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Why I Am Not Going to Remember this Passover

“Remember this day that you departed from Egypt from a house of bondage for you with a strong arm God took you from here.(Exodus 13:3).” If there is one thing Jews love, it’s “to remember.” Perhaps the only thing Jews do more on Passover than remember is eat matzah and get indigestion. But more seriously, the Jews can be a little narcissistic when all we do is remember about ourselves.

Which brings us to the issue of the day, Darfur.

This Passover, instead of never forgetting, Jews need to start acting. Simply put, it’s not good enough never to forget when people around us are being enslaved and murdered in the same way we were 60 years ago. Rabbis, lay leaders, and people of all faiths need to listen up: There is a genocide happening in Darfur!! Most disturbing is how little everyone seems to care. As Nick Kristoff explained to the Washington Times:

“According to monitoring by the Tyndall Report, ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of the Darfur genocide in its nightly newscasts all last year and that turns out to be a credit to Peter Jennings. ‘NBC had only 5 minutes of coverage all last year, and CBS only 3 minutes (except for ’60 Minutes’) about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks. ‘Incredibly, more than two years into the genocide, NBC, aside from covering official trips, has still not bothered to send one of its own correspondents into Darfur for independent reporting.” )

Some say close to a half-million people have been killed, and the numbers of dead are climbing daily. Look, I know we all lead busy lives, and every day there is another tragedy, so I don’t expect any of you to hop on Air Sudan and start holding sit-ins in the African desert. But before we sit down at our Passover tables this year and take two days out of our lives to remember our own tsuris (problems) and God’s greatness, let’s truly bring some godliness into this world and commit ourselves to going to the rally being held in Washington on April 30 being sponsored by the American Jewish World Service.

Let’s stop remembering and start acting, so that one day we don’t all have to sit around a seder table and justify to our children why we continue to remember how God took us out of Egypt but we were not appreciative enough to help to do the same for someone else’s children.



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Rosalie Morrow

posted April 13, 2006 at 7:02 pm


Thank you for this article. I think there should be an “Amber Alert” everytime someone in Darfur is killed. That will raise our awareness!



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Guadalupe Thompson

posted April 13, 2006 at 7:13 pm


It is a terrible shame that we all enjoy Passover and Easter or Resurrection Day remembering what happened in our traditions centuries ago. The same cruelty of man against man, and therefore, against God is currently happening not only in Darfur but in so many places in the world. Thanks for bringing this tragedy to the forefront. May God bless you always,



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Marty Roy

posted April 13, 2006 at 9:11 pm


What we need to do is bring this to the notice of world leaders, and to shame them into some direct and positive action. Keep nudging the world.



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Susan Aylesworth

posted April 13, 2006 at 11:09 pm


What is it we CAN do? Write congress seems the only thing to do. Are there other ways we can help put a stop to the atrocity?



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PJ

posted April 14, 2006 at 2:25 am


Thanks for this article. I think remembering should motivate us to ACTION. There is a “Shabbat Movement” within some Christian Churches. The purpose is for Christians to remember their heritage, like being “grafted into Judaism” to more fully understand Jewish customs, spirituality,including Passover. Many churches will celebrate Passover on Good Friday to honor God and thank Him from delivering them from evil. It is through this custom that unity and love is felt and motivates us into action.



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debra

posted April 14, 2006 at 6:20 pm


WOW. OUCH. Thank you for giving this REMEMBRANCE! Ja, if we could hold hands for a microsekunde! I feel so blessed to have a roof over my head and a full belly!Greatful..Dankbar..WOW! I am humbled by this message..feeling helpless on WHAT to do! deb



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Richard J Jones

posted April 14, 2006 at 6:51 pm


For an alternate news source on the Darfur ethnic cleansing genocide, BBC is not afraid to report on it on PBS. Several other articles have been published in “The Citizen USA” a predominently Christian monthly giving an alternative view on world events. Instead of just wringing our hands and letting the slaughter go on like the majority of the Holocaust victims did, why doesn’t world Jewry band together, and send relief aid like the Christian evengelicals already due, and have been since it started, something you’ll never hear in the news, even though the majority of sufferes are Muslims being murdered by their own government. Wake up and smell the blood stench!



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suzann Dodd

posted April 15, 2006 at 12:33 am


Thank you for this article. It struck me very deeply. For above all, I do not want to have to ‘justify to our children why we continue to remember how God took us out of Egypt but we were not appreciative enough to help to do the same for someone else s children.’



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mosey

posted April 16, 2006 at 1:17 pm


well done,thanks for bringing this to the attention of lay people such as myself.keep up the good work and power to your ellbowes.mossey,



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tobi ruth love

posted April 16, 2006 at 10:40 pm


What can we do is a great question. Sending food/supplies is not really a good option because it has to go through the government and it is the government that is causing the genocide. Nothing gets to the people who need it. The only thing we can do is let our leaders know that we will not stand for a government that does not try to do something. We need to let the heads of governments around the world know that they need to become involved in finding a way to stop the suffering of the people of Darfur. Money is often the best tool to use to convince a country that it needs to conform to the standards of humanity. Africa needs money, the African Union can do something about the government of Sudan, so economic boycott is the answer. We, the people, need to understand and use our power to make this a better world for everyone. Every voice is heard and every person counts. Together we can work miracles.



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Carol N.

posted April 17, 2006 at 4:44 pm


We can pray and pray and pray. If we believe, then God will answer our prayers. I know that sounds like such a simplistic, naive thing to say…but it is true. And it is what God calls us to do. You ask what can I do??? You can pray and pray and pray.



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Kevin Reilly

posted April 18, 2006 at 8:29 pm


If you want to get involved check out this link: http://www.iAbolish.com This is the website for the American Anti-Slavery Group (called AASG from here on). What’s the connection to the atrociities in the Sudan? The AASG’s founder, a Sudanese refugee named Simon Deng, is an escaped slave from Darfur. He has been in a leader in the American-Sudanese community (which counts NBA tall guy Minute Bol in its numbers FYI) in raising awareness about the civil war in the Sudan and appropriately titled genocide in Darfur. Since many of the persecuted in Darfur are captured into slavery (if not worse), AASG spearheads lobbyist action to Congresspeople (Representatives, Senators) and others in D.C.(Deng has met with Bush on at least one occassion). Their works have contributed to: -Freeing slaves -Divestment of funds going towards businesses in/from the Sudan from New Jersey, Illinois and maybe some other states that I can’t remember. **This is like an economic boycott of all things Sudanese. New Jersey withdrew many millions (under former acting Governor Cody) that they had invested in Sudanese businesses. Same story with Illinois. ** If you want to hit them where it hurts ($$$) then URGE your state and federal representatives to DIVEST (in other words, withdraw investments) from businesses that are in/from/connected to Sudan. Check it out and God Bless- http://www.iAbolish.com



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Yossi

posted April 21, 2006 at 12:24 am


This is Silly sure Darfur is horrible but that is no excuse to not celibrate pasach



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