Jewish Law

Returning a Lost Item

01.04.19

Question

My wife went grocery shopping. She placed all of the grocery bags in the trunk of the taxi and went home. When she arrived home, our two teenage daughters unloaded all of the items from the trunk onto the sidewalk and then into our apartment. The taxi pulled away. Only later did we realize that our daughters mistakenly took an unopened package of tissues that belonged to the taxi driver - they thought their mother bought it with the other groceries. The value of the item is 12-15 shekels. My wife has NO recollection of the taxi company. What should we do with the package of tissues?

Answer

To the Questioner, 

Make three calls to the dispatchers of three companies in your city (at the same time of day that your wife took the taxi home) that your wife may have used, so that they can ask over the radio whether anyone had a bag of tissues taken from them. 

If all the answers come back negative, take the amount that the tissues are worth, pronounce that you are giving this amount of money to tzedaka as a zchut for the real owner - which should be considered as if you are returning to him the amount of his possesions that was taken - and then give it to a tzedaka. 

You may then use the tissues. 

With blessing, 
Rav Nachum

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