A man was in dire financial straits after his expenses went way beyond his income. It was back to school time and he needed to spend a small fortune which he didn’t have on school books for his children. He also needed to buy them clothes for the new school year. In addition to all this, a relative that he borrowed 5,000 shekel from wanted him to pay it back. This all added up to his being in dire financial straits.
On Rosh Chodesh Elul, (The 1st of Elul) this man prayed the morning prayers very intensely begging G-d for help with his predicament; especially when he said the words ‘and bless this year for us’ he cried to G-d for help.
At lunchtime he took a nap and his daughter tried waking him up. She said, “Abba we found the hideout of your money”. This father was worn out worried and tired didn’t have patience for nonsense when he was trying to nap and regain his strength. He berated her for waking him up with nonsense but she was adamant that it wasn’t nonsense at all and urged him to go into the living room and see the strange thing happening there.
He got up groggily and hurried to the living room at his daughter’s urging to witness 200 shekel bills flying around the living room. More and more bills kept flying out of the air conditioner in his living room as if it were an automatic cash machine! The family started gathering the bills and they totaled 10,000 shekel!
Evidently a previous tenant must have made the air conditioner a hideout for his money. There were many tenants in the house before this family moved in, this family already lived there a long time and many technicians repaired the air conditioner unit without ever noticing the stash.
This man went to his Rabbi who told him the law is that something left in a rental apartment especially if it saw a few tenants was considered something having people despair from ever getting back. The finder’s responsibility in this case is to document that he found the item and then he could use it until the rightful owner comes to claim his item with sufficient proof (which may be never). The Rabbi said he could use the money after writing down the amount and date of when he found it with other pertinent details of where it was concealed.
The man said: “I cried out to G-d and he answered me as soon as I cried from understanding that I had no other way out other than G-d. Who is like our nation that G-d is close to them to answer every time we call to him!”