This chapter examined cases in which one performs an activity on his own property and thereby causes damage to his neighbor. With regard to damage inflicted upon a neighbor, the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei that the responsibility to distance oneself is not on the one whose activities might cause damage to his neighbor. Consequently, one who performs an activity on his own property that might cause damage to another at a later stage is not required to take steps to avoid this scenario. This principle applies only if the damage he inflicts is indirect. If the damage occurs immediately, or it begins to take effect immediately and its effects gradually increase, it is considered as though he has shot his neighbor with his arrows, and the neighbor can object to his activity. This applies to damage that is caused by one's actions to the neighbor's property, e.g., his walls, pit, and various plantings on his property, as well as damage that is caused by noise or foul odors. Similarly, if one plants trees and the like whose roots or branches extend into his neighbor's property and potentially cause damage, that neighbor is entitled to chop them down as necessary.
The Sages established certain limits within which the damaged party may compel a neighbor to distance the source of the damage from his private or jointly owned property. If one did distance these activities from a neighbor, he is nevertheless still liable for any damage he may cause.
Neighbors who live in the same courtyard can prevent one another from performing an activity that will lead to an increase in visitors to the courtyard, whether their objection is due to the noise or simply because they do not want crowds passing through their property. This right to protest applies only to visitors who will enter the outdoor area of the courtyard. If one wishes to work within the confines of his own home, the neighbors cannot prevent him from doing so even if his activity is noisy.
As neighbors and residents of the same courtyard can prevent someone from causing them damage, this applies all the more so to residents of a town that are suffering from the acts of a private individual. The rights of the public in this regard include the removal of stumbling blocks, items that interfere with traffic, and articles that spread ritual impurity, and imposing restrictions on activities that discharge foul odors into the city. Likewise, the residents can prevent an individual from spoiling the city landscape. The community can cut down interfering trees and the like, even if the owner originally planted them in a permitted manner. Furthermore, in a case of uncertainty the public can remove such obstructions without having to pay compensation.
Incidental to these discussions, the Gemara discusses several halakhot concerning teachers of children, and it includes a short aggadic passage about the different effects of winds that come from various directions.