A reader sent me this lovely story.
While surfing the Internet earlier this month, a Cincinnati Jew found a way to help his Christian friends and celebrate the Christmas spirit.
Jeff Harris, a lawyer with a Downtown law firm, was reading a story noting that someone had stolen a Baby Jesus figurine from a Bal Harbor, Fla., Nativity scene.
Harris dipped into his pocket and paid for a replacement.
Im Jewish and Christian people have always done nice things to me, Harris said Monday.
A lawyer for 31 years, Harris read of the theft from Dina Cellinis private Nativity scene in Bal Harbor, on the barrier islands immediately east of near Miami.
Believing the Nativity scene was municipal property, Harris sent am e-mail to city officials asking if he could pay for a replacement Baby Jesus.
Each Christmas season as a thank you to all my Christian friends I try to do something to acknowledge what a great country this is to live in and to acknowledge the tolerance and good will of the Christian community, Harris wrote in an e-mail to Bal Harbor officials.
Harris sent the e-mail Dec. 5 the first day of Hanukkah. Officials forwarded the e-mail to Cellini.
I couldnt believe it. I was so excited but, by the same token, I thought it might be a prank, Cellini said Monday.
A Florida attorney, Cellini looked Harris up and confirmed he was a Cincinnati lawyer.
She called him to accept his generous offer to buy the replacement Baby Jesus. made in the Renaissance style.
The figurine was made in Italy but Cellini was told by the company that it had one in Chicago.
Harris called the company, bought it and had it shipped to Florida.
This is unbelievable. Hes a complete stranger, has no connection to south Florida, Cellini said Monday.
He did this out of the goodness of his heart. Its a beautiful gesture.