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Don’t Lose Sleep… Stand Up and Walk!

We all lose sleep worrying about things.
For me, it’s about
The health of my parents and inlaws
My kids’ latest challenges
The illness facing a beloved member of our community

Fundamentally though I – like so many other American Jews – rest pretty easily because we know that as Americans, as Jews, and as human beings we are protected by the strength and democracy that is the United States. Most of us don’t have to worry about being battered because of our religions. Being slammed because of our nationality. Being violated because of our gender.

Yet I have memories, vivid memories, of a different experience, born of stories told and shared about the horrors inflicted upon my European Jewish ancestors who, in the midst of World War II, were singled out for violence and murder. Just because they were Jews. And every time I read about the Holocaust or view a video or artifact from that time, I tremble with the burning question: why?

Why were humans so brutal and hate filled?
Why did newspapers, including the New York Times, so willing to bury truths abou the situation in the unread middle of the paper?
Why were American so silent in the face of Jewish suffering?

And I choke down the other, equally horrifying question:
Could it happen again?
To us?
To anyone?

Apparently hate is alive and well worldwide. 
According to Jewish World Watch, the Jewish community’s hands-on leader in the fight against genocide and mass atrocities, in addition to the continuing deteriorating situations in the Sudan and in the Congo, 19 other countries worldwide are experiencing conflicts at high risk of escalating into genocide.

It is too easy to ignore what is happening. It is too easy to allow the baseless hatred to infiltrate across borders and through countries, murdering innocents for fun and political gain. Holocaust survivor and moral voice Elie Wiesel said that “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” 

Na’ama Haviv, Assistant Director of Jewish World Watch, teaches that the opposite of hate is not love, but compassion. And boy, does the Or Ami community ever live with compassion! Thank you for all you do!

Would you make this vow with me?

Whenever I can, I will raise up my voice, and inconvenience myself, to endure that I can go to sleep worried about the first list and not survival of myself and my people.

Walk the Walk with Me
Join me on the Los Angeles Walk to End Genocide, sponsored by Jewish World Watch, on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Team Congregation Or Ami is putting together a huge delegation to again help lead the walk. Sign up today to walk, or if you cannot attend, sign up to to support our team.

Because the Shoah was atrocious.
Because genocide still rears it’s ugly head in far off places like Sudan and the Congo.
Because never again needs to be more than a slogan. It needs to be a way of living. And
Because the opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference.

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