Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. How can the bounds of a town be enlarged [extended]? If one house recede [from the city wall], and [another] house project [therefrom], or if a ruin recede or project, or if fragments of a wall ten hands high [lie beyond the walls], or if there be any bridges or cemeteries, with dwelling-houses thereon, the measurement of the town is commenced from them; and the whole is formed into a kind of square, in order to gain the angles.
§ 2. An allowance of [seventy and two-thirds amoth] space must be made to the town. Such is the dictum of R. Meir; but the sages hold, "that such an allowance is to be made only if two towns be so close to each other, that each only requires seventy and two-thirds
amoth [to bring them within techoom; in that case] an allowance is made to both, [so that they become] as one."
§ 3. So likewise, if three villages form a triangle, and the two outer ones require 14⅓ amoth, [a double allowance to bring them within techoom of each other], he [in idea] places the third one between them, so that the three become as if they were one.
§ 4. They are not to measure [the techoom], except with a line [exactly] fifty amoth long, neither more nor less; and he [who measures] must not measure except from his breast. 1 If, during the measurement, he arrives at a deep dale [cleft], or heap of stones, he passes [his line] over it, and resumes his measurement, if he arrive at a hillock, he passes [his line] over it, and resumes his measurement, provided always he does not outstep the techoom [in so doing]. If he cannot pass [his line] over [the hillock, because it is too high], R. Dostai bar Janai said of such, [a circumstance] I have heard on the authority of R. Meir, "that they [who measure] cut straight through the mountain [in idea]."
§ 5. The measurement must be undertaken by him only who is expert [in measuring land]. [If the techoom has been carried] farther to one place, and less far to another, they abide by the farther [measurement] . If one surveyor [has carried the limit] farther than another, they abide by the farther [measurement]. Even a bond-man or a bond-woman is credible [entitled to belief], if either say, "Until here, is a techoom Sabbath;" for the sages did not intend to enforce a more rigid observance, but to make it more easy.
§ 6. If a town [originally the property] of a single individual, becomes [property] of the public, all [the householders residing thereon] must join in preparing the erub. [Should the town originally have been property] of the public, and is become [property] of one individual, all [the householders] are not to join in the erub, but [a number] must be left out equal to the new town in Judæa, in which there are fifty dwellings. Such is the dictum of R. Jehudah; but R. Simeon holds, "[it is sufficient if] three courts, with two houses in each [are left out]."
§ 7. Should a man [on the eve of the day of rest] be at the east [of his habitation], and say to his son, "Place my erub towards the west;" or [being] to the west [of his habitation], he say to his son,
[paragraph continues] "Place my erub to the east;" if [the distance] from the place where he is to his habitation is [within] 2000 amoth, and to his erub further than that, he must take his Sabbath-rest 2 at his habitation, but must not take it at his erub; [if the distance] to his erub be [within] 2000 amoth, and to his habitation further than that, he must take [his Sabbath-rest] at his erub, but must not take it at his habitation. If a man has deposited his erub within the limits of a town, he has [in law] done nothing, and it is nothing; if he has deposited it [the erub] out of the techoom, even though but a single amah, whatever extent of ground he gains in this direction, he loses in the opposite one. 3
§ 8. The inhabitants of a large town may traverse the whole of a small town [that lies within or adjoining their techoom], but the inhabitants of the small [town] must not traverse the whole extent of the large town. 4 How are they to do? If an inhabitant of the large town place his erub in the small town, or an inhabitant of the small town place his in the large towel, each may traverse either town, and proceed 2000 amoth beyond its confines. R. Akivah saith, "He has only [the right to proceed] 2000 amoth from the place where he deposited his erub."
§ 9. R. Akivah said to them [the sages], "Will ye not grant me, in the case of him who deposits his erub in a cavern, that he has not [the right to proceed] further than 2000 amoth from the place where he has [left] his erub?" They replied "[True; but] when is this the case? if there are no habitations within the cavern; but if there are habitations [prepared] within it, 5 he may not only traverse the whole of the cavern, but also proceed 2000 amoth outside of it." [Consequently, the observance] is found less rigid as to the interior [of a cavern], than as to [the space] above [it]. As to him who measures [spoken of before], he is only allowed [to carry the techoom] 2000 amoth [from the place whence he started], even though the end of his measurement should terminate in a cavern.
82:1 That is to say, while measuring he invariably holds the line to his breast; this has been enacted to ensure an uniformity in the measuring.
83:2 The spot from whence he is entitled to proceed 2000 amoth, in any direction, on the day of rest.
83:3 The techoom becomes diminished (to him individually) in one direction, by the same extent that he has enlarged it in the opposite direction.
83:4 They must not exceed their legal Sabbath distance of 2000 amoth from the bounds of their town.
83:5 In Palestine there are many spacious caverns which are prepared so as to be fit for human habitations; they have frequently been inhabited, particularly in times of religious persecution.