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BAVA METZIA 26

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BAVA METZIA 26 (20 Tishrei) - Dedicated by Al and Sophia Ziegler of Har Nof, Jerusalem, and their son Jared, in loving memory of Al's mother, Chaya bas Berel Dov Ziegler, on the day of her Yahrzeit - and towards her grandchildren's continued growth in Torah and Yir'as Shamayim.

SUMMARY

If an object such as cloth or a bar of metal is found in the outer half of a new wall it belongs to the finder, if it is found in the inner half in belongs to the owner of the wall.
 
If the object that is found in the wall is a knife or a purse if the handle or the strap is pointing to the outside it belongs to the finder and if it is pointing in it belongs to the owner of the wall. (1)
 
If the object in the wall fills the entire width of the wall it is split between the finder and the owner. (2)
 
If money is found in front of animal merchants in Yerushalayim at any time of the year it is considered to be Ma'aser Sheni. (3)
 
Money that is found in Har ha'Bayis is considered Chulin even it is found during the Regel. (4)
 
Money that is found in the streets of Yerushalayim most of the year shall be treated as Chulin, however if it was found during the Regel it is considered Ma'aser because the streets of Yerushalayim are swept every day. (5)
 
If money was found inside a house that had been rented out the finder may keep it.
 
R. Menashiya Bar Ya'akov says the finder only may keep the money that he found in the house if the house was an inn and it hosted at least three non-Jews. (6)
 
Rabah Bar Avuha says if the house was an inn even if it hosted three non-Jews he may keep the money that he found because the owner is Meya'esh since he asked his fellow guests many times to return it and they didn't return it. (7)
 
R. Nachman says if someone sees a coin fall from one of two people he must return it because the owner is not Meya'esh because he thinks that the person he was with definitely found it and he plans on forcing the person to admit that he picked it up. (8)
 
If a coin falls from three people it may be kept because the owner is Meya'esh as he thinks one of the other two people definitely found it but he has no way of knowing which one and he can't force them to admit. (9)
 
Rava says if the coin that was found is valuable enough that it is worth at least a Perutah for each one of them even though it fell from three people it must be returned because maybe the three of them were partners. (10)
 
According to the second Lashon of Rava even if the coin is only worth two Perutos it must be returned because maybe they are partners in it and one of the partners was Mochel his portion in the partnership to his friend.
 
If a person sees a coin fall from his friend prior to Yi'ush and he takes it thinking that he will keep it is a transgression of the prohibitions of Gezeilah and 'do not turn away' and the Mitzvas Aseh which obligates him to return a Metzi'ah. (11)
 
Even of the finder returns the coin after Yi'ush it is regarded as a gift and it is not reparation of the prohibitions that he transgressed.
 
If he picked up the coin thinking that he will return it and after Yi'ush he decided to keep it he only transgresses the prohibition the Mitzvas Aseh which obligates a person to return a stolen object.
 
If someone found a lost object prior to Yi'ush and waited until after Yi'ush to take it he only transgressed the prohibition of 'do not turn away'
 
If someone sees a coin fall from a person in the sand he may keep it even if he sees the owner sifting through the sand because the owner doesn't really expect to find the coin that he lost. (12)
 
If money is found in a store the finder may keep it; if the money is found between the counter and the storekeeper it belongs to the storekeeper.
 
If money is found in front of a moneychanger it belongs to the finder; if it is found between the moneychanger and his chair it belongs to the moneychanger.
 
R. Elazar says even if the money is found on the table in front of the moneychanger it may be kept by the finder.
 
If someone buys fruit from a merchant or his friend sent him fruit and he find money among the fruit he may keep it, but if the money is wrapped he must announce it.
 
If someone finds an animal that supports itself by way of its work or a hen that supports itself by producing eggs he should hold on to it for twelve months and than he shall sell it and hold on to the money.
 
If he finds young calves or young donkeys if land is available for grazing he should hold on to them for three months before selling them, but if not he should hold on to it for thirty days.
 
If he finds geese or roosters if they are large he should on to them for one day, but if they are small he should hold on to them for three days before selling them.
 
The proceeds of the sale of an Aveidah may be used by the finder according to R. Tarfon and therefore if the money is lost he is responsible for them.
 
R. Akiva holds that he may not use the money and therefore if the money is lost he is not responsible for them.

A BIT MORE

1. If it is pointing to the outside it was likely placed there by one of the passersby, if it was pointing to the inside it was probably placed there by the owner.
 
2. Even if the wall was slanted the object is split between them and we don't say that the entire item was originally in the upper part and it slid down toward the lower part.
 
3. Most people who buy animals in Yerushalayim all year long buy the animals for a Korban from money of Ma'aser Sheni because all of Klal Yisrael brings all of their money of Ma'aser Sheni with them to Yerushalayim when they are Oleh Regel and there is often money remaining when it is time to go back and they leave the money with the residents of Yerushalayim and the money is used to buy animals for Korbanos therefore most of the money that is found in front of animal merchants is money of Ma'aser Sheni.
 
4. Even though most of the money in Yerushalayim during the Regel is from Ma'aser Sheni however since most of the year the majority of the money in Yerushalayim is Chulin we go by the majority of the entire year.
 
5. Since they are swept every day if the money was dropped prior to the Regel it would have been found, consequently the money that is found during the Regel must have dropped during the Regel and most of the money in Yerushalayim during the Regel is Ma'aser Sheni.
 
6. However, if the inn hosted Jewish people the finder may not keep the money because the owner is not Meya'esh because the Halachah is not like R. Shimon Ben Elazar in a case when the object is lost in a place where there are many Jews.
 
7. Therefore even though the Halachah is not like R. Shimon Ben Elazar in a case when the object is lost in a place where there are many Jews, however that is only if it was lost in a place with may people who he doesn't know and therefore he is not Meya'esh because he thinks that the finder doesn't know who lost it and is waiting until the Regel to announce it, but in this case since he knows the other two people who are with him he is Meya'esh because he thinks if they hadn't returned it until now they are not planning on returning it in the future.
 
8. Since he thinks he knows who found it he is not Meya'esh even though a coin doesn't have a Siman because he will force the person to swear a Shevu'as Heses that he did not pick it up.
 
9. Since there are two people with him and he doesn't which one of them took it he can't force them to swear a Shevu'as Heses without a definite claim.
 
10. Since they are partners the one who lost it won't be Meya'esh because he thinks his partner took it and he is not returning it in order to pain me but eventually he will return it.
 
11. Even though a coin doesn't have a Siman in this case he took it quickly before the owner had a chance to put his hand in his pocket and therefore he was not yet Meya'esh and it is Yi'ush She'Lo mi'Da'as.
 
12. He is sifting through the sand only because he figures if I lost a coin maybe someone else also lost a coin and I will find something.

BRIEF INSIGHT

KINYAN CHATZER
 
If an object is found in an old wall it maybe kept by the founder if the object is very rusty because he can say that it was from the Emori'im. Tosfos asks why isn't the owner of the wall Koneh the object with a Kinyan Chatzer. Tosfos answers that since the object may never be found he is not Koneh with a Kinyan Chatzer. For that reason the Mishnah states if a coin is found is a store it may be kept by the finder and owner of the store is not Koneh the object with a Kinyan Chatzer since the object may not be found by the owner since a coin is small and is difficult to spot he is not Koneh with a Kinyan Chatzer.

QUICK HALACHAH

A DROPPED COIN
 
If someone sees that an Aveidah fell from two or three people he must return it even though it doesn't have a Siman; if he saw which one it fell from he should return it to him, but if he didn't see which one it fell from if it has a Siman he shall announce it and if it doesn't have a Siman he should hold on to it until the arrival of Eliyahu. (Shulchan Aruch CM 262:4)

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