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 MIKETZ AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

A Little Oil Goes a Long Way
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Turning Points
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Candle Lighting Blessings
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

ArtScroll

The Sweetest Gift In Life: Peace of Mind
Rav Frand - 5768

Light From Darkness, Take Two
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Every Little Bit Counts
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

> We Should Not Assume What Happens Is Necessarily 'Bad'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Mercy Filling
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5763

Express Delivery
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Analyzing The Imagery of A Familiar Chanukah Poem
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

In the nick of time
Shlomo Katz - 5770

If You Have It, Don't Flaunt It
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Smelling The Fragrance Of Hope
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

Holy Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Of Fire and Money
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Pharaoh Delivers A Not So Subtle Reminder: I Made You Who You Are
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 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