Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Mitzvos Relating to Our Fellow Man

35: Returning a Find

"You shall surely return them." (Devarim 22:1)

If one finds something that belongs to someone, he is obligated to make efforts to return it. As with other mitzvos, there are various halalchos involved in fulfillment of this mitzvah. We will enumerate a few of them below.

When a person finds an item with identifying marks on it, he should not delay in announcing the find, because if he does the owner may give up in the interim and the mitzvah opportunity will be lost (Rambam, Hilchos Teshuva 4:3)

If an item does not have identifying marks, it should sometimes be left where it was found for the owner to return to it.

When there is a question over whether or not the owner has already given up on finding the item, it is suggested that one who finds it should pick it up on condition that he finds the owner. If the owner is not found, the finder reserves the right to acquire it for himself after the owner gives up (Pischei Choshen, p. 256).

If one doesn't find the owner, he can eventually record the information and sell the item or use it in the meantime (Iggros Moshe, Choshen Mishpat 2:255)

If you see someone's car lights left on, which can drain the battery, you have a mitzvah obligation to notify the owner.

Helping to heal someone (returning one's lost health) and helping with a shidduch ("returning" one's other half) are also included in this mitzvah.


Text Copyright 2007 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Getting Our Manners In Order
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Children Are A Gift
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Points to Ponder
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Clash of Titans
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

How We Suffer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Review
Shlomo Katz - 5763

ArtScroll

A Good Eye
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Small Favors
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Tooth and Nail
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Don't Flaunt It
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Now I Know My Aleph-Bais
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

> Eisav's Reward
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Shabbos Chazon
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758



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