June 7, 2012 1:11 am at 1:11 am #603701ohr chodeshMember
If you go to shul and when leaving notice that someone mistakenly took your coat and left their similar (but different) coat in its stead, what is your responsibility? Can you take it or must you leave it (as it would be geneiva)?
And if you must leave it, does it matter that it is freezing cold outside and thus forcing you to go home without a proper coat?
Any difference if instead of a coat the case was of another object (an umbrella, for example, or some other item)?June 7, 2012 4:39 am at 4:39 am #879138
AFAIK, no heter to take it.June 7, 2012 4:45 am at 4:45 am #879139pcozMember
is it devarim shebeleiv ubeleiv kol adam that the person who took yours would want you to take theirs to stop you getting soaked?June 7, 2012 5:42 am at 5:42 am #879140mommamia22Participant
What a great question.June 7, 2012 8:32 am at 8:32 am #879141
I always keep my coat with me in shul. A little awkward maybe, but at least I’ll never lose it.June 7, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #879142
is it devarim shebeleiv ubeleiv kol adam that the person who took yours would want you to take theirs to stop you getting soaked?
Highly doubtful. You’d have to find a source for that; it’s not “mistaver”.June 7, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm #879143ItcheSrulikMember
The guy who took your coat is a sho’el. If you take his you are a shomer avaida. Alternatively you can say that like most of choshen mishpat it’s talui b’minhag and the minhag is that you use it until the next tefilla where you both show up and switch back.
Of course, you can avoid this situation entirely by not buying a coat that looks exactly like everyone else’s.June 7, 2012 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #879144cherrybimParticipant
The only time that it is permissible to take the exchanged clothing is when someone took your clothing at the mikva and left his; because of kavod habrios.June 7, 2012 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #879145
I found this, from the Chicago Community Kollel. Footnote 8 does quote a heter. Ask your posek; I don’t know if it is commonly accepted.
Rabbi Moshe Rosenstein
The Halachic Background
The Gemora [Bava Basra 41a] and Shulchan Aruch [Choshen Mishpat 136:2] [clothing that was switched with his own]
The Practical Halacha
We will discuss how the poskim instruct us to deal with various different practical scenarios of switched articles of clothing.
An item is missing and there is another, similar item left in its place:
Even if one is completely certain that his item (coat, towel, hat, etc.) was taken accidentally and he is certain that the item left behind belongs to the person who took his (i.e. it is very similar and hanging in the same place his was left), under most circumstances it will not be permissible for him to take the item left behind, even for temporary use.
There is, however, an exception to this rule. If the finder can assume that enough time has passed and the true owner of the item left behind has already realized that he accidentally took the wrong item, it is permissible for the finder to take and use the item left behind.2
Some poskim, however, do not consider this a permanent status. They contend that if two criteria are met, the finder may indeed use the item he took home. If both
If these conditions are met, the poskim say, it can be assumed that the original owner has not only given up hope of finding his item, but he has also resolved himself to considering this switch permanent.3 Some add that before using the item the finder should estimate its monetary value and write in his monetary record books that should he find the actual owner he will pay him back for the item.4
There is, however, an exception to this leniency. If the switched items are exactly the same, then there is no way for the finder to ever be sure that the original owner has even realized that a switch took place. Under these circumstances, it will not be permissible for him to use the item he has found.5
A prevalent custom not to be particular about allowing use of an item
There are certain rulings found in the later poskim that should be mentioned regarding this topic. As with all issues of this nature, a shailoh should be asked if one feels that a situation has arisen that would require clarification of the Halacha.
Additionally, if the finder knows who the owner of the left-behind coat is, and knows that the owner would not mind allowing him to use his coat, it will be permissible.
1 See Rashbam B.B. s.v. harei zeh and Shulchan Aruch C.M. 358:5
4 Mishpitei HaTorah vol. 3 3:17. [He does not mention the reasoning above in note 3.]
5 Pischei Choshen ibid. s.v. ela.
6 C.M. 136:2
Rabbi Rosenstein is a full-time member of the Kollel and is a frequent contributor to Halacha Encounters.June 7, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #879146pcozMember
– Highly doubtful – I think most people would feel very uncomfortable if they found out that you came home soaking wet in your shabbos clothes becuase they took your coat
– You’d have to find a source for that – this is a question of birur hametziyos
– it’s not “mistaver” – as per first pointJune 8, 2012 1:01 am at 1:01 am #879147
I think most people would feel very uncomfortable if they found out that you came home soaking wet in your shabbos clothes becuase they took your coat
Is this considered a “rov”, and can it be relied upon where there is a chashash of gezel?June 10, 2012 6:23 am at 6:23 am #879148Shticky GuyParticipant
My LOR brought a Psak from one of the gedolim of the previous generation that although you may not wear the coat, you may take it home to ensure that the other guy makes the effort to find you once he realizes his mistakeJune 11, 2012 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #879149yungerman1Participant
Shticky Guy- I would assume that R’ Yakov Kaminetzky is saying the same thing. You can take it, but there is no heter to use it.
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