As upstanding, committed Shomrei Torah Umitzvos, our life is all about observing the dictates of Torah and halacha to the utmost of our abilities. Obviously, we each have our shortcomings in different areas, and for this reason the Torah gives us the opportunity of Teshuva – to come clean and make good on our failings. There is one area though, for which the ordinary process of Teshuva, do not suffice to clear us of our misdeeds – that is the real of bein odom l’chaveiro – sins between man and fellow man. When it’s simply a question of a personal offense – one has to ask for forgiveness. If it’s a monetary obligation the debt must be paid up.
But what happens when we don’t even know to whom we owe whom to pay?
This is indeed a dilemma!
Are our hands completely clean?
Is there anything in our hands or in our possession that’s not 100% our own?
Perhaps, we don’t know who the owner is, but does that make it ours?
The thought is frightening!
Can we stand before Hashem pleading for mercy; asking for brachos for ourselves and our loved ones, when our hands are sullied by money that’s not ours?
The Gemara (Beitza 29a, Bava Kamma 94b) discusses the issue of returning unknown debt. Click here for halachic overview
The solution developed by the dayanim of Keren Neki Kapayim is a new and innovative idea to achieve a complete and immediate return to the true owner of the money, whoever and wherever he might me.