Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Returning Lost Objects Part 13*

In the previous weeks we discussed the process of returning the lost item to its rightful owner. We saw that the finder should place signs in public areas announcing his discovery of the item. Moreover, he must be careful to ensure that an untrustworthy person does not attain the object through dishonest means.

In this article we will discuss the following questions with regard to the obligations of the finder in his efforts to return the item. To what extent must the finder go to return the object? Must he spend money in his attempt to return it? Can he charge the owner for his efforts?

The finder may not charge for returning the lost item, even if doing so will involve time and effort. However, he does not have to lose money in order to return it: For example, if a person notices someone drop a wallet as he gets into a car., the best way for the finder to return the item would be for him to get into a cab and pursue him. However, since this would incur expenses, the finder need not do this. If he feels certain that the owner will reimburse him the cost of the cab then he must spend the money for the cab in order to return it.

The finder need to not forego his regular salary in order to return a lost item. For example, if a shop clerk sees a shopper leave an item in the shop, he does not have to leave his work in order to return it; this is on condition that he is not allowed to leave his work for such a purpose or may risk being docked some wages for the time spent away from his work.**

Even if the finder only stands to lost potential profits then he is not required to return the lost item. for example, a salesman who earns money on commission need to take out from his work time to return a lost object. This is because in the time required to return the item he could have earned more money through making more calls.


*Much of the information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.

**Since there are many factors involved here with regard to when one can take time off work, one should ask each specific case to an Orthodox Rabbi.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Lot’s and Lots of Opportunities
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

The Lesson of Avraham
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Avraham Foreshadowed Self-Sacrifice To Make Aliyah
- 5768

ArtScroll

The Lech Lecha Test Rates Higher Than The Ur Kasdim Test
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Use Them or Lose Them
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

> Participating in G-ds Master Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Priorities Confused
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Avram Lifted Up His Hand...So That You Not Say
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Founders of Our People
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Dream the Impossible Dream
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Saved in Yaakov's Merit
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

No Pain, No Gain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Worthy of the Brocha!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

The Dawn of a New Era
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

“The Place That I Will Show You!”
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information