Sunday, December 10, 2006

Prayer for Darfur

What follows is a Jewish Prayer for Darfur. Its authors are listed at the end.

For additional prayers --- Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Native American, Shinto, Sikh, Jainist or Zoroastrian --- click here and download the Faith Action Packet from the website of the Save Darfur Campaign.

We fear that the people of Darfur will be forgotten.
They are so far away.
They are so different.
We are so busy and it is hard to disrupt our own lives.
It hurts to think of them, and so we put them out of our hearts.

Though we remember being slaves
we do not often think of the horrors of slavery.
We pray because there are limits to what we can do.
We appeal to Adonai to accomplish the impossible,
to bring compassion to those who have none,
to move governments to action and to relieve the immensity of suffering.

How can one look upon the faces of children and peaceful adults
and respond with violence, death and genocide?
How do we understand the hearts and minds of the oppressors?
Are they ignorant of their victims' humanity?
Do they not see themselves in their victim's eyes?

The suffering and pain is so overwhelming that we feel powerless to make a difference.
But we know that our tradition teaches that it is not necessary to finish the task,
but that we must begin!

We admire the young people who care enough to leave comfort and safety
in order to see and feel and learn the horror of Darfur.
May their example inspire us to begin to help in whatever way we can.
Please let us see the hope that resides in the refugee camps.

We pray that these innocents will begin to forget the horrors they have suffered,
that they may soon resume the order of their daily lives.
We pray that the people of Darfur regain their lives, their land, their hope.
We pray too, that the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed militia regain their humanity.
We pray that the World's leaders will not allow genocide to become an economic tool.

We must become tools of justice on behalf of these victims of genocide.
We must shed light on the darkness of neglect and anonymous suffering.
We must raise our voices to speak out on behalf of the oppressed,
for the victims who have no voice.

May what has happened in Darfur move the citizens of the world to intervene,
to take responsibility, to ensure that such horrors cease to exist.

Our time may be limited: the climate of our planet is changing.
We may not inhabit this earth much longer.
May we learn to live with one another in peace for the remainder of our days.

Morris Deutsch, Sherm Edwards, Barbara Luchs, Virginia Murphy, Fred Reiner, Melinda Salzman, Lynn Sweet, Nelly Urbach


ANON1 said...

SO why is BUSH to blame again?

David in DC said...

Bush is not to blame. The Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militia they support are to blame.

Bush is responsible because Bush's government, and every other sane observer, call what the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed are up to by its name: Genocide.

Bush is not to blame. Nor are you. Nor am I. But we are all responsible.

"Not on my watch" are Bush's words, scribbled in the margins of a report about Clinton's failure to act against genocide in Rwanda.

I want Bush to live up to his words. They were right when he wrote them. They are right now.

And before I'm accused of hippy-dippy, liberal, tye-died, Jerry Garcia influenced bullshit, let me direct your attention to my previous post. I got Bush's words from Policy Review, the political Journal of the Hoover Institution, an institution as far from liberal as can be.

There's a link to their general home page, with its front page eulogy for conservative economics god Milton Friedman, in said previous post, along with a link to the Policy Review article I quote.

Like I said before, you've gotta read a spectrum of the media to get at an approximation of the truth. In this case, I'm tutored by the Hoover Institution.

Read something from Brookings or even further to the left than that some time.

But not 'til you get over that vomit thing. It's not worth your health.

DCVita said...

That was great! Thanks for sharing. It really is very overwhelming to hear about the need in some of these countries. The inhumane acts of violence against theses people is truly heartbreaking. But thankfully, there are people in this world that are not just pointing a finger but actually doing something to help!

ANON1 said...

The United States is NOT RESPONSIBLE for the problems of the world.

David in DC said...

We all are.

Let's end this thread here.

To give you the last word, I restate our respective positions here:

Knee-jerk, bleeding heart David in DC: We are all responsible for stopping the genocide in Darfur.

ANON1:The United States is NOT RESPONSIBLE for the problems of the world.

Anonymous said...

Define "WE" ? I don't see other countries helping out.

If you hate America so much and think the government is so evil move to Canada. You would be doing the country and myself a huge favor.


David in DC said...

I Love America. I love its promise and I love its ideals.

Canada is swell. Growing up across Lake Ontario from Toronto, you'll not ever hear me bashing the land of Don Cherry, Neil Young and Pierre Trudeau.

(Not to mention a sweetheart of a computer coding genius and former age-group national champion dancer)

But America is mine, when its right and when its wrong. You seem to think criticism of the current administration is somehow unamerican.

It's quintessentially American. Archetypically American. As American as apple pie, Chevy and booing the ump.

I humbly disagree with the notion that I would be doing the nation a favor if I would emigrate. And I owe you no favor.

As for defining "we" in the context of fighting genocide, we = every sentient human able to distinguish right from wrong.

So you've got at least two outs.

Other nations will have to live with their action or inaction.
I'm going to agitate so that MY nation lives up to its best character.

Again, I propose we end this thread, with you having the last word.

Knee-jerk, bleeding heart David in DC: every sentient human able to distinguish right from wrong is responsible for stopping the genocide in Darfur.

ANON1:The United States is NOT RESPONSIBLE for the problems of the world.

Anonymous said...

Well David I would say that Israel doesn't give a crap about other nations since they are too busy bombing people they stole land from but then you would label me an anti-semite which I am not.

Lastly, the US cannot and should not be responsible for the world's problems.

imaginaryconversations said...

I have nothing against prayers and stuff. Just wanted to add one thing: you posted a Jewish prayer and linked to all the other ones. As a very convinced atheist, I don't pray for Darfur. But I care, as much (or more) as believers.

And our responsibility is simply the responsibility of those with the power in this world to help people without that power. It's kind of like the abolishment of slavery in the States a few centuries ago. Every white person could say "I am not responsible". And he/she would be right, to a degree. But cooperation and altruism for those who aren't our children is what makes us different from animals.

David in DC said...

Point taken. Prayer is only one way, and not the most important one, to help.

I'm reminded of a tale told about the great Jewish scholar of the middle part of the 20th century, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. He marched with Dr. King, throughout the South.

Once, a photo caught him marching on a Saturday morning, when Orthodox Jewry would expect him to be in synagogue and not out marching with ministers and carrying banners.

One such nay-sayer confronted him.

He simply said "So this Shabbat I prayed with my feet."