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If someone finds small bundles of grain in Reshus ha'Rabim he may keep it, but if he finds it in Reshus ha'Yachid he must announce it.
If he finds large bundles of grain he must announce it whether he found it in Reshus ha'Rabim or Reshus ha'Yachid.
Rabah holds that the bundles must be returned only if it has a Siman; however even if it has a Siman small bundles in Reshus ha'Rabim may be kept because the Siman is trampled on and it is no longer regarded as a Siman. (1)
Rava holds even a Siman that is trampled on it must be returned; however in this case the bundles do not have a Siman but the place where it is found is a Siman.
Small bundles in Reshus ha'Rabim get moved around and consequently the place where it is found is not a Siman while big bundles do not get moved around and therefore place is a Siman even in Reshus ha'Rabim according to Rava.
If someone finds baker loaves he is not obligated to announce it because it doesn't have a Siman.
If someone finds homemade loaves he must announce it because it has a Siman.
Rabah holds that although a Siman that is trampled on is not a Siman, however food is not trampled on because it is forbidden to allow food to remain on the ground. (2)
If pressed dates are found with earthenware inside or a loaf is found with money inside the Tana Kama holds that it is not a Siman, while R. Yehudah argues.
The Tana Kama holds that a Siman that may have occurred by itself without the knowledge of the owner is not a Siman, while R. Yehudah argues. (3)
When we hear the owner of a lost object say woe is to me because of my loss of money it is regarded as Yi'ush.
R. Zevid says in the name of Rava that small bundles without a Siman that are found in Reshus ha'Rabim may be kept by the finder.
If small bundles without a Siman are found in Reshus ha'Yachid if they were placed there by the owner they must be announced but if they fell from the owner he may keep it. (4)
If the bundles have a Siman whether they were found in Reshus ha'Rabim or Reshus ha'Yachid whether they fell or were put down the finder must announce it. (5)
If someone finds strings of fish he may keep it if it is tied with a typical fishermen's knot and it has a typical number of fish on the string. (6)
If someone finds silver, gold, pieces of lead or metal utensils he should only return it to someone who gives a Siman or states its weight.
If someone states the number of lost objects, or the measurement or weight of a lost object it is a Siman and it should be returned to him.
If someone finds pieces of meat that are cut in the standard fashion and weigh a standard amount he may keep it. (7)
If someone finds uniquely cut fish, or a fish with a bite in it he must announce it.
If someone finds barrels of wine, oil, grain, figs or olives, if the lid is not sealed he may keep it because it doesn't have a Siman.
R. Zevid says if someone finds barrels of wine or oil with a sealed lid it is a Siman, while Abaye says it is only a Siman before the storehouses are opened. (8)
If someone finds a lost object with mold growing on it and it is obvious that it was lost along time before he may keep it because the owner was already Meya'esh.
R. Shimon Ben Elazar holds that if someone finds new utensils and the owner is not yet familiar with it he isn't obligated to announce it.
A BIT MORE
1. However, big bundles must be returned even if they are found in the Reshus ha'Rabim because big bundles don't get trampled on, however if it doesn't have a Siman it doesn't have to be returned because Rabah holds that the place where it was found is not a Siman.
2. Therefore the first Jewish person who sees it will pick it up and it will not be trampled on and non-Jews will not trample on it because of the concern for sorcery and we are not concerned that animals or dogs will step on it because it was found in a place where there aren't many animals or dogs.
3. The Tana Kama holds that since the pottery or money may have fallen in to the dates or loaves by accident it is not a Siman, while R. Yehudah holds that we assume that they were placed there deliberately by the owner and therefore it is a Siman.
4. Rava holds that the place is a Siman, therefore if they were placed there and the owner knows where he put them it is a Siman, but if they fell the owner doesn't know where they fell and therefore it is not a Siman.
5. Rava holds that a Siman which is trampled on is a Siman and therefore even though it fell in Reshus ha'Rabim it is a Siman and it must be announced.
6. The type of knot and the number of fish is a Siman, but in this case it is tied with a typical knot and a typical number of fish and therefore it is not a Siman.
7. However, if he finds meat that is cut in a unique way or it is not a standard weight he must announce it because it is a Siman.
8. Abaye holds that a seal is a Siman only before the storehouses are opened and it is not yet the time for the stores to buy the wine and therefore only a few individuals sealed their barrels and consequently it is a Siman, but once the storehouses are opened and the wine is being sold everyone seals their wine and it is no longer a Siman.
If someone finds loaves of a Ba'al ha'Bayis in the Reshus ha'Rabim he must announce it. Rabah explains that even though a Siman that is trampled on is not a Siman, however people do not pass by bread without picking it up and non-Jews will not trample on it because of the concern for sorcery. The Ran asks why is it necessary to say that the non-Jews are concerned for sorcery. Because of the small possibility that a non-Jew will step on it the owner will not be Meya'esh just as in a city with a majority of Jews the owner won't be Meya'esh even though there is a minority of non-Jews who may take the Metzi'ah. The Ran answers that besides the minority of non-Jews who may step on it there are also a minority of Jews who will step on it and will not pick it up and therefore with the combination of the two the owner will be Meya'esh.
A person who finds a Metzi'ah is not obligated to announce it unless it has a Siman on the actual object, or it was found in such a way that the owner could give a Siman on the place, or on way it is tied, or on the number of objects that were found, or on the measurement, or on the weight. But if it doesn't have any Siman even on the place, for example it is obvious that it was not deliberately left in the place that it was found but rather it fell from the owner, if it is something that we can assume that the owner immediately realized it was lost because it is very heavy or very valuable and he is constantly feeling for it and he realizes immediately that it is lost the finder may keep it. The reason is because the owner is immediately Meya'esh when he realizes it fell because he doesn't have a Siman on it. (Shulchan Aruch CM 262:3)
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