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I wasn’t the only boy in Brooklyn taught to cautiously and vigilantly protect even the tiniest torn bit of shaimos. I wasn’t the only parent to teach respect of Hashem’s name and holy words to my children and grandchildren. Things may have changed since my childhood, but they haven’t changed that much.

We are a very trusting community when it comes to disposing of the bags of shaimos we all discard, typically before Pesach. Our neighborhoods fill up with trucks and most of us don’t ask where the shaimos is going to end up. And when we do ask, no one seems to be able to give us a straight answer. Perhaps it’s time to change that. Perhaps it’s time to find out what’s happening to the shaimos you collect and protect all year long. After all, you won’t just eat everywhere.


Of course, if you contemplate the sheer volume of shaimos being sandwiched between garbage in Pennsylvania, you might not eat anywhere for a while. I certainly felt sick when I learned that up to 15 tractor trailers per year, each with a capacity of 80,000 lbs., have been dumping the shaimos our community meticulously keeps safe from desecration.

As I said, I’ve spoken with some leading rabbanim and these discussions aren’t ending. I hope a plan will be put in place to educate the community further regarding shaimos and its proper disposal. Minimally, all of the rabbanim I spoke with are in complete agreement that there has to be a better way.

As our High Holy Days approach, may we all recognize the miracles we see, be grateful for the kindness we receive, and be zocheh to show the greatest respect to Hashem’s holy Name.


Editor’s Note: A video of the landfill can be seen at Assemblyman Hikind’s website (

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Dov Hikind, a former New York Assemblyman and the founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, is on special assignment from The Jewish Press during this election season.