סקר
איך הלימוד שלך בעקבת הקורונה?






 

Steinsaltz

And he can lie with regard to a host [ushpiza], as one may say that he was not well received by a certain host to prevent everyone from taking advantage of the host’s hospitality. What is the practical difference that emerges from this statement with regard to matters in which Torah scholars deviate from the truth? Mar Zutra says: The practical difference is with regard to returning a lost item on the basis of visual recognition. If we know about him that he alters his statements only with regard to these three matters, we return the lost item to him, but if he alters his statements with regard to other matters, we do not return the lost item to him.

The Gemara relates: A silver goblet was stolen from the host of Mar Zutra Ḥasida. Mar Zutra saw a certain student of Torah who washed his hands and dried them on the cloak of another. Mar Zutra said: This is the one who does not care about the property of another. He bound that student, and the student then confessed that he stole the goblet.

It is taught in a baraita: Although Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar holds that one does not need to proclaim his finding of anpurya vessels, he concedes that the finder is obligated to proclaim his find of new vessels that the eye of its purchaser has sufficiently seen. And these are new vessels that the eye of its purchaser has not yet sufficiently seen and concerning which the finder is not obligated to proclaim his find: for example, branches [badei] upon which needles or utensils for spinning are hanging, or strings of axes. When is it permitted for the one who finds all those items that the tanna mentioned in the baraita to keep them? It is when he found them one at a time. But if he found them two at a time, the finder is obligated to proclaim his find.

The Gemara clarifies: What is the meaning of the term badei? It means branches. And why did the tanna call them branches? It is because the item upon which one hangs another item [davar detalu bei midei], he calls it a branch, like that which we learned there (Sukka 44b): One leaf on one branch.

§ The baraita continues: And likewise, Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar would say: In the case of one who rescues a lost item from a lion, or from a bear, or from a cheetah [bardelas], or from the tide of the sea, or from the flooding of a river; and in the case of one who finds a lost item in a main thoroughfare [seratya] or a large plaza [pelatya], or in any place where the multitudes are found, these items belong to him due to the fact that the owner despairs of their recovery.

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: When Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says that if one finds a lost item in any place where multitudes are found, the item belongs to him, did he refer only to a place where there is a majority of gentiles; but in a place where there is a majority of Jews, the owner does not despair of recovering the item, because he relies on the Jews to return his item? Or perhaps, even in a place where there is a majority of Jews, he also says that the item belongs to the one who found it.

And if you say that even in a place where there is a majority of Jews, he also said that the item belongs to the one who found it, do the Rabbis disagree with him or do they not disagree?

And if you say that the Rabbis disagree with him, in a place where there is a majority of Jews, they certainly disagree. In a place where there is a majority of gentiles, do the Rabbis disagree, or do they not disagree?

And if you say that the Rabbis disagree with him even in a place where there is a majority of gentiles, is the halakha in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, or is the halakha not in accordance with his opinion?

And if you say that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, does this halakha apply specifically in a place where there is a majority of gentiles, or is the halakha in accordance with his opinion even in a place where there is a majority of Jews?

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from a baraita: In the case of one who finds coins in synagogues [bevatei khenesiyyot] and study halls or in any place where the multitudes are found, these coins belong to him, due to the fact that the owner despairs of their recovery. Who is the one about whom you heard that he follows the multitudes, i.e., that he attaches significance to the loss of an item in a place where the multitudes are present? It is Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar. Conclude from the baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar holds that a lost item belongs to the finder even in a place where there is a majority of Jews, as synagogues and study halls are places frequented exclusively by Jews.

The Gemara rejects the proof. With what are we dealing here? We are dealing with a case where the coins are scattered and there is no distinguishing mark on them. The Gemara asks: If it is a case where the coins are scattered, why did the baraita establish the case specifically in a place where the multitudes are found? Even in a place where the multitudes are not found, the coins belong to the finder.

Rather, actually the baraita is referring to a case where the coins are bound, and with what are we dealing here? This is a case where the coins were found in the houses of assembly [bevatei khenesiyyot] of gentiles, not in synagogues. That resolves the matter of synagogues; but with regard to study halls, which are exclusive to Jews, what can be said? The Gemara answers: The baraita is referring to our study halls in which gentile guards or custodians are sitting. The Gemara notes: Now that you have arrived at this explanation, the batei khenesiyyot in the baraita can be explained as referring to our synagogues, in which gentiles are sitting.

Come and hear a proof from a mishna (Makhshirin 2:8): In a case when one found a lost item in a city where both Jews and gentiles reside, if the city has a majority of Jews he is obligated to proclaim his find. If there is a majority of gentiles he is not obligated to proclaim his find. Who is the one about whom you heard that he follows the multitudes, i.e., that he attaches significance to the loss of an item in a place where the multitudes are present? It is Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar. Resolve from this mishna that when Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says that the item belongs to the finder, it is referring specifically to a place where there is a majority of gentiles, but in a place where there is a majority of Jews, no, it does not belong to the finder.

The Gemara rejects this proof: In accordance with whose opinion is this mishna? It is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis. The Gemara suggests: In any case, resolve the dilemma from the mishna that the Rabbis concede to Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar in a place where there is a majority of gentiles.

The Gemara rejects this explanation: Rather, actually the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, and he stated his opinion even in a place where there is a majority of Jews. And with what are we dealing here? This is a case where the found item is concealed. The Gemara asks: If the item is concealed, what is the reason the item is with the finder? Clearly it was placed there and the owner will return to retrieve it. And didn’t we learn in a mishna (25b): In a case where one found a vessel in a garbage dump, if the vessel is concealed he may not touch it, but if it is exposed, the finder takes the item and proclaims his find.

The Gemara answers: It can be explained as Rav Pappa says elsewhere, that it is referring to a garbage dump that is not designed to be cleared, and the owner of the land reconsidered and decided to clear it. If one finds concealed vessels he should proclaim his find, because otherwise the vessels will be cleared with the rest of the garbage dump. Here too, the mishna is referring to a garbage dump that is not designed to be cleared, and the owner of the land reconsidered and decided to clear it. If one finds concealed items, his course of action is determined by the identity of the majority of the residents of the city. If they are Jews, he must proclaim his find, and if not, he need not proclaim his find. No proof can be cited to resolve the dilemma.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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