My role as a pick-up artist

I often find myself picking up candy wrappers, seforim, and the occasional napkin or fork during kiddush on Shabbos. At times, I’ve even, with a simple greeting of, “Good Shabbos Kodesh”, picked up the ears of those that I pass in the street. I make a point to also pick up garbage in front of an inside my children’s day school when I am there, as well. It is an issue of Kavod HaTorah. The Holy Hunchback, I’m not, but I try.

In Kelm the talmidim fought for the coveted position of being able to clean the Talmud Torah of Kelm and even to take out the garbage (usually a job for the oldest bochruim).

My kids know that if they are walking though shul with me and see a Dum Dum wrapper on the ground that either I’ll pick it up myself or ask them to. They don’t mind picking it up, because were they not there, they know that I’d be the one throwing it away.

I cannot stop people (usually kids) from carelessly throwing candy wrappers on the ground. However, I can make sure that the shul where I daven is fairly clean, if newcomers, guests, or non-observant Jews come by.

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