Prospect Park, the leafy enclave in Brooklyn (where a tree allegedly grows), has posted a memo urging Jews not to throw their chametz (leavened bread) in the park’s lake before the holiday. As Joe Winkler reports:
“For many years people have brought chametz to Prospect Park to throw into the lake to feed the waterfowl,” the memo explains. “While this is done with the best of intentions, feeding the waterfowl can be very harmful to them.”
In case you’re wondering why Brooklyn is the subject of parody, this story may sum it up. The fact that a communal memo would casually drop the word chametz without any explanation is impressive. What’s also impressive is that since tashlich–the pre-Yom Kippur ritual–is traditionally the time when Jews toss their bread into water (chametz is technically supposed to be burned), it seems likely that Brooklyn Jews near the park may have just decided that they would rather feed the ducks than burn some perfectly good grains. It’s like religious composting.
Speaking of the welfare of the fowl, there’s been no word on if this is connected to city’s attempts to rid itself of 170,000 Canadian geese, a long-term plan announced in 2010 and was kicked off with the euthanizing of 400 geese in Prospect Park.