“Because Kilns Are Not Permitted in Jerusalem”: An Urban Legislation Dealing with Distancing of Smoke-Emitting Implements from the City in Ancient Palestine

Tziona Grossmark


Urban legislation dealing with the problems and difficulties of commu-nal living in a town is well documented in the ancient world and during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. The towns of Roman and Byzantine Palestine were no exception to this, and they decreed urban regulations of that kind. Regulations that were imposed in the Land of Israel during these periods found their way into halakhic debate and are therefore included in rabbinical sources. A famous baraita in Tractate Baba Qamma of the Babylonian Talmud that enumerated the “Ten special regulations that were applied to Jerusalem” has been identified by a number of scholars as a list of urban laws that were applied in the town of Jerusalem probably dating from the days of the Second Temple. The following paper will focus on the restriction on building kilns in the town that was listed amongst the various regulations in the baraita. This particular restriction can be traced over the course of long periods of time.


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