Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. If in a saah 1 of seed-corn there is one-fourth [of a kab] of any other kind of seed, the [last mentioned] quantity must be diminished. R. Jose saith, "Whether this quarter of a kab consist of one [different kind of] seed, or of two [kinds], it must be picked out of the saah." R. Simeon saith, "This rule [that the quantity of different seeds intermingled among a saah of seed-corn, must be
diminished if it amount to one-fourth of a kab] holds good only when the whole quarter of a kab is of one kind." But the sages hold, that whatever of kilaim is mixed among a saah of seed-corn, must all be included in the computation of the quarter of a kab.
§ 2. To what does this rule apply? To grain of one kind mixed among grain of other kinds; to legumes mixed among legumes; also to grain [mixed] among legumes, and to legumes mixed among grain. They [the sages] laid it down as a rule, that all kinds of non-edible garden seeds, are subject to the computation of kilaim, provided they reach the proportion of one twenty-fourth part of the total quantity of seed-corn required to sow a Beth-Saah. 2 R. Simeon saith, "As in this instance they [the sages] are more rigid, so in another instance they alleviate [the observance], inasmuch as flaxseed mixed among corn, is also subject to the computation of kilaim only when it reaches the proportion of one twenty-fourth part to the Beth-Saah. 3
§ 3. If a man having sown his field with wheat changes his mind, and determines to sow it with barley, he must tarry till the first sown seed has germinated [is dissolved in the ground], then he must plough up the field before he may sow the fresh seed; if the wheat [first sown] has sprung up, he is not to say, "I will first sow [the barley], and then plough up my field," but he must plough up first, and afterwards sow. To what extent is he bound to plough up his field? To the depth of the furrows for the early rain. Abbah Saul saith, "so that in a field of the size of a Beth-Saah there remain not the space [equal to receive] one-fourth kab of seed-corn [unploughed]."
§ 4. If a man, having sown his field, change his mind, and determine to plant thereon, he must not say, "I will first plant and then plough up my field," but he must plough un first and afterwards plant. If, having planted his field, he change his mind, and determine to sow on it, he must not say, "I will first sow my field, and then root up what I have planted," but he must first uproot, and then sow. But, if he like, he may cut down the stalks of the plants till within [less than] a hand high from the ground; he then sows, and, lastly, uproots what he has planted.
§ 5. If his field has been sown with carraway, or לוף, 4 he must not sow any thing over them, as these two kinds do not spring up [ripen] till after three years. 5 If sprouts of isatis 6 have sprung up among corn, or if various kinds of seed have sprung up in the ground of a barn, or if fœnum Græcum 7 spring up, of various kinds, a man is not bound to weed them out; but if he has commenced to weed out or cut down any of them, he is [in that case] bound to destroy all except one kind only.
§ 6. If a man wishes to cultivate his field in patches [streaks or plots], set with different kinds [of seeds or plants], what distance is he bound to leave between the respective plots? Beth Shammai hold, "the distance of three furrows;" Beth Hillel hold, "the width of a yoke, such as is used in plains." Both opinions, however, approximate very closely.
§ 7. There is no legal objection if the point of the angle of [a field sown with] wheat enter into a field of barley; as any one can see to which field the angle belongs. If a man's field be sown with wheat, and the adjoining field of his neighbour with some other kind, there is no objection to his sowing the same kind [of seed] that his neighbour has sown, close to the adjoining field. If his own field be sown with wheat, and the adjoining one of his neighbour likewise, there is no objection to his sowing a furrow [row] of flax between them, but he must not sow any other kind. R. Simeon saith, "Flax forms no exception from other kinds [and is consequently prohibited];" but R. José saith, "Even in the midst of his own field a man may sow a furrow [row] of flax by way of experiment."
§ 8. Mustard or wild saffron must not be sown adjoining a cornfield; but they may be sown adjoining a meadow; also adjoining a field which lies fallow, or one that has been newly ploughed up; also next to a stone wall, or a footpath, or a hedge [fence] ten hands high; or to a trench [ditch], ten hands deep and four hands wide; or next to a tree which trails its branches along the ground; or to a rock [stone] ten hands high and for hands broad.
§ 9. If a man wishes to divide his field into square plots sown with, different kinds of seed, he must apportion it into twenty-four squares
to the beth saah of seed corn, one square to each quarter of a kab, and he may then sow whatever kind of seed he pleases into each [separate] square. If there be one or two such squares [in a cornfield], a man may sow mustard-seed in them; but if three [such squares] adjoining each other are in a field of corn, he must not sow mustard-seed on them, as the plot of ground would seem to be a mustard field. Such is the dictum of R. Meir; but the sages say, "Nine such squares may be sown with mustard-seed, but ten may not [are prohibited]." 8 R. Eleazar ben Jacob saith, "Though the field be of size sufficient to receive an entire kur 9 of seed, not more than one square must be made in it."
§ 10. Whatever forms part of the superficies of a field, and is of size sufficient to receive a quarter kab of seed, must be included in the computation of the quarter kab. Thus the space round a vine, or a grave, or a rock [stone], must be included in the computation of the quarter kab. [One kind of] corn must be sown [at the distance of] one quarter kab area from [another kind of] corn. Herbs [at the distance of] six hands from other herbs. Corn from herbs, or herbs from corn, [must be sown at the distance of] one quarter of a kab. R. Eleazar saith, "herbs from corn, at the distance of six hands only."
§ 11. One kind of corn inclining over [standing higher than] another kind of corn, or one kind of herbs over another, or corn over herbs, or herbs over corn, are all permitted, except Greek pumpkins. R. Meir saith, "excepting also cucumbers and Egyptian beans; nevertheless I prefer their opinion [that of the sages] to mine own."
15:1 A saah equal to six kab; a quarter kab, the twenty-fourth part of a saah.
16:2 An area of 2500 square amoth equal to the sowing of a saah measure of seed-corn.
16:3 As garden-seeds are smaller than corn; whereas, flax-seed, which takes up much more room, is only subject to the same proportion.
17:4 Arum [wake-robin].
17:5 The expression of the Mishna is obscure, particularly as the two species named ripen annually. Some are of opinion, the Mishna intends to say, that the tenacity of these two species is so great, that after three years they may spring up again.
18:8 R. Meir holds, "that all the squares are, according to law, arable;" whereas the sages hold, "that alternate squares only are by law permitted to be made arable."
18:9 Kur, equal to thirty saah, or one hundred and eighty kab.