“Finders, keepers” is NOT a Jewish expression! In fact, Judaism teaches us just the opposite!
If an Israelite comes upon a fellow Israelite’s ox, donkey, or garment, it is to be returned to its rightful owner (Deut. 22:1-3). This is one of many laws given in this week’s Torah portion Ki Teitzei regarding communal responsibility.
Many mitzvot in Torah exist to help us establish a caring and just society. Tradition teaches that this Torah portion includes 72 of the 613 mitzvot in Torah, more than any other Torah portion. Of course, not all mitzvot in Torah are meant to be carried out as written. Thankfully, the Talmud helps us understand that there is something of value in each and every mitzvah, even the ones we don’t carry out to the exact letter of the law.
May our understanding and carrying out of God’s law bring us all to more fulfilling and responsible lives.