Mishnah Bava Metzia
1א׳
1 א

שְׁנַיִם אוֹחֲזִין בְּטַלִּית, זֶה אוֹמֵר אֲנִי מְצָאתִיהָ וְזֶה אוֹמֵר אֲנִי מְצָאתִיהָ, זֶה אוֹמֵר כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁלִּי וְזֶה אוֹמֵר כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁלִּי, זֶה יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָהּ פָּחוֹת מֵחֶצְיָהּ, וְזֶה יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָהּ פָּחוֹת מֵחֶצְיָהּ, וְיַחֲלֹקוּ. זֶה אוֹמֵר כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁלִּי וְזֶה אוֹמֵר חֶצְיָהּ שֶׁלִּי, הָאוֹמֵר כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁלִּי, יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָהּ פָּחוֹת מִשְּׁלשָׁה חֲלָקִים, וְהָאוֹמֵר חֶצְיָהּ שֶׁלִּי, יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָהּ פָּחוֹת מֵרְבִיעַ. זֶה נוֹטֵל שְׁלשָׁה חֲלָקִים, וְזֶה נוֹטֵל רְבִיעַ:

Two are holding a garment. One says, "I found it," and the other says, "I found it." [If] one says, "all of it is mine" and the other says, "all of it is mine." This one shall swear that he owns no less than half of it, and this one shall swear that he owns no less than half of it, and they shall divide it [between them.] [If] one says, "all of it is mine" and the other says "half of it is mine." The one who says "all of it is mine" shall swear that he owns no less than three quarters of it; and the one who says "half of it is mine" shall swear that he owns no less than one quarter of it. He [the former] takes three quarters and he [the latter] takes one quarter.

2 ב

הָיוּ שְׁנַיִם רוֹכְבִין עַל גַּבֵּי בְהֵמָה, אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה אֶחָד רוֹכֵב וְאֶחָד מַנְהִיג, זֶה אוֹמֵר כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁלִּי, וְזֶה אוֹמֵר כֻּלָּהּ שֶׁלִּי, זֶה יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָהּ פָּחוֹת מֵחֶצְיָהּ, וְזֶה יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בָהּ פָּחוֹת מֵחֶצְיָהּ, וְיַחֲלֹקוּ. בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵם מוֹדִים אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶן עֵדִים, חוֹלְקִים בְּלֹא שְׁבוּעָה:

Two [men] were riding on an animal, or one was riding and one was leading. One says, "all of it is mine," and the other one says, "all of it is mine." This one shall swear that he owns no less than half of it, and the other one shall swear that he owns no less than half of it, and they will divide it. In a situation where they agree, or they have witnesses, they divide it without an oath.

3 ג

הָיָה רוֹכֵב עַל גַּבֵּי בְהֵמָה וְרָאָה אֶת הַמְּצִיאָה, וְאָמַר לַחֲבֵרוֹ תְּנֶהָ לִי, נְטָלָהּ וְאָמַר אֲנִי זָכִיתִי בָהּ, זָכָה בָהּ. אִם מִשֶּׁנְּתָנָהּ לוֹ אָמַר אֲנִי זָכִיתִי בָהּ תְּחִלָּה, לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם:

One was riding on an animal and saw an object, and said to his fellow, "give it to me." The [other] took it and said, "I have acquired it," [then] he has acquired it [for himself.] If the [other] gave it to him [the one riding the animal] and then said, "I acquired it [for myself] first," [it is as if] he said nothing.

4 ד

רָאָה אֶת הַמְּצִיאָה וְנָפַל עָלֶיהָ, וּבָא אַחֵר וְהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ, זֶה שֶׁהֶחֱזִיק בָּהּ זָכָה בָהּ. רָאָה אוֹתָן רָצִין אַחַר מְצִיאָה, אַחַר צְבִי שָׁבוּר, אַחַר גּוֹזָלוֹת שֶׁלֹּא פָרְחוּ, וְאָמַר זָכְתָה לִי שָׂדִי, זָכְתָה לוֹ. הָיָה צְבִי רָץ כְּדַרְכּוֹ, אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ גוֹזָלוֹת מַפְרִיחִין, וְאָמַר זָכְתָה לִי שָׂדִי, לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם:

If he saw an object and fell on it, and another came and took possession of it, the one who took possession of it acquired it. If he saw them running after an object, or after a deer [with a] broken [leg], or after hatchlings that have not yet flown, and he said, "my field has acquired it for me," [the field] has acquired it for him. If the deer was running normally, or the hatchlings were flying, and he said, "my field has acquired it for me," [it is as if] he said nothing.

5 ה

מְצִיאַת בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ הַקְּטַנִּים, מְצִיאַת עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הַכְּנַעֲנִים, מְצִיאַת אִשְׁתּוֹ, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ שֶׁלּוֹ. מְצִיאַת בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ הַגְּדוֹלִים, מְצִיאַת עַבְדּוֹ וְשִׁפְחָתוֹ הָעִבְרִים, מְצִיאַת אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁגֵּרְשָׁהּ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָתַן כְּתֻבָּתָהּ, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ שֶׁלָּהֶן:

Something found by his minor son or daughter, or something found by his gentile servant or maid-servant, or something found by his wife - these belong to him. Something found by his adult son or daughter, or something found by his Hebrew servant or maid-servant, or something found by his wife whom he divorced, even if he has not yet paid her the value of her ketubah [monetary settlement payable to a married woman upon divorce or the death of her husband], these belong to them.

6 ו

מָצָא שְׁטָרֵי חוֹב, אִם יֵשׁ בָּהֶן אַחֲרָיוּת נְכָסִים, לֹא יַחֲזִיר, שֶׁבֵּית דִּין נִפְרָעִין מֵהֶן, אֵין בָּהֶן אַחֲרָיוּת נְכָסִים, יַחֲזִיר, שֶׁאֵין בֵּית דִּין נִפְרָעִין מֵהֶן, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, בֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ לֹא יַחֲזִיר, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבֵּית דִּין נִפְרָעִין מֵהֶן:

If one finds debt documents: if it includes mortgaged property, it should not be returned [to the creditor], for the court may seize the property from them [because of the strength of the document]. However, if there is no mortgaged property mentioned, it may be returned, for the courts will not seize property from them - these are the words of Rabbi Meir. The Sages say, in either case, it should not be returned, because the court may [nevertheless] seize property from them [because of the strength of the document].

7 ז

מָצָא גִטֵּי נָשִׁים, וְשִׁחְרוּרֵי עֲבָדִים, דְּיָתֵיקֵי, מַתָּנָה וְשׁוֹבְרִים, הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יַחֲזִיר, שֶׁאֲנִי אוֹמֵר כְּתוּבִים הָיוּ וְנִמְלַךְ עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹּא לִתְּנָם:

If one found divorce documents, or a document of manumission of slaves, a [last] will, the deed of a gift, or receipts; one should not return [them to the writer], for I might say, "They were written, and then I changed my mind [and decided] not to give them."

8 ח

מָצָא אִגְּרוֹת שׁוּם וְאִגְּרוֹת מָזוֹן, שְׁטָרֵי חֲלִיצָה וּמֵאוּנִין, וּשְׁטָרֵי בֵרוּרִין, וְכָל מַעֲשֵׂה בֵית דִּין, הֲרֵי זֶה יַחֲזִיר. מָצָא בַחֲפִיסָה אוֹ בִדְלֻסְקְמָא, תַּכְרִיךְ שֶׁל שְׁטָרוֹת, אוֹ אֲגֻדָּה שֶׁל שְׁטָרוֹת, הֲרֵי זֶה יַחֲזִיר. וְכַמָּה אֲגֻדָּה שֶׁל שְׁטָרוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה קְשׁוּרִין זֶה בָזֶה. רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, אֶחָד הַלֹּוֶה מִשְּׁלשָׁה, יַחֲזִיר לַלֹּוֶה, שְׁלשָׁה הַלֹּוִין מֵאֶחָד, יַחֲזִיר לַמַּלְוֶה. מָצָא שְׁטָר בֵּין שְׁטָרוֹתָיו וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מַה טִּיבוֹ, יְהֵא מֻנָּח עַד שֶׁיָּבֹא אֵלִיָּהוּ. אִם יֵשׁ עִמָּהֶן סִמְפּוֹנוֹת, יַעֲשֶׂה מַה שֶּׁבַּסִּמְפּוֹנוֹת:

If one found court-ordered property assessments, allowances [for a widow to sell property] for food, documents of chalitsah [ceremony performed to release a widow of a childless man from the obligation of Levirate marriage] or mi'un [refusal by an orphaned girl, married off while a minor by her mother or brothers, to remain in the marriage; the marriage is ended by her refusal, without a divorce], documents of arbitration, or [documents of] any court action, one should return [these documents]. [However,] if one found them in a packet or a bag, wrapped together or as a bundle of documents, he should return [them]. And how is a bundle of documents [defined]? - three tied together. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says, if the document records a borrower from three lenders, it should be returned to the borrower; three borrowers from one lender, should be returned to the lender. If one found a document in his files but doesn't know its history, it should be left until Eliyahu comes [and resolves it]. However, if there are postscripts, one should follow what is in the postscripts.