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Talmidei Chachamim only veer from the truth with regards to Masechta, Puriya and Ushpiza. (1)
R. Shimon Ben Elazar holds that if someone finds a utensil that the owner is familiar with it should be returned with Tevi'as Ayin to a Talmid Chacham who doesn't veer from the truth with exception of three things.
Mar Zutra Chasida had a goblet stolen from him and when he saw someone dry his hands on his friend's garment he realized that he must be the Ganav.
If two or more utensils are found together he must announce it because the number is a Siman.
R. Shimon Ben Elazar says someone who saves an object from a lion, bear, tiger or leopard, or from a tidal wave, or flooding river he may keep it.
R. Shimon Ben Elazar says if someone finds an object in thoroughfare, or a town square, or anywhere that the public frequents he may keep it.
It is a Safek if according to R. Shimon Ben Elazar if an object is found in a place where many Jewish people frequent it may be kept, or only if it is found where many non-Jews frequent.
It is a Safek if the Rabanan argue with R. Shimon Ben Elazar and if they do argue it is a Safek if they argue only if it is found in a place where many Jews frequent or even in a place where many non-Jews frequent.
If money is found in a Beis Keneses or Beis Midrash or anywhere that is frequented by the public he may keep it. (2)
If an object is found in a town that is mostly Jewish he is obligated to announce it, if the town is mostly non-Jewish he is not obligated to announce it. (3)
If someone finds an object in garbage that is covered he should not touch it but if it the garbage is open he should take it and announce it. (4)
R. Asi says if someone finds a jug of wine in a city that is mostly non-Jewish he may keep the wine but the wine is forbidden b'Hana'ah. (5)
If a Yisrael gives a Siman on the jug of wine the finder may benefit from the wine. (6)
If a person finds an object after Yi'ush, if the owner gives a Siman on it he should return it to him to fulfill the Mitzvah of acting Lifnim mi'Shuras ha' Din (exceeding the letter of the law).
Rav says that one may not eat meat which no one had his eye on for a period of time.
If someone loses his goats or roosters and when he finds them they have been Shechted R. Yehudah says they are forbidden, while R. Chananya the son of R. Yosi ha'Glili says they are permitted.
Rebbe says if the goats or roosters are found in the garbage R. Yehudah is correct that they are forbidden, while if they are found in the house R. Chananya is correct that they are permitted.
A BIT MORE
1. If a Talmid Chacham is asked if he knows a Masechta or he is asked regarding private matters, or regarding the treatment he received from his host the Talmid Chacham should veer from the truth.
2. If R. Shimon Ben Elazar holds that one may keep an object that is found where many Jews frequent than this Beraisa is in accordance with R. Shimon Ben Elazar, otherwise the Beraisa is referring to a Beis Keneses or a Beis Midrash that was taken over by non-Jews and therefore the object may be kept according to R. Shimon Ben Elazar and possibly even according to the Rabanan.
3. This may be referring to a case where the Metzi'ah was found hidden away in a garbage that is usually not taken away but now they decided to take it away and therefore the owner is not Meya'esh and since it is a place with mostly Jewish people living there we assume that a Jew is the one who put it in the garbage and therefore it must be announced. Therefore even if this Beraisa is in accordance with R. Shimon Ben Elazar we don't have proof that R. Shimon Ben Elazar agrees that a Metzi'ah found in a place that is mostly Jewish it must be announced.
4. If the garbage is usually not taken away but now they decided to take it away and therefore he must take it an announce it, but if the garbage is usually taken away it is an Aveidah mi'Da'as and he may keep it.
5. R. Asi holds like R. Shimon Ben Elazar regarding a place where many non-Jews frequent that the owner is Meya'esh and therefore he may keep the wine but he may not benefit from it because wine that was touched by a non-Jew is Stam Yayin and is forbidden b'Hana'ah and the only benefit he may have from it is that he may use the jug..
6. Since a Yisrael gave a Siman it obviously belonged to a Yisrael and it is permitted to benefit from it, but he doesn't have to return it because the owner was Meya'esh since he lost it in a place that is mostly non-Jewish.
A PUBLIC PLACE
R. Shimon Ben Elazar says if someone finds a Metzi'ah in a place that the public frequents he may kept it because the owner is Meya'esh. It is a Safek if according to R. Shimon Ben Elazar if an object that is found in a place where many Jewish people frequent may be kept or only an object that is found where many non-Jews frequent may be kept. Tosfos asks that if an object is found where may non-Jews frequent why does he say that the reason he may keep it is because the owner was Meya'esh. Even if the owner was not Meya'esh he should be permitted to keep it because it most likely fell from a non-Jew and a person is not obligated to return a Metzi'ah to a non-Jew. Tosfos answers that even if he knows for certain that it fell from a Jew he is not obligated to return it since it fell in a place where there are may non-Jews and the owner will immediately be Meya'esh because he thinks that a non-Jew picked it up.
ABOVE THE LETTER OF THE LAW
Even though Min ha'Din if a person finds a lost object in a place that the majority of people are non-Jews he is not obligated to return the object it is good and proper to do above the letter of the law and to return it to a Yisrael who gives a Siman. However, if the finder is poor and the owner of the lost object is wealthy he is not obligated to act above the letter of the law. (Shulchan Aruch CM 259:5)
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