ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 24
Mar Zutra the Chasid's host once had his silver cup stolen. Mar Zutra
discover the thief - by taking the Talmid whom he saw drying his hands on
someone else's coat, and tying him to the post (as if they were about to
give him Malkos), at which point the Talmid broke down and admitted.
(a)We learned in a Beraisa that Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar (in our Mishnah)
concedes that the finder is obligated to announce new vessels which the
owner [Talmid-Chacham] will recognize immediately). The Tana gives three
examples of new vessels which he will not: twigs of needles and of forks.
The third thing on the list is - strings of (small) spades.
(b) The Tana is talking about - small forks for spinning gold.
(c) Twigs in this context called 'Badi' - because 'Badi' implies anything
that is used to hang something on (like a stem from which a leaf hangs).
(d) The Sugya in Sukah says 'Alah Echad be'Bad Echad' - in connection with
the Mitzvah of Aravah on Hoshana Rabah, which, according to some, one can
fulfill with 'one stem containing one leaf'.
(a) Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar permits someone who saves from a wild animal, a
raging torrent, or who finds something in a public street or public place -
to keep the article in question.
(b) We ask whether Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar stated his Din even where there
are a majority of Jews, and if the Rabbanan argue with him - and if they do,
whether they argue even in a place where there are a majority of Jews. Then
we ask whether the Halachah is like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar, and if it is,
whether it is like him only in a place whether the majority of people are
Nochrim, or even if they are Jews.
(c) Based on the literal understanding of Beis ha'Kenesses and Beis
ha'Medrash, we try to prove from the Beraisa, which permits the finder to
keep money that he found in a Beis ha'Kenesses or a Beis ha'Medrash - that
Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar permits even where most people are Jews.
(d) We try and refute this proof by establishing the Beraisa by money that
is scattered - but if that was the case, then what difference would it make
whether the money was found in a place which many people frequent or
(a) Initially, we go on to refute the proof by establishing Batei K'nesi'os
as places where Nochrim gather for discussions and meetings - and Batei
Medrashos as Jewish Batei Medrash in which Nochrim reside (and that is how
we also interpret Batei K'nesi'os).
(b) The Nochrim who resided in Jewish Batei K'nesi'os and Batei Medrashos
(which were situated outside the town) - were hired as guards.
(c) The Mishnah in Machshirin obligates someone who finds something in a
town which contains a majority of Jewish residents, to announce what he
finds, but permits him to keep it of most of the residents are Nochrim. We
refute the proof from here that ...
1. ... Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar only permits the finder to keep what he finds
where there are majority of Nochrim - by establishing the author as the
(d) The fact that the article is covered obligates the finder to return it -
on the grounds that it was placed there deliberately and is not lost.
2. ... the Rabbanan agree with Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar where there are a
majority of Nochrim - by establishing the Beraisa when the found object is
(a) The Mishnah later rules that someone who finds a covered article in a
trash-heap - should leave it where it is.
(b) And the fact that the covered article in the previous case comes to be
in the hands of the finder - is due to the fact that it was lying inside a
trash-heap that was not meant to be cleared away, but whose owner changed
his mind (in which case, the found article would be thrown away with the
trash, unless the finder took it and announced it), as Rav Papa will explain
(a) Alternatively, the author of the Beraisa is still the Rabbanan, but we
reinterpret 'Eino Chayav le'Hachriz' - to mean that the finder must leave it
where it is.
(b) And the Tana is talking about an uncovered article which someone found
in a town with a majority of Nochri residents, which cannot be announced (in
case a Nochri claims it), but which must be returned, should a Jew claim it
(c) ... in which case we can prove from - that the Rabbanan do not even
agree with Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar where there are a majority of Nochrim.
(a) Rav Asi ruled that someone who finds a barrel of wine in a town with a
majority of Nochrim ...
1. ... is not obligated to announce it.
(b) If a Jew then identifies it - the finder (who may nevertheless retain
it) is permitted to drink it.
2. ... is fobidden to drink it.
(c) The alternative to proving from here that Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar
confines his ruling to where there are a majority of Nochrim is - that his
Din extends to a place where there are a majority of Jews - but that the
Rabbanan argue with him in the latter case, and Rav Asi holds like him in
(d) Despite the fact that the wine is forbidden be'Hana'ah to the finder, it
is necessary to permit the finder to keep his find - because of the barrel,
which is permitted to use.
(a) Rav Yehudah ruled - that the man who found four Zuz wrapped in a cloth
which had been cast into the River Biran was obligated to announce it.
(b) He did not permit him to keep them because of the Din of 'Zuto shel
Yam' - because the river was full of obstacles, which would prevent anything
thrown into it from moving too far without getting caught. As a result, the
losers would not be Meya'esh.
(c) Based on the fact that most of those who frequented that area were
Nochrim, the Halachah is not like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar even where there
are a majority of Nochrim.
(d) We refute this proof however, by countering that in the same way as a
Jew probably lost it, a Jew also probably found it (so the owner is not
Meya'esh). We know that a Jew probably ...
1. ... lost it - because it was Jews who were normally involved in building
2. ... found it - because it was Jews who would subsequently re-dig it.
(a) Rav Yehudah asked Shmuel, as they walked through the market where they
sold crushed-wheat (for porridge-making) - what the Din would be if someone
found a wallet there.
(b) When Shmuel ruled that the finder was permitted to keep the purse, and
then, that he had to return it, he meant - that strictly speaking, he was
permitted to keep it, but that one should really go 'Lifnim mi'Shuras
ha'Din' (beyond the letter of the law).
(c) When Rava asked Rav Nachman the same question as Rav Yehudah asked
Shmuel, whilst they were walking through the leather-merchants market - he
ruled that he could keep it.
(d) And when Rava asked him 'va'ha'Lo Omed ve'Tzove'ach', he replied - that
his tears where as effective as someone who cries for his house that fell
down or for his ship that sunk at sea.
(a) When a vulture picked up a piece of meat in the main street and
deposited it among the palm-trees of bar Meryon, Abaye ruled - that Bei bar
Meryon were permitted to keep it.
(b) There is no proof from here that the Halachah is like Rebbi Shimon ben
Elazar even where there are a majority of Jews - because a vulture can be
compared to a stormy sea or a raging torrent, which, we have already
learned, is permitted in any case.
(c) Rav rules - that meat that has been hidden from the eye is prohibited
(in case it has been exchanged for a piece of non-Kasher meat).
(d) Abaye permitted Bei bar Meryon to keep the piece of mean that the
vulture dropped among his palm-trees - because someone saw the bird from the
time that it took the piece of meat to the time that he dropped it (so we
know that the vulture did not exchange the meat for another piece).
(a) Beis-Din permitted Rebbi Chanina to keep the Shechted goat that he found
between Teverya and Tzipori on the grounds - that the Halachah is like Rebbi
Shimon ben Elazar, at least where there are a majority of Nochrim.
(b) They also permitted him to eat it because of Rebbi Chananya the son of
Rebbi Yossi Ha'gselili, who rules - that if someone loses his kid-goats
which he later finds Shechted, he is permitted to eat them (on the basis of
the Chazakah that most people who Shecht, are experts in the Halachos of
(c) Rebbi Yehudah - forbids him to eat them.
(d) Rebbi sides with ...
1. ... Rebbi Yehudah - where the fledglings where found in the trash-heap (a
sign that it is not Kasher.
2. ... Rebbi Chananya the son of Rebbi Yossi Ha'gelili - where it is found
in the house.
(a) Seeing as they permitted Rebbi Chanina to eat the goat, it must be
speaking when there were a majority of Jews, yet he was permitted to keep
it. There is no proof from here however, that Rebbi Shimon's ruling extends
even to where there are a majority of Jews - because the Tana is speaking
when there were a majority of Jewish Sochtim, but when most of the
population were Nochrim.
(b) When Rebbi Ami asked Rebbi Asi (Rebbi Yochanan or the Rabbanim in the
Beis-ha'Medrash) about Shechted fledglings that he found between Teverya and
Tzipori - he ruled that they were permitted.
(c) Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha received a similar ruling from Rebbi Yochanan (or
from the Rabbanim in the Beis-ha'Medrash). He found there - a ball of
material for spinning fisherman's nets.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah - obligates someone who finds fruit in a vessel
or an empty vessel, money in a purse or an empty purse to announce them ...
(b) ... because they all generally have a Si'man.