Just outside the doors of a Jewish grocery store was a case of water bottles. The box was ripped and lying on its side, and some of the bottles were lying on the ground. Can you keep the water bottles?

1 Answer 1


Halachipedia has an article on returning lost objects.

The critical element here is whether the water bottles have some form of identification (siman) which ensures that the owner has not despaired of getting them back.

I have extracted some relevant elements:

The amount, weight, or length is considered a siman only if that’s unique and not if that item is normally sold or found in that standard amount, weight, or length.

Number of pieces found can be considered a siman.

A unique wrapper, envelope, or basket is considered a siman on the item that is in it.

The way something is tied can also be a good siman. An item that’s attached to the item can function as a siman such a tag.

The location where the item was placed is a siman.

The claimant must identify the specific location within the property and not just the general area or property where it was left.

I think that one or more of the above apply in this case and one cannot therefore keep the water bottles.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .