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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Gittin
which is usually on the move, but in the case of a pot which is motionless it is not necessary. And again, perhaps the Rabbis would say that only in the boat [is there this obligation even if it is not touching bottom], since there is no air in between [the boat and the bottom], the water being reckoned as earth for purposes of contact, but not in the case of the pot where the air underneath breaks its contact with the earth. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: In regard to a boat on a river in Eretz Israel there is no difference of opinion between the authorities.1 Where the difference arises is in the case of a boat in the open sea, as may be seen from the following: What do we reckon as Eretz Israel and what do we reckon as foreign parts? From the top2 of the Mountains of Ammanon3 inwards is 'Eretz Israel', and from the top of the Mountains of Ammanon outwards is 'foreign parts'. [For determining the status of] the islands in the sea, we imagine a line drawn from the Mountains of Ammanon to the Brook of Egypt.4 All within the line belongs to Eretz Israel and all outside the line to foreign parts. R. Judah, however, holds that all islands fronting the coast of Eretz Israel are reckoned as Eretz Israel, according to the verse of Scripture, And for the western border, ye shall have the Great Sea for a border; this shall be your west border.5 [To determine the status of] the islands on the border line,6 we imagine a line drawn [due west] from Kapluria7 to the Ocean8 and another from the Brook of Egypt to the Ocean. All within these lines belong to Eretz Israel and all outside to foreign parts. How do the Rabbis expound the superfluous words, 'and for the border'? They say it is required to [bring in] the islands.9 And R. Judah? — He will rejoin that for the inclusion of the islands no special indication is required.10
R. MEIR SAYS: ACCO IS IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS ERETZ ISRAEL etc. The following inquiry was propounded to R. Hiyya b. Abba: If a man sells his slave into Syria,11 is he reckoned as selling him into foreign parts or not? — He replied: You have learnt it: R. MEIR SAYS: ACCO IS IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS ERETZ ISRAEL IN RESPECT OF BILLS OF DIVORCE; in respect of bills of divorce, that is, but not in respect of slaves. And if this is the case with Acco, how much more so with Syria, which is much further from Eretz Israel.
Our Rabbis have taught: 'In three respects Syria is in the same category as Eretz Israel and in three others in the same category as foreign parts.' (Mnemonic: 'AB BoR ReK).12 Its earth is unclean like that of foreign parts, and to sell a slave to Syria is like selling him to foreign parts, and a Get brought from Syria is reckoned as one brought front foreign parts. [On the other hand,] it is in three respects like Eretz Israel: It is subject to the obligations of tithe and Sabbatical year like the Land of Israel, it is permissible for an Israelite to enter it in a state of ritual purity, and a field bought in Syria
is like one bought on the outskirts of Jerusalem.'1
[Our authority says that Syria] 'is subject to the obligations of tithe and Sabbatical year': [obviously] he is of opinion that the conquest of an individual2 is a valid conquest.3 [He further says that] 'it is permissible to enter Syria in a state of ritual purity.' How can this be, seeing that you say that its earth is unclean? — What is meant is that he may enter it in a box, chest, or portable turret, as has been taught: If one enters the land of the Gentiles in a box, chest, or portable turret, Rabbi declares him to be unclean, but R. Jose son of R. Judah does not. And even Rabbi makes this rule only for the land of the Gentiles, the soil and the air of which were proclaimed unclean by the Rabbis, but in regard to Syria they proclaimed only the soil unclean but not the air.4
[Our authority further says that] 'a field bought in Syria is like one bought on the outskirts of Jerusalem'. What rule of conduct can be based on this? — R. Shesheth Says: It means that a contract for selling it [to a Jew] can be drawn up even on Sabbath. What? On Sabbath? — You know the dictum of Raba, 'He tells a non-Jew to do it.' So here, he tells a non-Jew to draw up the contract. And although there is a Rabbinical prohibition5 against telling a non-Jew to do things on Sabbath [which we may not do ourselves], where it was a question of furthering the [Jewish] settlement of Eretz Israel the Rabbis did not apply the prohibition.
Our Rabbis have taught: If a slave brings before the Beth din his deed of manumission6 in which is written, 'Your own person and my property are made over to you', he becomes [ipso facto] his own master7 but not owner of the property.8
The question was propounded: [Suppose the document ran:] 'All my property is made over to you',9 what is the ruling? — Abaye said: Since the document makes him his own master, it makes him owner of the property also.10 Said Raba to him: I agree that he becomes his own master, because [in respect of himself his document] is on a par with the Get of a wife. But he must not become owner of the property, because [in respect of the property his Get] requires confirmation like any other document. Abaye then corrected himself and said: Since he does not become by means of his document the owner of the property, he does not become his own master either. Said Raba to him: I agree that he should not become owner of the property, because in respect of the property [his document] requires confirmation like any other document; but he should become his own master, because [in respect of himself, his document] is on a par with the Get of a wife. The fact of the matter is, continued Raba, that both with the one [wording] and the other, he becomes his own master but not owner of the property.
Said R. Abba b. Mattena to Raba: This ruling accords with the principle laid down by R. Simeon, that a single statement may receive two diverse applications, for we have learnt: If a man assigns all his property to his slave, the latter becomes ipso facto free, but if he excepted a piece of land, however small, he does not become free.11 R. Simeon, however, holds
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