We similarly learned (in a b'raita): If one found a garment or an ax on a public street, or a cow running through vineyards, it is [i.e., can be considered] lost. A garment near a fence or an ax near a fence is not (considered) lost [presumably it was lef t there on purpose]. But after three consecutive days, it is (considered) lost. If one saw water flowing towards a field (and the water would damage the field), he erects a dike (to divert the water).
Rava said: "For _any_ lost item of your brother" (Deut 22:3, after referring specifically to a lost donkey or garment) -- to include loss of land.
[According to Rava, the word _any_ ("kol") appears to be superfluous: "For a lost item etc." would have been general enough, so _any_ must have been included to teach us something new: damage to real estate - for example, by flooding.]
Rav Chanania said to Rava: A supporting b'raita was taught: If one saw flowing water approaching (a field), he should erect a dike in front (of the water). [Rav Chanania is implying that Rav's exegetic reading is unnecessary.]
Rava said: If (your support is) because of this (b'raita), there is no support. Here (in the b'raita) what are we dealing with? With a case in which there are sheaves on the field. [In other words, the b'raita deals with the obligation to save personal pr operty. Rava's exegetic ruling goes beyond that, and asserts that there is also an obligation to save real estate.]
[Rav Chanania's rebuttal:] If there are sheaves, why must we even say it? [Obviously, there is an obligation to save personal property. The b'raita must be coming to teach us some new principle -- presumably the obligation to save real property, so the Ra va's exegesis of "any" is not needed for this purpose.]
No; [the b'raita] is needed to teach the case of sheaves that still need (i.e., that have been left on) the ground (to dry, but have not yet completely dried out). You might think that, since they still need the ground, they are _like_ the ground (and nee d not be saved) -- thus the b'raita teaches us (that one _is_ obligated to save them). [Thus, Rava seems to have successfully argued that the b'raita does not deal with the obligation to save real estate, and his exegesis is required. However, both disput ants agree that, in practice, one _is_ required to save real property from damage.]
[Our mishna said:] If he found a donkey or a cow [grazing near a road, it is not considered lost, but if the donkey's trappings were in disarray or the cow was running through a vineyard, it should be considered lost].
This is self-contradictory: First you say that a donkey or cow grazing near a road is not considered lost. This implies that if it is running on the road or grazing in the vineyards, it _is_ lost. But look at the latter part of the mishna: a donkey with i ts trappings overturned or a cow running through a vineyard _is_ considered lost ... which implies that if it were running on the road or grazing in the vineyard, it is _not_ lost.
Abbaye said: "The thunder will tell" [that it is raining (Job 36:33) -- i.e., analysis of one case will shed light on the other case]. Grazing near the road is not lost, and the same is true for grazing in the vineyard. Running through the vineyard is los t, and the same is true for running on the road. [In other words, grazing animals are not considered lost, and running animals are.]
Rava said: If "the thunder will tell," [i.e., if that is the method of analysis], let the mishna teach less extreme cases, and we would know the more extreme case. Let the mishna teach that running by the road is a lost animal, and certainly (we would ded uce the case of) running in a vineyard [where there is the possibility of its being injured by tripping over the vines]. Let the mishna teach that grazing in the vineyard [where ther is still some danger of tripping] is not considered lost, and we would c ertainly know that (an animal) grazing near the road is not considered lost! [But it doesn't! In other words, Abbaye's analysis does not answer the question of whether or not an animal grazing in the vineyard is considered lost.]
Instead, Rava said, the cases of running [near the road or in a vineyard] are not contradictory: One case is when it is running outwards [away from the owner, so it is considered lost] and one is when it is running towards the city [and would not be consi dered lost].
Similarly, the cases of grazing are not contradictory. One case deals with the animal itself [which is not lost]. The other case deals with the loss of the land [incurred by the grazing, where there _is_ a loss]. When the mishna teaches that an animal gra zing near a road is not considered a loss, it implies that an animal grazing in a vineyard [though not lost itself] _is_ considered a loss -- loss to the vineyard [and one must retrieve the animal to save the vineyard]. When the mishna teaches that an ani mal running through a vineyard is a loss, implying that one grazing in a vineyard is not a loss, it is referring only to the loss of the animal. If it it running through a vineyard it will be injured [and must be retrieved for its protection]; if it is gr azing in a vineyard, it will not be injured [and does not have to be retrieved].
[The gemara asks:] But if it is grazing in a vineyard, it may not be injured, but there still is the damage to the land?
[The gemara answers: It is grazing in the vineyard of] A Cuthite [i.e., an idolater: the biblical requirement of returning a lost item only applies to items lost by Jews -- check back on bm 24a and 24b for some of the discussion].
But we should derive [the obligation to remove a grazing animal from a vineyard owned by Cuthites] lest they kill the animal?!
[The gemara replies:] This refers to a place in which they [the Cuthites] warn [for the first offense], and kill [the animal] only for the second offense].
[The gemara challenges:] Maybe they already warned the owner?
[The gemara responds:] If they warned the owner and he was not careful with it, it is certainly an intentionally abandoned item [and there is no obligation to return it].
[Our misnhah, re an animal that ran away:] If he returned it and it ran away, and he returned it and it ran away. [One is obligated to return an animal even if it repeatedly escapes.]
One of the rabbis said to Rava: Let us say (that the Torah [Deut 22:1] says) "Return" meaning one time, "you shall return" meaning twice [i.e., that one is obligated to return an escaped animal only two times].
Rava said: "Return" means even 100 times [so "you shall return" must add another halakhic element]. "You shall return" -- I might assume (you must return the animal to the owner's) house; how do I know that you can return it to his garden or deserted buil ding? The Torah says "You shall return" -- in any case (as appropriate).
What is the case? If it (the garden or deserted building) is protected, the ruling is obvious. If it is not protected, why (is one considered to have fulfilled the obligation)?
[The gemara answers:] Really, it refers to a protected place, and the verse informs us that we do not require the owner's knowledge [i.e., one does not have to inform the owner that the animal has been returned].
And this is consistent with R. Elazar, who said (B. Kama 57a): Everything requires the owner's knowledge except for returning a lost object, where the Torah included many kinds of "returning." [Rashi explains that "everything" refers to a thief returning a stolen animal, or a watchman returning an animal that had been under his care; these people would be held responsible if they did not tell the owner and the animal was stolen before the owner's realized that the animal had been returned.]
[It will be recalled that in the previous section the question arose whether the repetition in Deut 22:1: "Return ...you shall return" implies that an animal who repeatedly escapes has to be returned twice. Rava's answer was that the first "return" alread y implies multiple - i.e. more than two - returns of a repeatedly lost animal, so "you shall return" broadens the scope of the commandment by allowing the finder to return the animal to the owner's property and not necessarily to him personally.
It often occurs in the Talmud that instances of formally similar discussions are grouped together although they are not directly related to the central issue. In the first of two such instances Rava was asked about the mitzva of "Shilu'ach ha'ken." The To rah (Deut 22:7) says that, if one finds a nest with a mother bird and chicks, "You shall send away, send away the mother, and the young you may keep for yourself, so that it will be good for you and your days will be lengthened. In his response, Rava adhe res to the same exegetical principle regarding repetition of the operative phrase (which in Hebrew is a single verb repeated in a different mode) in a scriptural commandment: the repetition has nothing to do with the number of times that the commandment h as to be obeyed, but indicates a generalization of the commandment.]
"You shall send away, send away" (Deut 22:7): "You shall send away" means one time, (the repeated phrase) "send away" means two times. [This suggests that there is an obligation to chase the mother bird only twice. But the mishna on Hullin 141a indicates that one must chase the mother bird even four or five times.]
Rava said: "You shall send away" (the first phrase) implies even a hundred times. "Send away" (the repeated phrase, is needed for the following case): You might think (on the basis of the first phrase) only for elective uses [i.e., you might assume that y ou must send the mother away only if you want the chicks for eating or some other personal optional use] -- how do you know [that the obligation also applies for chicks used] for a mitzva [e.g., for a sacrifice that requires birds -- perhaps one is not re quired to send the mother away]? The Torah says "send away" (the second phrase) to include all circumstances [i.e., even for a mitzva, one is obligated to chase the mother].
[A similar question arises about the biblical requirement to rebuke a person who is sinning. The Torah says (Lev 19:17) "You shall rebuke, rebuke your friend."]
One of the rabbis asked Rava: "You shall rebuke" means once, "rebuke" (the repeated phrase) means two times [implying that there is an obligation to rebuke only twice].
Rava said: "You shall rebuke" implies even a hundred times. "Rebuke" (the second phrase comes to teach the following): (From the first phrase) you know that a teacher must rebuke a student. How do you know that a student must rebuke a teacher? The Torah s ays "Rebuke you shall rebuke" -- under all circumstances [i.e., even a student rebuking a teacher].
[The gemara continues its discussion of repeated biblical phrases with an analysis of Exodus 23:5: "If you see your enemy's donkey lying down under its load and not help him, you shall help, help him."]
"You shall help, help him." This shows only that you must help if the owner is there [assisting in unburdening the animal]; from where do we learn that [one must assist] even if the owner is not there [i.e., if the owner is physically unable to help]? "Yo u shall help, help" -- [the duplication of the phrase implies] under all circumstances. [We will see in the next mishna that one is obligated to help if the owner is incapable of doing the task himself. One is _not_ obligated to help is the owner simply r efuses to do the task.]
[The text above describes the responsibility to unburden an animal. The next bit of text discusses the obligation to assist in _loading_ an animal, based on Deut 22:4: "You shall not see your brother's donkey or ox fallen on the road and turn away from th em; you shall raise them, raise them with him." Again, the exegesis will focus on the duplication of phrases.]
"You shall raise them, raise them with him." This shows only that you must help if the owner is there [assisting in loading the animal]; from where do we learn that [one must assist] even if the owner is not there [i.e., if the owner is physically unable to help]? "You shall raise them, raise them with him" -- [the duplication of the phrase implies] under all circumstances.
Why did the Torah have to write [the obligation to help] unloading and also [the obligation to help] loading?
It is necessary. If the Torah [literally, the Merciful One] had written only unloading, I would have assumed that it is because of the animal's suffering and because of the owner's potential financial loss [the animal might be injured or weakened if the l oad is not removed quickly]. But I might assume that there is no obligation to help in loading, when there is no suffering to the animal and no financial loss to the owner.
And if the Torah had only told us the laws of loading, I would assume that [the obligation exists because of] payment [p. 32a. So you must assist in loading, because you will be paid for your work]. But I might assume that there is no obligation to assist in unloading, which is done for free. Therefore, it is necessary [for the Torah to specify the obligation to assist in both loading and unloading].
But according to R. Shimon, who says that even loading must be done for free, what is there to say [i.e., why did the Torah have to specify both -- if the Torah obligated assistance in loading, we would be able to derive the obligation to unload]? Accordi ng to R. Shimon, the verses are ambiguous [i.e., one cannot tell from the biblical texts which refers to unloading and which refers to loading. The obligation to unload seems most obvious, and, if there were only one verse, we would not have a source for the obligation to assist in loading. And that is why, according to R. Shimon, both verses are needed.]
Why must the Torah write those two (loading and unloading), _and_ returning a lost item? [The obligation to help loading and unloading are instances of helping protect another person's property. If we had only those verses, wouldn't we be able to derive o n our own the obligation to return any lost item?]
Both laws are necessary. If the Torah wrote only those two [loading and unloading, I would assume that the obligation was based on] the anguish of the owner and the suffering of the animal. But a lost (inanimate) item, in which there is anguish for the ow ner but no discomfort for the item itself, I might think [that there is no obligation to return it].
And if the Torah taught only the obligation to return a lost item, [I might assume that there is an obligation only because] the owner is not there [and obviously cannot retrieve the lost item]. But in the case of these two (loading and unloading), I migh t think that there is no obligation to help.
Therefore it is necessary [for the Torah to specify both the loading-unloading obligation and the obligation to return a lost item].
[We end on the second line of 31b.]
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