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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bava Metzia 25



(a) We extrapolate from the Mishnah, which obligates someone who finds fruit inside a vessel and money inside a purse to announce it - that this would not be necessary if he found the fruit outside the vessel or the money outside the purse.

(b) We know that this inference is correct - because we have a Beraisa to back it up.

(c) Another Beraisa rules that if someone who finds something which has no Si'man beside something which has, in the event that the owner claims ...

1. ... both - he is obligated to announce both of them.
2. ... only the object with the Si'man - the finder may keep the object that has none.
(d) To resolve the discrepancy, Rav Z'vid differentiates between a jar with flax - which the finder may keep, because had the flax fallen from the jar, some of it would have remained behind caught by the rim, and a basket of fruit - which could all have slipped out of the basket.
(a) Alternatively, Rav Papa establishes both cases by a jar with flax, and the reason that the second Beraisa obligates the finder to announce it is - because it speaks about a jar which does not have a rim (in which case, it is feasible for all the flax to have fallen out).

(b) And he might even be permitted to keep the fruit, even though the barrel does not have a rim - if the mouth of the jar is facing away from the flax, and it is clear that the flax did not fall from the jar.

(a) We can prove from our Mishnah 'Tziburei Peiros ve'Tziburei Ma'os ... Chayav Le'hachriz' - that either Minyan (if the text reads 'Tziburei Peiros') or Makom (if it reads 'Tzibur Peiros') is a Si'man, though we do not know for sure which one.

(b) When Rebbi Yitzchak Magdela'ah says (in connection with the three coins in our Mishnah, which our Tana obligates the finder to announce) 've'Hu she'Asuyin ke'Migdalin', he means - that the three different size coins are placed one on top of the other, the largest at the bottom, and the smallest on top.

(c) And we support this with a Beraisa. The problem with the Beraisa, which permits the finder to keep the three scattered coins that he finds, but obligates him to return them, as long as they are shaped like a tower is - that the Reisha implies that if the coins are half on top of one another and half on the ground, he is obligated to return them, whereas the Seifa implies that he may keep them.

(d) We answer this Kashya - by explaining that the Tana refers to whatever is not like a tower, as scattered (in which case, we cannot infer anything from the Reisha).

(a) Rebbi Chanina, explaining Rebbi Yitzchak Magdela'ah's statement, requires the three coins to be of three different kings - which we initially understand to mean of different denominations (individually stamped). His statement then make no sense however - because if the coins are different sizes, then the finder must announce them even if they all of the same king, whereas if they are the same size, then even it they are all of different kings, the finder will be able to keep them.

(b) What Rebbi Chanina therefore means is - that the coins must be different sizes (as if they were of different kings), as we explained.

(c) According to Rebbi Yochanan - even if the coins are all the same size, he has to announce them.

(a) We think at first, that the finder announces the number of coins that he found (and the owner describes how they were placed). We reject this suggestion however - because then, why should the Tana differentiate between three and two (seeing as the way they were placed is the same either way).

(b) Ravina therefore concludes that the finder announces - coins (implying two).

(c) Ravina asks what the Din will be if the lost coins are placed 'ke'Shir, ke'Shurah, ka'Chatzuvah or ke'Sulam'. If ...

1. ... 'ke'Shir' means in a circle, 'ke'Shurah' means - in a straight line, one beside the other.
2. ... 'ka'Chatzuvah ' means in the shape of a triangle, 'ke'Sulam' mean - one half of each subsequent coin resting half on the coin beneath it and half in the air.
(a) The only one of Rebbi Yirmiyah's She'eilos that we resolve is based on a statement by Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah - who stated that whenever one could have taken a thin stick and pick up all the coins simultaneously - the finder is obligated to announce the coin.

(b) This statement resolves the She'eilah - 'ke'Sulam Mahu'?

(c) Rav Ashi asked about coins that are shaped like the stones of Beis Kulis - an Avodah-Zarah in the shape of two large stones placed next to each other, with a third stone straddling them.

(d) We resolve Rav Ashi's She'eilah from a Beraisa - which explicitly obligates the finder to return coins in the shape of Avnei Beis Kulis.




(a) The Beraisa rules that in a case where Reuven finds a Sela in the main street, and Shimon identifies it as a new coin, from the era of the emperor Nero or of another king (see Chasdei David on the Tosefta) - Reuven is under no obligation to return it to him ...

(b) ... even if Shimon's name is inscribed on it, because he may have purchased something with it, and it is the seller who lost it.

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah rules - that if someone finds young tied pigeons ...
1. ... behind a wooden fence or behind a wall - he should leave them where they are, and the same applies should he find them ...
2. ... on the paths in the fields.
(b) If he finds a vessel in a trash-heap, and the vessel is ...
1. ... covered - he should leave it alone.
2. ... uncovered - he should pick it up and announce it.
(a) Someone who finds (two) young tied pigeons behind a wooden fence must leave them where they are. He cannot take them ...
1. ... and announce them - because they have no Si'man.
2. ... and keep them - because the owner seems to have placed them there deliberately, in which case, they are not an Aveidah.
(b) The owner is not able to identify it by means of ...
1. ... the knot - because the Tana is speaking when they are tied by their wings, says Rebbi Aba bar Zavda Amar Rav, which is how everybody ties them.
2. ... the location, says Rav Ukva bar Chama, because the Tana is speaking when they are fluttering around, and may have moved to this spot from somewhere else.
(c) In spite of the fact that the birds are fluttering around, we do not assume that they arrived from another place, and consider them an Aveidah without a Si'man - because of the possibility that the owner placed them there ('Safek Hinu'ach').

(d) In the event that he did pick up the birds - Rebbi Aba bar Zavda Amar Rav forbids him to put them back (see Tosfos DH 've'Im Natal').

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if one finds a covered vessel in a trash-heap, he should leave it alone. The Beraisa - obligates the finder to return it.

(b) Rav Z'vid differentiates between jars and cups - which the owner obviously placed there on purpose, and a Hemnek (a sort of two-edged spoon or fork, one narrow and one broad) - which, due to their small size (on account of which they would get lost in a trash-heap), seem to have been thrown out.

(c) Rav Papa establishes both the Mishnah and the Beraisa by jars and cups. Nevertheless, the Tana of the Beraisa rules 'Notel u'Machriz - because he is speaking in a case when the trash-heap is going to be cleared away (and if he leaves the article there, the owner will lose it).

(d) Nevertheless, it is not considered an Aveidah mi'Da'as (as if the owner had declared it Hefker) - because the Tana is speaking when the owner had not initially intended to clear it away, but changed his mind.

11) The previous Beraisa added a reason (for its ruling to take the vessel from the trash-heap and announce it) 'she'Kein Derech Ashpah Li'panos'. This goes well with Rav Papa's explanation. As for Rav Z'vid - he reads the Beraisa (not 'she'Kein Derech Ashpah Li'panos', but) 'she'Kein Derech Ashpah Li'fnos', which he explains to mean that it is the done thing to clear vessels into it (for safekeeping).


(a) The Mishnah rules that someone who finds an object ...
1. ... in a pile of rubble or in an old wall - may keep it.
2. ... in a relatively new wall - must return it to the owner of the wall, assuming that he finds it in the inner half of the wall, but what he finds in the outer half, he is permitted to keep (see Tosfos 26a DH 'be'Kosel Chadash').
(b) The finder would be permitted to keep the article even if he found it in the inner half of a new wall (and even in the house itself) - if the owner rented out the house to others.

(c) The significance of the old wall in the Reisha of the Mishnah is - that it enables the finder to say to the owner that it was the Emori'im (who lived there before the conquest of Cana'an), who placed it there.

(d) We know that it was not the present owner who placed the object there - because the Tana is speaking about an object that has gone rusty (see Tosfos DH 'de'Shasich'), though it is not clear how we know that it was not the present owner's father or grandfather who placed it there (see Rosh Si'man 9).

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