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The Return of a Lost Object: 60 years later

The Torah commands us to return lost objects.

Returning a lost object is one of the 613 commandments.

When I was sixteen, my parents gave me a gold necklace with my engraved Hebrew name.

I cherished this piece of jewelry beyond its estimated monetary value. To me, it was priceless.

My parents were immigrants from Poland and they worked steadily so my sister and I could have a good life; not an expensive life, but a good life. My mother worked part time at home. My father was a rabbi without a congregation.

There was no excess. We had what we needed: food, clothing, a safe place to live. So I knew that this necklace was a financial sacrifice. I imagined that every week they would put aside a certain amount of money, until they had saved enough to order this singular necklace designed and carried out by our neighborhood jeweler.

The necklace sat comfortably around my neck for several years, but then, one day, it disappeared never to return. For years I had dreamed that it would miraculously appear in a coat pocket, in my mother’s music box, under the bed and between the sheets, at the bottom of the laundry basket under a bunch of clothing. I looked in everything, everywhere, and all at once.

The necklace was an object of selfless love for a teenage daughter. As I write about it, I still harbor my own guilt about my carelessness in misplacing it.

Last week, I celebrated my 76th birthday and for my birthday, my granddaughter, Sivan, handed me a small shiny silver box. Nestled inside the wafer-thin paper was a gold necklace with my Hebrew name engraved on it.

How did she know?

Several weeks ago, after admiring her gold necklace engraved with her name, I retold her the story of my own gold choker. My forever lost object. She remembered and searched to replace my lost object with a similar necklace.

No, it wasn’t exactly like the first one, but it was just as precious and just as priceless and just as perfect. This selfless love had been stored up for six decades. The love had never been lost. I regained it all through the loving kindness of my fourteen year old granddaughter. My heart has been repaired.


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