Menachem Bluming Muses: How to Find a Lost Item!

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There is a Talmudic quote that is traditionally said when looking for a lost object:

Rabbi Binyomin said: Everyone is blind until G-d illuminates their eyes, as it states (Genesis 21:19), “And G-d opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.”

The tradition is to recite this formula when you can’t find something, and there are countless stories of people immediately finding whatever they lost after saying these words. Try it!

Rabbi Binyomin was giving an example of someone who couldn’t see the obvious until G-d intervened. The Book of Genesis tells of the maidservant Hagar, who was wandering through the desert without water. In fact, there was a well nearby, she simply didn’t see it. 

This is more than just a magical incantation. It reminds us of a profound truth. We are so often blind to the things around us. What you are looking for may be right in front of you, but you don’t have eyes to see it. There are amazing opportunities staring you in the face, but you are looking the other way. You are surrounded by wonderful people, and you haven’t even noticed. The jewelry you think you lost is within reach, if only G-d illuminates your eyes.

Most importantly, the tradition teaches that reciting this passage is not enough. You also have to give a donation to charity. If you want G-d to illuminate your eyes, you have to illuminate the lives of the needy.

But the truth is, even that’s not enough. Say the quote above, give some charity. But there’s one more thing you need to do to find the ring. Keep looking…

Mendel (Menachem) Bluming and credits to Rabbi Moss and Rabbi Greenberg

Sources: Midrash Bereshis Rabba Vayera 53, Etz Yosef there

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