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BAVA METZIA 27 - Dedicated by Drs. Shalom and Syma Kelman of Baltimore in honor of their children and grandchildren.
If someone buys produce from a merchant and he finds money among the fruit he may keep it. (1)
If someone buys fruit from a private individual who threshed the produce himself if he finds money among the produce he must return it.
Any lost object that has a Siman and has an owner who will make a claim on it must be announced.
A donkey must be returned even if the owner gives a Siman on the saddle and not on the donkey.
Even the sheering of the tail of an ox and the sheerings of a lamb must be returned to the owner; however manure doesn't have to be returned.
An Aveidah that is worth less that a Perutah doesn't have to be returned.
Rava says if the Aveidah was worth a Perutah at the time it was found and it depreciated and was no longer worth a Perutah and it subsequently appreciated and was worth a Perutah it is a Machlokes if it must be returned.
An Aveidah of a non-Jew does not have to be returned even after it has been picked up.
An Aveidah that was flooded away by a river may be kept by the finder.
It is a Safek if an Aveidah is returned with a Siman Min ha'Torah or only d'Rabanan. (2)
If an Aveidah is returned with a Siman Min ha'Torah if a Shali'ach loses a Get it is returned to him with a Siman, however if a Siman is only d'Rabanan the Get is not returned to the Shali'ach.
A person who finds an Aveidah should investigate if the person who claims that he is the owner is a dishonest person or not.
A person who testifies that a woman's husband died may only testify if he saw the face with the nose intact, Simanim on the body or clothing of the deceased is not sufficient. (3)
A donkey is returned if a Siman is given on the saddle because a saddle is not normally lent out as a borrowed saddle can hurt the donkey.
If a Shali'ach loses a Get and it is found tied to purse, case or ring, if he finds it among his utensils it is returned the Shali'ach if he gives a Siman on the purse case, or ring because these things are not usually lent out. (4)
A person who testifies that a woman's husband dies may not use a mole as proof that it is her husband according to the Tana Kama, while R. Eliezer Ben Dehavai disagrees. (5)
If Simanim are not Min ha'Torah the reason why the Rabanan decreed that that an Aveidah is returned with Simanim is because the owner wants the Aveidah to be returned to the person who gives a Siman. (6)
If three loan documents are found of one person who borrowed from three different people it shall be returned to the borrower.
If the three documents that are found are of three different people who borrowed from the same person they shall be returned to the lender.
A BIT MORE
1. The merchant bought the produce from may distributors and there is no way of knowing whose money it is.
2. If a Siman is only d'Rabanan an Aveidah is only returned Min ha'Torah if the finder beings witnesses who testify that it belongs to him.
3. If Simanim are Min ha'Torah a Siman on the body or clothing is not sufficient if the Siman that is given is the height of the person or the color of the clothing or because of the concern that maybe the clothing was lent to someone else.
4. A person doesn't lend out a purse or a case because it is considered bad Mazal and a person doesn't lend a ring because of the concern that the stamp on the ring may be used to forge documents.
5. The Machlokes is if Simanim are Min ha'Torah or d'Rabanan, or if two people who were born under the same Mazal are likely to share the same mole, or if a mole is likely to change it appearance after death, or maybe they all hold that Simanim are d'Rabanan but a Siman Muvhak is Min ha'Torah and the Machlokes is if a mole is a Siman Muvhak.
6. The owner feels that he is likely the only one who will be capable of giving the Siman and therefore he prefers that the Aveidah be returned to any person who gives a Siman.
SIMANIM MIN HA'TORAH
Rava asks if Simanim is d'Rabanan why an Aveidah is returned with Simanim. R. Akiva Eiger asks that the Mishnah never states that an Aveidah is returned with a Siman. Although the Mishnah states that only an Aveidah with a Siman must be announced, however Tosfos explains the Mishnah according to the opinion who holds Simanim are d'Rabanan that if an Aveidah has a Siman it is possible to find witnesses who will testify that it belongs to him by asking them if they remember that he owns an object with such and such a Siman. If so, we have no proof from the Mishnah that an Aveidah is returned with a Siman without bringing witnesses. R. Akiva Eiger answers that the logic of Tosfos only applies to a Siman that is on the Aveidah itself but not to a Siman on the place where it was found or the number of objects found. Consequently, when the Mishnah states that bundles in Reshus ha'Yachid must be returned and Rava explains that the Siman is the place where it was found it must be that the Aveidah is returned with a Siman because the Siman of a place can't be used to remind witnesses that the object belongs to him.
MONEY IN THE PRODUCE
If someone buys produce from his friend, or his friend sent it to him, and he finds money among the produce if they are wrapped up he must announce them because the knot is a Siman, but if the money is loose he may keep it. However, that is only the case if he bought them from a merchant or from an individual who bought it from a merchant or if the merchant himself found the money after it was in his hands long enough to mix it among his produce.. However, if the fruit was bought from an individual who threshed the fruit himself or had his non-Jewish servant thresh the produce for him it must be returned. (Shulchan Aruch CM 262:17)
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