Below are the words of the Anafim children compiled by their Morah (educator).
Girl, age 7: We read the Torah verses that introduce Hashavat Aveidah, returning lost objects. We noticed the last words, “Don’t hide from the responsibility.” We thought that the Torah tells you to do Hashavat Aveidah but it does not tell you how to do Hashavat Aveidah.
Girl, age 8: One interpretation of the Torah was that “You can not see something and just leave it alone and walk away you have to pick it up and try to find where it came from. If you leave it there you could be making any human being very very sad and only if you want make someone like you you’re type sad you will not try to find where the object came from so pretty pretty please pick up what you find.
Boy, age 9: Some of our Questions were:
How do you care for it?
What about if you find something that isn’t an animal?
What about when it is hard to care for the object?
How long should you care for the object?
Boy, age 8: We looked at the early rabbis to see if the early rabbis answered our questions.
Some of the most important things they said were how long you need to keep it. Also whatever animal you find, what it makes isn’t yours.
Boy, age 8: Another way to understand these teachings is, If someone lost something and the human who found it does not want the thing he should still care for it. If someone lost something and someone found it and they want to keep it they should not! Keep it. If someone lost an animal and the animal doesn’t work you should still care for it.
Boy, age 7: Other teachings of the rabbis. This is how long you should keep it, three festivals and one week. Again, you must not hide from this responsibility. If you find a scroll you should read them once in 30 days if you find a vessel of silver or copper you may use it for their benefit but not to such an extent that they get worn out. A person who finds a vessel of gold or glass should not touch them until Elijah comes.
Girl, age 8: We also thought the rabbis taught that If you lost something the person who finds it might not want the objects but the person has to take care of it. If all the money came from that horse, that was found, it belongs to the owner.
Boy, age 7: The Rabbis teachings gave us ideas about how to do Hashavat Aveidah but we still had our own ideas about how we think Hashavat Aveidah is done best.
Boy, age 9: For example, If you find something and you cant find the owner its not about time, how long you look, its about how you look- you should look through the neighborhood, town city. If you do that and you cant find the owner you should give to the poor.
Girl, age 9: We then thought about how we do Hashavat Aveidah in the best way. We researched how we do Hashavat Aveidah in this building.
We found out that:
1. There is a lost and found box
2. They use the office
3. The JEC announces lost things at shira/tefilla
We thought this system was:
- Not a good idea(firmly)
- Not really very good
Boy, age 9: We came up with a new plan.
We made a lost and found box that was nice and bright.
We made flyers that helped you find the lost and found box.
We made a big and bright poster by the box.
What you can do:
Tell friends when you find something.
Post flyers in your neighborhood.
Take a picture of what you find and post it on the JEC Facebook or Youtube.