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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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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 b'Yisrael!


(a) What does Rav Ashi say about someone who finds a knife with a handle or a purse with straps in a wall?

(b) How does he then establish our Mishnah, which presents the criterion as whether the article was found on the inner half or the outer half of the wall?

(c) What does the Beraisa say in a case where the article filled the entire hole?

(d) But is this not obvious?

(a) Why does the Mishnah in Shekalim rule that money found in Yerushalayim in front of the animal merchants, was always Ma'aser-Sheini?

(b) If money was found in the streets of Yerushalayim, it depended upon whether it was found on Yom-Tov (when it was Ma'aser) or during the rest of the year (when it was Chulin).
Why should this Din be different than money that was found on Har Habayis, which was always Chulin?

(c) Why was money that was found in Yerushalayim during the year was Chulin?

(d) Har ha'Bayis did not need to be swept, because it was on a hill, and was kept clean by the winds. Why else did Har Habayis not need to be swept every day?

(e) What do we learn from the latter case (of money found in the streets of Yerushalayim) regarding the criterion for returning a lost article?

(a) What makes our Mishnah comparable to the Mishnah in Shekalim? Why ought we to go after the last one here as well?

(b) To reconcile the two Mishnahs, Resh Lakish in the name of bar Kapara establishes our Mishnah when the owner previously rented it out to three people.
How does this answer the Kashya? Why do we initially consider this a reason not to return the article to the last owner?

(c) How does Rav Menashya bar Ya'akov re-establish the Mishnah, to refute the proof that the Halachah is like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar even when there are a majority of Jews?

(d) Why does Rav Menashya establish it by '*three* Nochrim'? Does it really make any difference how many Nochrim rented the house before him?

(a) Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah agrees with Resh Lakish, on the grounds that, even if we establish our Mishnah by three Jews, it will have nothing to do with Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar.
Why not?

(b) What is the difference between the two cases? When do the Rabbanan argue with Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar (assuming that they do)?

Answers to questions



(a) When Rav Nachman quoting Rabah bar Avuhah, establishes our Mishnah when the owner rented his house to three Jews, he is merely following his own reasoning elsewhere. Why does he say that someone who sees a Sela fall from one of ...
  1. ... two people, is obligated to return it?
  2. ... three people, is permitted to keep it?
(b) Rava argues with Rav Nachman. Why does Rava change the sum that one is permitted to keep, if it fell from three people, from a Sela to less than three P'rutos? What would be the Din if he found a Sela belonging to them?

(c) Why then, would Rava concede that he may keep less than three P'rutos, even if he knew that they were partners?

(d) Some say that even if there were only two P'rutos, Rava would obligate the finder to return them.
Why is that?

(a) Which three sins does Rava ascribe to a person who picks up a coin that he finds before Yi'ush with the intention of keeping it?

(b) Does he rectify the sin by returning it after Yi'ush (see Tosfos DH 'Matanah')?

(c) And what does he transgress if he ...

  1. ... picks it up before Yi'ush with the intention of returning it, and after Yi'ush he decided to 'steal' it?
  2. ... waits until after Yi'ush before picking it up with the intention of keeping it?
(d) Why, in the first of the two previous cases, does he not transgress the Isur of Gezel?
(a) What does Rava say about Reuven who finds the Sela that Shimon lost in the sand?

(b) What if he sees Shimon fetch a sieve and start sifting the sand?

(c) Then why did he sift the sand?

(a) Why does the Tana of our Mishnah say that someone who finds a coin ...
  1. ... in a store may keep it?
  2. ... between the drawer and the store-keeper must return it to the storekeeper? What is the purpose of the drawer?
(b) What was the job of a banker in the times of the Mishnah?

(c) Where would he and his customers place their respective coins?

(d) Why may someone who finds coins 'Lifnei ha'Shulchani' keep them? What exactly, does the Tana mean by 'Lifnei ha'Shulchani'?

(a) What distinction does the Tana of our Mishnah make between someone who finds loose money among the fruit that he purchased from his friend or that his friend sent him, and someone who finds wrapped money?

(b) What does Rebbi Elazar say about money that is found on the banker's table?

(c) How do we counter the Kashya on Rebbi Elazar from our Mishnah 'Lifnei ha'Shulchan, Harei Eilu she'Lo' (implying 'Ha al-Gabei ha'Shulchan, Harei Eilu shel Shulchani')?

(d) How does Rebbi Elazar extrapolate from the Seifa 'Bein ha'Kisei le'Shulchani, shel Shulchani', that money that one may keep money that one finds on the banker's table? What ought the Tana to have said?

Answers to questions

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