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hashovas aveida


I was on the train and found a wallet that, based on the ID inside it, belongs to a non-Jew. After considering what I should do and consulting with a few rabbis, some of them recommended that I return it by giving it to a police officer. (I didn’t know how to track down the person based on his name alone.) So I went over to a police officer, made sure I was wearing my tzitzis out, and gave it to him. Did I comply with the mitzvah of Kiddush Hashem?


You didn’t have to do that , but once you did it most probably was a kliddush H-shem.


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  1. Strictly speaking, I could have kept it for myself?
    Why “most probably”?
    Why would I give up the opportunity to be mekadeish Sheim Shomayim for a few dollars and some metro cards (that were in the wallet)?

    1. Yes. The mitzvah of hashovas aveida doesn’t apply to the aveida of an akum.
      It would be a kiddush H-shem only if the cop was indeed positively impressed. If he was then you did a big mitzvah, see Be’er Hagolah CH:M 348-8.

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