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Chapter 82:11
Carrying from One Domain to Another

11. It is forbidden to draw water on Shabbos from a stream that flows through one's courtyard (1).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) This prohibition applies only to a stream that is at least ten "tefachim" deep (approx.95cm) and at least four "tefachim" wide (approx. 37cm), because a stream of those dimensions is considered a separate domain, and is defined as a "carmelis" (See HY 81:4); therefore, one may not transfer water from it to the courtyard, which is a private domain. If, however, the stream was either less than ten "tefachim" deep or less than four "tefachim" wide, one may draw water from it, because it is considered part of the courtyard, and not a separate entity. Furthermore, if the stream is not flowing in from the outside, but is a self-contained pool within the courtyard, it is considered part of the courtyard, even if it is over ten "tefachim" deep, and more than four "tefachim" wide.

The solution to this problem is to build a partition ("Mechitzah") at least ten "tefachim" high at both the place where the stream enters the courtyard, and the place where it exits; the partitions serve to halachically separate between the part of the stream which exists outside the courtyard walls, and the part within the walls; as a result, the section of the stream within the walls is considered part of the courtyard, and not a separate entity; one may then draw water from it on Shabbos. The actual walls of the courtyard itself, are not sufficient to perform this separation, even if they extend down into the water, because it has to be clear that the partitions were built specifically for separating between the different sections of the stream.

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