[bm32a We begin with the Mishna.]
Mishna: If one found [an animal] in a barn, he is not obligated to return it [since it was presumably not lost]; on public property, he is obligated to return it.
If the lost item was in a cemetery [and the finder is a kohen], he should not become tamei [ritually impure, by entering the cemetery] to retrieve it. If his father said "[Retrieve it and] become tamei," or told him [in the case of a lost item that was no t in a cemetery] "do not return the item," he should not listen [to his father].
[The next part of the mishna deals with the obligation to help loading and unloading a beast of burden. The gemara has already discussed some of these issues, based on this mishna, so it may seem familiar. The case involves a heavily loaded animal that is lying down; one can assist by unloading packages so that the animal will stand up, and then reloading the packages on the standing animal.]
If he unloaded an animal and then reloaded it [and the animal lay down], and then unloaded and reloaded, he is obligated to help even four of five times, as the Torah says (Ex 23:5) "help you shall help with him." If the owner walked away and sat and said [to a passerby] 'Since it's your mitzva, you can unload if you want to [but I'm not going to help]', he [the passerby] is exempt, for the Torah said "with him." But if the owner was old or sick, he [the passerby] is obligated to help.
It is a mitzva from the Torah to unload an animal, but not to reload it. R. Shimon says [it is a mitzva] even to reload.
R. Yose haG'lili says if it was carrying more than its [appropriate] load, he is not obligated to [help] him, for the Torah says (Ex 23:5) "under its load" -- a load that it can stand with.
Gemara: [The gemara begins with the opening phrase of the mishna, that one is not obligated to return an animal found in a barn. That seems pretty obvious. The gemara will explain.]
Rava said: The barn [that the rabbis] discussed was not one that would cause the animal to run away [e.g., very uncomforatble, or without food, water, or bedding], and was not protected [or locked]. We know it is not one that would cause the animal to run away, for we learned that he is not obligated to return it. [If we had reason to believe that the animal would run away, we would_ be obligated to return it]. And we know it is not protected, since is was necessary for the mishna to tell us that he is no t obligated [i.e., there must have been _some_ reason to suspect an obligation to return the animal].
If we had assumed that the barn protected the animal ... we know that, if he found an animal outside, he can [fulfil the obligation to return the animal by bringing it into the barn: cf. bm 31a.] -- if it is already inside, it is obvious that he does not have to retrieve it. From this we learn that [the barn in the mishna] is unprotected.
[Our mishna said:] If he found (an animal) in a barn, he does not have to retrieve it.
R. Yitzchak said: This applies if it was standing within the t'chum. [The t'chum is a boundary 2000 amot outside the city limits. The most common relevance of a t'chum is for Shabbat; one may not travel beyond the t'chum on Shabbat.]
This implies that [the next phrase of our mishna, that says that one is obligated to retrieve an animal found in] a public place also refers to an animal found within the t'chum. [The assumption is that both the case of the animal found in a barn and an a nimal found in a public place refer to locations within the t'chum.]
There are those who taught [R. Yitzchak's statement] with respect to the second phrase in the mishnah, that one is obligated (to return the lost animal if found on) public property. R. Yitzchak said this applies to an animal standing outside the t'chum. T his implies that, in the case of the barn, he is not obligated to retrieve it even if it is outside the t'chum.
[Thus, according to the first interpretation, animals found on public property must always be retrieved, but animals found in barns must be retrieved only if the barn was outside the t'chum. According to the second interpretation, animals in a barn should never be retrieved, but animals found in public places should be retrieved only if the place was outside the t'chum.]
[Our mishna said that if the finder was a kohen and the lost item was] In a cemetery, he should not make himself tamei [by entering the cemetery, even if his father asks him to do so].
The rabbis taught a b'raita: How do we know that if a kohen's father said ["Retrieve the item and] become tamei" or tells him "Do not return this item" [referring to an item that _can_ be returned], that he [the son] should not listen [to the father]? It says (Lev 19:3) "You shall each revere his his mother and his father, and keep My sabbaths; I am the Lord your God" -- and you are all [including the mother and father] obligated to honor Me.
The reason [that the son must disobey the father] is because the Merciful One wrote "Observe my Sabbaths." If that had not been written, I would have said that the son should obey the father. But why? This [the obligation to obey one's father] is a positi ve commandment, and this [the obligation to return a lost item] is a negative commandment [Deut 22:3 -- that you cannot turn away] and a positive commandment [Deut 22:1 -- the obligation to return a lost item]. And there is a general principle that a posi tive commandment (alone) cannot supersede a negative commandment and a positive commandment! [Thus, even without the biblical phrase about observing Sabbaths, we would have been known that the son should not listen to the father's instructions not to retu rn an item. So why do we need the biblical verse?]
You _do_ need the biblical verse, for you might have thought that honoring your parents is comparable to honoring God. It says here (Ex 20:12) "Honor your father and your mother." Andit says later (Prov 3:9) "Honor God with your property." [Since the term "honor" us used in both contexts, you might conclude that honoring God and one's parents are equally important and the son should] therefore obey [your father], so [the Torah] tells us that he should not obey him.
[The Tosafot express surprise that the Talmud draws on Proverbs to sustantiate a halakhic argument, even one that is going to be refuted. They suggest that a better choice might have been a match between the citation from Levit. 19:3 above and (Deut. 6:13 ) "Revere only the Lord your God". Their rather obvious conclusion is that the Talmud preferred to use "honor" rather than "revere".]
[Our mishna:] It is a mitzva in the Torah to unload [cargo from an animal], but not to load [the cargo on the animal].
What does "but not to load" mean? If it means not to load at all, why is unloading [which the mishna _does_ consider a mitzva] different? Because it is written (Ex 32:5 with respect to unloading) "help, you shall help him"? It is also written (Deut 22:4, with respect to loading) "raise you shall raise him"? [In other words, there is biblical support for both loading and unloading; why is only unloading counted as a mitzva?]
Rather, it is a mitzva from the Torah to unload for free, but not to load for free; one gets paid. R. Shimon says it is even a commandment to load for free.
We have learned in a mishna what the rabbis taught in a b'raita: Unloading for free, unloading for payment. R. Shimon says: both for free.
What is the rationale for the rabbis [who permit payment for loading]? If you hold like R. Shimon [loading and unloading for free], the Merciful One should have written about loading, and we would have been able to deduce unloading. Just as with loading t here is no suffering for the animal [if you do not help the owner load the cargo on the beast], and there is no monetary loss [if you don't help], and you are obligated to help ... in the case of loading, where there is suffering for the animal [if you do n't help] and there is monetary loss [if, by not helping, the probability of injury to the animal increases], you are certainly obligated to help. So why did the Merciful One explicitly write [unloading]? To tell you that you unload for free and unload fo r payment.
And what is R. Shimon's rationale? The biblical verses are ambiguous. [The verses do not explicitly distinguish between loading and unloading. If the Torah had only one verse, we would assume only the more obvious obligation -- to unload the suffering ani mal. The second verse is required to establish the obligation for loading, not to show that one gets paid for loading.]
And the rabbis? [How would they respond to R. Shimon?] Why are the sentences ambiguous? Here (Ex 23:5) it says "lying down under its burden" [thus clearly referring to unloading]. There (Deut 22:4) [it describes the animal as] "falling by the road", imply ing that both the animal and its cargo have fallen. [The word "falling" is plural. And the case suggests that the cargo must be loaded on to the animal.]
And R. Shimon would explain "falling by the road" to imply that the animals are lying with their cargo on them [so that the case involves unloading, not loading].
[We end on the last line of 32a.]
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