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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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RIPARIAN OWNERS:

(Redirected from WATER-RIGHTS.)

There being but little river navigation in the Holy Land, the Mishnah says nothing as to the rights and duties of landowners along the river-bank, except in reference to irrigation. It teaches (Giṭ. v. 8) that for the sake of peace the upper riparian owners are allowed to draw water from such canals before those who have their lands lower down. The principle is formulated again in a slightly different form in the Babylonian Gemara (B. M. 108a) in connection with rules governing the dwellers on the Euphrates and its tributaries. In that country there was much river navigation; the boats being generally drawn by men walking along the shore and dragging the craft by means of long ropes (B.M. 107b, 108a). A law was laid down by the Rabbis for the Jews along the river, most probably in conformity with the Persian law of the Sassanid dynasty, to this effect: On both banks of the river, in the interest of navigation, all trees were to be cut down, with or without the owner's consent, and if needs be without notice to him, over a strip sufficiently wide to make room for the "shoulders" of the boatmen who dragged at the ropes. No mention is made of draft-animals, though such may have been employed at times.

Bibliography:
  • Shulḥan 'Aruk, Ḥoshen Mishpaṭ, 140, 2; 417, 4.
E. C. L. N. D.
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