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Chesed

Question:

Good morning,

It’s bothered me for some time that the world has lots of garbage and pollution on it and continue to make it worse. I believe that Hashem put people, and Jews in particular, on the earth to safeguard it and protect it and I feel like we don’t always live up that mission. If I were to start a volunteer group to clean up parks and different places in my area, would this technically be considered a Mitzva?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.
It is very considerate of you to be so concerned with the overall pollution in the world. It is true that we should be careful not to ruin Hashem’s beautiful world, and we should be careful not to throw our garbage in inappropriate places. Most environmentalists are concerned with the fact that their world is getting ruined, not the fact that we are to take care of Hashem’s world. However, if the driving force behind this is really your concern that Hashem’s world is getting ruined, then it is possible that it would be a mitzva. This is something that would need a bit of intellectual honesty on your part, if this is indeed your motivation.

Another idea. Even if it would be a chesed to clean up the world, you might want to invest your time in a project that will help out people more directly, such as helping out teens that need encouragement, sick or poor people that need help. These things, we know quite clearly that they are mitzvos.

May Hashem help you to keep on growing and helping the world.
Best wishes

 

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