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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
'The non-Jew said to me that he had bought it from you,' his plea is accepted. [But] can it be possible that a plea which would not be accepted if put forward by a non-Jew1 should be accepted if put forward by a Jew in the name of a non-Jew? Raba therefore corrected himself as follows: If the Jew pleads, 'The non-Jew bought it from you in my presence and sold it to me,' his plea is accepted, because if he had liked he could have brought against him [without fear of contradiction the still stronger plea], 'I myself bought it from you.'
Rab Judah further said:2 If a man takes a knife and a rope and says, 'I am going to gather the fruit from so-and-so's date tree which I have bought from him, 'his statement is accepted, because a man would not ordinarily presume to gather the fruit from a tree which does not belong to him. Rab Judah further said: If a man occupies the strip of another man's field outside of the 'wild animals' fence,'3 this does not constitute a hazakah, because the owner can say, [The reason why I did not protest was because] whatever he sows, the wild animals eat up. Rab Judah further said: If he ate thereof4 [only] 'uncircumcised' produce,5 this does not count towards the three years of hazakah. It has also been taught to the same effect: If he takes from it only 'uncircumcised' produce, the produce of 'mingled seed',6 or the produce of the Sabbatical year,7 this does not confer hazakah. R. Joseph said: If he takes from the field immature produce,8 this does not confer hazakah.9 If, however-added Raba-the field is in the 'neck of Mahuza',10 this does confer hazakah. R. Nahman said: The occupation of land which is full of cracks does not confer hazakah.11 If the land yields no more than is sown In it,12 its occupation does not confer hazakah.13 Members of the Exilarch's house do not obtain hazakah through occupation of our fields,14 nor do we obtain hazakah through occupation of theirs.15
AND SLAVES etc. Is there then a presumptive title to slaves? Has not Resh Lakish laid down that 'there is no presumptive title to living creatures?16 — Said Raba: [What Resh Lakish meant is that] there is no presumptive title in regard to them immediately, but there is after three years' possession.17 Raba further said: If the slave is an infant in a cradle, presumptive right to it is conferred immediately.18 Surely this is self-evident? — It required to be stated on account of the case where the child has a mother. You might think in that case that there is a chance that the mother brought it into the house where It now is [and left it there]. [Raba therefore] tells us that a mother does not forget her child.
Some goats [went into a field] in Nehardea [and] ate some peeled barley [which they found there]. The owner of the barley went and seized them, and made a heavy claim on the owner of the goats.19 The father of Samuel said: He can claim up to the value of the goats, because if he likes he can plead that the goats themselves are his by purchase.20 [But surely] Resh Lakish has said that there is no hazakah to living things? Goats are an exception, because they are entrusted to a goatherd.21 But they are left to themselves morning and evening?22 — In Nehardea thieves abound, and the goats are delivered from hand to hand.23
R. ISHMAEL SAYS, THREE MONTHS etc. May we say that the actual difference [between R. Ishmael24 and R. Akiba25] is in regard to ploughing,26 R. Ishmael holding that ploughing does not help to confer hazakah and R. Akiba that it does? — If this were the case, why should R. Akiba require a month
Baba Bathra 36b
in the first and third years? Even one day would be enough.1 — No! Both are agreed that ploughing does not help to confer)hazakah, and the difference between them is whether a full or partially grown crop is required.2 Our Rabbis taught: Ploughing does not help to confer hazakah. Some authorities hold, however, that it does help. Who are 'some authorities'? — R. Hisda said: This is the opinion of R. Aha, as we see from the following: If a man ploughs a field fallow one year and sows it two,3 or [even] ploughs it fallow two years and sows it one, this does not confer hazakah. R. Aha, however, says that it does give him a presumptive right.
R. Bibi inquired of R. Nahman: What is the reason of those authorities who lay down that ploughing does confer hazakah? — [He answered:] A man will not see someone else plough his field and keep quiet. And what is the reason of those who say that ploughed fallow does not confer hazakah? — Because the owner says to himself, 'The more he ploughs the better for me.'4 The people of Pum Nahara sent to inquire of R. Nahman b. R. Hisda as follows: Will our master be so good as to instruct us whether ploughed fallow helps to confer hazakah or not? He replied: R. Aha and all the chief authorities of the age hold that ploughed fallow does help to confer hazakah. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: You gain nothing by citing authorities;5 for Rab and Samuel in Babylon and R. Ishmael and R. Akiba in Eretz Yisrael held that ploughing does not help to confer presumptive right. The views of R. Ishmael and R. Akiba [on the subject] can be derived from the Mishnah.6 Where do we find the view of Rab on the subject? — In the following statement: Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: This7 is the view of R. Ishmael and R. Akiba, but the Sages say that the hazakah [of such a field] is conferred only by occupation for three full years.8 Now the expression 'full years' is intended to exclude ploughed fallow, is it not?9 Where is the view of Samuel on the subject expressed? — In the following statement: Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: This is the view of R. Ishmael and R. Akiba, but the Sages say that hazakah is not obtained until the occupier- has gathered in three crops of dates and culled three vintages and plucked three crops of olives. Where does the difference arise between Rab and Samuel? — The difference arises In the case of a young date tree.10
R. ISHMAEL SAID: THIS APPLIES ONLY TO A CORNFIELD etc. Abaye said: On the strength of R. Ishmael's ruling,11 we may attribute the following opinion to the Rabbis.12 Suppose a man has thirty trees in a field planted ten to the beth se'ah,13 then if he takes the produce of ten in one year, ten in the next, and ten in the third year, this constitutes hazakah.14
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