Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Returning Lost Objects Part 61

In the past weeks we have been discussing cases in which the finder does not have to return an item and can keep it for himself in most circumstances.

Another scenario in which the finder need not return the object is with regard to the lost item of a non-Jew. This also applies where one find an item in an area in which the majority of people are non-Jews even though there is a significant minority of Jews in the area. In order to understand this law, it is necessary to discuss a principle that underlies the Torah outlook towards inter-personal relationships. The Torah stresses that every human being is created in the Image of G-d and accordingly, must be treated in a respectful manner. However, it is understood that people treat members of their family in a more favorable manner than everyone else. Thus, it is normal for people to lend each other money and charge interest, whereas one would not charge interest on a loan to his brother or son.

The Torah teaches us that the Jewish people are equivalent to one 'family'. Although all Jews are not necessarily genetically related to each other[2] , nonetheless we are spiritually related in a common covenant that makes us like one family. Accordingly, whilst a Jew treats everyone with care and concern, he acts towards his fellow Jew with extra consideration. Thus, for example a Jew is forbidden from lending his fellow Jew with interest[3]. Similarly, it is normal for non-Jews not to return lost objects, so too Jews are not obligated to return lost objects of non-Jews. It is however, praiseworthy to do so in that it demonstrates that Jews do care about the property of all people.


1. The information for this essay is taken from "Halachos of Other People's Money" by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner.
2. This is certainly the case because of the numerous converts that have joined Judaism throughout history.
3. Parshas Mishpatim, 22:24.


Text Copyright 2009 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Redefining Pleasure
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Long Distance Call
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Reaching for Perfection
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

> There's No Place Like Away From Home...
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Abraham's Dwelling
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

You Shall Live by Them
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Suicide Moms
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

Universal Responsibility
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

To The Place G-d Will Show Us
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

"Steps" in the Right Direction
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Ask for Spiritual Wealth
Shlomo Katz - 5762

The Kindness Factor
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

ArtScroll

No Second Thoughts
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Don't Walk in Front of Me (Anymore)
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
- 5769

Use Them or Lose Them
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757



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