9/11 REDUX

Lessons from the botched NYC photo op.

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Comments (15)

(15) NM Rosen, May 13, 2009 3:06 PM

waste and garbage

To some degree, is there a difference between waste and garbage? It seems profoundly shocking that while waste is a sin, is it also a sin to toss things out as garbage? If so, how can we better go about waste management and rethink how we either dispose or reuse things?

(14) MARC, May 6, 2009 11:39 PM

Torah Source

Book of Deuteronomy (Chap. 20: 19-20) When you lay siege and battle against a city for a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees, wielding an ax against them. You may eat of them, but you must not cut them down. It was a common practice in times of old for invading armies to demoralize their enemy by "slash and burn" tactics, literally wiping out orchards, vineyards and fields. Never was this practice tolerated by Jewish tradition. More importantly, this prohibition does not just apply in time of warfare. There is a principle of learning the Torah called kal v'chomer (Hebrew for "the simple from the more difficult"). This means that when ever the Torah gives a specific prohibition within a specific context, that the prohibition applies to any context less difficult than the one stated in the Torah. In the case of bal tashchit, our rabbis understood that there is no situation more difficult than that of warfare. Consequently, the law of bal tashchit applies to every aspect of our lives. Over the centuries, our rabbis elaborated on what it means not to waste anything. We are told not to use more than what we need, not to needlessly destroy anything, not to use something of greater value when something of lesser value will suffice and not to use something in a way it was not meant to be used (which increases the likelihood the item will be broken or destroyed)

(13) Dvirah, May 6, 2009 8:59 AM

Best...not Waste

While I agree 100% on the matter of waste, I'd like to comment that yes, one should have the "best" - but defining this as the correct item for the need. That is what is "best" and not wasteful.

(12) tan, May 5, 2009 4:13 PM

where in the torah does it talk about waste as sin

Could someone tell me where in the torah does it say that waste is a sin.

(11) dovid benjamin, May 5, 2009 12:23 PM

how about the cost of labor wasted?

Rabbi Salomon: You didn't factor in the cost of labor of the thousands of workers in the financial district that had to leave their desks for more than an hour.

(10) Shmuel Zev, May 5, 2009 12:16 PM

Plan to Live

In order for a business to succeed, there must be a well defined goal. A large enterprise commonly has a mission statement, against which it constantly evaluates itself to check performance and standards, and respond to a changing environment. Likewise, an individual must define a life goal for two reasons. Firstly, if you don’t know where you are going you are never going to get there. Secondly, you are likely to make many bad decisions and unwisely use up your resources (time, money, emotions) unless you know what you are trying to achieve. Time is wasted, it is often killed. That’s because there is no serious plan or dedicated goal. NOW becomes the mantra, and COMFORT is the default. What a shame. We would not trade days of our lives away for millions, yet we unwittingly fritter away our greatest asset! It is not because we can not define a plan for our lives but because we are too lazy to think or consult those sources that would help guide us.

(9) Anonymous, May 5, 2009 10:30 AM

a life lesson

This Solomon said something which, I hope, will turn my life around. Because my health is no longer the best, because it is in fact burdened by chronic pain and doesn't allow me to undertake a "real" job with all its responsibilities, I have given up all commitment to work outside the home. I still care for my loved ones, but I've turned inwards and am not contributing anything any longer to the world. Listening to Solomon, I started by hating those who spent a fortune on the photo-op and ended hating myself for wasting everything I could still give. What will happen now after this spontaneous outburst I don't know. I pray it leads me to rethink the way I live, and not merely to feel uneasy. I pray it nudges me enough to find a way of making myself truly helpful. All of you out there, if you do pray, please pray that I succeed...

(8) Asher, May 5, 2009 10:12 AM

All is hand of God

Rabbi Solomon,
How true it is that the wasting of over
300,000 is terrible and the continued waste of so many things such as paper plates and cups, etc. We are living in a throw away world where nobody uses dishes anymore especially during the week, I have to assume that at least on Shabbos there are those that use China and silverware and glasses.The days of yesteryear are almost gone. What can you buy for a nickle *or* a dime anymore. The gumball machines take already two (2) quarters in some places.
The people are trying to penny pinch to survive another day,month *or* year and then you hear that the government who wants to tax us even more if possible goes on a flying picture taking mission.
To apologize is very nice but before an action like that someone should have used their brain and asked their computer dept experts how to cut and paste the pictures and they would have had a picture perfect job without the whole mess.
What the real story behind the flight is that at that moment that the planes were in the air over New York City, Hashem wanted them there, maybe for us to give a krechtz/sigh and relive a minute of 9/11, maybe we just don''t think about it enough. That is just one possible reason that the Creator had the plans go over NYC, and I am sure there can be many other reasons sued as well. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts that definitely make us think about something. Asher

(7) Yossi, May 4, 2009 9:08 PM

Best of Everything

I have the best of everything...Everything I have is the best for me

(6) s, May 4, 2009 3:28 PM

good point

It's sad how the gov wastes so much. Maybe people can write letters saying 'Stop wasting our money' I agree that we can also improve ourselves

(5) elaine johnson, May 4, 2009 2:40 PM

A Dry Run

what if it was done to see exactly what or how New York might react. What if the lessons learned here are far great then what we might have knowledge of. The it not the waste so much but who was watching it and what evil might come out. Monkey see Monkey do.

(4) chaya, May 4, 2009 5:21 AM

internet surfing: make fences for yourself

I waste a lot of time on news sites, human interest sites, etc. I recently began blocking them on my browser in a moment of strength. If you are in the habit of visiting a site many times a day, the browser not loading it will remind you how wasteful it is and that you really don't want to pour you time into this. You can always UNblock it if it is really important!

(3) Leo Sussman, May 4, 2009 4:34 AM

Enough already

Show me a person that never made a mistake and I'll show you someone that does nothing!

(2) chavi, May 3, 2009 6:43 PM

Yes, Lisa, people do actually read these comments, and you need to know that the change Barak Obama promised us is actually pocket change, because all of the dollars are gone.

(1) lisa, May 3, 2009 7:21 AM

we do have the best....for us!!!!

First of all ...does anyone really read these comments?? The point I would like to make here is.....we should teach our kids (& ourselves ) that we DO have the best house ...we DO wear the best clothes, etc.......we need to teach our kids that just bc clothes cost more...or a house has 3 extra bathrooms..it surely does not mean it's better...it's only bigger & costs more!!! And yes, that photo shot was a sinful waste of $$$$...it makes you wonder what else our taxes go for that we do not know about!!! Thank you Rabbi for always setting our brain on "on"...& making us think!!! Shavua Tov!!!


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