Rabbi Noah Muroff, a high school teacher at a private Jewish school in New Haven, was frustrated to learn that a desk he had recently purchased on Craigslist did not fit his study "by a fraction of an inch."
As he dismantled the $150 piece of furniture and took out the drawers, Muroff's frustration quickly turned into surprise: A shopping bag full of hundred dollar bills was buried inside.
"Right away my wife and I sort of looked at each other and said 'we can't keep this money,'" Muroff explained. "This kind of thing only happens in the movies."
They immediately called the original owner of the desk, Patty, and recorded her reaction in a cellphone video, mulitple reports stated.
"If Hashem wants us to have this $98,000, he will make sure we have it in a way he sees fit," Muroff told the Tablet. "There's a reason why it didn't fit in the room and why he had to take the desk apart."
Patty was extremely grateful: "I cannot thank you enough for your honesty and integrity," she later wrote in a thank you letter published by the Jewish news blog Vos Iz Neias. She explained to Muroff and his family that she had stuffed her inheritance in the desk and forgot where she put the money.
"I do not think there are too many people in this world that would have done what you did by calling me. I do like believing that there are still good people left in this crazy world we live in. You certainly are one of them," Patty wrote in her note.
As a teacher and rabbi, Muroff hopes his act of honesty will send a message to his students and four children.