The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 1 November 2008 / 3 Heshvan 5769

Needle in Haystack Key in Sea

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Countless stories are told about Jews who miraculously recovered lost items as a result of making a pledge to give charity. One such story publicized by a charity organization called "Kupat Ha’ihr Bnei Brak" tells of a Jerusalem family that took a trip to the beach in Ashdod.

In order to save time on a Friday afternoon the head of the family decided to avoid public transportation and instead made an arrangement with a friend who owned a large van. When they reached the beach he suggested to the driver to lock up the van and join them in the refreshing water.

Everyone enjoyed the outing; adults swimming and the youngsters building castles in the sand. When it came to make the trip back to Jerusalem in time to prepare for Shabbat, the driver suddenly realized that the key to the van that he wore around his neck upon entering the water had been lost in the sea. Despair descended on the family but the father dramatically announced that he would make a donation to the Kupat Ha’ihr if the key was found. His hope of finding a key in the sea struck everyone as remote as finding a needle in a haystack. One of the youngsters took the initiative of asking the lifeguard on duty whether someone had brought him a lost key. He said that one minute before he had gotten to the lifeguard's station a swimmer had brought the key from the sea.

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