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Bava Metzia 25


(a) (Mishnah): The following must be announced: produce found in a vessel, an empty vessel, coins in a wallet or an empty wallet, bunches of produce or coins, three coins on top of each other, bundles of sheaves in a private domain, loaves (not of a baker), shearings from the dyer's store, and barrels of wine or oil.
(b) (Gemara) Inference: One must only announce produce found in a vessel and coins in a wallet - but if they were found in front of the vessel or wallet, he keeps (the produce or coins, even though the vessel or wallet has a Siman )!
(c) Our Mishnah teaches as the following Beraisa.
1. (Beraisa): If one finds produce in front of a vessel or coins in front of a wallet, he keeps it;
2. If some of the produce or coins is in the vessel or wallet and the some is on the ground, he must announce.
(d) Contradiction (Beraisa): If one finds something with a Siman next to something without a Siman - he must announce (both).
1. If someone gave the Siman (and said that the other object is not his), the finder keeps the other object.
(e) Answer #1 (Rav Zvid): The Mishnah permits keeping flax found near a barrel, or coins near a wallet - they could not have come from the barrel or wallet, for surely some would have remained inside;
1. The latter Beraisa speaks of produce that could entirely spill out of the vessel.
(f) Answer #2 (Rav Papa): Both speak of produce found in front of a vessel; we assume that the vessel has a rim (as most do) that would keep some of the contents inside.
1. The Mishnah is when nothing remains in the vessel, the Beraisa is when some remains inside.
(g) Answer #3: Both are when nothing remains inside; the Beraisa is when the mouth of the vessel faces the produce (so presumably, the produce came from the vessel), the Mishnah is when the mouth faces away.
(h) Answer #4: Both are when nothing remains inside; and the mouth of the vessel faces the produce; the Mishnah is when the vessel has a rim, the Beraisa is when it does not.
(i) (Mishnah): Bunches of produce or coins (must be announced).
(j) Inference: This teaches that number is a Siman (for they have no other Siman )!
(k) Rejection: No, the Mishnah refers to one bunch of produce, the Siman is the place it was found.
(l) Inference: This teaches that place is a Siman !
(m) Rejection: No, we can say that the Mishnah refers to bunches of produce, the Siman is the number.
(a) (Mishnah): Three coins on top of each other.
(b) (R. Yitzchak Migdala'ah): This is only if they are stacked as a tower - if not, he keeps them.
(c) Support (Beraisa): One who finds scattered coins, he keeps them; if they are stacked as towers he must announce them;
1. A tower is 3 coins on top of each other.
(d) Question: First, the Beraisa permits scattered coins - implying, if they overlap at all, he must announce them; then it says, if they are stacked as towers he must announce them - implying, if they overlap, he keeps them!
(e) Answer: If they are not as a tower, the Tana calls this scattered.
(f) (R. Chanina): This is only if there are of three different kings - but if they are of the same king, he need not announce them.
(g) Question: What is the case?
1. If they are like a tower - even if they are of the same king, he must announce them!
2. If they are not like as a tower - even if they are of different kings, he need not announce them!
(h) Correction: Rather, he must announce them only if they are of one king which is like being of three different kings.
(i) Question: What is the case?
(j) Answer: They are like a pyramid, the widest on bottom, next widest over it, the narrowest on top, for surely he placed them thusly;
1. But if they are like coins of one king, i.e. they are all the same width, he does not announce them - we say, he did not place them, they happened to fall that way.
(k) (R. Yochanan): Even if they are (like) of the same king, he must announce them.
(l) Question: What does he announce?
(m) Answer #1: The number he found.
(n) Rejection: If so (the finder will not say how many he lost), even if he found 2, he should announce them!
(o) Answer #2 (Ravina): Rather, he announces that he found coins.
(p) Questions (R. Yirmeyah): What is the law in the following cases: he found them in a circle; in a row; in a triangle; as steps?
(q) Answer (regarding steps): Rav Nachman taught, if one can move them at once using a chip of wood, he must announce them.

(r) Question (Rav Ashi): If they are arranged like the idol Markulis (we shall explain), what is the law?
1. (Beraisa): One who finds scattered coins, he keeps them; if they are arranged like Markulis, he must announce;
i. Markulis is two stones near each other, and a third resting partially on each.
(s) (Beraisa): Reuven found a Sela in the market; Shimon said 'It is mine - it was new, Niron Kaiser's name was on it, it was of King Ploni - he does not get it;
1. Even if Shimon's name was on it, he does not get it, for Simanim do not help for coins.
2. Perhaps he spent it, and someone else dropped it!
(a) (Mishnah): If one finds tied chicks in back of a fence, or on a path in a field, he leaves it there.
(b) If one finds a vessel in the wasteheap - if it is covered, he leaves it; if it is exposed, he takes and announces it.
(c) (Gemara) Question: Why does he leave it?
(d) Answer: We assume that someone left it there - if the finder would take it, the owner will not find it, and perhaps he does not have a Siman !
(e) Question: The knot should be a Siman !
(f) Answer (R. Aba bar Zavda): They are tied by their wings, everyone ties them thusly.
(g) Question: The place they were found should be a Siman !
(h) Answer (Rav Ukva bar Chama): They can walk slowly.
(i) Question: If so, they could have come from afar, he should keep them!
(j) Answer: It is possible that they came from afar, it is possible that they were placed there;
1. Whenever we are in doubt if something was placed, he should not take it; if he took it, he does not put it back.
(a) (Mishnah): If one finds a vessel in the wasteheap - if it is covered, he leaves it; if it is exposed, he takes and announces it.
(b) Contradiction (Beraisa): If one finds a vessel covered in the wasteheap, he takes and announces it, for wasteheaps are often cleared out (and if left, the item will perish)!
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Zvid): If one finds a wine flask or cup, it was put there intentionally, he should leave it; a knife or small fork was presumably lost or thrown out, he takes it.
(d) Answer #2 (Rav Papa): Both refer to a wine flask or cup; if the wasteheap is often cleared out, he should take it; if the wasteheap is not often cleared out, he should leave it.
(e) Question: If it is often cleared out, the owner knowingly threw it out to be lost!
(f) Answer #3 (Rav Papa): Rather, he takes it by a wasteheap that is not normally cleared out, and they reconsidered to clear it out.
1. This explains the language of the Beraisa 'for wasteheaps are often cleared out'.
(g) Question: According to Rav Zvid, what does this mean?
(h) Answer: It is common to (unintentionally) clear out small vessels to wasteheaps.
(a) (Mishnah): One may keep things found in a rockpile or an old wall.
(b) In (holes in) a new wall (between Reuven's property and the public domain) - in the half facing the public domain, the finder keeps it; in the half facing Reuven' premises, Reuven gets it.
1. If Reuven rented his house to others, one may keep even what he finds in the house.
(c) (Gemara - Beraisa): (In an old wall) the finder keeps it, because he can say that it was from Kana'anim.
(d) Question: Why assume that - perhaps a Yisrael owned the wall and left it inside!
(e) Answer: They are very rusted, no one leaves things in so long.
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