Benjamin Rubenstein looked at the map for fourth time. How far down would he have to dig? Was this even the right spot? What would he find if it was? The map was an old, wrinkled, worn piece of tan-colored leather with what appeared to be a map drawn on it. Some of the lines had faded along with some of the letters of the words, all in Hebrew. He laid the map on the ground and started to dig.
It seemed hours since he had started and the hole was barely two feet deep. He put down the shovel and went in the house to get a drink of water and to take a short break. He called his brother, Aaron.
“I found something yesterday when I was going through Dad’s stuff,” he said.
“Well, there’s a lot to sort through. What do you think you found?” Aaron had always been a skeptic.
“Don’t laugh,” Benjamin said, “but I think I found a map.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. What kind of map? Mom and Dad didn’t travel much after they settled in Maryville.”
Benjamin sipped his water before answering. “A map of something buried in the back yard.”
Aaron couldn’t help himself. “Yeah. Right. Mom and Dad and buried treasure?” He did laugh.
“Yeah, but I also found some letters from our great great grandparents that either Mom or Dad kept hidden in a box in the closet. Dad left a journal. I was reading through this jumble of history when I found the map.”
“Ben, buddy, I think you fell asleep and had a dream.”
“Come over then, and I’ll show you.”
Aaron laughed. “Sure. I’ll call Joab too. We’ll bring shovels in case you’re right. Be there in an hour.”
Benjamin gathered everything together, including the map he retrieved from its former place on the ground. When his brothers arrived they sat at the table perusing the information.
“Let’s get to it,” Joab said.
Aaron agreed. The work went much faster with the three of them digging and in no time they were down to four feet when two of the shovels hit something hard at the same time. Joab and Aaron looked at each other.
“What do you suppose it is?” Joab was the youngest of the three men.
Aaron shrugged his shoulders. Benjamin said, “Only one way to find out. I’m going in to get Mom’s whisk broom to brush away the loose dirt.”
He was back in just a couple of minutes. Under the loose dirt was a large wooden crate that had been carefully sealed. It took the three of them to get the box out of the ground. It measured forty-eight inches long, twenty-eight inches wide, and twenty-nine inches tall. It was a heavy box.
When they got it out of the hole and set on the ground, Benjamin went to the basement and came back with a crowbar.
When the box was opened they gasped in unison. The object before them had become nothing but myth and legend until that moment. For before them was the stolen, coveted object of the Jewish nation of Israel: the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron’s rod and the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments were no longer inside the ark, but the rest was still intact, and the gold overlay had been protected because it still shone as if newly created.