Back, almost four decades ago, when I was first married, (how could it already be four decades?!?) there was a yellow bumper sticker that became very popular. That bumper sticker was printed with bold, black letters stating, I FOUND IT. What had he or she found? Being that the stickers were distributed by an evangelical organization the “it” in question was Jesus or more accurately, belief in him. According to the organization over three and a half million people world over became Christians due to that yellow bumper sticker.
As a backlash a Jewish organization produced its own bumper sticker. This one was red and declared I NEVER LOST IT TO BEGIN WITH. Unfortunately, this statement was not one hundred percent true. Many Jews were so assimilated that they had lost all understanding of their heritage. Searching for meaning to life, some converted to Christianity. Others joined various cults. Thankfully, there were those who decided to learn about their own religion and were intrigued by what they learned. Thousands became Torah committed Jews and were elated with the life they had found.
There is probably nothing quite as exhilarating as finding a lost object. I know from experience. Recently there were two items I was missing. One was a family picture my oldest son had had framed as a present for me. Granted, the picture itself could be downloaded again from the computer but the effort and thought my son had put into having it framed were irreplaceable. The second item I was missing was a book. This book was borrowed from a friend and it had been self-published by her niece. In other words, there was little chance of me being able to replace it at all.
I searched drawers and shelves. My husband poked under furniture and in cabinets. The cleaning lady was put on alert. I notified my children and interrogated my grandchildren. I prayed that at least the book would be found and I would not have to confess its loss to my friend. My prayer was not answered but my friend received the news calmly.
“Don’t worry. Pesach is coming. You’ll find it.”
How I wanted to have her confidence!
Several weeks passed and then one morning I noticed my pair of spare sunglasses on the floor under one of the radiators. I caught my breath. Those sunglasses had been on top of the book the last time I saw it. Sure enough, caught between the wall and the radiator, was the missing book. Ecstatically I called my friend. She was pleased to hear my news but not near as joyful as I was.
If that was not enough excitement the following morning I awoke to find the missing picture atop my computer table where I would be sure to see it. Mouth opened with shock I turned to my husband for an explanation. With a proud smile he told me he had been inspired by my find the day before. He checked another radiator and, indeed, caught between it and the wall was the picture. I could barely wait to call my children and tell them the good news!
No, there is no exhilaration like that of finding a lost object. For some it is finding a picture or a book. For others it is a far less materialistic find. Rather, it is finding the missing part of one’s soul. I pray that soon all the unaffiliated Jews will be able to proclaim I FOUND IT. And that it will not mean belief in Jesus but rather the understanding of their own Jewish heritage.