Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. A bald plot of vineyard must, according to Beth Shammai, "measure twenty-four square amoth;" and, according to Beth Hillel, "sixteen square amoth of any other kind of seed is to be sown therein." The exterior space of the vineyard [independent of the plot in question], must, according to Beth Shammai, "measure sixteen;" and, according to Beth Hillel, "twelve square amoth." What is [understood] by [the expression], a bald plot of vineyard? Such
part of the vineyard as is bare of vines. If it be less than sixteen square amoth, no other kind of seed may be sown therein; but if it measure that superficies, a sufficient vacancy is allowed for the cultivation of the vines growing near it, and the rest [of the ground] may be sown on.
§ 2. What is [meant by the expression], the exterior space of the vineyard? The space between the vineyard, [the ground on which the vines are set], and the fence [hedge which surrounds it]. If that space be less than twelve square amoth, no other seed is to be sown therein; but if it measure that superficies, a vacant space must be allowed for the cultivation of the vines growing near it, and the rest [of the ground] may be sown on.
§ 3. R. Jehudah saith, "This [last-mentioned space] is only the fence of the vineyard. What then does actually constitute the exterior space [in question]? The angle between two vineyards. What is understood by the expression, a fence? A hedge ten hands high, or a trench [ditch], ten hands deep and four wide."
§ 4. A partition [wall] of canes is considered a fence, provided the space between each cane be less than three hands wide, so that a young kid cannot pass through the opening. If there be a breach in the fence to the extent of ten amoth, it is considered as a gate [entrance]. Should a greater portion of the fence be broken down [than ten hands wide], it is unlawful to sow or plant towards [in] the breach. If there are several breaches in the fence, should the portion still standing [erect] be greater than that broken down, it is permitted; but should the portion broken down be greater than that standing [erect], it is prohibited [to plant or sow in or towards the breaches].
§ 5. If a man set five vines in a single row, that, according to Beth Shammai, "forms a vineyard;" whereas, according to Beth Hillel, "a vineyard is not formed by less than two rows." [Consequently], if a man sow [any kind of seed] within the four amoth [next adjoining the vines], Beth Shammai hold, "that he has consecrated [rendered the produce unlawful], if there be one row of vines;" whereas Beth. Hillel hold "that he has not consecrated [rendered the produce unlawful] unless there be two rows of vines." 3
§ 6. If two vines be set so as to face two vines, and the fifth to form a tail, [point or angle], (thus, ), they constitute a vineyard.
[paragraph continues] Two vines facing two vines, and one vine between three, (thus, ), or two facing two, and one in the middle, (thus, ), do not constitute a vineyard, as that can only be formed by two facing two, and the fifth [vine] standing out [as a tail or angle].
§ 7. If a man have planted one row of vines on his own ground, and there be another row on the adjoining field of his neighbour, should there be [between the two rows] a private footpath or a public thoroughfare, or a fence less than ten hands high, the two rows must be [considered as] joined, [forming one vineyard]; but if the fence be higher than ten hands, the two rows are not to be [considered as] joined. R. Jehudah saith, "If the vines be trained above the fence they must be [considered as] joined [forming one vineyard].
§ 8. If a man plant two rows of vines, [two in each row], he must not sow any seed in the clear vacant space between them, unless that be eight amoth wide. If he has planted three [such] rows, he must not sow any seed in the clear vacant space between them, unless that be sixteen amoth wide. R. Eleazar ben Jacob said, on the authority of Hananiah ben Hakinai, "Even though the central row should have been destroyed, man must not sow any seed in the clear [vacant space] between the remaining [two] rows, unless it be sixteen amoth wide; although, had but two rows been planted at first, the vacant interval need only have been eight amoth wide."
§ 9. If a man have planted his vineyard at intervals of sixteen amoth, he is at liberty to sow any kind of seed in it. R. Jehudah said, "It happened at Zalmon, that a man had set his vineyard at intervals of sixteen amoth. One year he trained the branches of every two rows in one direction, and sowed in the opposite direction; and the next year he trained the branches in another direction, and sowed on the ground that had lain fallow: The matter was brought before the sages, and they sanctioned [his manner of proceeding]." R. Meir and R. Simeon say, "He who sets his vineyard at intervals of eight amoth, is also at liberty to sow in it."
21:3 This difference of opinion arises from the circumstance, that single vines require no greater allowance of ground than a square of six hands, whereas, in a vineyard, each vine requires an allowance of four square amoth.