We were in a rented house in Florida. When I came home, I noticed a small hand towel had been packed into my luggage by accident. Do I need to return this to the management?
Thank you for your question.
You should return the towel to its owner. If the owner is a Jew then it is because of hashovas aveida, but even if the owner is not Jewish you do not want to make a chillul Hashem. Additionally, even though it was accidental, by returning it, you will be making a kiddush Hashem. Someone once told me a story that happened with their family about 20 years ago, they were in Florida, for a family vacation, and the family stayed in a hotel, and mistakenly a wash cloth got packed in to their suitcase. When they got back home, the other of the family realized this when she was unpacking. She took the washcloth, put it in an envelope, and wrote an apology letter, stating that they are Jewish and we don’t steal, and this washcloth got mistakenly packed in. She was sorry, and here is the washcloth back. A week later they got a letter from the hotel, saying that in all the years the hotel is open, they are busy trying prevent people from stealing towels etc. and in the history of the hotel they never got such a letter! As a token of their respect for the family’s honesty, the are sending them complimentary tickets for the family to Disneyland, and a free stay at the hotel!
(By the way, return the washcloth, write that you are Jewish etc., but don’t realistically expect a free stay, because of it…)