I hope you've had a great week! I'd like to share a small story with you. Several years ago I spent a few years at a yeshiva outside of Paris. Upon my arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport for the first time, I was greeted by a member of the yeshiva building staff, who was to drive me to the yeshiva. I loaded my luggage into his car and headed off to the Parisian suburb of Brunoy, where the Yeshiva is located.


 Meir is a blond, secular french Jew. He had had a rough day, having recently broken his engagement to his would be fiancée. He had been out of the country and was due to arrive back in Paris late that night. Upon arrival in the airport parking lot to find his car, he noticed a somewhat familiar looking parcel lying abandoned in a push-cart next to where he had parked. It was a little bag of Tefillin. 


 Meir pondered the tefillin, wondering what he should do. Should he just leave the sacred objects lying there in the parking lot? He decided to do an extra mitzva and take the tefillin to the airport security lost and found. On his way back inside the terminal, tefillin in hand, he encountered a religious Jew. "I've just found these tefillin outside in the parking lot" said Meir,"what should I do with them"?


 The man took the parcel and read the Hebrew name embossed across the top. It was a name he recognized to be a Chabad family in New York. He managed to find their number online and let them know one of their more forgetful family members' tefillin was with a certain Meir in Paris, and would be happy to arrange for someone to pick them up.


Meanwhile, we had only been in the car for some 30 minutes, when I get a call. I learned that I had left my tefillin in the airport parking lot, but they were luckily found. I was to call a certain Meir to arrange a time and place to pick them up from him. We arranged to meet that Friday in the Porte de Lilas area of Paris.


 Upon my meeting Meir on Friday, he told me his whole story, how he had just broken his engagement etc. He continued to say that he had taken his 'coincidental' finding of my tefillin as a sign from heaven that he should improve his tefillin record. "I've ordered my own pair of tefillin and will begin putting them on every single day. They haven't been delivered yet however, so I've been using your tefillin the whole week. I hope you don't mind". I most certainly did not!

 ***

In this week's Torah portion we learn of  an interesting 'sacrifice' that was to be brought to the Temple in the days of old. This was the Mitzva of "Bikurim", bringing the first fruits from a new tree to Jerusalem, and donating them to the priests working there for them to enjoy. You see, everything in life is meant to be used for a good purpose. Bringing a 'sacrifice' doesn't need to be burning an animal on an altar. Rather, something as simple as sharing some of your fruit with another for them to enjoy is rendered as a sacrifice. Even someone's forgetfullness in a Paris airport should be for a good purpose. Hey! You never know.

Rabbi Avrohom