“You are not required to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” ~Pirke Avot
Sixty-one years ago, the world’s eyes were violently opened to an unthinkable tragedy. By stages, the “extermination” of six million Jews and five million others, the horrifically systematic and efficient annihilation of so many, was discovered with outrage and woe. It was of this massive crime against humanity that the term “genocide” was born. Unable to rekindle the lives that had been extinguished, the international community did what it could to help the survivors rebuild their lives. It promised to never forget.
Twelve years ago, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were brutally murdered in just three months. Most of them were Tutsis, killed by their own neighbors, the Hutus in a mass genocidal effort driven by ethnic tension and hate. The world watched.
Right now, approximately 400,000 have already died in Darfur, the western region of Sudan, and many more are victimized by the bloodied hands of genocide and mass terror. Villages are burned to the ground. Non-Arab Africans are murdered at the hands of government backed militias. Women and girls are raped as they leave refugee camps for firewood. The world continues to watch. Either the international community is suffering from memory loss or it is purposefully ignoring its promise. As Jews, we hold the memory of genocide in our hearts and cannot afford to do either. Here at Temple Sinai, we must join the effort to stop the genocide in Sudan.