Question:

hi, I walked into shul and found a kamaia written on a klaf with the text that Reb Shayala Kerestirer ztz”l used to write on many of his kamaias. I felt that sitting there on the table, the small peice of parchment that it is with its unintelligible letters (which i was only able to identify because i just returned from a trip to the aforementioned tzadik’s kever and studied his life a bit) it would likely be thrown out or trampled on . so i took it with me and put up a sign next to the place where i found it with my phone number on it. I’m not sure if it can be considered as having a siman – one vuv is posibly slightly shorter than usual. my question is 1. did I act correctly? or should I do something different? 2. I would be thrilled to be able to keep the kamaia, although i would be happier to do the mitzva of hashovas avaida. so assuming that i did the right thing is there any time limit after which there would be no sort of even chumra to announce the item. 3 after I hung up the sign in shul if the gabai takes my sign down must I replace it? how many times? 4. may I walk around with the kamaia until the rightful owner comes to claim it, if i take care to wrap it in plastic so that it doesnt get ruined?

Answer:

You did the correct thing by putting up a sign next to the place where you found it with your phone number on it and by hanging up a sign in shul. The sign should be there long enough that we can assume that that the people attending the shul saw it. If no one claims it you can keep it. Keep a record of the date and place you found it with a short description of the kamaia and it’s approx value, so that if at some future date some one does come to claim it you will have all the relevant details necessary.

Sources:

Teshvas Igros Moshe CH:M 2:55-4

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