Rabbi Bought A $150 Desk On Craigslist, What Was Inside Made World News

There are always risk factors to consider when making purchases on Craigslist. You have to trust that the stranger you’re dealing with isn’t being deceitful concerning the quality of your purchase and sometimes even the origin of the item. You also have to trust that you’re going to get your money’s worth. As you drive to go pick up your purchase, you hope there are no surprises. When Rabbi Noach Muroff made his purchase back in September of 2013, he had no clue there was something hidden inside that would eventually make national and international news. Click through to read his amazing story!

Who Is Noach Muraff?

Noach Muraff is a Jewish man originally from Ottawa, Canada. He moved to New Haven, Connecticut back in 2008 to attend a yeshiva (a private Jewish University) where he submitted himself to the process of becoming a rabbi. Five years later, right after graduating, he was setting up his home study when he realized he desperately needed a desk for his work space. Since his Jewish culture teaches him to be frugal, he turned to Craigslist.

That’s When He Found It

After weeks of refreshing the desk listings on Craigslist, Muroff finally found the one he’d been waiting for. The seller was asking for $150. Muroff and his wife talked it over and decided it was a reasonable price for the quality of the desk, so they made the call.

There Was A Problem With The Desk

Muroff and a friend went to retrieve the desk. They had no problem getting it home, but when they tried to carry it into his study, they realized it was not going to fit through the door. “It missed being able to pass through the door by a quarter of an inch. It was so frustrating!” said Muroff. First they tried to remove the door, but that failed so they disassembled the desk. What they found after disassembling it left them speechless!

They Found It In A Plastic Bag

When Muroff began removing the drawers, he discovered something had fallen behind them. It was a plastic shopping bag. “I could see through the bag right away. It looked like $100 bill,” he told CNN. But when Muroff picked up the bag, he saw that it was much, much more.

Look At All That Cash!

“We opened up the bag and it was full of cash!” said Muroff. He and his wife counted up the money and couldn’t believe when their total came to $98,000! The shock of such a discovery settled, and one question surfaced, “what should be done with the money?” Legally, the cash became Muroff’s as soon as he purchased the desk, but for Muroff and his wife, it wasn’t that easy. They knew what their next step needed to be.

She Didn’t Believe Him

“Right away, my wife and I sort of looked at each other and we said, ‘we can’t keep this money,'” Muroff reported to CNN. Keeping the cash was never an option for the couple. So, the day after the discovery, they called the previous owner of the desk to tell her what they had found hidden inside. She didn’t believe them.

There Are Good People Still Left In The World

“I do not think too many people would have done what Noach did by calling me. I do like to believe that there are still good people left in this crazy world and Noach is certainly one of them,” said the woman identified as “Patty” to preserve her identity. She wrote the rabbi and his family a letter thanking them for their honesty and integrity. Come to find out, the money was an inheritance from her parents. She said she had misplaced it a few years prior.

Was Patty Telling The Truth?

Before Murdoff went public with the story, there were only a few friends in on it. They were all skeptical as to whether or not Patty was telling the truth. “People have been cynical, asking me why I didn’t call the police and why I immediately believed that the money belonged to the lady,” Murdoff said. He felt it wasn’t his place to make accusations. The lady told him before he purchased the desk, that she assembled it herself.

A Family Lesson

When it was time to return the money, Murdoff decided to make it a family affair. He wanted his children to experience first-hand what doing the right thing looks like and feels like. Patty gave the family a reward for returning the cash to her. Muroff didn’t disclose to the media what the gift was. “Honesty is the most important thing in life,” Murdoff added in an interview with ABC News, “If God wants us to have $98,000, he’ll give it us some other way.”

But Why The Wait To Go Public With The Story?

Why did it take almost three months for the story to emerge? Well, because the rabbi didn’t feel it was noteworthy. The thought of his story making national news was heartbreaking to him, because it proved to him that acts of kindness such as these, are far too rare.

His fellow rabbis advised him to go public with the story. “It’s a good story. We’re making a big kiddush hashem (sanctification of the name of God) by telling it,” Muroff said. Whether or not you agree with how Muroff handled his situation, you have to admit, it’s certainly commendable.

Whether or not you find this story heartwarming or infuriating, it’s definitely worth the read. Share it with your friends!

Share with us your response to Muroff’s story. We’d love to hear from you! If you would’ve handled the situation differently, tell us how!

Thanks for reading!


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