Bava Batra, Chapter Two, Mishnah Six

 

Introduction

Today’s mishnah continues to deal with dovecotes.

 

Mishnah Six

1)                     If a young pigeon is found within fifty cubits it belongs to the owner of the dovecote; but if it is found beyond fifty cubits it belongs to he finds it.

a)                                           If it is found between two dovecotes:  if it is nearer to this one than it belongs him [that owns this dovecote]; and if it is nearer to the other, it belongs to him [that owns the other dovecote]; and if it is at a like distance from either, they share it.

 

Explanation

This mishnah is a simple mishnah dealing with pigeons that are lost.  If one finds a pigeon fifty cubits from a dovecote, one can assume that it belongs to the owner of that dovecote.  If it is further than fifty cubits, one need not make that assumption and one may keep the pigeon.  If it is found between two dovecotes it is assumed to belong to the owner of the nearest dovecote.  If it is equidistant between the two, the two owners will split the value of the pigeon.

 

Questions for Further Thought:

·                      This mishnah deals with a topic that was discussed in the second chapter of Bava Metzia, lost items. Why then is this mishnah in our chapter and not there? What does this tell us about the organizational pattern of the Mishnah?

 

 

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