Honesty Is The Best Policy

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Every crooked deal and every violent incident seems to grab the headlines while acts of honesty and kindness usually go unreported. Perhaps if newspapers would publicize and emphasize acts of righteousness and civility then people would be inspired to act likewise.

Here is a story that doesn’t happen too often and certainly deserves banner headlines. We can all take a lesson from it!

Moshe Solomon, an Orthodox Jew living in Yitzhar, a small community in Shomron in Israel, recently bought a beautiful used Mitsubishi car from someone, for which he paid 80,000 shekel, approximately $20,000. Shortly thereafter, he noticed that the vehicle identification number on the motor was scratched off and realized immediately that the car must be a stolen one. The person who sold it to him was obviously a thief who quickly disappeared. He called the police to see if they could help him find the real owner but they weren’t much help. Car thefts are so common in Israel that they couldn’t really be bothered with it. He expended great effort to locate the rightful owner and finally succeeded with the help of the insurance agent who wrote the insurance policy. He then returned the car to the real owner even though he would now lose all the money he paid for it.

Some people told him that he was crazy for returning the car. They suggested that he park it near the city of Shechem and leave the key inside the ignition. It certainly would be stolen in no time and then he could claim the money for the stolen vehicle from the insurance company. Why lose 80,000 shekel?

But this is not what he had been taught. He would not cheat, trick or lie no matter how much money he would lose. He felt that this was the moment of truth, and he had to pass the test.

Believe it or not, when the importer of Mitsubishi cars heard what he had done they decided to reward him for his honesty by giving him a brand new car as a gift.

By the way, perhaps I shouldn’t be so nosy and ask, but what would you or I have done?