Friday, March 14, 2014

Searching Out The Owner

The American (and Israeli) media was impressed by the fact that Rabbi Noach Muroff returned the close to one hundred thousand dollars he found in a desk bought via Craig's List.
The desk, purchased for $150 dollars, turned out to be hiding $98,000 stuffed in a ShopRite plastic bag, that had fallen behind the file cabinet.
And Muroff gave it all back.
Muroff bought the desk last September, right before Rosh Hashanah. When it wouldn’t fit through the door, he and his wife had to disassemble it. That’s when they spotted a shopping bag full of a cash inheritance that the previous owner assumed had been lost somewhere in her home.

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/194400/honest-rabbi-returned-k-and-inspired-us/#ixzz2vuZzA7v9
I thought of it last night at work when a man came in to retrieve a bag of clothes he had inadvertently left in a shopping cart in the Rami Levy, Sha'ar Binyamin parking lot. In our case, when the supermarket worker who had found the bag gave it to kupah rashit, managers office at the entrance/exit of the supermarket, they gave it to the Yafiz check-out counter.  There the receipt was traced and apparently the customer had paid with a credit card which afforded sufficient identification to locate and contact him.  That's one of the reasons it pays to write your name clearly and sign in your phone number when signing the receipt to the store. Not everyone does it. We always make an effort to return such lost bags, which may not happen daily, but each story has a better chance for a happy ending if you do.

The Israeli practice when it comes to a "found" items follows the Jewish Law to return lost item to its owner. A couple of times I've even taken the bag home, so that it would be easier for the owner to pick it up directly from me rather than having to return to Sha'ar Binyamin.  We've all done that.

Over twenty years ago, when I was working in a Jerusalem store, my pocketbook, including wallet, identification etc were stolen at work.  A couple of months later I got a postcard from the "Lost and Found," aka in Israel "Returning Lost Items" department of the Tel Aviv Bus Station that something of mine had been found. I traveled to Tel Aviv and discovered that my pocketbook, identification and change/coins were all there. The thief  had "only" taken the bills.

Yes, Israel is a Jewish Country with Jewish values, B"H.

Admittedly there is still a need for improvement, but we're all supposed to constantly do teshuva, repent and attempt to improve ourselves.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Purim Sameach!

1 comment:

Yael Shahar said...

My rav once told me that the proper way to answer "tizkeh l'mitzvot!" was with an even greater blessing: "Tizkeh l'he'asot!"--not to do mitzvot, but rather, to cause others to do mitzvot! By demonstrating Jewish values again and again, we cause the norms to shift toward greater love Bein Adam l'Adam. And that's just what you've done with this post! Yeshar Kochech!