Mishna, Tractate Bava Batra, Chapter 2, Mishna 1
1 א
בבא בתרא פרק שני, משנה א
2ב
לא יחפור אדם בור סמוך לבור של חברו ולא סיח ולא מערה ולא אמת המים ולא נברכת כובסין א-לא אם כן מרחיך מכותל חברו שלושה טפחים וסד בסיד
A person may not dig a cistern next to the cistern of his neighbor, nor a water channel, nor a cave, nor an irrigation ditch, nor a washing trough – unless he distances [the outside wall of his structure] from the outside wall [of his neighbors cistern] three handbreadths and seals [his structure] with plaster. [Translation by Dr. Akiva Wolff]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

What is the environmental significance of these restrictions on digging cisterns, irrigation ditches, and other sources of water?

How do these rules limit a person’s actions and constrain personal or economic benefit? Do you think this is appropriate?

4 ד
Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)