I wonder how CNN and the like would have covered Noah’s Flood. Forty days and forty nights of rain and then another 150 days of the water just hanging around, ebbing slowly away, revealing a scene of devastation and destruction. How many pictures of rotting corpses could we expect to see before the ‘news cycle’ rolled onto something else?
This Shabbat will mark three weeks since Cyclone Nargis struck. The story has all but disappeared from our screens and papers. This is despite the estimated million who have lost their homes and the millions who have lost crops – their only source of income and then there are the dead. In the words of a contact of the American Jewish World Service;
Flooding has created extremely hazardous conditions as diseases that already overwhelmingly afflict the people of
In the approach to this Shabbat I would like to ask
It would, of course, been far easier if the Myanmar Junta had been easier partners; if the cyclone had struck a less remote and fragile area and certainly it would have been easier if there had not been a cyclone at all. But we are not allowed to chose what kind of disaster we would like to respond to, we are only given the opportunity to respond to the disasters placed before us. The test is more challenging since the initial flurry of media interest subsides far faster than the flood waters. We dare not, however, fail.
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