By Laura Seymour
Achrayut (responsibility) is so important, for it is really all about community and being a part of something bigger than just you. We are all 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?
Achrayut is also able taking responsibility for your own actions and choices. Responsibility is about keeping our promises, being honest and fair, 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 thing 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 our children, it helps to hear the words and to use them.
Laura Seymour is director of Jewish life and learning and director of camping services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.