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The $98,000 Question

Yisroel Besser

Would you or wouldn’t you? For Rabbi Noach Muroff, the choice to return a huge sum of money was easy: The opportunity for a kiddush Hashem was simply too hard to pass up.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The city bus rolled through the streets ofCanada’s capital. There wasn’t much talk among the passengers — the weary late-afternoon crowd, the workers at the end of a long day, the students leaving school — most of them familiar to one another, if only by sight, from the daily commute. On a blue plastic seat, a serious young man sat lost in thought. The buds in his ears connected him to a world far beyondOttawa: the words of Rav Avigdor Miller sang like a wellspring of truth and clarity.

A tall gentleman stood up as his stop approached, and as the doors opened, he stepped out, swallowed by winter’s darkness. The student with the headphones noticed a small wad of bills where the fellow had been sitting. The young man immediately took the bills, a relatively small sum, planning to return them to their owner.

The next day, the gentleman wasn’t on the bus, or the day after. Finally, almost a week later, he was back in his usual seat. The delighted teenager removed the money from his pocket and returned it. “Here, I believe this money fell out of your pocket.”

The passenger was astonished. “You held on to the money for three days, waiting to see me?”

Young Noach Muroff, a student recently enrolled at the Ottawa Torah Institute, nodded politely. “Sure.” He accepted the flabbergasted thanks and sat back down with his earphones, back to Rav Miller.


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