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Baba Basra 3:1-2

Baba Basra 3:1

The length of legal presumption of ownership (chazaka) as it applies to houses, wells, ditches, caves, pigeon coops, bathhouses, olive presses, irrigated fields, servants and anything that continuously generates profit is three full years, i.e., counting from day to day. For a field that is not irrigated, the chazaka is also three years but not counting from day to day. Rabbi Yishmael says it includes three months in the first year and three months in the last year; with the 12 months of the middle year, this comes to 18 months. Rabbi Akiva says it includes one month in the first year and one month in the last year; with the 12 months of the middle year, this totals 14 months. Rabbi Yishmael said that his 18-month chazaka only applies to a grain field; when it comes to a field of different types of trees, if he gathered his grapes, his olives and his figs, it counts as three years.

Baba Basra 3:2

The rule of chazaka applies to three lands: Judea, Trans-Jordan and the Galilee. If a person was in Judea and owned land in the Galilee, or vice versa, it is not considered a chazaka until he owns land in the same region. Rabbi Yehuda says that the Sages’ rule of three years was only intended for a person in Spain and someone occupied his land for a year. This gives a year for others to travel and notify him and a year for him to be able to return.

Author: Rabbi Jack Abramowitz