Monday, January 05, 2009

A Jewish Prayer for Darfur

By Margie Klein

Merciful Creator, please give us the strength to move our hearts to action.

Every day we give thanks to You for our redemption from Egypt, for our freedom as individuals and as a nation. I feel blessed that I have the freedom to work, to study, and to enjoy time with family and friends.

But across the ocean, in a refugee camp in Darfur, I have a sister who is not so fortunate. She is short and fiery like me, she loves dancing like me, and telling stories to children. Her skin is darker than mine, her language different, but we are sisters.

God, my sister is afraid for her life; afraid for her body; afraid for her children. She cries out to You on behalf of her people. She utters her own version of the Amidah – “Sh’ma Koleinu, Hear our voice, Lord our God, pity us, save us, accept our prayers with compassion and kindness.” She prays with every fiber of her being.

But she and I both know that You will not, cannot, act alone.

Source of compassion, let my sister’s cry pierce our hearts like the wailing sound of the shofar. And once our hearts have been opened, help us move from prayer to action; let our action stir others to act as well.

God of Memory, help us to remember our sisters and brothers in Darfur even when it is easier to turn away. Let us hear the echo of their prayers deep within us.

Blessed Redeemer, who liberated our ancestors from Egyptian bondage, help us to take up the mantle of Moses, Aaron and Miriam, and do all that we can to help liberate the people of Darfur, so that they may enter the promised land of freedom, dignity, and hope.

Used by permission of author, co-editor of Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice


Mary said...

My comment is unrelated to Darfur; but I am wondering if you or Bob or anyone who reads this blog have any thoughts on what is happening with Israel / Gaza strip right now, all the violence, killing. I personally am very afraid of where this will lead. I pray for a peaceful solution and soon.

Victoria said...

Mary, I have so many thoughts on the fighting in the Gaza strip. I am so torn - doesn't seem like any good solution. Palestine is homeland for the Palestinians AND the Jews and the fighting is horrible for everybody. It scares me. Many Jews I know are way too ionist - don't reverse roles with the Palestinians - and others are more concerned with the whole picture. My synagogue is not particularly Zionist, prays for everyoe everywhere, on every side. This situation in Gaza both scares and saddens me and I'm not good at answers.

Mary said...

Thanks for your answer, Victoria. It seems we feel the same way...that the fighting is horrible for everyone. I am so afraid that the whole Middle East will soon erupt. I am not good at answers either.

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