How would you have reacted had you entered your grocery store and found out that all your debt had been paid in full ahead of Yom Kippur?
This is what happened to hundreds of families evacuated from Gush Katif last summer and who are currently living in temporary caravans. This scenario repeated it self over an over at the mini market in Nitzan.
Families who asked to pay their debts ahead of the holidays were informed that an anonymous benefactor had already paid the debt.
The mini market proprietor, Yossi Avitan said reactions ranged from absolute shock to suspicion.
"It’s not possible, I know I have a debt owing, check again," were the type of responses Avitan heard. Alternately, he also heard remarks such as "who are these wonderful people, how can we thank them?"
Avitan himself didn’t know who the generous people were but later found out that the benefactors were a Jewish millionaire couple who had made their wealth on real estate.
During the war in Lebanon the couple donated a quarter of a million US dollars for purchasing flack jackets and head lamps and also contributed generously to hospitals and civilians seeking refuge in the bomb shelters.
Avitan said that at the end of the war in Lebanon the couple informed an Israeli friend that "the evacuees shouldn't be forgotten."
The friend toured evacuee settlements such at Nitzan, Yated, Shomriya and Shafir, stopping off at grocery stores and mini markets where he covered debts that often totaled more than NIS 5,000 per family.
"I have customers that still don't know their debts have been paid, "said Avitan. "One woman asked for a chair to sit on while she recovered from the shock that someone had actually paid her debt. It is a very moving gesture. But it’s not the role of good people to solve the evacuee's problems, it should be the government," he concluded.