web analytics
May 5, 2015 / 16 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Lucky To Be Robbed


Lessons-logo

It was December of 1980. I was walking towards the Kotel, Judaism’s holiest site. I recalled that a Torah friend of mine had explained before I left New York

“No Jewish neshamah can withstand the powerful emotional connection with the Shechinah (Divine Presence) at the Kotel. The Wall will literally pull you into its warm holiness, and you will start to cry.”

As I got closer to the Wall, I asked myself in concern, “What if I don’t react and I don’t cry? Does that mean that because I am a ba’al teshuvah and I wasted 42 years on nonsense, that I am not privileged to shed tears during this metaphysical encounter?” I then remember the saying “When one prays for forgiveness, or for Hashem’s help, and tears accompany these prayers, Hashem listens to you more attentively.”

Let’s go back to the how and why of my 7,000 mile journey to the “Mount where Hashem is seen.” What motivated me to travel to Jerusalem? Was I on a holy pilgrimage? Did I have in mind the mitzvah of walking around the gates of Zion and counting her towers?

No! My motives for going to Israel had no religious basis. I traveled to the Holy Land for one reason only – to catch a thief!! I wanted to recover stolen merchandise.

A few weeks before, the district attorney’s office of the City of New York had incredibly allowed a jewelry merchant to leave the U.S. for a vacation to Israel after he had unlawfully relieved 40 gem and jewelry dealers out of approximately five million dollars of merchandise during one week’s rampage.

This merchant, who had been honest for over 20 years, acted with premeditation and total lack of conscience as he let his yetzer ha’ra (evil inclination) go wild. How could such a formerly righteous person make 40 mistakes in one week? He robbed 40 Jewish and non-Jewish merchants of about $120,000 worth of merchandise each.

At a meeting of the Diamond Dealers Club, we found out that the culprit has skipped to Israel. They decided to send me to Israel to try to find him, serve him with the proper warrants for his appearance in court and recover everyone’s merchandise.

After appearing in an Israeli court and making numerous unsuccessful trips to the country’s senior police officers, I accomplished nothing. I didn’t recover any merchandise, not did I find any trace of the thief. I was searching in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Years later, I found out that he was seen swimming in a hotel pool in Eilat.

Now let’s look at the bright side!

Every morning, before going out on my mission, I first went to the Kotel. Sure enough, the tears flowed down my cheeks as I stood before the Holy Shechinah. I prayed for my wife and children, and for everyone else who needed help. I felt Hashem’s Presence, and to this day, my neshamah has become more sensitive to the fulfillment of the Torah’s mitzvos. Had I not experienced the holiness of the Kotel, I do not know if my faith would be as strong as it is today.

Thus, the true importance of my trip to Israel became clear. I had gone to Israel to find a thief. Instead, I found my own neshamah.

About the Author: George H. Gisser, known as the Monsey Maggid, recently published Happy Kappy – the Flying Kangaroo (Who couldn’t hop!) for four- to eight-year-olds. His new screenplay, “Snowbirds,” is a warm, Jewish-oriented fictional comedy. He can be reached at georgegisser@gmail.com. Visit www.kappythekangaroo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Lucky To Be Robbed”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Aftermath of Texas attack by terrorists in attack now claimed by the Islamic State.
ISIS Claims ‘Credit’ for Attack at Mohammed Cartoon Contest
Latest Judaism Stories
Social Media pic

With ubiquitous texting, social media, & email, society is mislead to think that words are ephemeral

Safar-050115-Califlower

Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with – it blends so easily into whatever dish I am preparing.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

It’s an interesting idea, that love is illustrated by understanding another’s needs.

Niehaus-050115

“Keeping” Shabbos means to guard it and make sure to keep every aspect and detail of it.

Pesach is a time when we can grow in this perspective. But merely spending a week working on something will not leave any lasting impression on us.

“There is a diamond necklace that I wear on special occasions,” Mrs. Miller told her husband. “It was recently appraised at $6,000. If need be, we can give that as collateral.”

Morah for a parent is connected to shemiras Shabbos because the Shechina shines on, and through, the Sabbath.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reprove your fellow and do not bear a sin because of him.” – Vayikra 19:17   When the Torah mentions the obligation to rebuke a fellow Jew, it ends with the words “and do not carry a sin because of him.” The Targum translates […]

The Bais Halevi answers that we must properly define what is considered to be “in the middle of a mitzvah.”

They had realized they would be far from civilization and kosher food and had packed plenty of fresh and canned food as well as making sure there was a microwave in their room which they knew how to kasher.

He was deeply saddened by the thought of her going to her final resting place alone and that it appeared as if she knew no one and had no family who cared about her.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

The Debt Lives On
‘The Orphans’ Mitzvah To Repay Their Father’s Debts’
(Ketubot 91b)

Rabbi Fohrman asks what’s the connection between animal sacrifices and leaving crops for the poor?

Putting parents before oneself is a step toward putting the more abstract concept of God before self

More Articles from George H. Gisser
Lessons-logo

Approximately 30 days before Shavuos, my fondest friend, Joshua, a prominent diamond importer, invited me to his Fifth Avenue office. “Chaim, I want to show you a beautiful stone. Maybe you have a customer, and I am sure you could use the broker’s commission” (usually not more than two percent).

Lessons-logo

It was a chilly Shabbos morning in 1984 when my friend, a pearl importer, and I were walking up the long steep road to the hilltop synagogue in Kobe, Japan.

When we finally reached the flat street on top of the hill, I was out of breath. There was a feeling of joy and accomplishment when the shul came into view. Only 50 more feet to go!

It was December of 1980. I was walking towards the Kotel, Judaism’s holiest site. I recalled that a Torah friend of mine had explained before I left New York

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/lucky-to-be-robbed/2009/03/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: