By Laura Seymour
Dear Parents and Children,
Responsibility — Achrayut is so important for it is really about community and being a part of something bigger than just yourself. We are interdependent in this world and that connection makes us strong. Each of us must speak out for the others — we are responsible for one another: Am I my brother’s keeper? YES!
Achrayut is also about taking responsibility for your own actions and choices. Responsibility is about keeping our promises, being honest and fair, and admitting our mistakes and showing our willingness to make things right.
Those who think they can lie without others are wrong. But those who think that others can survive without them are even more in error.
— Hasidic Folk Saying
In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.
— Ann Landers
Here are some questions to talk about with your families:
What does it mean to be responsible? What things are you responsible for: at home, with your friends, at school or at camp?
Think of a time when you have been blamed for something someone else did. Why didn’t that person take responsibility for their actions?
When you are on a team, you are responsible to that team — what happens if you cannot go to a game? Should you choose to go to a party instead of the game? If God is the owner of the earth, what is our role?
As you go through your days with your children, continue using the word “responsibility” (use the Hebrew as well) — no matter how young your children are, it helps to hear the words and to use them.
Shalom … from the Shabbat Lady.
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.