!
The sister of Rami b. Papa was married to R. Iwya. [When] she died he arranged [in] her [honour]16 a 'halting and sitting'. R. Joseph said: He erred on two [points]. He erred [in] that [the ceremony of halting and sitting] is to be held with near [relatives]17 only, and he held it even with distant [ones]; and he [further] erred [in] that they were instituted only for the first day [of the burial], and he arranged [them] for the second day. Abaye said: He also erred on the following [point]. These18 [were instituted] to take place in the grave-yard only, and he arranged [them] within the town. Raba said: He also erred on the following [point]. These18 may be arranged only where they are the local practice, but there, these were not the practice.
An objection was raised: [It has been stated that] they said unto him, 'If so, such [procedure] should be permitted on the Sabbath also'. Now, if it is said [that the ceremonial is to take place] in the graveyard and on the first day [only], [for] what [purpose] is the graveyard required on the Sabbath?19 — In [the case of] a town which is near a graveyard [and the dead] was brought [to burial] at twilight.20
MISHNAH. IF ONE SELLS A PLOT [OF GROUND] TO ANOTHER AS A [FAMILY] GRAVE AND, LIKEWISE, IF ONE ACCEPTS [AN ORDER] FROM ANOTHER TO CONSTRUCT FOR HIM A [FAMILY] GRAVE, THE CENTRAL SPACE21 OF THE GROTTO MUST HAVE [AN AREA OF] FOUR CUBITS BY SIX.22 AND EIGHT SEPULCHRAL CHAMBERS ARE TO OPEN OUT INTO IT; THREE FROM [THE WALL ON] ONE SIDE.23 THREE FROM [THE WALL ON] THE OTHER,23 AND TWO [FROM THE WALL] IN FRONT.24 THE CHAMBERS MUST BE FOUR CUBITS IN LENGTH, SEVEN [HANDBREADTHS] IN HEIGHT,
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