Sep 282016

Two people are holding onto a tallit – each one claiming he found it.  Each one says it’s all mine.  The mishna rules that each one swears that no less than half is his and they split it (or sell it and split the value).  The gemara struggles with the double language (“I found it” and “it’s all mine”) and suggests that either there is only one case here and the double language is coming to teach that if you find something with your eyes, without physically taking it, you have not acquired any rights to it.  The second explanation given is that there are 2 cases: one regarding a lost item and one regarding a purchased item that each side claims he purchased it however the seller gave it to one and not the other (even though both paid the money).  Comparisons are then made to other tannitic debates regarding money claimed by two people in an attempt to show who the tanna of our mishna sides with; however the gemara rejects the comparisons as it claims the cases are not similar.

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