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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.