1

When a person entrusts produce to a colleague, the watchman should not touch it even though its quantity is dwindling and diminishing.

When does the above apply? When it is diminishing at the ordinary rate that could be expected each year. If, however, the amount is diminishing beyond the ordinary norms, the watchman should sell the produce in the presence of a court. It is as if he were returning a lost object to the owner.

When he sells the produce, he should sell it to priests at the price at which terumah is sold, for perhaps the owner designated it as terumah or terumat ma'aser for other produce.

2

When a person entrusts produce to a colleague and it spoils, honey that becomes ruined, or wine that sours, the watchman should perform a service to the owner and sell the entrusted object in the presence of a court.

This law applies even though the loss reached its limit and the produce would not spoil further, for the containers and the baskets would continue to spoil.

3

When a person entrusts leaven to a colleague and the Pesach holiday arrives, the watchman should not touch the produce until the fifth hour on the morning of the fourteenth of Nisan. After that, he should sell it in the market place at that hour, for it is like he is returning a lost object to the owner.

The same law applies to other entrusted objects. A watchman should not touch them even though he certainly knows that their value will diminish at this and this time, or they will be seized by the king, lest the owner come beforehand and take his property.

4

When a person entrusts a Torah scroll to a colleague, the watchman should roll the scroll once every twelve months. It is permitted for him to open it and read it while rolling it. He should not, however, open it for his own purposes and read. The same law applies with regard to other scrolls. If the watchman opened the scroll, read it and rolled it for his own purposes, he is considered to have misappropriated the entrusted article and is liable if it is destroyed by forces beyond his control.

If the owner entrusted a woolen garment to a colleague, he should shake it out once every 30 days. The same principles that apply with regard to lost objects apply to entrusted objects. He should care for other entrusted objects in a similar way; this is an obligation incumbent upon him, like the return of a lost article to its owner.

When does the above apply? With regard to an entrusted object whose owner has traveled overseas. If, however, the owner was together with the watchman in that same land, the watchman should not touch the entrusted object even though it is being ruined.

5

Whenever a person sells an entrusted object under the supervision of a court, he must sell it to others and may not purchase it himself, lest suspicion arise. The money should be kept in his possession, and he has the right to make use of it. Therefore, he is considered to be a paid watchman with regard to these funds even though he did not make use of them.

6

The following rules apply when a person entrusts money to a storekeeper or a moneychanger. If the money was bound in a bag and sealed or tied with an unordinary knot, the storekeeper or the moneychanger should not use it. Therefore, if it became lost or was stolen, he is not responsible for it.

If the money was neither sealed nor tied in an unordinary manner, even though it is bound in a bag, the storekeeper or the moneychanger has the right to use the money.Therefore, he is considered to be a paid watchman, and if it is lost or stolen, he is responsible for it. If it is lost due to forces beyond his control - e.g., they were taken by armed thieves - he is not liable.

7

When does the above apply? Before the storekeeper or the moneychanger used them. If, however, he does use the money, he is responsible for it until he returns it to the owner, as for any other loan in the world.

8

When a person entrusts money to a householder, whether it is bound or not, the watchman may not use it. Therefore, if it became lost or was stolen, he is not responsible for it, provided he buries it in the ground, as has been explained.

9

The following rules apply when a person entrusts a jug to a colleague regardless of whether or not the owner of the jug designated a specific place where he could put the jug down. If the watchman moved the jug for his own purposes, he is liable, whether the jug was broken in his hand or after he returned it to the place designated for it. If he moved it for the sake of the jug, he is not liable - whether the jug was broken in his hand or whether it was broken after it was put down in a different place.

10

One should not accept entrusted articles from married women, from servants or from children. If a person accepted an entrusted object from a woman, he should return it to her. If she dies, he should return it to her husband. If he accepts an entrusted object from a servant, he should return it to him. If he dies, he should return it to his master. If he accepts an entrusted object from a child, he should buy a Torah scroll for him or a date palm so that he can eat its fruits.

With regard to all the above individuals, the following principles should be adhered to if, at the time of their death, they said, "The entrusted article belongs to so and so." If the watchman would accept their word, he should act upon their instructions. If not, he should return the entrusted article to their heirs.

11

One may demand the return of an entrusted object or an object that was lost and discovered only in the original place.

What is implied? If he entrusted the article to him in Jerusalem, he cannot demand its return in Nov. If the watchman returns it to him in Nov, he must accept it.

If a person entrusted an article to a colleague in a settled community, and that colleague brought the entrusted article with him to the desert, the owner is not required to accept it from him. Instead, the owner may tell the watchman: "You are responsible for it until you return it to me as settled land, just like I entrusted it to you in a settled land.

12

A question arose when a person entrusts an article to a colleague and then journeys overseas, and afterwards, the watchman also desires to travel overseas or depart in a caravan. There is an authority who ruled that if the watchman brings the entrusted article to the Jewish court, he is absolved of his responsibility.

These are well-reasoned words. For we do not imprison the watchman in this city because of the object entrusted to him by the person who departed overseas. The watchman cannot take the entrusted article with him, lest it be destroyed by factors beyond his control. The court should then entrust the article to a faithful person. This is like returning a lost object to its owner.