Elu Metziot shiur #14, 24a -24b

  • 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 #14,  24a -24b.

Today's shiur includes the vocabulary list for the shiur itself. If you wish to consult the full cumulative vocabulary list, it is found at
http://www.vbm-torah.org/talmud2/vocab.htm.  

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 gemara can be found on-line at
http://www.e-daf.com/daf.asp?ID=3072 

Key words and phrases are marked in blue, and their translation or explanation can be seen by placing the cursor over them.  Other vocabulary words are marked in red and can be found on the vocabulary list at the end of the shiur.  Particularly important vocabulary words will have a link to the vocabulary list. 

Summary of last shiur Last week we discussed R. Shimon ben Elazar's ruling in the mishna about klei anporia.  We discovered a new category that must be factored into any decision about whether a finder can keep a lost object - teviut eina - recognition by sight.   The right to claim a lost object on recognizance is limited to trustworthy talmidei chakhamim, since the claim is advanced without any objective proof. 

    This week we will discuss at length a different ruling made by R. Shimon ben Elazar.  Open to daf 24a and learn from (line 19)  "ve-chen haya Rabi Shimon ben Elazar ..וכן היה רבי שמעון בן אלעזר" until "afilu be-rov Yisrael  אפילו ברוב ישראל" (last narrow line).  Lines 1-6 in the schematic analysis.  Make use of Rashi - it will greatly help you understand the text.

   The gemara quotes a baraita in the name of R. Shimon ben Elazar.  The baraita lists places and situations in which the finder can presume yeush, even though the lost object has a siman (see Rashi s.v. ve-khol makom she-harabim ve-khu', וכל מקום שהרבים וכו ).  We can neatly divide the cases in the baraita into two categories.  In the first category, we deal with items that are not merely lost to the owner but are 'lost to all.'  As we learned previously (see 22b), these items belong to the finder even when they have a siman.  According to R. Shimon ben Elazar, with these objects we can assume that the owner was mityaesh. (See shiur #8 and the discussion there of the "lost to all" rule.)  

   The second category of cases in the baraita involves objects lost in very public places, where many people come and go.  R. Shimon be Elazar rules that in public places, yeush may always be presumed, regardless of simanim.  Apparently, the sheer quantity of traffic in such places makes it extremely unlikely that the owner of a lost object will come across its finder (Tosafot explains that as the number of potential finders goes up, so too do the chances that your object will be found be a dishonest person who will not announce it).  Under such circumstances, we may presume that the owner was mityaesh even when he has simanim

    The gemara then asks an extended series of questions about R. Shimon ben Elazar's second category.  These are formulated in a long chain of ba'ayot.  As is usual in a ba'aya, two options are offered each time.  At each stage, the gemara adopts one of the options and then asks a further ba'aya

    Before we try to analyze this structure, let me mention one point.  As you will have noticed, the gemara's discussion keeps returning to the difference between a place where there is a majority of Jews and a place where there is a majority of non-Jews.  This is significant because the mitzva of hashavat aveida does not apply to non-Jews.  This works in both directions.  We neither expect non-Jews to return lost objects nor are we obligated to exert ourselves to return a lost object to a non-Jew.  Hasahavat aveida applies to one's "brother" (see Devarim 22:1).  It is part of the special bonds that help create the Jewish community.  Because of the different status of non-Jews, there are two reasons why an object found in a place occupied mostly by non-Jews may be taken by the finder.  First, in all likelihood the owner is a non-Jew and there is no obligation to return a lost object to him.  Even if the owner is a Jew, it is likely that the owner is mityaesh, since he will assume that the finder will probably be a non-Jew, .  In order for the mitzva of hashavat aveida to apply in an area that is mostly non-Jewish, one must posit that the mere chance that the object will be found by a Jew is sufficient to prevent the owner from giving up hope of recovery. 

    We now turn to the string of ba'ayot that can be summarized in the following way:      

R. Shimon be Elazar holds that there is a presumption of yeush regarding an object found in a public place. 

1.  Does this apply to a public place that contains:

    a.  Mostly non-Jews    OR    b. Also one that has mostly Jews?

2.  If we assume (b) then:

    a.  The (other) Rabbis disagree  OR   b. The Rabbis agree?

 3.   If we assume (a), the Rabbis hold that we cannot presume yeush (i.e. they disagree with R. Shimon ben Elazar):

    a.  Only in a place with a majority of Jews (but if there is a majority of non-Jews they agree with R. Shimon ben Elazar)

     OR

    b.  Also in the case of a majority of non-Jews  (i.e. they hold that there is never an automatic presumption of yeush regarding an object found  in a public place.) 



Many, though not all poskim  (halakhic decisors) understand that when the gemara uses a chain of Im timtzei lomar אם תמצא לומר , the halakha is in accordance with the positions assumed.  Only the final stage of the chain remains a safek.  This understanding is supported by the fact that the gemara generally only discusses the final  safek and takes all the presuppositions leading up to it for granted.

4.  If we assume (b), then the halakha is in accordance with:

     a.  R. Shimon ben Elazar   OR     b.  The Rabbis

5.  If we assume (a), then is the halakha in accordance with R. Shimon ben Elazar:

    a.  Only in a place with a majority of non- Jews  

    OR

    b. Also in a place where there is a majority of Jews. 

Notice that by (4) we have positioned the two positions of R. Shimon ben Elazar and the Rabbis at opposing poles:  According to R.Shimon ben Elazar, lost objects found in public places are always permitted and according to the Rabbis they are never permitted. 

Note that there is a certain amount of redundancy in the last question:  In (1) we already inquired as whether the scope of R. Shimon ben Elazar's extends to 'Jewish' public places.  In (2) we assumed that the ruling does extend to 'Jewish' public places.  Yet, in (5) we returned to the question of the scope of R. Shimon ben Elazar's ruling.  In my opinion, the explanation for this redundancy can be found later on in the sugya, where the gemara entertains the possibility that even if R. Shimon be Elazar holds that there is always yeush in any public place, one can hold like R. Shimon ben Elazar only in regard to non-Jewish public places.  In other words, it is possible that the halakha is not in accordance with neither R. Shimon ben Elazar nor the Rabbis but a middle position between their two extremes.
  The question remains regarding the halakha:  is it to be identified with R. Shimon ben Elazar's pole or with the middle ground in which there is a distinction between  a place with a majority of Jews and a place with a majority of gentiles?

    Now we turn to the gemara's attempts at resolution.  On daf 24a, learn from "Ta shema: ha-motzei ma'ot...תא שמע: המוצא מעות "  (last narrow line) until the next Ta shema תא שמע (eight lines from the bottom).   Lines 7-14 in the schematic analysis.    

    If the next baraita looks familiar, it's because it was quoted previously in the discussion of yeush she-lo mi-da'at. (See reference in the Masoret Ha-Shas in the margin).  The baraita seems to be saying something almost identical to R. Shimon ben Elazar's position and the gemara concludes that, given that the baraita rules that money found in a place which many people frequent can be kept by the finder, it must be that R. Shimon ben Elazar is the author of the anonymous baraita.  Since the baraita refers to synagogues and houses of study, which are presumably places where the majority are Jews, it would appear that we can establish that R. Shimon ben Elazar's ruling applies also to 'Jewish' public places (or perhaps we can use this baraita as a precedent indicating that the halakha is according to R. Shimon ben Elazar even in a place where the majority is Jewish). 

    The gemara next attempts to disassociate the baraita from R. Shimon ben Elazar's position by making an ukimta of the baraita.  The gemara suggests that the baraita is not referring to just any sort of lost money but exclusively to scattered coins.  If this is the case, we can say that the owner is mityaesh because he or she has no simanim, and this baraita has nothing to do with R. Shimon ben Elazar's ruling regarding public places.  This ukimta is rejected because it is inconsistent with the language of the baraita.  If the baraita was referring only to scattered coins, why did it insist that the owner is mityaesh in a public place.  If there are no simanim, the owner would be mityaesh even if it the money was lost in a place where few people are around! 

    We must then conclude that the baraita is referring to money that has simanim, and even so, since it was lost in a place where many people come and go, even if the majority of those people are Jews, the owners are mityaesh.  The gemara is not satisfied with this conclusion.  How can we interpret the baraita so as not to commit us to applying R. Shimon ben Elazar's rule even to a place with a Jewish majority?  When the baraita says batei kneisiyot (synagogues, lit. 'houses of gathering'), one should not understand it in the usual sense.  Rather it refers to gathering places of non-Jews.  All we can conclude from the baraita is that in places where there are many people, the majority of whom are non-Jews, than the finder may keep the lost object since the owner's yeush may be presumed.  But in places where the majority is Jewish, one cannot draw this conclusion. 

    Not so fast, continues the gemara.  One might be able to interpret synagogues more generally as gathering places, but 'houses of study'?  Since when do non-Jews have houses of study?  Accordingly, the baraita must claim that all lost objects are permitted, so long as they are found in a place that people frequent, even if the majority of them are Jewish.  This conclusion is rejected as well.  Houses of study are indeed Jewish institutions but there may very well be non-Jews who stay there.  Rashi (s.v.de-yatvi behu nokhrim דיתבי בהו נוכרים) suggests for example, that in houses of study that are outside the town, there will be non-Jewish guards.  Once we allow that "houses of study" does not imply a place where the majority are Jewish, the same can be said for synagogues.  We need not interpret 'synagogues' in the baraita as non-Jewish gathering places.  We may follow the ordinary meaning of the words without committing  ourselves to the extreme interpretation of R. Shimon ben Elazar's ruling if we understand that both the synagogues and the study halls mentioned in the baraita are frequented by non-Jews.

    Learn now on daf 24a from "Ta shema:  matza ba aveida... תא שמע: מצא בה אבידה"  until "simana ve-shakil סימנא ושקיל on 24b."  Lines 15-22 in the schematic analysis. Once again, take advantage of Rashi.

    Once again we encounter a baraita that regards the concentration of people to be significant.  This baraita explicitly distinguishes between cases where there is a majority of Jews at the location in which the object is found and cases in which there is a majority of non-Jews.  If we assume this baraita to be associated with R. Shimon ben Elazar, we can then say that even according to him, an object found in a public place is permitted only if there is a majority of non-Jews, as explained above.  If so, we have resolved our ba'aya, according to (1a) and (5a) above. 

    The gemara is reluctant to commit itself to this conclusion. Perhaps the baraita reflects the opinion of the Rabbis and not R. Shimon ben Elazar?  Maybe the Rabbis agree that in a place where there is a majority of non-Jews, the lost object is permitted and only in places where the majority is Jewish is there a makhloket.  This suggestion is also rejected, for it commits us to the understanding that the Rabbis concede that an object found in a place that is mainly non-Jewish is permitted.  This goes against the premise stated in (4b) above.  How then, can we read

   You may be wondering: what is wrong with the baraita resolving the ba'aya?  Is not that the whole point:  we have a question (or series of questions) and we look to the precedents to find the answer?  This gemara seems to think that there is a problem with understanding the baraita as relevant to the issues stated in the series of questions above

    The explanation for this phenomenon is that the gemara does not address these questions from a blank slate.  It has a clear agenda in that it assumes that the Rabbis never take the fact that the object was found in a public place into consideration and R. Shimon ben Elazar always does, regardless of whether the majority are Jewish or not Jewish.  This agenda is tentative insofar as that if there is no alternative they will interpret one of the respective positions differently.  However, if it is possible to maintain the radical distinction between the Rabbis and R. Shimon ben Elazar, the gemara would like to do so.  For this reason the gemara continues its exploration of the meaning of the baraita even though it is possible that the Rabbis agree with R. Shimon ben Elazar where the majority are Jews, and the baraita is merely the expression of this position.  In a certain sense, the gemara is not really looking for an answer to the ba'ayot (at least those having to do with clarifying the respective positions) so much as ensuring that there is no obstacle to its preferred interpretation of the makhloket.    

this baraita without giving up on any of the premises stated in the chain of ba'ayot? 

    The gemara offers two alternative readings of the baraita.  In the first, we do in fact associate the baraita with R. Shimon ben Elazar's position but make an ukimta:  The baraita is according to R. Shimon ben Elazar, who takes the extreme position that any lost object found in a place that is frequented by many people, even mostly Jews, belongs to the finder.  However, this baraita refers to a deliberately hidden object and therefore, if the majority of people in that place are Jewish, he must take it and announce it.  

    The difficulty with this ukimta is apparent.  Something that has been deliberately left in a particular place should not be touched, as its owner will be back for it.  As we are taught: "something found in the dump, if it is hidden, it should not be touched."  It is not a lost object at all.  How can the baraita say that the finder must take it and announce it if it is a mostly Jewish place or may keep it if it is a mostly non-Jewish place?

    The ukimta must be refined. The baraita must be talking about an object that is hidden in a dump that is not usually cleared but is about to be cleared.  The object will certainly be lost if it is not taken by the finder.  Under such circumstances, the finder must announce it if most people who use the dump are Jews and may keep it if most of them are non-Jews.  If we interpret the baraita in this way, it does not teach us anything about the lost objects, since the object in question is not lost but hidden and its owner was not mityaesh

     Two interesting  points can be extracted from this baraita: 
a.  If one sees a fellow Jew's property that is about to be destroyed or lost, one is obligated to save it and attempt to return it to him.  This is an extension of the mitzva of hashavat aveida - one is not only obliged to return lost objects but to prevent their loss in the first place.  This obligation does not apply to a non-Jew's property.  Not only does one not need to save it from destruction but one may take it if it is going to be destroyed anyway. 

b.  According to the baraita, we can see that rov (majority) unequivocally determines the owner of the property and for this reason alone one may keep property found in a place where the rov  is non-Jewish.  Remember that in the standard case of a lost object in a place that is mostly non-Jewish, there were two reasons to allow the finder to keep it:  Perhaps the object belonged to a non-Jew and even if it belonged to a Jew, it is probable that he was mityaesh, given the likelihood that it will be found by a non-Jew.  According to this ukimta, the second consideration is not relevant (he certainly is not mityaesh as he hid it there on purpose), and yet we still permit the finder to keep the object.  Likewise, the baraita teaches us that in a case where the rov  is Jewish, R. Shimon ben Elazar concedes that one must announce, since the possibility of yeush has been removed,

    Finally, the gemara offers an alternative interpretation of this baraita that also does not imply any resolution of the ba'aya.  This baraita, that distinguishes between places where there is a majority of Jews and places where there is a majority of non-Jews, can be understood to reflect the position of the Rabbis, without their conceding that in a place with a majority of non-Jews lost objects are permitted.  How?  Remember that according to this reading, the baraita is not referring to something hidden but to an ordinary lost object. The baraita says: "... if the majority are Jews, it has to be announced, but if the majority are non-Jews he is not obligated to announce."  In no place does the baraita mention that the finder may keep what he finds!  Perhaps all the baraita is teaching is that there is no obligation to announce in a place that the majority is non-Jewish but that does not mean that the finder may keep it for himself!   He must leave it there, (or perhaps take it and watch over it)  and if someone comes looking and presents simanim, then that person can take it.   

This reading of the baraita creates a middle ground between an object that is permitted and an object that must be announced.  Now we are entertaining the possibility that there are finds that are neither permitted but need not be announced.  How is this possible?  If the object still belongs to its owner, why does the mitzva of hashavat aveida not apply such that one must announce it?  

    Rashi, s.v.Mi katani מי קתני (second Rashi on 24b), argues that this bifurcation reflects a more fundamental issue.  According to Rashi, the makhloket between R. Shimon ben Elazar and the Rabbis turns on the question of whether we follow the rov (majority) to establish ownership in monetary matters.  The Rabbis hold that we do not follow the rov, and thus cannot grant ownership to the finder based only on the fact that most of people in the place the object was found were non-Jews.  We do, however, follow the rov in non-monetary matters, such that one is not obligated to pursue the mitzva of hashavat aveida under circumstances where the rov indicates that the object does not belong to a Jew (interpretation of Rashi according to ר"ן and ריצב"ש quoted in  שיטה מקובצת). 

   

    Learn now, on 24b, from "Ta shema de-amar Rav Asi תא שמע דאמר רב אסי " until "le-kankana לקנקנה:"  Lines  23-27 in the schematic analysis. 

Setam yeinam סתם יינם. It is a Torah prohibition to derive benefit from wine that has been poured as an offering to idolatry.  This wine is called yayin nesekh יין נסך.  The Rabbis expanded this prohibition to include any non-Jewish wine, on the chance that it might be yayin nesekh.  Non-kosher wine is, then, any wine not made under Jewish auspices.    Over time, when it became clear that the danger of yayin nesekh is no longer relevant, the Rabbis left the prohibition in place "because of their daughters", i.e. in order to minimize inappropriate social contact with the attending danger of assimilation and intermarriage.  It is a matter of debate as to whether the prohibition of benefit, or only that of drinking, continues under these circumstances (See Shulchan Arukh siman 123 שולחן ערוך סי' קכג). 

    The gemara quotes a baraita presented to us by Rav Asi.  Note that though Rav Asi is an Amora, this is probably a baraita, as it is in Hebrew.   According to Rav Asi, one who finds wine in a city that is mostly non-Jewish may keep the wine, but may not derive benefit from it.  The finder may keep it since the owner, on the unlikely possibility that he was Jewish, was presumably mityaesh.  However, given the fact that the local majority are non-Jewish, this wine must be presumed to be setam yeinam,  סתם יינם, the unsupervised wine of non-Jews,  which the Rabbis have decreed it is forbidden not only to drink but even to derive from it benefit. If a Jew subsequently presents simanim that this is his or her wine, then the finder may drink it (having established its Jewish origins) and need not give it back to the original owner.  The original owner presumably was mityaesh, having lost the wine in a public place frequented mostly by non-Jews. 

    This baraita presumably follows R. Shimon ben Elazar, and from the fact that the presence of a majority of non-Jews is required for the wine to be permitted to the finder, we can deduce that R. Shimon ben Elazar limits his ruling (that a lost object in a public place belongs to the finder) to places where the majority is not Jewish.

I must admit that I have no good explanation as to why the gemara summarily assumes that this baraita must be according to R. Shimon ben Elazar.  After all, all along we have been considering the possibility that even the Rabbis admit that an object found in a public place belongs to the finder so long as the rov is non-Jewish.  Why is that not an option here?

Ritzba"sh ריצב"ש, quoted in the (16th century compilation of commentaries on the Talmud)  Shita Mekubetzet שיטה מקובצת, asks the same question.  He claims that the gemara does consider the possibility that Rav Asi is according to the Rabbis.  He claims that that is the upshot of the gemara's conclusion that Rav Asi holds like R. Shimon ben Elazar in "one and not the other."  This seems to me to be a forced reading of the gemara. 

   However, this conclusion is dismissed, as it is perfectly possible that Rav Asi holds like R. Shimon ben Elazar, in places where the rov is non-Jewish, but rejects his position in position in places where the rov is Jewish.

    The gemara then asks an obvious question:  what does the baraita mean when it declares the wine to be permitted as a lost object but one is forbidden to benefit from it?  What is the point of the wine being permitted if one cannot derive benefit from it?  Rav Ashi explains that even if the wine is forbidden, there still remains the question of the barrel.  Rav Asi's ruling teaches us that when wine is found in a public place mostly frequented by non-Jews, the finder may keep - and benefit from - the barrel.       

    We thus bring our discussion of objects found in public places to a close.  As we have seen, there are three possible positions:  One could argue that it is never significant whether the object is found in a public place with a lot of traffic.  Any object that has simanim must be announced, in case it was lost by a Jew who could come and retrieve it.  Alternatively, one could take the opposite extreme and argue that anything found in a public place is permitted, even if it has simanim.  Since the location is frequented by so many people, the chances of getting it back are slim, and the owner is mityaesh.   Finally, there is a middle ground, that is espoused at the end by Rav Asi, that distinguishes between public places frequented mostly by Jews, where an object found therein must be announced, and public places frequented mostly by non-Jews, where the object is permitted to the finder


 

Schematic Analysis #14

Schematic analysis of the gemara daf 24a from "ve-chen haya Rabi Shimon ben Elazar .וכן היה רבי שמעון בן אלעזר"  until daf 24b "lekankana לקנקנה".

Translation of gemara Schematic Analysis Text of gemara 23b

1. 'R. Shimon ben Elazar also said: If one rescues anything from a lion, a bear, a leopard, a panther, or from the tide of the sea, or from the flood of a river, or if one finds anything on the main road, or in a broad square, or in any place where crowds are frequent, it belongs to the finder because the owner has been mityaesh.

Baraita

1. וכן היה רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר: המציל מן הארי ומן הדוב ומן הנמר ומן הברדלס, ומן זוטו של ים ומשלוליתו של נהר, המוצא בסרטיא ופלטיא גדולה, ובכל מקום שהרבים מצויין שם - הרי אלו שלו, מפני שהבעלים מתיאשין מהן.

2.  The question was asked: Did R. Shimon ben El'azar say this [with regard to things found in places] where the majority of the people are non-Jews,  but where the majority are Jews, no (i.e. the law would be different) or [did he say this] also [with regard to things found in places] where the majority are Jews? Ba'aya

2.  איבעיא להו: כי קאמר רבי שמעון בן אלעזר - ברוב נכרים, אבל ברוב ישראל - לא, או דלמא: אפילו ברוב ישראל נמי אמר?

3.   If you grant that [he said this] also where the majority are Jews, do the Rabbis disagree with him or not? Ba'aya

3. אם תמצא לומר אפילו ברוב ישראל נמי אמר, פליגי רבנן עליה או לא פליגי?

4.   If you grant that they disagree with him,  they would certainly disagree where the majority are Jews, but do they disagree where the majority are non-Jews, or not?  Ba'aya

4.  ואם תמצא לומר פליגי, ברוב ישראל ודאי פליגי, ברוב נכרים פליגי או לא פליגי?

5.  If you grant that they disagree even where the majority are non-Jews, is the law in accordance with his view or not? Ba'aya

5.   ואם תמצא לומר פליגי אפילו ברוב נכרים, הלכה כמותו או אין הלכה כמותו?

6. If you grant that the law is in accordance with his view, does this apply only to the case where the majority are non-Jews, or also to the case where the majority are Jews? Ba'aya

6. אם תמצא לומר הלכה כמותו, דוקא ברוב נכרים או אפילו ברוב ישראל?

7.  Ta shema: If one finds money in a synagogue or a house of study, or in any other place where crowds are frequent, it belongs to the finder, because the owner has given it up.  prooftext which indicates a resolution of the ba'ayot.

7.  תא שמע: המוצא מעות בבתי כנסיות ובבתי מדרשות, ובכל מקום שהרבים מצויין שם - הרי אלו שלו, מפני שהבעלים מתיאשין מהן.

8.  Now, who is it that we have we heard follows the majority? R. Shimon b. El'azar! (who must then be the author of the previous baraita). You must therefore conclude that [he applies this principle] also to a case where the majority are Jews! Explanation how the baraita is relevant to resolving the ba'aya..

8.  מאן שמעת ליה דאזיל בתר רובא - רבי שמעון בן אלעזר, שמעת מינה - אפילו ברוב ישראל נמי. ;

9. Here we are dealing with [a case where the money found was] scattered.

Ukimta of the baraita  to undermine the resolution of the ba'aya.

9.  הכא במאי עסקינן - במפוזרין. -

10. But if [the money was] scattered, why refer to places where crowds are frequent? It would apply also to places where crowds are not frequent!   

Difficulty with above ukimta

10.  אי במפוזרין מאי אריא מקום שהרבים מצויין שם? אפילו אין הרבים מצויין שם!

11.  Admittedly, therefore, [the reference is to money found] in bundles,  but we deal here with synagogues (i.e. gathering places) of non-Jews. Alternative ukimta

11.  אלא לעולם בצרורין, והכא במאי עסקינן - בבתי כנסיות של נכרים. -

12.  But how can this be applied to 'houses of study'? Difficulty with above ukimta.

12.  בתי מדרשות מאי איכא למימר? -

13.  [The reference is to] our houses of study in which non-Jews stay. 

Refinement of ukimta that resolves the difficulty.

13. בתי מדרשות דידן, דיתבי בהו נכרים.

14.  Now that you have arrived at this conclusion [the reference to] 'synagogues' [can] also [be explained as meaning] our synagogues in which non-Jews stay. Different resolution of the difficulty addressed in (11).

14.  השתא דאתית להכי, בתי כנסיות נמי דידן, דיתבי בהו נכרים.

15.  Ta shema: If one finds therein a lost object, then if the majority are Jews, it has to be announced, but if the majority are non-Jews he is not obligated to announce. prooftext to resolve some of the ba'ayot.

15.  תא שמע: מצא בה אבידה, אם רוב ישראל - חייב להכריז, אם רוב נכרים - אינו חייב להכריז.

8.  Now, who is it that we have we heard follows the majority? R. Simeon b. Eleazar! (who must then be the author of the previous baraita) You must therefore conclude that [he applies this principle] only [to a case where] the majority are non-Jews, but if the majority are Jews, no (i.e. he does not follow the majority)! Explanation how the baraita resolves the ba'aya.

16.  מאן שמעת ליה דאמר אזלינן בתר רובא - רבי שמעון בן אלעזר, שמעת מינה: כי קאמר רבי שמעון בן אלעזר - ברוב נכרים, אבל ברוב ישראל - לא. -

17.  This [baraita] is the view of the Rabbis. Suggestion of alternate author of the baraita that undermines the previous conclusion.

17.  הא מני - רבנן היא. -

18.  Conclude from it that the Rabbis accept R. Shimon ben El'azar's view in the case where the majority are non-Jews!  Problematic implication of the suggestion.

18.   תפשוט מינה דמודו ליה רבנן לרבי שמעון בן אלעזר ברוב נכרים!

19.  Rather, , [the baraita] was always [according to] R. Shimon be Elazar.and [his ruling] applies also to a case where the majority are Israelites, but here  we are dealing [with a case where the money was] concealed. Rejection of the suggestion but offering an ukimta to undermine the conclusion reached in (16).

19.  אלא, לעולם רבי שמעון בן אלעזר היא, ואפילו ברוב ישראל נמי, והכא במאי עסקינן - בטמון.

20.  But if it was concealed, what is[the finder] doing with it? Have we not learnt: 'if one finds a vessel in a dump, if covered up he may not touch it; but if uncovered he must take it and announce it'? difficulty with new suggestion.

20.  אי בטמון - מאי עבידתיה גביה? והתנן: מצא כלי באשפה, מכוסה - לא יגע בו, מגולה - נוטל ומכריז! -

21.  As R. Papa explained [in a different case]: [The reference is] to a dump which is not regularly cleared away, and which [the owner] unexpectedly decided to clear away. Here also [the reference is] to a dump which is not regularly cleared away, and which [the owner] unexpectedly decided to clear away. Resolution of difficulty.

21.  כדאמר רב פפא: באשפה שאינה עשויה לפנות, ונמלך עליה לפנותה. הכא נמי - באשפה שאינה עשויה לפנות, ונמלך עליה לפנותה.

22.  [daf 24b] And if you want I will say: this is the view of the Rabbis,  but is it stated. 'They belong to the finder'?  It [merely] says 'He has not to announce them' [meaning that] he lets it lie, and when an Jew comes and presents a siman, he takes it.

Alternative resolution going back to original suggestion in (17).

22. ; [כד עמ' ב] ואיבעית אימא: לעולם רבנן, מי קתני הן שלו? אינו חייב להכריז קתני, ויניח וייתי ישראל ויהיב ביה סימנא, ושקיל.

23.  Ta shema that Rav Asi said:  One who found a barrel of wine in a city where the majority were non-Jews - [the wine] is permitted as a lost object but one is forbidden to gain benefit from it.  If a Jew came and presented a siman for it, it is [then] permitted to its finder to drink it.  Prooftext to resolve the ba'aya.

23.  תא שמע דאמר רב אסי: מצא חבית יין בעיר שרובה נכרים - מותרת משום מציאה, ואסורה בהנאה. בא ישראל ונתן בה סימן - מותרת בשתיה למוצאה.

24.  Like whom?  Like R. Shimon ben El'azar.  Derive from this that when R. Shimon ben El'azar stated his position it was when the majority were non-Jews but when the majority were Jews, no. Explanation how the prooftext resolves the ba'aya.

24.  כמאן - כרבי שמעון בן אלעזר, שמע מינה: כי קאמר רבי שמעון בן אלעזר - ברוב נכרים, אבל ברוב ישראל - לא.

25.  I tell you, R. Shimon ben El'azar always ruled [that the lost object is permitted] even when the majority were Jews, and Rav Asi holds like him in one case and disagrees with him in the other. Rejection of the explanation.

25.  לעולם אימא לך רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אפילו ברוב ישראל נמי קאמר, ורב אסי סבר לה כוותיה בחדא, ופליג עליה בחדא.

26.  Since it is forbidden to benefit from it, what is the point of the ruling that it is permitted as a lost object? Difficulty in understanding of Rav Asi's ruling

26.  וכי מאחר דאסירא בהנאה, מותרת משום מציאה למאי הלכתא? -

27.  Rav Ashi explained:  for its jar. Explanation of the point of Rav Asi's ruling.

27.  אמר רב אשי: לקנקנה.

 

 

Selections from Rashi daf 24a

Translation

Rashi Text

ve-khol makom she-harabim ve-khu', and every place that large numbers of people etc., - even an object that has a siman.

וכל מקום שהרבים כו' - ואפילו דבר שיש בו סימן.

peligi Rabanan alei, The Rabbis disagree with him - in both cases.

פליגי רבנן עליה - בתרוייהו.

Ha-motzeh maot, One who finds coins - the [tentative] assumption is that [the baraita refers to] piles of coins that the mishna states must be announced.  Here, since many people are found there, they belong [to the finder] since the owner was mityaesh.

המוצא מעות - קא סלקא דעתך צבורי מעות דקתני מתניתין חייב להכריז, והכא הואיל ורבים מצויין שם - הרי אלו שלו, שנתייאשו הבעלים.

de-azil batar ruba, that follows the majority. - In other words, that in the law of lost objects, he subcribes to the principle that when many are found there [at the sight where the lost object was found, the owner is mityaesh].

דאזיל בתר רובא - כלומר: שהולך בדין מציאה אחר טעם רבים מצויים שם.

be-rov Yisrael, majority of Jews - Since ordinarily, synagogues belong to Jews.

ברוב ישראל - דסתם בתי כנסיות ישראל בהן.

be-mefuzarim, With scattered [coins] - and it is the Rabbis who concede [the point] regarding scattered [coins] as we learn in a mishna:  Scattered coins belong to [the finder]. 

במפוזרים - ורבנן היא דמודו במפוזרין, דתנן: מעות מפוזרין הרי אלו שלו.

keneisiot, gatherings - a place where people convene to consult one another and associate. 

כנסיות - אסיפת מקום שמתכנסים שם להתיעץ ולהוועד.

de-yatvi behu nakhrim  - that are outside the city, and the put non-Jews there to guard. 

דיתבי בהו נכרים - שהן חוץ לעיר, ומושיבין בה נכרים לשמור.

ve-tifshot miha, and conclude from here - some of your questions, i.e. that the Rabbis agree about a [place with a] majority of non-Jews and disagree about a  a [place with a] majority of Jews.

ותפשוט מיהא - מקצת משאלותיך, דמודו רבנן ברוב נכרים ופליגי ברוב ישראל.

 

be-tamun, with regard to a hidden [object] - since [the owner] hid it, it is not a lost object, so when therer is a majority of Jew [the finder] must announce. 

בטמון - דכיון דטמנו לאו אבידה היא, הלכך ברוב ישראל יכריז.

she-eina asuya lipanot,  that is not liable to be removed - the owners would generally leave is for a long time and not to remove it immediately.

שאינה עשויה לפנות - רגילים היו בעלים להניחה ימים רבים, ולא לפנותה מיד.

ve-nimlakh aleha lifnota miyad, and changed his mind and decided to remove it immediately - Necessarily, he must take it or it will become hefker (ownerless). For this reason [the gemara] used [the example of ] a dump that was not usually removed, since if it was a dump that is often removed [we would regard} the lost object as deliberately abandoned since the owner should have concerned himself with the risk of [the dump] being removed.

ונמלך עליה לפנותה מיד - ועל כרחו, או יטלנו או יהא הפקר, להכי נקט שאינה עשויה לפנות, דאי עשויה לפנות - אבידה מדעת היא, שהיה לו לחוש שמא יפנה.

ve-Iba'it eima le-olam Rabanan, If you want I will say, [the baraita] was always according to the Rabbis - and [referring to an object that] is not hidden. [ However,]  Do not conclude from here that they concede to him in [the case] of a majority of  non-Jews. 

ואיבעית אימא לעולם רבנן - ובשאינה טמון, ולא תפשוט מינה דמודו ליה ברוב נכרים.

Mi katani khu', eino chayav le-hakhriz katani, Does it teach [they belong to the finder], etc., he is not obligated to announce is what it teaches - since the majority are non-Jews, perhaps it belongs to [a] non-Jew, but it is also not his (the finders) since the Rabbis do not follow the majority in monetary matters.

מי קתני כו' אינו חייב להכריז קתני - דכיון דרובא נכרים, דלמא דנכרים הוא, ושלו נמי לא הויא, דלא אזלי רבנן בתר רובא בממונא.

 

Key Gemara Terms

Iba'aya le-hu: They were asked a question.(a ba'aya) נשאל מהם

איבעיא להו

Iba'it eima:  If you want I will say. (offers an alternative version or interpretation) אם תרצה לומר

איבעית אימא

Im timtza lomar:  lit.  If you find to say.  Used to grant one side of a ba'aya in order to ask a further question. 

 

אם תמצא לומר

didan: ours

שלנו

דידן

mai ika le-meimar?:  lit., what can be said?.  often means 'how is this applied?'

מה אפשר לומר

מאי איכא למימר

man shma'at lei:  lit. about whom have you heard, i.e. which scholar is identified with the position...

למי שמעת

מאן שמעת ליה

mani:  who is [the author of] it

מי

מני

tifshot mina:  derive from it, deduce from it

תסיק ממנה

תפשוט מינה

General vocabulary

Azil:  1.  [he] walks, goes  2. [he] rules, decides.

הולך

אזיל

Iba'aya le-hu: They were asked with a question.(a ba'aya) נשאל מהם

איבעיא להו

Iba'it eima:  If you want I will say. (offers an alternative version or interpretation) אם תרצה לומר

איבעית אימא

Im timtza lomar:  lit.  If you find to say.  Used to grant one side of a ba'aya in order to ask a further question. 

 

אם תמצא לומר

didan: ours

שלנו

דידן

hana'ah:  benefit, pleasure.  One is forbidded to gain any sort of benefit or pleasure from an item associated with idolatry.

הנאה

yeiti (future form of ata):  [he] will come

יבוא

ייתי (אתא)

yatvei (pl. of yativ):  they sat or stayed

ישבו

יתבי (יתיב)

mai ika le-meimar?:  lit., what can be said?.  often means 'how is this applied?'

מה אפשר לומר

מאי איכא למימר

man shma'at lei:  lit. about whom have you heard, i.e. which scholar is identified with the position...

למי שמעת

מאן שמעת ליה

mani:  who is [the author of] it

מי

מני

nimlakh:  lit. took advice, often means changed his mind unexpectedly.

נמלך

tifshot mina:  derive, deduce from it

תסיק ממנה

תפשוט מינה