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There is another explanation that can resolve the question on Tosafos. In fact, when one derives monetary benefit from another person’s possessions he does owe him money for the benefit. But when there is no loss to the owner, we do not consider as if the benefit resulted directly from the owner’s possessions. Since he did not steal the item, he only has to pay the owner for a benefit that we can say belonged to the owner. When there is no loss to the owner, the benefit is not considered to be his. But when there is a loss to the owner, we say that the benefit is his and that if the squatter derived a monetary benefit he must pay the owner for it. This is because one only must pay for a benefit that has a monetary value, not for a benefit with no monetary value.

For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.

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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.
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