Dear Rabbi

A few weeks ago I was sleeping on the couch and I noticed some toonies and loonies below the cushion of the couch.
As I was sick and had no energy, I didn’t take them. The next day I noticed my dad laying down on the couch in the same spot he usually does, this was also the spot that I was laying on the previous day.
I noticed his pocket was aligned with the spot in-between two cushions, which led me to the thought that the coins may be his. As he hasn’t complained of lost coins I figured it was a lost item of his and he probably didn’t know it was lost.
My ethical dilemma: Is it mine to take, do I return it to my father, or do I leave it in the couch?

Thank you.

Answer:

You should return the coins to your father.

Although the general rule is that whoever finds coins can keep them for himself, in the case of a home setting, the assumption is that the coins belong to the father of the house. Even if somebody else were to have lost the coins, according to Jewish law the “house” itself acquires the loss on behalf of its owner, so that the coins should be given to your father.

The fact that your father sat with his pockets aligned with the spot is not really important in this analysis.

Best wishes.

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