POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Metzia 26
BAVA METZIA 26 (3 Teves) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Rebbetzin Sarah Gustman
(wife of Hagaon Rav Yisroel Zev Gustman and daughter of Hagaon Rav Meir
Bassin of Vilna) on the day of her Yahrzeit, by two Talmidim Muvhakim of Rav
Gustman, Hagaon Rav Hillel Ruvel and Hagaon Rav Yisrael Azriel Zalisky - and
in honor of the marriage of Rav Zalisky's son, Yitzchak Zvi, to his wife
Rachel Dinah (Lasher) on 2 Teves 5762. May they be Boneh a Bayis Ne'eman
1) THINGS FOUND IN A WALL
(a) (Mishnah): If it was found in a new wall - in the half
facing the public domain, the finder keeps it; in the
half facing the owner's premises, the owner gets it.
2) FROM WHOM IS THE LOST OBJECT?
(b) (Rav Ashi): If a knife is found, we assume it was
inserted from the direction the handle faces (if that is
the public domain, the finder keeps it); by a drawstring
bag, it was inserted from the direction the strings face.
(c) Question: But the Mishnah says that we only care which
half of the wall it is in!
(d) Answer: The Mishnah speaks of things which are held from
either side, like tufts of wool or pieces of silver.
(e) (Beraisa): If the lost object spans the entire width of
the wall, the finder divides it with the owner.
(f) Objection: This is obvious!
(g) Answer: The case is, the (hole in the) wall slopes. One
might have thought, we are concerned that the lost object
was put on the other side and slid down - the Mishnah
teaches, this is not so.
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven rented his house to others, one may
keep even what he finds in the house.
(b) Question: We should assume it belongs to the last
1. (Mishnah): Coins found (in Yerushalayim) in front of
people that sell animals - we always assume that
they are coins of Ma'aser Sheni; coins found in Har
ha'Bayis - they are Chulin;
(c) Answer #1 (Reish Lakish): The case is, the house was
rented to three (people, even) Yisraelim - the loser
i. In other markets in Yerushalayim - during the
festivals, they are Ma'aser; any other time,
they are Chulin.
ii. (R. Shemayah ben Ze'ira): This is because the
markets of Yerushalayim are swept daily (surely
they were dropped the day they are found; Har
ha'Bayis is not swept, so we go after majority
iii. Similarly, (even if the lost object originally
belonged to prior tenants, surely the last
tenant found it) this was left by the last
(d) Suggestion: This says that the Halachah follows R. Shimon
ben Elazar even when most of the city are Yisraelim (the
(e) Rejection #1 (and Answer #2 - Rav Menashya bar Yakov):
The house was rented to three Nochrim.
(f) Rejection #2 (Rav Nachman): Even if it was rented to
three Yisraelim, this does not show that the Halachah
follows R. Shimon ben Elazar; - here, the loser despairs,
because he is sure that one of the other two took it, and
they deny it.
1. This is as Rav Nachman holds elsewhere.
2. (Rav Nachman): If two people were standing together
and Levi saw a coin fall from one of them, he must
3) THE MITZVOS INVOLVED
i. The loser does not despair - he is sure that
the one next to him took it, he plans to
confront him and get it back.
3. If three people were standing together; and Levi saw
a coin fall from one of them, he may keep it;
i. The loser despairs - whoever he confronts can
deny having found it.
4. Version #1 (Rava): If the lost object (which fell
from one of three people) is worth at least three
Perutos, he must return it - perhaps they are
partners, and do not despair.
5. Version #2 (Rava): If the lost object is worth at
least two Perutos, he must return it - perhaps they
were partners, and one of them relinquished his
share to the others.
(a) (Rava): Reuven saw a coin fall from Shimon - if he picked
it up before Shimon despaired, intending to steal it - he
transgresses all of the following: "Lo Tigzol", "Hashev
Teshivem", and "Lo Tuchal l'His'alem";
4) MONEY FOUND IN A STORE
1. Even if he returns it after Shimon despaired, this
is only a gift, it does not correct his
(b) If he picked it up before Shimon despaired, intending to
return it, and after Shimon despaired, he intended to
steal it - he transgresses "Hashev Teshivem".
(c) If he waited to pick it up until Shimon despaired, he
only transgresses "Lo Tuchal l'His'alem".
(d) (Rava): Reuven saw a coin fall from Shimon and fall in
sand. If Reuven picked it up, he need not return it, for
1. Even if Shimon takes a sifter and sifts the sand -
he despaired from his coin, he is trying to find
what others have lost.
(a) (Mishnah): If Reuven found something (without a sign) in
Shimon's store, Reuven keeps it;
1. If he found it between Shimon's box (where he puts
the money) and Shimon, it is Shimon's.
(b) If Reuven found money in front of the table of a
moneychanger (Levi), Reuven keeps it;
1. If he found it between the chair (on which the table
rests) and Levi, it is Levi's.
(c) If Shimon sold or sent produce to Reuven, and there were
coins inside, Reuven keeps them;
1. If the coins were wrapped up, he announces (to
(d) (Gemara - R. Elazar): (Reuven may keep) even money on the
(e) Question (Mishnah): Reuven may keep money found in front
of the table;
1. Inference: He may not keep money on the table!
(f) Conclusion: The inferences contradict one another - we
cannot determine which is correct, the Mishnah neither
supports nor refutes R. Elazar.
2. Counter-question (Mishnah): Money found between the
chair and Levi, it is Levi's.
3. Inference: Reuven may keep money on the table!
(g) Question: What is R. Elazar's source?
(h) Answer (Rava): He had difficulty with the Mishnah -
rather than saying that money between the chair and Levi
is Levi's, it should have said that money on the table is
1. Alternatively, it could have said that Reuven keeps
what he finds in a moneychanger's store, like the
first clause, Reuven may keep something he found in
(i) (Mishnah): If Reuven bought produce...
2. Since it did not say either of these, it must be
that Reuven keeps it.
(j) (Reish Lakish): This is only if he bought from a merchant
(who buys fruit and sells it) - but if Shimon sold his
own produce, surely they are Shimon's coins.
1. A Chacham recited in front of Rav Nachman a Beraisa
teaching Reish Lakish's Halachah.
2. Question (Rav Nachman): Even if it is Shimon's
produce - did he thresh it himself?! (Perhaps a
worker dropped the coins!)
3. The Chacham: I will no longer recite the Beraisa
(there is a mistake in the text)
4. Rav Nachman: It is not mistaken - the case is,
Shimon's Kena'ani slave threshed it (either way, the
money is Shimon's).