The other day I joined “D” and “Y” in the park, along with a few other relatives for a barbeque. The idea had been “Y”’s, and the fact that I would be coming had the bonus (for them) that I would help pay for the ingredients! I agreed to go, just to have the chance to spend more time with my sons. Now that they are living out-of-town I see them much less.
In the middle, they and their cousins played some soccer, and I joined in. At one point I managed to steal the ball from “D”, and I chortled “D, Isn’t it true that you NEVER thought I could do so well?”
As the afternoon drew to a close, we started packing up. I reminded my boys of the family tradition (from my side): When leaving the park, pick up ten pieces of trash.
After a minute, one of my sons commented “Mom, you are picking up trash that WE didn’t leave!”
“I know! That’s the tradition! We leave the park CLEANER than we found it.”
* * *
Recently I have complained bitterly to the neighbors, more than once, that the children of the building leave a mess of food wrappers outside. The parents seem to agree with me, but the situation has continued as before. To me, this can only mean that the parents have NOT trained (and are not teaching) their offspring to be careful about littering. In addition, I have noticed that many in my community are grumbling about the inconvenience caused by the long-overdue recycling program which our town has finally started implementing.
Excuse me, but is the planet ours? And how in the world can a religious Jew throw trash onto the soil of the holy land? I just don’t understand. My non-Jewish parents raised me to respect and appreciate nature. Why chareidi parents don’t is beyond my comprehension. If you believe that the land is holy, and that G-d gave it to us, shouldn’t you do the minimum to keep it clean?