Sunday, May 3, 2009

Undignified Retrieval, part II


We learned yesterday that one is not required to return someone's lost property if it is beneath his dignity. We defined "beanth his dignity" as a case in which one would not even retrieve such an item, in such a position, for himself.

One certainly may transcend the law and forgive his dignity, and retrieve the item for the person.

However, there is a dispute as to whether one may transcend the law and return this object anyway, if a person's dignity comes from his standing in Torah study - in other words, may a sage forgive the honor of his Torah and stoop into the gutter to pick up the tennis ball, or does he not have the right to do so, since the honor comes from Torah and not from himself.

Even if one may not do this, though, he certainly may transcend the law by financially making up the loss to the party who lost the item.

(Code of Jewish Law Choshen Mishpat 263:3)

Have a great day,

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