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Friday, September 9, 2011

Famine in the Horn of Africa

Greetings friends and family!

My experiences in Senegal this summer have continued to have a tremendous effect on me as a Jew and as a human. I am constantly reminded of Leviticus 19:18: V'ahvatah Lereiacha Kamocha - "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." What does that mean? I think that one of the most difficult concepts for humans to grasp is to understand and really know what love means. Nachmanides, a medieval Jewish rabbi, taught that in order for a person to truly love his neighbor, he had to understand how to love himself first. That's it. We must learn and develop ways of understanding how we are to love ourselves.

This may seem like such an easy idea...but it is not. If you take a minute to think about all of the things you do in your daily life, you might be surprised at how many of these things harm you. I am constantly reminded by the organizations I pay attention to and by the news agencies of the millions of people around the world who have no idea what it means to love themselves. All you have to do is look at the food crisis, the famine that is going on in Africa today. The United States government (and many other Global North governments) are struggling to figure out how to offset this famine - by money, food, resources, etc.

Where do we start? The first thing is to be aware. Pay attention; read the news; watch the news; read a blog. Whatever it takes. Get out there and just read and watch. It is impossible to miss - we find this "food crisis" in our own back yards. The answer, to quote Bob Dylan is "blowing in the wind." It's out there...and we need to work together to make it happen. Throwing money at the problem is not the answer. Ignoring the problem is not the answer. And, COMPLETELY CUTTING FUNDING AND RESOURCES is NOT the answer.

If you want to learn more about the food crisis and really are interested in helping, check out the following sites:

http://www.ajws.org
http://act.one.org/sign/horn_of_africa_us/?source=horncrisistafem

Take this as a challenge to get out there and so something. Donate money to AJWS, either through my fundraising efforts (http://action.ajws.org/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1110&pxfid=4010) or directly through their website. Let's stop ignoring the problem and make a difference together.

I know, I know, we have problems of our own in our country. It's true...but that does NOT mean we can ignore everyone else.

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