"I" found an object left behind after a Jewish event in a public venue (let's say a hotel). "I" don't know who the owner is. The owner will likely come back to the venue to ask if the object was found.

"I" picked it up, so now "I" am responsible to return this object to the owner. Can "I" leave it at the front desk, or the equivalent thereof, for the person who lost it to find it there?

What if "I" can send out an email to a list of attendees telling them that whoever lost their item can get it at the front desk?

  • 1
    FFR you can link multiple phrases to the same link at the bottom by putting the same phrase in each bracket. Consider, for example, the formatting here: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/23171/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 4:14
  • I believe that the responsibility of returning a lost object can be designated to a shaliach (representative), which, is, essentially, what you are attempting. Have to research further.
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 13:37
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    Why not give the front desk your number and tell them to distribute it to anyone looking for said lost object? Best of both worlds! Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


Assuming the object is of minimal value (sufficient that the owner won't abandon it) and has simanim (signs allowing someone to recognize the object), the mitzva of asheivat aveida (returning a lost object) is to announce (traditionally in a place where people congregate, e.g., in a marketplace or synagogue) you found an object (without all the details so you can test if the person claiming it is really the owner) and keep it until the person comes and asks for it.

So publicizing the fact you found it on the email list of attendees feels perfectly in line with the law. If leaving it at the front desk makes it easier to get it back, it also feels like the logical thing to do.

Really your obligation is to do all you reasonably can to publicize the fact you found it (for up to a year or three holidays if I recall correctly).

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