POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Metzia 28
BAVA METZIA 28 (5 Teves) - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben
Shlomo ha'Levy) Turkel, on the day of his Yahrzeit, by his wife Jean and
sons Eddie and Lawrence Turkel.
1) WHY THE ENACTMENT WAS MADE (cont.)
(a) Question (Mishnah): If he found a Tachrich or Agudah of
documents, he returns them.
2) COMPETING SIMANIM
1. The borrower does not want the lender to receive the
documents through a Siman!
(b) Retraction (Rava): Rather, Simanim are mid'Oraisa.
1. (Beraisa) Question: "It will be with you until your
brother Derosh (demands) it" - might one have
thought to return it before this?!
2. Rather, this teaches that you must Doresh
(investigate) if he is lying, by asking him to give
(a) (Rava): If you will say that Simanim are mid'Oraisa...
3) THE ANNOUNCEMENT
1. (Interruption - Question): But Rava just proved that
Simanim are mid'Oraisa!
(b) (Continuation - Rava): If Simanim are mid'Oraisa - if
Reuven and Shimon each give Simanim of a lost object, we
leave it until Eliyahu comes;
2. Answer: One could reject the proof as above - you
require him to bring witnesses testifying that it is
1. If Reuven gives Simanim and witnesses say that it is
Shimon's, Shimon gets it;
2. If Reuven and Shimon each give Simanim, and 1
witness supports Shimon - the witness does nothing,
3. If 2 witnesses say that Reuven wove a garment, and 2
witnesses say that it fell from Shimon - we assume
that Shimon bought it, he gets it;
4. If Reuven knows the length and Shimon knows the
width, Reuven gets it, for one can estimate its
width when he sees another wear it, but not its
5. If Reuven knows the length and width, and Shimon
knows the sum of its length and width, Reuven gets
6. If Reuven knows the length and width, and Shimon
knows the weight, Shimon gets it;
7. If Reuven and his wife both give Simanim on a Get
(for her) - she gets it (he surely knows, she would
only know if she received it).
8. Question: What Simanim did she give?
i. If the length and width - perhaps she saw it in
9. Answer: Rather, there is a hole by a particular
10. If Reuven and his wife both give Simanim on the
string holding the Get - she gets it.
11. Question: What Simanim did she give?
i. If the color - perhaps she saw it in his hands!
12. If Reuven and his wife both say that the Get was in
a pouch - he gets it.
ii. Answer: Rather, the length.
13. Question: Why is this?
14. Answer: She knows that he puts all his matters in
(a) (Mishnah - R. Meir): One must announce until the
(b) R. Yehudah says, he must announce for three festivals,
and seven days after the last festival;
1. The seven days allow someone to return home in 3
days, check if he lost this, return in 3 days and
claim the object on the seventh day.
(c) (Gemara - Beraisa): Neighbors of the lost object (must
(d) Question: What does this mean?
1. If it means neighbors of the owner - if the finder
knows the owner, he should give it to him!
(e) Answer: Rather, neighbors of the place where he found it.
(f) (Mishnah): R. Yehudah says...(three days to return
(g) Contradiction (Mishnah): We start requesting rain (in
prayer) on the third of Cheshvan;
1. R. Gamliel says, on the seventh - we do not want
rain while people are returning home (from
Yerushalayim) after the end of Sukos; by 15 days,
the last travelers have reached the Peras River (the
end of Eretz Yisrael).
(h) Answer #1 (Rav Yosef): Fifteen days were allotted during
the first Mikdash, for there were more people - "Yehudah
and Yisrael were numerous k'Chol Asher Al ha'Yam";
1. Three days were enough during the second Mikdash,
for there were few people - "The whole congregation,
(i) Objection (and Answer #2 - Abaye): Just the contrary!
"v'Chol Yisrael b'Areihem" - they occupied the same
1. In the first Mikdash, there were more people, they
could travel day and night in caravans - three days
(j) Answer #3 (Rava): In each Mikdash, the last people needed
2. In the second Mikdash, caravans were harder to find,
15 days were needed.
1. Chachamim did not burden finders to wait more than 7
(k) Inference (Ravina): This teaches that the finder would
announce the object he found, e.g. 'a cloak';
1. If he would merely announce 'a lost object', another
day would be needed for the (possible) losers to
check if they lost anything.
(l) Rejection (Rava): We can say, he would merely announce 'a
lost object'; Chachamim did not burden finders to wait
(m) (Beraisa): On the first festival, he announces 'This is
the first festival (of announcement)'; on the second he
says 'second festival'; on the third, he does not mention
which festival it is (so people will understand, this is
the last festival).
(n) Question: He should explicitly say 'third festival'
(people know the law)!
(o) Answer: People may mistakenly think he said 'second'.
(p) Question: Also by the second, they may think he said
(q) Answer: In any case, he will come the next festival and
hear the announcement (and know that this is the last
4) THE ENACTMENT
(a) (Beraisa): At first, the finder would announce for three
festivals, and seven days after the last festival;
5) TO WHOM WE RETURN
1. A person could go home and return in 6 days, and
claim his object on the seventh day.
(b) Question: What are the Anasim?
2. After the Churban, it was enacted to announce in
synagogues and Batei Medrash;
3. After Anasim increased, it was enacted to inform
(the finder's) neighbors and acquaintances, and this
(c) Answer: People that say that lost objects belong to the
(d) R. Ami found a vessel of gold coins. A man noticed that
R. Ami was very nervous. He comforted him - 'I am not a
Persian - they say that lost objects belong to the king.'
(e) (Beraisa): There was a 'rock of claiming' in Yerushalayim
where finders would announce and losers would give
(a) (Mishnah): If the loser said what he lost but did not
give a sign, he does not get it;
6) HOW LONG TO KEEP THE FOUND OBJECT
1. A swindler, even if he gives a sign, we do not
return it to him - "Until your brother Derosh
(demands) it" - you must Doresh (investigate) if he
is a swindler or not.
(b) (Gemara - Rav Yehudah): The finder announces only 'I
found a lost object'.
(c) (Rav Nachman): He announces what was found, e.g. a cloak.
(d) (Rav Yehudah): If he announces what he found, we must be
concerned for swindlers!
(e) (Rav Nachman): We are not concerned for swindlers - if we
would be, even announcing 'lost object' we should be
concerned that he will guess what it is!
(f) Question (against Rav Nachman - Mishnah): If the loser
said what he lost but did not give a sign, he does not
1. If he only announces 'a lost object', this is a
Chidush - even though the loser knew what was lost,
he does not get it.
(g) Answer (Rav Safra): He did not say good Simanim, but he
said poor Simanim.
2. But if he announces what was lost - the loser said
nothing more than he heard, obviously, he does not
(h) (Beraisa): At first, the loser would give the Simanim and
receive the object; after swindlers increased, it was
enacted that he must bring witnesses that he is not a
1. Rav Papa's father lost a donkey. It was found; Rabah
bar Rav Huna asked him to bring witnesses that he is
not a swindler.
2. Rabah bar Rav Huna: Do you know that he is a
3. The witnesses: Yes.
4. Rav Papa's father: You say that I am a swindler?!
5. The witnesses: We meant, we know you are not a
6. Rabah bar Rav Huna: Presumably, the witnesses meant
that from the beginning - a person does not bring
witnesses that will incriminate him.
(a) (Mishnah): One who finds something that works and eats
(no more than the value of its labor, e.g. an ox), the
finder should use it and feed it;
1. Something which eats and does not work - it should
be sold - "v'Hashevoso Lo", be careful to return it
properly (do not keep the animal, deducting what it
eats until the loser claims it).
(b) (Gemara) Question: (By something that works and eats) -
must the finder guard it forever?!
2. R. Tarfon says, the finder may use the money from
the sale (until the loser claims it) - therefore, if
it is lost, he is liable;
3. R. Akiva says, the finder may not use the money -
therefore, if it is lost, he is exempt.
(c) Answer (Rav Nachman): He only guards it for 12 months.
(d) Support (Beraisa): Something that works and eats, such as
a cow or donkey, the finder keeps it for 12 months; after
that, he sells it and guards the money;
1. Something that eats and does not work, such as
calves and young donkeys, the finder keeps it for 3
months; after that, he sells it and guards the
(e) (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): A hen (because it gives eggs)
is like a work animal (he guards it for 12 months).
2. By geese and (male) chickens, the finder keeps it
for 30 days; after that, he sells it and guards the
(f) Support (Beraisa): A hen or work animal, the finder keeps
it for 12 months; after that, he sells it and guards the
1. Calves and young donkeys, the finder keeps it for 30
days; after that, he sells it and guards the money;
(g) Contradiction: The Beraisos argue regarding calves and
young donkeys, geese and male chickens!
2. Geese and male chickens, and anything expensive to
care for, the finder keeps it for three days; after
that, he sells it and guards the money.
(h) Answer: Regarding calves and young donkeys - in a time
and place where they can eat grass in the pasture, one
keeps them for three months; if one must feed them, he
keeps them 30 days;
1. Version #1 (Rashi): By big geese and male chickens
(which eat a lot), he keeps them three days; by
small ones, 30 days.
(i) (Beraisa): "v'Hashevoso Lo" - be careful how you return
it - do not let calves, young donkeys, geese and male
chickens consume their value.
2. Version #2 (Rambam): By big geese and male chickens
(which can find their own food), he keeps them 30
days; by small ones, three days.