Audio by Dr. Michael Sokolow

פרק ה - משנה ב
כרם שהוא נטוע 

A vineyard that was planted

על פחות מארבע אמות with less than four אמות [between its rows]
רבי שמעון אומר אינו כרם R' Shimn says is not a vineyard
וחכמים אומרים כרם and the Sages say it is a vineyard
 ורואין את האמצעייות כאילו אינן and we view the middle [rows] as if they are not [extant]
פרק ה - משנה ג
חריץ שהוא עובר בכרם A ditch that passes through a vineyard
עמוק עשרה ורחב ארבעה that is ten [טפחים] deep and four wide
רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אומר R' Eliezer ben Yaakov says
אם היה מפולש  If it runs
מראש הכרם ועד ראשו  from one end of the vineyard to the [other] end
הרי זה נראה כבין שני כרמים it then appears as if it is between two vineyards
וזורעין בתוכו and you may plant in it [other plants]
ואם לאו הרי זה כגת and if not it is like a wine press;
והגת שבכרם and a wine press that is in a vineyard
עמוקה עשרה ורחבה ארבעה that is ten [טפחים] deep and four wide
רבי אליעזר אומר זורעין בתוכה R' Eliezer says you may plant [other plants] inside it
וחכמים אוסרים and the Sages forbid it;
שומרה שבכרם a watchman's post that is in a vineyard
 גבוהה עשרה ורחבה ארבעה which is ten high and four wide
זורעין בתוכה

may be planted on top of it [lit. within it]

ואם היה שער כותש אסור and if foliage was entwined [atop it], it is forbidden


משנה ב

רבי שמעון אומר אינו כרם - According to the רע"ב and רא"ש R' Shimon holds that since such a space cannot be plowed with oxen like a vineyard would, the vines in it can be treated like solitary vines and need only be given a berth of 6 טפחים; the רמב"ם says R' Shimon's reason is because vines cannot grow properly in such close quarters.

וחכמים אומרים כרם - Growers will often plant more vines than can survive, culling those that are less healthy; therefore this crowded arrangement will not lack the appearance and status of a vineyard.

ורואין את האמצעייות כאלו אינן - In his פירוש המשניות, the רמב"ם says that since these are destined to be removed and not used for their fruit, they can be disregarded entirely, as if they don't exist (כאלו אינן), and so their vines can even be trained to overhand other crops.  However the משנה ראשונה, citing the ירושלמי and the רא"ש, says that they are merely viewed as if they are not part of the vineyard (כלומר כאלו אינם מן הכרם), but still must be treated like individual vines, given an individual vine's six טפחים of space and not be grown to overhang other plants.  The רא"ש further says that if something is planted within six טפחים of the middle vines, the entire vineyard is אסור, though if such a foreign substance were planted outside of the six טפחים (but still between the outer rows of this vineyard) the middle vines are מותר while the outer vines are אסור.


משנה ג

הרי זה נראה כבין שני כרמים - Note that according to ראב"י this is more significant than the mere separation created by a ditch that was mentioned earlier [ב:ח, ד:ג] as here not only is it a separation, but it is viewed as a separate domain in its own right, which may have other species planted within it.

שומרה שבכרם - This was a raised area from which vantage point a watchman could see for greater distances, the משנה ראשונה cites the first פרק of ערובין where it is referred to as a watchman's hut. 

זורעין בתוכה - Other versions read זורעין בראשה; note that the first version would be more consistent with the interpretation of שומרה as being a hut.  Note, however, that this structure is treated much differently than others, in that it does not need to run from one end of the vineyard to the other, and the Sages appear to be more lenient; the reason given for this by most is that it rises above the foliage and 'air' of the vineyard, thus appearing more separate than would a ditch which is sunken between the vines and is within the 'air' of the vineyard; indeed the רמב"ם imposes additional strictures on the shape and size of a שומרה (e.g. round vs. square) so that it is clearly distinct from the ground around it. 

שער כותש - Note that while most interpret this as meaning the foliage of the vines intertwine, it is a difference לשון of ערסן than that used earlier [ד:ז].  The ר"ש distinguishes between the two by hypothesizing that that כותש refers to a naturally occurring phenomenon, while ערסן is done בידי אדם; the מהר"י בן מלכי צדק interprets שער כותש completely differently, saying that the משנה is referring to a case where the watchman's post is made of loose soil which may easily be blown away, leaving whatever is planted atop it within the airspace of the vineyard.


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