A person who finds a lost object takes on responsibility not only to return the item but to make reasonable efforts to keep it in good condition until the owner comes to claim it.
For instance, the Mishna (Bava Metzia 2:8) states that books (in those days, scrolls) must be read – or at least opened up – periodically to air them out and prevent damage. This mandate could provide a benefit to the finder, as he or she is then able to learn from a book that might not have been otherwise accessible; however, there are also guidelines to prevent taking advantage and potentially damaging the book in the process of airing it out, such as a rule against two people reading from the scroll at once.
Two TorahTutors students, who happen to be siblings, appreciated the Mishna’s realistic acknowledgment that when two people share a book, they may be so eager to learn that they grab or tug a bit…
While learning from a physical book certainly has benefits, TorahTutors is glad that sharing texts on our screens avoids any possible damage to the text.
We’d love to safely share some Jewish texts with you!
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A Tuesday TorahTutors tidbit: real Torah, from real TorahTutors sessions.