כאבני בית קוליס מהו If they were configured like the stones of the house of worship dedicated to the Roman deity Mercury, what is the halakha?
ת"ש דתניא מצא מעות מפוזרות הרי אלו שלו כאבני בית קוליס חייב להכריז ואלו הן אבני בית קוליס אחת מכאן ואחת מכאן ואחת על גביהן The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a resolution of the dilemma. As it is taught in a baraita: If one found scattered coins, these belong to him. If they were configured like the stones of the house of worship dedicated to Mercury, he is obligated to proclaim his find. The Gemara explains: And these are coins that were configured like the stones of the house of worship dedicated to Mercury: One was situated here on one side, and one was situated there alongside it, and one was situated atop the two of them.
תנו רבנן המוצא סלע בשוק ומצאו חבירו ואמר לו שלי היא חדשה היא נירונית היא של מלך פלוני היא לא אמר כלום ולא עוד אלא אפילו שמו כתוב עליה לא אמר כלום לפי שאין סימן למטבע דאמר דלמא אפוקי אפקה ומאיניש אחרינא נפל: § The Sages taught in a baraita: In the case of one who finds a sela coin in the marketplace and another person finds him and says: It is mine, and the distinguishing mark is that it is new, or that it is a coin minted by the emperor Nero, or that it is minted by king so-and-so, he has not said anything and the finder need not give him the sela. Moreover, even if his name is written on the sela he has not said anything, due to the fact that there is no distinguishing mark for a coin that is effective in its recovery, as the finder says: Perhaps he spent the coin and it fell from another person.
מתני׳ מצא אחר הגפה או אחר הגדר גוזלות מקושרים או בשבילין שבשדות הרי זה לא יגע בהן מצא כלי באשפה אם מכוסה לא יגע בו אם מגולה נוטל ומכריז: MISHNA: If one found, behind a wooden fence or behind a stone fence, bound fledglings, or if he found them in the paths that run through fields, he may not touch them, as they were certainly placed there intentionally. In a case where one found a vessel in a garbage dump, if it is concealed, he may not touch it, as a person certainly concealed it there. If it is exposed, the finder takes the item and proclaims his find.
גמ׳ מאי טעמא דאמרינן הני אינש אצנעינהו ואי שקיל להו לית להו למרייהו סימנא בגווייהו הלכך לשבקינהו עד דאתי מרייהו ושקיל להו GEMARA: What is the reason that one may not touch the fledglings? The Gemara answers: The reason is that we say with regard to these birds: A person concealed them, and if one takes them, their owner has no distinguishing mark on them that would enable him to reclaim them. Therefore, let the finder leave the birds in place until their owner comes and takes them.
ואמאי ליהוי קשר סימנא אמר רבי אבא בר זבדא אמר רב במקושרין בכנפיהן דכולי עלמא הכי מקטרי להו The Gemara asks: But why? Let the knot binding them serve as their distinguishing mark. Rabbi Abba bar Zavda said that Rav said: This is a case where the birds were bound at their wings. Since everyone binds them in that manner, the knot binding the birds is not a distinguishing mark.
ולהוי מקום סימן אמר רב עוקבא בר חמא במדדין אי במדדין מעלמא אתו ומותרין The Gemara asks: And let their location serve as their distinguishing mark. Rav Ukva bar Ḥama said: This is a case where the birds hop and do not remain in place. The Gemara asks: If it is a case where the birds hop, perhaps the birds came to that location from elsewhere and it is permitted for the finder to keep them.
איכא למימר מעלמא אתו ואיכא למימר אינש אצנעינהו והוה ליה ספק הינוח ואמר רבי אבא בר זבדא אמר רב כל ספק הינוח לכתחילה לא יטול ואם נטל לא יחזיר: The Gemara answers: It can be said that the birds came from elsewhere and it can be said that a person concealed them, and the result is uncertainty with regard to whether the placement of the birds was deliberate, i.e., whether or not they are lost items. And Rabbi Abba bar Zavda says that Rav says: In any case of uncertainty as to whether the placement of an item was deliberate, one may not take it ab initio. And if he took it, he need not return it.
מצא כלי באשפה מכוסה לא יגע בו מגולה נוטל ומכריז: ורמינהו מצא כלי טמון באשפה נוטל ומכריז שכן דרך אשפה לפנות § The mishna teaches: In a case where one found a vessel in a garbage dump, if it is concealed, he may not touch it, as a person certainly concealed it there. If it is exposed, the finder takes the item and proclaims his find. The Gemara raises a contradiction from a baraita: If one found a vessel concealed in a garbage dump, the finder takes the item and proclaims his find, because it is routine for a garbage dump to be cleared. Therefore, presumably it was not placed there; rather, it is a lost item and one is obligated to proclaim his find.
אמר רב זביד לא קשיא הא בכובי וכסי הא בסכיני והמניק בכובי וכסי לא יגע בסכיני והמניק נוטל ומכריז Rav Zevid said that this is not difficult: This mishna is referring to containers or cups. That baraita is referring to knives or a fork [vehamnik]. The Gemara elaborates: In the case of containers or cups, which are large, it is inconceivable that they fell there inadvertently, so he may not touch them. In the case of knives or forks, which are small, there is room for uncertainty as to whether it was placed there or whether it fell, so the finder takes the item and proclaims his find.
רב פפא אמר הא והא בכובי וכסי ולא קשיא כאן באשפה העשויה לפנות כאן באשפה שאינה עשויה לפנות Rav Pappa said: Both this baraita and that mishna are referring to containers and cups, and nevertheless, it is not difficult: Here, the baraita is referring to a garbage dump that is designed to be cleared; therefore, he must take the vessel and proclaim his find to prevent it from being cleared with the garbage. There, the mishna is referring to a garbage dump that is not designed to be cleared; as it is possible that the owner placed it there, the finder may not touch it.
אשפה העשויה לפנות אבידה מדעת היא אלא באשפה שאינה עשויה לפנות ונמלך עליה לפנותה The Gemara asks: How could one be obligated to proclaim his find of a vessel in a garbage dump that is designed to be cleared? Even if the owner of the vessel concealed it there, it is a deliberate loss and the owner renounced ownership of the vessel. The Gemara answers: Rather, the baraita is referring to a garbage dump that is not designed to be cleared, and the owner of the land reconsidered and decided to clear it.
בשלמא לרב פפא היינו דקתני שכן דרך אשפה לפנות אלא לרב זביד מאי שכן דרך אשפה לפנות שכן דרך אשפה לפנות לה כלים קטנים: The Gemara asks: Granted, according to Rav Pappa, this is the reason that the tanna teaches in the baraita: He takes it and proclaims his find, because it is routine for a garbage dump to be cleared, as the ruling is dependent on whether the dump is ultimately cleared. But according to Rav Zevid, the reason for the ruling in the baraita is that the utensils found were knives and forks. What is the relevance of the statement in the baraita: Because it is routine for a garbage dump to be cleared? The Gemara answers that according to Rav Zevid, it means: Because it is routine for a garbage dump to inadvertently have small utensils cleared, i.e., discarded, into it.
מתני׳ מצא בגל ובכותל ישן הרי אלו שלו מצא בכותל חדש מחציו ולחוץ שלו מחציו ולפנים של בעל הבית אם היה משכירו לאחרים אפילו בתוך הבית הרי אלו שלו: MISHNA: If one found lost items in a heap of stone rubble or in an old wall, these belong to him. If one found lost items in a new wall from its midpoint and outward, they belong to him. If he found the items from its midpoint and inward, they belong to the homeowner. If the homeowner would rent the house to others on a regular basis and there was a steady turnover of residents, even if one found lost items inside the house, these belong to him. Since the owner of the lost items cannot be identified based on location, he will certainly despair of recovering his lost items.
גמ׳ תנא מפני שיכול לומר לו של אמוריים הן אטו אמורים מצנעי ישראל לא מצנעי לא צריכא GEMARA: The mishna teaches that if one found a lost item in a heap of rubble or in an old wall it belongs to him. The Sages taught in a baraita: It is his due to the fact that when the owner of the heap or wall claims the property, the finder can say to him: They belong to the Amorites, who lived in Eretz Yisrael before it was conquered by the Jews. The Gemara asks: Is that to say that Amorites conceal items but Jews do not conceal items? Perhaps it was the homeowner who placed the item in the wall or the heap. The Gemara answers: No, the baraita is necessary only in the specific case