Forest Creek Cleanup - Ansel Witkin's BM Mitzvah
As a part of me becoming a bar mitzvah, I took on cleaning up a forest creek. In one whole afternoon, I managed to clean a small part of it, but even that much was rewarding on multiple levels. As I was pulling bits of glass and plastic out, I reflected on how even something as powerful as a force of nature, may need help from time to time. These remnants of a human presence were not the only thing blocking the flow: there were leaves, pinecones and fallen branches, gotten there in the winter storms. Removing the blockages and seeing the water turning from muddy to clear, taught me how good it feels to be making a positive difference. Doing a mitzvah teaches us the most important lessons of empathy and kindness. When doing good, we feel good. As we help others, be it people or nature, we help ourselves.