Bava Kamma 68 - The Owner Dispaired (Tort)

If a thief steals an object, and the owner despairs of ever getting it back, does this despair effect the acquisition by the thief? Rava says that it does not, because "...and you bring what is stolen, the lame, and the sick..." - just as lame has no remedy to make the offering fit, so too stealing makes it forever unfit because it remains stolen from the owner.

However, Rabbi Elazar says that since the thief is later punished for selling the article, the only way for his sale to be valid is if he has acquired title to it through its owner's despair.

Art: Poultry Seller by Gabriel Metsu

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