USY Ocean Beach Cleanup

SFUSY 2015 Beach CleanupThis Veterans Day, CBS Youth Advisor David Herrera and eight SFUSY teens spent the school holiday morning collecting litter at Ocean Beach.

Good stewardship and citizenship are universal values, but our Jewish texts teach us to prioritize sh’mirat ha'teva, meaning protecting or taking care of the Earth.

According to Jewish tradition, a critical part of humankind’s purpose is to take care of the world in which we live. In B'reshit, the first chapter of Genesis, it is written that G-d created man to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)

"Dominion" can be interpreted in different ways, but most Jewish sages explain that along with the gift of human intelligence, which gives us the power to lord over all other species, comes the responsibility to preserve the Earth’s resources. In other words, we Jews are called upon to choose thoughtful stewardship over domination.

So, yeah, that's a rather formal way of saying, "Hooo yeah! Kol hakavod to David and the USY crew!"