Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Bava Batra 59: Chazaka for Gutters, Windows, Beams and New Construction

A brief summary of today's daf with help from Revach l'Daf, The Daf Yomi Advancement Forum, and Steinsaltz:


  • When a person has a chazaka for a stone gutter overhanging one's property, one cannot build below it because construction (banging on iron could damage the stone structure)
  • If someone has chazaka on a gutter, they also have chazaka on its water, and so the water pipe could not be closed up without consent.
  • How small must a small ladder be to be exempt from chazaka?  Less than four rungs
  • Only a window that is accessible and easy to look out of without standing on anything can one create a chazaka for that window
  • A window for light always creates a chazaka.  Perhaps our Mishna referred to a window for watching one's field
  • Our Mishna teaches that beams that jut out of a wall need to be at least one handbreadth to create a chazaka
  • If a person has a beam that is jutting out by four handbreadths but is only one handbreadth wide, s/he may increase its width to four handbreadths
  • If one has a beam jutting out one handbreadth into one's neighbour's property, one may use that beam even if the neighbour protests.  As long as one cannot see into the other's property, this is permitted
  • One cannot build a new windows in one's house if it faces another due to privacy concerns
Clearly the rabbis are concerned with one's individual rights verses the rights of a community.  They are also committed to balancing the property rights of neighbours, family members, and communities.  Still an impossible job.