The Rules Governing Discovered Objects and Entrusted Articles. (1-40)

דִּינֵי מְצִיאָה וּפִקָּדוֹן וּבוֹ מ' סְעִיפִים: א

1 When one1 sees a lost object belonging to a Jew2 and ignores it,3 he violates a negative commandment, as it is written:4 “Do not see the ox of your brother or his sheep astray and ignore them.” He also negates the observance of a positive commandment, as it is written:5 “You shall certainly return them to your brother.”

If the person took the lost object for himself, he negates the [above] positive commandment and [also] violates two negative commandments:6 “Do not steal”7 and “You may not ignore it.”8

If he recants and returns it to its owner, he rectifies everything, just like one who [amends his transgression by] returning a stolen object. For the negative commandment: “Do not see...” can be amended by [the fulfillment of] the positive commandment: “You shall certainly return,” just as the negative commandment, “Do not steal”9 can be amended by [the fulfillment of] the positive commandment: “And you shall return the stolen article.”10

When does the above apply? When [the finder] returned the lost object before the owner despaired of its [recovery]. If, however, the owner despaired of its [recovery] after [the finder] took it, [his transgression] is “A wrong that cannot be righted.”11 This applies both to the positive commandment and the negative commandments. [The rationale is that, at this stage,] returning the article is [not] considered [as returning the lost article, but] as giving the owner a present from [the finder’s] own property, because he has already acquired it due to the owner’s despair. [The situation] does not resemble the discovery of a lost article before [the owner] despairs, in which instance [the finder] is obligated to return it even after [the owner] despairs, as will be explained.12

[The distinction is as follows: Generally,] since [the finder] lifts [a lost article] up with the intent of returning it to its owner13 and not keeping it for himself, it is considered as an entrusted article in [the finder’s] possession. [As such,] it still remains in the domain of its [original] owner.14 Therefore, [the owner’s] despair [of its recovery] does not remove it from his domain, since despair is not considered totally analogous to declaring an object as ownerless.15

In this instance, by contrast, the person took the object for himself. [Hence] it did not become considered as an entrusted object in his domain. [Consequently,] while it is in [the finder’s] domain, it is not considered as in its owner’s domain, but instead, as existing in accessible and ownerless space. [In such a circumstance,] despair [over an article’s recovery] takes it out of its owner’s domain. Therefore, anyone who takes possession of it acquires it. Accordingly, [the finder] who is already in possession of it acquires it [when the owner despairs] and need not return it.

Most [authorities, however,] differ and maintain that [the finder] is obligated to return [the article. Their rationale is that] since it came into his possession in a forbidden manner, [the owner’s] despair does not change its status,16 just as [the owner’s despair] is not effective with regard to a stolen article, for this very reason.17 [Hence it is considered as still in the owner’s domain.] Thus when returning it, [the finder] fulfills the positive commandment of “You shall certainly return them,” and the positive commandment of “And he shall return the stolen article” and also amends the negative commandment of “Do not steal.” The negative commandment of “You may not ignore it,” is, by contrast, “a wrong that cannot be righted.” The law follows the majority view, particularly since it requires acting stringently with regard to a Scriptural obligation.18

א הָרוֹאֶה1 אֲבֵדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל ב,2 וְנִתְעַלֵּם מִמֶּנָּה3 – עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר ג,4 "לֹא תִרְאֶה אֶת שׁוֹר אָחִיךָ אוֹ אֶת שֵׂיוֹ נִדָּחִים וְהִתְעַלַּמְתָּ מֵהֶם", וּבִטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר5 "הָשֵׁב תְּשִׁיבֵם לְאָחִיךָ".ד

לָקַח אֶת הָאֲבֵדָה לְעַצְמוֹ – בִּטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה, וְעוֹבֵר בִּשְׁנֵי לָאוִין, ה,6 עַל "לֹא תִגְזֹל" ו,7 וְעַל "לֹא תוּכַל לְהִתְעַלֵּם". ז,8

חָזַר בָּהּ וֶהֱשִׁיבָהּ לִבְעָלֶיהָ – תִּקֵּן אֶת הַכֹּלח כְּמוֹ הַמֵּשִׁיב אֶת הַגְּזֵלָה, כִּי לָאו שֶׁל "לֹא תִרְאֶה וְגוֹ'" הוּא נִתָּק לַעֲשֵׂה שֶׁל "הָשֵׁב תְּשִׁיבֵם", כְּמוֹ שֶׁלָּאו שֶׁ[ל] "לֹא תִגְזֹל"9 הוּא נִתָּק לַעֲשֵׂה שֶׁל "וְהֵשִׁיב אֶת הַגְּזֵלָה". ט,10

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁהֱשִׁיבָהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים מִמֶּנָּה, אֲבָל אִם נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים מִמֶּנָּה אַחַר שֶׁנְּטָלָהּ זֶהי – הֲרֵי זֶה "מְעֻוָּת לֹא יוּכַל לִתְקֹן", יא,11 לֹא הָעֲשֵׂה וְלֹא הַלָּאוִין, יב לְפִי שֶׁהֲשָׁבָתוֹ אוֹתָהּ מַתָּנָה הוּא שֶׁנּוֹתֵן לַבְּעָלִים יג מִשֶּׁלּוֹ, כִּי כְּבָר קְנָאָהּ בְּיֵאוּשׁ בְּעָלִים. וְאֵינוֹ דּוֹמֶה לִשְׁאָר מוֹצֵא אֲבֵדָה לִפְנֵי יֵאוּשׁ שֶׁחַיָּב לְהַחֲזִירָהּ אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר יֵאוּשׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר, יד,12 לְפִי שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגְבִּיהַּ עַל דַּעַת לְהַחֲזִירָהּ לִבְעָלֶיהָ13 וְלֹא לִטְּלָהּ לְעַצְמוֹ, הֲרֵי זוֹ נַעֲשֵׂית פִּקָּדוֹן בְּיָדוֹ וּבִרְשׁוּת בְּעָלֶיהָ עוֹמֶדֶת,14 לְפִיכָךְ אֵין הַיֵּאוּשׁ מוֹצִיאָהּ מֵרְשׁוּת בְּעָלִים, שֶׁהַיֵּאוּשׁ אֵינוֹ כְּהֶפְקֵר גָּמוּר, טו,15 מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן זֶה שֶׁנְּטָלָהּ לְעַצְמוֹ וְלֹא נַעֲשֵׂית פִּקָּדוֹן בְּיָדוֹ, אֵינָהּ אֶצְלוֹ כְּעוֹמֶדֶת בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלֶיהָ אֶלָּא כְּמֻנַּחַת עַל גַּבֵּי קַרְקַע עוֹלָם שֶׁל הֶפְקֵר, שֶׁהַיֵּאוּשׁ מוֹצִיאָהּ מֵרְשׁוּת בְּעָלֶיהָ, וְכָל הַמַּחֲזִיק בָּהּ זָכָה בָּהּ, טז לָכֵן גַּם זֶה שֶׁהוּא מֻחְזָק בָּהּ וְעוֹמֵד זָכָה בָּהּ וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִירָהּ. יז

וְרַבִּים יח חוֹלְקִים וְאוֹמְרִים שֶׁחַיָּב לְהַחֲזִירָהּ, יט שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּאָה לְיָדוֹ בְּאִסּוּר – אֵין יֵאוּשׁ מוֹעִיל בּוֹ כ,16 כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מוֹעִיל בְּגָזֵל מִטַּעַם זֶה, כא,17 וּבַחֲזָרָתָהּ מְקַיֵּם מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל "הָשֵׁב תְּשִׁיבֵם" וּמִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל "וְהֵשִׁיב אֶת הַגְּזֵלָה", וּמְתַקֵּן הַלָּאו שֶׁל "לֹא תִגְזֹל", אֲבָל הַלָּאו שֶׁל "לֹא תוּכַל לְהִתְעַלֵּם" הוּא "מְעֻוָּת לֹא יוּכַל לִתְקֹן". וַהֲלָכָה כְּרַבִּים, וּבִפְרָט לְהַחְמִיר בְּשֶׁל תּוֹרָה: כב,18

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2 The entire [discussion] above19 applies after the fact. Initially, however, all authorities agree that one is forbidden by Scriptural Law to [take a lost article] with the intent of acquiring it for himself before the owner despairs. [This applies] even if [the article] does not have a distinguishing mark, in which instance the owner will certainly despair of its recovery20 when he becomes aware of its loss.21 At [the time it is found], however, he is not yet at all aware that it has fallen. [Accordingly, a person who finds it] must take it with the intent of returning it to the person who will be identified as its owner by witnesses.

Even if he took it without any specific intent, as long as he did not have the intent to steal it, i.e., to take it for himself,22 all authorities agree that it becomes [considered as] an entrusted object in [the finder’s] possession and is considered as being in its owner’s domain. [Hence, even] afterwards, when the owner becomes aware of his loss and therefore despairs [of recovering the article], it does not leave his domain.23 Therefore it must be returned to him when his ownership is substantiated by witnesses [who testify that] they saw [the object] fall from this person.

[Nevertheless, in such an instance,] as long as the identity of the owner of the lost article is not clarified or known, [the object] belongs to the person who found it. He is permitted to use it or sell it, until the identity of its owner is clarified. Then he must return it [or its value] to him in full, as he found it.24

There are authorities who maintain that if it is impossible to determine the ownership [of the discovered article] through the testimony of witnesses before [the prophet Eliyahu] comes,25 [the finder] is forbidden to use it or sell it, since it is considered as in its owner’s domain until [the prophet] Eliyahu arrives. If witnesses do not [come], it should not be given to any person who claims ownership, for perhaps its [true] owner will come and bring witnesses [who support his claim].

The [latter] opinion deserves primacy [particularly since it requires] stringency with regard to [a point of] Scriptural Law and it is held by the majority of authorities.18

ב וְכָל זֶה19 בְּדִיעֲבַד, אֲבָל לְכַתְּחִלָּה לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל אָסוּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה לְהִתְכַּוֵּן לִזְכּוֹת בָּהּ לְעַצְמוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים, כג אֲפִלּוּ אִם הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סִימָן שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי מִתְיָאֲשִׁים מִמֶּנּוּ הַבְּעָלִים20 כְּשֶׁנּוֹדַע לָהֶם, כד,21 רַק שֶׁעַכְשָׁו עֲדַיִן לֹא נוֹדַע לָהֶם כְּלָל שֶׁנָּפַל מֵהֶם כה – הֲרֵי זֶה צָרִיךְ לִטְּלוֹ עַל דַּעַת לְהַחֲזִירוֹ כו לְמִי שֶׁיִּתְבָּרֵר שֶׁהוּא בְּעָלָיו עַל פִּי עֵדִים. כז וְאַף אִם נְטָלוֹ סְתָם, כָּל שֶׁלֹּא נִתְכַּוֵּן לְגָזְלוֹ לִזְכּוֹת בּוֹ לְעַצְמוֹ22 – הֲרֵי זֶה נַעֲשֶׂה פִּקָּדוֹן אֶצְלוֹ לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל, וְעוֹמֵד בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלָיו, וְאֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא שׁוּב מֵרְשׁוּתָם בְּיֵאוּשׁ כח שֶׁמִּתְיָאֲשִׁים אַחַר כָּךְ כְּשֶׁנּוֹדָע לָהֶם,23 לְכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִירוֹ לָהֶם כט כְּשֶׁיִּתְבָּרֵר שֶׁהוּא שֶׁלָּהֶם עַל פִּי עֵדִים שֶׁרָאוּ שֶׁנָּפַל מֵאִישׁ זֶה.ל

אֲבָל כָּל זְמַן שֶׁלֹּא נִתְבָּרֵר וְלֹא נוֹדַע שֶׁל מִי הִיא זוֹ הָאֲבֵדָה – הֲרֵי הִיא שֶׁל מוֹצְאָהּ, וְרַשַּׁאי לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהּ וּלְמָכְרָהּ, עַד שֶׁיִּתְבָּרֵר שֶׁל מִי הִיא וְיַחֲזִיר לוֹ בִּשְׁלֵמוּת כְּמוֹת שֶׁמְּצָאָהּ. לא,24 וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים לב שֶׁאָסוּר לוֹ לג לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהּ וְלֹא לְמָכְרָהּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלֶיהָ הִיא עוֹמֶדֶת עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ, אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְבָרֵר הַדָּבָר קֹדֶם בִּיאָתוֹ עַל פִּי עֵדִים,25 וּבְלֹא עֵדִים לֹא יִתֵּן לְשׁוּם אָדָם שֶׁיֹּאמַר שֶׁלִּי הִיא, כִּי שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹאוּ אַחַר כָּךְ בְּעָלֶיהָ וְיָבִיאוּ עֵדִים. לד וְדִבְרֵיהֶם עִקָּר לה לְהַחְמִיר בְּשֶׁל תּוֹרָה, וְגַם הֵמָּה הָרַבִּים: לו,18

3 All of the above26 applies with regard to an article that does not have a distinguishing mark. If, however, the article has a distinguishing mark, all authorities agree that it is forbidden to use it27 or sell it. [Instead, the finder must hold the object without using it] until the owner comes and identifies it by its mark and takes it. [This applies] even if the situation is such that the owner will certainly despair of its recovery when he becomes aware that the article fell, e.g., it fell in a place where most of the passersby are gentile,28 [nevertheless, the finder was Jewish and] knew that it fell from a Jew.29 [In such a situation,] at the time the lost article entered the possession of the finder, the owner did not despair of its recovery since he was not aware of it falling. Thus, the object was forbidden [to the finder] at the time it entered his domain. [Hence the owner’s] subsequent despair is of no consequence. [Accordingly,] it remains in its owner’s domain forever, as explained above.30 Therefore [the finder] is obligated to announce [its discovery] and give notice so that its owner will come forth, [identify it] through its distinguishing mark, and take it, even though he had already despaired [of its recovery].

ג וְכָל זֶה26 בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סִימָן, אֲבָל בְּדָבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סִימָן – לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל אָסוּר לז לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ27 אוֹ לְמָכְרוֹ לח עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא בְּעָלָיו וְיִתֵּן סִימָנָיו וְיִטְּלֶנּוּ, אֲפִלּוּ אִם הוּא בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי יִתְיָאֲשׁוּ בְּעָלָיו מִמֶּנּוּ כְּשֶׁיִּוָּדַע לָהֶם שֶׁנָּפַל לָהֶם, כְּגוֹן שֶׁמְּצָאוֹ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁרֹב הָעוֹבְרִים הֵם נָכְרִים28 רַק שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁנָּפַל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, לט,29 שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבָּאָה הָאֲבֵדָה לְיַד הַמּוֹצֵא עֲדַיִן לֹא נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים מִמֶּנָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָדְעוּ מִנְּפִילָתָהּמ – הֲרֵי זוֹ בָּאָה לְיָדוֹ בְּאִסּוּר, וְשׁוּב אֵין יֵאוּשׁ מוֹעִיל בָּהּ, מא וּלְעוֹלָם הִיא בִּרְשׁוּת בְּעָלֶיהָ כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה. מב,30 לְפִיכָךְ, חַיָּב הוּא לְהַכְרִיז וּלְהוֹדִיעַ כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבוֹא בְּעָלֶיהָ וְיִתֵּן סִימָן וְיִטְּלֶנָּה, אַף אִם כְּבָר נִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמֶּנָּה: מג

4 Even if it is clear to [the finder] that when the owner discovers that he took it, he will be happy and rejoice because of his love for him,31 it is forbidden for him to benefit from it32 without the owner’s knowledge.33 Therefore if one enters a colleague’s orchard or garden, he is forbidden to gather produce without the owner’s knowledge even if the owner of the orchard or garden is his friend who loves him as his own self and will certainly be happy and rejoice when he becomes aware that [his friend] benefited from his produce. Nevertheless, since at present, [the owner] is not aware, the friend is deriving forbidden benefit.34 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. People at large should be cautioned concerning [this], since they tend to lapse regarding this matter due to a lack of knowledge.35

ד וַאֲפִלּוּ מד בָּרוּר לוֹ שֶׁכְּשֶׁיִּוָּדַע לִבְעָלָיו שֶׁהוּא נְטָלָהּ אֲזַי יִשְׂמְחוּ וְיָגִילוּ מִפְּנֵי אַהֲבָתָם אוֹתוֹ31 – אָסוּר לוֹ לֵהָנוֹת בָּהּ32 בְּלֹא דַּעַת הַבְּעָלִים.33 (א) לְפִיכָךְ, הַנִּכְנָס לְפַרְדֵּס אוֹ לְגִנַּת חֲבֵרוֹ – אָסוּר לוֹ לִלְקֹט פֵּרוֹת שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת הַבְּעָלִים, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבַּעַל הַפַּרְדֵּס וְהַגִּנָּה הוּא אוֹהֲבוֹ וְרֵעוֹ אֲשֶׁר כְּנַפְשׁוֹ, וּבְוַדַּאי יִשְׂמַח וְיָגִיל כְּשֶׁיִּוָּדַע לוֹ שֶׁנֶּהֱנָה זֶה מִפֵּרוֹתָיו, מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁעַכְשָׁו אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מִזֶּה – הֲרֵי הוּא נֶהֱנֶה בְּאִסּוּר, מה,34 וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְצָרִיךְ לְהַזְהִיר לָרַבִּים שֶׁנִּכְשָׁלִין בָּזֶה מֵחֲמַת חֶסְרוֹן יְדִיעָה:35

5 Nevertheless, it is permitted for a member of a person’s household to give a piece of bread to a poor person or to the son of a friend of the owner without his knowledge, for this is the common practice of householders36 and at the outset, the owner agreed to this when the bread entered his home.37 Thus this is not at all considered as acting without the owner’s consent, since this is the prevailing custom and the owner is aware of it.

For this [same] reason, it is permitted to accept small amounts38 of charity from women without their husbands’ consent,39 as explained in Hilchos Gezeilah.40 [The rationale is that] they are accustomed to [making such gifts] and their husbands are aware of their practice. (Similarly, with regard to an orchard, if one frequently partakes of its fruit with its owner’s consent, it is permitted [to partake of it without his expressed consent].)41 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ה וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, מֻתָּר לְבֶן בֵּיתוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם לִתֵּן פְּרוּסָה לְעָנִי אוֹ לִבְנוֹ שֶׁל אוֹהֲבוֹ שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ, לְפִי שֶׁכָּךְ נָהֲגוּ בַּעֲלֵי בָּתִּים, מו,36 וּמִתְּחִלָּה נִתְרַצָּה בַּעַל הַבַּיִת בְּכָךְ כְּשֶׁהִכְנִיס פַּת זוֹ לְתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ, מז,37 וְאֵין זֶה נִקְרָא שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת הַבְּעָלִים כְּלָל, כֵּיוָן שֶׁכָּךְ נָהֲגוּ מח וְהַבְּעָלִים יוֹדְעִים מִזֶּה הַמִּנְהָג. וּמִטַּעַם זֶה, מט מֻתָּר לְקַבֵּל צְדָקָה מִן הַנָּשִׁים דָּבָר מוּעָט38 שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת בַּעְלֵיהֶן נ,39 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת גְּזֵלָה, נא,40 הוֹאִיל וְדַרְכָּן בְּכָךְ, וְיוֹדְעִים בַּעְלֵיהֶן שֶׁדַּרְכָּן בְּכָךְ (וְכֵן בְּפַרְדֵּס אִם הוּא רָגִיל בּוֹ לֶאֱכֹל מִפֵּרוֹתָיו מִדַּעַת הַבְּעָלִים – מֻתָּר). נב,41 וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

6 For the above reasons, when a person finds figs on a [public] path under a fig tree that leans over the path, it is permitted to partake of them42 even though the owner does not yet know that these figs fell.43 Nevertheless, since it is the normal pattern that figs fall from a tree,27 after the figs begin to fully mature, the owner despairs of recovering those figs34 that fall on the path.44

This applies even when the majority of the passersby are Jewish.45 [The rationale is that because of its softness,] a fig [usually] becomes repulsive when it falls. Hence its owner will not consider it important [and] he will not trouble himself to seek [its recovery]. In contrast [firmer fruits, e.g.], olives, carobs, and the like, that will not become repulsive when they fall, are forbidden [to be taken] if the majority of passersby are Jewish.46 Dates are governed by the same laws as figs, for their owner will despair of their recovery, even if the majority of the passersby are Jewish, because both domesticated and wild animals will eat them because of their sweetness.34

When does the above47 apply? In an ordinary situation. If, however, the owner made it clear that he is not despairing of their recovery, e.g., he set up a [net or the like] into which the dates that the wind causes to drop will fall and, needless to say, if he fences in the date palms so that domesticated and wild animals cannot enter, even those that fall outside the fence are forbidden. [The rationale is that,] at the time [of their fall], he was unaware that these dates fell outside the fence, even though when he discovers that [fact], he will [indeed] despair of their recovery.

ו לְפִיכָךְ, הַמּוֹצֵא תְּאֵנִים בַּדֶּרֶךְ תַּחַת אִילַן הַתְּאֵנָה שֶׁהוּא נוֹטֶה עַל הַדֶּרֶךְ – מֻתָּר לְאָכְלָן, נג,42 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבְּעָלִים אֵינָם יוֹדְעִים עֲדַיִן מִנְּפִילַת תְּאֵנִים אֵלּוּ,43 לְפִי שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁדַּרְכָּן שֶׁל תְּאֵנִים לִפֹּל מִן הָאִילָן נד,27 – נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים מִן הַנּוֹפְלִים34 בַּדֶּרֶךְ44 בִּתְחִלַּת גְּמַר גִּדּוּלָן, נה אֲפִלּוּ אִם רֹב הָעוֹבְרִים שָׁם הֵם יִשְׂרָאֵל, נו,45 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַתְּאֵנָה נִמְאֶסֶת בִּנְפִילָתָהּ נז וְאֵינָהּ חֲשׁוּבָה בְּעֵינֵי בְּעָלֶיהָ נח לִטְרֹחַ לְחַפֵּשׂ אַחֲרֶיהָ. נט אֲבָל בְּזֵיתִים וְחָרוּבִיםס וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם סא שֶׁאֵין נִמְאָסִים בִּנְפִילָתָם סב – אָסוּר, אִם רֹב הָעוֹבְרִים שָׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל.46 וּתְמָרִים דִּינָם כִּתְאֵנִים שֶׁהַבְּעָלִים מִתְיָאֲשִׁין מֵהֶם אֲפִלּוּ בְּרֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַבְּהֵמוֹת וְהַחַיּוֹת אוֹכְלִים אוֹתָם סג מֵחֲמַת מְתִיקוּתָם. סד,34

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים?47 בִּסְתָם, אֲבָל אִם גִּלָּה בַּעַל הַבַּיִת דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶם, כְּגוֹן שֶׁתִּקֵּן מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּפְּלוּ בּוֹ תְּמָרִים הַנּוֹפְלִים בָּרוּחַ, סה וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם הִקִּיף אֶת הַדְּקָלִים בְּגָדֵר סו שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹאוּ שָׁמָּה בְּהֵמוֹת וְחַיּוֹת סז – הֲרֵי גַּם הַנּוֹפְלִים חוּץ לַגָּדֵר אֲסוּרִים, סח הוֹאִיל וְעַכְשָׁו עֲדַיִן אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁנָּפְלוּ אֵלּוּ הַתְּמָרִים חוּץ לַגָּדֵר, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּשֶׁיִּוָּדַע לוֹ יִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶם:

7 Similarly, if the owner is an orphan [below the age of majority], the dates are forbidden even in an ordinary situation.48 [The rationale is that] a minor’s despair of the recovery of an article or his willingness to waive his ownership is of no consequence,49 even though he will certainly despair and waive his ownership when he comes of age. (Nevertheless, if a minor willingly gives a present, our Sages ordained50 that the gift be binding, so that others will do business with him.)

ז וְכֵן אִם הַבְּעָלִים הֵם יְתוֹמִים – אֲסוּרִים הַתְּמָרִים אֲפִלּוּ בִּסְתָם,48 שֶׁהַקְּטַנִּים אֵין יֵאוּשָׁם וּמְחִילָתָם כְּלוּם, סט,49 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי יִתְיָאֲשׁוּ וְיִמְחֲלוּ גַּם כְּשֶׁיִּגְדְּלוּ ע (וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם נָתַן הַקָּטָן מַתָּנָה מֵרְצוֹנוֹ – מַתְּנָתוֹ מַתָּנָה עא מִתַּקָּנַת חֲכָמִים,50 כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּשְׂאוּ וְיִתְּנוּ עִמּוֹ הַבְּרִיּוֹת): עב

8 Even if a person finds an object when it is doubtful whether its loss was noticed by its owner, he is obligated to announce its discovery if it has a distinguishing mark. [This applies] even if he found it in a place where most [of the passersby] are gentiles.51

If it does not have a distinguishing mark,52 he should keep it [without making use of it]53 until Eliyahu comes25 or until the identity of the owner was clarified by witnesses, at which time, he should return it to him. Even though [the owner] already despaired of its recovery, since it is possible that it came into [the finder’s] possession when [he was] forbidden [to keep it, the owner’s] despair has no effect.54 [Since this involves] a doubt concerning Scriptural Law, one should act stringently.

Nevertheless, when one finds scattered coins55 without a wallet, he [may take] them as his own,56 even if he found them in a place where the majority [of the passersby] are Jewish.57 [The rationale is that] a person frequently checks the coins in his possession.58 Thus it can be assumed that he already became aware that they fell and he despaired of their recovery, since there is no distinguishing mark by which they can be identified. For a coin never has a distinguishing mark,59 since many coins are minted with the same imprint. Even if a person’s name is written on [a coin], we suspect that he wrote his name on several coins and the discovered coin was not the one that he lost, but another one upon which his name was also written — [a coin] that he spent and that fell from the person to whom he gave it. [The underlying principle is that] all coins are likely to be spent.

When, however, a coin has a split, even though it is also fit to be spent, [the split] can serve as a distinguishing mark, for there is no reason to suspect that another coin [belonging to the same person] also was split. Therefore, [the finder] is obligated to announce [its discovery]. Similarly, if one finds money in a wallet, [the finder] is obligated to announce60 [its discovery. The rationale is that] the wallet has a distinguishing mark. Even if one found scattered coins in front of a wallet, if it appears that the coins fell from the wallet, [the finder] is obligated to announce61 [its discovery] and return it to a person who identifies the wallet by its distinguishing mark.

Similarly, if one found a stack of coins which were obviously placed there intentionally for a brief time and then forgotten, their number or the location where they were found [can serve] as a distinguishing mark. When, by contrast, they were scattered, it is obvious that they fell [accidentally and] their location does not serve as a distinguishing mark. [The rationale is that] the person who lost them is incapable of pinpointing the precise location where the coins fell. Nor does he rely on their number to cause him not to despair of their [recovery], since it is possible that their number was diminished when they fell haphazardly.

ח וַאֲפִלּוּ עג הַמּוֹצֵא דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא סָפֵק אִם הַבְּעָלִים יוֹדְעִים מִנְּפִילָתוֹ עד – חַיָּב לְהַכְרִיז אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ סִימָן, אֲפִלּוּ מְצָאוֹ בִּמְקוֹם רֹב נָכְרִים. עה,51 וְאִם אֵין בּוֹ סִימָן52 – יָנִיחַ53 עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ,25 אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְבָּרֵר בְּעֵדִים שֶׁל מִי הוּא וְיַחֲזִירֶנּוּ לוֹ, עו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ, הוֹאִיל וְהוּא סָפֵק שֶׁמָּא בָּא לְיָדוֹ בְּאִסּוּר וְשׁוּב אֵין יֵאוּשׁ מוֹעִיל בּוֹ, עז,54 וְסָפֵק שֶׁל תּוֹרָה לְהַחְמִיר. עח

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, הַמּוֹצֵא מָעוֹת מְפֻזָּרוֹת עט,55 בְּלֹא כִּיס פ – הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלּוֹ,56 אֲפִלּוּ מְצָאָן בִּמְקוֹם רֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל, פא,57 לְפִי שֶׁאָדָם רָגִיל לְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בִּמְעוֹתָיו בְּכָל שָׁעָה, פב,58 וּמִסְּתָמָא כְּבָר נוֹדַע לוֹ שֶׁנָּפְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶם, פג הוֹאִיל וְאֵין בָּהֶם סִימָן,59 שֶׁאֵין סִימָן בְּמַטְבֵּעַ, פד לְפִי שֶׁהַרְבֵּה טְבוּעִים בְּמַטְבֵּעַ אַחַת. פה וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם שְׁמוֹ כָּתוּב עָלֶיהָ, פו חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא כָּתַב שְׁמוֹ עַל כַּמָּה מַטְבְּעוֹת וְזוֹ שֶׁנִּמְצְאָה אֵינָהּ זוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֶבְדָה לוֹ, אֶלָּא אַחֶרֶת הִיא שֶׁכָּתַב עָלֶיהָ גַּם כֵּן שְׁמוֹ פז וְהוֹצִיאָהּ בְּהוֹצָאָה וְנָפְלָה מִזֶּה שֶׁנְּתָנָהּ לוֹ, פח שֶׁכָּל מַטְבֵּעַ נִתָּן לְהוֹצָאָה. פט

אֲבָל מַטְבֵּעַ שֶׁנִּסְדַּק צ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיּוֹצֵא בְּהוֹצָאָה, – הֲרֵי זֶה סִימָן, שֶׁאֵין לָחֹשׁ כְּלָל שֶׁמָּא נִסְדְּקָה לוֹ מַטְבֵּעַ אַחֶרֶת, לְפִיכָךְ חַיָּב הוּא לְהַכְרִיז. וְכֵן אִם מָצָא מָעוֹת בַּכִּיס – חַיָּב לְהַכְרִיז, צא,60 שֶׁהַכִּיס הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סִימָן. צב וַאֲפִלּוּ מָצָא הַמָּעוֹת מְפֻזָּרוֹת לִפְנֵי הַכִּיס, אִם מַרְאִים הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁמֵּהַכִּיס נָפְלוּ – חַיָּב לְהַכְרִיז, צג,61 וְיַחֲזִיר לְמִי שֶׁיִּתֵּן סִימָן בַּכִּיס. צד וְכֵן אִם מָצָא צִּבּוּר מָעוֹת, צה שֶׁנִּכַּר הַדָּבָר שֶׁהֻנְּחוּ שָׁם צו דֶּרֶךְ הִנּוּחַ לְפִי שָׁעָה וְנִשְׁכְּחוּ צז – הֲרֵי יֵשׁ סִימָן בְּמִנְיָנָם אוֹ בִּמְקוֹמָם. צח מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשֶׁהֵם מְפֻזָּרִים, שֶׁנִּכָּר הַדָּבָר שֶׁנָּפְלוּ דֶּרֶךְ נְפִילָה צט – אֵין סִימָן בִּמְקוֹמָם,ק שֶׁהָאוֹבֵד אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לְכַוֵּן בְּאֵיזֶה מָקוֹם מַמָּשׁ נָפְלוּ מִמֶּנּוּ, קא וְגַם עַל סִימַן מִנְיָנָם קב אֵין דַּעְתּוֹ סוֹמֶכֶת מִלְּהִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶם, כִּי שֶׁמָּא נֶחְסַר מִנְיָנָם שֶׁנָּפְלוּ אַחַת הֵנָּה וְאַחַת הֵנָּה: קג

9 Similarly, all other [unvarying] entities that like money are considered important and [therefore] will be checked by a person continuously,62 belong to the finder,63 [provided] it is obvious that they were not placed down intentionally, but had fallen. For, in such an instance, neither their location, nor their number can serve as a distinguishing mark. [This law also applies] to any heavy object that a person carries on his shoulder or in his bosom, for it can be presumed that he would notice [its loss] shortly after its fall,64 since his burden was lightened.59

[The above ruling applies when] there is no distinguishing mark on the [lost article] itself, nor was it tied in a manner that the knot is fit to serve as a distinguishing mark,65 i.e., it is tied in the same way everyone else ties such articles,66 without any unique variation. Neither is it fitting for its measure or weight to serve as a distinguishing mark,67 because [such articles] are never distinguished in this manner and the one who lost it is unaware of [its measure or weight]. For these reasons, he despairs [of its recovery].

Nevertheless, if [the discovered article] is something which its owner could recognize, e.g., a utensil which the owner could recognize,68 the finder is obligated to announce its discovery,69 even though it does not have a distinguishing mark, i.e., there are many utensils of similar form. [The above applies only] if he discovered [the article] in a place where Torah scholars are found, e.g., in a house of study.70

[The rationale for this obligation is that] ordinarily, a Torah scholar does not speak falsely except with regard to matters where it is permissible to “adjust one’s words,” as explained in Orach Chayim, sec. 156[:2].71 Therefore when a Torah scholar recognizes [the article] and claims it as his own, he will certainly not speak falsely. [Hence,] it should be given to him. There is room for doubt if this assumption prevails with regard to Torah scholars at present.72

If, however, one finds coins55 scattered73 in a house of study, he may keep them as his own, for there is no concept of recognizing a coin as one’s own. Needless to say, [this applies] if one found them in a synagogue.74 There is no need to give them to charity, as stated in Orach Chayim, sec. 154.75

ט וְכֵן כָּל שֶׁהוּא דָּבָר חָשׁוּב כְּמָעוֹת קד וְאָדָם רָגִיל לְמַשְׁמֵשׁ בּוֹ כָּל שָׁעָה, קה,62 וְכֵן כָּל דָּבָר כָּבֵד קו שֶׁנּוֹשְׂאוֹ עַל כְּתֵפוֹ אוֹ בְּתוֹךְ חֵיקוֹ, שֶׁמִּן הַסְּתָם הוּא מַרְגִּישׁ סָמוּךְ לִנְפִילָתוֹ64 שֶׁהֵקַל מִמַּשָּׂאוֹ קז,59 – הֲרֵי הֵם שֶׁלּוֹ,63 אִם נִכָּר הַדָּבָר שֶׁלֹּא הֻנְּחוּ שָׁם בְּדֶרֶךְ הַנָּחָה אֶלָּא בְּדֶרֶךְ נְפִילָה, שֶׁאָז אֵין סִימָן בִּמְקוֹמָם וְלֹא בְּמִנְיָנָם, קח וּכְגוֹן שֶׁאֵין סִימָן קט בְּגוּפָן, קי וְגַם אֵין רָאוּי לִתֵּן סִימָן בְּקִשְׁרֵיהֶם קיא,65 שֶׁהֵם קְשׁוּרִים בָּהֶם, כְּגוֹן שֶׁקְּשׁוּרִים כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁכָּל הָעוֹלָם קוֹשְׁרִים אוֹתָם קיב,66 וְאֵין שָׁם שׁוּם שִׁנּוּי, וְגַם אֵין רָאוּי לִתֵּן סִימָן בְּמִדָּתָם וְלֹא בְּמִשְׁקָלָם, קיג,67 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּם בְּכָךְ כְּלָל, וְגַם הָאוֹבֵד אֵינוֹ יוֹדְעוֹ וּלְכָךְ מִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶם.

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ טְבִיעוּת עַיִן לִבְעָלָיו, קיד כְּגוֹן כְּלִי שֶׁבְּעָלָיו יְכוֹלִין לְהַכִּירוֹ68 בִּטְבִיעוּת עַיִן, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סִימָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ הַרְבֵּה כֵּלִים דּוֹמִין לוֹ בְּצוּרָתוֹ – הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב לְהַכְרִיז69 אִם מְצָאוֹ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁתַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים מְצוּיִים קטו כְּגוֹן בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ, קטז,70 כִּי סְתָם קיז תַּלְמִיד חָכָם אֵינוֹ מְשַׁנֶּה בְּדִבּוּרוֹ כִּי אִם בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְשַׁנּוֹת קיח כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּאוֹרַח חַיִים סִימָן קנ"ו, קיט,71 וּכְשֶׁיַּכִּירֶנּוּ הַתַּלְמִיד חָכָם בִּטְבִיעוּת עַיִן וְיֹאמַר שֶׁלִּי הוּא בְּוַדַּאי לֹא יְדַבֵּר כָּזָב, וְיִתְּנֶנּוּ לוֹ. וְיֵשׁ לְהִסְתַּפֵּק בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה אִם יֵשׁ לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם חֲזָקָה זוֹ. קכ,72 אֲבָל הַמּוֹצֵא מָעוֹת55 מְפֻזָּרוֹת73 בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ – הֲרֵי הֵם שֶׁלּוֹ, שֶׁאֵין בְּמַטְבֵּעַ טְבִיעוּת עַיִן. קכא וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם מָצָא בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, קכב,74 וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לִתֵּן לִצְדָקָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִתְבָּאֵר בְּאוֹרַח חַיִים סִימָן קנ"ד: קכג,75

10 Even if one founds [coins or the like] in a colleague’s house, if it is a house that many individuals enter and depart, they belong to [the finder]. Even if [the coins] fell from [their owner, it can be assumed that] he already despaired of their recovery and they are considered as ownerless.76 They need not be given to the owner of the house,77 because his property78 acquires on his behalf only ownerless articles that he will likely discover in the future and will not be taken by another person before him. Coins, however, are small and it is possible that they will never be found.79 [It cannot] at all [be said] that he relies on his property to guard them for him. And a person’s property does not acquire an article on his behalf without his knowledge80 unless it guards the entities contained in it for him, because it is surrounded by partitions.81

י וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם מְצָאָן בְּבֵית חֲבֵרוֹ, אִם הוּא בַּיִת שֶׁרַבִּים נִכְנָסִים וְיוֹצְאִים בּוֹ – הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלּוֹ, וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִתְּנָן לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת, קכד,77 שֶׁאַף אִם מִמֶּנּוּ נָפְלוּ כְּבָר נִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶם וְנַעֲשׂוּ הֶפְקֵר, קכה,76 וְאֵין חֲצֵרוֹ78 קוֹנָה לוֹ דְּבַר הֶפְקֵר אֶלָּא דָּבָר הֶעָתִיד לְהִמָּצֵא לוֹ אִם לֹא יַקְדִּימֶנּוּ אַחֵר, אֲבָל מָעוֹת שֶׁהֵם דְּבָרִים קְטַנִּים יָכוֹל לִהְיוֹת שֶׁלֹּא יִמָּצְאוּ לְעוֹלָם, קכו,79 וְאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ סוֹמֶכֶת כְּלָל עַל חֲצֵרוֹ שֶׁתִּשְׁמֹר אוֹתָם לוֹ, וַחֲצֵרוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם אֵינוֹ קוֹנָה לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ80 אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהִיא מְשַׁמֶּרֶת לוֹ מַה שֶּׁבְּתוֹכָהּ קכז מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמֻּקֶּפֶת מְחִצּוֹת:קכח,81

11 Therefore,82 even if there are not many people found in this house,83 a person’s property does not acquire coins that are found in his house and they belong to the finder, if it is known that they do not belong to the owner. By and large, however, it can be assumed that they fell from the owner or the members of his household84 and a homeowner will not despair of recovering an article lost in his house or courtyard.85 He will think: “Today or tomorrow, I will find it,” because it is a secure place and there are not many people entering there.

Similar concepts apply to an article found in a store behind the showcase,86 where many people do not enter87 or in [the premises of] a money-changer, behind his counter.

יא וּמִטַּעַם זֶה,82 אֲפִלּוּ אִם אֵין רַבִּים מְצוּיִים בְּבַיִת זֶה קכט,83 אֵין חֲצֵרוֹ קוֹנָה לוֹ מָעוֹת שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ בְּבֵיתוֹ, וַהֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁל מוֹצְאָן אִם יָדוּעַ שֶׁאֵינָן שֶׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת. קל אֲבָל בִּסְתָם תּוֹלִין שֶׁמִּבַּעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹ מִבְּנֵי בֵּיתוֹ נָפְלוּ, קלא,84 וּבַעַל הַבַּיִת אֵינוֹ מִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמַּה שֶּׁאוֹבֵד בְּבֵיתוֹ וּבַחֲצֵרוֹ,85 שֶׁסּוֹבֵר הַיּוֹם אוֹ לְמָחָר אֶמְצָא, קלב כֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא מָקוֹם הַמִּשְׁתַּמֵּר וְאֵין רַבִּים נִכְנָסִים לְשָׁם. וְכֵן הַמּוֹצֵא בַּחֲנוּת מֵהַתֵּבָה וְלִפְנִים, קלג,86 שֶׁאֵין רַבִּים נִכְנָסִים לְשָׁם. קלד,87 וְכֵן בְּשֻׁלְחָנִי מִן הַשֻּׁלְחָן וְלִפְנִים: קלה

12 All the above applies when [articles] are found in a manner that indicates that they fell [from their owner]. If, however, one finds either coins or other articles that appear to have been intentionally set down, whether or not they have a distinguishing mark, they should not be touched if one found them in a place that is entirely secure.88 [This applies] even if the place is accessible to everyone, provided:

a) it is a hidden place, e.g., hidden in a permanent garbage dump in the public domain that will not be emptied, or in the midst of a pile of stones from an old wall that fell and the like,89 and

b) it is a place where the majority of the passersby are Jewish.90

[The rationale is that] this is not considered as a lost article which one is adjured to return, because it was placed there intentionally by its owner and even at the time [it was discovered], it is possible that he is conscious of it and has not forgotten it at all. He merely hid it there temporarily until he returns to that place.

However [the finder may keep the object, when] it is apparent that it was forgotten, e.g., coins that have become rusty,91 in which instance, they were obviously there for a long time and the owner certainly forgot where he hid them and despaired of their recovery.92 For he will not put trust in the possibility that someone will find them and announce their discovery, since he hid them in a private and secure place. Therefore the finder may keep them, even if there is a distinguishing mark on the wallet [in which they were held].

When does the above apply? When their hiding [place is located in] an open and exposed location. If, however, he found them deposited in a mound or in the earth in his colleague’s courtyard, we presume that [they belong to] the owner of the property and the finder may not take them even if they have become rusty. [The rationale is that] it is common practice for a person to leave his articles hidden in a courtyard that he understands to be secure, [even] for a very long time, for he considers [such a courtyard] like his home.

יב וְכָל זֶה כְּשֶׁמָּצָא דֶּרֶךְ נְפִילָה, אֲבָל הַמּוֹצֵא בְּדֶרֶךְ הַנָּחָה, קלו שֶׁנִּכָּר הַדָּבָר שֶׁהֻנְּחוּ שָׁם מִדַּעַת, בֵּין מָעוֹת בֵּין שְׁאָר חֲפָצִים, בֵּין שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם סִימָן קלז בֵּין שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם סִימָן, קלח אִם מְצָאָם בְּמָקוֹם הַמִּשְׁתַּמֵּר לְגַמְרֵי קלט,88 – הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִגַּע בָּהֶם, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא מָקוֹם הַמֻּפְקָר לַכֹּל אֶלָּא שֶׁהוּא מָקוֹם מֻצְנָע, כְּגוֹן מְכֻסֶּה בְּתוֹךְ הָאַשְׁפָּה שֶׁבִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים קמ וְהִיא קְבוּעָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ עֲשׂוּיָה לְהִפָּנוֹת, קמא אוֹ בְּתוֹךְ גַּל קמב שֶׁל אֲבָנִים מִכֹּתֶל יָשָׁן שֶׁנָּפַל, קמג,89 וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּאֵלּוּ, אִם הֵם בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁרֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹבְרִים שָׁם, קמד,90 לְפִי שֶׁאֵין זוֹ אֲבֵדָה שֶׁמֻּזְהָר עָלֶיהָ קמה לַהֲשִׁיבָהּ, קמו כֵּיוָן שֶׁמִּדַּעַת בְּעָלֶיהָ הֻנְּחָה שָׁם, קמז וְגַם עַתָּה אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁדַּעְתָּם עָלֶיהָ וְלֹא שְׁכָחוּהָ כְּלָל אֶלָּא שֶׁהִטְמִינוּהָ עַל אֵיזֶה זְמַן עַד שֶׁיַּחְזְרוּ לְמָקוֹם זֶה. קמח

אֲבָל אִם נִכָּר הַדָּבָר שֶׁשְּׁכֵחוּהָ, כְּגוֹן מָעוֹת שֶׁהֶעֱלוּ חֲלֻדָּה קמט,91 שֶׁנִּכָּרִין שֶׁהֵן כָּאן מִזְּמַן רָב, וּבְוַדַּאי שָׁכְחוּ הַבְּעָלִים אָנָה הִצְנִיעוּ קנ וְנוֹאֲשׁוּ מֵהֶן,92 כִּי אֵין דַּעְתָּם סוֹמֶכֶת כְּלָל שֶׁיִּמְצָאֵם אֶחָד וְיַכְרִיז כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִצְנִיעָן בְּמָקוֹם צָנוּעַ וּמִשְׁתַּמֵּר, לְפִיכָךְ הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁל מוֹצְאָן אֲפִלּוּ אִם יֵשׁ בָּהֶם סִימָן בַּכִּיס. קנא

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁטְּמוּנִים בְּמָקוֹם פָּרוּץ וְגָלוּי, אֲבָל מְצָאָן נְתוּנִים בַּחֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ בְּגַל קנב אוֹ בַּקַּרְקַע – תּוֹלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּבַעַל הַבַּיִת, קנג וְלֹא יִגַּע בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֶעֱלוּ חֲלֻדָּה, לְפִי שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ בַּעַל הַבַּיִת לְהַנִּיחַ חֲפָצָיו יָמִים רַבִּים קנד טְמוּנִים בְּחָצֵר הַמִּשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת לְדַעְתּוֹ שֶׁהִיא כְּבֵיתוֹ:

13 Even when one finds something that is not hidden and [it is] set down in a manner that raises a doubt whether it was placed there intentionally or [whether it] fell, he should not touch it if it is located in a secure place.93 [This applies] even if the place is ownerless, as long as it is private, i.e., a place where people do not walk at all.94

Even when the articles have a distinguishing mark and one seeks to take them to announce their discovery, he does not have license [to do so], for perhaps the owner [intentionally] hid them. Thus [by taking them, the finder] is needlessly causing him the trouble of seeking them out. Moreover, it is possible that he will not hear the announcement [of the find].95

If he transgressed and took [the articles] with the intent of taking them home,96 but did not take them home, he should return them to their place.97 If, however, he already took them home, he should not return them. Perhaps in the interim, the owner came to the place [where he hid the articles] and searched for them. [Since] he did not find them, he will not return to search in that place again.98 Thus if [the finder] returns them to their original place, he might cause the owner a [permanent] loss. Instead, if they have a distinguishing mark, their discovery should be announced. If they do not have a distinguishing mark, they should be set aside until [the prophet] Eliyahu comes.99 He should never take them as his own. [The rationale is that] perhaps the owner had not despaired of their recovery at the time they entered his possession. Thus they entered his possession in a forbidden manner.100

יג וַאֲפִלּוּ הַמּוֹצֵא דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ טָמוּן וּמֻנָּח בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְהִסְתַּפֵּק אִם בָּא שָׁם בְּדֶרֶךְ הַנָּחָה אוֹ בְּדֶרֶךְ נְפִילָה – הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִגַּע בּוֹ קנה אִם הוּא מָקוֹם הַמִּשְׁתַּמֵּר,93 אֲפִלּוּ הוּא מְקוֹם הֶפְקֵר רַק שֶׁהוּא מָקוֹם צָנוּעַ קנו שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם לֵילֵךְ שָׁם כְּלָל.94

וַאֲפִלּוּ דְּבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם סִימָן וְרוֹצֶה לִטְּלָם וּלְהַכְרִיז – אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי, כִּי שֶׁמָּא הִצְנִיעוּ בַּעְלֵיהֶם וְנִמְצָא זֶה מַטְרִיחָם בְּחִנָּם לִרְדֹּף אַחֲרֶיהָ, קנז וְגַם שֶׁמָּא לֹא יֵדְעוּ בְּהַכְרָזָתוֹ. קנח,95

וְאִם עָבַר וְנָטַל לְהוֹלִיכָם לְבֵיתוֹ96 וַעֲדַיִן לֹא הוֹלִיכָם – יַחֲזִירֵם לִמְקוֹמָן.97 וְאִם כְּבָר הוֹלִיכָם לְבֵיתוֹ – לֹא יַחֲזִירֵם, כִּי שֶׁמָּא בְּתוֹךְ כָּךְ כְּבָר בָּאוּ הַבְּעָלִים לְאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם וְחִפְּשׂוּ וְלֹא מְצָאוּם וְלֹא יַחְזְרוּ לְחַפֵּשׂ עוֹד שָׁם קנט,98 וְאִם יַחֲזִירֵם זֶה לְשָׁם נִמְצָא מַפְסִידָם. אֶלָּא אִם יֵשׁ בָּהֶם סִימָן – יַכְרִיז, קס וְאִם אֵין בָּהֶם סִימָן קסא – יְהֵא מֻנָּח עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ. קסב,99 וְלֹא יִטְּלֵם לְעַצְמוֹ, כִּי שֶׁמָּא לֹא נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים עֲדַיִן מֵהֶם כְּשֶׁבָּאוּ לְיָדוֹ, וְנִמְצָא שֶׁבָּאוּ לְיָדוֹ בְּאִסּוּר: קסג,100

14 When does the above apply? When he found [the articles] in a totally secure place, for in such a situation, these are not the type of lost articles that he is obligated to return. [Different rules apply,] however, if he found them in a place that is not totally secure, e.g., he found them behind a fence in the fields, or on lanes in the fields. Although they are somewhat secure there, if they have distinguishing marks, one should take them and announce their discovery,88 so that the lost article can be returned to its owner. This applies even if they were definitely placed there intentionally.101

If they do not have a distinguishing mark, one should not take them, even if it is uncertain whether they were placed there intentionally.102 [The rationale is that] since the place is somewhat secure, it is possible the owner hid [the articles] for a time. Very shortly, he will return to retrieve them and will not find them.

If [the finder] transgressed and took them, but did not [yet] bring them back to his home, he should return them to their place, since there is no way he can fulfill the mitzvah of returning the lost articles to their owner since they do not have a distinguishing mark. If he [already] brought them home, they should remain set aside there until [the prophet] Eliyahu comes, for the reason that was explained.103

How is it possible for something placed down intentionally not to have a distinguishing mark? [Seemingly,] its location could be offered as a distinguishing mark. [In resolution, it can be said that this description] applies to doves whose wings are tied together. It is common for them to hop. One who loses them will despair of their return, for he will think that they hopped away from the place where he forgot them104 and he has no other means of identifying them. [Moreover,] the manner in which they were tied cannot serve as a distinguishing mark, for [we are speaking of an instance] where they were tied by their wings, and everyone ties them this way.

יד בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? כְּשֶׁמְּצָאָם בְּמָקוֹם הַמִּשְׁתַּמֵּר לְגַמְרֵי, שֶׁאֵין זוֹ אֲבֵדָה שֶׁחַיָּב בַּהֲשָׁבָתָהּ. אֲבָל אִם מְצָאָם בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִשְׁתַּמֵּר לְגַמְרֵי, קסד כְּגוֹן אֲחוֹרֵי הַגָּדֵר בַּשָּׂדֶה אוֹ בַּשְּׁבִילִין שֶׁבַּשָּׂדוֹת, קסה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּשְׁתַּמֵּר שָׁם קְצָת, קסו אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ סִימָן – נוֹטֵל וּמַכְרִיז קסז,88 כְּדֵי לְהָשִׁיב אֲבֵדָה לִבְעָלֶיהָ אֲפִלּוּ הוּא וַדַּאי הִנּוּחַ.101

וְאִם אֵין בּוֹ סִימָן – לֹא יִטֹּל קסח אֲפִלּוּ סְפֵק הִנּוּחַ, קסט,102 שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהוּא מָקוֹם הַמִּשְׁתַּמֵּר קְצָת אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁהִצְנִיעוּהוּ בְּעָלָיו קע לְפִי שָׁעָה וּמִיָּד יָשׁוּבוּ לְקַחְתּוֹ קעא וְלֹא יִמְצָאוּהוּ. וְאִם עָבַר וּנְטָלוֹ וְלֹא הוֹלִיכוֹ לְבֵיתוֹ – יַחֲזִירֶנּוּ לִמְקוֹמוֹ, הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְקַיֵּם בּוֹ מִצְוַת הֲשָׁבַת אֲבֵדָה לִבְעָלֶיהָ כֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סִימָן. קעב וְאִם הוֹלִיכוֹ לְבֵיתוֹ – יְהֵא מֻנָּח עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ, מִטַּעַם שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר. קעג,103

וְהֵיאַךְ מָצִינוּ בְּהִנּוּחַ דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סִימָן, וַהֲלֹא יָכוֹל לִתֵּן סִימָן בִּמְקוֹמוֹ? מָצִינוּ בְּגוֹזָלוֹת מְקֻשָּׁרוֹת הָעֲשׂוּיוֹת לְדַדּוֹת, שֶׁהָאוֹבְדָן מִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶן שֶׁסּוֹבֵר שֶׁיְּדַדּוּ מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁשְּׁכֵחָן שָׁם104 וְאֵין לוֹ בָּהֶם סִימָן אַחֵר, וְהַקֶּשֶׁר אֵינוֹ סִימָן, כְּגוֹן שֶׁמְּקֻשָּׁרִים בְּכַנְפֵיהֶן שֶׁכָּל הָעוֹלָם קוֹשְׁרִין אוֹתָן כָּךְ: קעד

15 When one finds an article in a place that is not at all secure, if it has a distinguishing mark, he should take it and announce its discovery. If it does not have a distinguishing mark, he may keep it as his own, even if it was intentionally placed down, e.g., one placed down an article in the public domain to lighten his burden and then forgot it there. He will certainly immediately become aware that his burden was lightened after he proceeds beyond this place105 and will despair of its recovery. If, however, the article is such that it is possible that the owner will not become aware that he forgot it even after it came into the possession of the finder, it should remain set aside until [the prophet] Eliyahu comes.103

טו וְאִם מָצָא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִשְׁתַּמֵּר כְּלָל, אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ סִימָן – נוֹטֵל וּמַכְרִיז, וְאִם אֵין בּוֹ סִימָן – הֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁלּוֹ, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא וַדַּאי הִנּוּחַ, קעה שֶׁהִנִּיחוֹ בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְהָקֵל מִמַּשָּׂאוֹ וּשְׁכֵחוֹ שָׁם, קעו שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי נוֹדַע לוֹ מִיָּד שֶׁהֵקֵל מִמַּשָּׂאוֹ אַחַר שֶׁעָבַר מִמָּקוֹם זֶה קעז,105 וְנִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ. אֲבָל אִם הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר קעח שֶׁלֹּא נוֹדַע לִבְעָלָיו שִׁכְחָתוֹ אוֹתוֹ גַּם לְאַחַר שֶׁכְּבָר בָּא לְיַד הַמּוֹצְאוֹ – יְהֵא מֻנָּח עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ: קעט,103

16 When does the above apply? With regard to an article about which it could be said that it was placed down and forgotten. [Greater leniency is granted] when, by contrast, it cannot be said that the article was forgotten, but instead it was consciously placed down by its owner who then left. Even though [his intent] was only to leave it there temporarily and then to come back directly afterwards to take it, it may be taken by the finder,106 even if it has a distinguishing mark. [The rationale is that] since the owner consciously placed it down, albeit temporarily, in a place that is not at all secure and then departed, certainly, the owner had in mind that if someone else came and took it, he could keep it. [Leaving the article in the public domain] is like despairing [of the recovery of a lost article] or declaring [an article] ownerless. This is not at all the type of lost object which we are adjured to return, for the verse [obligating the return of a lost object] states:107 “Which he will lose,” i.e., [a lost article, and] not one that is willingly abandoned.

If there is a doubt whether the object was intentionally set down and it has a distinguishing mark, one should take it and announce its discovery.108

טז בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לִתְלוֹת הַנָּחָתוֹ בְּשִׁכְחָה, אֲבָל אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לִתְלוֹת בְּשִׁכְחָה אֶלָּא מִדַּעַת הִנִּיחוּהוּ בְּעָלָיו כָּאן וְהָלְכוּ לָהֶם, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִנִּיחוּהוּ אֶלָּא לְפִי שָׁעָה וּמִיָּד יָשׁוּבוּ לְקַחְתּוֹ – הֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁל מוֹצְאוֹ106 אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ בּוֹ סִימָן, שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁבְּעָלָיו הִנִּיחוּהוּ מִדַּעַת אֲפִלּוּ לְפִי שָׁעָה בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִשְׁתַּמֵּר כְּלָל וְהָלְכוּ לָהֶם, בְּוַדַּאי יֵשׁ בְּדַעְתָּם שֶׁאִם יָבוֹא אַחֵר וְיִטְּלֶנּוּ – יִטְּלֶנּוּ, וַהֲרֵי זֶה כְּמוֹ יֵאוּשׁ וְהֶפְקֵר, קפ וְאֵין זוֹ אֲבֵדָה שֶׁמֻּזְהָרִים עָלֶיהָ לַהֲשִׁיבָהּ כְּלָל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר107 "אֲשֶׁר תֹּאבַד", וְלֹא הַמְּאַבֵּד מִדַּעְתּוֹ. קפא

וְאִם הוּא סְפֵק הִנּוּחַ וְיֵשׁ בּוֹ סִימָן – נוֹטֵל וּמַכְרִיז: קפב,108

17 In all instances where we have said that [the discovery of the article must] be announced — whether it was found in a manner that indicates that it was placed down intentionally or in a manner that indicates that it fell [unintentionally] — [the obligation only] applies when it was found in a place where the majority of passersby are Jewish,109 even if the majority of the city’s [inhabitants] are non-Jewish.110 If, however, most of the passersby are non-Jewish or even when most of them are Jewish, but it is a place where non-Jews frequent on a regular basis, e.g., non-Jews who serve as guards at the town’s gates,111 a person who finds an article there — whether it was found in a way that indicates that it was placed down intentionally or in a way that indicates that it fell — may keep it, for [the owner] assumes that it will be [found by] a gentile [and therefore despairs of its recovery].112 [Moreover,] even if a Jew comes and identifies it via a distinguishing mark, there is no obligation to return it to him, for it can be assumed that he already despaired of its recovery,113 provided it is an important article114 or a heavy one, in which instance, the owner will have become aware of its falling or being forgotten [when he temporarily set it down] before it comes into the possession of the finder, as explained above.115

Nevertheless, if one finds sacred Jewish texts or similar items that would certainly be brought to Jews for purchase,116 the one who lost them will not despair of their recovery, even if [they were lost in a place where] most of the inhabitants are gentiles. [Hence, the finder] is obligated to announce [the article’s discovery].

יז וְכָל הַכְרָזוֹת שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ, בֵּין בְּמוֹצֵא בְּדֶרֶךְ הַנָּחָה בֵּין בְּדֶרֶךְ נְפִילָה, הֵן כְּשֶׁמּוֹצֵא בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁרֹב הָעוֹבְרִים שָׁם הֵם יִשְׂרָאֵל קפג,109 אֲפִלּוּ רֹב הָעִיר הֵם נָכְרִים, קפד,110 אֲבָל בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁרֹב הָעוֹבְרִים שָׁם הֵם נָכְרִים, אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ רֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא שֶׁהוּא מָקוֹם שֶׁנָּכְרִים יוֹשְׁבִים שָׁם בִּקְבִיעוּת, קפה כְּגוֹן נָכְרִים הַשּׁוֹמְרִים בְּשַׁעֲרֵי הָעִיר,111 הַמּוֹצֵא שָׁם בֵּין בְּדֶרֶךְ הַנָּחָה בֵּין בְּדֶרֶךְ נְפִילָה – תּוֹלִין הַכֹּל בְּנָכְרִים, וַהֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁל מוֹצְאוֹ.112 וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם בָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנָתַן בָּהּ סִימָן – אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִירָהּ לוֹ, שֶׁמִּן הַסְּתָם כְּבָר נִתְיָאֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ, קפו,113 אִם הוּא דָּבָר חָשׁוּב114 אוֹ דָּבָר כָּבֵד שֶׁיָּדַע כְּבָר מִנְּפִילָתוֹ אוֹ מִשִּׁכְחָתוֹ אוֹתוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁבָּא לְיַד הַמּוֹצֵא, קפז כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה. קפח,115

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם מָצָא סְפָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁבְּוַדַּאי יָבוֹאוּ לְיַד יִשְׂרָאֵל לִקְנוֹתָם116 – אֵין הָאוֹבְדָם מִתְיָאֵשׁ מֵהֶם אֲפִלּוּ בְּרֹב נָכְרִים, וְחַיָּב לְהַכְרִיז: קפט

18 All the above applies according to the mandates of the law. It is, however, proper and upright to go beyond the mandates of the law117 and return an article to a person who identifies it by its distinguishing marks,109 even [if it was lost in a place where] the majority [of the inhabitants] are gentile and even if [the owner had] already despaired of its recovery. There is, however, no need to announce and publicize [the discovery of such an article]. Instead, if the owner comes of his own volition and asks for [the article] and identifies it via distinguishing marks, it should be returned to him. [Furthermore,] if [the finder] knows to whom the article belongs, he should return it to him even if he did not ask for it. Similarly, when an article does not have a distinguishing mark, if [the finder] knows the identity of its owner, he should return it to him even though he already despaired of its return. [The rationale is that] despairing of [an article’s recovery] is not entirely analogous to declaring an article ownerless, for he does not willfully despair of recovering his article and consider it ownerless.

יח וְכָל זֶה מִשׁוּרַת הַדִּין, אֲבָל טוֹב וְיָשָׁר לַעֲשׂוֹת לִפְנִים מִשׁוּרַת הַדִּין117 לְהַחֲזִיר אֲפִלּוּ בְּרֹב נָכְרִים לְמִי שֶׁיִּתֵּן סִימָן קצ,109 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְיָאֵשׁ. אֲבָל אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַכְרִיז וּלְהוֹדִיעַ, אֶלָּא אִם בָּאוּ הַבְּעָלִים מֵאֲלֵיהֶם וְתָבְעוּ וְנָתְנוּ סִימָן מַחֲזִיר לָהֶם. קצא וְאִם יוֹדֵעַ מֵעַצְמוֹ שֶׁל מִי הוּא – יַחֲזִירֶנּוּ לוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא תָּבַע. קצב וְכֵן בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סִימָן, אִם יוֹדֵעַ בְּבֵרוּר שֶׁל מִי הוּא – יַחֲזִירֶנּוּ לוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ, שֶׁהַיֵּאוּשׁ אֵינוֹ כְּהֶפְקֵר גָּמוּר קצג שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְיָאֵשׁ וּמַפְקִיר מֵרְצוֹנוֹ:

19 Similarly, when a person retrieves an article from a lion, a bear, or a surging river that overflows [its banks], even though the owner despaired of the article’s recovery, the finder should act beyond the measure of the law and return [the article].

[This ruling applies] even though, according to law, [the finder] is not obligated [to return the article. Indeed, the finder is permitted to keep the article] although [the owner] did not despair [of its recovery] if [the owner] could not have saved it even had he have strained to do so.118

[According to the letter of the law, the finder may keep the article in such a situation,] because [the command to return a lost article includes] the phrase:119 “that was lost from him and that you found.” [Our Sages infer120 that the command applies to an article that] was lost [solely] from [its owner], but accessible to all others. It thus excludes [an article lost under circumstances where] it is lost not only to [its owner], but is also not accessible to all others, since it could not be saved at all.121 Even though [the owner] was standing by and protesting [that he has not given up hope of recovering the article], it is like someone who is protesting about his house that collapsed or his ship that sank at sea. No attention is paid to his statement that he does not despair of its recovery, because his thought is of no consequence when considered in the light of others.122

יט וְכֵן הַמַּצִּיל מֵהָאֲרִי וּמֵהַדֹּב וּמִן הַנָּהָר שֶׁשָּׁטַף וְעָבַר, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים – יֵשׁ לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת לִפְנִים מִשׁוּרַת הַדִּין וּלְהַחֲזִיר. קצד

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּן הַדִּין אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אַף אִם לֹא נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ, אִם אֵין יְכוֹלִים לְהַצִּיל אֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי הַדֹּחַק, קצה,118 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר קצו,119 "אֲשֶׁר תֹּאבַד מִמֶּנּוּ וּמְצָאתָהּ", מִי שֶׁאֲבוּדָה מִמֶּנּוּ וּמְצוּיָה אֵצֶל כָּל אָדָם,120 יָצְתָה זוֹ שֶׁאֲבוּדָה מִמֶּנּוּ וְאֵינָהּ מְצוּיָה אֵצֶל כָּל אָדָם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בְּאֶפְשָׁר לְהַצִּיל כְּלָל,121 וְאַף אִם הוּא עוֹמֵד וְצוֹוֵחַ קצז – נַעֲשֶׂה כְּצוֹוֵחַ עַל בֵּיתוֹ שֶׁנָּפַל וְעַל סְפִינָתוֹ שֶׁטָּבְעָה בַּיָּם, קצח וְאֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין כְּלָל עַל מַה שֶּׁאוֹמֵר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְיָאֵשׁ, כִּי בְּטֵלָה דַּעְתּוֹ אֵצֶל כָּל אָדָם: קצט,122

20 Similarly, [when] geese and roosters are unruly and flee from their owner’s home and they cannot be brought back at all, a person who takes possession of them acquires them like one who acquires an ownerless article. Nevertheless, it is appropriate for him to go beyond the measure of the law and return them, because, [as our Sages say:]123Jerusalem was destroyed solely because they establish their rulings exclusively on Torah law.”

There is, however, an authority who maintains that in all these situations, if the finder was poor and the person who lost the article was rich, there is no need to go beyond the measure of the law.

כ וְכֵן אֲוָזִים וְתַרְנְגוֹלִים שֶׁמָּרְדוּ וּבָרְחוּ מִבֵּית בַּעְלֵיהֶם ר וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר לָהֶם לְהַחֲזִירָם כְּלָל רא – הֲרֵי הַמַּחֲזִיק בָּהֶם זָכָה בָּהֶם כְּזוֹכֶה מִן הַהֶפְקֵר. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן יֵשׁ לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין וּלְהַחֲזִיר,רב כִּי לֹא חָרְבָה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם אֶלָּא עַל שֶׁהֶעֱמִידוּ דִּבְרֵיהֶם עַל דִּין תּוֹרָה. רג,123 וְיֵשׁ מִי שֶׁאוֹמֵר רד שֶׁבְּכָל אֵלּוּ אִם הָיָה הַמּוֹצֵא עָנִי וּבַעַל הָאֲבֵדָה עָשִׁיר – אֵין צָרִיךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין:

21 All the announcements of [lost articles] mentioned above must be made in synagogues and houses of study.124 In an era where there are evil people who say that a discovered article belongs to the king, it suffices [for the finder] to make known the discovery among his neighbors and acquaintances.125

When he announces or publicizes [the discovery of the article], he must state the type of article he discovered.126 [The claimant] should then identify it by describing its distinguishing marks. If, however, [the finder] said: “I found an article” and [a claimant] identifies the type of article, that is not considered sufficient identification. It should not be given to him unless he mentions very distinct marks of identification, e.g., its measure, its weight, the number [of articles lost], or the place [where they were lost].125

[A person who is known as] a deceiver should not be given an article [that he claims as his own] even if he identifies it via distinguishing marks, unless he brings witnesses [who testify] that it is his. When the amount of deceivers proliferated, [our Sages] ordained that a lost article should not be returned [to a person who identifies it via] distinguishing marks unless he brings witnesses [who testify] that he is not a deceiver126 or he is a Torah scholar who we can assume is not a deceiver. Even in the present generation, there are those who can be considered as Torah scholars in this context.127 There are many aspects involved with the particular laws regarding marks of identification. Hence one should not return an article when identified via a distinguishing mark unless he has asked a sage [for guidance].

כא וְכָל הַכְרָזוֹת שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ צְרִיכוֹת לִהְיוֹת בְּבָתֵּי כְּנֵסִיּוֹת וּבְבָתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת,124 וּבִזְמַן שֶׁיֵּשׁ אֲנָשִׁים רָעִים שֶׁאוֹמְרִים הַמְּצִיאָה הִיא לַמֶּלֶךְ מוֹדִיעַ לִשְׁכֵנָיו וְלִמְיֻדָּעָיו וְדַיּוֹ. רה,125

וּכְשֶׁהוּא מַכְרִיז אוֹ מוֹדִיעַ – צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר מִין הַמְּצִיאָה שֶׁמָּצָא, רו,126 וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר סִימָנֶיהָ. וְאִם אָמַר מְצִיאָה סְתָם מָצָאתִי וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר מַה הִיא – אֵין זֶה סִימָן, רז וְלֹא יִתֵּן לוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתֵּן סִימָנִים מֻבְהָקִים, רח כְּגוֹן מִדָּה אוֹ מִשְׁקָל אוֹ מִנְיָן אוֹ שֶׁיְּכַוֵּן הַמָּקוֹם. רט,125

וְהָרַמַּאי, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָמַר סִימָנִים – אֵין נוֹתְנִים לוֹ,  רי עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא עֵדִים שֶׁהִיא שֶׁלּוֹ. ריא וּמִשֶּׁרַבּוּ הָרַמָּאִים, הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁלֹּא יַחֲזִירוּ אֲבֵדָה בְּסִימָנֶיהָ עַד שֶׁיָּבִיא עֵדִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַמַּאי, ריב,126 אוֹ לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁהוּא בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַמַּאי. ריג וְאַף בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה יֵשׁ תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים לְעִנְיָן זֶה. ריד,127 וּפְרָטֵי דִּינֵי הַסִּימָנִים רַבּוּ בָּהֶם הַדִּקְדּוּקִים, רטו לְכָךְ לֹא יַחֲזִיר בְּסִימָן אֶלָּא עַל פִּי שְׁאֵלַת חָכָם:

22 When the finder announced and notified [others about the discovery of the article] and the owner did not come forth to claim it, the lost article should remain in [the finder’s] possession until [the prophet] Eliyahu25 comes.128 He is forbidden to use it or sell it unless selling it benefits its owner, e.g., it was depreciating in value.129 In such an instance, he should sell it130 under [the aegis of] a court.131

Similarly, he may use it for its own sake. What is implied? If he found a wooden utensil, he may use it sparsely for its sake, so that it does not rot. He may use a copper utensil with hot132 water,133 but he should not place the utensil on the fire, because that wears it out.

One may use silver utensils with cold water, but not with hot water, because it blackens them.130 One may use hatchets and the like on soft wood, but not on harder wood, because it damages them. Glass utensils should not be used at all, because they are fragile. Similarly, gold utensils and linen garments [should not be used], because they will remain undamaged when simply stored away.134

כב הִכְרִיז אוֹ הוֹדִיעַ רטז וְלֹא בָּאוּ הַבְּעָלִים – תְּהֵא הָאֲבֵדָה מֻנַּחַת אֶצְלוֹ עַד שֶׁיָּבוֹא128 אֵלִיָּהוּ, ריז,25 וְאָסוּר לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהּ אוֹ לְמָכְרָהּ.

אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן מְכִירָתָהּ הִיא טוֹבַת בְּעָלֶיהָ, כְּגוֹן שֶׁנִּפְסֶדֶת ריח,129 – יִמְכְּרֶנָּה ריט,130 בְּבֵית דִּין. רכ,131

וְכֵן מִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהּ לְתַקָּנָתָהּ. כֵּיצַד? הַמּוֹצֵא כְּלֵי עֵץ – מִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶם מְעַט לְצָרְכָּן, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵרָקְבוּ. כְּלֵי נְחֹשֶׁת – מִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶם בְּחַמִּין, רכא,132,133 אֲבָל לֹא יָשִׂים הַכְּלִי עַל גַּבֵּי הָאוּר רכב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּשַׁחֲקוֹ. כְּלֵי כֶּסֶף – מִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶם בְּצוֹנֵן, אֲבָל לֹא בְּחַמִּין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּשְׁחִירָן.130 קַרְדֻמּוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם – מִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶם רכג בְּעֵצִים רכד רַכִּים, אֲבָל לֹא בְּקָשִׁים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּפְחִיתָן. כְּלֵי זְכוּכִית – לֹא יִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בָּהֶם כְּלָל, רכה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּשְׁבָּרִים. רכו וְכֵן כְּלֵי זָהָב רכז וּכְסוּת שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן, רכח מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן בָּאִין לִידֵי קִלְקוּל עַל יְדֵי הַטְמָנָה: רכט,132

23 A woolen garment, by contrast, should be shaken out once in 30 days.135 It should not be shaken out with a staff, nor while being held by two people.136 It may be spread over a couch130 for its sake alone,137 but not for its sake and [the finder’s] sake,138 lest he forget it on the couch and it be stolen. If guests chance [to visit], he should not spread it out even for its own sake alone, lest they steal it (or cause it to be affected by “the evil eye”).139

כג אֲבָל כְּסוּת שֶׁל צֶמֶר צָרִיךְ לְנַעֲרָהּ פַּעַם אַחַת בִּשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. רל,135 וְלֹא יְנַעֲרֶנָּה בְּמַקֵּל, וְלֹא בִּשְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם,136 אֶלָּא אָדָם אֶחָד רלא בְּיָדָיו. רלב וְשׁוֹטְחָהּ רלג עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּטָּה רלד,130 לְצָרְכָּהּ בִּלְבַד,137 אֲבָל לֹא לְצָרְכּוֹ וּלְצָרְכָּהּ,רלה,138 שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁכָּחֶנָּה עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּטָּה רלו וְתִגָּנֵב.רלז נִזְדַּמְּנוּ לוֹ אוֹרְחִים – לֹא יִשְׁטָחֶנָּה אֲפִלּוּ לְצָרְכָּהּ בִּלְבַד,רלח שֶׁמָּא יִגְנְבוּהָ רלט (אוֹ שֶׁמָּא יִתְּנוּ בָּהּ עַיִן הָרַע): רמ,139

24 What is the source that teaches that [the finder] must take action to care for the lost article so that it will not be ruined or spoiled? It is written:140 “And you shall return it to him.” [Implied is that] you should see to it that you return it to him intact.141

During the time [the finder] is occupied in caring for the article, he is considered as occupied in the performance of a mitzvah142 and is exempt from giving bread to a poor person or [performing] other mitzvos.143

The same principles stated with regard to a lost object apply with regard to an entrusted object whose owner traveled overseas.144 The person to whom the article was entrusted must care for it like one cares for a lost object. ([Nevertheless, a person caring for an entrusted article] is not allowed to sell it because of a forthcoming loss, e.g., [selling] chametz before Pesach.145 Were one to wait to sell [chametz] until the [beginning of] the fifth hour on the day before Pesach, he would [be forced to] sell it very cheaply.146 With regard to a lost object in such a situation, he would sell it earlier so that he could sell it at a higher price. With regard to an entrusted object, by contrast, he should wait until the fifth hour,147 lest its owner come and take it.148 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.)

כד וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְהִשְׁתַּדֵּל בְּתַקָּנַת הָאֲבֵדָה שֶׁלֹּא תָּבוֹא לִידֵי הֶפְסֵד וְקִלְקוּל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר רמא,140 "וַהֲשֵׁבֹתוֹ לוֹ" – רְאֵה שֶׁתָּשִׁיב לוֹ בִּשְׁלֵמוּת.141

וְכָל שָׁעָה שֶׁהוּא עוֹסֵק בְּתַקָּנַת הָאֲבֵדָה – הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹסֵק בְּמִצְוָה,142 וּפָטוּר מִלִּתֵּן פַּת לְעָנִי רמב וּמִשְּׁאָר מִצְווֹת.143

וּכְדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאָמְרוּ בַּאֲבֵדָה כָּךְ אָמְרוּ בְּפִקָּדוֹן רמג שֶׁהָלְכוּ בְּעָלָיו לִמְדִינַת הַיָּם, רמד,144 שֶׁחַיָּב הַנִּפְקָד לְהִתְעַסֵּק בְּתַקָּנַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמִּתְעַסֵּק בַּאֲבֵדָה (אַךְ שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְמָכְרוֹ מִפְּנֵי הֶפְסֵד הֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא, כְּגוֹן חָמֵץ לִפְנֵי הַפֶּסַח145 שֶׁאִם יַמְתִּין לְמָכְרוֹ עַד שָׁעָה חֲמִישִׁית בְּעֶרֶב פֶּסַח יִמְכְּרֶנּוּ בְּזוֹל רמה,146 מְאֹד, וּבַאֲבֵדָה בְּעִנְיָן זֶה מוֹכְרָהּ מִתְּחִלָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּמְכֹּר בְּיֹקֶר, רמו אֲבָל בְּפִקָּדוֹן יַמְתִּין עַד שָׁעָה חֲמִישִׁית, רמז,147 שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא בְּעָלָיו וְיִקָּחֶנּוּ. רמח,148 וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה): רמט

25 If one found [sacred] scrolls or they were entrusted to him, he should air them out once every 30 days by rolling them from beginning to end.149 When he opens them to roll them for their sake, he also has license to read them. He should not, however, open them merely to read them. [Even when he opens them for their sake,] he may not read a passage and review it, nor may he read a passage that he never studied before, because he will tarry over the passage excessively, touch many [portions of] the scroll, and pull it in different directions, thus damaging the scroll. This will not happen when reading a passage that he studied previously, for then he will [read it] without having to touch [the body of the text] at all.

When does the above apply? With regard to scrolls of the Tanach. [Different laws apply,] however, [to scrolls of] the Talmud. In such an instance, a person who is reviewing his subject matter for the hundredth time is the same as one studying for the first time. Indeed, a person who is more familiar [with the subject matter] requires greater concentration regarding [the study of] the laws necessary for [his understanding of] the passage that he is analyzing.

כה וְאִם מָצָא סְפָרִים רנ אוֹ הֻפְקְדוּ אֶצְלוֹ רנא – גּוֹלְלָן מִתְּחִלָּתָן לְסוֹפָן, כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס בָּהֶן הָאֲוִיר רנב פַּעַם אַחַת בְּכָל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם.149 וּכְשֶׁהוּא פּוֹתְחָן לְגוֹלְלָן לְצָרְכָּן – יֵשׁ לוֹ רְשׁוּת לִקְרוֹת בָּהֶם, אֲבָל לֹא יִפְתָּחֵם בַּתְּחִלָּה כְּדֵי לִקְרוֹת בָּהֶם. רנג וְלֹא יִקְרָא פָּרָשָׁה וְיִשְׁנֶה. רנד וְלֹא פָּרָשָׁה שֶׁלֹּא לְמָדָהּ מֵעוֹלָם, רנה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשּׁוֹהֶה הַרְבֵּה רנו וְנוֹגֵעַ וּמוֹשֵׁךְ אֵילָךְ וְאֵילָךְ וּמְקַלְקֵל הַסֵּפֶר, מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן בְּפָרָשָׁה שֶׁלְּמָדָהּ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִגַּע כְּלָל. רנז

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּתַּנָ"ךְ, אֲבָל בְּתַלְמוּד הַשּׁוֹנֶה פִּרְקוֹ מֵאָה פְּעָמִים שָׁוֶה לְהַלּוֹמֵד בַּתְּחִלָּה, וְאַדְּרַבָּה הַבָּקִי יוֹתֵר צָרִיךְ עִיּוּן גָּדוֹל יוֹתֵר בַּהֲלָכוֹת הַצְּרִיכוֹת לִשְׁמוּעָה שֶׁמְּעַיֵּן בָּהּ: רנח

26 Just as it is forbidden to study [from a borrowed scroll],150 so too, it is forbidden to copy even one letter from it.

To what does the above apply? To a lost object151 or an object entrusted to a common person. If, however, scrolls were entrusted to a Torah scholar, there are authorities who permit [the scholar] to study and copy them if he does not possess similar [texts. The rationale is that] when [the owner] entrusted the scrolls to him, he knew that the watchman was a Torah scholar who would study them and copy from them. It can be assumed that he entrusted them to him with that intent. If, however, it is known that [the owner] objects to such [conduct], it is forbidden.

There are authorities who maintain that if [the owner] entrusted it to [the watchmen] without any qualifications and did not express his objection [to their use, he is considered as having given the watchman permission to use them].152 Even if he protests afterwards, that is of no consequence. Since [the owner] did not express his objection initially, [it can be assumed that] he agreed [to the watchman’s use of the scrolls], because he knows that [the watchman] is a Torah scholar. Thus it is as if he lent them to him for the entire duration of the time they were entrusted to him. Afterwards, he cannot retract [the license granted] until he comes to take back the entrusted article,153 because the Torah scholar already acquired the rights to borrow [and study from the scrolls] when he drew them into his domain.154

Nevertheless, if a person borrowed money and provided scrolls [as security], all authorities agree that even a Torah scholar is forbidden to study or copy them, because of the prohibition against taking interest,155 unless [the owner] would also lend [the scrolls] to him even if he was not given a loan, as stated in Hilchos Ribis.156

כו וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לִלְמֹד150 כָּךְ אָסוּר לְהַעְתִּיק אֲפִלּוּ אוֹת אַחַת. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בַּאֲבֵדָה,151 אוֹ בְּפִקָּדוֹן שֶׁהֻפְקַד אֵצֶל עַם הָאָרֶץ, אֲבָל אִם הֻפְקְדוּ סְפָרִים אֵצֶל תַּלְמִיד חָכָם – יֵשׁ מַתִּירִים רנט לִלְמֹד וּלְהַעֲתִּיק מֵהֶם אִם אֵין לוֹ כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם, לְפִי שֶׁכְּשֶׁהִפְקִידוֹ אֶצְלוֹ יוֹדֵעַ הָיָה שֶׁהַנִּפְקָד תַּלְמִיד חָכָם וְיִלְמֹד וְיַעְתִּיק מֵהֶם וְעַל דַּעַת כֵּן הִפְקִידוֹ אֶצְלוֹ מִן הַסְּתָם. רס אֲבָל אִם יָדוּעַ שֶׁהוּא מַקְפִּיד עַל זֶה – אָסוּר. רסא

וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים רסב (ב) שֶׁאִם הִפְקִיד אֶצְלוֹ סְתָם וְלֹא גִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁהוּא מַקְפִּיד,152 אַף שֶׁאַחַר כָּךְ הוּא מוֹחֶה בּוֹ בְּפֵרוּשׁ – אֵין בְּכָךְ כְּלוּם, לְפִי שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא גִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ מִתְּחִלָּה שֶׁהוּא מַקְפִּיד בְּוַדַּאי נִתְרַצָּה, מֵאַחַר שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהוּא תַּלְמִיד חָכָם, וַהֲרֵי זֶה כְּאִלּוּ הִשְׁאִיל לוֹ כָּל מֶשֶׁךְ זְמַן שֶׁהִפְקִיד אֶצְלוֹ, וְשׁוּב אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחֲזֹר בּוֹ עַד עֵת בּוֹאוֹ לִטֹּל פִּקְדוֹנוֹ,153 שֶׁכְּבָר זָכָה הַתַּלְמִיד חָכָם בִּשְׁאִילָה זוֹ בִּמְשִׁיכָה. רסג,154

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, (ג) אִם הִלְוָה מָעוֹת עַל סְפָרִים – לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל רסד אָסוּר לִלְמֹד וּלְהַעְתִּיק מֵהֶם אֲפִלּוּ תַּלְמִיד חָכָם, מִשּׁוּם אִסּוּר רִבִּית.155 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה מַשְׁאִילָם לוֹ אַף בְּלֹא הַלְוָאָה, כְּמ[וֹ] שֶׁכָּתוּב בְּהִלְכוֹת רִבִּית: רסה,156

27 All the above157 applies when the scroll comes into [the scholar’s] possession with the owner’s consent or when found by him. It is, however, forbidden to go a friend’s house and read from his scroll without his consent even only on occasion lest the owner object [out of fear that] the scroll be damaged. ([This restriction applies] even if [the scholar] is certain that he will not damage [the scroll], for any time a person borrows [property] without the owner’s consent, he is considered as a thief, even if he does not damage [the property] at all.158 [True,] when there is a mitzvah involved, we assume that a person will derive satisfaction [when a mitzvah is performed with his property] if he knows that the article with which the mitzvah will be fulfilled will not be damaged, as stated in Orach Chayim, sec. 14[:9].159 When, however, [an owner] is concerned about a [possible] loss, he would object to his property [being used for a mitzvah] to the same degree that he would object to it being used for a matter that is not a mitzvah. Therefore,160 even though in truth, [the borrower] will not damage the scrolls at all, he is forbidden [to make use of them], just as he would be [prohibited] with regard to [using an article] for his personal needs.)161

כז וְכָל זֶה157 כְּשֶׁבָּא הַסֵּפֶר לְיָדוֹ מִדַּעַת בְּעָלִים, אוֹ בִּמְצִיאָה, רסו אֲבָל אָסוּר לֵילֵךְ לְבֵית חֲבֵרוֹ וְלִקְרוֹת מִתּוֹךְ סִפְרוֹ שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ רסז אֲפִלּוּ בְּאַקְרַאי, רסח שֶׁמָּא הוּא מַקְפִּיד פֶּן יְקַלְקְלֶנּוּ רסט (אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּרִי לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יְקַלְקְלוֹ, שֶׁכָּל שׁוֹאֵל שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת בְּעָלִים הוּא גַּזְלָן אַף שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַפְסִיד כְּלָל, ער,158 אֶלָּא שֶׁבִּדְבַר מִצְוָה מִן הַסְּתָם נוֹחַ לַבְּעָלִים רעא כְּשֶׁיּוֹדְעִים שֶׁלֹּא יַגִּיעַ הֶפְסֵד לְחֵפֶץ שֶׁהַמִּצְוָה נַעֲשֵׂית בּוֹ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּאוֹרַח חַיִים סִימָן י"ד, ערב,159 אֲבָל כְּשֶׁחוֹשְׁשִׁים מֵהֶפְסֵד הֵם מַקְפִּידִים כְּמוֹ בִּדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת, רעג לְכָךְ160 אַף שֶׁבֶּאֱמֶת אֵינוֹ מַפְסִיד כְּלָל אָסוּר עדר כְּמוֹ בִּדְבַר הָרְשׁוּת):161

28 Just as it is forbidden to use a discovered article or an entrusted article for one’s own needs, so too, it is forbidden for a person who found money that he is obligated to return162 to lend it, neither to himself, nor to others.163 Similar [laws apply to] money entrusted to him.164 Nevertheless, if one entrusted [money] to a money-changer or a storekeeper unconditionally, he is permitted to use it.164 [The rationale is that] it is known that a money-changer and a storekeeper are wont to trade continually with money and they are always in need of cash. [Since] the person entrusted the article unconditionally and did not reveal his desire that [the storekeeper or the money-changer] not use his money, it can be assumed that he agreed to [their using it] and that he does not object. Therefore the money is considered as if it was lent to them, to use when they desire.165

[There is, however, an exception:] When the money was entrusted while sealed or tied close with a peculiar knot. [By doing so,] the owner makes it clear that he does not want [the recipient] to use the money. In the present age, when, [generally,] we do not own fields and vineyards and our entire financial enterprise [primarily] involves commercial activity, every person is considered like a storekeeper or a money-changer, for every person is in [continuous] need of money. If the person who entrusted [the money did not want the recipient to use it], he should have revealed his intent.

With regard to what does the above apply? To money. With regard to other articles and the like, even though every specimen is the same166 and there is no difference between them at all, it is forbidden to use [the entrusted] article167 and make restitution with another [afterwards], even though there is no difference between the article used and the article with which it is replaced, just as [there is no difference] with regard to money. [Nevertheless,] since the owner does not know that the person to whom the article was entrusted desires to use that article, there is no clear proof that he acquiesced [to its use].168 Thus [the person to whom the article was entrusted is considered to have used it] without the owner’s consent169 and to have misappropriated the entrusted article.170 For the Torah’s conception of misappropriating an entrusted article is not limited to taking it with the intent to steal it. Instead, [it applies also to one who takes it] with the intent of returning an article that is exactly equivalent to it. [Nevertheless,] since he takes the entrusted article — whether in its entirety or a portion [of it] — out of its [owner’s domain]171 entirely, he is considered to have misappropriated the entrusted article.

If, however, he does not take [the article] out of its [owner’s domain] entirely, but instead, uses it for his own purposes, rather than for the sake of the entrusted article, and the entrusted article is neither ruined or damaged at all through being used in this manner, he is not considered to have misappropriated the article, but rather to have borrowed it without consent.172 And if he clearly knows that the person who entrusted the article does not object to his [use], it is permitted to do so.

Needless to say, this applies to an article that people will not object to its use at all, because there is no concern that using it in this manner will ruin or destroy the entrusted article at all. Nevertheless, if [the person to whom it was entrusted desires] to use it in a way to which some people would object because there is some concern that [the article] will be ruined, even if it is but a distant concern, it is forbidden to use it [for that purpose. This applies] both to a lost article and an entrusted article. The person would be considered as one who borrows without [the owner’s] consent even though it is absolutely clear to him that the article will not be damaged at all,173 unless he knows that the one who entrusted174 it will not object [to its use] at all.

There are authorities who forbid the use of an entrusted article even for a purpose to which it would not be common for people to object at all, [and consider doing so] as misappropriating [an entrusted article. Their rationale is that the prohibition against] misappropriating an article is a Scriptural decree applying to an article that was entrusted to [the watchman] even if it would have been permitted [for him to use it] if it had not been entrusted to him.175 A conscientious person176 should give weight to their words.

כח כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָסוּר לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בַּאֲבֵדָה וּפִקָּדוֹן לְצָרְכּוֹ – כָּךְ הַמּוֹצֵא מָעוֹת בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁחַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר ערה,162 אָסוּר לְהַלְווֹתָם רעו לְעַצְמוֹ וְלֹא לְאַחֵר.163 וְכֵן אִם הֻפְקְדוּ אֶצְלוֹ. רעז,164 וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, אִם הֻפְקְדוּ אֵצֶל שֻׁלְחָנִי אוֹ חֶנְוָנִי רעח בִּסְתָם – רַשַּׁאי לְהוֹצִיאָן,164 שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁדַּרְכָּן שֶׁל שֻׁלְחָנִי וְחֶנְוָנִי לִשָּׂא וְלִתֵּן תָּמִיד בְּמָעוֹת, וְתָמִיד הֵם צְרִיכִים לְמָעוֹת, רעט וְזֶה הִפְקִיד אֶצְלָם סְתָם וְלֹא גִּלָּה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּמְּשׁוּ בִּמְעוֹתָיו, מִן הַסְּתָם נִתְרַצָּה לְכָךְ וְאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עֲלֵיהֶם, וְנַעֲשׂוּ הַמָּעוֹת כְּאִלּוּ הֵן בִּשְׁאִילָה אֶצְלָם לִכְשֶׁיִּרְצוּ לְהוֹצִיאָן. רפ,165 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִפְקִידָן חֲתוּמִים רפא אוֹ (צְרוּרִים) קְשׁוּרִים בְּקֶשֶׁר מְשֻׁנֶּה, רפב שֶׁזֶּהוּ גִּלּוּי דַּעַת שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּמְּשׁוּ בָּהֶן. רפג וְעַכְשָׁו בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאֵין לָנוּ שָׂדוֹת וּכְרָמִים וְכָל עֲסָקֵינוּ בְּמִקָּח וּמִמְכָּר – הֲרֵי סְתָם כָּל אָדָם דִּינוֹ כְּחֶנְוָנִי וְשֻׁלְחָנִי, רפד לְפִי שֶׁהַכֹּל צְרִיכִים לְמָעוֹת, וְהָיָה לוֹ לְהַמַּפְקִיד לְגַלּוֹת דַּעְתּוֹ.

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּמָעוֹת, רפה אֲבָל בִּשְׁאָר חֲפָצִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל מִין רפו הוּא שָׁוֶה166 וְאֵין בּוֹ הֶפְרֵשׁ כְּלָל – אָסוּר לְהוֹצִיאוֹ167 וּלְשַׁלֵּם אַחֵר תַּחְתָּיו, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הֶפְרֵשׁ כְּלָל בֵּין זֶה שֶׁהוֹצִיא לָזֶה שֶׁמְּשַׁלֵּם תַּחְתָּיו כְּמוֹ בְּמָעוֹת, לְפִי שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין הַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ לַמַּפְקִיד שֶׁהַנִּפְקָד צָרִיךְ לְהוֹצִיא חֵפֶץ זֶה אֵין כָּאן הוֹכָחָה שֶׁנִּתְרַצָּה לָזֶה,168 וַהֲרֵי זֶה שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת וְשׁוֹלֵחַ יָד בְּפִקָּדוֹן.170 כִּי שְׁלִיחוּת יָד הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה רפז אֵינָהּ עַל מְנָת לִגְזֹל בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ עַל מְנָת לְשַׁלֵּם תַּחְתָּיו רפח כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מַמָּשׁ, רפט הוֹאִיל וְהוּא מוֹצִיא הַפִּקָּדוֹן לְגַמְרֵי171 בֵּין כֻּלּוֹ בֵּין מִקְצָתוֹ רצ – הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹלֵחַ יָד בַּפִּקָּדוֹן.

אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ מוֹצִיאוֹ לְגַמְרֵי, אֶלָּא שֶׁמִּשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ לְצָרְכּוֹ וְלֹא לְצֹרֶךְ הַפִּקָּדוֹן, וְאֵין הַפִּקָּדוֹן נִפְסָד וּמִתְקַלְקֵל כְּלָל בְּתַשְׁמִישׁ זֶה רצא – אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם שְׁלִיחוּת יָד, אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם שׁוֹאֵל שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת,172 (ד) וְאִם יוֹדֵעַ בְּבֵרוּר שֶׁאֵין הַמַּפְקִיד מַקְפִּיד עָלָיו – מֻתָּר. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם לְהַקְפִּיד כְּלָל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין חֲשָׁשׁ הֶפְסֵד וְקִלְקוּל כְּלָל מִתַּשְׁמִישׁ זֶה לְהַפִּקָּדוֹן. רצב אֲבָל תַּשְׁמִישׁ שֶׁקְּצָת בְּנֵי אָדָם מַקְפִּידִין עָלָיו מִפְּנֵי חֲשָׁשׁ קִלְקוּל, אֲפִלּוּ הוּא חֲשָׁשׁ רָחוֹק – אָסוּר, בֵּין בַּאֲבֵדָה בֵּין בְּפִקָּדוֹן, מִשּׁוּם שׁוֹאֵל שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעַת, אֲפִלּוּ אִם בָּרִי לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יְקַלְקֵל כְּלָל, רצג,173 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יָדוּעַ לוֹ שֶׁהַמַּפְקִיד174 לֹא יַקְפִּיד כְּלָל בָּזֶה.

וְיֵשׁ אוֹסְרִין רצד בְּפִקָּדוֹן מִשּׁוּם שְׁלִיחוּת יָד, אֲפִלּוּ בְּתַשְׁמִישׁ שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי אָדָם לְהַקְפִּיד כְּלָל, כִּי אִסּוּר שְׁלִיחוּת יָד גְּזֵרַת הַכָּתוּב הוּא בְּפִקָּדוֹן שֶׁהֻפְקַד אֶצְלוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בְּדָבָר הַמֻּתָּר אִם לֹא הָיָה מֻפְקָד אֶצְלוֹ.175 וּבַעַל נֶפֶשׁ176 יָחֹשׁ לְדִבְרֵיהֶם:

29 As long as a lost object is in a person’s domain, he is obligated to guard it as a watchman must.177 It is not sufficient for him to place it together with his own objects.178 [The rationale is that] with regard to his own property, he is permitted to place it where he desires, [even in a insecure location,] but he may not put anything belonging to another person anywhere other than a secure location. This principle also applies with regard to an entrusted article.

What is meant by “guarding an article as a watchman must”? Everything depends on the nature of the entrusted article. There are entrusted articles, e.g., large bundles of flax and the like, that are guarded by placing them in a guarded courtyard. There are others, e.g., a dress, a cloak, or the like, that are guarded by being kept in a home. And there are still others that are guarded by being kept in a locked chest, e.g., silk clothes, silver vessels, or golden vessels. This also applies to money in places where it is not customary to bury it in the ground, because thieves are not that common.179 When one transports such articles on a journey, they require extra care so that they do not pass out of his sight before he reaches home and locks them [in a chest] as is appropriate.180

When a chest contains food, one should not place clothes in it, for it can be assumed that mice will force their way into a chest that contains food.181 Needless to say, this [surely] applies to a room where food is kept. Instead, the clothes should be hung on a [high] rod. A person should not allow other people to enter a room where an entrusted article is kept, even though they are not known to be thieves, as long as he does not know that they are honest and trustworthy.

כט וְכָל זְמַן שֶׁהָאֲבֵדָה אֶצְלוֹ – חַיָּב לְשָׁמְרָהּ רצה כָּרָאוּי כְּדֶרֶךְ הַשּׁוֹמְרִים,177 וְלֹא דַּי לוֹ שֶׁיַּנִּיחֶנָּה עִם חֲפָצִים שֶׁלּוֹ, רצו,178 כִּי בְּשֶׁלּוֹ רַשַּׁאי הוּא לְהַנִּיחָם בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁיִּרְצֶה וְאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי בְּשֶׁל אֲחֵרִים, רצז אֶלָּא בְּמָקוֹם הַמִּשְׁתַּמֵּר. וְכֵן בְּפִקָּדוֹן. וְכֵיצַד דֶּרֶךְ הַשּׁוֹמְרִים? הַכֹּל לְפִי הַפִּקָּדוֹן, יֵשׁ שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ שְׁמִירָתוֹ לְהַנִּיחַ בְּחָצֵר הַמִּשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת, רחצ כְּגוֹן חֲבִילוֹת פִּשְׁתָּן הַגְּדוֹלוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְיֵשׁ שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ שְׁמִירָתוֹ לְהַנִּיחוֹ בַּבַּיִת, כְּגוֹן שִׂמְלָה וְטַלִּית וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְיֵשׁ שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ שְׁמִירָתוֹ לְהַנִּיחוֹ בְּתֵבָה וְלִנְעֹל עָלָיו, כְּגוֹן בִּגְדֵי מֶשִׁי וּכְלֵי כֶּסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב, רצט וּמָעוֹת, בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין נוֹהֲגִים לְהַטְמִינָם בַּקַּרְקַע מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין גַּנָּבִים מְצוּיִים כָּל כָּךְ. ש,179 וּכְשֶׁמּוֹלִיכָן בַּדֶּרֶךְ – צְרִיכִים שְׁמִירָה יְתֵרָה שֶׁלֹּא יַעַבְרוּ מִכְּנֶגֶד פָּנָיו עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְבֵיתוֹ שא וְיִנְעֹל בִּפְנֵיהֶם כָּרָאוּי.180 וְתֵבָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ אֳכָלִין – לֹא יַנִּיחַ בָּהּ בְּגָדִים, שב כִּי סְתָם תֵּבָה הִיא חֲתוּרָה אֵצֶל עַכְבָּרִים כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ אֳכָלִים,181 וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן חֶדֶר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ אֳכָלִין, אֶלָּא יִתְלֶה הַבְּגָדִים עַל הַנֵּס. שג וְלֹא יָנִיחַ אֲחֵרִים לִכָּנֵס בַּחֶדֶר שֶׁהַפִּקָּדוֹן מֻנָּח שָׁם, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָם בְּחֶזְקַת גַּנָּבִים רַק שֶׁאֵין יָדוּעַ לוֹ שֶׁהֵם כְּשֵׁרִים וְנֶאֱמָנִים: דש

30 A person is not permitted to entrust an entrusted article to others even though they are more honest and trustworthy than he is.182 There is, however, an exception: a person to whom the owner of the entrusted article would frequently entrust valuable articles like this.183

Nevertheless, a person is permitted to transfer an article entrusted to him to his wife or another member of his household who is past majority [for safekeeping. The rationale is that] a person who entrusts the article knows that it is common for a person to give [entrusted] property to his wife or the members of his household [for safekeeping] and he entrusted it to him with this understanding.183 [The watchman] should not, however, give it to his son or daughter who are minors, nor to another relative who does not live with him or eat at his table, unless the owner knows that the person to whom he entrusted the article frequently entrusts articles to that [relative].184

ל וְאֵין הַנִּפְקָד רַשַּׁאי לְהַפְקִיד בְּיַד אֲחֵרִים, שה אֲפִלּוּ כְּשֵׁרִים וְנֶאֱמָנִים יוֹתֵר מִמֶּנּוּ, שו,182 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הַמַּפְקִיד גַּם כֵּן רָגִיל לְהַפְקִיד אֶצְלָם שז תָּמִיד שח דָּבָר חָשׁוּב כָּזֶה. שט,183

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, רַשַּׁאי לִמְסֹר הַפִּקָּדוֹן לְאִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ לְאֶחָד מִבְּנֵי בֵּיתוֹ הַגְּדוֹלִים, לְפִי שֶׁהַמַּפְקִיד יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם לִמְסֹר חֲפָצָיו בְּיַד אִשְׁתוֹ וּבְנֵי בֵּיתוֹ, וְעַל דַּעַת כֵּן הִפְקִיד אֶצְלוֹ. שי,183 אֲבָל לֹא יִמְסֹר לִבְנוֹ וּלְבִתּוֹ הַקְּטַנִּים, שיא וְלֹא לְיַד אֶחָד מִקְּרוֹבָיו שֶׁאֵינוֹ שָׁרוּי עִמּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ סָמוּךְ עַל שֻׁלְחָנוֹ, שיב אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יָדוּעַ לְהַמַּפְקִיד שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ שֶׁל נִפְקָד לִמְסֹר חֲפָצָיו לָזֶה: שיג,184

31 When [a watchman] comes to return an entrusted object to its owner, he should not return it to one of the members of his household185 without [the owner’s] knowledge and consent. This [ruling] also applies to returning an article that he lent him and to the repayment of a debt. He may, however, return it to the person’s wife, for it can be assumed that she is involved in the household finances and the husband entrusts everything he owns to her.

לא וְאִם בָּא לְהַחֲזִיר הַפִּקָּדוֹן – לֹא יַחֲזִירֵם לְיַד אֶחָד מִבְּנֵי בֵּיתוֹ שֶׁל הַמַּפְקִיד185 שֶׁלֹּא מִדַּעְתּוֹ. וְכֵן אִם בָּא לְהַחֲזִיר חֵפֶץ שֶׁהִשְׁאִילוֹ. וְכֵן בִּפְרִיעַת חוֹבוֹ. אֲבָל יָכוֹל לְהַחֲזִיר לְאִשְׁתּוֹ, שֶׁמִּן הַסְּתָם הִיא נוֹשֵׂאת וְנוֹתֶנֶת בְּתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת וְהַבַּעַל מַפְקִיד כָּל אֲשֶׁר לוֹ בְּיָדָהּ: שיד

32 If [a watchman] desires to travel to another city and does not desire to bring the entrusted article with him, either because of the responsibility or because of the difficulty of taking it with him on the way, he may transfer the entrusted article to the court186 and the court will assign it to a person whom they consider trustworthy.

(All the above187 applies to an entrusted article.188 A lost article, by contrast, may be entrusted [by the finder] to one whom he considers trustworthy to guard it. [The rationale is that] he became a watchman over it only due to the Omnipresent’s commandment189 and [the rule,] a person’s agent is considered as the principal himself,190 applies with regard to all the mitzvos.)

לב וְאִם רוֹצֶה לִסַּע לְעִיר אַחֶרֶת, וְאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לְהוֹלִיךְ עִמּוֹ הַפִּקָּדוֹן מִשּׁוּם אַחֲרָיוּת אוֹ טֹרַח הַדֶּרֶךְ – יִמְסְרֶנּוּ לְבֵית דִּין,186 וְהֵם יִמְסְרוּהוּ לְנֶאֱמָן אֶצְלָם שטו (וְכָל זֶה187 בְּפִקָּדוֹן,188 אֲבָל בַּאֲבֵדָה בְּכָל עִנְיָן רַשַּׁאי לְמָסְרָהּ לְמִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמָן אֶצְלוֹ לְשָׁמְרָהּ, שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נַעֲשָׂה שׁוֹמֵר עָלֶיהָ אֶלָּא מִמִּצְוַת הַמָּקוֹם, שטז,189 וּבְכָל הַמִּצְווֹת שְׁלוּחוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם כְּמוֹתוֹ): שיז,190

33 A person who sees [flood]waters advancing to inundate a fellow man’s field or destroy his building is obligated to construct a barrier in front of them to prevent their [flow].191 [The commandment to return a lost object] mentions192 “for all [property] lost by your brother,” including landed property. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations: if one can save a fellow man from a loss, he must strive with all his strength to do so.

One is not, however, obligated to undertake expenses to do so193 unless he is certain that his fellow man will repay him. For this reason, the obligation to return a lost article does not fall on a person who is professionally employed, whether he works at a craft, in a store, or is involved in other commercial activity in a way that taking the effort to return the lost article will cause him to lose profit that he could have earned, for it is possible that the owner of the lost article will not reimburse him for it.194

לג הָרוֹאֶה מַיִם בָּאִים לִשְׁטֹף שְׂדֵה חֲבֵרוֹ שיח אוֹ לְהַשְׁחִית בִּנְיָנוֹ שיט – חַיָּב לִגְדֹּר בִּפְנֵיהֶם לְמָנְעָם,191 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שכ,192 "לְכָל אֲבֵדַת אָחִיךָ", לְרַבּוֹת אֲבֵדַת קַרְקַע. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה, אִם אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לְהַצִּיל חֲבֵרוֹ מֵהֶפְסֵד – חַיָּב שכא הוּא לִטְרֹחַ בְּכָל כֹּחוֹ שכב לְהַצִּילוֹ.

אֲבָל אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהוֹצִיא מָמוֹן עַל זֶה, שכג,193 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן יָדוּעַ לוֹ בְּבֵרוּר שֶׁחֲבֵרוֹ יְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ מֵעַצְמוֹ. שכד לְפִיכָךְ, אֵין חִיּוּב הֲשָׁבַת אֲבֵדָה חָל עַל מִי שֶׁהוּא בַּעַל עֵסֶק, שכה בֵּין בִּמְלָאכָה בֵּין בַּחֲנוּת אוֹ בִּשְׁאָר מַשָּׂא וּמַתָּן, בְּעִנְיָן שֶׁעַל יְדֵי טָרְחוֹ בַּהֲשָׁבַת אֲבֵדָה יַגִּיעַ לוֹ אֵיזֶה הֶפְסֵד מְנִיעַת הָרֶוַח, וְשֶׁמָּא לֹא יַחֲזִירֶנּוּ לוֹ בַּעַל הָאֲבֵדָה: שכו,194

34 Even if [the rescuer’s] loss of profit is only a dinar and the lost article or other cost to the owner is 100 maneh,195 [the rescuer’s] personal interests take priority.196 [This can be inferred from] the verse:197 “May there be no poor among you.” Implied is that your personal concerns take priority.

Nevertheless, a person should go beyond the measure of the law and not be exacting, saying: “My concerns take priority.” If he is always exacting in this manner, he removes the yoke of deeds of kindness from himself and ultimately, will require the assistance of others. Nevertheless, if his own loss is obvious and perceptible, his own concerns take priority, even over those of his father and his teacher. The question of who is given priority, his teacher or his father, is explained in Hilchos Kevod Rabbo VeTalmid Chacham.198

לד וַאֲפִלּוּ הֶפְסֵד הָרֶוַח שֶׁלּוֹ אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא דִּינָר וְהָאֲבֵדָה אוֹ שְׁאָר הֶפְסֵד שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ הוּא מֵאָה מָנֶה195 – שֶׁלּוֹ קֹדֶם, שכז,196 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שכח,197 "אֶפֶס כִּי לֹא יִהְיֶה בְּךָ אֶבְיוֹן", שֶׁלְּךָ קוֹדֵם לְכָל אָדָם.

וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן יֵשׁ לוֹ לְאָדָם לִכָּנֵס לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין שכט וְלֹא לְדַקְדֵּק וְלוֹמַר שֶׁלִּי קוֹדֵם. וְאִם תָּמִיד מְדַקְדֵּק – פּוֹרֵק מִמֶּנּוּ עֹל גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים, וְסוֹף שֶׁיִּצְטָרֵךְ לַבְּרִיּוֹת. של וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, בְּהֶפְסֵד מוֹכִיחַ וּבָרוּר – שֶׁלּוֹ קוֹדֵם, שלא וַאֲפִלּוּ לְשֶׁל אָבִיו וְרַבּוֹ. שלב וְשֶׁל רַבּוֹ וְשֶׁל אָבִיו אֵיזֶה מֵהֶם קוֹדֵם – נִתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת כְּבוֹד רַבּוֹ וְתַלְמִיד חָכָם: שלג,198

35 Just as [the responsibility to care for a fellowman’s property] is superseded by [concern for] one’s own finances, so too, it is superseded by [concern for] one’s own honor.199 For example, when a distinguished scholar or elder200 finds lowly utensils that he would not normally carry in the presence of others, he is not obligated to care for them. He should make [the following] assessment: If he would return the article [to his home] if it were his own, he is obligated to return it if it belongs to his fellowman. And if he would not forgo his honor if the article was his,201 he is not obligated to return the article if it belongs to his fellowman. If it would be his practice to carry such articles in the field,202 but not in a town, [the ruling depends on where he finds the lost articles]. If he finds them in the town, he is not obligated to return them. If, however, he finds them in the field, he is obligated to return them until they are brought to their owner’s domain. Even though he will enter the town [carrying] them and this is not his practice, [he must complete the mitzvah], since he already became obligated [to return] them in the field.

There are authorities who maintain that he should only bring them from the field to the town and then deposit them [at the outskirts of the town].203 A G‑dfearing person should adopt a stringent stance with regard to his own conduct as mandated by the first view, [since] a Scriptural [commandment] is involved.

One who follows the path of goodness and justice should go beyond the mandates of the law and return a lost object in all situations,204 even though it compromises his honor. [And indeed] every person should go beyond the mandates of the law, as explained above.205 There are, however, authorities who maintain that a scholar is not permitted to degrade the honor of the Torah.206 Instead, if he desires to go beyond the mandates of the law, he should make financial restitution [for the article] with his own funds. The statement:207 “When a master [of Torah is willing to] forgo his honor, his honor may be ignored” applies only to extra dimensions of respect, e.g., standing before him and glorifying him, but he is not permitted to degrade himself in public, for this is a disgrace to the Torah.

According to the first opinion, this is not considered as disgraceful to the Torah, since he is acting for the honor of heaven, for he is not performing these activities with his own property,208 but with [the property of] another person.

When possible, a conscientious person should adopt a stringent stance with regard to his own conduct as mandated by the latter view, [since] a Scriptural [commandment] is involved. For example, if he knows to whom the [lost] articles belong, he should pay him [from his own resources] and thus fulfill his responsibility according to all authorities.

(If, however, he does not know to whom [the lost articles] belong, he cannot fulfill his responsibilities according to all authorities.209 According to the first opinion, [the scholar] should go beyond the mandates of the law and take [the lost articles] and announce [their discovery]. And if someone will identify them via their distinguishing marks, he should return them to him. According to the second opinion, by contrast, doing so violates a Scriptural prohibition.)210

לה וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁמָּמוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ נִדְחֶה מִפְּנֵי מָמוֹנוֹ – כָּךְ הוּא נִדְחֶה מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדוֹ, שלד,199 כְּגוֹן שֶׁהוּא חָכָם אוֹ זָקֵן מְכֻבָּד200 וּמָצָא כֵּלִים פְּחוּתִים שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לִשָּׂא אוֹתָם בְּיָדוֹ בִּפְנֵי הַבְּרִיּוֹת – אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְטַפֵּל בָּהֶם. שלה וְאוֹמֵד דַּעְתּוֹ, אִלּוּ הָיָה שֶׁלּוֹ201 אִם הָיָה מַחֲזִירָם לְעַצְמוֹ – כָּךְ הוּא חַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ, וְאִם לֹא הָיָה מוֹחֵל עַל כְּבוֹדוֹ אַף אִם הָיוּ שֶׁלּוֹ – כָּךְ בְּשֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר. שלו הָיָה דַּרְכּוֹ לִשָּׂא כֵּלִים אֵלּוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה202 וְאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לִשָּׂא אוֹתָם בָּעִיר, מְצָאָם בָּעִיר – אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר, מְצָאָם בַּשָּׂדֶה שלז – חַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לִרְשׁוּת הַבְּעָלִים, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֲרֵי נִכְנָס בָּהֶם לָעִיר וְאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ בְּכָךְ, הוֹאִיל וּכְבָר נִתְחַיֵּב בָּהֶם בַּשָּׂדֶה. שלח וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שלט שֶׁלֹּא יַכְנִיסֵם אֶלָּא מֵהַשָּׂדֶה לָעִיר וְיַנִּיחֵם.203 וִירֵא שָׁמַיִם יַחְמִיר לְעַצְמוֹ בְּשֶׁל תּוֹרָה כִּסְבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה.

וְהַהוֹלֵךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר – יַעֲשֶׂה לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין, שמ וּמַחֲזִיר הָאֲבֵדָה בְּכָל מָקוֹם204 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ לְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ. שמא וְכָל אָדָם יֵשׁ לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה. שמב,205 וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שמג שֶׁהֶחָכָם אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְזַלְזֵל בִּכְבוֹד תּוֹרָתוֹ,206 אֶלָּא אִם בָּא לַעֲשׂוֹת לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין יְשַׁלֵּם מִכִּיסוֹ, שדמ וְלֹא אָמְרוּ שמה,207 הָרַב שֶׁמָּחַל עַל כְּבוֹדוֹ כְּבוֹדוֹ מָחוּל אֶלָּא בְּתוֹסֶפֶת כָּבוֹד בְּקִימָה וְהִדּוּר, אֲבָל אֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְזַלְזֵל אֶת עַצְמוֹ בִּפְנֵי הַבְּרִיּוֹת שֶׁזֶּהוּ בִּזְיוֹן הַתּוֹרָה. שמו וְלַסְּבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה אֵין זֶה בִּזְיוֹן הַתּוֹרָה, כֵּיוָן שֶׁמִּתְכַּוֵּן לִכְבוֹד שָׁמַיִם, שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה כֵּן בְּשֶׁלּוֹ208 אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ. שמז וּבַעַל נֶפֶשׁ יָחֹשׁ לְעַצְמוֹ לְהַחְמִיר בְּשֶׁל תּוֹרָה שמח כַּסְּבָרָא הָאַחֲרוֹנָה בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר, כְּגוֹן שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ שֶׁל מִי הֵם כֵּלִים אֵלּוּ וִישַׁלֵּם לוֹ, וְיוֹצֵא לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל (אֲבָל אִם (ה) אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁל מִי הֵם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל,209 כִּי לַסְּבָרָא הָרִאשׁוֹנָה יֵשׁ לוֹ לִטְּלָם וּלְהַכְרִיז וּמִי שֶׁיִּתֵּן בָּהֶם סִימָן יַחֲזִירֵם לוֹ לִפְנִים מִשּׁוּרַת הַדִּין, וְלַסְּבָרָא הָאַחֲרוֹנָה יֵשׁ בָּזֶה אִסּוּר שֶׁל תּוֹרָה): שמט,210

36 [The above exception applies] even to a person who is not a Torah scholar or a distinguished elder, but is a respected person due to another quality, e.g., wealth, family lineage, or other attributes. [If,] as a result, he would be embarrassed were people at large who know about his positive qualities to see him carrying such articles, he is not obligated [to endeavor to return them] according to law.211 [No leniency is,] however, [granted to] a person who is not considered important by people at large, but is merely haughty in his own eyes and aggrandizes his self-importance and hence, would be embarrassed to act in this manner in front of people at large although in their eyes, this would not be shameful for him.212 He is obligated to return [the lost articles] according to law even though, had they belonged to him, he would not have returned them [to his home].

לו וַאֲפִלּוּ (ו) מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ תַּלְמִיד חָכָם וְלֹא זָקֵן מְכֻבָּד אֶלָּא שֶׁהוּא אִישׁ נִכְבָּד מֵחֲמַת מַעֲלָה אַחֶרֶת, כְּגוֹן עֹשֶׁר אוֹ מִשְׁפָּחָה אוֹ דָּבָר אַחֵר, וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה הוּא מִתְבַּיֵּשׁ מֵהַבְּרִיּוֹת שֶׁיּוֹדְעִים מִמַּעֲלָתוֹ וְרוֹאִים אוֹתוֹ נוֹשֵׂא בְּיָדוֹ כֵּלִים אֵלּוּ – אֵינוֹ חַיָּב מִן הַדִּין.211 (ז) אֲבָל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ חָשׁוּב בְּעֵינֵי הַבְּרִיּוֹת רַק שֶׁמַּגְבִּיהַּ דַּעְתּוֹ וּמְחַשֵּׁב אֶת עַצְמוֹ וּמִתְבַּיֵּשׁ בָּזֶה מֵהַבְּרִיּוֹת וּבְעֵינֵיהֶם אֵין זוֹ חֶרְפָּה לוֹ212 – הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב מִן הַדִּין לְהַחֲזִירָם, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיָה שֶׁלּוֹ לֹא הָיָה מַחֲזִירָם לְעַצְמוֹ:

37 Needless to say, a person is obligated by law to exert himself [in caring for lost articles] until he returns them to their owner’s domain even though he would not take the trouble to bring such items into his own home because they are simple and of little value, but not because [doing so] is compromising to his honor. [The rationale is that] a person may choose to relinquish his own property rather than exert himself physically. He may not, however, do so with regard to his colleague’s property. For the Torah showed consideration for people’s honor,213 but not for their physical exertion. [One must undertake] even excessive exertion for [an article] that is worth merely a p’rutah.214

When, by contrast, a lost article is not worth a p’rutah, [the finder] is not obligated to return it.215 [Furthermore,] he is permitted to take it for himself even when he knows the identity of the owner. [The rationale for this leniency is that] the Torah prohibited stealing an article worth less than a p’rutah,216 for the thief is performing a transgression when taking it but not taking a lost article for one’s own.

[The reason] one is permitted, to pick up [such] a lost article from the ground [can be explained as folows]: Since it is lost to its owner, there is no longer any obligation to return it to [the owner], because anything worth less than a p’rutah is not financially significant at all, neither with regard to the mitzvah of returning a lost object,217 nor with regard to returning a stolen article, as will be explained in Hilchos Gezeilah.216 Therefore there is no prohibition against theft [in taking it] as there is with regard to a lost article that is worth a p’rutah, as explained above.)216

לז וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם לֹא הָיָה מַחֲזִירָם לְעַצְמוֹ מֵחֲמַת הַטֹּרַח, שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה חָפֵץ לִטְרֹחַ לִשָּׂא אוֹתָם לְבֵיתוֹ הוֹאִיל וְהֵם כֵּלִים פְּחוּתִים וּדְמֵיהֶם מוּעָטִים, וְלֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָם לְפִי כְּבוֹדוֹ, שנ שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב מִן הַדִּין לִטְרֹחַ בָּהֶם עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לִרְשׁוּת הַבְּעָלִים, כִּי בְּשֶׁלּוֹ הוּא רַשַּׁאי לְוַתֵּר עַל מָמוֹנוֹ מִפְּנֵי טֹרַח גּוּפוֹ וְלֹא בְּשֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ, שנא שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה לֹא חָסָה אֶלָּא עַל כְּבוֹד הַבְּרִיּוֹת שנב,213 וְלֹא עַל טֹרַח הַגּוּף, שנג אֲפִלּוּ טֹרַח מְרֻבֶּה מְאֹד עַל שָׁוֶה פְּרוּטָה אַחַת.214

אֲבָל אֲבֵדָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ שָׁוָה פְּרוּטָה שנד – אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר, שנה,215 וְרַשַּׁאי לִטְּלָהּ לְעַצְמוֹ אֲפִלּוּ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁל מִי הִיא, שֶׁלֹּא אָסְרָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא גֶּזֶל פָּחוֹת מִשָּׁוֶה פְּרוּטָה, שנו שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה אִסּוּר בִּלְקִיחָתוֹ216 מִמֶּנּוּ (אֲבָל זֶה שֶׁרַשַּׁאי לְהַגְבִּיהַּ הָאֲבֵדָה מֵעַל גַּבֵּי קַרְקַע, הוֹאִיל וְהִיא אֲבוּדָה מִבְּעָלֶיהָ – שׁוּב אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִירָהּ לוֹ, שֶׁפָּחוֹת מִשָּׁוֶה פְּרוּטָה אֵינוֹ נִקְרָא מָמוֹן כְּלָל, לֹא לְעִנְיַן מִצְוַת הֲשָׁבַת אֲבֵדָה שנז,217 וְלֹא לְעִנְיַן מִצְוַת הֲשָׁבַת גְּזֵלָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת גְּזֵלָה, שנח,216 וּלְפִיכָךְ אֵין בָּזוֹ אִסּוּר גְּזֵלָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בַּאֲבֵדָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שָׁוֶה פְּרוּטָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְמַעְלָה): שנט,216

38 Similarly, an article lost by a gentile is permitted [to be kept by the finder].218 The Torah forbade only stealing from him, for a transgression is committed by doing so.215 [This license is intimated by the commandment to return a lost article that speaks of:]219 “Everything lost by your brother;” this excludes a gentile. [Indeed,] one who returns it to him violates a transgression,220 because he strengthens the hand of the wicked of the world.221 If, however, one returns [the article in order] to sanctify G‑d’s name, so that [the gentiles] will praise the Jewish people and know that they are trustworthy, it is praiseworthy.222 If [keeping a lost article that had belonged to a gentile] will lead to the desecration of G‑d’s name — e.g., one found the article in a place frequented primarily by Jews and the gentile will think that the article was not lost, but rather stolen from him by Jews — keeping the lost object is forbidden according to Scriptural Law223 and one is obligated to return it to him.

If one found an object belonging to a Jew that had been entrusted to a gentile as security and had been lost by the gentile, one is obligated to return it to the Jew at no cost. [The rationale is that] the security itself belongs to the Jew and the lien the gentile had on it is released once the object was lost. [The finder] is not allowed to return it to the gentile to sanctify G‑d’s name, for he [only] has that option with his own property, but not with property belonging to someone else.224 If, however, the interest owed on the security had accrued to more than its worth, in which instance, it becomes the gentile’s property, he is not required to return it to the Jew.

לח וְכֵן אֲבֵדַת הַנָּכְרִי מֻתֶּרֶת, שס,218 וְלֹא אָסְרָה תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא גְּזֵלָתוֹ, שסא שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה אִסּוּר בִּלְקִיחָתָהּ מִמֶּנּוּ,215 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שסב,219 "לְכָל אֲבֵדַת אָחִיךָ", פְּרָט לְשֶׁל נָכְרִי. וְהַמַּחֲזִירָהּ לוֹ – הֲרֵי זֶה עוֹבֵר עֲבֵרָה, שסג,220 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּחֲזִיק יְדֵי רִשְׁעֵי עוֹלָם. שסד,221 וְאִם הֶחֱזִירָהּ לְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת הַשֵּׁם כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּפָאֲרוּ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיֵדְעוּ שֶׁהֵם בַּעֲלֵי אֱמוּנָה – הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח. שסה,222 וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ חִלּוּל הַשֵּׁם – אֲבֵדָתוֹ אֲסוּרָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה, שסו,223 וְחַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר, שסז כְּגוֹן אִם מְצָאָהּ בִּמְקוֹם רֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל שסח וְהַנָּכְרִי יִדְמֶה שֶׁלֹּא נֶאֶבְדָה שסט רַק יִשְׂרָאֵל גְּנָבוּהָ מִמֶּנּוּ. שע

וְאִם מָצָא מַשְׁכּוֹן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיָה אֵצֶל נָכְרִי וְנֶאֱבַד מִמֶּנּוּ – חַיָּב לְהַחֲזִיר לִבְעָלָיו הַיִּשְׂרָאֵל בְּחִנָּם, כִּי גּוּף הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן הוּא שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַשִּׁעְבּוּד שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹ לְהַנָּכְרִי נִפְקַע כְּשֶׁנֶּאֱבַד מִמֶּנּוּ. שעא וְאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְהַחֲזִירוֹ לְהַנָּכְרִי לְקַדֵּשׁ הַשֵּׁם, כִּי בְּשֶׁלּוֹ הוּא רַשַּׁאי וְאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי בְּשֶׁל אֲחֵרִים. שעב,224 וְאִם עָלָה הָרִבִּית עַל הַמַּשְׁכּוֹן יוֹתֵר מִשָּׁוְיוֹ שֶׁאָז הֻחְלַט לְהַנָּכְרִי – אֵין צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִירוֹ לְהַיִּשְׂרָאֵל: שעג

39 A Jew who serves false divinities or who [purposefully] desecrates the Shabbos in public is considered as one who renounces the entire Torah.225 He is not considered as “your brother” and the law is that it is forbidden to return to him an article that he lost. A similar [ruling applies to] the heretics, i.e., Jews who deny the Torah and the prophetic spirit, and those who renounce the entire Torah or the majority of it. [This ruling applies even if their denial does not involve] the desecration of the Shabbos or the worship of false divinities.

[Greater leniency applies,] however, if one only renounces some of the mitzvos, e.g., he eats non-kosher meat for pleasure or violates other transgressions for pleasure and not with the intent of angering [G‑d] (for one who violates [any] transgression with the intent of angering [G‑d] even once is considered as a heretic and as one who renounced the entire Torah). It is a mitzvah to return an object that he lost. [This is derived from the phrase cited above:] “Everything lost by your brother.” This also includes226 one who renounces part of the Torah.

In Hilchos Nizkei Mammon,227 it is discussed whether one is obligated to return an object lost by a person who collaborates with gentile authorities or serves as an informant for them.

לט וְיִשְׂרָאֵל הָעוֹבֵד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה שעד אוֹ מְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּתוֹת בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא שֶׁדִּינוֹ כְּמוּמָר לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ שעה,225 – אֵינוֹ בִּכְלַל "אָחִיךָ", שעו וְדִינוֹ שֶׁאָסוּר לְהַחֲזִיר לוֹ אֲבֵדָה. שעז וְכֵן הָאֶפִּיקוֹרְסִים, וְהֵם הַכּוֹפְרִים בַּתּוֹרָה וּבַנְּבוּאָה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. שעח וְכֵן הַמּוּמָר לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ שעט אוֹ רֻבָּהּ שפ חוּץ מֵחִלּוּל שַׁבָּת וַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה.

אֲבָל הַמּוּמָר לְמִקְצָת הַמִּצְווֹת, כְּגוֹן אוֹכֵל נְבֵלוֹת לְתֵאָבוֹן אוֹ עוֹבֵר שְׁאָר עֲבֵרוֹת לְתֵאָבוֹן וְלֹא לְהַכְעִיס (שֶׁהָעוֹשֶׂה עֲבֵרָה לְהַכְעִיס שפא אֲפִלּוּ פַּעַם אַחַת שפב – הֲרֵי זֶה מִין, וּכְמוּמָר לְכָל הַתּוֹרָה הוּא) שפג – מִצְוָה לְהַחֲזִיר אֲבֵדָתוֹ, שפד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שפה "לְכָל אֲבֵדַת אָחִיךָ", לְרַבּוֹת אֶת הַמּוּמָר לְמִקְצָת הַתּוֹרָה.226

וְהַמָּסוֹר אִם צָרִיךְ לְהַחֲזִיר לוֹ אֲבֵדָתוֹ – יִתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת נִזְקֵי מָמוֹן: שפו,227

40 Although consideration for the financial loss of one’s fellowman is superseded by concern for one’s own honor,228 it is not superseded by concern for the honor of one’s father or mother, even though an association was made between their honor and the honor of the Almighty.229 Thus if one’s father tells him: “Do not return this lost article now, because I need you to provide me with food and drink,” he should not heed him.227 [This is derived from] the verse:230 “A man shall fear his mother and his father... I am G‑d.” [Implied is that] “you are all obligated in My honor.”231

Nevertheless, the mitzvah of returning a lost object and similarly, any other mitzvah involving preserving a fellowman’s money is superseded by regard for G‑d’s honor.232 For example, if a lost article is in a cemetery, a kohen should not become [ritually] impure233 [in order to return it]. Even a Rabbinic prohibition should not be violated for the sake of one’s fellowman’s property, e.g., one should not lift up money found on the Shabbos.234 For a prohibition may not be superseded by financial concerns, as [implied by] the phrase: “I am G‑d.” [Implied is that] “you are all obligated in My honor.”235


מ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמָּמוֹנוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ נִדְחֶה מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדוֹ שפז,228 – אֵינוֹ נִדְחֶה מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדוֹ שֶׁל אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֻקְּשָׁה כְּבוֹדָם לִכְבוֹד הַמָּקוֹם, שפח,229 שֶׁאִם אָמַר לוֹ אָבִיו אַל תַּחֲזִיר הָאֲבֵדָה שפט עַכְשָׁו כִּי צָרִיךְ אֲנִי עַכְשָׁו שֶׁתַּאֲכִילֵנִי וְתַשְׁקֵנִי שצ – לֹא יִשְׁמַע לוֹ,227 שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר שצא,230 "אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ אֲנִי ה'", כֻּלְּכֶם חַיָּבִים בִּכְבוֹדִי.231

אֲבָל (ח) נִדְחֵית הִיא מִצְוַת הֲשָׁבַת אֲבֵדָה, וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מִמִּצְווֹת שֶׁל הַצָּלַת מָמוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ הֵן נִדְחוֹת מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹד הַמָּקוֹם,232 כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָאֲבֵדָה בְּבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת וְהוּא כֹּהֵן – לֹא יִטָּמֵא לָהּ. שצב,233 וַאֲפִלּוּ אִסּוּר שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בִּשְׁבִיל מָמוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ, כְּגוֹן לְהַגְבִּיהַּ מָעוֹת שֶׁמָּצָא בְּשַׁבָּת, שצג,234 שֶׁאֵין דּוֹחִין אִסּוּר מִפְּנֵי מָמוֹן, שצד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "אֲנִי ה'", כֻּלְּכֶם חַיָּבִים בִּכְבוֹדִי: שצה,235 שצו