There is a famous Hebrew phrase “Kol Yisrael Areivim Ze La Ze”. In English it means ‘All of the Jewish Nation feels responsible for one another.’ I had this beautiful phrase come to life this past week, with a simple good deed, and as you’ll see in the two videos, I couldn’t have been happier!

As I was traveling on the bus I came across a lost wallet. I immediately thought about the owner of the wallet that was probably wracking her mind for where she could have lost it. So I immediately opened it up to look for clues. I found her name on her ID, a credit card and an insurance card. And I told Eli, the sweet Egged Bus Driver, that I’ll take the wallet and find the owner. He wished me luck and said Tizki L’Mitzvot. It made me smile to hear him care about the situation.

As it was a Friday, a few hours before Shabbat, I wasn’t sure I’d be successful at locating the owner in time. I called the number on the insurance card, listened to and understood the menu in Hebrew, and surprisingly there was someone that answered. I told him the dilemma and he wanted to help right away! After I gave him the number on the card, he called her phone number but there was no answer. He gave me her 2 phone numbers, wished me good luck, a Kol Hakavod, and a Shabbat Shalom! I love this country!!

I called Vivian’s home number, but there was no answer so I called her cell. She answered and I explained who I was and why I was calling. She responded, in my favorite Israeli way, “Why! Why! Why!” But since there’s no ‘W’ sound, it was more like , “Vi! Vi! Vi!”

She was in the car at that moment with her daughter, so she came to meet me. She stopped in the roundabout, we exchanged excited hellos and thank yous and your welcomes and she drove off because all the cars were now impatiently honking at her car. I won’t lie, I was a little let down that I couldn’t talk to her longer or even take a photo together! But I was thrilled that in under an hour from the time I located the wallet, it was back in her possession!

I went inside my apartment and decided to share the story with all of you in video form that you can watch here:

But then, to my surprise, on Sunday I received a phone call! It was from Vivian! She wanted to come by to talk to me and bring me a gift. I told her the gift was not necessary but I was thrilled for her to come over. Oh how I love Israelis- they give out such generous, sincere, heartwarming blessings. She was so grateful and I kept thinking- it’s just what I hope everyone would do. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary or exceptional. It’s just what every decent human being should want to do- return someone’s lost belonging.

I especially loved the open invitation to visit her and meet her sweet grandchildren.
This is Israel.
Israel is family.
Israel is home.

Watch the second video when I meet with Vivian here!