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No one should be invisible

השלטים על פועלי הניקיון בעכו

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Have you ever thought about the hobby of the guy who cleans your street? Or his dreams? The city of Akko -- as reported by journalist Yair Kraus - has put up new signs which make its sanitation workers into stars. And so we discover Sammy's love for his grandchildren and for swimming, and learn that Victor goes fishing at least once a week. "Behind every clean neighborhood, there is a story" is the motto of this delightful campaign.
This week's Torah portion lodges a protest against the idea of "invisible" people. A situation is described in which the body of a murder victim is discovered without any clue as to the circumstances of his death. In such a case, the leaders of the nearest town break the neck of a calf (the egla arufa ceremony) where the corpse was found. Why? The animal's sacrifice is meant to atone for the negligence of the townspeople in not providing the victim with hospitality, in not being concerned for his welfare.This is public negligence of the worst kind.
Our commentators explain that such a tragic end is preventable. They cry out to us to pay closer attention to those around us, to find out who they really are and the story behind them. So what's the name of your street cleaner?


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