With the start of summer, these words from Rabbi Hershel Billet of the Young Israel of Woodmere, published in each of the last two years by The Jewish Star, merit repeating. Rabbi has urged that his congregants exercise both physical and spiritual caution during the summer months. The Jewish Star is pleased to disseminate Rabbi Billet’s words to a wider audience.
Now that the summer is officially upon us, our kids will be scattering all over the world in the coming weeks. I am sharing some points I believe are worth noting when anticipating many summer activities we and/or our children might engage in. The first set of points concern safety concerns many of us are aware of, along with some reminders I think of every summer on account of sundry items that have caught my attention over the years. Please forgive me if I am saying things to you that you already know. When it comes to safety, a friendly reminder is appropriate. This is essentially the same note as last year with a few added comments.
The second set of points concerns our summer attitudes towards Sanctity and Kedusha. On a metaphysical level our eternal values are as important as our temporal values.
1. Sunscreen. Just about every study and article about the dangers of the sun recommends putting sunscreen on exposed parts of the body, especially when one will be outdoors for a few hours. When in the sun for extended periods, heads should be covered!
2. Bike Helmets. Biking accidents are never good for riders, but while most injuries have a better chance of recovery, brain injuries don’t have such luxuries. Please wear helmets - be a role model for the children of our community - and insist that kids do too, even when biking on your block
3. Hydration. We are not always aware how much the heat or humidity affects us. In general, healthy consumption of water is at least 80 oz a day. On hot days spent outdoors, even more is recommended. It is important to remember to drink even when you are doing a water activity. Getting wet does not keep your body hydrated. If you are taking a long plane flight, be sure to drink a good quantity of water.