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Chapter 83:2
Areas Enclosed by Partitions

2. [In HY 83:1, we saw that if an area enclosed by partitions would require more than two "seah" of seed to sow it, and was not enclosed for dwelling purposes, it acquires the status of a "carmelis" and thus carrying within it is forbidden]. What are the dimensions of an area which would require two "seahs" of seed (called "Bais Sosayim")? It is equivalent in size to the courtyard of the "Mishkan" ("Tabernacle" - a portable tent of worship that was situated in the center of the Israelite encampment in the dessert after the exodus from Egypt], that is, 100 "amos" (1) by 50 "amos." Thus, if the area were square it would be 70 "amos" and four "tefachim" by 70 "amos" and four "tefachim". If the enclosure is round or any other shape, its area should total 5000 square "amos."

If, however, its length is more than twice its width, even by only a single "amah" (2), it is viewed as if its area exceeds a "Bais Sosayim," since it does not resemble the courtyard of the Sanctuary.


(1) Opinions among the authorities as to the exact length of a 'tefach' ('handbreadth') range between 8 and 10cm ( 3 to 4 inches). Opinions among the authorities as to the exact length of an "Amah" ("cubit") range between 48 and 60cm (20 to 24 inches).

(2) If the length exceeds the width by less than one "amah," it can still retain the status of a "Bais Sosayim."

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