Rule one I learned from my father, as we hiked in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the highlands of California. We arrived at a campsite daily, with packs upon our backs, to find that others had left things behind. My family was small, only four with my mother and brother, but we learned that leaving a place better than when we came was the goal, and rule number one. Pack it in, pack it out, only took care of one’s-self. We needed to move beyond to make the world better than when we came, so we left each place better than we found it, by packing out others’ garbage as well.
Rule three was learned much later, from my brother, Uncle Abba, as we sat around the Shabbos table. We spoke, one and all, of a higher consciousness, a better self to lead others. We spoke of a world where each individual seeks to know all. We spoke of a mind-space where the world could be contained, and where each person’s realm could contain others. The line of thought always brought us, sitting at the table, to the awareness that we are all one, and that we must work together. I learned that to be whole I needed to incorporate the views from others; I understood, at the end of each meal, that I needed to be ‘Rosh Gadol.’