Mishna Kila'im 5:5:

הַנּוֹטֵעַ יָרָק בַּכֶּרֶם אוֹ מְקַיֵּם, הֲרֵי זֶה מְקַדֵּשׁ אַרְבָּעִים וַחֲמִשָּׁה גְפָנִים. אֵימָתַי, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהָיוּ נְטוּעוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַרְבַּע, אוֹ עַל חָמֵשׁ חָמֵשׁ. הָיוּ נְטוּעוֹת עַל שֵׁשׁ שֵׁשׁ, אוֹ עַל שֶׁבַע שֶׁבַע, הֲרֵי זֶה מְקַדֵּשׁ שֵׁשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה לְכָל רוּחַ, עֲגֻלּוֹת וְלֹא מְרֻבָּעוֹת:

Here we see that kila'ei hakerem has a blast radius of 16 amos. But what is that based on? It seems to contradict the earlier mishna (4:5):

הַנּוֹטֵעַ שׁוּרָה שֶׁל חָמֵשׁ גְּפָנִים, בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, כֶּרֶם. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים, אֵינוֹ כֶרֶם, עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ שָׁם שְׁתֵּי שׁוּרוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ, הַזּוֹרֵעַ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁבַּכֶּרֶם, בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, קִדֵּשׁ שׁוּרָה אַחַת. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים, קִדֵּשׁ שְׁתֵּי שׁוּרוֹת:

In the latter mishna, when kila'im are planted within 4 amos of a vineyard, Beis Hillel say this destroys 2 rows, but Beis Shammai say only one row (because this is consistent with their respective definitions of what is a vineyard). Even according to Beis Hillel here, the blast radius is no more than 2 rows, i.e. 4 amos into the vineyard. Yet in mishna 5:5 above, kila'im in the middle of the vineyard destroy everything within 16 amos!

I saw an explanation in Kehati that this is because for the קרחת הכרם (an empty patch inside the vineyard) you need 16 amos to permit planting other species in the middle. But that explanation is unsatisfactory on two counts: 1) the 16 amos there is across the entire area, so it should be diameter, not a radius and 2) in the case of the empty patch you are allowed to plant 8 amos square within the 16 amos, leaving a gap of only 4 amos from the vines on each side!

If I hadn't seen this mishna, I would have prohibited no more than 4 amos radius from where the kila'im were planted. Or maybe, taking into account Beis Hillel's view that a vineyard is at least 2 rows, I would require two rows to be destroyed from the epicenter. So where does the 16 amos blast radius come from?

1 Answer 1


R. Ovadiah miBartenura explains why this case is different to that of the earlier mishnah:

ואע״ג דתנן לעיל הזורע ארבע אמות של עבודת הכרם אינו מקדש אלא שתי שורות, היכא דזורע בין הגפנים מקדש ט״ז כשיעור כרם גדול דמצטרף עד ששה עשרה.‏

Even though it was taught earlier that one who sows within the four amot which are used for the work of the vineyard only forbids two rows, in a case where one sows between the vines, one forbids sixteen amot, the size of a large vineyard which joins up to a gap of sixteen amot.

So here we're talking about planting inside a vineyard; this has much more of an impact than planting outside the vineyard on its margins.

As to why exactly it has an effect up to a radius of sixteen amot, Tosafot Yom Tov explains:

כדאשכחן בקרחת הכרם ריש פ' דלעיל דכל פחות מט"ז מתבטל לגבי כרם ולפיכך כשזורע הירק באמצע כרם מקדש סביבו כל שיעור המתבטל עם הכרם ונחשב כמוהו:‏

As we find with an empty patch inside a vineyard at the beginning of chapter 4 above, that less than sixteen amot is to be ignored in favor of the vineyard. Therefore when one plants vegetables inside a vineyard, it forbids surrounding it the area which is ignored in favor of the vineyard and is viewed as part of it.

  • Thanks! The first part of your answer explains the difference between planting kila'im inside vs outside the vineyard. But the Tosafos Yom Tov (which is what Kehati brings) is still problematic, as I mentioned in my question. The 16 amos of an empty patch is a diameter, not a radius, and even so, planting in the empty patch is permitted up to 4 amos of the vines themselves. So why would you now jump to a diameter of 32 amos of destroyed vines?
    – Shaul Behr
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 11:12
  • 1
    I think the point is that if the empty patch is less than sixteen amot wide, you can't plant in any of it (even leaving 4 amot clear on either side). This tells us that an area of up to 16 amot is batel to a vineyard. So when I plant in the middle of the vineyard, the area which is 'connected' to the spot where I have planted has a radius of sixteen amot.
    – Joel K
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 11:20
  • I hear that. Can't say I would have come to this conclusion independently, but seeing as it's in a mishna, I guess that's the fact, and your explanation at least gives a reasonable way to understand it.
    – Shaul Behr
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 12:30

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