א׳ בניסן ה׳תשע״ז (March 28, 2017)

Bava Batra 65a-b: Included in the Sale

When purchasing a house, what is included? Would furniture be included? Light fixtures?

The general assumption of the Talmud is that everything that is permanently attached to a building is included in a standard sale, while removable objects are not. The Mishna on today’s daf teaches that when someone sells a house, things like the oven (tanur ve-kirayim) are not included in the sale. Similarly only the permanently connected parts of a domestic mill for grinding flour are included in the sale (the itzterobil); the moveable parts (the kelet) are not.

The tanur that was used in people’s homes at the time of the Mishna was a large, earthen utensil that looked like a very large jug, and was used primarily for baking bread. In order to bake the bread properly, the heat had to be brought to a very high temperature, requiring a large fire. Kirayim were also made of clay, but they were much smaller and had two holes upon which pots or pans could be placed, which cooked over a much smaller fire.

Some manuscripts have the Mishna ruling that the tanur and kirayim are sold with the house. While some explain that it simply depends on whether the oven was connected to the ground, Tosafot suggest that we are certainly discussing a case where the tanur was connected to the ground with clay, and the question is whether such a connection – which can easily be removed – is considered significant with regard to this question.

Mills were usually made of two parts. The bottom part – the itzterobil – was connected to the ground, and the upper part – the kelet – which had an hourglass shape, moved freely above it. The upper part of the kelet was open so that grain could be poured into it; it had wooden planks inserted in its side which allowed people or animals to turn it, grinding the grain into flour.