Elu Metziot shiur #30, Review 25b-29b

  • Rav Joshua Amaru

YESHIVAT HAR ETZION
ISRAEL KOSCHITZKY VIRTUAL BEIT MIDRASH (VBM)


Introduction to the Study of Talmud
By Rav Josh Amaru

Elu Metziot shiur #30,  Review 25b-29b

The complete vocabulary list is found at
http://www.vbm-torah.org/talmud2/vocab.htm.  

The grammar lessons appear at the end of the vocabulary lists. 

As usual, the citations to the text of the gemara are linked to the online scan of the daf, for those who do not have an open gemara before them.  The link to daf 25b can be found at
http://www.e-daf.com/index.asp?ID=3075&size=2
From there you can find the subsequent pages.

    We conclude this year's Introduction to Talmud with a review of the last four dapim that we have studied.  Before we begin the review, I would like to take a moment to say thank you.  First of all, thank you to Rav Ezra Bick and the VBM staff for giving me the opportunity to write this shiur and for the ongoing technical and editing efforts.  Even beyond the work of its authors, a huge amount of work goes into the presentation and distribution of each VBM shiur, and the people who make it possible should be appreciated. 

    I would also like to thank you, my faithful readers.  To be honest, I do not really know who any of you are, though a few people have sent in very helpful comments and suggestions.  You are, however, the largest audience, by far, that I have ever taught and I do hope that you have gained at least as much from reading this shiur as I have from writing it.  I would like to congratulate all of you who have stayed with me through the long haul of 30 shiurim and I hope that this introduction to Talmud is the beginning of a long and productive learning career. 

    Finally, I close with a prayer of thanks to Ha-kadosh Barukh Hu, who has given me the opportunity to learn and teach His Torah.  I ask for His forgiveness for any mistakes I may have propagated and pray that He should "enlighten us with His Torah, attach our hearts to His commandments, and focus our hearts to love and fear His name...  
והאר עינינו בתורתיך ודבק לבנו במצוותיך ויחד לבבנו לאהבה וליראה את שמך ."

Review:

  As I emphasized before, review is an essential part of gemara learning.  Do your best to take the time to review, despite the temptation, at the end of the shiur, to just let it go.  The stages of your review should proceed as before.  I suggest that rather than going through all four dapim as a whole, divide it into separate units.  Go through steps 1-4 on each unit.  At the end try to pull it all together.  You can divide the material as follows: 

Unit 1: (Shiurim 19-20) From the mishna on the bottom of 25b until the mishna on 26b. 

Unit 2: (Shiurim 21-23) From the mishna on 26b until "ve-ad she'at metzia ועד שעת מציאה" on  27a.

Unit 3.  (Shiurim 24-25) From "Ibaya lehu אבעיא להו " on 27a until  the mishna on 28a.

Unit 4. (Shiurim 26-29) From the mishna on 28a until the mishna on 29b.

 

Step 1. Go through the the text until either the end of the unit or further if you want.  As you review, remind yourself of the words and concepts with the help of the complete vocabulary page.  It is a good idea to try to memorize the key words list but do not focus on that now. 

Step 2. Once you have made your way through the gemara or part of it (it will probably take a while), take a look at the review questions below.  Try to answer them, briefly, preferably in writing, with the help of the gemara text and the shiurim (archived at http://www.vbm-torah.org/talmud65.html), as needed. 

Step 3. Check your answers against my answers, attached to the end of this shiur.

Step 4. Go back to the text of the gemara.  See if you can remember the flow of the sugyas as they appear.  Can you go through the progression of the gemara in your head without looking at the text?  If not, try to make a brief outline.  

Review Questions:

Unit 1 (Shiurim 19-20) From the mishna on the bottom of 25b until the mishna on 26b. 

1.  When can the finder keep something that is found in a ruined wall?  Why does he or she not need to announce it?

2.  When can one keep what one finds in the wall of a house?  Is there a difference between different types of objects? 

3.  How can we explain the fact that the mishna allows one to take (under the appropriate circumstances) objects found in walls, even though they were probably placed there deliberately?

4.  What is the din regarding an object found in a house that is regularly rented to other people?  Distinguish between a house that is rented to successive renters and on which is rented to different people at once.  Is there a difference between whether the group includes non-Jews or not?

5.  When one witnesses an object dropped by someone in a group, does one need to return it?  What is Rav Nachman's ruling and how does Rava qualify it?

6.  What are the mitzvot (both positive, i.e. 'thou shalt' and negative, i.e. 'thou shalt not') associated with hashavat aveida?

Unit 2 (Shiurim 21-23) From the mishna on 26b until "ve-ad she'at metzia ועד שעת מציאה" on  27a.

7.  What is the status of a lost object found in a store or lost money found at a moneychanger's?  Explain why the location of the lost item is significant.

8.  How should one relate to money found in produce?  Does it make a difference if the money has a siman? Does it matter whether the produce came from the store or from a private person?

9.  What does the midrash halakha in the mishna teach us that we learn from the additional word simla שמלה in the verse?

10.  What do we learn from the superfluously mentioned animals in the verse:  donkey chamor חמור; ox, shor שור; sheep, seh שה?

11.  According to the halakha, one is required to return a lost object only if it is worth at least a peruta.  What difference does it make if we extract this rule from the words "that is lost asher tovad  אשר תאבד" or from "and you found it u-m'tzatat ומצאתה"? State the two opinions found in the gemara.

12.  What is Ravnai's principle?  How does it relate to the midrash halakha about hashavat aveida

Unit 3.  (Shiurim 24-25) From "Ibaya lehu אבעיא להו " on 27a until  the mishna on 28a.

13.  What is the halakhic difference between 'simanim de-oraita' and 'simanim de-rabanan'?

14.  How does the gemara explain the fact that the mishna seems to derive the halakha of simanim from the verse?

15.  The gemara explains that one cannot derive proof that simanim are de-rabanan from the baraita that invalidates the use of simanim on  its clothes to identify a dead body.  What is the explanation and what difficulty does the gemara raise with regard to the answer based on the midrash halakha's interpretation of the word "donkey"?  How does the gemara resolve the contradiction?

16.  What are the four different explanations of the machloket tanaim regarding using a mole to identify a dead body?

17.  How does Rav Safra refine Rava's explanation of the logic of hashavat aveida if simanim are de-rabanan

18.  What is the difficulty with Rav Safra's position that arises from R. Shimon ben Gamliel's position that if one finds three I.O.U.'s together,  with the same lender and different borrowers, then one must return them to the lender?  How does the gemara explain the difficulty?

19.  What is the basis of the gemara's final conclusion that simanim are de-oraita?

20.  When does one return a lost get to the husband and when to the wife?

Unit 4. (Shiurim 26-29) From the mishna on 28a until the mishna on 29b

21.  What are the two opinions in the mishna regarding the limits of announcing?  How does the gemara explain each one?

22.   What is the problem that arises with the seven day grace period after the third regel in contrast to the mishna in Ta'anit?  How do Rav Yosef and Abaye resolve the discrepancy as opposed to Rava?

23.  What specifically should the announcer say?  Is there a difference in what he announces on different occasions?

24.  What is the limit on announcing, according to R. Yehuda, since the destruction of the Temple?

25.  What change did the Rabbis institute for fear of fraud? 

26.  Under what circumstances will we allow witnesses to correct their testimony?

27.  What is the difference between an animal that earns its keep and an animal that does not?  What does one do with a lost object for which there is a significant cost of maintenance?  From where does the gemara derive this?

28.  R. Akiva and R. Tarfon in the mishna argue about the use of the money exchanged for the lost object and the degree of responsibility the finder bears for that money.  What is the connection between these two laws?

29.  How does Raba interpret the mishna in accordance with his position on the general level of liability of a finder?

30.  How does Rav Yosef do so?

31.  How does Rav Yosef explain, according to R. Tarfon, the connection drawn in the mishna between right of use and degree of liability?

32.  Does the machloket between Raba and Rav Yosef extend to money that has been found?  Explain.

Answers

Unit 1

1.  When can the finder keep something that is found in a ruined wall?  Why does he or she not need to announce it?

The finder can keep something found in a ruined wall, even though it has a siman, so long as it clearly has been there for a long while (e.g. it is very rusty).  Under such circumstances, one can presume that either the owner was mityaesh or that it belonged to non-Jews (e.g. Amorites) who lived in this place in the past. 

2.  When can one keep what one finds in the wall of a house?  Is there a difference between different types of objects?

The mishna says that one can keep anything found in the wall of a house if it is lies closer to the outside than the inside.  The gemara qualifies this statement in two ways:  first of all, one may only take objects that have evidently been left there a long time (e.g. they are very rusty).  Otherwise on must leave the object where it was in case the owner comes back for it.  Secondly, Rav Ashi understands the mishna's rule as applying only to items that do not have handles or some other way of indicating from where they were placed.  Under such circumstances, the mishna rules that it depends upon whether the item is closer to the inside or the outside.  If, however, the item has a handle, (like a knife) the rule is that we follow the direction of the handle.  If the handle faces inside - the object belongs to owner of the house.  If handle faces outside, the finder may take it. 

3.  How can we explain the fact that the mishna allows one to take (under the appropriate circumstances) objects found in walls, even though they were probably placed there deliberately?

Rashi (and Tosafot) explain that the ukimta applied to the previous case, of an object found in a broken wall, applies here too.  Thus one is allowed to take possession only of objects that have clearly been left a long time, e.g. they are very rusted.  Under such circumstances, one can presume that either the owner was mityaesh or that it belonged to non-Jews (e.g. Amorites) who lived in this place in the past. 

4.  What is the din regarding an object found in a house that is regularly rented to other people?  Distinguish between a house that is rented to successive renters and on which is rented to different people at once.  Is there a difference between whether the group includes non-Jews or not?

According to the gemara, the mishna's rule that finder may keep and object found in a house that is regularly rented does not apply to houses that are rented to one person at a time.  When that is the case, one must return any lost object to the most recent renter, since the earlier renters presumably took all of their belongings with them.   

    The Amoraim disagree as to the correct application of the mishna's rule.  According to Rav Menashia bar Ya'akov, one may keep the object only if the house has been rented to non-Jews.  Since the owner of the lost object is presumably a non-Jew,   one is not obligated to return the it.  According to Raba bar Avuha, even if the owner rented the house to three Jews, the finder may keep the lost object.  Each one of the tenants will assume that one of the other tenants has taken it and thus will be mityaesh.   

5.  When one witnesses an object dropped by someone in a group, does one need to return it?  What is Rav Nachman's ruling and how does Rava qualify it?

Rav Nachman rules that when one see an object dropped by one person in a group of two, one must return it, as the owner is presumably not mityaesh, but rather assumes that his companion took it and that he can demand it back.  However, if it is a group o three or more, claims Rav Nachman, one does not need to return it, as the owner will be mityaesh, since he cannot establish which companion took it.

Rava qualifies R. Nachman's ruling by limiting the case in which the finder can presume yeush to objects that are not worth a peruta once they are divided amongst the companions.  When the object is worth more than a peruta to all, then there exists the possibility that the companions are partners and a such will trust one another and the owner will not be mityaesh.   

6.  What are the mitzvot (both positive, i.e. 'thou shalt' and negative, i.e. 'thou shalt not') associated with hashavat aveida?

According to Rava:

1.  Lo tigzol  לא תגזול Thou shall not steal.

2.  hashev tashivem השב תשיבם  Thou shall return[the lost obects].

3.  lo tukhal le-hitalem  לא תוכל להתעלם  you cannot ignore it (the lost object).

Unit 2 From the mishna on 26b until "ve-ad she'at metzia ועד שעת מציאה" on  27a (Shiurim 21-23)

7.  What is the status of a lost object found in a store or lost money found at a moneychanger's?  Explain why the location of the lost item is significant.

In these cases, the question is whether the lost object (or money) was lost by the shopkeeper/moneychanger or by one of his or her clients.  If we can conclude the the item was lost by the shopkeeper/moneychanger, then we should return it to him.  If, however there is reason to believe that it was lost by a client, presumably that client has been mityaesh and the finder may keep it.  The mishna rules that this question can be determined according to the location of the lost item.  If it was found behind the shopkeeper/moneychanger's counter or table, then one must return it to him, since he presumably is the one who dropped it.  If it is found elsewhere in the shop, including, the gemara concludes, on the table or counter, then the finder may keep it. 

8.  How should one relate to money found in produce?  Does it make a difference if the money has a siman? Does it matter whether the produce came from the store or from a private person?

According to the mishna, money found in produce belongs to the finder so long as it does not have a siman.  If it has a siman (e.g. the money is tied up in a distinctive way), then it must be proclaimed as a lost object.  Reish Lakish, in the gemara, distinguishes between produce brought from a vendor and produce brought from the farmer.  The mishna, in permitting the money to the finder, refers to the case of the former, and one does not have to return the money because there is no way of determining whether it belonged to the previous owner or one of the owner's before that.  However, money found in produce bought directly from the farmer must be returned to him as he is presumably the owner.  Rav Nachman later qualifies this position - we consider the farmer the presumptive owner only if all of the work in preparing the produce was performed by the farmer or his slaves. 

9.  What does the midrash halakha in the mishna teach us that we learn from the additional word simla שמלה in the verse?

According to the mishna,  simla שמלה, garment, is the paradigm for a lost object.  Only something that has both simanim and claimants, as a garment may,  is subject to the laws of hashavat aveida.

10.  What do we learn from the superfluously mentioned animals in the verse:  donkey chamor חמור; ox, shor שור; sheep, seh שה?

aDonkey - we learn that even simanim on the saddle can suffice to identify a donkey. 

b.  ox - we learn that even the wool of its tail must be returned.

c.  sheep - Rava concludes that there is no obvious use for this word and this remains a difficulty. 

11.  According to the halakha, one is required to return a lost object only if it is worth at least a peruta.  What difference does it make if we extract this rule from the words "that is lost, asher tovad  אשר תאבד" or from "and you found it u-m'tzata ומצאתה"? State the two opinions found in the gemara.

According to Abaye, there is no difference beyond the interpretation of the verses.  According to Rava's opinion as worked out in the gemara, the difference can be found in the case of an object sides that depreciates while it is lost, only to regain value before it is found.  According to the tana kama, who derives the rule from "that is lost, asher tovad  אשר תאבד", the  finder must return the lost object in such a case.  R. Yehuda, however, who derives the rule from  "and you found it u-m'tzata ומצאתה", holds that the object must maintain its minimum value throughout and that if it ever depreciates to less than a peruta it need no longer be returned, even after it has regained its value.  

12.  What is Ravnai's principle?  How does it relate to the midrash halakha about hashavat aveida

Ravnai (or Ravina) says that "and you found it u-m'tzata ומצאתה" teaches us that the lost object must come into the finder's physical possession for it to become his.  The gemara in Bava Kama derives from here that there is no obligation to return a lost object to a non-Jew, even after one has taken possession of it.  The gemara in the beginning of our masekhet uses this dictum to rule out the possibility that one can claim ownership by sight and not by possession.

Unit 3.  From "Ibaya lehu אבעיא להו " on 27a until  the mishna on 28a (Shiurim 24-25).

13.  What is the halakhic difference between 'simanim de-oraita' and 'simanim de-rabanan'?

If simanim are de-oraita, then we trust them as evidence in ritual law, such as establishing whether a woman is married or not.  If simanim are only de-rabanan, then we accept them as evidence only in monetary matters (civil law), since the Rabbis may dispose of property as they see fit (hefker beit din hefker).  Ritual matters cannot be decided based on the evidence of simanim.

14.  How does the gemara explain the fact that the mishna seems to derive the halakha of simanim from the verse?

The position that simanim are de-oraita is supported by the inclusion of simanim in the midrash halakha expounded in the mishna.  However, this proof is not conclusive.  One can say that the reason the biblical verse specifies "simla שמלה, garment" was to teach us that the lost object must have a claimant; it must not be hefker.  The mishna included simanim only incidentally.

15.  The gemara explains that one cannot derive proof that simanim are de-rabanan from the baraita that invalidates the use of simanim on  its clothes to identify a dead body.  What is the explanation and what difficulty does the gemara raise with regard to the answer based on the midrash halakha's interpretation of the word "donkey"?  How does the gemara resolve the contradiction?

According to the position that simanim are de-oraita, the reason we do not accept the evidence of simanim on the clothes of a corpse is because we must consider the possibility that the clothes were borrowed and thus cannot be used to establish the identity of the corpse.  This explanation is problematic given that the gemara (on the previous amud) had derived from the inclusion of "donkey" in the verse that even simanim on the saddle of a lost donkey are sufficient.  In other words, the gemara about "donkey" implies that we do not consider the possibility that the donkey's accessories were borrowed while the gemara about identifying a corpse claims that simanim on the clothes are invalid since the clothes might be borrowed. 

    The gemara goes on to explain that the difference lies in that clothes are often borrowed while people will not usually use a borrowed saddle as it chafes the donkey's back. 

16.  What are the four different explanations of the machloket tanaim regarding using a mole to identify a dead body?

a.  they argue about whether simanim are de-oraita or de-rabanan.

b.  they agree that simanim are de-oraita but disagree as to whether one's 'ben gil' (i.e. someone born at the same time) was likely to have the same sort of mole.

c.  they agree that one's ben gil is unlikely to have the same siman, and disagree as to whether simanim change after death (thus making them unreliable as a means of identifying a corpse).

d.  they agree that simanim are de-rabanan but disagree as to whether a mole is a 'siman muvhak', an extraordinary sign, that is valid evidence even for ritual law. 

17.  How does Rav Safra refine Rava's explanation of the logic of hashavat aveida if simanim are de-rabanan

Rava had argued that if simanim are de-rabanan, then the motivation for the Rabbinic enactment lay in that it is in the finder's general interest that lost objects be returned with simanim, since he too would like to be able to retrieve his lost objects.  Rav Safra points out that it does not make sense to harm the owner's interests based on the psychology of the finder.  Rather, should base it on the psychology of the owner.  It is in the owner's general interest that we use simanim to identify lost objects as he is the one most likely to be able to provide simanim

18.  What is the difficulty with Rav Safra's position that arises from R. Shimon ben Gamliel's position that if one finds three I.O.U.'s together,  with the same lender and different borrowers, then one must return them to the lender?  How does the gemara explain the difficulty?

In the case of the three I.O.U., we identify the lender as the owner based on the fact that only the lender would be likely to have three different bills of credit in his name.  This ruling is never in the interests of the borrower, who would rather the letters of credit stay lost, which does not fit with Rav Safra's explanation that everyone has an interest in trusting simanim.  The gemara explains that in this case we return the I.O.U.'s to the lender not based on simanim but on  the fact that when different notes with different borrowers but the same lender are bound together, it is extremely unlikely that they were lost by anyone but the lender. 

19.  What is the basis of the gemara's final conclusion that simanim are de-oraita?

Rava concludes that simanim are de-oraita based upon the mishna that teaches that one must return a bundle of promissory notes if the lender presents a siman.  This is obviously never in the interest of the borrower, who would prefer that simanim be invalid for promissory notes, thus making it more difficult for the lender to acquire them.  Since the logic of simanim de-rabanan (as stated by Rav Safra) thus fails in this case, Rava concludes that they must be de-oraita

Further support for this conclusion is brought with reference to a midrash halakha:  The Torah teaches that the finder of a lost object must take care of it "until your fellow seeks after it and [then] you must return it to him."  We interpret the words ""until your fellow seeks after it"  to teach that finder should test (i.e. seek out) the claimant to see that he is not a fraud.  This testing is done by the finder demanding that the claimant present simanim  Since this requirement of "seeking out" the claimant, i.e. verifying his honesty, appears to be de-oraita, it would appear that simanim as well are de-oraita

20.  When does one return a lost get to the husband and when to the wife?

We return it to the wife so long as she presents simanim that she could not have known about without having actually received it, e.g. the presence of a hole near a particular letter, or the length of the string used to bind it.  Otherwise we return it to the husband since when in doubt we must assume that the couple are not divorced. 

Unit 4. From the mishna on 28a until the mishna on 29b (Shiurim 26-29).

21.  What are the two opinions in the mishna regarding the limits of announcing?  How does the gemara explain each one?

R. Meir holds that one must announce "until his neighbors become aware."  The gemara explains that the people who live in the vicinity of the place in which the lost object was found must be made aware.

    R.  Yehuda holds that the finder must announce the lost object for three regalim (festivals) followed by a seven day period at the end of the last festival.  The gemara explains that this rule was formulated in the time of the Temple in which the whole people would visit the Temple during the festivals, thus providing maximum exposure.  The seven day period is to give the owner time to return home, check to see if he is missing anything, and return in order to retrieve his lost item. 

22.   What is the problem that arises with the seven day grace period after the third regel in contrast to the mishna in Ta'anit?  How do Rav Yosef and Abaye resolve the discrepancy as opposed to Rava?

The mishna in Ta'anit teaches that we do not pray for rain until 15 days have passed after Sukkot in order to give the people time to return home.  This implies that it takes fifteen days to reach the outskirts of  the Land of Israel while R. Yehuda in our mishna allots only three days for a person to return home and check his belongings. 

Rav Yosef and Abaye explain that each mishna refers to a different period.  They disagree as to whether the mishna in Ta'anit refers to the first Temple period and our mishna to the second Temple period or vice versa.  Rava argues that there is not difference between the first and second Temples.  The Rabbis simply did not impose so much trouble on the finder and required him to wait only seven days. 

23.  What specifically should the announcer say?  Is there a difference in the what he announces on different occasions?

The Amoraim disagree as to whether the finder should announce merely that he or she has found something or whether he or she must specify as to the type of item found, e.g. 'I have found a garment'.  Ravina would like to conclude from the fact that the owner is given only a minimal amount of time to return and inspect his belongings that the announcement must have been specific so he knows what to look for.   Rava dismisses this consideration, as above, because he holds that period after the regel was fixed at only seven days in order to avoid additional trouble for the finder. 

The baraita teaches us that at the first two regalim, the finder would announce which occasion of announcing it was.  At the last announcement he or she would not state the occasion so that everyone would understand that this is the last chance.  He does not state that it is the third time because of the potential for someone mis-hearing. 

24.  What is the limit on announcing, according to R. Yehuda, since the destruction of the Temple?

After the destruction of the Temple the Rabbis decreed that announcing should take place in the synagogues and study halls.  When the Persian government began seizing lost objects for itself, announcing was limited to making one's acquaintances aware of the find. 

25.  What change did the Rabbis institute for fear of fraud? 

Originally, anyone could recover a lost object upon presentation of simanim.  When it became too common that people would fraudulently represent themselves as the owner, anyone who wished to recover a lost object must first bring witnesses to his honesty and then could recover the lost object by presenting simanim

26.  Under what circumstances will we allow witnesses to correct their testimony?

Raba bar Rav Huna ruled that witnesses may correct their testimony when they claim they mis-spoke and it is evident that the claimant would not have brought witnesses to say what they said at first (in this case the witnesses said that the claimant was a cheat).

27.  What is the difference between an animal that earns its keep and an animal that does not?  What does one do with a lost object for which there is a significant cost of maintenance?  What is the source for this rule?

Animals whose work or production defrays the cost of their maintenance must be kept by the finder for a more extended period, ranging from a month to a year, depending upon the type of animal.  Animals or other lost objects whose cost of maintenance is not defrayed must be kept for only a minimal period (three days) and then may be exchanged for their value which is set aside. 

The source for this rule is the verse "ve-hasheivota lo"  "and you shall return it to him" which is interpreted to mean that part of the responsibility of returning something is that one should ensure that one should actively maintain the value of the lost object, and thus ensure that that value is not lost in maintenance costs.

28.  R. Akiva and R. Tarfon in the mishna argue about the use of the money exchanged for the lost object and the degree of responsibility the finder bears for that money.  What is the connection between these two laws?

The degree of liability is a function of whether the finder is permitted to use the money.  According to R. Akiva, he is not permitted to use the money and thus his degree of liability is the same as it was before he exchanged the lost object for cash.  According to R. Tarfon, he is permitted to use the money and thus his degree of liability goes up as well. 

29.  How does Raba interpret the mishna in accordance with his position on the general level of liability of a finder?

Raba holds that the finder of a lost object is a shomer chinam in general.  According to R. Tarfon, once the object is exchanged for money, the finder then becomes a shomer sakhar.  According to Raba, the "le-fikhakh", the explanation attached to R. Akiva's position in the mishna, is stated in order to preclude Rav Yosef's position. 

30.  How does Rav Yosef do so?

Rav Yosef holds that the finder of a lost object is already treated as a shomer sakhar.  Thus when he exchanges the lost item for cash and is permitted to use it (according to R. Tarfon),  he becomes a shoel.  According to R. Yosef, the "le-fikhakh" explanation attached to R. Akiva's position in the mishna is there for merely stylistic reasons, to match the "le-fikhakh" explanation attached to R. Tarfon's position.

31.  How does Rav Yosef explain, according to R. Tarfon, the connection drawn in the mishna between right of use and degree of liability?

According to Rav Yosef, the finder becomes a shoel in his liability for the money immediately upon exchanging it.  We learn from the connection drawn in the mishna between right of use and degree of liability that the change in the finder's liability does not depend upon him actually using the money but only on his right to do so. 

32.  Does the machloket between Raba and Rav Yosef extend to money that has been found?  Explain.

Rav Huna rules that R. Tarfon's rule applies only to money exchanged for a lost object, since the finder took some trouble.  We offered two explanations as to why money exchanged for the lost object should be different from money that is the original lost object:   

    Ritva explains that this is an instance of a rabbinic enactment mi-penei tikun olam מפני תיקון עולם, for social reasons.  In principle, the finder should be forbidden to use even the money the object was converted into.  However, in order to encourage people to take responsibility for lost objects, even when it is something that is expensive to maintain and will require the further trouble of converting it into cash, the Rabbis enacted that in such a situation the finder may make use of the cash.  

   Alternatively, one could focus not on the trouble taken but on the fact that the original lost object is no longer extant.  The requirement of hashavat aveida is to return lost property to its owner.  In this case the owner is not going to receive his lost property anyway.  All that is left is a responsibility on the part of the finder to return the value of the lost object.  So long as he is committed to do so, there is no reason to prevent him from using the money. 

 

Have a good summer!