“Thus shall you treat his ass, as well as his garment,
as well as any of your brother’s lost property, which he has lost” (Dt.22:3).
If it was an ass [that he lost],
it works [for the finder] and eats [at the finder’s expense].2
A [simple] cloak—
the finder must shake it out once every thirty days.
And he may air it out for its own maintenance,
but not to enhance his wardrobe.
Silver or bronze pots—
the finder may use them for their own maintenance,
but not to wear them out.
the finder may use them to prevent dry-rot.3
Now, a [fine] garment should be included
within the category of lost property—
so, why does the verse single it out for special mention?
In order to draw out a comparison
with other lost property!
Just as a [fine] garment is distinctive,
in that it bears unique markings
and has claimants [who can identify them],
so, too, we apply the category of lost property
to any object
that bears unique markings
and has claimants [who can identify them].
Now, I might infer only that
these objects alone—
[i.e., livestock, garments, utensils]—
are included within the rule.
On what basis do I include
other sorts of lost objects
[such as gold and glassware]?4
The Teaching states:
“As well as any of your brother’s lost property, which he has lost” (Dt.22:3)—
except for an object worth less than a perutah.5
R. Judah says:
“And which you have found” (Dt.22:3)—
the rule includes an object worth even less than a perutah!
“You may not turn a blind eye” (Dt.22:3)—
this phrase treats the rule as a proscription.