ALL THE ROOFS OF A TOWN CONSTITUTE SINGLE DOMAIN. . .
I’m thinking “Chim Chim Cher-ee” here. . .
PROVIDED NO ROOF IS TEN HANDBREADTHS HIGHER OR LOWER THAN THE NEIGHBOURING ROOF;
Um. . .ok, I can live with that. Keep the rooftops about the same height. Still a vast playground as we dance from roof to roof.
SO R. MEIR. THE SAGES, HOWEVER, RULED: EACH ONE IS A SEPARATE DOMAIN.
Alas – the dream comes to a screeching halt. That is, if the Sages are right.
Oh, it gets worse. The rabbis comment:
Rab ruled: Objects in (the rooftop domain) may be moved only within four cubits, and Samuel ruled: It is permitted to move objects throughout its area.
Now the way this works is that the walls underneath the roof have an imaginary upwards extensions, forming virtual partitions which divide the rooftops in exactly the same way as they do on the ground. If their location is obvious, then one can move objects within the area. If not then there is a four cubit limit of movement.
Sigh. But doesn’t that seem to fly in the face of the statement we read at the beginning? (I’m still holding on to the hope!) Good question:
Has this then more force than our Mishnah? As we have explained this (Mishnah) to mean, ‘that one must not move an object along two cubits on one roof and along another two cubits on an adjacent roof’. . .
So, maybe it is permissible to move objects on Shabbat within the rooftop boundary, but only two cubits between them.
And if we can't move object beyond 2 cubits, we can't really have a full dance sequence.
So much for Burt and the chimney sweeps!