Monday, January 4, 2010

The Joy of Mitzvos

Rav Avraham Vaknin, zt”l, of Yerushalayim recounted the reaction of a simple poor Yerushalmi when the mitzvah of hashavas aveidah came his way.
This poor man was once walking through the streets bowed down with a heavy heart due to his many debts. The time for payment had arrived and he lacked the wherewithal to repay. As he shambled along, he suddenly noticed an expensive gold necklace on the ground. He immediately rejoiced at his good fortune. Although he lacked for money, he was overjoyed because Hashem had sent him such a precious mitzvah. He immediately set up several signs in the vicinity where the chain had been found and bided his time.
He waited one week, then a second, and even a month or two with no response. When six months had elapsed most people ignored the now tattered signs, but the finder ensured that they remained up, just in case.
Fully a year later, the owner of the necklace—who lived outside of Yerushalayim—found himself in the neighborhood again and ran into the signs. He immediately recalled his lost necklace and went to the address listed on the signs. The finder asked for simanim, which the owner immediately gave. The finder excused himself and had a look to verify that the necklace had all the simanim, and was thrilled when he saw that it did. After verifying that the owner was not in a rush, he begged him to wait a very short time and immediately ran out of the house.
After a minute or two passed people began to enter the house. When the eighth person entered the house, the baal habayis returned to join them and the owner of the necklace and begged the impromptu minyan to wash for a seudas mitzvah. He quickly set up a bare meal of bread and something to go with it and they all washed.
After everyone had eaten the baal habayis explained, “This is a seudas mitzvah, since I have the great opportunity to fulfill the Torah commandment of hashavas aveidah!”
After a long and heartfelt l’shem yichud, the finder returned the lost object with joy so profound it left a deep impression on all those present.

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