594. The Carmelis and the Makom Patur

81:4 A carmelis is not a public thoroughfare but it is also not surrounded by partitions sufficient to make it a private domain. Examples of a carmelis include: fields; a stream that is at least ten handbreadths deep and four handbreadths wide; alleys that have only three partitions; kiosks where vendors sit and the stand where they place their merchandise that are four handbreadths wide and three to ten handbreadths tall; a place that is four handbreadths by four handbreadths and is surrounded by partitions that are no higher than ten handbreadths; a mound that is four handbreadths by four handbreadths with a height between three and ten handbreadths; and a pit that is four handbreadths by four handbreadths with a depth between three and ten handbreadths. There are many other places that could be considered a carmelis. The word “carmelis” comes from the roots RCh (soft) and ML (dry), meaning a place that is neither damp nor dry, but in-between. Conceptually, a carmelis is “neither here nor there” – that is, it’s neither a public domain nor a private domain, but something in-between.

81:5 A makom patur (exempt area) is a place in the public domain that does not measure four handbreadths by four handbreadths and is three or more handbreadths tall, or a pit that is not four handbreadths by four handbreadths and is three or more handbreadths deep, or a place that is not four handbreadths by four handbreadths and is surrounded by partitions that are three or more handbreadths tall. All of these things are considered a makom patur when they are in the public domain but if they are in a carmelis they are also considered a carmelis.