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



View Complete List

The Condition of Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Getting to Know the Yetzer Hara
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

What Ends Must Have Begun!
Shlomo Katz - 5773

> A Mate, not a Maid!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

And What a Beginning it Was!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Marriage Is About Giving
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5776


It Was a Misunderstanding...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Evil Without
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

The Easy Way Out!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Delayed "Ki Tov"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Picking Up the Pieces
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Strong Belief
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Heavenly Truth and the Earthly Truth
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

From Dust To G-dliness
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5764

"If He Does Not Merit", Then "Opposite Him"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Concentric Circles:Contrasting Worlds
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information