H-WEIRD NEWS

Dec 19, 2012 3:00 PM by NBC News

$500 million in checks left at Jerusalem holy site

JERUSALEM (AP) - Worshippers usually leave notes to the Almighty at one of Judaism's holiest sites. But half a billion dollars?

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, who oversees Jerusalem's Western Wall, said a worshipper found an envelope at the site Wednesday with 507 checks in the amount of about $1 million each. They were not addressed to anyone, and it's doubtful they can be cashed.

Rabinovitch said most are Nigerian. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said some were from the United States, Europe and Asia.

Rabinovitch says he has found similar checks in Western Wall charity boxes before, but they all bounced. He says most of them were written by people from Africa.

The rabbi says he thinks the check writers "wanted to give all they had to the Creator of the universe."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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