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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
A man's vessel acquires for him ownership1 everywhere2 except in reshuth harabbim. But both R. Johanan and R. Simeon b. Lakish have stated: Even in reshuth harabbim. R. Papa said: There is no dispute [at all] between them. The former3 speak of reshuth harabbim; the latter,4 of an alley. Then why do they call it public territory?5 — Because it is not private territory.6 This7 may also be proved by logical deduction; for R. Abbahu said in the name of R. Johanan: A man's vessel acquires ownership for him wherever he is permitted to set it down. From this it is to be deduced that [only where] he is permitted [to set it down],8 he does [acquire ownership]; [but where] he is not permitted,9 [he does] not.
Come and hear: Four10 [different] laws [are applicable] to sales.11 Before the measure12 is filled, [the contents remain in the possession] of the seller.13 When the measure is filled, [the contents pass over into the possession] of the buyer.14 These laws apply to a measure which belonged to neither of them,15 but if the measure was [the property] of one of them, he [whose measure it is] acquires successive possession of every single unit of the quantity as soon as it is put in.16 These laws, [furthermore], apply to a reshuth harabbim and to a courtyard which belongs to neither of them,17 but [if the purchase was] on the premises of the seller, [the buyer] does not acquire possession18 until he has lifted19 it or has removed it from the seller's premises.20 [If the purchase was] on the premises of the buyer, he acquires possession as soon as the seller has consented [to the terms of the sale].21 [If the purchase was] on the premises of one with whom it had been deposited [by the seller]. possession cannot be acquired [by the buyer] until [the owner of the premises] has consented22 [to allow to the buyer a portion of his premises on which to effect acquisition of ownership], or until [the buyer] had hired the place it occupies. At any rate, it is taught here [that possession by means of one's vessel may be acquired] in reshuth harabbim and in a courtyard which belongs to neither of them.
Baba Bathra 85b
Does not this mean an actual reshuth harabbim?1 — No; [it means] an alley. But has it not been treated as being in a similar category to that of a courtyard which belongs to neither of them?2 — The [phrase], 'courtyard which belongs to neither of them', also signifies that [the court] is neither in the entire ownership of the one nor in the entire ownership of the other; but in the joint ownership of the two.
R. Shesheth inquired of R. Huna: [If] the buyer's vessel stands on the premises of the seller, does the buyer, [thereby] acquire possession [of a purchase placed in it] or not?3 — He replied unto him: You have learned this [in the following]:4 [If the husband] has thrown it [a get]5 into [his wife's] lap or into her work-basket,6 she is divorced.7 R. Nahman said unto him: Why do you bring an answer from this which has been refuted by a hundred arguments to one?8 For Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: This [law9 applies only to the case] where the work-basket was hanging upon her.10 And Resh Lakish said:11 Fastened [to], though not hanging upon her.12 R. Adda b. Ahaba said:13 When the basket was standing between her thighs.14 R. Mesharsheya, the son of R. Ammi, said:15 When her husband was a seller of women's work-baskets.16 R. Johanan said:15 The place [occupied by] her lap, [as well as] the place [occupied by] her work-basket, is her property. Raba said:15 R. Johanan's reason is because a man does not mind [conceding to his wife] either the place [occupied by] her lap17 or the place [taken up by] her work-basket. But, [concluded R. Nahman], bring your answer from this: [It has been taught18 that if the purchase was] on the premises of the seller, [the buyer] does not acquire possession until he has lifted it or has removed it from the seller's premises. Does not this [apply to the case when the purchase was] in the buyer's vessel?19 — No; in the seller's vessel. But now, since the first clause [deals with a case where the purchase is] in the seller's vessel, the final clause also [must deal with a purchase] in the seller's vessel, [how then can you] explain [this] final clause? [It reads:] [If the purchase was] on the premises of the buyer, he acquires possession as soon as the seller has consented [to the terms of the sale].20 Now, if [the purchase was, as you assert], in the seller's vessel, why does the buyer acquire possession? — The final clause deals with a case when the vessel belongs to the buyer. And how [do you arrive at such] a definite decision? — It is usual that at the seller's, the vessels of the seller are likely to be used; at the buyer's, the vessels of the buyer are likely to be used.
Raba said come and hear: [It has been taught:]21 [If] he has pulled his22 ass drivers [who pulled with them their asses], or his22 labourers and has [thus] brought them into his house [while the loads24 remained on their backs], whether the price was fixed before the measuring, or the measuring took place before the price was fixed, both25 may withdraw from the sale.26
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