Today is 20 Tammuz, Yom Churban Telshe, and hence the yahrzeit of my great grandfather, Reb Meir Shmaryahu Schochet HY"D. May this sample of "Telzer Torah" be an illui neshomo for him, for my great grandmother Rachel HY"D who was murdered with the other women of Telshe on 7 Elul, for all the Kedoshim HY"D ZY"A, for my grandparents zt"l and my mother, Shulamis bas HaRav Dov Yehuda Schochet a"h.
One of my jobs entails going from top level yeshiva to top level yeshiva faherring groups of talmidim,, talking to them in learning. It is a supremely "fun" job, and I am grateful to have it, BH.
Last week I was at one of these top-level yeshivos, and we were talking about this Rashi:
רש"י על בבא קמא דף סו/א
יאוש - שנתייאשו הבעלים אמור רבנן דנקני ודיו אם משלם דמיו
I asked the bochurim to define yei'ush (despair, despondency,see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeiush).
One of them said, in the name of, I believe, Reb Boruch Ber, that yei'ush effects a "kelishus" (best translated, perhaps as a "weakness") in ba'alus (ownership).
This is the type of nomenclature that I pounce on gleefully. I asked: What does kelishus mean? Is ba'alus like an onion that has peels and yei'ush peels off a layer? Is ba'alus measured by weight, and full ba'alus is 10 lbs. of ba'alus and yei'ush means you only have 5 lbs. of ba'alus?
They didn't have great answers, so we moved on to other topics. Truth is, I hadn't a precise formulation on the spot myself, and was pressed for time.
A couple of days later, I sent the following message to one of the staff members at the yeshiva, and asked him to share it with the talmidim with whom I had spoken:
If you are able to get a message to the bachurim with whom I spoke, please them that a true Telzer would define the "kelishus" in ba'alus that is effected by yei'ush as a change in the gemirus da'as (the definitiveness of thought and attitude) of the ba'alim (the owner) vis-à-vis his dominion over the object. Just as a kinyan (sale or transfer) is really an expression of da'as makneh (the thought and attitude of the person selling or transferring the item), ba'alus is a relationship defined by the da'as of ownership which, when legitimate, is accepted by society as real and absolute, even though it is completely "virtual." There is a correlation between the da'as of the ba'alim and the da'as of society. When his conviction of ownership is diminished, the "off-limits" da'as of society vis-à-vis that ownership is also diminished, thus allowing for someone else to make a kinyan (acquisition).
ישמעו חכמים ויוסיפו לקח!
I would like to add here, that this understanding can lead to a ready explanation of the dichotomy between the manner in which yei'ush manifests in aveidah (in the finding of lost objects) and its manifestation in geneivah and gezeilah (the ownership over stolen and robbed items).
תן לחכם ויחכם עוד!