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'Lost' purse (Illus.)
'Lost' purse (Illus.) 
 
The Western Wall: No shame Photo: Ron Peled
The Western Wall: No shame Photo: Ron Peled
 
 

The big honesty test

We dropped five purses in 15 neighborhoods in cities around the country – from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat. Each purse contained a NIS 100 note and a phone number that will enable the honest (or not so honest) finder to retrieve the purse to its rightful owner. Then, we sat by the phone and waited. Results are not scientific, yet, interesting

Ynet
Published: 07.25.07, 16:11 / Israel Culture

We dropped five purses in 15 neighborhoods around the country – from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat. Each purse contained a NIS 100 note and a phone number that will enable the honest (or not so honest) finder to retrieve the purse to its rightful owner. Then, we sat by the phone and waited. Results are not scientific, yet, interesting.

 

Kiryat Shmona: Men are from Mars

Results of the random sample we conducted in the center of town were divided by gender: Men returned the purse, women didn't. The three first purses were picked up by women – we're still waiting for them to call. The fourth and fifth were found by men who quickly called and told us they found our money.

 

Nahariya: Conditional morals

Only two out of the five purses we dropped around town were retrieved to us. One of the "saints" admitted: "It was just NIS 100, if it was $10,000, I wouldn't have returned the purse."

 

Kiryat Bialik: The only saint in Sodom

Kiryat Bialik receives an "F" in our anthropological experiment. Only one purse out the five "forgotten" in town was returned to us.

 

Netanya: Skeptical security guards

The guards at Hashron Mall in town were doubtful about the odds that anyone will return the purse and they were (almost) right: Only one phone call was received from an elderly couple who found our money.

 

Bnei Brak: It's a mitzvah

It seems that the religious crowd is strict about the mitzvah of returning a lost item. All of the five purses were returned to us promptly.

 

Jerusalem: Not so holy

Out of the five purses left in the center of the Holy City, only two were found by honest people. One of them, a new immigrant from Mexico said: "I saw a policeman but I didn't trust him. I was afraid he would keep the money for himself. So I went back to my yeshiva where they helped me to read the note and contact the owner."

 

The Western Wall: No shame

Our expectations were high but we were in for disappointment. Again, only two people called us saying they found our money.

 

Sderot: Qassam and a purse

Only two purses of the five we "lost" at the new mall in town were retrieved to us, both by men.

 

Beersheba: Wild, wild south

The municipal market of the Negev capital turned out to be a huge disappointment. None of the five purses containing NIS 100 bill and a phone number were returned.

 

Yedioth Ahronoth reporters contributed to this report

 

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