[We begin with the Mishna on 29b.]

Mishna: If he found books [in the Mishnaic era, these were scrolls], he should read from them once every thirty days [to keep them from decaying]. And if he does not know how to read, he should unroll them. But he should not study [text] from them for the first time [because such extended study could lead to inadvertent damage], and should not read [the scroll] with another person [since the two people sharing the scroll could come to tear it]. If he found a garment, he should shake it out every thirty da ys, and spread it out for its own protection [i.e., to prevent decay], but not for his own honor [e.g., as a wall-hanging in his own home]. [If he found] silver or copper utensils, he can use them for their benefit [e.g., to prevent tarnish or disintegrat ion], but not enough to wear them out. [If he found] gold or glass utensils [which do not decay or disintegrate], he should not touch them until Elijah comes [at which time all outstanding halakhic problems, including questions of ownership will be resolv ed]. [If he found] a bag or a box or anything that he would not normally pick up, he does not have to pick it up. [This latter case refers to a dignified finder and a found object which the finder would not bother with even if it were his own.]

Gemara: Shmuel said: One who finds tfillin in the marketplace assesses their value immediately [and sells them], and sets the proceeds aside. [Recall that on 28b we learned that, according to R. Tarfon, the finder can sell an animal and use the proceeds. R. Tarfon's ruling was based on the fact that the finder must go to a great deal of trouble to care for a found animal. But in the case of tfillin, the finder does not have any "maintenance costs," so the rabbinic leniency does not apply.]

Ravina asked (citing our mishna): "If he found books, he reads from them once every thirty days, and if he does not know how to read, he unrolls them." [The mishna says] "he unrolls them," [but the mishna does _not_ say "He assesses their value and sets t he proceeds aside." [The ruling on tfillin seems inconistent with our mishna!]

[The gemara answers:] Abbaye said: Tfillin are readily found in the house of Bar Chavu, but books are not readily available. [Bar Chavu was apparently a well-known seller of tfillin. When the owner appears, the finder can give him the money, and the owner can purchase another pair of tfillin. But books are harder to find, and cannot be easily replaced, so the finder should keep the books until the owner comes to reclaim them.]

The rabbis learned [in a b'raita]: One who borrows a Torah scroll from his fellow Jew may not lend it to someone else. He may open it and read from it, except that he should not read from it for the first time [as in the mishna, because such intense study could cause damage], and should not read it with another person [again, as in the mishna]. Similarly, if one deposits a Torah scroll with is fellow Jew [e.g., as a guarantee for a loan], he should roll it every twelve months, he may open it and read it, but if he opened it for his own purpoes, it is forbidden. Sumchus [Symmachus, a disciple of R, Meir] says: A new [Torah scroll, which requires more regular airing] every thirty days, an old one every twelve months. R. Eliezer b. Yaakov said: In either cas e, every twelve months.

The Master said (in the b'raita): "One who borrows a Torah scroll from a fellow Jew may not lend it to another person."

Why specify a Torah scroll? Shouldn't this be true of anything (that could be damaged)?

[The next bit of text is based on Gittin 29a. A husband H appionts agent A1 to deliver a get; A1 is permitted to appoint another agent, A2, to complete the delivery. But if H appointed A1 to deliver the get and to retrieve an item from the wife, A1 may no t appoint A2, because H may not want anyone but A1 to handle the retrieved item. R. Shimon b. Lakish extends this to a general rule that a borrower may not lend a borrowed item to someone else.]

As R. Shimon b. Lakish said: Here (in the mishna in Gittin) Rabbi (the redactor of the mishna) said that a borrower cannot lend (the borrowed item to another person), nor is a renter permitted to rent (to another person). [So why does our b'raita specify a Torah scroll? The prohibition against a borrower lending to another person should apply to _any_ item.]

The gemara answers: The Torah scroll must be spefically mentioned because one might assume that a person is satisifed to have a mitzva performed with his property. So the b'raita informs us that this does not apply [i.e., even though we may assume that pe ople like having their property used for mitzvot, a borrower cannt lend a Torah scroll to someone else.

[The b'raita further stated:] "If he opened it, he may read it." Obviously?!! Why else did he borrow it?

[The gemara answers:] It is necessary for the last phrase -- "except that he should not learn from it the first time."

[The b'raita continued:] "Similarly, if one deposits a Torah scroll with a fellow Jew, he should unroll it every twelve months. He may open it and read from it."

[The gemara asks:] Why can he use it (for his own purposes)? Furthermore, (the b'raita said) "if he opened it for his own purposes it is forbidden." But it just said that he may open it and read from it?

[The gemara answers:] While he is unrolling it, he may read it, but if he opened it for his own purposes, he is forbidden to do so.

[The b'raita continued:] Sumchus said with a new (Torah scroll, he should unroll it) every thirty days, with an old one every twelve months. R. Eliezer b. Yaakov said in either case, it is twelve months.

[The gemara asks:] R. Eliezer b. Yaakov's ruling is the same as the Tanna Kamma [the "first" or "main" author of the b'raita -- so what is R. Eliezer adding?].

[The gemara answers:] Instead (read the b'raita as follows): R. Eliezer b. Yaakov said "In either case [old scroll or new, one must unroll it] every thirty days. [Rashi points out that this makes our mishna's statement {that scrolls in general should be u nrolled every thirty days, with no distinction between old or new scrolls} consistent with the position of R. Eliezer b. Yaakov.]

[It might be noted that whenever the oral tradition of a particular halakah is in dispute, R. Eliezer b. Yaakov's version - if available - is taken to be particularly reliable. The statement "R. Eliezer b. Yaakov's (tradition of the) Mishnah is small in q uantity but well sifted" appears several times in the Talmud.]

[Our mishna said:] But he should not study [material from a scroll] for the first time, nor should someone else read together with him.

They noted a contradiction (from a b'raita which reads): He should not read a portion and review it (while caring for the scroll), nor should he read it and translate it, and he should not open more than three columns at a time, and three people should no t read from it at once -- suggesting that two people _can_ read from it [which is inconsistent with our mishna].

Abbaye said: This is not a problem. Here (in our mishna), we are dealing with (two people reading) one passage, but there (in the b'raita), we are dealing with two people reading different passages [i.e., two people reading one passage may pull on the scr oll and damage it; two people reading different passages are less likely to damage the scroll].

[The above is the interpretation of Rashi and the Rosh (R. Asher b. Yehiel), but Rambam differs: Two people can read one passage safely but if they read two different passages there is danger that they might pull the scroll apart and damage it.]

[The next section of our mishna:] If a person found a garment, he should shake it out once every thirty days.

[The gemara asks:] Does this indicate that shaking a garment is beneficial to it? But R. Yohanan said that one who has a professional weaver in the household should shake his garment out every day! [R. Yohanan's statement was clearly sarcastic; daily shak ing will ruin the garment.]

They said: [Shaking the garment] every day is harmful, but once every thirty days is beneficial.

Or you may say that there is no problem: Here (the mishna) refers to one person (shaking it out), and there (R. Yohanan's statement) refers to two people shaking it.

Or you may say that there is no problem: Here (the mishna) refers to shaking by hand, and there (R. Yohanan's statement) refers to beating the garment with a stick.

Or you may say that there is no problem: Here (R. Yohanan's statement) refers to a wool garment (which is more delicate), and there (our mishna) refers to a linen garment (which is sturdier). [This follows Rashi's translation. The Vilna Gaon, apparently b othered by the change in order cites alternative analyses, e.g the Rif (R. Yitzhak Alfasi) and Rambam, that reverse the order. In any event, the essential meaning of the text is clear -- the disagreement between our mishna and R. Yohanan is attributed to garments made of different fabrics.]

[The gemara often picks up on tangential issues, and what follows is an example. Having cited one practical bit of advice by R. Yohanan on shaking our garments, the gemara goes on to cite several other bits of practical advice attributed to him.]

R. Yohanan said: A person should drink a cup prepared by sorcerers, but not a cup of lukewarm water [which is even more dangerous than a sorcerer's cup]. But this applies only for a metal utensil, but in an earthenware utensil, there is no danger (in drin king lukewarm water). And even in a metal utensil, this only applies if the water was not boiled, but if the water was boiled, there is no danger. And this (the danger of lukewarm water) applies only if there were no other ingredients (Rashi: spices, root s, or grasses), but if there were other ingredients, there is no danger.

And R. Yohanan said: If one's father left a great deal of money and he wants to lose it, he should wear linen clothing, and use glass utensils, and hire workers but not supervise them.

(The gemara comments:) "Wear linen clothing" -- Roman linen [which was very delicate]. "Use glass utensils" -- white [or perhaps clear] glass [which is especially delicate]. "Hire workers and not supervise them" -- ox drivers, where there is the possibili ty of substantial loss. [Rashi explains that this refers to oxen used to pull wagons in vineyards; unless carefully supervised, the oxen would wander off the path, and damage the vines. Tosafot explains that the reference is to ensuring that the plows use d to planting be adjusted so that the seeds are sufficiently deep.]

We end at the top line on bm 30a.

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