In an instance in which an object is found prior to forfeiture by despair ( Ye'ush) the finder is obligated to return the item. However, in an instance in which despair is presumed either implicitly or explicitly, the finder can keep the item. What is the Halacha in a case where an item is found with no presumption of forfeiture thereby obligating its return, yet forfeiture from the original owner comes in between the finding of the object and its successful return. Can the finder keep the object? Or since it came to him in a predicament requiring its return, the ultimate forfeiture is irrelevant?

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  • Welcome to MY and thanks for the question. I don't think "forfeiture" is the right translation for "Ye'ush". Cambridge English Dictionary, forfeiture = "the loss of rights, property, or money, especially as a result of breaking a legal agreement". May 11 at 15:11
  • @AvrohomYitzchok, right it really means "despair" or something of that nature. I just lifted the term employed by an article I read on JLaw. Not sure what the etiquette is here re using Hebrew words, etc
    – user28684
    May 11 at 15:23
  • 2
    See Bava Metzia 26B and Shulchan Aruch 259:1 which indicates that he would be rewuired to return it.
    – Chatzkel
    May 11 at 16:10


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