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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
and the Rabbis ascertained that five [species sown] in six [handbreadths square] do not draw [sustenance] from each other.1 And how do we know that that which the Rabbis ascertain is of consequence?2 For R. Hiyya b. Abba said in R. Johanan's name: What is meant by, Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old have set?3 The landmark which they of old have set thou shalt not encroach upon.4 What landmarks did they of old set? R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Johanan's name, [Even] as it is written, These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the earth:5 are then the whole world inhabitants of heaven? But it means that they were thoroughly versed in the cultivation of the earth. For they used to say, This complete [measuring] rod [of land is fit] for olives, this complete [measuring] rod [is fit] for vines, this complete [measuring] rod for figs.6 And Horite [hori] implies that they smelled [merikin] the earth. And Hivite [hiwi]? Said R. Papa: [It teaches] that they tasted the earth like a serpent [hiwya].7 R. Aha b. Jacob said: Horite [hori] implies that they become free [horin] from [the cares of] their property.8
R. Assi said: The internal area of the seed-bed must be six [handbreadths square], apart from its borders.9 It was taught likewise: The internal area of the seed-bed must be six [handbreadths square]. How much must its borders be?10 — As we learnt, R. Judah said: Its breadth must be the full breadth of [the sole of] a foot, R. Zera — others say, R. Hanina b. Papa — said: What is R. Judah's reason? Because it is written, and wateredst it with thy foot:11 just as the [sole of] the foot is a handbreadth, so must the border too be a handbreadth.
Rab said: We learnt of a seed bed in a waste plot.12 But there is the corner space?13 — The School of Rab14 answered in Rab's name: It refers to one who fills up the corners. Yet let one sow on the outside,15 and not fill up the inside?
— It is a preventive measure, lest he fill up the corners. Yet let it not be other than a triangular plot1 of vegetables? Did we not learn, If a triangular plot of vegetables enters another field,2 this is permitted, because it is evidently the end of a field?3 — [The permissibility of] a triangular plot does not apply to a seed-bed.4
But Samuel maintained: We learnt of a seed-bed in the midst of [other] seed-beds. But they intermingle? — He inclines one strip in one direction and one strip in another direction,
'Ulla said: They asked in the West [Palestine]: What if a person draws one furrow across the whole?5 R. Shesheth maintained: The intermingling comes and annuls the strips.6 R. Assi said: The intermingling does not annul the strips. Rabina raised an objection to R. Ashi: If one plants two rows of cucumbers, two rows of gourds, and two rows of Egyptian beans, they are permitted;7 one row of cucumbers, one row of gourds and one of Egyptian beans, they are forbidden?8 — Here it is different, because there is entanglement.9
R. Kahana said in R. Johanan's name: If one desires to fill his whole garden with vegetables,10 he can divide it into11 bed[s] six [handbreadths] square, describe in each a circle five [handbreadths in diameter], and fill its corners with whatever he pleases.12 But there is the [space] between [the beds]?13 — Said the School of R. Jannai: He leaves the interspaces waste.14 R. Ashi said: If they [the beds] are sown in the length, he sows them [the interspaces] in the breadth, and vice versa.15 Rabina objected to R. Ashi: The planting16 of one vegetable with another [requires] six handbreadths [square],17 and they are regarded
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