It was a warm and sultry Shabbos when my daughter Gitti and her husband, Joe, walked from Woodmere to Lawrence to participate in a Shabbos sheva berachot. After the meal ended, Joe left for home and Gitti set out to visit some friends.
After a pleasant afternoon, Gitti was leaving the home of one of her friends, Carla, and they exchanged a warm hug. As Carla stepped back, she exclaimed, “Gitti, you have only one earing on!”
Gitti thought that the earring had somehow fallen into her clothing. Many women are familiar with that scenario. So she pulled and tugged at what she was wearing, but she found nothing. Carla tried to help by “patting her down” in the areas Gitti couldn’t reach. When no earring appeared, she returned to the friend she had just visited, looking for the earring along the way. There was no earring in sight, so she knocked on the door and explained to her friend about the lost earring. After a thorough search it became clear that the earring was not there. The only thing left to do was to look down once again as she retraced her steps and walked back to the first couple she had visited. She had no luck there either.
Obviously, her next step was to head back to the house where the sheva berachot had been held. It was the same story; the earring wasn’t there either. Her next move was to trudge back to Woodmere, walking along the same streets she and her husband had taken on the way to Lawrence.
Not far from the sheva berachot house, she encountered two young boys who asked her what she was looking for. Gitti explained about the lost earring, not expecting them to show much interest. She could not have been more wrong. When she took off the other earring and placed it on the ground to show the boys what it might look like if they passed it on the street, one boy asked if it was gold or gold-plated. Stunned by the question, she asked him what difference it would make. He responded that he had a metal detector and could return the next day to walk the streets she had walked. It was a generous offer on the part of a ten-year-old. The other boy said he would go home and recite the Rebbi Meir Baal HaNes prayer, which would help to locate what was lost. It was another kind and generous offer on the part of a young stranger. But sensing Gitti’s distress and realizing that the earring might not be found, the first boy, owner of the metal detector, commented: “You just might have to consider that this is a kapparah (atonement) for your sins.”
Given that Yom Kippur is approaching, it was a timely remark and a worthwhile observation.
Gitti was blown away by the maturity, intelligence, and compassion of these young kids. On the chance that the boys happen to stumble upon the lost earring, she told them her full name but neglected to ask their surnames. She knew only that one boy was Usher and the other was David (or Daniel). They parted company.
Two hours later, when my daughter was back home, she went into the bathroom to change into more comfortable attire. Suddenly, she heard a ping! As she removed her skirt, the missing earring had fallen to the tile floor. She couldn’t believe her eyes! How it landed in her skirt was a mystery, but it was a happy moment, accompanied by the thought that one of the boys may have actually said the Rebbi Meir Baal HaNes prayer on her behalf.
Either way, Gitti is anxious to thank both of these boys for the kindness and interest they showed. Kids don’t always tell their parents about their encounters on a Shabbos afternoon but my daughter is hoping that one of these boys shared the story about trying to help a stranger. She also hopes that the proud mothers read this and will call her by getting her contact information from me.
These boys deserve nothing less than a big thank-you!
Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and can be reached at Savtahannah@aol.com or 516-295-4435. Read more of Hannah Berman’s articles on 5TJT.com.