Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/174

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Paragraph 1- If brothers or partners come to divide a field and each take their portion and the field was all the same, they would divide solely based on size. If one of them demands his portion on one side so that it will be adjacent to another of his fields and it will become one large field, we would listen to him and force the other brother to comply because stopping such a thing would be a Sodomite trait. There are those who say we would not listen to him and he would have to pay off the other party until he agrees. There are others who say the law is uncertain and the stronger party would win. If one portion was better than the other or closer to the river or road, however, and they appraised the superior portion against the inferior portion, and one party demands the appraised amount on one side, we would not listen to him. Rather, we would divide by lottery. If the party demanded to take half the appraised amount on the inferior side and the other party would get the superior side in order that his portion be adjacent to his own field, we would listen to him. If there were two fields and one says to divide each field and the other says to divide one field against the other, we would listen to the party that wants to divide one field against the other assuming both fields were of equal value and there is nothing to gain by dividing each field. If one field had any superior characteristic or if it was bordered by other fields, however, we would divide each field into two.

Paragraph 2- If a firstborn is taking his share, he takes his two portions as one. A yavam dividing his father’s property with brothers, however, would take his and his brother’s portion via lottery. If the lottery came up with both portions in one area, it would be effective, and if it came up in two different areas it would be effective. There are those who say that this is only where the portions are of equal value. If one portion was superior to the other, however, even a firstborn would not receive his portions together. The same would apply if a standard child had a field on the border of these fields.

Paragraph 3- If a river surrounded square property on the east and north and had a road on the south and west, we would divide the property diagonally so that each party would receive a road and river. If one partner demanded he receive the half that is next to his field we would listen to him. The general rule is that we would compel division in any way that is good for one party and does not cause a loss to the other party.

Paragraph 4- If two individuals purchased a field as partners, with one acquiring 1/3 and the other acquiring 2/3, when they divide the field, the party with 2/3 would receive his entire amount together since they bought the field together. If three individuals purchased a field as partners and subsequently one acquired the other’s portion, however, when they come to divide, the partner cannot force the other to give him both portions together since both portions were not originally his and he is coming via his own power and that of his brother whom he purchased 1/3 from. If two brothers died and each one had two sons and they are coming to divide the field of the deceased's father, and two of one of the brother’s sons want to be partners while the others want to divide, they would divide the land into four portions. They would give the two partners their shares together and give the others one portion each. If they were originally four brothers and did not come divide from the power of one person, however, they would not receive their portion together. There are those who say we would give them their portion together because we compel against Sodomite behavior.

Paragraph 5- If brothers are coming to divide and they appraised the portions against each other and they are creating three lotteries and one of them wants one of the portions and offers that either he will pay more than the appraised value or they should purchase it from him at that price, we would listen to him. If they do not want it at the price he can take it without a lottery. There are those who disagree.