The Matzav Shmoooze: Does Anyone Care About Their “Stuff”?


chareidim1Dear readers,

As we engage in Pesach cleaning, at home, at work or elsewhere, does anyone ever stop to think of all the articles of clothing and other items that are left haphazardly in countless locations? Go to any local shul and you’ll see jackets, coats and hats in the coatroom. Whose are they? Where are their owners? Don’t those people realize that they don’t have their coat or jacket? How does one just “lose” these items?

Go to any school at the end of the year and you’ll find a collection of books, coats, sweaters, loose-leafs, and pens and pencils of every shape and color left behind.

I guess the children learn from their parents.

Go to camps at the end of each season and you’ll find clothes, sporting goods, and electronics left behind. You’ll also find caps, gloves, balls, bats, disc-mans, fans, lamps, watches, and more.

I guess the children learn from their parents.

But why do we tolerate this waste, this lack of responsibility, and this lack of chashivus for one’s belongings?

As we clean for Pesach, perhaps we should also reevaluate our attitude towards the things we own. If we change our attitudes and start caring, we’ll have a fighting chance that our children will learn these values. Otherwise, we’ll just continue to see the pathetic display of carelessness we witness today.

Y. G.


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature onĀ that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. it all starts from the trait of Laziness, where a person would rather buy an entire new coat-& spend tons of money-then take a few minutes to make a couple of phone calls & check out a few places to locate his lost items… DELETE LAZINESS FROM YOUR LIFE NOW. BREAK THE SNOOZE BUTTON OFF YOUR ALARM CLOCK & bring yourself to becoming a better person (with just a little effort & no charge)

  2. It’s all a matter of perspective. I am sure that Rabbi Ross from Woodmere and his son’s care about all the “stuff” that they lost in the fire. Some people care and some don’t and I don’t think that a kid losing something means the parent is a wasteful person and teaches them to be one as well. My child lost something in camp one summer, I spent hours on the phone with various staff members and went down there myself to find it, to no avail. Now of course someone, somewhere found it and it had my child’s name inside on the label… is the reason it was never returned because they assumed that if we cared we wouldn’t have lost it and since we don’t care about our stuff so we don’t deserve to have it back?!

  3. I work for a luggage company. At the end of every summer camping season, I am faced with other people’s lost things. If an item has a name tag it’s not too difficult to get a phone number from the camp office. It has been my experience that most parents are happy to get their stuff back.

  4. Chazal teach that Yaakov Avinu was careful about his ‘pachim ketanim’ because as an Ish Emes -Man of Truth-, he honestly worked for these insignificant items.
    Perhaps we would feel more responsible for things if we had to EARN them.
    Perhaps our children would feel more responsible for things if they leared the consequenses – by going to school in layers of sweaters when they lose their coat.