Bava Batra, Chapter Two, Mishnah Three



Mishnah three discusses types of professions or businesses that a person can or cannot have in his home or near his home lest they disturb his neighbor.


Mishnah Three

1)                     One may not open a bakery or a dyer’s shop under his fellow’s storehouse, nor a cattle stall.

a)                                           In truth, they have permitted these things under a winestore but not a cattle stall.

2)                     A man may protest against [another that opens] a shop within the courtyard and say to him, “I cannot sleep because of the noise of them that go in and out.”

3)                     One who makes utensils, should go outside and sell them in the market.

a)                                           But none may protest and say to him, “I cannot sleep because of the noise of the hammer” or “because of the noise of the mill-stones” or “because of the noise of children.”



Section one:  A bakery, a dyer’s shop, and cattle stall, if placed underneath a storehouse of produce will damage the produce.  The bakery and dyer’s shop will produce heat, which can be damaging to the fruit, and the stench of the cattle stall will, for obvious reasons, also damage the fruit.  However, as we learn in section 1a, if the storehouse was for wine, one can place a bakery or dyer’s shop underneath, since the wine will improve due to the heat.  However, the stench of the cattle stall will not improve the taste of the wine!  (Yuk)

Section two: As we have learned on several occasions, in the time of the mishnah a courtyard was usually shared between several neighbors.  If one’s neighbor began to sell his wares in the courtyard the other neighbors could protest against the noise pollution caused by the customers.

Section three is a continuation of the subject began in section two.  A utensil maker is allowed to make his utensils in the courtyard, even though the hammer will cause noise pollution.  He must, however, sell them in the market, as we also learned in the previous section.  Similarly, a person can grind flour in the courtyard but he must sell it in the market.  Finally, a teacher may bring students into the courtyard to learn, even though they will make much noise.



Questions for Further Thought:

·                      Why does the mishnah allow one to bring students into a courtyard even though it will cause noise pollution?