Who Cares?

Who Cares?

My sister is getting married on July 4th, so this past Thursday my Dad picked up Hadas, Moriah, Yaakov and me at the airport and drove us down to my childhood home in Baltimore.

We took scenic Route 1 down from Philadelphia, and passed many a corn field and a crab-cake restaurant and a be-steepled Protestant church with a vast parking lot.

But for the entire three-hour drive we only stopped twice– for two bathroom breaks: one planned and one emergency. The first planned stop was at a Royal Farms. When I walked my girls into the facilities, I was taken aback by the number of Royal Farm signs that outnumbered stalls two to one: a sign on the back of the toilet stall door to flush upwards in order to save water, and a sign on the faucet explaining that it was solar-powered and therefore saved energy AND water, and a sign imploring me to dry my hands in their lawn-mower noisy hand blower rather than waste paper.

On another sign by the store’s entrance, Royal Farm shepped nachas that its stores had reduced energy use by 21% and water use by 42% and that this environmental branch of the store in Nowheresville, Maryland had received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The weird thing was that looking around the store, it seemed that while Royal Farm was determined to save the environment, it had opposite intentions towards its own customers. There was the Cheese Curl/Dorito/Pork Rind aisle and the Almond Joy/Mr. Goodbar/Lifesavers aisle and the Marlboro/Newports/Camels aisle.

Our next emergency bathroom stop about 15 minutes later in “Just-Saw-1st-Catholic-Church, Baltimore’s-Getting-Closer, Maryland” was at a Giant Supermarket. When I rushed in with my queasy daughter, I noticed another sign to “Please turn off your engine during grocery pick-up, because Giant cares about YOU!”

Really? Really? Giant cares about me?


As my father pulled up to my childhood home, he pointed out my brother’s 3-story-high American Red Maple that my parents planted in his honor when he left for college in 1987, and the White Pine and Japanese Maple they planted for Miriam and me in 1995 and 1989…

“And over there is the hydrangea we planted when Tsofia was born, and we planted that Korean Spice Bush for Yoel. Isn’t it beautiful?”

I entered the house and the first thing I noticed was a round coffee table displaying a photo forest of my parents’ children and nine grandchildren.

I have traveled across the world. Almost 6000 miles. And in this distant corner of the world we are loved, and surrounded by people who have loved us and always will.

No need for signs here. Not even one. Because we feel how much they care–it fills the air, everywhere.

God bless you, Mom and Dad.

photo credit: ะดยงmะด via photopin cc


  1. what a great article, chana jenny, and what a journey into the past, present, and forever fulfilling future in eretz hakodesh! GREAT~

  2. I’d be interested in hearing any rabbinic guidance you might have gotten regarding attending a wedding taking place during the Three Weeks.

    • JewishMom

      I don’t want to write anything here, since i think every person attending a wedding under complicated circumstances would be best off asking a rabbi regarding that specific case.

  3. Mazal tov!

  4. It’s wonderful to go back to your parents home and see and feel the childhood memories, and now, to be able to share them with your children. your parents should have much nachat from all their children and grandchildren.

  5. Hadassah

    saving energy or water = saving money. Offering things people want to buy (healthy or not) = profits. It is all about $ not health! Interesting idea of planting something tangible to commemorate a birth. Though the offspring and mitzvos accomplished as well as influence on the world in a positive way as done by the actual person could never be expressed by a tree or plant no matter how beautiful. In most homes a mother adds a candle to her set of licht kindled each erev Shabbos or yom tov. That reflects more on the light that each child brings into the world. Having a living tree or plant around when you can’t be with the person though is very touching.
    Enjoy your stay!

  6. Great article
    Mazel Tov

  7. Yocheved

    Awwwww! Beautifully said! Enjoy your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Wow, you should visit Seattle! Talk about green and saving energy… Yesterday we wanted to go enjoy some water play downtown during our massive heat wave and lo and behold we stepped in Gay Pride day. Now THAT would have been a culture shock for you! It was horrible…

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