To what extent should a ben-Torah give away time from his learning in order to deal with the various communal problems like air pollution and other problems?
It depends on which problem. You can’t cover all the problems with one blanket; but since you mentioned air pollution I’ll tell you how to deal with that. I’m going to tell you now how to solve the problem of air pollution.
In the morning, as you go to davenen or back from davenen, so breathe deeply and think what the medrash says: כל הנשמה תהלל י-ה: על כל נשימה ונשימה תהלל י-ה – “For every breath say a hallel.” Breathe deeply from the Brooklyn air and enjoy that cocktail. Especially with the fragrance of the spring blossoms, and the morning sunshine. Enjoy it and forget about all the stupid propaganda that’s being made lately. Because you have to know that the whole business of pollution is propaganda that’s devised for the purpose of making a disturbance in the country. People don’t understand that – they’re victims of the propaganda.
Of course, it’s better to have mountain air than polluted air. But the problem is by no means anywhere near what they’re making of it. The whole pollution business is a smoke-screen. The real polluters are the ones who talk about pollution. Look at them. Look at the people who talk about pollution. They are the ones who want to kill babies. They’re the ones! It’s always those! The ones who are screaming and howling about pollution, they’re the ones who approve of abortion! The ones who scream about pollution are also the ones who are hinting that it’s a good thing to introduce euthanasia.
And you’ll also find that it’s the agitators, the Vietnam protestors, who want to legalize marijuana. It’s this same gang that is always talking about pollution. Of course, sometimes an innocent victim is duped – an innocent person is also pulled onto their side. But generally it’s the pseudo-liberals who raise the green and black flag of pollution – and you have to know that it’s not for us – it’s not our way.
Our way of dealing with pollution is by learning how to enjoy the air. Breathe deeply and enjoy the air. People aren’t doing that. It’s a lot of fun when you learn how to breathe deeply and enjoy the air. Breathe deeply! That’s my answer to your question about pollution. How much time should you give to the problem of pollution? No time at all.
TAPE # R-26 (1971)