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===If it’s not Befitting to Return a Lost Object===
 #For a respected or elderly individual, if it’s not befitting to pick up and return a lost object then one is exempt from the mitzvah and doesn’t have to pick up the object. <ref>S”A C”M 263:1 based on Mishna Baba Metzia 29b and Gemara 30a, Aruch Hashulchan 263:1, Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 157. see there note 69 where he quotes Shulchan Aruch Harav CM Hilchot Metzia Seif 36 that even it isn't specifically an exemption for a talmid chacham but includes someone distinguished for other reasons such as wealth, family or any other reason. He adds though that this exemption would not exist for someone who only feels distinguished because of an inflated ego. </ref> If he can wait there without compromising his dignity until someone else comes to pick it up and return it, he must do so.<ref>Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 157-158</ref>
#The general rule is that if the individual would not have picked his own item in such a situation, then he is exempt. <ref>S”A C”M 263:1 based Rava's comment on Baba Metzia 30b, Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 158</ref> However, had one picked up one’s own item because it’s not worth the trouble (and not because it’s beneath one’s dignity), one is still obligated in the mitzvah. <ref>Mamon Yisrael (Halachos of Others People’s Money by Rav Bodner, pg. 158), S”A HaRav (Hilchot Metziah #37) </ref>
#In a place where such an individual would not be embarrassed, one is obligated in the mitzvah. <ref>S”A C”M 263:2 </ref>
#Even if one is exempt it’s proper and good to go beyond the letter of the law and return the object. <ref>S”A C”M 263:3 </ref> However, some argue that a Talmid Chacham may not go beyond the letter of the law at the expense of the kavod for his Torah.<ref>Rama 263:3 argues on Shulchan Aruch and says that one may not return the item if it is beneath his dignity. Instead, if he wants to be strict he can pay out of his own pocket. Aruch Hashulchan 263:4 explains that the Rama's comment is only regarding a talmid chacham, whose dignity stems from the Torah he has acquired. People who are distinguished for other reasons, may be strict and go beyond the letter of the law to return an object. </ref>
#A woman is obligated in [[Hashavat Aviedah]] however if it’s not befitting to pick up such an object then one is exempt. <ref>Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A C”M 259,271 #4) </ref>
 
==Being Compensated==
# One may not charge for returning a lost object to its owner, even if returning it takes times and effort.<ref> Rosh Baba Metzia 2:28, Tosafot Baba Metzia 31b s.v. "Im", Tur and Shulchan Aruch C.M. 265:1, Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 181 </ref> However, if the owner understands that he doesn't have to pay but offers compensation as a token of appreciation, the finder may accept it.<ref> Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 182, Shu"T Teshuvot Vehanhagot 3:463 </ref>
# The finder is not required to lose money in order to return another person's item.<ref>Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 182</ref> This includes foregoing saving his own item<ref>The Mishna on Baba Metzia 33a states that his own lost item takes precedence over someone else's. This is codified by Shulchan Aruch C.M. 264:1. However, see Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 182 (based on Shulchan Aruch Harav Hilchot Metzia 33 that if the other person's item is worth more than his, and he feels certain that his friend will reimburse him for the loss he would incur in order to save that item, he is not permitted to save his own at the expense of his friend's.</ref>, incurring expenses of his own<ref>Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 183 based on Sma 264:1. However, he adds (based on SA Harav Hilchot Metzia 33) that if the finder feels certain that he will be reimbursed by the loser, he should spend the money.</ref>, losing wages<ref>Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 183, Shulchan Aruch Harav Hilcot Metzia 33. see there note i-j where he adds based on Rav Moshe Feinstein that even if he will not lose any salary but his employer objects to his taking the time, he is exempt from the mitzva during work hours. If he can pick it up and return it after work hours, he must do so.</ref>, losing potential profit.<ref>Halachos of Other People's Money pg. 182</ref>
==Where was it Found?==
#If one would attempt to return an item that was placed there intentionally, one could be hurting the owner rather than helping. If it is an item that has no simanim, then he won't be able to retrieve it, and even if it has simanim, it could be he wanted it there and now will have to chase you to get it back.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 260:9, Halachos of Others People’s Money pg. 144</ref> Therefore, if an item seems to have fallen, it is obviously a lost item. On the other hand, it if seems to have been placed or hidden, it might not be considered lost.<ref>Halachos of Others People’s Money by Rav Bodner, pg. 144</ref> Therefore, this would depend on where it is found. see the following halachot:
#If the object was found in a safe protected place, it can be assumed that the item was placed there by its owner and so the object is not considered lost and should not be touched.<ref>Rama 260:10 based on Baba Metzia 25b, Halachos of Others People’s Money pg. 145</ref> If one by accident picked it up, one should return it right away, but if one has left the area one may not return it but rather one must return the object. <ref>Rama and S”A C”M 260:9-10, Halachos of Others People’s Money pg. 145</ref> For example, if one found a key under a mat or a book on top of a public telephone booth, one shouldn’t pick up the object. <ref>Halachos of Others People’s Money pg. 146</ref>
#If an item is found in a unsafe place, the item is considered a lost object, even if it was clearly placed their intentionally.<ref>Halachos of Others People’s Money pg. 146 based on Rama 260:10</ref> For example, a book on a public bus station bench. <ref>Halachos of Others People’s Money pg. 146</ref>
===In an Institution===
#It’s appropriate that the administration of a public establishment put up a sign or made an announcement that will let those who go there that if objects are left there until a certain date the establishment will do as they see fit with the objects. <ref>Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A C”M 259,271 #28) </ref>
==What Items Must be Returned==

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